What a night of wrasslin’ at Hell in a Cell!
I have to say that they WWE very nearly did it, they nearly put on a close to flawless card. Oh so nearly but oh so far.
But a PPV review isn’t why you came here (there are already two of those just tonight) so let’s stick to the gimmick, get stuck in and find out who climbed higher than Jeff Hardy and who crashed harder than…. well Jeff Hardy in the biggest winners and losers at Hell in a Cell.
In the most high stakes match of her career for not just the Smackdown Women’s Championship but also to justify turning on her best friend, it is safe to say Becky Lynch hit the ball clear out of the park.
The match itself was wrestled as the meeting of two in-ring equals as Lynch took apart Charlotte’s left arm with an arsenal of arm bars, modified slams and old fashioned strikes all designed to take away the Queen’s athletic advantage.
Fans worried about the Lasskicker’s character will be happy to see she took the win with zero shenanigans. She even got a chance to rub salt into her former best friend’s fresh wounds, waving the title in Charlotte’s face after Flair offered her hand.
Since turning on Charlotte, Lynch has never been more popular or in a more high profile position so can I get a “hell yeah” for the new Smackdown Women’s Champion, the Lasskicker Becky Lynch!
Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre
These two didn’t just leave their mark tonight as much as they stamped it through the canvas putting on one of the best tag matches the main roster has seen in years on the way to beating the highly fancied Shield brothers Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins.
McIntyre and Ziggler put together the perfect game plan, outwitting the Shield pair at nearly every turn as they repeatedly isolated Rollins and frustrated the loose cannon, Dean.
Ultimately Drew McIntyre was the difference maker for the team, a point underscored by the amazing visual of The Scottish Psychopath hitting the winning move and then literally carrying his partner and their two belts to the back all by himself.
I didn’t give these guys a whole lot of hope going into this match but they proved they are far more than a speed bump for The Shield and are leave here huge winners tonight.
Tonight Randy Orton turned back the clock as a character and also in the ring, putting on a bloody and violent Hell in a Cell match opposite fellow veteran Jeff Hardy to open Hell in a Cell.
While Hardy put the exclamation mark on the end, it was Orton that set the character, tone and pace of the match, putting in his best performance since at least Wrestlemania 31.
Mid way through the match I did start to wonder if Orton was just acting on some sort of grudge against the early 00s, ripping Hardy’s classic raver mesh shirt, splitting that studded belt we all used to think was so cool in two and I could certainly do without seeing someone put a screwdriver into someone’s ear tunnel again in my life. I just hope they set up a safe word before they did that particular spot tonight.
I’m not a huge fan of Orton playing a huge role on any roster in 2018 but if he is going to be in regular rotation then this cold blooded killer is the guy that could get behind.
To Jeff Hardy, simply thank you for the memories and I really hope it was worth it.
They didn’t get a cell match but it didn’t stop AJ Styles & Samoa Joe from putting on a hard hitting, anger fueled brawl that had strikes echoing throughout the arena.
Styles matched Joe blow for blow early and withstood a physical onslaught from the bigger man, bumping around like a pinball with little regard for the fact he is over 40.
Even though the house that AJ Styles built is currently standing on shaky ground after yet another Phenomenally Phlukey Phinish, Styles did get the win so keeps his name on the winners side tonight.
The San Antonio Crowd
Not only did they get to watch this awesome card, they didn’t ruin it with stupid chants or attempts to hijack the night despite the WWE waving a bright red flag in their face. Thanks San Antonio, Pittsburg I hope you were watching.
Braun Strowman & Roman Reigns
I don’t want to dwell on this because for the most part it was a bloody great card, however in the midst of an amazingly chaotic main event, both these men were made to look like chumps for the sake of a cheap pop and yet another notch on the belt of a part timer who doesn’t need it.
Earlier this week I joked that the main event for Wrestlemania 35 would be Roman Reigns v Brock Lesnar so Roman could win without someone off on the side providing a distraction. I truly meant it as a joke because I thought the WWE had turned a page with its part timer obsession. Apparently I was wrong.
After lying around for ten minutes or so while their allies fought all over the Hell in a Cell, neither of the top two guys on Raw could stop Brock Lesnar manhandling them and all of it so he can not show up on Raw next week, probably not show up at the next PPV and then get jobbed out harder than Curt Hawkins when he faces Daniel Cormier in the UFC.
This match did not need Brock Lesnar and the WWE does not need Brock Lesnar.
It is pretty rare that The Queen of the women’s division finds herself down in this section but after comprehensively losing her title to her former best friend there is only one place for her.
While Charlotte did get her licks in during the match, she just wasn’t ready for the fire and game plan that Lynch brought to the table to neutralize Charlotte’s natural genetic advantages.
In the long run a loss here is probably best for Charlotte. There is no doubt that in the grand scheme she sits comfortably at the top of the women’s division and this loss will help give her something to garner a touch of sympathy from the crowd and ensures she stays out of the ‘Roman Reigns’ zone for the minute.
Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
All the fire, passion, skill and crowd support couldn’t help these two as they got played like a fiddle by the WWE’s most must see couple for the second time in a month.
Bryan and Brie came into this match with a score to settle and while they got the chance to get their hands on their opponents on multiple occasions, when the dust settled it was the cunning of Miz and Maryse that won the day.
The rivalry between Bryan and Miz is far from over but right now Bryan is 0-2 against a guy Bryan spent months running down and calling an in ring dud.
The Full Time Roster & My Sanity
No, on second thoughts, I won’t let this lie. Every time it looks like the WWE has turned a corner and embraced the current generation of wrestlers, start to formulate an amazing shared universe story and push forward with this incredibly talented generation of performers they can’t help but backslide for the sheer sake of it.
The main event match tonight was getting a huge reaction without Lesnar and while the pop he got was fun in the moment, it is only going to start to regress the main event scene back to the absolute shit show it was before Summer Slam.
This was an absolutely banger of a card, filled top to bottom with great matches and I will go to sleep a very happy fan. However I just can’t shake the feeling that the WWE has not learnt one lesson from the last nearly two years of a lackluster main event scene.
Let’s see what Raw tomorrow brings though, maybe we can all forget about it then.
Over to you LOP, who did you think were the biggest winners and losers at Hell in a Cell? Let me know in the comments below, on Twitter @Sir_Samuel or go more in depth on the LOP Forums (you can sign up right here).
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