WWE Hell in a Cell (2016)
TD Garden Arena
October 30, 2016
Hell in a Cell Kickoff
Panel: Renee Young, Lita, Booker T, Jerry Lawler
Opening comments. Young explains how to sign up for the WWE Network. They hype Survivor Series and NXT TakeOver: Toronto, as well.
Tom Phillips is in the Social Media Lounge.
Package about Rusev-Reigns match airs. Panelists discuss the match.
Predictions: Booker, Lawler, and Lita all choose Rusev.
Bayley out. Bayley says that her match tonight is about revenge. She says that she wants to be a role model. Puts over both women who will be in the Cell later. She will be next in line for the winner.
Package about Enzo & Cass v. Gallows and Anderson.
Predictions: Lita chooses Enzo & Cass. Booker and King choose Gallows & Anderson.
Package about Kevin Owens-Seth Rollins match.
Predictions: Lita and Lawler pick Rollins. Booker selects Owens.
Backstage vignette with TJ Perkins and Brian Kendrick.
Rich Swann out on with the panel. Swann says that Kendrick’s behavior is despicable. He then gives Renee a dance lesson.
Six-Man Cruiserweight Tag Team Match
Sin Cara/Lince Dorado/Cedric Alexander v. Tony Nese/Drew Gulak/Ariya Daivari
Handshake by all six men.
Nese and Cara open the match. Cara doles out tilt-a-whirl backbreakers to all three opponents.
Dorado looks crisp against Nese. Scores with a beautiful shooting star. Nese dumps Dorado over the top rope.
Commercial break. Why?
Daivari with a jumping knee on Dorado. Tag to Gulak, who works over Dorado. Dorado is trapped in enemy territory.
Nese with a breathtaking springboard moonsault. Damn.
Dorado with the hot tag to Alexander.
Triple suicide dives by the babyfaces.
Gulak has a Dragon Sleeper on Alexander, who is saved by Dorado. Things heating up.
Alexander with the Lumbar Check on Gulak for the pinfall.
Winners: Sin Cara/Lince Dorado/Cedric Alexander
Tom Phillips interviews the New Day in the Social Media Lounge.
“What makes you such a strong tag team in and out of the ring?’
“What is your favorite video game? What new video game are you looking forward to playing?”
“How are you going to beat Cesaro and Sheamus?”
“How do you determine which two guys compete in a title match?”
Honestly, I had to turn the sound during their responses. They are annoying and embarrassing.
Back to panel. Commercial break.
Package about Banks and Flair airs.
Predictions: Booker chooses Flair. Lita and King go with Banks.
The show ends as the Cell descends for the first match.
Hell in a Cell
United States Championship
Rusev v. Roman Reigns (c)
Crowd: “Let’s go, Rusev!/Rusev sucks!” warring chants.
A few minutes in, the match is plodding but entertaining. The crowd is energized.
Rusev pulls out a Kendo stick from beneath the ring. He is chopping Reigns down with it. The audience is loving it. He is going to be a humongous babyface.
That Superman Punch…
Rusev kicks Reigns, runs him head-first into the stairs, and gets a two-count.
Rusev pulls out a chain and bites it. Nice touch. He gives Reigns the Accolade on top of the steps using the chain. Helluva visual.
Reigns: Samoan Drop onto steps, spear off the steps, and pinfall.
Rusev has gotten white hot. He has improved by leaps and bounds. He is turning into something special.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Recap of build to Universal Championship match.
Tom Phillips interviews Kevin Owens. Another great promo.
Bayley v. Dana Brooke
I didn’t know that Dana Brooke was a graduate of Kent State University.
Brooke is dominating.
Bayley-to-Belly for a clean pinfall.
Not much to talk about here.
The Miz/Ziggler KFC commercial airs. I hang my head in shame.
Mick Foley and Stephanie McMahon praise the Reigns/Rusev match. They look forward to Survivor Series. Jericho appears. He threatens to put Foley on The List again for interrupting him. He asks that he and Owens be named the co-captains of Raw’s team at Survivor Series.
Enzo Amore/Big Cass v. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Amore says that Gallows and Anderson are now to be known as “Gal” and “Andy.” They make a Toy Story reference. Cass says that Gallows and Anderson is like Times New Roman font: generic.
Based on their presentation in the Fed, it’s hard to believe that Gallows and Anderson were major players in Japan.
I like Cass and Amore’s double-team moves.
Announcers reveal that Cass used to watch tapes of his opponents years ago when he was just a fan.
Gallows and Anderson win with a Magic Killer.
How many losses can Enzo and Cass absorb before the fans turn on them?
Winners: Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows
A Lesnar v. Goldberg Survivor Series spot runs. “Fantasy Warfare just got real.” Love that tagline.
Hell in a Cell
WWE Universal Championship
Seth Rollins v. Kevin Owens (c)
Owens hits a rough senton on Rollins who is on all-fours.
If the announcers say “Kinesio tape” one more time…
Owens cannonballs Rollins into the cage. He is dominating his opponent.
The commentary is grating. They are harping on Rollins’ injury.
Owens sets up two tables outside the ring.
The show feels like it is petering out.
Jericho sneaks into the cage after a ref bump causes the door to be opened. He locks himself in and keeps the key.
Rollins powerbombs Owens through two tables. Shit. He follows with a frog splash. Jericho breaks up the pinfall. Rollins powerbombs him into the cage.
Rollins is being double-teamed and beaten with a chair. Owens powerbombs him through two chairs and pinned. Jericho gives him a Codebreaker after the bell.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Brian Kendrick v. TJ Perkins (c)
The two shake hands before the match. Was Gabe Sapolsky really that far ahead of his time?
Stories of the match: Sacrifice and Kendrick’s second chance.
Crowd sounds dead. Feels like two guys just doing moves. Yawn.
Perkins: nice Detonation Kick.
Kendrick fakes a knee injury. Locks in the Captain’s Hook for a submission.
Winner and NEW Cruiserweight Champion: Brian Kendrick
Sheamus and Cesaro argue in the locker room.
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Cesaro/Sheamus v. The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) w/ Kofi Kingston
The New Day deliver one of their usual wacky promos. Kingston points out that he is from Boston.
The match ends with a wacky DQ finish.
This was pretty worthless.
I’m so tired of the New Day. They have worn out their welcome.
Winners: Cesaro & Sheamus
Hell in a Cell
WWE Raw Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair v. Sasha Banks (c)
Great atmosphere. Match feels important.
The women brawl in the crowd before the bell. Flair powerbombs Banks through an announce table.
Crowd: “Let’s go, Sasha!”
Flair taunts the staggered Banks.
Banks can’t walk under her own power. EMTs are called to ringside. Banks is being stretchered out.
JoJo begins to announce Flair as the new champion when Banks reenergizes and jumps off the gurney. She begins brawling with Flair.
Banks eats the ring post. Her eyes roll into the back of her head.
Flair escapes a Bank Statement.
Flair’s chops are so nasty.
Banks jumps on the cage like Spider-Man. She launches off onto Flair with a double knee strike. In a tribute to her hero Eddie Guerrero, she gives a Three Amigos and a Frog Splash to her opponent. Bank Statement.
Crowd: “This is awesome!”
Flair pulls a table from beneath the ring. The table seems gimmicked. Banks goes for another table under the ring.
Banks beats on Flair with a chair while she is locked in the Figure Eight.
Crowd: “Let’s go, Sasha!”
Flair: “Respect me!”
Flair hits the Natural Selection for the pinfall.
The finish seems like it came out of nowhere. It didn’t seem decisive or brutal enough to end a Hell in a Cell match. Kind flat finish.
Winner and NEW WWE Raw Women’s Champion: Charlotte Flair
Panelists: Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Lita
The debut of the show. It’s basically a rip-off of Talking Smack.
Roman Reigns: Complimented the roster. Says he is ready to move on past Rusev. Declares he has a second should and would like to see the Universal Championship on it.
Booker T and Lawler talk about getting used to being booed.
Brian Kendrick: Corrects Renee, “It’s THE Brian Kendrick.” He says that success is found by hard work, belief in yourself, and staying out of trouble. He brags that he played TJ Perkins like a fiddle.
Booker says that Kendrick has lost a step. Kendricks says that he didn’t come out to be insulted. He says he is the smartest guy in the locker room. It’s more fun to be a champion than a troublemaker.
Kendrick: “Perkins has a big heart, so I went for his heart.”
Booker continues to push Kendrick by saying that he is past his prime. Kendricks drops the mic, stares at Booker, and walks out.
Kendrick was great during this segment. He didn’t let the questions rattle him. He left the segment stronger than when he entered.
Bayley: Bayley was put on the spot in the same way that Kendrick was. She wasn’t assertive. The interviewers continually pushed, asking if she is jealous of Banks and Flair. She gave weak responses. Bayley dropped the ball.
Jericho & Owens: Renee Young, Lita, an unnamed cameraman, Cesaro, a bald writer were all put on The List during the course of the segment.
Booker calls Owens and Jericho “bosom buddies.”
Owens is asked if Jericho is his “security blanket.” (Jericho puts Linus on The List.”)
Raw Talk concludes with Cesaro and Sheamus arguing.
The debut episode felt sloppy. It had a couple compelling moments but mostly just tried too hard to be Talking Smack. It needs to differentiate itself and be its own thing.
The show was pretty average. Like most pundits predicted, three HIAC matches were two too many. The main event was nearly a home run, save for the uninspired finish. In all, the event was too long. It should have been 30 minutes shorter. Tack on the kickoff show and aftershow and it was a five-hour event.
Raw Talk felt sloppy. There were too many guests. The button pushing felt obvious and forced. It needs to be tightened up all the way around.