17th Sep2018

‘WWE Hell in a Cell 2018′ PPV Results & Review

by Phil Wheat

wwe-hell-in-a-cell-2018

Hi, I’m Phil and welcome to Nerdly as we take a look at the biggest Pay Per View of the year, Hell In a Cell… Oh, no sorry thats Super Show-Down next; or is that Evolution the week later? Who bloody knows?! All I know is that WWE, especially on the Raw brand, treated this PPV like an unwanted stepchild! Anyway on the the results and my thoughts…

Match #1: The New Day def. Rusev Day (Kickoff Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Rusev & Aiden English walked a long, hard road to get to the doorstop of a SmackDown Tag Team Title reign. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts on WWE Hell in a Cell Kickoff, it’s not Rusev Day yet. The blue brand’s Tag Team gold will remain instead around the swiveling waists of The New Day, the three-ain’t-enough-they-need-five-time Tag Team Champions, who weathered an all-but-perfect effort from the challengers that came down to a handful of missed opportunities and miscommunication. As the title bout began to go long after a pair of mismatches (Rusev vs. Kofi Kingston and then English vs. Big E) canceled each other out, the action came so fast and furious that any game plan Rusev Day had seemed to go out the window, and the challengers opted to improvise.

For a while, it paid dividends. But The Drama King’s two big gambits fell short, which led to a final breakdown between him and Rusev at the moment of truth. After English’s idea for consecutive top-rope attacks caused Rusev to take himself out with a whiffed diving headbutt, The Artiste attempted his version of an Accolade on Kofi, but The Dreadlocked Dynamo narrowly writhed free. Rusev went into panic mode and rushed the ring, only to be tossed out by Kofi into the waiting clutches of Big E. New Day’s resident big man grabbed hold of Rusev and held his right leg, leaving The Lion of Bulgaria helpless as English staggered face-first into a match-ending Trouble in Paradise.

My Take: It’s a pre-show match what does anyone expect? Unlike that “other” PPV that took place recently, the WWE never use the pre-show to sell anything on the following pay per view, and that was certainly the case here. Felt very juch like what it was: a placeholder so that WWE can put the “big” tag-team match on down under next month!

Match #2: Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy (Hell in a Cell Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

That Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton’s Hell in a Cell Match ended the way it did is less than surprising: Hardy’s rivalry with Orton had become far too stomach-churning to conclude with something as quaint as an RKO and a pinfall, and The Charismatic Enigma has been in search of a blaze of glory inside Hell in a Cell for some time now. He found one. For Hardy, competing inside Hell in a Cell was one of the last few milestones he’d yearned to achieve in WWE, though he fought like a Superstar stepping into his eighth dance in the cage rather than his first. With the psychological advantage he usually possesses rendered obsolete, Orton had no choice but to battle Jeff with pure brutality: After wearing Hardy down with lashes from his own belt, The Viper produced a toolbox from under the ring, pulled out a screwdriver and threaded it through Hardy’s earlobe, twisting the tool around and around in a sickening display until The Charismatic Enigma finally beat him away with a low blow.

Revitalized by Orton’s savagery, Hardy saw red. The Charismatic Enigma propped a chair on Orton’s chest and executed a pinpoint Swanton — aggravating The Viper’s already-wounded back — before erecting a sinister setup involving two ladders (a short one and a tall one) and a table. After propping Orton up on the table, Hardy scaled the smaller ladder, seemingly planning a leapfrog. Then, he audibled onto the taller one, seemingly planning a Swanton. Then, Hardy left the ladders entirely, suspending himself from the Cell roof like monkey bars, dropping for what appeared to be some kind of splash on The Apex Predator.

Only Orton moved. And Hardy crashed and burned, shattering the table in his attempt to put Orton away. Much to the referee’s horror, Orton made the cover and insisted on defeating his opponent with a 1-2-3, and the official counted the pinfall, if only to get The Apex Predator out of the ring so EMTs could strap Hardy to a stretcher and wheel him away. It was the result Orton wanted for sure, and, perhaps, the one Jeff Hardy wanted as well. After all, he said would take Randy Orton to hell with him. He didn’t say anything about coming out.

My Take: No, there wasn’t some crazy Jeff Hardy spot off the top of the cell, instead we got a back and forth that really looked like two guys who hated each other really going at it. Orton’s leg was busted open, Hardy ear lobes were almost ripped off and he eventually fell into an empty table after hanging monkey-bar style from the top of the cage. What more could you possibly ask for that wouldn’t end with one of these two men in ACTUAL hospital. Now lets let Jeff Hardy relax for a while and recover from his injuries and the toll his recent mad-cap WWE run has taken on his body.

Match #3: Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Six months ago, Charlotte Flair had a best friend at her side, a championship around her waist and two working arms attached to her body. Now, she has none of that, as Becky Lynch, who threw their friendship out the window at SummerSlam, took Charlotte’s arm and took her SmackDown Women’s Championship in a surprisingly one-sided bout that finally brought Lynch back to the top of the SmackDown Women’s division. The Irish Lass Kicker, who snapped after Charlotte exploited Triple Threat rules to win the SmackDown Women’s Title at SummerSlam — a victory that would have, and maybe should have, belonged to Becky — came to WWE Hell in a Cell with one game plan: To destroy Charlotte’s arm. That she did, fighting with such ferocity that The Queen never truly got her legs under her, save for a few stretches where her strength and athleticism put the wind back in her sails.

No matter how much of a fight Charlotte put up, however, she could only punch back so hard with one working arm. Becky’s steady dismantling of Charlotte’s left arm left her ripe for a Dis-arm-her, which Maiden Ireland finally locked in near the edge of the ring and held up to the limit of the five-count after Charlotte rolled under the ropes. Using what parts of her body were available, Charlotte built up a full head of steam and went for a spear, but The Irish Lass Kicker reversed it seamlessly into a DDT, rolled over and covered The Queen for the pin.

My Take: The right woman won. Even if the WWE pulled out another roll-up finish. Is the roll-up now the officially hardest move to get out of? It would seem so, especially given that everyone seemed to be kicking out of the big pinning moves tonight! That being said, I loved the post-win conclusion, as Charlotte offered her hand to Becky in a show of friendship – who responded by lifting her new championship over her head and declining.

Match #4: Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntrye def. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It’s not every day that The Shield walk into a fight and don’t come out the winner, so it says a lot about Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre that they held off two of The Hounds of Justice — Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins — to retain the Raw Tag Team Championship … even if they resorted to some rule-breaking when things truly got dire. Ambrose & Rollins came into the match looking to prove themselves as workhorses, and while they certainly worked hard, the champions worked smart, staying juuust on the right side of the rulebook while employing a timely array of distractions and interferences to stop the challengers from reaching full steam. When Ambrose chopped McIntyre down to his knees, Ziggler jumped the ropes to start a commotion that helped the Scotsman escape. When Rollins had Ziggler lined up for a suicide dive, McIntyre tripped him up in the ropes, and The Showoff pounced with a DDT.

As the match began to go long, strategy seemed to go out the window, with Ambrose throwing hands at anything that moved (he had eyes for McIntyre in particular) and Rollins answering Ziggler’s counters with counters of his own in an athletic showcase. Eventually, the champions managed to work their way back to their initial game plan, though they were far less subtle this time around as McIntyre blatantly rushed the ring and struck in the middle of a Rollins sequence, obliterating The Kingslayer with the Claymore while he was hoisting Ziggler up for the Falcon Arrow. The Showoff fell on top of the KO’d Rollins to earn the three-count, ending a bout that may well have remade the Tag Team division as Corey Graves said — yes, it was that good. But even if the game has changed, the titles stay where they are.

My Take: Match of the night. Match of the year so far probably too. Spot after spot, near fall after near fall… WWE hasn’t seemed this exciting, or as hard to call as this match was, in years! Kudos to all the four guys involved. Though I’m still sure that McIntyre constantly assisting Ziggler to get the win is going to bite Ziggler on the arse in the near future.

Match #5: WWE Champion AJ Styles def. Samoa Joe

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Night-night AJ, indeed, though Samoa Joe didn’t exactly get his storybook ending when he fell to a rare defensive pinfall by AJ Styles that the WWE Champion seemingly didn’t even realize he was in the process of attempting, as he was submitting in the SoCal bully’s signature Coquina Clutch at the exact moment the pin was counted. There’s no two ways to slice it: Styles got away with one, especially given that Joe was living rent-free in his head going into the match — threatening a man’s family will do that to you — and The Phenomenal One had fought so furiously in response that he effectively punched himself out. Styles was clearly out to punish Joe more than defeat him, which gave the all-business bruiser the advantage of cold, hard clarity; and Styles had also tweaked his leg early in the match, which gave The Samoan Submission Machine an easy target each time he needed to get himself back in the fight.

That the champion stayed in the match — via a combo of high-risk, high-reward and simply throwing whatever punches and kicks he could — was a testament to his heart. That he won it was a testament to his luck. Joe had slowly whittled the champion down with power maneuvers and submissions to tee him up for the Clutch, which he finally locked in after AJ whiffed on a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles managed to stack Joe up for the pinfall while he was still in the hold, but Joe rose as if he’d won the match — he claimed the champion had submitted. The referee’s decision stood, of course, and Styles got the last word when he enziguiri’d his nemesis out of the ring while Joe was hoisting the WWE Championship over his head, but a replay showed that Joe was correct: When the referee had gotten into position to check Joe’s shoulders on the pinfall, he missed what was an unmistakable submission by Styles prior to the official’s hand hitting the mat for a third time.

A heated backstage confrontation following the match did nothing to overturn the result, but SmackDown General Manager Paige agreed to give Joe another opportunity at WWE Super Show-Down. Joe, unwilling to wait three weeks, demanded that the match be made “No Disqualification, no count-out, no excuses.” Though Paige didn’t explicitly sanction those terms, she agreed on one thing: There had to be a winner. Which means, for AJ Styles, a DQ and a referee’s decision won’t be enough.

My Take: WWE really don’t know how to finish this feud do they? It’s a damn good feud nonetheless, stupid wife taunting aside, but it seems no-one behind the scenes wants either man involved to be the loser! Another fumbled ref call meant this one will roll on (again) to the Super Show-Down PPV next month. And then probably on to Evolution (well Vince would if he could get his way I’m sure), Survivor Series, TLC and no doubt all the way to the Royal Rumble next January!

Match #6: The Miz & Maryse def. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Few Superstars want to get a piece of their adversary more than Daniel Bryan wants to fight The Miz. Except, perhaps, Bryan’s wife Brie Bella, who was champing at the bit all night to fight Miz’s wife Maryse in the Mixed Tag Team Match between the two premiere power couples on SmackDown LIVE. But Bryan & Brie’s expectations of a foregone victory might have been slightly, just slightly, premature. Yes, Team “Braniel” suffered an unlikely defeat to The It Couple, thanks to a shocking, last-minute maneuver by Maryse that came after all pretense of a match had broken down and the two couples were engaged in an all-out fight. Blame the strategy by Miz and Maryse for that; they made a big show of tagging in and out to slow Bryan’s momentum in a clever exploitation of Mixed Tag rules — men and women can only fight each other — that effectively gave Miz a time-out whenever he needed.

When Brie finally got into the match, she slammed Maryse’s face off the announce desk and mauled her so viciously that Miz ran interference and broke up a pinfall attempt, which only infuriated Bryan all the more and led to a sequence of stereo “Yes!” Kicks so blistering that Miz & Maryse decided they’d had enough. Brie would have no part of that, though, and she hauled Maryse back into the ring, used her to knock Miz off the apron and rolled her up for what seemed to be a deciding pinfall … at least until Maryse reversed it and stunned Brie to earn the three-count herself. A long strategy paying off? A stroke of luck? It’s all the same. The Miz is 2-0 against Daniel Bryan in 2018, and if you’re him, everything is awesome.

My Take: This is boring me already. Yes, the Miz/Daniel Bryan feud – in particular THAT Talking Smack episode – has been something of a barn-stormer in terms of story building (the WWE would have you believe this goes back to the early NXT iteration days) but it really, and I do mean really, need to come to an actual conclusion. A cage match with no interference, an Iron-Man match… Something! Right now, given what happened in this match, I’d rather see Maryse and Brie go at it in a no-DQ Hardcore street fight.

As I stated in my thoughts on the last match, this feud will no-doubt roll on to the Super Show-Down PPV next month, Survivor Series, TLC and all the way to the Royal Rumble and beyond. In fact I have a feeling this will carry on all the way until Wrestlemania 35. God help us.

Match #7: Raw Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

It’ll take more than banged-up ribs to stop Ronda Rousey, who defeated Alexa Bliss for the second straight pay-per-view to retain the Raw Women’s Title in her first defense, despite coming into the match at less than 100 percent after a series of attacks to the champion’s ribs. To her credit, Bliss was a little more prepared for Rousey than she was at SummerSlam even before she started in on the titleholder’s torso — The Goddess’ demoralizing loss in August had somewhat clued her in to what she was up against, and this was anything but a rout. But nothing Bliss did worked for long; Ronda adapted on the fly with a series of intricate new submissions and slams, and she even thwarted potential interference from Mickie James and Alicia Fox by throwing Bliss into her own reinforcements.

Down to her last-ditch effort, Alexa honed in completely on the champion’s ribs and didn’t hesitate to cue up assistance from Mickie and Alicia, who bent Rousey sideways against the ring post to administer extra punishment. (Natalya took out Alicia moments later; Ronda dispatched Mickie). Bliss’ continuous attacks on Ronda’s ribs kept her in the fight even as Rousey began to rally, but Alexa’s attempt to throw a straight jab led to her downfall: Ronda snatched the strike out of midair, hoisted Alexa up, dropped her with a Samoan Drop and locked in an armbar that forced Bliss to tap the second it was applied. With that, the reign continues, and the Raw Women’s division is wide open — or as wide open as it gets given who sits atop the mountain.

My Take: Of course WWE had to give Rousey an injury to make this match anything other than a squash match – after all, WWE have booked Rousey as an unstable force so she should have had this over in minutes. That’s not the case and I have to wonder if Rousey’s “impact” in WWE is going to be as poorly handled as Asuka’s. As in she’ll be out of the title picture by this time next year and somneone else will be the big women’s draw.

Match #8: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman ended in a No Contest (Hell in a Cell Match)

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

According to Braun Strowman, all Mick Foley had to do as the Special Guest Referee was count the pinfall on Universal Champion Roman Reigns. As it turned out, the conclusion to the main event of WWE Hell in a Cell wasn’t so simple, as the arrival of several Superstars and the sudden reappearance of Brock Lesnar brought the bout to an unprecedented ending: A no contest. Even for the notoriously anything-goes Cell, which just that night had played host to borderline torture from Randy Orton, the Reigns-Strowman bout was shaping up to be particularly lawless. Strowman was so sure he’d win the match, which doubled as his Money in the Bank cash-in, that he snatched the Universal Title out of Reigns’ hands just before the bell. The Monster Among Men certainly backed up his bravado, though, beating The Big Dog about the crimson structure with gleeful abandon and kicking out of every Spear and Superman Punch thrown his way — and there were a few. As he said to Reigns himself, “your boys can’t help you.”

Again, it wasn’t that simple. When Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre — Strowman’s “Dogs of War” — attempted to force their way into the Cell, Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins ran interference and initiated a mad scramble around and, eventually, atop the Hell in a Cell. All four Superstars threw fists and swung kendo sticks with reckless abandon on the roof of the harrowing structure; the brawl ended with McIntyre and Ambrose laid out on the cage, while Rollins and Ziggler tumbled off the side through the commentary tables. Then, Brock Lesnar’s music hit, and what had been a figurative hell up to that point turned literal very fast. The Beast Incarnate, who lost the Universal Title to Reigns at SummerSlam (and had been denied the rematch he wanted at WWE Hell in a Cell), kicked open the door and attacked both champion and challenger, reducing a chunk of a table to splinters across their backs before laying both out with F-5s — Reigns landing on top of Strowman. Paul Heyman, meanwhile, incapacitated Foley with what looked like pepper spray to the face, leaving the replacement ref no choice but to call off the match. So Strowman’s cash-in fails. Reigns’ big defense ends in ruins. And Brock Lesnar stands atop the wreckage. Welcome to hell, indeed.

My Take: A f**king dusty finish. To all this build. And involving Lesnar in the mix again as well… Thanks WWE.

Final Verdict: 2.5 out of 5. Four decent matches out of nine (if you count the pre-show) does not a good PPV make. Again, the WWE seemed to be more focused on Super Show-Down next month for any of the matches here to have decent payoff. Maybe they should have scrapped all the pay per views leading up to Super Show-Down if they think it’s THAT important?!?! And that main event? The weakest finish the WWE have tried to sell in years! Not even those adept at the best sports betting could have predicted THAT ending! No wonder they cut the PPV short before we could all hear the boos at home :)

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