The most brutal structure in WWE history returns, as two of the WWE’s most heated rivalries will be settled inside Hell in a Cell. The Universal Championship will be on the line as Roman Reigns defends his title against the Monster among men, Braun Strowman, as Strowman cashes in his Money in the Bank contract. Neither mans’s teammates – Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose for Reigns, or Strowman’s Dogs of War, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler – will be able to help their allies, in the Universal Championship’s first foray into the devil’s structure. Speaking of Ziggler and McIntyre, they will be defending their tag team championships against the aforementioned Rollins and Ambrose. Both Womens’ Championships will be on the line, as a friendship implodes between champion Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch on Smackdown Live, while the Raw title holder, Ronda Rousey, must contend with the Goddess of Monday Night Raw, Alexa Bliss. All of this and more at WWE Hell in a Cell.
+ Roman Reigns (c) vs Braun Strowman (Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match): this match went through so many distinct phases it is hard to judge it overall – the stuff you’d expect was fine, but not nearly as good as their previous stuff (the Last Man Standing, Ambulance matches); once the shenanigans started, it looked as if this was going to be historic and memorable in all the best ways; once it became clear what was happening, and towards the end, the whole thing fell of a cliff. Surprisingly, Mick Foley was fine as the special guest referee. Overall I’ll say it was fine, but the last few minutes really soured me on the whole show
+ Ronda Rousey (c) vs Alexa Bliss (WWE Raw Women’s Championship): this was as good as match as you could expect from two not very good workers. Rousey is slowly but surely losing her aura, and this was no more apparent than her having to sell the offense from the tiny Bliss. Of course there was a few shenanigans ot keep it interesting, but they built Ronda up so much that it is hard to beleive she would need more than a few minutes against Alexa Bliss, even if this was still enjoyable
+ AJ Styles (c) vs Samoa Joe (WWE Championship): I can’t believe this wasn’t a Hell in a Cell Match. The match was fine, and the ending was really interesting, but like the Flair/Lynch match before it, this didn’t feel like much of a blood feud, either. Considering the way this story has gone, this made all the sense on the world to be in the Cell. I’m pessimistic as to where they go from here, but this match was fine
+ Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre (c) vs The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose) (WWE Raw Tag Team Championships): this was good, but I can’t help I’m just judging it based on the fact that the B Team were the champs until so recently, and they only faced the Deleters of Worlds (so I guess anything would be an improvement). Considering the talent of the four men here, and the fact there has been a real story leading up to it, I did enjoy this more than I thought I would
+ Randy Orton vs Jeff Hardy (Hell in a Cell Match): this started slow but ended up being really good. Lots of little violence added up to a really solid hardcore match. I didn’t think this needed the cell, but it ended up being well worth it
– the entire final minute or so of the PPV. The main event HIAC match was fine enough (see above), but those final moments were just so bad, it is hard to believe the company can be so out of touch
– The Miz & Maryse vs Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella: holy cow, what a waste of Daniel Bryan, and what a waste of how much the crowd hates The Miz. THe Bryan and Mix rivalry was a Wrestlemania (one off) match worthy story, and the fact the WWE have reduced it to just another waste of time is a testament to their incompetence
– Charlotte Flair (c) vs Becky Lynch (WWE SmackDown Live Women’s Championship): despite the backwards good-guy/bad-guy dynamic coming in, this was an okay, but quite sloppy wrestling match. It didn’t quite reach the standard of other blood feuds (not implying it needed blood), and it did seem quite tame on a show with two Cell matches. Nonetheless, these are two of the best women in the company, and anyone is better than Carmella, but this could have been better
> Really, though, AJ/Joe and even Becky/Charlotte needed the Cell match more than Hardy/Orton, but frankly I’d have been more pleased if it was only the main event that got the stipulation. Cell matches need to feel special again. Cell matches need to feel dangerous again.
> Once again, for the second year in a row, the event had a Hellraiser style puzzle box theme I wish they would go further with it
Should you watch this event: For the first time in as long as I can remember, I watched an event – this event – in three sittings, roughly 75 minutes each, breaking between matches where possible. Therefore, I can’t really say if it was good overall, but I can say I felt like I was having fun each time I finished watching, except for the final few minutes of the show. I guess you should know what to expect from a WWE PPV by now, so just go with your gut on this one.