Welcome to The WK's LIVE PPV coverage of Hell In A Cell!
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Kickoff Match 6-Man Tag Team match Sin Cara, Lince Dorado & Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari
RESULT: Team Sin Cara won via pinfall; Alexander pinned Gulak following the Lumbar Check backbreaker.
THOUGHTS: A fun little melee of an opener, though like many online "analysts", I don't appreciate the minimalist approach to the Cruiserweight Division, what with the single storyline concerning Perkins and Kendrick and everyone else being shunted into 4-to-5 minute matches that don't display their various techniques as well as the Cruiserweight Open did.
Anyway, the crowd didn't really pick up until Cedric's hot tag, and he put on a good showing, very fluid and crisp, and the Lumbar Check looks especially brutal when sold as well as Gulak sold it.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 1/9 Zack - 1/9 Julian - 1/9 Greg - 0/9 Nick - 1/9 Julie - 1/9
#HIAC #KickoffMatch #GetKennected
WWE United States Championship Hell In A Cell Match Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rusev w/Lana
RESULT: Roman Reigns wins via pinfall; Reigns pinned Rusev after a Spear off the steel steps.
THOUGHTS: Not a bad choice for the opener; you have three so-called "main events" with this match being on the low end of that particular totem pole, so the best option to put on first. That being said, while it did show some shades of classic HIAC brutality, particularly with Rusev's chain-assisted Accolade, it felt like forever until we got to that. The first half seemed plodding and slow, and really only picked up once the weapons and stairs came into play.
Result was never in doubt here, Reigns shines bright, and Rusev ultimately ends up playing second fiddle to a WWE golden boy for the second straight year.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 3/9 (LOCK) Zack - 2/9 Julian - 2/9 Greg - 0/9 Nick - 2/9 Julie - 2/9
#HIAC #USTitle #GetKennected
Women's Singles Match Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
RESULT: Bayley wins via pinfall; Bayley pinned Dana following a Bayley-to-Belly.
THOUGHTS: Bayley got a nice reaction to start things out, and the shoulder work was consistent on both ends. Dana's heat segment, though, really dragged it out and dulled the crowd until Bayley fired up and won. Another no-doubter here, as Bayley is looking to be lined up as one of the first contenders to the Women's Title following HIAC and needed this victory more.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 4/9 Zack - 3/9 Julian - 3/9 Greg - 0/9 Nick - 3/9 Julie - 3/9
Tag Team Match Enzo & Big Cass vs. The Club
RESULT: The Club wins via pinfall; Gallows pinned Enzo following the Magic Killer.
THOUGHTS: Enzo's the only wrestler I've seen this year that can effortlessly segue between PG and non-PG references in the same breath (though with Enzo, that's a REALLY big breath, how you doin'?)
The match itself played out more like a TV match rather than a PPV match, 6 minutes with a hot beginning, no real middle heat, and a sudden ending with the superkick and the Magic Killer. The result rings true though, as Anderson and Gallows needed the rebound from their failed pursuit for the tag straps.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 5/9 Zack - 4/9 Julian - 4/9 Greg - 0/9 Nick - 3/9 Julie - 4/9
WWE Universal Championship Hell In A Cell Match Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins
RESULT: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall; Owens pinned Rollins after a powerbomb through two steel chairs.
THOUGHTS: An thoroughly intense match throughout, with no real break in the action, from Owens constantly working on Rollins' back (I thought him slowly tearing off the medical tape was a nice touch of brutality) to Rollins powering through and pulling off big time spots like the Falcon Arrow on the apron and the powerbomb through the bridged tables Owen had set up.
While I found the way they got Jericho into the match was at least creative, his constant presence throughout the second half of the match took a lot away from what would've been at least a four-star affair between Rollins and Owens. If his interference had been one-and-done, I probably wouldn't make a big deal about this.
Jericho's post-match Codebreaker to Rollins seems like the start to an extended program with the two. With Jericho's recent string of great matches, and their mini-feud on RAW, it's one I'm looking forward to.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 6/9 Zack - 4/9 Julian - 5/9 Greg - 0/9 Nick - 3/9 Julie - 5/9
#HIAC #WWEUniversalTitle #GetKennected
WWE Cruiserweight Championship TJ Perkins (c) vs. The Brian Kendrick
RESULT: NEWWWWW Champion Brian Kendrick wins via submission; Kendrick tapped out Perkins with the Captain's Hook.
THOUGHTS: Not the right spot for this match, for starters, as the crowd was drained following the intense Owens-Rollins match. I would've switched this with the Bayley-Dana match earlier in the night, as the crowd still had energy following the first HIAC match.
That aside, I liked Kendrick's savvy in this match (Using TJ's wrist tape to bind him to the rope, faking an injury off the countered Sliced Bread), using the same subtle, yet nefarious tactics that drew attention to him throughout the Cruiserweight Open.
Hopefully this feud rolls on towards Survivor Series and through to TLC, where a ladder match would be an ideal ending to what's been a curiously interesting feud between Kendrick and Perkins.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 7/9 Zack - 4/9 Julian - 6/9 Greg - 1/9 Nick - 4/9 Julie - 6/9
#HIAC #CruiserweightTitle #GetKennected
WWE RAW Tag Team Championship The New Day (c) w/Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
RESULT: Cesaro and Sheamus win via disqualification; Kofi hit Sheamus with Trouble in Paradise, causing the DQ.
THOUGHTS: I've liked the slow, but sure development of the tag team chemistry between Sheamus and Cesaro; it's to the point where they still argue, but don't let it take away from their in-ring control. They played the more subdued technical powerhouses versus the flash-and-substance combo of Big E and Xavier, a fun tag team dichotomy. Great counter wrestling in the second half of the match, and a nice bit near the end with Sheamus accidentally Brogue Kicking Cesaro, but saving the match rather than leaving Cesaro to the wolves like he would've weeks before, showing that same developing chemistry in play.
I'm not actually perturbed at all by the DQ ending; it keeps the straps on New Day for their continued stride towards Demolition's record reign, and the split-second decision between the DQ and Cesaro's tap out of Xavier (well-timed, by the way) keeps Cesaro and Sheamus in the conversation for a title rematch down the road.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 7/9 Zack - 4/9 Julian - 6/9 Greg - 2/9 Nick - 4/9 Julie - 6/9
#HIAC #CesaroSection #GetKennected
(MAIN EVENT) WWE RAW Women's Championship Hell In A Cell Match Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
RESULT: NEWWWWW CHAMPION Charlotte won via pinfall; Charlotte pinned Sasha following a Natural Selection.
TIME: 22:20 (Not including the pre-match brawl)
THOUGHTS: Before I get into the bigger details of this match, I just want to say this: I liked the match, and not just because of the heavily overused "historical" aspect. In fact, it's because of the notion of the match being a historical first that I can excuse the couple botches we saw in the match, the glaring one being the ringside table that broke before Sasha could deliver a top-rope double knee.
In life, love and wrestling, first times almost never go down the way you expect them to, and mistakes will often be made, much like RVD's errant splash off the top of the first Elimination Chamber in 2002, causing Triple H to suffer a swollen trachea. Triple H himself admitted in an interview that in an physical environment where rehearsing and practice mean as much as any big-time maneuver, "high-risk" means "high-risk" and that something can always go awry, whether it be a mistimed move or, in this case, a busted table. But I digress...
The pre-match brawl was certain the right way to kick this off, a call back of sorts to the Rollins-Ambrose HIAC match in 2014, as well as alluding to Foley's stretcher spot (with Sasha even smacking a few medical personnel for good measure!) after Charlotte looked to win via forfeit after powerbombing Sasha through a table. Charlotte was on-key with her technical assault, never letting up on Sasha's nagging back injury, while Sasha played the Cell to her strengths, with big high spots and tributes to her icon Eddie Guerrero, playing up the same fire and spirit he would embody every match.
I liked the touch of reality setting in near the end, where despite her boundless spirit, Sasha's back simply gave out after too much pain, leading to the Natural Selection and the three count, giving the win and the title to Charlotte, which I wouldn't have had a problem with if it had been somewhere else other than Boston.
The big issue here was that it ended up being a rather flat, anticlimactic finish after the second of two botched table spots, especially since it was Sasha's superstar homecoming, her being in the main event and they still had her eat the clean-as-a-whistle pinfall on top of all that. It also casts a rather unflattering light on Sasha's two title reigns, which combined don't even reach 30 days.
Overall, I felt the two women pulled off a very effective presentation here, showing they are capable of pulling off the same kind of brutality we've come to expect from (good) men's HIAC matches. However, I wasn't a fan of the result, the PPV being in Sasha's hometown and having her take the loss in the main event, ending what I thought was an overall decent RAW pay-per-view on a sour note.
WK KING OF PPV: Ken - 7/9 (WINNER) Zack - 4/9 Julian - 6/9 Greg - 2/9 Nick - 5/9 Julie - 6/9