Lacey Evans vs. Natalya: It’s hard to get emotionally invested in a rivalry with two talent that has taken a backseat to the four horsewomen. To be honest, I wasn’t even aware that the two were in rivalry until Evans used Natalya’s Sharpshooter. On top of that, I was under the impression that the rivalry ended on this past episode of Monday Night Raw, but here we are, both ladies are still duking it out.
I’ve never had an issue giving out props, even to someone who I find obnoxious, but props to Evans for not botching a move or blowing a spot for once. The match itself was far better than their previous match on this past episode of Monday Night Raw, with both women spanking one another. It got a little redundant near the end though as both women would land heavy moves and then drag their opponent to the center of the ring to lock in the Sharpshooter, but in the end, Natalya would pick up the win with her submission, and then drive, hopefully, the final nail in the coffin as she would land The Women’s Right on Evans. Grade: B
Sasha Banks vs. Becky Lynch (C) – Raw Women’s Title: The match would begin before the bell rang as Banks would jump Lynch before the cage could be fully dropped, driving her face into the cage and suplexing her onto the ramp. Lynch would regroup and get Banks into the ring for their match to begin, and the two would have one hell of a match to start the main show, using everything under the ring but the kitchen sink. Sasha would land the Meteora on Lynch into a ladder and a table, Lynch would land a number of dropkicks into the cage and chairs.
There were a lot of fantastic chair spots between both women, but after Banks tossed around three ringside rows of chairs into the ring, Lynch would pick up the win with an Exploder Suplex from the mid-turnbuckle into the pool of chairs below. Grade: A+
Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Rowan & Harper – Tornado Tag Match: Total anarchy would quickly ensue as both teams went at one another with a lot of fantastic spots between both sides. Unfortunately, it would appear it doesn’t matter if it’s a regular match, a lumberjack match, or a tag match or any sort, if Roman Reigns is part of the equation, it’s a Roman Reigns match.
Both Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns would start strong, but then the heels took control of the match and maintained control for all but the final moments of the match. There were fantastic spots where it appeared that Rowan and Harper were going to win, but in the end, after Reigns speared Rowan through an announce table, Bryan would face off against Harper. Reigns would jump in with the Superman Punch, Bryan would land the Flying Knee, and Reigns would pick up the win with the Spear. After the match, the two babyfaces would hug it out. Grade: B+
Ali vs. Randy Orton: After a brief backstage interview with Ali, he would challenge Randy Orton to a match. Inside the ring, the two would have an exceptionally boring match where Orton would stay in control for most it. Ali would drop some great spots, but in typical slow Orton fashion, he would drop an RKO off Ali’s face buster for the win. Grade: D
The Kabuki Warriors vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross (C) – Women’s Tag Team Titles: In the best non-cage match of the evening, all four competitors would put on a fantastic match, seamlessly trading control between one another as fluidly as water. Each competitor would get their spots in and that includes Alexa Bliss who, in my opinion, is still being handled with safety gloves due to her concussion at the start of the year, using more of Nikki Cross.
Nikki did a fantastic job keeping the audience engaged, countering Kairi Sane’s Insane Elbow and Asuka’s kicks, but it was when Kairi went in to distract Alexa Bliss that Asuka’s went all Taijiri on her and green mist in her face to pick up the win. Grade: A-
Braun Strowman & The Viking Raiders vs. The OC: The OC would come down to a new entrance theme for another last minute match so, essentially continue the dialog happening between Strowman and Tyson Fury. The match would end in a disqualification after The OC would team up on Strowman, foregoing the tag match. The Viking Raiders would charge in to help, but it was when AJ Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm, that Strowman would deliver a solid right hook as Styles was coming down.
Again, this is all to continue the dialog for tomorrow as Tyson Fury was announced to make an appearance tomorrow on Monday Night Raw. The match wasn’t even that great. It was another match filled with all your typical spots you’ve come to expect from The OC, The Viking Raiders, and Braun Strowman. Grade: D+
The Street Profits would have a segment and I couldn’t care less what they had to say because I’m tired of the gimmick. I’m tired of Ford screaming. I’m tired of all the “fam.” I’m tired of all of it, regardless of who’s added to the bit. So I muted them and waited for the next match.
King Corbin vs. Chad Gable: Another last minute match. A match that, quite frankly, I don’t think anybody asked for. It was another big guy vs. little guy match with Gable using his whole body to do whatever he could to put Corbin down on his knees. The issue with this match is that I’ve already seen it not once, not twice, but five times. The little guy gives it his all, the big guy makes a mistake, the little guy wins. Corbin’s mistake was that after a long fifteen minute match, he went for his scepter to attack Gable. The referee would rip it away from him and Gable would pick up the win with a roll up.
I don’t have a problem supporting Chad Gable or his Shorty G persona which will eventually get here, but using him in the same kind of match time and time and time again will only kill people’s interest, and tonight was just the start of it. The crowd was loud and behind Gable at the start, but as the match rolled on, the loud cheering turned into a quite mumble. WWE needs to pull Gable away from Corbin because he’s starting to get pulled into the riptide that is the mid-card of mediocrity. Grade: C
Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley (C) – Smackdown Women’s Title: Because I already knew how big FOX is on Charlotte Flair, I already knew that The Queen was going to win the title tonight, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy the match. Charlotte Flair would take control of the match right out of the gate. After Bayley regained control, the two started focusing on each other’s legs throughout the mid-part of the match, but it was when Bayley went for the roll-up, using the ropes as leverage, that the referee would call her out on it, providing just enough distraction for Flair to lock her into the Figure 8 for the win. Grade B+
The Fiend vs. Seth Rollins (C) – WWE Universal Title: Man, where do I begin with this cluster? If you wanted to kill a gimmick, this is how you do it.
Seth Rollins and The Fiend would wrestle under blood red lighting, giving The Fiend a much more monstrous presence, which worked fabulously. No matter what Seth Rollins did, he simply couldn’t put or keep The Fiend down, even after a Pedigree, a dozen (no seriously) curb stomps in a row, and more superkicks than I could possibly be interested in counting.
And that’s where things became stupid. The moment Rollins had The Fiend down, he would begin a 10-15 minute assault, using chairs, ladders, and a tool box, wailing away at him as The Fiend just lied there, not moving. Needless to say the fans weren’t interested in the match anymore as they started booing and chanting AEW. But it was when Rollins used a sledgehammer that the referee called for the match.
It was then that The Fiend would get back up and start to attack Rollins, thirteen minutes too late for anyone’s liking. Everyone chanted to restart the match but nobody was having it as The Fiend would deliver the Sister Abigail onto the stone floor and lock in the Mandible Claw in a pool of ridiculously fake blood.
Hell In A Cell would end to the sounds of some 12,000 fans booing. Grade… I can’t even grade this match.
When I first learned earlier today, hours before Hell In A Cell was set to start that there was only four matches on the card, I knew this pay-per-view was going to be tough, and I hate it when I’m right like this. It started so strong with the Lynch – Banks match, but then it immediately turned into another episode of Monday Night Raw, as the cage wouldn’t be dropped again until the main event.
The sad thing is that most of the matches were good. Some even great. I was happy to see that Becky Lynch retained her title and that The Kabuki Warriors won their first tag team titles. Hell, I was even happy to see that Lacey Evans is finally able to wrestle. But do you know what I didn’t see? Shinsuke Nakamura or any of the tag team champions. As of right now, AJ Styles is a paper champion. He has nobody to challenge him for the US Title. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll see that change.
I have never seen a main event as terrible as what I witnessed tonight. Not only will this go down as the Worst Match of the Year, but this could go down as the Worst Match of the Decade.
I hope you guys enjoyed The Fiend, because that character is dead. This pay-per-view was a let down. Yes, it had it’s high spots, but not even those high spots are enough to pull the pay-per-view from the depths it has sunk too. I want to give Hell In A Cell an F-rating, but I won’t deny all the hard work that everyone else put in.
This year’s Hell In A Cell is a very soft…