Winner: R–Truth by pin fall, championship retained
Though relegated to the kick-off show, this was a surprise addition to the card; still, when was the last time the 24/7 Championship was actually defending in a match? Seems like almost immediately after introducing it they would suspend the 24/7 rule just to keep the belt from switching hands when, honestly, that’s the only thing the damn thing is good for. Personally, I’m not really feeling the focus on Drew Gulak; they’re kind of trying to push him as the new Daniel Bryan but…surely Sami Zayn fits that mould better? Fighting with R-Truth over this nothing belt isn’t really doing him many favours, either, and losing to him is doing even less.
My prediction: Roman Reigns by submission, championship retained
Actual winner: Roman Reigns by submission, championship retained
I’ve talked a lot about how I don’t really like Jey Uso being in this position but damn if it isn’t bringing a new level of nuance to Roman Reigns’ character! On the Friday Night Smack Down before the show, he threatened Jey and Jimmy Uso that, if Jey didn’t quit and fall in line, both of them and their entire families would be cut off from the larger family forever. Accordingly, Jimmy came out to try and plead with Roman, reducing him to tears and really showing a range and depth of emotion that Reigns hasn’t been allowed to over the years.
It also helped that the match was insanely brutal, with it devolving into a glorified strap match and Reigns battering Jey so badly with the steel stairs that the referees threatened to call the match off. While I actually think that would have worked in this situation, as the emotion and aggression of the match actually warranted it, Reigns simply locked them all in the cell. Even better is Reigns adding a guillotine choke to his repertoire and the visual of Jey and Jimmy desperately holding hands to stay conscious but, in the end, Jey was forced to concede and, if rumours are true, will now become Reigns’ begrudging henchman while he goes on an absolute tear because if Reigns will do shit like this to his nearest and dearest than, sure, he’ll rip apart anyone else that gets in his way…?
My prediction: Elias by pin fall (following a sneaky guitar shot)
Actual winner: Jeff Hardy by disqualification (following a sneaky guitar shot)
Well, this was a bit of a nothing result; this match was clearly placed here to allow the audience to catch a breath after the Reigns/Uso match but that doesn’t mean they have to put on a full-on snooze-fest. I guess the idea here is to remind everyone of what a sneaky, rat-bastard Elias can be but surely they could have done that and had him seem smart by cheating behind the referee’s back to steal a victory? Obviously this feud will continue but I already don’t care because Elias is meh to me and, as I’ve mentioned, Jeff is a bit of a liability…
My prediction: Otis by pin fall, briefcase retained
Actual winner: The Miz by pin fall, new Mr. Money in the Bank crowned
So, lackluster match aside, the real story here is that Tucker, Otis’s devoted and long-time tag team partner, cost him his Money in the Bank briefcase. Not John Morrison or some other kind of shenanigans…Tucker. One of the unfortunate side effects of the WWE Draft is their tendency to split up tag teams only to throw together two singles guys and have them become a tag team; we’ve seen a few tag team part ways over the last month or so and, honestly, the WWE’s tag team division really didn’t need another tag team to die out like this. Add to that the fact that I have no interest in seeing Otis and Tucker go at it and it’s really not the right time for the Miz to hold the briefcase (there are no babyface champions for him to get a sneaky victory over) and I can’t help but feel that this is, in a horrible way, the perfect culmination of a botched angle. Aleister Black should have won the damn briefcase and cashed in on a weakened Drew McIntyre, is what I’m trying to say!
My prediction: Bayley by pin fall, championship retained
Actual winner: Sasha Banks by submission, new champion crowned
Thankfully, given the long (long) build towards this match and just now much of a bitch Bayley has been, constantly going after, upsetting, and attacking Sasha Banks, this match had a lot of actual energy behind it. Similar to the Reigns/Uso match, these feuds have lent themselves quite well to the Hell in a Cell environment…which is super convenient given that things escalated just in time for the annual event.
In any case, this match really showed just how far Bayley has come from her days of refusing to use a kendo stick; now, she’s more than happy to throw chairs, kendo sticks, ladders, and tables at her opponent and to be a more dirty, aggressive competitor. I’m not even upset that Sasha won as a) she did so with a wicked chair-assisted Banks Statement and b) with her track record she will probably drop it this week on Smack Down!
WWE United States Championship Match: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Slapjack
Winner: Bobby Lashley by submission, championship retained
A match so sudden and out of the blue that I can’t find a bloody match graphic for it! So, despite Mustafa Ali revealing himself as the leader of Retribution, they’ve yet to actually make a real impact on Raw even after all the weird shit they’ve been doing. This match, thrown together at the last minute, is the first time they’ve even fought at a pay-per-view and considering how handily Bobby Lashley won here, and that the Hurt Business have already bested the Retribution, their threat is quite diminished, to say the least. I assume that they’ll get more of a focus heading into Survivor Series but it still makes no sense to me to have them clashing with the Hurt Business, who are heels!
My prediction: Drew McIntyre by pin fall, championship retained
Actual winner: Randy Orton by pin fall, new champion crowned
Of all the outcomes I expected from this year’s Hell in a Cell, this was the one I never expected and damn sure did not want. I like Randy Orton but he’s done it all and his time has past, man. If he’s going to win any championship, it should be one of the Tag Team or mid-card belts to help raise their profiles and, while I buy him as a viable World Championship contender, I do not need to see him with the WWE Championship in 2020.
So, of course, he won it…and in typical lackluster Orton fashion, too, as the match lacked much of the energy and brutality of the proceeding Hell in a Cell matches. They did do a vicious spot where McIntyre went through the announce table and started coughing up blood but Drew has looked so dominating all year that to lose to Orton after a pretty disappointing match isn’t a great look for him. I suppose it’s possible that he’ll regain the title in the inevitable rematch (quite how they escalate past Hell in a Cell is beyond me…perhaps a scaffold match?) but, again, I would have much preferred to see Aleister Black win the Money in the Bank briefcase and then cash in on a severely weakened McIntyre after a successful title defense. You build a new star, you protect McIntyre, and, most importantly, you keep the belt off of Orton!
What did you think to this year’s Hell in a Cell? How many of your predictions came true? What do you think about Reigns, Miz, and Orton winning and where do you see them going with those victories? Do you think Retribution will ever emerge as a true threat? What do you think about the red-tinted cell? Whatever your thoughts, feel free to share them below.