By Steve Ward
One of the most significant and eventful weeks that we’ve witnessed in several years in the world of professional wrestling culminated with WWE Hell In A Cell which emanated from Sacramento, CA this evening. First, the RAW season premiere saw the WWE’s flagship show debut a new commentary team and set with the return of a healthy dose of pyrotechnics. Next, Wednesday was the premier of AEW Dynamite on TNT which produced the highest rated show on the network in five years. Lastly, WWE Friday Night Smackdown! debuted on FOX with an electrifying opening featuring The People‘s Champ. Whether WWE wants to admit it or not, they’ve taken notice of AEW and were clearly pulling out all of the stops that their TV-PG rating would allow and Hell In A Cell could provide the perfect setting to continue to push the envelope. The card this evening featured eight bouts with four titles contested.
RAW Women’s Championship Hell In A Cell Match
Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks
Winner: Becky Lynch via submission
No time was wasted introducing the brutality this evening as the main card immediately opened with a sadistic Hell In A Cell Match. In a very evenly contested match, Lynch was able to survive chair shots, being assaulted with a kendo stick, and having Sasha drive her through a table to overcome adversity and retain her title. The bout concluded with Lynch executing a top rope Beck-sploder suplex that landed Banks on a plethora of chairs. The Man then followed up with The Disarmer for the submission victory.
Tornado Tag Team Match
Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns via pinfall
Harper and Rowan laid waste to Reigns and Bryan for the vast majority of this contest. Despite Rowan being driven through a table by Reigns late in the bout, Harper still seemed poised to solidify the victory for his team as he executed back to back Dragon Suplexes on Daniel Bryan. Harper could have easily gone for the pinfall but rather got greedy and attempted a third Dragon Suplex. Bryan was able to land on his feet and as Harper missed a follow-up clothesline, Reigns slipped back into the ring behind him and connected on a Superman Punch. This allowed Daniel Bryan to strike Harper with a running knee and Roman solidified the victory with the spear.
Randy Orton vs. Ali
Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall
This match came to fruition on the pre-show after a brief backstage confrontation and all I need to say is RKO Outta Nowhere - nice try Ali.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. The Kabuki Warriors (Kairi Sane & Asuka)
Winners: The Kabuki Warriors via pinfall
After being relatively forgotten for several months, Asuka and Kairi Sane ensured failure would not be an option. In the closing moments of the match, Asuka sprayed a cloud of green mist into the face of Nikki Cross as the referee was distracted. This allowed her to deliver a brutal kick to her head and score the pinfall victory crowning new champions.
Six-Man Tag Team Match
The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson) vs. The Viking Raiders and Braun Strowman
Winners: The Viking Raiders and Braun Strowman via DQ
After weeks of feuding between The OC and the Viking Raiders, the men collectively known as War Machine previously, enlisted the assistance of Braun Strowman for this six man encounter. In the closing moments of this bout, The OC took advantage of the numbers game with the Viking Raiders subdued at ringside and proceeded to beat down The Monster Among Men to the point the referee elected to disqualify them.
King Corbin vs. Chad Gable
Winner: Chad Gable
After losing to Corbin in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament just a few weeks ago, he had been subjected to verbal jabs from the newly crowned king ever since setting up this bout tonight. Gable more than held his own in this contest with one of his most impressive moves being a roll through German suplex of the much taller Corbin. In the end, frustration got the better of Corbin as he retrieved his scepter from ringside and attempted to strike Gable. The referee put a stop to this by grabbing the scepter and as they struggled, Gable rolled up King Corbin for the pinfall victory.
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Winner: Charlotte Flair via submission
After Bayley drove Charlotte’s head into an exposed turnbuckle to defeat Charlotte at last month’s Clash of Champions, the two squared off again this evening once again with the title on the line. Unfortunately the crowd response in this bout was lacking until the closing moments when Charlotte Flair cinched in the Figure Eight for the submission victory marking the start of her record tenth title reign.
Universal Championship Hell In A Cell Match
Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Winner: No contest
After Rollins successfully retained his title at Clash of Champions, he was assaulted by Wyatt on the stage and choked out with a Mandible Claw. Since then, Rollins has found himself terrorized time and time again by The Fiend setting up the main event this evening. An interesting dynamic to this match, aside from being contested in the Hell In A Cell, was the ambience of the arena as it was draped in red lighting for the duration of the match. After a significant level of brutality throughout the bout, Rollins had Wyatt laid out in the center of the ring and covered him with a ladder and a steel chair after several failed pinfall attempts. Rollins then went back under the ring and procured a sledgehammer. Before Rollins used it, the referee implored him not to proceed. Rollins disregarded the referee’s plea and drove the sledgehammer into the ladder leading the referee to call for the bell - in a no DQ match. As the arena was showered with boos from an enraged WWE Universe, the cell was raised and EMTs were called to the ring to tend to Wyatt. As Wyatt was placed on a board, Rollins went to grab him by the shirt only to be welcomed with a Mandible Claw. Wyatt then continued his assault on Rollins which concluded with a Sister Abigail to the exposed arena floor followed by another Mandible Claw that left Rollins bleeding from the mouth. Despite continued boos and chants of “restart the match,” The Fiend made his exit from the arena as an unsettling and dissatisfied air consumed the arena.
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