Okay, bats and ghouls, let’s do this, on the spookiest night in WWE programming! Fair disclosure, I slept through Hell in a Cell, because I’d slept 16 hours in the past six days, and needed to close my eyes for a bit. Thank you, new meds. So this is being recapped after the fact, and not ignoring that I’ve now had about 24 hours of sleep in the past 7 days, it might be a bit weird. Also, I’m skipping all of the talk on the pre-show, because, well… I can. And because literally, looking at Jerry Lawler in the state I’m in right now might put me over the edge. Renee’s pumpkin sweater, though, I fucking love that.
MATCH: Sin Cara, Lince Dorado & Cedric Alexander vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari
Sin Cara looks like he’s borrowed Natalya’s gear, frankly, and apparently we’re going for a black and purple theme between him and Lince Dorado, that Cedric Alexander doesn’t seem to have gone with. Tony Nese is in bondage gear, Drew Gulak is still in his pleather armour, the only problem being that he has trunks on, which makes it look like he’s going to do a strip show, and Ariya Daivari just looks normal. I’m almost disappointed. Buckle up, this is my commentary for the next three and a bit hours, ragging on everyone’s outfits and then falling asleep halfway through a men’s match. You’re only going to get highlights of this, because I’m so exhausted that play-by play is impossible.
- Mauro Ranallo can’t tell Sin Cara and Lince Dorado apart, apparently. Awks. Tilt-a-whirl backbreakers all round to every member of the other team as a chant breaks out for Sin Cara. Blimey.
- Neckbreaker from Daivari, followed by a massive moonsault off the second rope from Sin Cara, who tags in Lince Dorado. Tony Nese tagged in, handspring back elbow and a spinning heel kick from Dorado, then a gorgeous shooting star press off the top turnbuckle before a brawl breaks out in the ring.
- Dorado gets lifted into a vertical suplex position and thrown over the ropes into his compatriots, and we go to commercials.
- Back from the break, Dorado is in against Daivari, who pins him for two and a half. Gulak tagged in, some interesting-looking submission holds, keeping Dorado away from his tag partners. Nese in, takes blows to the gut from Dorado, but hits a springboard moonsault for two.
- Gulak in, Dorado manages to tag Alexander, who hits a back elbow that the crowd are really into, then the match comes apart again as our good guys leap over the ropes onto the heel team. Dragon sleeper from Gulak, which Dorado breaks with a leg drop from the top rope.
- Superkick from Daivari, answered by a deadlift powerbomb from Sin Cara, who eats an inverted pump handle slam from Nese. In return, Alexander hits Nese with a cross-body from the top rope.
- Lumbar Check from Alexander on Gulak – and that’s the win!
That was a really entertaining match, good fun, clean work, and I like to watch the cruiserweights have fun – especially with Mauro calling them. You get the feeling that he’s been missing them, and is really enjoying calling them again.
The New Day enjoying cracking up Tom Phillips and gently mocking him is adorable, and makes me giggle. They’re so cute, and Tom just looks like he wants to cuddle them.
We’re welcomed with some creepy Ouija board stuff, with Mick’s tirade to the women being the first bit, then leading in to the things that the stars have said, along with literal cards – tarot-esque cards – showing the three main events we get tonight! Now, I’m a little upset with the whole triple main event thing, because, y’know, the women are the main event and should be booked as such, but fine. I’ll complain about that at a later date.
MATCH: Roman Reigns vs. Rusev – United States Championship Match
Lana turns up in black and pink, giving us a little twirl to show herself off, before announcing her hubby, for whom there’s a certain amount of noise. The minute it goes quiet before Roman’s music, the arena is all boos, but once his music hits, there’s a few cheers here and there. Poor boy can’t catch a break. Commentary insists that Rusev is fuelled by hatred of Roman Reigns – well, him and the crowd, then. The lock is on, and here we go.
- The two men circle each other for a little while, and commentary respects this match by discussing The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels as they make contact with big punches and a headbutt from Rusev. Duelling chants ‘LET’S GO RUSEV’ and ‘RUSEV SUCKS’ as Roman heads to the outside and tries to drive Rusev’s head into it.
- ‘WE WANT LANA’ chants from the crowd. Roman whips Rusev into the ropes, and comes back into a huge kick to the mid-section. Rusev ends up outside the cell, Roman firing back with a huge shove to take Rusev off the apron and into the cell, hard.
- Roman slings Rusev into the cage again, and again, finishing with a clothesline that smacks Rusev into the floor. The crowd start to chant ‘let’s go Roman’, to everyone’s surprise, possibly including their own. Rusev rakes the eyes as the answering ‘Roman sucks’ chant rises and Roman sends the Bulgarian into the steel steps, looking under the ring for a table, but Rusev slams him into the cell before he can get one.
- Big splash from Rusev, sending Roman into the cell wall. Corey Graves is worried that these two heavyweights might damage the cell. Okay. Couple of kicks from Rusev to Roman, who lies on the floor like a wounded starfish before he’s unceremoniously dragged up and bounced off the ringpost.
- Back into the ring, and Rusev’s bleeding from the elbow, what commentary call a ‘laceration’, because they’re into drama, or Bryon just bought a dictionary and wants to get his money’s worth. Pin for two from Rusev. Rusev uses the ropes for leverage to stamp on Roman’s chest, and a huge USA chant rises.
- Roman whipped into the corner hard, and Rusev pins him for one. Corner whips to Roman, who eventually sidesteps one, sending Rusev into the turnbuckle instead. Hip toss from Rusev, as he goes for a splash, and Roman rolls out of the way, Rusev winding himself by landing on the mat.
- Corner clotheslines from Roman, nine, and then getting momentum for a huge kick to the face. He cocks his fist for the Superman Punch, and Rusev heads out of the ring. Roman follows, goes for the drive-by, but Rusev dodges and punches Roman in the chest instead, then sends him into the steps, as the crowd chants ‘get the tables’.
- Rusev throws Roman into the cell, then lifts the steps, shoving them into Roman’s face like a battering ram. Roman tries to get away, and is hit with them again. Rusev then throws them into the ring, and drags Roman in there as well.
- Rusev balances the stops on the top turnbuckle, and goes to drive Roman into them, but he manages to block, twice, sending Rusev over the top rope with a clothesline, followed by a dropkick, using the ropes for leverage. The crowd chants ‘tables’ as Roman grabs Rusev up by the hair, but Rusev’s waiting, reverses the hold and gets Roman up on his shoulders, slamming him headfirst into the cell.
- Rusev digs under the ring, and the crowd cheer, expecting tables, but he brandishes a kendo stick instead, but Roman comes back with a drive-by and grabs the kendo stick. He follows Rusev around the ring, smacking him in the back and chest. Roman rolls Rusev into the ring, and goes to follow him in, but Rusev kicks the rope as Roman climbs over it, right into the bollocks. Sorry Ro!
- Rusev tangles Roman up in the ropes, arms pinned between the middle and top rope, and goes to town on him with the kendo stick, before breaking it in half and flinging it away. Rusev goes to rebound off the ropes, but Roman frees himself and comes in with a lariat, pinning Rusev – barely – for two. Both men lie in the ring, exhausted and battered.
- Rusev is the first to rise, and the two trade heavy blows, the crowd cheering for Rusev and not for Roman. Rusev off the ropes, lifted onto Roman’s shoulders for a Samoan Drop that doesn’t happen. Superman Punch is also countered, but Roman gets him on the second try, with a pin for two and a half.
- Roman rises, and roars for us, but walks right into a huge kick to the face, is whipped into the steps balanced on the turnbuckle. Accolade! Roman claws towards the ropes, despite the fact that it wouldn’t matter, but manages to break out of the Accolade as Rusev tries to drag him back anyway. Big kick to Roman’s head, and he rolls out of the ring, stunned.
- Rusev goes beneath the ring and comes back with FUCKING STEEL CHAIN wrapped around his fist. He bites it, for some reason, perhaps to show us it isn’t made of chocolate, and heads towards Roman. Roman manages to punch him instead, the chain flying into the ring, and Roman punches Rusev into the cage, over and over.
- Rusev back into the ring, grabs the chain again, and hits Roman in the gut, before whipping him with the chain. Boys, boys, save the kink for the weekends, huh? Rusev grabs the steps, drags them into the ring, and grabs Roman again. Roman headbutts him away, but is still sent into the steps twice, and then sent sprawling to the mat with a kick and a pin for two and a half.
- Roman’s shoulder is bleeding, poor poppet, and it looks like his wrist might be as well. Rusev goes for the Accolade on the steps, with the chain hooked into Roman’s mouth. Look, at some point, you’re just making bondage porn. Rusev swaps the chain for his arms, and Roman somehow manages to slip off the steps, heft Rusev into a Samoan Drop, and slam him into the steps.
- Spear from Roman, the last vestiges of his energy, from the steps – and he pins Rusev for three!
Roman grins into the camera for us as Rusev lies in the ring, before climbing to his feet and hefting his title for the crowd, some of whom are actually cheering for him, though he still gets a good number of boos as he limps out of the cell.
We get a recap of last Monday, and then Kevin and Tom Phillips are talking. Kevin says you can’t call Seth a winner, after he took the powerbomb on the apron, because he’s beaten, wrecked, broken. Careful, Kevin, that’s TNA’s area of expertise. Kevin says that Seth spent the entire night writhing in pain, curled up in a ball somewhere. How does he know? The last person Kevin powerbombed like that was John Cena, who took weeks to recover, but Seth wants to play the big man. Kevin says that Roman and Rusev’s brutal match is going to look like a cakewalk next to what he’s going to do to Seth, and that he won’t be able to call himself the man afterwards, because he’ll barely look like one. But Kevin will still be the man after all this is over. He pulls out Tom’s pocket square, and saunters off.
MATCH: Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
It’s Bayley! She’s in silver, red, blue and black, and has a little trouble with the zip on her jacket. Dana aerials in, in black and gold, looking bloody incredible, and stalks down to the ring. Bayley’s right shoulder is still kinesio taped, and it almost looks like an arrow, which is totally what Dana is going to use it as.
- Dana starts by patting Bayley on the head and then it’s straight into a waist lock, slamming Bayley hard into the mat. Bayley rallies to bounce Dana’s head off the turnbuckle, and gets an early cover for two.
- Deep arm drag from Bayley, runs towards Dana in the corner, but Dana sends the bad shoulder into the turnbuckle instead, then sends a kick into it as well. She drags Bayley up by the hair and into the corner, and pins her with a foot on neck in a handstand. Huge clothesline from Dana, and a pin for two.
- Dana gets Bayley under the ropes, pulling her backwards by the hair, then wraps her bad shoulder around it and yanks, before planting a kick to it when the ref gets to four. Dana get Bayley in the corner, is answered with a kick, but comes back, pulling at the bad arm. She locks in a submission on the mat, tugging at the bad arm as the crowd rally behind Bayley.
- Legscissors from Bayley, but Dana gets back into the offense, shoulders to the midsection, and goes for her handstand in the corner again, but Bayley kicks her over and comes back with a huge dropkick. Dana gets control again, using the ponytail, putting Bayley on the other side of the ropes, continuing to tug at the injured arm.
- Bayley comes back with punches and clotheslines with the good arm, slamming Dana into the corner and lifting her into a suplex and a low running clothesline. Corkscrew elbow to Dana, trying for another suplex, but Dana blocks. Bayley comes back, hits the Bayley-to-belly – and wins!
Honestly, I’m just glad we got a real match, rather than something ridiculous, even if it was pretty short. Nice win for Bayley, and I’m hoping that means she’s going to be more prevalent in the women’s division as it continues.
Mick Foley and Steph McMahon are patting themselves on the back because they think their first cell match was so good, but then they’re going to talk about Survivor Series ‘the only night of the year we go head-to-head’. They hype the Brock vs. Goldberg match, because that wasn’t enough of a shitshow the first time around, was it? Jericho appears to ask who they’re going to pick for Survivor Series, and Foley interrupts to ask if he’s got a point – so HE JUST MADE THE LIST! Also, Jericho knows the word ‘triumvirate’. Who knew? Chris thinks he should be the first pick for the Survivor Series team, and Kevin should be second, because they’re such best friends. Foley says Jericho should be thinking about whether Kevin is going to make it out of the cell tonight. Jericho scribbles on the list.
We get the news that Raw Talk is going have Jerry “Please Die Soon” Lawler on it, which ends any interest I could have had in it.
MATCH: Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
Enzo and Cass appear, give us the shtick and tell us they’ve got a cuppa haters to address, Andy and the Big Gal. There’s some lines about big girls needing loving too, so clearly these two want to extend their options at the end of the shows. Enzo compares Anderson to Times New Roman, because he’s as generic as it gets, and this is actually a decent-ish promo for them, they’ve been a bit lax lately, but Cass seems to have picked up some, too. Enzo says he’s going to have to start calling Big Cass Woody, from Toy Story, and I wait for a dick joke, but nope, it’s because he’s going to have Andy tattooed on the bottom of his boot. How are we doing? The Club are sawft. Of course. Gallows and Anderson too sweet on the way to the ring, and my wife laughs at them.
- Anderson and Enzo to start, cross-body from Enzo, then right hands, before whipping Anderosn into the corner where he tags in Big Cass for a chance to shove Anderson into the turnbuckles a bit. Enzo tags back in, wanders over to anger Gallows, then Cass throws him into Gallows and Anderson in turn. The Club end up on the outside, and Cass flings Enzo over onto them.
- Enzo throws Anderson back in, but he slides out by Gallows, so Enzo takes the chance to pull Gallows off the apron. He dodges a clothesline from Anderson, and runs right into one by Gallows, lying on the floor, dazed and confused.
- Cass goes to his partner, the ref shooing him away, and Gallows drags Enzo into the right and hits him with a huge left hand. Gallows hangs Enzo up on the ropes in the corner and dropkick him, before a suplex into a cover for two.
- Straight into a chinlock, but Enzo powers out. Doesn’t last long, Gallows throws Enzo into the turnbuckles, he then takes a kick from Anderson, who tags in, and covers Enzo for two. Anderson sticks Enzo on the turnbuckle, huge punches, and tries for a superplex, but gets a headbutt for his trouble, and then takes a huge DDT!
- Gallows and Cass tag in, big boot from Cass, who then suplexes Anderson over the ropes and hammers t him in the corner, shoving Gallows away. Splash in the corner for both men, Anderson dodging the second, but Cass gets him over the ropes. He lands on the apron, but Cass follows up with a big boot.
- Empire Elbow from Cass to Gallows, lifting him high for a back body drop. He throws Gallows over the top rope, he also lands on the apron, but when Cass comes back with the big boot, he hangs onto the ropes, sending Cass toppling over it. Enzo tags in on his stricken buddy, and it’s Enzo against Anderson now.
- Enzo off the top ropes with a cross-body, but Gallows comes back in, the legs man, to take punches to the gut from Enzo. Enzo runs into a boot from Gallows, and that’s a Magic Killer to Enzo – and the pin for the win!
Cass rolls straight in to check on his boy, as Gallows and Anderson stalk back up the ramp, hands raised high.
MATCH: Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins – WWE Universal Title Match
Jericho appears in a video package to tell us about Kevin, and how much he deserves the title, and how much he loves Kevin. Cute. We also get to see footage of their brawl on Raw, and lots of really good shots of scary Kevin faces. Kevin comes out first, because, well, he’s Kevin, and tradition doesn’t really say much if you can’t go out first, does it? He looks a little nervously as the entrance to the cell, turns around on the ramp, walks back, and then rallies, walking back into the cell. Seth’s music hits, and out he saunters. All black this time, less silver then we’ve been seeing lately, so he looks like a power ranger again. We’re told by commentary that Seth’s back isn’t 100%, as the cell is locked. As they’re announced. Seth strips off his shirt, and we see the kinesio tape on his back.
- Kevin rolls straight out, heading for the apron to grab for a weapon, but Seth gets his feet on Kevin’s head, before a few good punches get him away from the treasure trove of toys under the ring, sending Kevin into the cell. They brawl around the outside, trading chops, and Seth gets Kevin back into the ring, ducking clotheslines to hit a slingblade on Kevin.
- Snapmare from Seth, kick to the chest, Kevin on the mat writhing in pain. He gets Kevin in the corner for some kicks, coming back for another, but takes a boot to the gut instead. Kevin tries to whip Seth into the corner, but he balances on the turnbuckle instead. Back in the opposite corner, Seth hops up to the second rope for a blockbuster on Kevin and a pin for two.
- Seth rolls out of the ring and digs under the ring, bringing out a table, as Kevin starts to try and get away. The crowd chant ‘tables’ as Owens rallies, whipping Seth into the corner, the injured back hitting hard, then landing a senton on the same spot twice over. Using the ropes, Kevin puts his foot on Seth’s neck, and then, leaving him on the apron, rolls out of the ring and slams him into the cell wall. He then holds Seth there by the hair, and yanks the kinesio tape off. Ouch!
- Kevin stalks towards Seth, and gets a couple of kicks in the gut for his troubles, but Seth is soon sent into the cell wall hard, and then bounced off the ring post a few times for good measure. Kevin climbs the cell slightly and grandstands for his adoring crowd. He rolls Seth back into the ring and pins him for one.
- Knee to Seth’s back followed by a knee to the face, and Seth hunches over, drumming his feet on the ring in pain. Kevin comes back in, a pin for two as Seth holds his nose. Seth looks disoriented in the ring, sitting up slowly as Kevin gets him in the corner. Seth rallies with hands to the jaw, but Kevin won’t let him have it so easily, throwing Seth through the ropes and face-first into the cell wall. Seth lies slumped as Kevin grandstands, then Kevin steps out and onto Seth’s face. Kevin throws Seth’s face into the cell a few more times.
- Back in the ring, Kevin gets a huge corner clothesline to Seth, then sets up for the cannonball, Seth falling out of the ring, slumped on the floor of the cage. Huge cannonball from Kevin to slam Seth’s back into the cage, before he drags Rollins upright again and into the ring. Owens goes for the pop-up powerbomb, but Seth leapfrogs him, coming back with an avada kedavra. He sets up for the Pedigree, but Kevin throws him over his shoulders, Rollins landing on his feet. Kevin tries to roll Seth up, he rolls through, hits Kevin with another avada kedavra, then it’s a superkick from Owens, enzuigiri from Seth, and a lariat from Kevin, both men sprawled in the ring, panting.
- Kevin rolls out of the ring for weapons as Seth lies like a dying starfish in the ring. Kevin starts to set up a second table, looks at the first, and then seems perplexed as to what he’s going to do. Eventually he props the second table up on the cell, leaning on the apron, suspended over the first table, and rolls back into the ring. Kevin tells Seth they’re going for a ride, but Seth fights out, and it’s a suplex on the apron for Kevin, his face bouncing off the cell as he lands.
- Seth hits two suicide dives onto Kevin, against the cell, before he rolls Kevin back into the ring and climbs to the top rope, but Kevin has rolled out, and is grasping for a fire extinguisher under the ring. Seth walks into a fire extinguisher to the ribs, and then Owens sets off the extinguisher – right into the eyes of the ref. The cell is opened to allow another ref to check on him, and Kevin shouts some sort of obscenity that WWE has to mute out, before throwing down the extinguisher.
- Kevin drags Seth into the ring, and there’s a Y2J chant, because Jericho appears, running down to the cell, a ref just getting in before he closes the door, and then Kevin keeps the ref away as Jericho locks the cage, holding up the key and waving it at Kevin. Kevin grabs his best friend, smooches him on the cheek, and heads back into the ring as Jericho attempts to stuff the key into the pocket of his over-tight leather trousers.
- Back in the ring, Kevin approaches Seth, but Seth lunges at Jericho, shoving him face first into the cell. Kevin picks Seth up for a powerbomb, slamming him into the mat and pinning him for two. Shaking his head, Kevin heads to the apron, crouching there for a moment to catch his breath, then heads for the top rope. Seth meets him there, Kevin lifting him onto his shoulders, but Seth escaping. Seth comes off the top rope with the flying knee, Kevin on his back in the middle of the ring, putting him into position for the Pedigree, but Jericho comes off the top rope, Seth catching him and hitting the Pedigree on him instead.
- Kevin rises, gets Seth up for the pop-up powerbomb through the tables he set up, but Rollins battles out, hitting Kevin with an enzuigiri, then lifting Kevin for a pop-up powerbomb – and gets him through the two tables! Holy shit! Seth rolls Kevin back into the ring, going to the top rope as a ‘this is awesome’ chant rises, and there’s a frogsplash to Kevin. Seth pins Kevin, who appears to be out, and Jericho drags the ref out of the ring.
- Jericho’s fumbling with a fire extinguisher as Seth comes round with kicks, dragging him up against the cell, slamming him into the steps, and hitting the pop-up powerbomb of the cell. Seth heads back into the ring for Owens, but he’s rallied, catching Seth with a pop-up powerbomb of his own – but Seth kicks out at two!
- Jericho’s back to his feet, digging under the apron as Kevin looses punches onto Seth before using headbutts. Jericho brings in a chair, hanging it to Kevin, before punching Seth himself. Kevin watches his friend, and then goes to town on Seth’s back with the chair. Well, I mean, it’s two years too late, but you kinda had it coming, Seth. Jericho comes in, but Seth gets Owens in the ankle with a kick, rallying to hit Jericho with the chair.
- It’s not enough, though, Kevin coming back with a DDT onto the discarded chair for Seth, followed by setting up two chairs, and a huge pop-up powerbomb through the chairs – and gets the pin for the win!
Kevin barely makes it off Seth’s body, slowly rolling along the mat, Jericho patting him gently before Kevin’s title is handed to him. He managed to stand and raise the title once, but then buckles, leaning on the turnbuckle, exhausted, thoroughly spent. Fuck me, what a match! Jericho unlocks the cell, or tries, eventually handing the key to the ref as he ambles into the ring and hits a codebreaker on Seth, who has barely made it to his feet. With the cage open, Kevin heads up the ramp, and Jericho stands in the ring, hand held high as his music plays. The two best friends embrace on the way back up the ramp, and Seth, lip looking split, is being attended to by officials.
Oh, Christ, Jerry Lawler’s talking, so I’m skipping this, as I literally don’t care what he has to say. Sorry Lita, Booker, Renee, but… no.
MATCH: TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick – Cruiserweight Championship Match
Brian Kendrick out first, sauntering out with his pirate flag, and we get a video showing how he asked TJ to let him win, because he needs the title. Poor TJ, he’s being treated like he’s 12 but asked to make complex adult decisions. Bless him. Commentary remind us that Kendrick looked after TJ and take him to wrestling, that Brian was his mentor. There’s some awkward shit about how TJ was homeless and begging, as if that’s got something to do with fortitude of character, which is very, very dodgy to talk about like that. TJ reluctantly accepts the handshake.
- The two men circle, before Kendrick goes for a waist lock, TJ reversing it, the two swapping to a wrist lock, a blocked dropkick from TJ and a pin for Kendrick, TJ kicking out swiftly. Lock up, bending TJ back a second pin, for one.
- Monkey flip from TJ, Kendrick tries the same, TJ landing on his feet, roll up from Kendrick and a pin for two. The two men stand and face each other for a moment. Kendrick runs at TJ, and they trad counters and roll throughs until TJ picks up a two count of his own. Then there’s a bit of shoving before TJ hits a cross-body from the middle rope.
- Baiting Kendrick, TJ gets him to drop an elbow, Kendrick kicking him off the apron and taking control again, working over TJ’s arm by… tying it to the bottom rope with his own wrist tape? Okay, dude, we get it. You’re weird.
- Kendrick storms away as TJ struggle to free himself, but Kendrick comes back for a one count, before a submission hold that TJ breaks with a neckbreaker.
- Springboard dropkick from TJ, Kendrick sent out of the ring and TJ following over the top rope onto Kendrick on the outside. Back in, twin suplexes from TJ, setting up for a dive off the top rope, but Kendrick catches him perfectly with a dropkick as he leaps, and pins him for two.
- Kicks are traded, Perkins with a detonation kick landing him a two count. Kendrick his a side suplex into a cradle, and it’s so close to a win, but not quite there.
- Kendrick gets TJ up on his shoulders, but reversal after reversal leads to the Captain’s Hook, broken by TJ rolling him over into a pin for two. Kneebar from Perkins, dragging Kendrick into the middle of the ring, but Kendrick still manages to find the strength to drag himself to the ropes.
- Kendrick aims for Sliced Break #2, and lands like something went wrong, like the back of his head is injured. TJ looks on with concern, though Kendrick insists he can continue, so TJ goes to help him up in a show of sportsmanship – but Kendrick slams into him with a headbutt!
- Kendrick locks in the Captain’s Hook- and TJ eventually has to tap!
Our new Cruiserweight Champion seems pretty happy with himself, and so am I, as my predictions said this title would change hands because of dirty tactics from Kendrick, and I was right!
MATCH: The New Day vs. Sheamus & Cesaro – WWE Tag Team Championship Match
Sheamus and Cesaro actually get on backstage for a couple of moments, before we get The New Day out for a little positivity. Kofi reminds us all that, lest we forget, Boston is his home town, too, so he’s got home town luck on his side.
- Cesaro starts off against Xavier, with Cesaro taking the other man down hard to the mat early, but Xavier rallies early. Very slow headscissor takedown from Xavier, followed by a dropkick which wins him a two count. Sheamus goes for a cheap shot to Xavier while the ref isn’t looking, and Cesaro turns on him, furious with him for cheating.
- Sheamus makes the tag, shoving Xavier into the barricades before dragging him back into the ring. Cesaro tags himself back in and it’s a running uppercut to Xavier for the two count.
- Sheamus and Cesaro keep trading tags and hitting uppercuts in a show of one-upmanship, which allows Xavier to get a backslide on Sheamus for a two count, before he’s taken back down with a double axe handle.
- Rallying, Xavier hits an enzuigiri from the middle rope. Tags made to Big E and Sheamus, and two belly-to-belly suplexes from Big E to take Sheamus down hard. Sheamus blocks a third attempt, but the fourth try gets him down again, with Big E also hitting a running splash. Cesaro is sent out of the ring, Xavier leaping over the top rope after him.
- Sheamus gets grabbed by Big E and hit with a huge powerbomb. He goes for the Big Ending, but Sheamus gets free and hits him with a powerslam, pinning him for two.
- Blind tag from Xavier, cross-body from the top rope onto Sheamus, who rolls through and uses White Noise for a near fall. Cesaro tags back in and hits a double stomp to Xavier, for another two count. Cesaro sets up for the swing but Xavier grabs the bottom rope. He kicks Cesaro and Sheamus down, then it’s a top rope elbow drop for a near fall.
- A flurry of uppercuts from Cesaro, followed by a swing and the Sharpshooter, but Big E hits a belly-to-belly into the corner. Big E tags in and then tags in Xavier again, and it’s Midnight Hour! Sheamus knocks Xavier off the top rope, but it’s an accidental brogue kick to Cesaro as he aims for Big E.
- Xavier crawls across the ring for the cover on Cesaro, but Sheamus breaks it up at the last second! Sheamus comes over the top rope onto all three of The New Day, who are on the outside.
- Sharpshooter from Cesaro, on Xavier, dragging him into the middle of the ring. Sheamus gets in the way of Big E interfering, so in the end, it’s Kofi who comes through with a Trouble in Paradise for a DQ ending.
Cesaro’s fuming, because he’s certain Xavier tapped out, and lo and behold, when the replay is shown, Xavier taps out, but the ref was too busy looking at Sheamus and Kofi to see – so The New Day get to retain!
MATCH: Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair – Raw Women’s Championship Match
Charlotte’s entrance is perfect, with her on a throne being carried by four men, because she’s fabulous and flawless, and her robe is gold and black, and I love it. I absolutely love it to pieces. Sasha rolls in poking out the sunroof of a car, also flanked by men. Look, I could have the women enter like this every night and not get bored of it, frankly, this level of showmanship and respect being given, I could be totally, totally into this.
- The women watch the cell being lowered, but Charlotte isn’t going to wait for the match to begin, and leaps onto Sasha as the cell comes down, so they stop lowering it. Charlotte flings Sasha out of the ring and slams her head off the announce table. Sasha counters an Irish whip and sends Charlotte flying over the barricade and into the crowd.
- Sasha follows, and Charlotte fights back, the two of them brawling through the crowd until Sasha throws Charlotte back over the barricades. The cell has been brought down while this has been going on, and Sasha starts pulling apart the announce table.
- Charlotte starts climbing the cell wall, and Sasha follows, the two of them fighting while half-way up the cell. Charlotte drops off the cell first, and grabs Sasha, powerbombing her through the announce table. This is crazy, the bell hasn’t even rung yet!
- A ‘let’s go Sasha’ chant breaks out as Sasha struggles to get back to her feet, shoving the ref away as officials keep Charlotte back. She stands on the remaining table and mocks the crowd as Sasha walks around the cage, trying to recover. She falls to the ground, crying, and it looks like she might not be able to continue. Fuck fuck fuck please let this be a work.
- Medics bring a stretcher down and start to put a neck brace on Sasha, as Charlotte demands to be given the title as Sasha can’t continue. Charlotte continues to talk trash, and I just… please don’t let this be happening, but if this isn’t real, this is such a weird set up after the whole ‘first women’s hell in a cell match’ sort of thing.
- Sasha’s loaded onto the stretcher and Jojo is just starting to announce Charlotte as the new champion when Sasha suddenly rises from the stretcher, ripping the neck brace off and attacking the ref. Okay, so we’re doing this!
- Into the cage, and Sasha closes the door, the bell ringing to signal the start of the match. Sasha dives straight for Charlotte, who tries to escape the cell, but Sasha’s on her with hard chops. Using her leg, Charlotte pulls Sasha into the ring post, and then monkeyflips her into the cell wall. She goes after Sasha’s back with her knees.
- Cover on Sasha, for two, but she counters with the backstabber into the Bank Statement. Charlotte lifts her high off the mat and drops her over the top rope, where she hits the apron before landing on the floor.
- Charlotte gets a chair from under the ring, but as she tries to get back in, there’s two baseball slide dropkicks and a suicide dive waiting for her, all of which send her slamming into the cell. Charlotte gets them both back in the ring and takes control again, huge chops which get a ‘woo’ from the crowd with each one as she beats on the champion in the corner. Sasha looks so, so weak against Charlotte in this, like there’s nothing left in her.
- Standing over Sasha on the middle rope turns out to be a mistake as Sasha pulls her leg out from under her and comes back with a flurry of rights. A drop top hold sends her into the chair set up, and Sasha continues smashing Charlotte’s head into the chair. Charlotte gets free, lifting Sasha high and slamming her back into the chair, bending it a little, covering Sasha for two.
- Charlotte gets Sasha’s back against the ring post, bending her around it, but there’s a kick to Charlotte’s head which sends her flying into the cell wall again as she stands grandstanding. Charlotte tries to shove Sasha into the cell, but Sasha leapfrogs her, and it’s a double knee takedown for the boss! More jostling each other into the cell wall before two running double knees from Sasha.
- Back into the ring and a trio of suplexes from Sasha, sparking an ‘Eddie’ chant around the ring as she goes for a frogsplash and pins Charlotte for two! Bank Statement locked in – but Charlotte manages to get out of the ring to get away. Both women look utterly exhausted, god, this is… incredible, to see them not look pretty, or perfect. This is about wrestling, not about pandering to a male gaze.
- Charlotte up on the middle rope, set up for Sasha’s double knees, with the chair on the bottom rope – ow! Charlotte still manages to kick out of the pin, this is amazing. The crowd chant ‘this is awesome’ which is absolutely right. She grabs Sasha through the ropes, slamming her head into the steps, and could Sasha stop doing spots where it looks like she’s legitimately going to die, please? Please?
- Table out by Charlotte, setting Sasha up for a huge superplex, but Sasha fights her away, kicking her off the apron and straight through the table! It sort of looks like Sasha was meant to do something else onto Charlotte to actually break the table, but whatever, it’s a broken table, we like those. She pulls Charlotte up and into the ring, and covers her for two, both of them moving exhaustedly.
- Sasha heads out of the ring, setting up another table as the crowd cheers, and she pushes it into the ring, but Charlotte shoves back, using the table to pin Sasha between the table and the cell. Charlotte sets up the table in the ring as Sasha lies slumped on the outside, slowly starting to rally. Sasha crawls back into the ring, standing up.
- Charlotte bounces Sasha’s head off the table, and Sasha returns the favour, before leaping off the table to be caught by Charlotte. Charlotte hits her with a kick in the back, sending her flying. She goes for the Figure Eight, and gets the Figure Four in, Sasha grasping for the table, but as Charlotte goes for the bridge, Sasha brings the chair down hard on her hip, three times.
- The crowd chants for Sasha as the women trade short blows, before they’re both back down on the mat. Sasha goes for the Bank Statement, but Charlotte lifts her high for three backbreakers, Sasha out flat like a dead starfish as Charlotte pins her – for two!
- Charlotte drapes Sasha over the table and gives her a couple of hard chops, the crowd ‘woo’ along for it as Charlotte goes to the top rope for the moonsault, but Sasha rises up, pushes Charlotte away, getting her tangled in the ropes. She moves the table, then goes back to Charlotte, lifting her up and going to powerbomb her through the table, but Sasha’s back buckles, sending both women spilling onto the floor.
- Charlotte flings Sasha onto the table, hard, twice, then hits Natural Selection – and that’s the win? That’s the win!
- Okay, the crowd seem to be as bemused as I am, because the table didn’t break, it was a bit… anti-climactic, really. We didn’t get to see Charlotte’s moonsault, that powerbomb spot from Sasha would have been a brilliant one, but… it just sort of ended with one move. Charlotte stands tall with her title, and Sasha lies crumpled on the floor.
Well, that was Hell in a Cell – sorry it took me a week to do, but firstly, there’s amazing pictures, and secondly, that women’s match needed some digesting. I’ll see you for Raw!