|Date: September 15, 2018
|Venue: AT&T Center |City: San Antonio, Texas
|tweet me: @BastionBlogger
A creepy video package kicks off the show about inner demons. It’s a pretty good one.
Tom Phillips welcomes us to the 10th annual Hell In A Cell.
Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton – Hell In A Cell match
Background: At Backlash, Jeff Hardy retained the United States Championship against Randy Orton. At Extreme Rules, after Hardy lost the United States Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura, Orton made his return to the WWE and attacked Hardy. Two days later on the July 17 episode of SmackDown, Hardy had a rematch with Nakamura, but it ended in a draw after Orton attacked Hardy. The following week, Orton explained his attacks on Hardy by stating that he felt disrespected by the WWE Universe and hated how they were supportive of superstars like Hardy. The next week, Orton launched a third attack on Hardy with aidance from Nakamura. Hardy invoked his rematch clause at SummerSlam, and would once again fail to regain the title. After the match, Orton came out while Hardy was incapacitated in the ring, only to turn back and walk away. The following SmackDown on August 21, Orton and Hardy had a match that ended in disqualification after Hardy low-blowed Orton. Hardy then proceeded to attack Orton all around the arena and eventually spread in the crowd area. Hardy then executed a “Swanton Bomb” on Orton off the balcony through a table. On the August 28 episode of SmackDown, Hardy challenged Orton to a Hell in a Cell match at the namesake event, which Orton accepted.
Previous PPV matches: This is the third PPV match between these two men, they have both won one match each in the past.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Randy Orton is 5-2, Jeff Hardy is making his debut at this event.
Match: Randy Orton starts the match well and beats Hardy off the cell. Jeff looks to bring a table into the fray but Orton fights him off. It then becomes a battle with chairs. Jeff Hardy hits a whisper in the wind and then a pendulum dropkick for the first near fall of the night. Orton hits a superplex for a near fall of his own. The referee throws some of the weapons out of the ring and the crowd boo him. Hardy pulls a couple of ladders out. Jeff sets a ladder up upside down and looks to suplex Orton into it but Randy reverses and suplexes Jeff into the ladder! Randy swings a chair into Hardy’s back repeatedly before whipping him with his own belt. Orton then grabs a screwdriver and puts it through Hardy’s ear piercing before pulling, stretching and twisting it. Hardy hits a low blow to get away from Randy. Hardy then hits Orton with a chair and heads to the top but Orton crotches him. Orton’s back is bleeding as he hits a hangmans DDT on Hardy. Hardy counters an RKO and hits a twist of fate before laying a chair on Orton and hitting a swanton bomb for a near fall. Hardy sets up two ladders and a table in the ring and then hits a twist of fate before laying Randy on the table. Jeff climbs the tall ladder and then grabs the top of the cell and swings off it down to Orton but Randy moves and Jeff crashes through the table! The referee panics and calls for help but Orton tells him to count the 3 which he does.
Result: Randy Orton wins by pinfall.
Review: This was a decent enough match. There wasn’t much that you wouldn’t expect out of a Hell In A Cell match. Jeff Hardy being in the match means there were more ladders and tables than usual. Decent match though and I think this feud will continue.
Jeff Hardy gets taken away on a stretcher as we’re shown replays of him crashing through the table.
Kayla Braxton is backstage with AJ Styles who says he will be ripping Samoa Joe’s heart from his chest tonight and walking out WWE Champion.
There is a video package next for Charlotte and Becky Lynch.
Charlotte (c) vs. Becky Lynch – Smackdown Women’s Championship match
Background: At SummerSlam, Charlotte Flair defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella in a triple threat match to capture the SmackDown Women’s Championship. After the match, Lynch turned heel and attacked Flair. The following weeks, Lynch and Flair confronted and attacked each other. A match between Lynch and Flair for the title was scheduled for Hell in a Cell. Becky Lynch is tired of being upstaged by Charlotte.
Previous PPV matches: These two girls have met just once on PPV before and in that match Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Charlotte is 3-0 at Hell In A Cell, Becky Lynch wrestles at this event for the first time.
Match: The match is back and forth in the early going with some technical wrestling from Becky and strikes from Charlotte. Becky dominates for a while, locking on armbars and hammerlock. The crowd are right behind Becky in this one despite the fact that she is supposed to be the heel. The two girls fight it out on the apron until Becky drops Charlotte on the apron shoulder-first. Charlotte manages a comeback but Becky avoids a moonsault and tries to lock on the disarm-her but Charlotte powers out of it. Becky looks for a missile dropkick but Charlotte counters it into a Boston crab but Becky gets to the bottom rope. Not the smoothest sequence there. Becky locks on the disarm-her but Charlotte rolls out of the ring. Charlotte looks for a spear but Becky counters with a DDT and pins Charlotte for the three!
Result: Becky Lynch wins by pinfall.
Review: This match was ok. It was sloppy in parts and slow in others but it wasn’t terrible. Becky Lynch seems to have a lot of momentum at the moment and the fans are behind her but she’s definitely not a heel. I like Becky as champion and I think this extra month of build will have helped her.
There’s an ad for Connor’s Cure.
We’re shown some footage from the kickoff show with New Day retaining the Smackdown Tag Team Championships against Rusev and Aiden English.
The New Day are backstage celebrating their tag team title defence earlier with their butler Bootyworth. Kofi disappears and then re-appears as an interviewer. He asks Big E what’s next and Big E says they are heading to Australia to defend their titles against The Bar.
Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose – Raw Tag Team Championship match
Background: On the September 3 episode of Raw, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeated The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. The following week, a rematch took place between the two teams with Ziggler and McIntyre retaining the titles. A tag team match between Ziggler and McIntyre and Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins for the titles was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time tag team match between these two teams.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Dolph Ziggler is 1-3 at HIAC, Drew McIntyre is 1-0, Seth Rollins is 2-2 and Dean Ambrose is 0-2.
Match: Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler kick off the match, it’s between these two men that this rivalry began. Dean Ambrose gets the tag to a decent pop, he’s looking bigger since returning to the WWE. Rollins and Ambrose start the match well but you have a feeling it won’t last. It doesn’t, due to a distraction from Dolph Ziggler. Dolph and Drew make quick tags and keep Seth Rollins away form his partner. Rollins hits a big blockbuster on McIntyre and then finally makes the hot tag to Dean Ambrose! Ambrose lays into McIntyre but can’t hit dirty deeds. Drew manages to belly to belly suplex Ambrose into the corner so Ambrose tags out to Rollins. Rollins looks for a suicide dive but he gets caught, Ambrose then dives out on all three men! Seth hits a buckle bomb on Ziggler for a near fall. All four men get into it and Ziggler hits a zigzag for a near fall. Rollins hits a frog splash for a near fall. Ambrose disposes of McIntyre and Rollins tags in, hits a superplex and then looks for the follow-up falcon arrow but McIntyre gets in the ring and hits a claymore kick on Rollins! Dolph covers Rollins and gets the 3!
Result: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre retain the Raw Tag Team Champions by pinfall.
Review: This was a really good tag team match. These aren’t traditional tag teams but they have a lot of chemistry and put on a really exciting match. I’m not sure where this is going with Ambrose but I think Rollins should be separated from Dolph Ziggler now.
Braun Strowman is shown watching backstage, happy that the champions retained. Mick Foley shows up and says that he was Braun to concentrate on the match and not him, Braun tells Mick to stay out of his way.
There’s a video package next showing the history between AJ Styles and Samoa Joe.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship match
Background: At SummerSlam, during the WWE Championship match between Samoa Joe and defending champion AJ Styles, Joe taunted Styles by disrespecting his wife and daughter, who were in attendance. An irate Styles attacked Joe with a steel chair, resulting in Joe winning by disqualification, but Styles retaining the title. On the following SmackDown, Joe attacked Styles from behind during an interview, and continued to disrespect Styles’ family. On August 24, a rematch between the two for the title was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men, Samoa Joe beat AJ Styles by disqualification at Summerslam.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: AJ Styles is 0-1, Samoa Joe makes his debut at this event tonight.
Match: Styles comes out of the blocks quickly but it’s not long before Joe takes control. Samoa Joe hits a big suicide dive to the outside, similar to how he did at Summerslam which sends Styles into the announce desk. The match is pretty back and forth from there. The crowd are behind AJ Styles as he hits a reverse DDT for a near fall. Samoa Joe slowly picks apart AJ in a match with a much slower pace than their encounter at Summerslam. AJ hits an impressive spinning burning hammer. AJ then hits a springboard 450 for another near fall. Joe counters the Styles clash and hits a big clothesline for a two count. AJ counters a musclebuster but gets hit with an enzeguri. Joe counters a phenomenal forearm and locks on the coquina clutch but AJ manages bridge over, pinning Joe’s shoulders to the mat for the three!
Result: AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship by pinfall.
Review: This match wasn’t up to the quality of their Summerslam match. It had a much slower pace and although there were a few good spots I don’t think it quite delivered. Don’t get me wrong, it was decent, it just wasn’t amazing. This is a rivalry that will continue. One of the camera angles proves that AJ Styles tapped out but the referee didn’t see it.
After the match we’re shown a camera angle that proves AJ Styles tapped out without the referee seeing.
Charly Caruso is backstage with The Miz and Maryse. The Miz claims that he and Maryse are the hardest hitting couple in WWE.
There’s a video package next for the mixed tag team match between Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella and The Miz & Maryse.
Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
Background: After The Miz defeated Daniel Bryan at Summerslam with help from his wife Maryse, Daniel Bryan’s wife Brie Bella would get involved and attack The Miz. Paige would then make a mixed tag team match for Hell In A Cell. Since then The Miz and Maryse have had the better of Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella in physical altercations and Miz would even throw Daniel Bryan into Brie Bella.
Previous PPV matches: This is a first time mixed tag team match between these two husband and wives.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Daniel Bryan is 2-1, Brie Bella is 0-2, The Miz is 0-4, Maryse wrestles at this event for the first time.
Match: Maryse looks to start the match but then quickly tags out before distracting Daniel Bryan to allow The Miz to take the early advantage. The match is then back and forth with Brie Bella keen to get tagged in and get some of Maryse. The Mis hits his “It kicks” stolen from Daniel Bryan. Miz keeps stopping Daniel Bryan from tagging out to Brie Bella. Bryan throws Miz out of the ring and tags out to Brie! But Maryse refuses to get in the ring. Brie lays into Miz and then baseball slides Maryse before smashing her off the announce desk. Bryan hits Miz with a flying knee which busts Miz open. Bryan and Brie hit simultaneous yes kicks. Brie throws Maryse into Miz and then rolls up Maryse but Maryse reverses the pin and gets the 3!
Result: The Miz and Maryse win by pinfall.
Review: This match wasn’t the best. It had its moments and against it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t that good. The story was more about Brie and Maryse which was a hard story to care about. Miz and Daniel Bryan carried the majority of the match. I am surprised at the result though, I fully expected Daniel Bryan and Brie to win. I guess Brie and Maryse may continue on to Evolution.
We’re told Jeff Hardy has been taken to a local medical facility and is coughing up blood.
There’s a video package next for Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss.
Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss – Raw Women’s Championship match
Background: At Summerslam Ronda Rousey beat Alexa Bliss to become Raw Women’s Championship. Alexa invoker her rematch for Hell In A Cell and defeated Natalya on the way. Alexa would attack Rousey after a match and targeted Ronda’s ribs.
Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two girls, Ronda beat Alexa in their previous match.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Ronda and Alexa both make their Hell In A Cell debut tonight.
Match: Alexa Bliss has Mickie James and Alicia Fox with her tonight. Ronda has Natalya as back-up. Ronda Rousey has so much intensity. She takes down Alexa in the early going and then shows off her wrestling ability with holds and a jackknife cover. Alicia and Mickie serve as distractions when Rousey looks to lock on the armbar. Ronda launches Alexa into Mickie and Alicia. Alicia takes control after dropping Rousey by her hair. Alexa then targets the injured ribs of the Raw Women’s Champion. Ronda looks for her spinning slam but the pain from the ribs causes her to drop Bliss. Alicia and Mickie soon become more involved, pulling Ronda Rousey around the ringpost behind the referees back but Natalya breaks it up. Alexa continues to target the ribs but Ronda hits the spinning slam and then locks on the armbar and Alexa taps out straight away!
Result: Ronda Rousey retains the Raw Women’s Championship by submission.
Review: This was a good match. Not a spectacular one but there was plenty going on to cover Ronda Rouseys imperfections. To be fair Ronda is very good for someone who has only had a handful of matches and she’s a real asset to the division. I have no idea who will be able to beat Rousey but there are a lot of potential dream matches I’d like to see.
Samoa Joe is backstage berating the referee who didn’t see AJ Styles tap out. Paige shows up and says that the referees decision is final but Joe will get a rematch in 3 weeks at Super Showdown. Joe wants a no disqualification, no count-out match. Paige agrees.
There’s a video package next for Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman.
Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman – WWE Universal Championship match with Mick Foley as special guest referee
Background: Following a title match between Roman Reigns and Finn Balor, Braun Strowman attacked Reigns and looked to cash in the Money In The Bank but Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose made sure that didn’t happen. Strowman would align with Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre and then challenge Reigns to a Hell In A Cell match by cashing in his Money In The Bank contract for the Hell In A Cell PPV. Mick Foley would then be announced as the special guest referee.
Previous PPV matches: This is the fourth PPV match between these two men, Braun has won 2 of the previous 3, Reigns won the other.
Hell In A Cell PPV Record: Roman Reigns is 2-1, Braun Strowman wrestles at this event for the first time tonight.
Match: Braun Strowman starts the match well, throwing Reigns into the side of the cell. It’s not long before weapons get used, with Reigns using a kendo stick and then a chair. Reigns hits two superman punches and looks for a third but Strowman catches him and hits a running powerslam. He covers Reigns and Foley pretty much counts the three but stops himself before Reigns gets his shoulder up. Reigns hits a massive superman punch for a near fall. Roman pulls a table out from under the ring and slides it into the ring but Strowman leaves the ring. Reigns looks like a driveby but Braun smashes him with the ring steps. Strowman continues to beat Reigns with the steps. Reigns then spears Strowman through a table!
It isn’t long before Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre make their way out but Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose chase them off. Dolph climbs up the cell and Rollins chases him up before the two fight on top of the cell! Drew McIntyre also climbs the cell and finally Ambrose climbs up too with a kendo stick. Dean lays into Dolph and Drew with the kendo stick. All four men are laid out on top of the cell. Ziggler and Rollins climb down and then go at it half way down the cell before both men fall down through announce desks below. Brock Lesnar’s music then hits and out walks Lesnar and Paul Heyman! Lesnar kicks open the door and Heyman sprays something in the eyes of Mick Foley. Lesnar lays into both Reigns and Strowman with some broken table. Brock hits Strowman with an F5 and then gives Roman Reigns an F5 too. Another referee then comes out and calls for the bell!
Result: No contest.
Review: This match was decent enough. It wasn’t spectacular but it was a fun match, mostly due to all the interference. Roman and Braun put on an ok match themselves but there was nothing here that I’d not seen before. The Hell In A Cell concept has become a bit stale to tell you the truth and I actually prefer a cage match. Reigns retains tonight though and I expect a triple threat match between these three men in the future.
And that was Hell In A Cell 2018. It was only a 7 match show and it felt decent but not amazing. There was nothing terrible on the show but it’s not one I’d go back to watch again. Randy Orton beat Jeff Hardy in the opener in what was a decent match. This feud has been pretty brutal but I feel both guys could move on now. Becky Lynch then beat Charlotte to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship in an ok match. A fairly average match with the problem being that Becky Lynch is very popular at the moment and they’re trying to pass her off as a heel. Nobodies buying it. The best match of the night was between Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose. This was a really enjoyable tag team match that saw Dolph and Drew retain. AJ Styles beats Samoa Joe in a decent match. i wouldn’t have minded seeing Joe win this match. I think their previous match at Summerslam was better. This wasn’t bad though. AJ Styles is have some run as WWE Champion with another solid defence tonight.
The Miz and Maryse beat Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella which really surprised me. This rivalry must be leading to something much bigger for Miz and Maryse to win. It wasn’t the best match and it was hard to care about it when so much was based around Brie and Maryse. This won’t be the end of this rivalry. Ronda Rousey beat Alexa Bliss in a predictable and decent match. Ronda is a huge asset to the women’s division and a huge star to have. She’s not perfect but she’s better than most of the division already. I would have preferred to see Ronda against somebody she hasn’t fought before tonight but I doubt we’ll see this match again. Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman battled to a no contest when their match was interrupted by Brock Lesnar. This match was a bit of an attitude era throwback. It was fun, it could have been a disaster but it wasn’t. Roman Reigns remains Universal Champion and you can’t help but think Lesnar will be involved again soon.
Overall Rating: 60.7/100 (ranked joint 139th out of 364)
Match Of The Night: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose
Worst Match Of The Night: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
Surprise Of The Night: The Miz & Maryse beat Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
Worst Booking Of The Night: The Miz & Maryse winning…
Superstar Of The Night: Becky Lynch
Hell In A Cell 2018 Will Be Remembered For: Becky Lynch becoming Smackdown Women’s Champion