Hell in a Cell may be a “B” pay-per-view — meaning, not Royal Rumble, WrestleMania or SummerSlam — but it was one of the most notable WWE events in months. A lot of that is thanks to the main event, where Randy Orton pinned Drew McIntyre to win the WWE Championship.
It’s not just that, though. The Miz beat Otis in a head-scratcher of a match to win the Money in the Bank championship, which means we could see an attempted cash in by The Miz sometime soon. And later, Sasha Banks beat Bayley in a great Hell in a Cell bout to win the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
We now look ahead to Survivor Series. Taking place on Nov. 22, it’ll be a celebration of the Undertaker’s 30 years in WWE.
Randy Orton becomes 15x World Champion
Randy Orton pinned Drew McIntyre clean, with an RKO, to become WWE Champion in the show’s main event.
The match started quizzically, with Orton, dressed as a cameraman, ambushing McIntyre as McIntyre was entering the Cell. McIntyre fought Orton off, and the match began. After some decent action, Orton cut open the chain that had locked the Cell and tried to retreat. This ended with both Orton and McIntyre on top of the Cell.
After some brawling, the two began to descend by climbing down the side. Orton battered McIntyre, who fell from the Cell through an announcer’s table. From here, the match slowed down to a crawl — but in a good way. The drama from here on out was excellent.
McIntyre did a fantastic job of selling. Orton dragged him back into the ring and setup the RKO. McIntyre countered with a rollup attempt, like the one he used to beat Orton at SummerSlam. He then hit a Claymore on Orton, who rolled outside the ring. McIntyre then threw Orton back into the ring and setup a Claymore. He missed, Orton hit an RKO and became a 15 time world champion.
Rating: 3.75 stars. The first half of the match was average, the second half outstanding.
Bobby Lashley beats Slapjack
This impromptu bout between Bobby Lashley and Retribution’s Slapjack was for the United States Championship. After a quick, nothing match, Lashley submitted Slapjack with the Hurt Lock. After the match, Mustafa Ali came to the ring with the rest of Retribution. Lashley single-handedly fought them off, and then the Hurt Business hit the ring. Retribution fled.
Rating: 1 star. RIP Retribution.
Sasha Banks beats Bayley
After a lengthy Hell in a Cell match, Sasha Banks became SmackDown Women’s Champion after she made Bayley tap out.
This was a long, back-and-forth match. It was flawed bout, feeling disjointed at times, but ultimately an outstanding one. Banks is absolutely awesome, with creative offense throughout and also some superb selling. She hit Bayley with a number of creative Meteoras throughout — running up a table, off the ringside into the cage, and so on — and ultimately won with a Banks Statement augmented with a chair around Bayley’s neck.
Bayley did well on her part, too. I’ve often found her offense unconvincing, and that was an issue at points here. But she was very good when it counted, especially towards the end as the intensity built to the end. It’s hard doing a 20 minute-plus Cell match in front of a virtual crowd, and these performers both did great.
Rating: 4 stars. Imperfect, but exceptional.
The Miz pins Otis to win Money in the Bank briefcase
The Miz pinned Otis after Tucker betrayed his Heavy Machinery tag-team partner. Otis smashed Otis in the head with the briefcase when the ref wasn’t looking, with the Miz pinning Otis immediately after.
The match leading up to this moment was subaverage. Miz offense is generally weak, and that’s made more evident when you’re expected to take it seriously against a much larger opponent. John Morrison, Miz’ tag partner, intervened at various points, and was ejected moments before Tucker’s betrayal.
It was a shocker when Otis won the briefcase, even more so once Roman Reigns became champion. It’s hard to imagine a long program between Reigns and Otis, a little easier to see Reigns defeat a challenging Miz.
The fact that Miz won this match makes the cutesy build, which was mostly a comedy skit featuring JBL as adjudicating a spat between Miz and Otis, all the more galling.
Rating: 2 stars.
Jeff Hardy vs. Elias ends with DQ
A SmackDown-quality match with a SmackDown-quality ending.
After an OK match, Hardy hit a Twist of Fate on Elias. He went for a Swanton Bomb but Elias rolled out of the ring and tried to attack Hardy with his guitar. Hardy blocked him, took the guitar and smashed it over Elias’ back, leading to an unceremonious DQ.
Rating: 1.5 stars. Just there.
Roman Reigns makes Jey Uso say ‘I Quit’
Hell in a Cell opened with Roman Reigns versus Jey Uso, an I Quit match inside a Cell cage. After a long, dramatic bout, Reigns made Jey say “I Quit” when Reigns locked a guillotine onto Jey’s twin brother Jimmy.
This match was very similar to their confrontation at Clash of Champions. It started with fantastic back-and-forth action (different from their Clash match, which was almost all Reigns), and then slowed down for the final stretch. Reigns had speared Jey three times and locked on a guillotine, after which Jey was largely motionless. When Jey refused to quit, Reigns hit a Driveby dropkick onto the steel steps, which smashed into Jey’s head.
Reigns took the steel steps and laid them atop Jey, telling him to quit. When Jey, who was basically dead, refused, Jimmy ran into the cage (defeating the purpose of having a cage) and begged him to stop. Reigns acted contrite, and shook Jimmy’s hand — before locking on a guillotine, leading to Jey quitting to save Jimmy.
The dynamic action that the first two-thirds of the bout consisted of was excellent. Reigns is a fierce heel, and Jey’s offence as an underdog babyface is fantastic. The dramatic highpoint came when Jey brought out a strap and began choking Reigns, who began to pass out. Ultimately, it would be Reigns’ guillotine choke moments later that ended Jey.
After the match, Afa and Sika, Reigns’ dad and uncle, crowned him the Tribal Chief.
Rating: 3.5 stars. Very good. The storyline was almost identical in concept and execution as last month’s match, making it less effective. The last third, where Jey was dead and Reigns was trying to eek an “I Quit” out of him, also could have been trimmed by a few minutes. But the action proceeding it was excellent.
Kickoff Show Results
R-Truth defended his 24/7 Championship on the Kickoff Show, taking on challenger Drew Gulak. Truth pinned Gulak in a short match to retain his title.