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WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 results, recap, reactions: History isn't worth it

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WWE hit the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts for its annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) last night (Sun., Oct. 30, 2016) and while they delivered on the history they promised, they certainly didn't end it on a high note that would make such a historic evening stick out as memorable.

Click here to get full results and the live blog. Let's get to reactions.


Had a dream ... didn't make it

Sasha Banks and Charlotte did one hell of a job in their first ever main event match on a WWE PPV. They deserve to be commended for the work they put in here. The match was very good, and I particularly liked how they used all the tools they had but with all their trademark spots.

Like the idea behind the gimmick match itself, they enhanced everything they did.

That said, it did feel like something of a let down when they failed to deliver on any one major spot. The big one came early, when Charlotte took advantage of Sasha climbing down the Cell to put her through the announcer's table cageside. They sold this like Sasha broke her back and were going to do a stretcher job for her.

It didn't feel right at first, considering men take bumps like that all the time and aren't treated like they can't handle it, but Sasha's back issues has been a major plot point in this story. This was Charlotte delivering what would prove to be a fatal blow right away.

It also gave us that great babyface moment where Sasha refused to quit and used grit and determination to get through the match. The finish was laid out so that it was just as much about Banks having a disadvantage as it was Charlotte being better.

That said, it fell flat for the live crowd, who didn't buy they would end it the way they did and were terribly unhappy at the idea of putting over the heel in such a historic moment when the babyface was in her own hometown. It's likely a testament to how last minute this all was.

It certainly came across that way.

It was good. Very good, even. But there was a lot to be desired over how it was promoted and the decision to book it this way is at least somewhat baffling. When history like this is made, you want to go out on a high note. This felt super anticlimactic.


The other Cell matches

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev

There was never any point I felt invested in this, despite their best efforts to bring across the idea that Rusev had a real shot at winning the title back. Reigns spent most of the match selling, which is absolutely not the best use of his talents, and they didn't do nearly enough to justify having the match take place inside Hell in a Cell.

There's an argument to be made that this was a good thing, considering they managed to escalate all the spots in each of the three Cell matches throughout the night. That they started with the most physical match, one that wouldn't feature many high spots, made sense for a number of reasons. Still, there has to be a better reason to do matches like this lest they lose all meaning.

Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins

There's a real disconnect in the way they're asking us to assign our allegiance here, as my main man Sean so eloquently put it:

Then we get to the match and while they did plenty of great things considering where they were ultimately going, the finish was always going to leave the match feeling a little flat. This will undoubtedly grade higher upon rewatch, because the work was fantastic and the spots well laid out.

It's at least somewhat baffling that they teased Chris Jericho turning on Owens for so many weeks while very obviously building toward just that, then got him in the cage and decided to instead continue the best friends angle. Perhaps Survivor Series has something to do with it?

Either way, this was good to great, finish aside.


All the best to all the rest

Bayley def. Dana Brooke: Some of Dana's offense in this match was downright embarrassing. You have to give pro wrestling itself a great deal of leeway to accept some of the goofy work we see so often but Brooke took it to an unacceptable level here. Bayley winning was the right call and they need to move away from this now because it won't do anything but drag Bayley down and that's the last thing she needs.

Anderson & Gallows def. Enzo & Big Cass: It's some kind of something that on the same night WWE would main event a PPV with a women's match for the very first time they would trot out Enzo and Cass to crack on Anderson and Gallows with sophomoric sexist cracks. They are, of course, the 2016 version of The Rock, so I suppose they can get away with it? In the end, they lost anyway, so maybe it doesn't matter.

Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins: The match itself was fairly mediocre, and the story has always had its issues, but at least they brought it to its logical conclusion. Kendrick, eager to win the title by any means necessary, stooped to outright begging before playing on the sympathy of a former friend to cheat his way to victory. Simple but effective. It didn't play well with the crowd

The New Day def. Cesaro & Sheamus: This felt as unsatisfactory as the entire program has. Sheamus and Cesaro can't work together on purpose and they also now can't work together accidentally and The New Day should have lost the titles here but didn't on a technicality. That's a lame way around actually booking one of the teams to pin the other. You would think they could do so in a program like this but that's just not how WWE operates.

Final thought: Not a bad show, but nothing special and that goes against the very idea of the gimmick PPV itself.

Grade: C+

Your turn.