So if you were like me and laughed when Braun Strowman cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase and claimed that the cell would keep people out...it feels good to be right, doesn’t it?
The Universal Championship match main evented Hell in a Cell and it ended in a no contest once literally everyone interfered. And honestly, I’m pretty happy that happened because the match itself wasn’t very fun. The highlight of the actual singles match was probably guest referee Mick Foley performing a wonky pin fall count that pissed Strowman off.
But then the interference began in earnest – and that was highly entertaining. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler scrambled to the ring after a Reigns spear. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins scurried out to keep that from happening. Long story short, the four men climbed on top of the cell, Ambrose smacked people with a kendo stick, and Rollins and Ziggler got to sell death by going through tables from a lower (but nonetheless painful looking) distance.
Still with me? Good.
I was busy laughing at how long Strowman and Reigns had been laying on the ground while all that other stuff was going on, but then your friendly neighborhood Brock Lesnar appeared so could break the cell, smack them with table remnants, and F-5 them both to end the show in a no contest. With Kurt Angle out of the picture, I’d imagine Lesnar’s next in line for his rematch.
Anyways. Strowman wasted his contract and is the dumbest ass. Good one, big guy.
A Smart Wrestler?
Is...is this what it’s like to watch a smart wrestler?
Bear with me for a moment. When Lynch turned on Charlotte, WWE tried to play it off as if Lynch had snapped, right? She had thrown away a friendship for business success and that’s a shame. Boo hoo.
Well, Becky Lynch proved that she has a very fine head upon her shoulders, thank you very much. And she used her noggin to consistently get the better of Charlotte Flair in this match.
For starters, there was no showboating that you’d expect from a person who had “turned” or snapped. Lynch was doggedly pursuing the victory and nothing else. From bell to bell, Lynch worked over Charlotte’s arm and it really began to pay off late. Lynch also used the rules to her advantage by holding submissions as the referee counted for a break and had her opponent’s moves scouted.
It’s how Lynch won, after all. She rolled through a spear attempt to seal the victory. And while this match was very good from a technical standpoint, I think that’s the lasting impression I have of it. You usually see wrestlers make such obvious mistakes, you know what I mean? Good guys are ridiculously gullible, bad guys are embarrassingly arrogant, and that’s just the way it is.
Not Becky Lynch. Her new attitude is doing wonders for her ability to win, and I’m excited to see what’s next for her.
I’ve been pretty critical of Raw in the past few weeks. But if you need a reminder of what makes the brand so brilliant (at times), may I direct your attention to Rollins and Ambrose vs. Ziggler and McIntyre?
They’re show stealers, man. They’re thieves. And no one at Hell in a Cell could have hoped to live up to what these four men did in the ring. Like...what do I even say? The false finishes were incredible. The creativity and counters were ingenious. The pace was frantic and a pretty tame crowd on the night was completely invested in this marvelous piece of work.
I’m just going to mention the finish – these four ended their match with McIntyre hitting a Claymore on Rollins as he was going through his Superplex/Falcon Arrow combination on Ziggler. That’s stupidly awesome.
Anyway, that’s the takeaway. These four are nuts. Super nuts. Plus ultra nuts. Let them burn it down/steal the show/entertain us like this more often.
No More Mr. Nice Joe
Samoa Joe is a very interesting character to me in WWE. Because in my opinion, he’s always relished the opportunity to take things too far.
In a promo before his match, he read a “bedtime story” about AJ Styles and laid clear his issues with the Phenomenal One. Bluntly? Joe thinks he’s cocky and overrated.
That’s pretty much his only issue with the guy. And that’s all it took for Joe to take things way too far.
The story of this match isn’t really the match at all; it’s the finish. Styles rolled through Joe’s Coquina Clutch attempt to get the pinfall, but an alternate camera angle noticed him tapping out as well. This enraged Joe, of course, and can only escalate things between the two men.
It also creates a chink in Styles’ armor, so to speak. He’s been on an incredible run as WWE Champion, but the fact of the matter is that Joe has gotten to him in a way no one else has. What’s more...he tapped out. When was the last time you saw a top babyface tap out?
Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy - Does Randy Orton have an ear fetish or something? Leave the man’s ears alone, dude!
Gah. I have no idea how I feel about this match. On one hand, it was a true Hell in a Cell match. If you were hoping for some blood and big spots, you certainly got it.
On the other, this match felt disjointed at times. I did love when Orton snapped at the ref after Hardy got hurt and demanded that the ref count the pinfall. In all, I’m more interested in this than I’ve ever been so that has to be viewed as a win.
Maryse, The Miz def. Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan - I didn’t really dig this one. It got good for a bit in the middle of the match – and Brie was a fantastic hot tag! 2018, eh? - but then Maryse picked up a win on a roll up. Miz got another one over on Bryan and I’ve just lost my investment in this feud.
Ronda Rousey def. Alexa Bliss - I like a lot of what Ronda Rousey did during this match. Her selling was fantastic, her expressions on point, and she held her own in a longer match than what she’s had so far. Her judo throws are always so fun.
With that said, the crowd didn’t really get into this one much and I think there are a few reasons why. Firstly, I don’t think the crowd bought Alexa Bliss as a genuine threat to Rousey, injured ribs or not. And if Bliss, who has been a weekly presence at the top of the division for what feels like years at this point can’t get the job done, then the whole division’s a bit messed up, isn’t it? I honestly think the best thing for Bliss right now would be a month or two off television.
Not bad, WWE! This was a pretty fun show. I’d recommend watching the SmackDown Women’s Championship match and the Raw Tag Team Championship match if your time is at a premium. I had pretty low expectations coming in, but this show was a pleasant surprise.
Now. Can the momentum carry over to Raw? Pretty please?