WWE Hell in a Cell Review: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman
- Show: WWE Hell in a Cell 2018
- Location: AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas
- Date: Sunday September 16, 2018
- Review by: Amin Ajani
Hell in a Cell Match: Randy Orton def. Jeff Hardy
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Orton sent Jeff into the cell. They exchanged strikes on the floor as Jeff grabbed a table. Orton delivered a clothesline on the floor. Jeff delivered a baseball slide as Orton went into the cell and then grabbed a ladder. Orton whacked Jeff with a chair. Orton went for a RKO on the floor but Jeff countered by delivering a running splash into the cell. Jeff delivered a reverse mule kick and followed up with a slingshot dropkick in the corner for a near fall. Orton delivered a top rope superplex for a near fall. Jeff delivered a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall and then brought out another ladder. Orton delivered a suplex to Jeff in-between the ladder which looked crazy. Orton delivered more chair shots to Jeff. Orton then whipped Jeff with his belt for another near fall. Orton placed Jeff in-betwwen the ladder and did his signature Garvin Stomp for a near fall. Jeff made a comeback by delivering an atomic drop, a leg drop and followed up with a basement dropkick for a near fall. Orton countered a Twist of Fate and delivered a powerslam for a near fall. Orton then grabbed a screwdriver from a tool box. Orton pulled at Jeff’s ear and then pulled on his ear with a screwdriver (this was disturbing.) Jeff broke free by kicking Orton in the nuts. Jeff whipped Orton with his belt and then whacked him with a chair for a near fall. Orton was bleeding from the back as he delivered a draping DDT. Orton called for the RKO but Jeff countered by delivering a Twist of Fate. Jeff placed a chair on top of Orton and followed up with a Swanton Bomb for a close near fall. Jeff then placed two ladders side-by-side and then placed a table beside it. Jeff delivered another Twist of Fate and then placed Orton on the table. Jeff went for a leapfrog leg drop but didn’t have enough space. Jeff then swung on the cell, went for a splash but Orton moved as he went crashing through the table. (This was crazy) as the referee called for medical attention. Orton told the referee to do his job and count Jeff out. The referee hesitated but counted the pin as Orton won the match. (Jeff was stretched to the back after the match.)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a really good match as both Jeff and Orton worked really hard. There were some nice and some disturbing spots in the match. One of the more hard hitting Hell in a Cell matches in recent times.)
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch def. Charlotte Flair to win the SmackDown Women’s Title
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 2/4
The match started with some mat and chain wrestling. They countered each other’s submission holds. Charlotte delivered a knee drop and followed up with shoulder tackles in the corner. Becky delivered a flying fist from the ring apron for a near fall. Lynch worked over the arm of Charlotte. Becky delivered a shoulder tackle for a near fall. They exchanged counters as Charlotte delivered a chop but Lynch delivered a lariat for a near fall. Becky missed a leg drop as Charlotte delivered a knee drop to the back. They exchanged strikes as Becky pulled Charlotte down by the arm on the ring apron. Charlotte delivered a back suplex. Becky went for a springboard but Charlotte moved and delivered a running boot. Charlotte went for a top rope moonsault but Becky moved and applied a cross armbar. Charlotte broke free by deadlifting Becky and delivered a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Becky got the best of a great strike exchange and followed with a reverse DDT for a near fall. Becky leaped off the turnbuckle but Charlotte countered by applying a Boston Crab. Becky grabbed the ropes to force a break. Charlotte went for a inside cradle but Becky countered by applying the Dis-Arm-Her. Charlotte grabbed the ropes to force a break. Finish of the match came when Charlotte went for a spear but Lynch countered with a cradle for the win. (The finish got a big reaction.)
- Post-Match: Becky posed with SmackDown Women’s Title as Charlotte looked on. Charlotte went to raise Becky’s hand but Lynch wanted none of this and posed with her title. Lynch then walked to the back as Charlotte stared.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was really fun to watch as both Becky and Charlotte are great wrestlers. There were lots of great counters and transitions as both Becky and Charlotte worked really hard and told a good story. They can now extend the program with Becky using heel tactics and Charlotte chasing as the babyface.)
RAW Tag Team Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre def. Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose to retain the RAW Tag Team Titles
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Ambrose delivered a sliding clothesline, Rollins delivered a knee drop and Ambrose followed with an elbow drop to Ziggler for a near fall. McIntyre and Ziggler double teamed Ambrose in their corner. Rollins delivered a sling blade to Ziggler. Rollins went for a tope but McIntyre grabbed his leg as Ziggler delivered a jumping DDT for a near fall. Ziggler applied a sleeper but Rollins broke free by delivering a back suplex. McIntyre delivered a reverse Alabama Slam but Ambrose broke the count. Rollins delivered a middle rope blockbuster to McIntyre as Ambrose tagged in. Ambrose delivered strikes to McIntyre and a clothesline to Ziggler. Ambrose delivered a neck breaker to McIntyre for a near fall. Ambrose rammed McIntyre into the ring post and Ziggler into the barricade. Ambrose leaped off the turnbuckle but McIntyre countered by delivering a overhead belly-to-belly into the turnbuckle. Rollins tagged in, delivered a springboard clothesline, went for a tope but was caught. Ambrose then delivered a tope to everyone. Rollins countered a jumping DDT and delivered a Falcon Arrow for a close near fall. Rollins went for The Stomp but Ziggler moved. Ziggler went for the Famouser but Rollins countered and delivered a Buckle Bomb for a near fall. Rollins delivered a knee to McIntyre. Rollins and Ziggler exchanged near falls. Ziggler delivered a Zig Zag but Rollins kicked out for a big reaction. Rollins delivered a superkick and followed up with a frog splash but McIntyre kicked out for a great near fall. Rollins went for a plancha but Ziggled moved. McIntyre delivered a flying clothesline to Ambrose. Rollins tagged in as Ambrose charged at McIntyre as they fell to the floor. Rollins leaped up the turnbuckle, delivered a superplex to Ziggler and went to follow up with a Falcon Arrow. But, McIntyre retuned and delivered a Claymore Kick. Ziggler pinned Rollins and got the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: The match started slow but it built really well and the final minutes of the matches were tremendous as everyone worked really hard. One of the best tag team matches of the year.)
WWE Championship Match: A.J. Styles def. Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Title
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Both Joe and Styles got big reactions when they came out. Styles delivered strikes to Joe in the corner. Joe delivered jabs and shoulder tackles to Styles in the corner. Styles delivered a standing dropkick. Styles delivered a sliding knee from the ring apron. Styles delivered a baseball slide as Joe when into the announcer table. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Joe rolled to the floor. Styles leaped off the ring apron but Joe caught him with a kick and followed up with a running boot on the floor. Joe rammed Styles into the steel steps. Styles delivered forearms but Joe countered with a leg sweep. Joe delivered a running knee to Styles into the turnbuckle. Joe delivered a running back elbow and followed up with step-up ensuigiri in the corner. Joe delivered a elbow suicida as Styles went into the announcers table. Styles charged but Joe caught him with a shoulder for a near fall. Styles delivered the Phenomenal Blitz, a jumping forearm into the corner and followed up with a sliding forearm for a near fall. Styles jumped off the turnbuckle and delivered a reverse DDT for a near fall. Styles attempted a springboard reverse moonsault but Joe got knees up. Joe delivered a power bomb but Styles kicked out. Joe applied a Boston Crab and then transitioned into a STF but Styles grabbed the bottom rope to force a break. Styles got Joe up into a torture rack and transitioned into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Styles delivered a nice looking springboard 450 but Joe kicked out. Styles went for the Styles Clash but Joe countered by catapult him into the turnbuckle and followed up with a running clothesline for a near fall. Styles was bleeding from the mouth. Joe went for the Muscle Buster but Styles broke free. Joe delivered a head kick for near fall. Styles caught Joe with a Pele Kick. Styles went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Joe caught him. Finish came when Styles rolling through on a Coquina Clutch and got the win. (They showed another camera angle as Styles tapped to the Coquina Clutch.)
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a very good hard hitting match as Joe and Styles worked really hard. I liked the pacing of the match as the intensity picked up and the finishing sequence was really well done. I liked the finish as well as it’s sets up stipulation match for the WWE Super Show-Down event in Australia.)
Mixed-Tag Team Match: Maryse & The Miz def. Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Mayrse screamed at Bryan as Miz delivered strikes in the corner. Bryan punched Miz in the corner. Bryan went for the YES Lock but Miz rolled through to the floor. Bryan delivered a head scissors to Miz from the turnbuckle and led the crowd into a YES chant. Bryan applied the YES Lock but Maryse broke the hold. Bryan delivered YES kicks but missed a running dropkick in the corner. Miz delivered a backbreaker/neck breaker combo for a near fall. Miz delivered “IT Kicks” in the corner. They battled on the turnbuckle as Bryan missed a flying head butt. Byran backdropped Miz to the floor as Brie tagged in. Brie punched Miz in the face and then rammed Maryse into the announcers table. Bryan delivered a flying knee from ring apron to Miz. Brie delivered a middle rope dropkick to Maryse but Miz pulled her off. Bryan and Brie delivered YES Kicks to Miz and Maryse as the crowd went nuts. Brie delivered a running knee to Maryse. Finish came when Brie went for a rollup but Maryse countered by grabbing a handful of tights for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fine match but the crowd was really into it and went wild when Brie got her hands on Maryse.)
RAW Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (w/Natalya) def. Alexa Bliss (w/Alicia Fox & Mickie James) via Submission to retain the RAW Women’s Title
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Story of the match was Bliss working over the ribs of Rousey. Bliss delivered a standing knee drop and followed with a reverse double knees for a near fall. They battled on the turnbuckle as Bliss placed Rousey in the tree of woe position and delivered a running dropkick for a near fall. Alica and Mickie double teamed Rousey as the referee’s back was turned. Natlaya delivered a snap suplex to Alicia on the floor. Rousey delivered a spin-out powerbomb to Bliss. Rousey delivered strikes and followed with a judo throw. Rousey blocked a strike and delivered a spinning slam. Rousey then applied an arm bar as Bliss immediately tapped out.
(Amin’s Analysis: The overall match was good and Rousey look good from selling her ribs to making a comeback. The problem was that you can’t take Bliss as a credible challenger against someone who’s a former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion The other problem was the announcers mentioned that Rousey ribs were injured. I guess if you wanted to make it more believable they should have had Rousey’s ribs taped.)
Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman – Ended in a No Contest
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Strowman grabbed the title as the crowd cheered. Strowman delivered a shoulder tackle as Reigns went into the cell. Strowman grabbed the steps but Reigns countered by delivering a Drive By. Reigns went for a Superman Punch but Strowman countered by delivering a choke slam on the ring apron. Reigns attacked Strowman with a kendo stick and then whacked him with a chair. Strowman charged but ran shoulder first into the ring post. Reigns delivered a DDT on the chair but Strowman powered out. Reigns delivered back-to-back Superman Punches. Reigns went for a third Superman Punch but Strowman countered by delivering a choke slam for a close near fall. Reigns leaped in mid-air and delivered a Superman Punch for a near fall. Reigns charged around the ring but Strowman attacked him with the steel steps. Strowman attacked Reigns with the steps and followed up with a running powerslam for another near fall. Reigns delivered back-to-back Superman Punches and followed up with a Spear through a table but Strowman kicked out. (Reigns and Strowman rested inside the ring.)
- Rest Spot: McIntyre and Ziggler ran down. Ambrose and Rollins came out as a brawl broke out. Ziggled climbed up the cell as Rollins followed him up. A brawl broke out on the cell as Ziggler delivered a superkick to Rollins. Ambrose then climbed up the cell and whacked both McIntyre and Ziggler with a kendo stick. Rollins and Ziggler then battled on the side of the cell. They exchanged strikes as both went off the cell and crashed through the announcers table.
Brock Lesnar’s music played as he came out with Paul Heyman and got a huge reaction. Heyman told the referee to open the door but he refused. Lesnar had seen enough as kicked the cell door down. Heyman sprayed Mick Foley with mace. Lesnar attacked both Reigns and Strowman with a broke piece of a table. Lesnar then delivered an F5 to Strowman. Lesnar then delivered an F5 to Reigns onto Strowman. Lesnar then roared as the crowd cheered. Another referee ran down and called for the bell. The show then quickly came to a close.
(Amin’s Analysis:Not a big fan of not having a winner in a Hell in a Cell match. However, the overall match was good as both Reigns and Strowman worked at a really hard and fast pace. To be fair, WWE made up for the no finish by having Ambrose/Rollins and McIntyre/Ziggler fight on top of the cell. The Lesnar interaction was good and should lead to a match at some point.)
-Overall: This was a really good show and one of the standout pay-per-views of the year. There were some average matches but it didn’t stick out because the top half of the show was very good. WWE Hell in a Cell get a big thumbs up.
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