By Steve Ward
WWE Hell In A Cell emanated from the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois and would have a lot to live up to after AEW put forth an incredible show in Las Vegas last weekend with Double Or Nothing. This evening’s card featured only two title bouts and was headlined by Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins waging war inside the visceral Hell In A Cell, however, it was notable that many major names were not present on the card including, Roman Reigns, Drew McIntyre, Charlotte Flair, Ronda Rousey, and The Usos - to name a few.
RAW Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match
Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair (c)
Winner: Bianca Belair via pinfall
Bianca Belair found herself in the crosshairs of not only the woman whose title she took at Wrestlemania, Becky Lynch, but also the returning Asuka. Belair was originally set to square of with the Empress of Tomorrow one on one until Lynch pinned Asuka recently on Monday Night RAW to insert herself into the bout. In a surprisingly fast-paced and entertaining opening contest, the closing moments saw Lynch execute the Manhandle Slam seemingly leaving her poised to win the title. Belair then reemerged from the arena floor and dragged Lynch from the ring stealing the pinfall on the stunned Asuka to retain her title.
2-on-1 Handicap Match
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos & MVP
Winner: Bobby Lashley via submission
Tonight offered a continuation in the ongoing rivalry between Lashley and Omos that began at Wrestlemania and was further ignited as MVP betrayed Lashley upon his return from injury. In the closing moments of the contest, Cedric Alexander provided just enough of a distraction to allow Lashley to spear Omos leaving MVP alone with The Almighty who cinched in the Hurt Lock to earn the submission victory.
Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens
Winner: Kevin Owens via pinfall
Since the night following Wrestlemania, the wrestler once know as Elias, has been monopolizing his time with convincing Kevin Owens that he is Elias’ younger brother Ezekiel - even though it’s clearly the same wrestler with no beard, no guitar, a haircut, and different ring attire. Ezekiel showed some flashes of offense early but a cannonball delivered to a vulnerable Ezekiel followed by the Stunner was too much for him to overcome as Owens easily pinned him for the three count.
A.J. Styles, Finn Balor, & Liv Morgan vs. The Judgement Day (Edge, Damian Priest, & Rhea Ripley)
Winners: The Judgement Day via pinfall
This bout held several underlying plot lines heading into this evening. Edge and Styles have had their ongoing rivalry since prior to Wrestlemania, Morgan and Ripley were former tag team partners, and Styles and Balor are both Bullet Club alumni from their time in New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor which brings us to the tag team affair tonight. In the final moments of the bout, Edge appeared to be in dire straits as Balor ascended to the top rope to attempt the Coup de Grace. Ripley then stood in his way thwarting the attempt and as Balor came back down to the canvas, he was greeted with a devastating spear from Edge to seal the victory for The Judgement Day.
No Hold Barred Match
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
Winner: Madcap Moss via pinfall
The rivalry between Moss and Corbin, one time friends turned bitter enemies, that was sparked out of jealousy following Moss’ win in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal and Corbin’s loss on The Showcase of the Immortals, continued this evening in a No Holds Barred match. In what essentially evolved into a watered down hardcore match, Moss finally earned a measure of revenge on Corbin as he wrapped a steel chair around his head and dropped the steel ring stairs on him before covering Happy for the pinfall
United States Championship
Austin Theory (c) vs. Mustafa Ali
Winner: Austin Theory via pinfall
The youngest United States Champion in history stood toe to toe with Chicago’s own Mustafa Ali with his championship gold on the line in a match that came to fruition on Monday night. Mr. McMahon had Adam Pearce establish the bout after Theory gave Ali a “title shot” following his match with Ciampa in the interest of fairness. Late in the match, Ali missed a 450 attempt that allowed Theory to capitalize and retain his title after he put Ali away with the A-Town Down.
Hell In A Cell Match
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
Winner: Cody Rhodes via pinfall
Seth Rollins obsession over his loss to Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania has continued to linger while seemingly plunging him deeper into self-manifested madness. Tonight could be the final chapter in this rivalry as the two stepped into the ominous Hell In A Cell. Prior to the match, it was reported that Cody had sustained a torn pectoral muscle while training earlier in the week and needless to say, it was accurate. After Cody removed his ring jacket, the crowd was left in utter silence as his right pectoral and bicep were grotesquely black and blue. To add to the drama of this encounter, Rollins elected to don black ring attire with yellow polka dots - a jab at Cody’s father, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. Give Cody Rhodes a lot of credit as he was clearly limited in his arsenal tonight yet still managed to put forth the best match of the evening with Seth Rollins. In the closing moments, Rhodes executed multiple Cross Rhodes before he put Rollins down with a sledgehammer shot to the head.