WWE Hell in a Cell Recap: Match Grades/Winners & Losers

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WWE Hell in a Cell is in the books and, overall, it was a pretty good show. The card on paper shaped up to at least give us a decent event with the major concern being WWE pulling off three HIAC matches in one show. It was done back at the original HIAC event in 2009 and WWE followed the blueprint from that event by spacing the three matches out throughout the show. The crowd in Boston was hyped and seemed to be responsive in a majority of the matches. So what matches stood out? Who were tonight’s winners and losers?

United States Championship Match

Roman Reigns vs Rusev

The show opened up with the first of the three Hell in a Cell matches and it was a good start to the show.  Reigns and Rusev have been going at it for months so it was natural for this one to end inside Hell in a Cell.  In fact, this feud was probably the most personal of the three and warranted the match the most.  Nothing crazy was expected from the two combatants in this match but they delivered a solid performance.  The highlight of the match was probably Rusev applying the Accolade with a steel chain, which many people in the internet community liked but criticized Reigns for “no selling.” As expected, Reigns retained the title and both guys will surely be in the mix to represent “Team Raw” at Survivor Series.

Match Grade: B

 

Bayley vs Dana Brooke

Unlike my other HTR co-host, I actually like Dana Brooke.  Sure, she’s not as polished in the ring as Bayley but she plays the heel role well enough and, in my opinion, better than most of the women heels on either roster not named Charlotte.  I didn’t expect her to win versus Bayley and she didn’t.  This match was nothing more than “card filler” and served its purpose of continuing Bayley’s slow rise to RAW women’s title contention.

Match Grade: C

 

Enzo & Cass vs Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson

Probably tied with Bayley and Dana Brooke for worst match of the night.  You always get a good promo out of Enzo Amore and he didn’t disappoint, referring to Gallows as “Big Gal” and Anderson as “Andy.”   I’m not sure what’s next for either one of these tag teams but Gallows and Anderson get the much needed win with the “Magic Killer”.  They had been losing to The New Day so much, I started to think they were being buried.  It’s hard to see where things go with either of these teams as The New Day has a strangle hold on the tag team division.

Match Grade: C 

 

WWE Universal Championship

Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins

My early favorite for match of the night and it lived up to all expectations.  I was admittedly lukewarm on this feud entering the PPV because the build-up for me wasn’t worthy of having a match contested inside HIAC.  However, knowing the skill set of each man, I knew the match would ultimately deliver.  Chris Jericho inserting himself into the match didn’t take away from the match at all.  In fact, it added value to it by continuing to present Owens as a “sleazy champion” who will do anything to win and building upon the inevitable implosion of his friendship with Jericho.  You would have to think that Owens would feel a certain way about winning the match but stumbling backstage with Jericho’s music playing.  Is Jericho showing Owens up?  Rollins competed in his 16th straight PPV match for a championship which is remarkable and gave his usual great performance.

Match Grade: A-

 

WWE Cruiserweight Championship

TJ Perkins vs Brian Kendrick

The addition of the Cruiserweight division to RAW has just been OK to me.  All the guys in the division are great in the ring but this isn’t the CWC.  I would like to see more character development as things progress.  TJ Perkins knows who he is but the RAW audience has been lukewarm with his championship reign.  Kendrick has history in WWE and plays the heel well, which is why the title change made sense.  This also opens up the opportunity for some new contenders to compete against the heel champion.

Match Grade: B-

 

WWE RAW Tag Team Championship

The New Day vs Cesaro & Sheamus

A couple of weeks ago I was certain that Cesaro and Sheamus would take the titles from The New Day and they very well may be the team that ultimately does it.  The more I think about it though, the more I feel that New Day will break Demolition’s record as the longest-reigning tag team champs in WWE history.  The DQ ending of this match leaves both scenarios in play.  WWE can milk New Day’s title reign until the December PPV where they will either have broken or be very close to breaking Demolition’s record.  If the record is eclipsed, look for Cesaro and Sheamus to win the straps then.

Match Grade: B- 

 

WWE RAW Women’s Championship

Sasha Banks vs Charlotte

From the entrances to the cell lowering after the intros, this match started off with great intensity.  I was concerned that the ladies wouldn’t be able to match the physicality of the Universal Championship match but boy, was I wrong.  The match started outside the ring and went into the stands, which led to Sasha getting powerbombed through the announcers table.  The crowd was loving every minute!  After Sasha got put on a stretcher (Mick Foley anyone?)  she comes back to finish a great match.  Much to the surprise (and anger) of many, Charlotte came out on top and is the new champ.  In hindsight, WWE rarely lets a superstar go over in their hometown.  Sasha Banks is from Boston so losing should have been expected but she just won the title a couple of weeks ago on RAW, so a title change this fast wasn’t anticipated.  This match was on par with the Universal Championship match but I take away some points because of the botched table spots and the weird finish.  Still, these women made history and had a great match.

Match Grade: B+

Overall PPV Grade: B

 

Winners

Chris Jericho: Added himself to the Universal Championship match and though he wasn’t technically a part of the match, walked out with his music playing after delivering a “Code Breaker” to Seth Rollins post-match.

Sasha Banks & Charlotte: Made history by being the first two women to compete in a Hell in a Cell match and delivering big time.

Gallows & Anderson:  Just happy to see these guys actually win a match on a PPV.

 

Losers

TJ Perkins: Lackluster title reign comes to an end at the hands of Brian Kendrick.  TJ is good in the ring but has to get his mic skills up.

Kevin Owens: The Universal Champ gave us a great performance tonight but did his performance get overshadowed by the involvement of his “best friend” Chris Jericho?

Sasha Banks:  Yes, Sasha is a winner and a loser.  The WWE “kiss of death” is wrestling in your hometown which historically doesn’t go well for the hometown superstar.  Sasha is just the latest victim of this “curse.”  Doesn’t take away from her awesome performance though.  She’ll surely get the title back down the road.

HTR Original known as “The Stokester.” Was making “List” before Jericho was cool. Hear my golden voice weekly on the HTR Podcast. Read my humble opinions here at HTRR.com. Detroit Bred. Got more kids than Heath Slater, so I really need this job.

  • I have to rewatch the ladies match. The opening with the big injury, then the instant heel after they already concluded she was unfit to wrestle, and then being able to wrestle for 2 hrs … the cheesiness just threw me off. Kinda tuned out after all that.

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