Oh, hey, it’s another big WWE “pay-per-view” event. That means I’m back with another Running Diary to cover the event from top to bottom. There’s no more time to waste, so let’s get things underway.
(0:03) The first bit of big news on the night is that we’re getting things started with the Universal Championship match. Roman Reigns defends the title against Jey Uso inside the Hell In A Cell structure in an “I Quit” Match, where the Usos will be kicked out of the Anoa’i family if Jey loses the match. Not just Jimmy and Jey, but their wives, children, and all future generations of their bloodline will all be kicked out. Big time stakes.
(0:06) The show got started with a video package, followed by Michael Cole and Corey Graves hyping up the opening match, followed by a video package for the opening match. We’re now seven minutes into the show, and nothing has happened yet. Ahhh, time filler. Gotta love it.
(0:11) Do we really need to throw to a video of Paul Heyman talking to Kayla Braxton during the pre-show? We’re now over 12 minutes into the show, and we haven’t even gotten the opening bell for the first match yet. Come on, WWE. Let’s get this going.
(0:14) Ring introductions now. Jesus Christ.
(0:15) Damn near 16 minutes into the show, and the match is finally underway. Guess how the match itself starts? Both men talking to each other and circling around the ring. Of course.
(0:17) Jey doesn’t get enough credit for his selling ability. He has always been good at it, but he’s putting in extra work in this feud, making even the most basic of moves by Reigns look like they could be match-enders. It goes a long way to make Reigns look like a monster.
(0:19) Reigns is wrestling with a flashy new gold glove on his right hand. Just a tiny bit of razzle dazzle in his otherwise all-black wrestling attire.
(0:22) Thus far, the match is playing out like their previous encounter. Roman stays on offense for a stretch, Jey gets a “lucky” burst of offense, Reigns shuts it down to go back on offense… lather, rinse, repeat. This isn’t a complaint, mind you. Just an observation.
(0:25) “The head of the table never quits.” – Roman’s response to the Referee, when asked if he wanted to give up.
(0:25) Jey grabs a giant leather strap from underneath the ring. More violence is just what this match needed.
(0:26) Jey has now said “shit” twice and “bitch” once during the match, none of which were successfully muted. I love it. It comes across as very authentic. It’s who he is, and on top of that, he SHOULD be extra angry and animated right now.
(0:29) When Jey was on offense with the leather strap, he was successful, but that was it. When Roman is on offense with the leather strap, he comes across like a serial killer in a movie.
(0:31) Jey wraps the strap around Roman’s throat and chokes him unconscious, but it doesn’t matter. If Reigns is unconscious, he can’t actually quit the match. Reigns comes to just in time to tell the Referee that he isn’t ready to quit just yet.
(0:32) Chalk up another “shit” from Jey Uso that wasn’t muted or censored.
(0:33) Reigns locks in the same Guillotine Choke submission that he defeated Braun Strowman with. Jey refuses to quit, almost flabbergasting Reigns, who lets go and appears to be getting somewhat emotional over the thought of what he needs to do to his flesh and blood to win this match.
(0:35) They’re laying it on thick now, with the Referee basically being one step away from begging Jey to quit so that he can end the match already. Too thick, perhaps.
(0:37) Okay, the Referee has officially reached the “Annoying As Fuck” stage. He simply will not shut the fuck up, asking Jey OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again if he wants to quit, while Jey is damn near unconscious and not answering.
(0:39) The Ref decides he’s going to call the match, but Roman grabs him and throws him out of the ring. We get a second Referee and WWE Officials in the ring, seemingly ending the match, but Reigns shuts them all inside the Cell and grabs the ring steps. He’s got Jey pinned under the steps and is talking trash, all while everyone stands at ringside and gives half-assed attempts at getting Reigns to stop.
(0:42) As Roman raises the steps above his head to brain his cousin, Jimmy Uso runs into the ring, crying, begging him to stop. Roman is crying! He is openly weeping as Jimmy tries to talk him down. Both men are crying. It looks like we’re going to squash the beef, but Reigns locks Jimmy in the Guillotine.
(0:44) Jey says that he quits to save his brother from being choked out. Reigns wins. Another fucking fantastic story. If you were a fan of their last match, you’ll love this one, minus the Referee. That was everything. I’m going with 5 stars again, and I don’t give a country fried fuck that makes you feel some type of way.
(0:47) Afa and Sika are standing at the top of the ramp to greet Reigns. They put a lei on him, essentially crowning him as the true Tribal Chief in the family. More great symbolism in a feud full of it. What a ride.
(0:51) We get a recap of the end of the Reigns/Jey match, which means that damn near the whole first hour of this show was dedicated to one match.
(0:52) Next up, we’re getting Elias, who comes out to sing us a song before his match with Jeff Hardy. Good fucking luck following that.
(0:53) It really is incredible that Elias STILL thinks Jeff Hardy tried to end his career when we’ve all seen that it was Sheamus trying to frame Jeff. This is lazy writing that makes Elias come across as the biggest doofus on the planet. That’s not even counting the fact that it’s lazy writing to have Jeff’s personal demons used AGAIN in a storyline. It’s basically the same promo, week in and week out, for months on end, as every one of Jeff’s opponents repeat the same lines. Yawn. Elias deserves better than that.
(0:58) Obviously, there’s not a lot of crowd noise taking place right now. After that first match, though, I don’t think this match would have a ton of crowd noise from an arena full of fans. This is a total cooldown match, and for good reason.
(1:00) Not that he was ever a super-face at the table, but Vince McMahon must’ve told Samoa Joe to be more heelish on commentary tonight. He’s leaning into the heel work more than usual so far.
(1:02) Always funny when Jeff goes up to hit Whisper In The Wind while his opponent just stands there like an asshat waiting for him. It’s even funnier when Jeff misses 99% of it and his opponent still has to sell it.
(1:03) Jeff hits Elias with a guitar, getting himself disqualified. That just means at least a few more weeks of “JEFF HARDY IS AN ADDICT” promos. Hooray! There wasn’t a ton to this match. If you want to say 2 stars, fine. I can’t see it getting anything higher than that.
(1:05) A recap of the Law & Otis segment from Smackdown. Who needed this?!?
(1:08) Naturally, our next match is Otis vs The Miz, with the winner being the rightful owner of the Money In The Bank contract. Yes, Otis has had a shitty “reign” as the briefcase holder so far, but The Miz is 6-19-1 in televised matches in 2020. It has been almost three months since Miz has been on the winning side of any match, and almost TEN MONTHS since he won a singles match. That doesn’t exactly make him a great choice for this, either. Can we just have the winner of this match cash in later tonight and lose to get it over with?
(1:15) The show started off with amazingness. Then it had your run-of-the-mill Raw or Smackdown television match. Now we’re getting another run-of-the-mill Raw or Smackdown television match.
(1:18) John Morrison continues his streak of horrible overacting, getting kicked out for trying to hit Otis with the briefcase.
(1:19) Tucker makes one of the most unnecessary heel turns of all-time by hitting Otis. Miz takes advantage to get the win to become the new Money In The Bank contract holder. I could not give less of a fuck. Another match that you need to be feeling generous if you want to give it 2 stars.
(1:23) In a backstage interview, Tucker’s is basically that he was jealous of Otis. He says he did everything in his team and friendship, but all anyone could talk about is Otis. I still don’t care. They’re not on the same show anymore, so it’s not like they can feud. However, with WWE, that’s probably a good thing. I have no desire to watch Otis vs Tucker every week for the next three months. I fully expect to watch Raw tomorrow and hear that one of them got traded, meaning we’re getting those three months of matches, anyway.
(1:25) Hmm… Reigns vs Uso wasn’t the pick for tonight’s main event, and now we’re getting Bayley vs Sasha Banks, so that isn’t the main event, either. Kinda surprising that Drew McIntyre vs Randy Orton is going on last with those two matches on the card. That is, of course, unless Random Retribution Member vs Random Hurt Business Member is our main event, in which case… bruh.
(1:32) Sasha’s ring gear is all white. Bayley’s ring gear is all black. Certainly not a coincidence.
(1:33) This is the third women’s Hell In A Cell match, with Sasha being a part of all three. I’ve said it a million times in the past, but I worry about her health in the future. The human body isn’t designed to take the punishment that a pro wrestler puts themselves through. When you’re as small as Sasha is, and as absolutely fearless as Sasha is, that might not bode well for her in her 30’s, 40’s, and beyond.
(1:37) Great sequence there. Sasha uses a table to ram Bayley into the Cell wall repeatedly, and then runs up the side of the table to deliver a Meteora on Bayley against the wall.
(1:42) Bayley going for some offense that works on Sasha’s throat and neck area, trying to take advantage of that super cereal injury that Sasha suffered where she had to wear a neck brace but could still move her head and neck around in every promo she cut.
(1:44) “Boss, my ass!” – Bayley, with a line that is 10000000000% going to be in some fanfic tonight.
(1:46) To the surprise of nobody, both of these women are putting everything on the line out there. They’re beating the hell out of each other, in and out of the ring. It was going to happen, anyway, but I have to think a lot of this is them trying to prove a point after finding out they weren’t main eventing tonight.
(1:48) Bayley pulls out rope and duct tape, which is also 10000000000% going to be in some fanfic tonight.
(1:48) LOL @ Bayley struggling to get the roll of duct tape going, then asking the Ref if he’d do it for her because she’s “so sweaty.”
(1:52) Sasha absolutely destroys Bayley with numerous kendo stick shots to the back, then nearly collapses from emotion. Good touch.
(1:54) Both women are putting on a show, but damn, Sasha is showing that he has no concern for her own well-being. She’s going to need an ice bath tonight… which is also 10000000000% going to be in some fanfic tonight.
(1:59) Sasha with a Banks Statement on Bayley while there’s a chair wrapped around Bayley’s head… and it’s enough for the win! Sasha is the brand new Smackdown Women’s Champion, ending a 380-day reign for Bayley. Now, if history is any sort of indication, Sasha will lose the title at Survivor Series at the very latest. She can enjoy things for now, though. Speaking of enjoyment, I really dug that match. That was, at worst, 4 stars. If you wanna go 4.5 stars, I’d understanding. I’m going to cut the difference and call it 4.25 stars. We’ve now had two VERY good Cell matches tonight, without a single drop of blood shed.
(2:02) The Hurt Business has chosen Bobby Lashley to compete and represent the group tonight. They’ve also chosen Slapjack to represent Retribution, but Lashley is gracious enough to put his United States Title on the line to make things more interesting.
(2:10) Slapjack goes for a pin attempt, but nothing happens because Lashley is too close to the ropes. Sigh.
(2:11) It has been said by others, but it really does look like Slapjack’s mask is a plate with some holes cut in it. Not exactly the Jason Voorhees look that they were going for.
(2:12) Lashley wins by submission. The match was pretty much nothing. I’m not going to rate it. After the match, Lashley is attacked by the rest of Retribution, but then fights them off all by himself, followed by Mustafa Ali getting punked out by the rest of The Hurt Business. Good God. Retribution really is the worst stable in the history of the business.
(2:16) Main event time. Our third and final Hell In A Cell match, with Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Randy Orton.
(2:22) Orton tries to sneak up on McIntyre during the champion’s ring entrance. Orton was dressed as a cameraman this time around, but McIntyre was ready. They’re brawling on the outside of the Cell, but the match itself hasn’t started yet.
(2:24) They’re in the ring now, and the main event is officially underway.
(2:24) Unless this match goes really long, which it very well could, this is going to be another WWE event that is shorter than they usually are. That’s a good thing. There’s no need for these shows to be four hours to begin with, but even less of a need when it’s happening in front of no fans in attendance. Wouldn’t shock me if this goes 30+ minutes, plus a potential post-match thingamajig with The Miz and the Money In The Bank cash-in, putting the overall show at over three hours.
(2:30) Until just now, Orton was wrestling in the pants he was wearing when he was dressed up as the cameraman. This is going to sound weird, but it’s almost jarring to see Orton on WWE television with pants on. Outside of his Evolution run, you pretty much NEVER see him in pants. He obviously wrestles in trunks, but he was in a shirt and trunks for all of his backstage segments, promos, etc. Orton without pants is just the norm… and that is also 10000000000% going to be in some fanfic tonight.
(2:34) This match has been every bit as methodical as you would expect with these two involved. Not a complaint. Yet. It will become one if this continues on, though, as both of the other Cell matches would end up being even better main event candidates.
(2:40) LOL @ WWE deciding now would be the time to have a piped-in “this is awe-some” chant from the Thunderdome fans. Riiiiight.
(2:41) Orton breaks the lock on the Cell door. He’s walking away. I was hoping we were going to get a Super RKO from the top of the Cell. Damn.
(2:43) I might get my wish! Orton is now climbing to the top, and McIntyre decides to go after him.
(2:45) It’s an interesting visual, as the arena’s giant video boards are lowered, so the top of the Cell is basically surrounded on all sides with only slight gaps of light showing from underneath.
(2:47) Orton’s climbing down the side of the Cell. Coward.
(2:48) Both men are battling as they hang on the side of the Cell. Orton knocks McIntyre off and sends him through the ringside announce table… but the crack WWE Production staff pretty much missed a good chunk of the spot. Go fuck yourself, Kevin Dunn, you buck-toothed hack.
(2:51) McIntyre is selling internal injuries as he might be “bleeding” from the mouth. He crawls around ringside and eventually makes it back into the Cell, and then back into the ring.
(2:53) Drew gets a second wind and ends up hitting Orton with a Claymore, which sends Orton out of the ring.
(2:55) McIntyre goes for another Claymore, but Randy ducks, sending Drew flying. As Drew gets back up, he is hit with an RKO, giving Orton the win. Orton is now a 14-time World Champion, tying himself with Triple H for the second-most (WWE recognized) reigns. The match wasn’t bad, by any means. It was just too slow at times. It shouldn’t have gone on last. I’ll give it 3 stars.
(2:58) We go off the air with Orton staring daggers at McIntyre from the ramp. No Miz.
Overall, it was the show we all expected it to be. The matches we thought would deliver certainly did so, and the matches we thought weren’t going to deliver certainly did not. Thank you for joining me once again. I’ll see you all on Wednesday in my usual spot. Take care of each other, folks.