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Csonka’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review

September 16, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
Brock Lesnar Hell in a Cell Image Credit: WWE
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Csonka’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review  

Csonka’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 Review

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Kickoff Match: Champions New Day defeated Rusev & English @ 8:50 via pin [***¼]
Hell In a Cell Match: Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy @ 24:50 via pin [***½]
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Becky Lynch defeated Champion Charlotte @ 13:47 via pin [***½]
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins @ 22:48 via pin [****½]
WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe @ 19:00 via pin [****]
– Miz & Maryse defeated Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella @ 13:00 via pin [**½]
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss @ 12:03 via submission [***]
WWE Universal Championship Hell In a Cell Match: Champion Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman went to a no contest @ 24:07 [**]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– I did a column, “Where Are They Now, The Cruiserweight Classic Finals Performers” which you can check out at this link.

– You can check out my top 51 matches of AUGUST list at this link.

Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions New Day (Kofi & Big E) vs. Rusev & English: Woods & Lana are at ringside. Kofi and English to begin, Kofi quickly takes control as he picks up the pace and hits a running double stomp. Rusev tags in and overpowers Kofi, catches the high cross and lays in knee strikes and a fall away slam for 2. English back in and the challengers work quick tags and double teams. Rusev grounds the action, and then follows with strikes. Kofi fights off Rusev and hits a tornado DDT. Wholesale changes to Big E and English. Big E starts tossing him around with suplexes and hits the running splash. Rusev tags in and lays out Big E with a head kick. The spin kick follows and takes out Kofi and another head kick on Big E gets 2. Rusev fires up and misses the machka kick and English blind tags in as Big E hits the suicide spear. Huge tope from English! Back in and the English senton gets 2. English misses a senton off the top, Kofi tags in and the doomsday double stomp gets 2. Kofi now misses trouble in paradise, Rusev tags in and Kofi dumps him to the floor. Big E tosses Kofi to the floor and ht a head kick from Rusev. English DDTs Big E on the apron and back in and Rusev misses a flying head butt but English hits the frog splash for 2. Rusev is down on the floor and English locks on the accolade. Rusev takes out Big E and Kofi escapes. Rusev is dumped and trouble in paradise finishes English. Champions New Day defeated Rusev & English @ 8:50 via pin [***¼] This was a good and fun kickoff match, better than usual for sure. There was some good drama in terms of Rusev & English almost winning, but their issues ended up costing them. I do find it baffling that they spent weeks setting up challengers only to set it on the pre-show.

Hell In a Cell Match: Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy: Jeff attacks at the bell and they brawl right away. Orton cuts him off and sends him flying into the cell. Orton follows and Jeff fires back, slams Orton to the cell and post. Jeff gets a table fro under ring and slides it in the ring but Orton attacks with a clothesline. Back in and Jeff dropkicks the table into Orton. Jeff now gets a ladder and attacks Orton with it. Orton then attacks with chair shots and cuts him off. Jeff fights back and slams Orton into the cell and hits poetry in motion off of the chair. Back in and Jeff follows with a kick and the corner dropkick, covering for 2. Jeff heads up top and Orton cuts him off and follows him up. The superplex connects and Orton rolls over and covers for 2. Jeff fights back with whisper in the wind for 2. Jeff to the floor and gets another ladder. He opens it up upside down on the floor and Orton fights him off and suplexes him on to the open ladder. Back in and Orton covers for 2. Orton now gets a chair and lays in chair shots on Jeff. Orton rips off Jeff’s short and lays in more chair shots. He then takes off Jeff’s belt and whips him with it and grabs a ladder. He sets it up and puts Jeff in it and traps Jeff in it and stomps away on Jeff. Orton now grounds the action, Jeff fights up to his feet and lays in rights and hits the atomic drop, leg drop to the balls, and basement dropkick. Orton counters the twist of fate and hits the snap slam for 2. Orton to the floor, and gets a toolbox and grabs a screwdriver. He rips at Jeff’s ear hole and uses the screwdriver to rip at Jeff’s ear, twisting it around. That boy ain’t right. Jeff fights out and hits a low blow. Jeff now whips at Orton wit he belt, grabs the chair and lays in shots on Orton and covers for 2. Jeff up top and Orton crotches him and puts a stop to that. Orton’s back is bloodied from the belt shots and hits the draping DDT. Orton now sets, looks for the RKO, but Jeff hits twist of fate. He lays a chair on Orton, heads up top, and hits the swanton; the cover gets 2. Orton’s leg is cut open now, looks ugly. Jeff gets another ladder, a big one, and sets it up. He sets up a smaller one beside it and now sets up the table, Twist of fate by Jeff and he puts Orton on the table. Jeff climbs the ladders, and grabs the top of the cell and swings into a splash but Orton moves and Jeff crashes through the table. The ref wants help and Orton says fuck it and covers him and wins. Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy @ 24:50 via pin [***½] For the most part, they really didn’t need the cell as this was basically a hardcore match inside the cell. But that doesn’t mean it was bad in any way. This was a really brutal and physical match that played into the feud well, with Orton looking to end Hardy on his way to ending all of the fan’s heroes. From a storytelling aspect, they did a very good job to pay off the feud and also write Jeff out for a while. It was slow early, but they got the crowd invested, and overall, this was a very good opening match even if the finish felt mistimed and a bit flat.

– Jeff does the stretcher job post match.

Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Champion Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch: Charlotte grounds things early, Becky fights her off and they work back to the ground. Becky fights back, hits a shoulder tackle and they work into counters and both look for their submission hold. Charlotte counters back and starts attacking the leg, grounding Becky. Becky escapes, but Charlotte works her over in the corner but eventually misses a charge and Becky kicks her to the floor. She follows with an apron forearm and rolls Charlotte back in and covers for 2. Becky starts focusing on the arm, grounding Charlotte and covering for 2. Charlotte fights back and gets a cradle for 2. Becky immediately cuts her off and grounds the action again, attacking the arm. Charlotte fights off the XPLODER but Becky hits a clothesline for 2. The leg drop and elbow drop follow, but Becky misses a leg drop and Charlotte attacks, but Becky cuts her off by attacking the arm. Charlotte takes her to the floor, and they then work to the apron, trading strikes. Becky slams her to the apron arm first and looks for disarmher, but Charlotte cuts her off and hits a belly to back suplex. Charlotte gets a desperation backslide, and Becky kicks out. Charlotte follows with chops and cuts off the kick and hits a big boot. Charlotte up top and the moonsault misses and Becky rolls into an arm bar, but Charlotte powers up and hits a sitout powerbomb for 2. They trade strikes from their knees, and then to the feet and go crazy fists and Becky hits a hammerlock inverted DDT for 2. Beck heads up top and gets cut off and Charlotte locks on the crab but Becky makes the ropes and slams Charlotte to the buckles. Becky slams the arm to the post, and locks on disarmher. Charlotte makes it under the ropes, and Becky has to break. Back in and Becky counters the spear into a cradle for the win! Becky Lynch defeated Champion Charlotte @ 13:47 via pin [***½] This was another very good match with a pleasing finish in Becky winning the championship. They had good heat overall and Becky’s work was particularly really good here. They know each other well and delivered, the closing stretch was really very good and the sudden finish worked very well.

– Post match, Becky talks shit and leaves a sad Charlotte alone in the ring.

– Jeff Hardy has been taken to a local medical facility.

– New Day celebrates backstage. Kofi appears as his 80’s interviewer persona. Hilarity allegedly ensues.

Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Champions Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins: Dolph and Rollins to kick things off. The work some back and forth until Ambrose tags in and they work double teams on Dolph. Dolph powders to the floor. Drew tags in and Rollins attacks but gets cut off right away. Drew wants Ambrose in and Ambrose tags in. They go face-to-face and Ambrose attacks with kick and strikes before taking out the knee and getting a cradle for 2. Dolph distracts Ambrose allowing Drew to take control. Chops follow as Dolph tags in for double teams. Dolph grounds the action, but Ambrose hot shots him off the ropes. Tag to Rollins and sling blade follows. He dumps Drew and hits an enziguri on Dolph. Drew trips up Rollins, allowing Dolph to return with a DDT for 2. Drew tags in beats down Rollins. Dolph tags backing, maintaining control and Drew tags in for double teams. Drew just beats him down with ease, and then grounds things. Rollins tries to fight back, Drew cuts that off, and Dolph tags in and hits an elbow drop for 2. The sleeper follows, taking Rollins down, but Rollins powers up and looks for a tag but hits the belly to back suplex. Rollins dumps Drew but Drew pulls Ambrose to the floor. The reverse Alabama slam connects but Ambrose makes the save. Rollins tries to fire back, lays in chops and the tag is made but Dolph took the ref and he didn’t see it. The champions double team Rollins, Dolph tags in and works over Rollins in the corner. They work up top and Rollins fights, shoves Dolph off and Drew tags back in but eats a blockbuster. Rollins fights off Drew and finally makes the hot tag to Ambrose who runs wild with strikes. He follows with clotheslines and gets a cradle for 2. The neck breaker follows for 2 Ambrose go the apron with Dolph, but Drew knocks him to the floor. Ambrose posts Drew and slams Dolph to the barricade. Back in and Ambrose up top and jumps into an overhead belly to belly to the buckles. Rollins tags in and dumps Dolph and the suicide dive is caught so Ambrose follows with a suicide dive and wipes out the pile. They all struggle to make it back in and Dolph & Rollins make it back in. Rollins does the deal with the falcon arrow for 2. Rollins looks to burn it down, but Dolph avoids the stomp and runs into a buckle bomb and Rollins covers for 2. It breaks down and Rollins gets a cradle for 2. The zigzag follows for 2! Fucking wild sequence there and the crowd is into this. Drew tags back in, but Rollins fights off the claymore combo and hits superkicks and the high fly flow for a great near fall! Ambrose tags in and they take Drew up top and follow him up. Dolph returns and Rollins dumps him and then misses the plancha. Drew hits a flying clothesline off the ropes and Dolph tags in and Ambrose fights, Rollins blind tags in and Drew and Ambrose spill to the floor. Superplex by Rollins but Drew hits the claymore to cut off the deal and the champions retain! Champions Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeated Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins @ 22:48 via pin [****½] This was an excellent tag match and a 100% certified fresh banger. I absolutely loved this. Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre should have been tag champions months ago and proved that here. Of course, Ambrose & Rollins are awesome as well. This was an excellent match with a great pace, a really hot crowd, and an amazing closing stretch. This was the best main roster WWE PPV match of 2018; everyone killed it here.

– Foley meets with Strowman. Strowman basically scares him away.

WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe: Styles is pissed and attacks at the bell with strikes. Joe cuts him off and they continue to trade back and forth. Styles hits the dropkick and they go to the floor. Styles follows with an apron knee strike and Joe is down. Styles continues his assault, slamming Joe to the announce table. Styles now dropkicks Joe back to the floor. Styles rolls him back in and Joe powders before Styles can hit the springboard forearm. Styles flies to the floor but Joe catches him with a kick and lays him out with a running kick and then slams him to the steps. Back in and Joe covers for 2. Joe lays in jabs and chops, Styles fires back but Joe sweeps the leg and maintains control. Joe follows with face washes and the running boot. Styles tries to fire back, follows with leg kicks, but Joe stops that with an enziguri. Joe takes Styles to the floor and connects with the elbow suicida. Joe rolls him back in and covers for 2. Joe now grounds things, working a neck crank. Styles fights back but Joe just runs him over with a running elbow for 2. Joe grounds things once again, but Styles makes the ropes. They work up top and Styles slips out and slams Joe to the buckles. Styles struggles to his feet, lays in strikes and kicks. The sliding forearm connects for 2. Styles now hits the asai DDT for 2. Styles then lionsaults into knees and Joe follows with a powerbomb, transitions to the crab and then the STF and now the crossface. Styles makes the ropes. Joe now stalks Styles, follows with head butts and vicious strikes. Styles sidesteps a charge, and gets the rack into a powerbomb for 2. Styles to the apron, and springboards in with the 450 for a great near fall. Styles pulls up Joe and looks for the clash, but Joe counters into a catapult and sick lariat, turning Styles inside out for 2. Styles’ mouth is busted open and Joe teases the muscle buster but Styles counters out. Joe fight off the calf crusher and hits an enziguri for 2. Joe is fired up and misses the lariat and walks into a PELE. Styles now springboards into the clutch, Joe pulls him center ring and to the mat but Styles counters into a pinning combo for the win as Joe wouldn’t let go of the hold. Champion AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe @ 19:00 via pin [****] This was a great match between two guys that know each other well and they played into that extremely well. This was another match that fits right into their long rivalry and also sets up the Super Show-Down rematch

– Post match, Joe claims Styles tapped out, and Styles fights him off and knocks him to the floor. The alternate angle shows Styles tapping out of the ref’s view, setting up the Super Show-Down rematch.

Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse: Brie and Maryse tease starting but Maryse tags out immediately. Maryse distracts Bryan allowing Miz to attack. He lays into Bryan with strikes and Bryan quickly fights back and hits a clothesline. Bryan lays in corner-mounted rights, looks for a YES lock and Miz powders. Brie tags in Maryse tags right back out. Miz and Bryan back in and Bryan hits a dragon screw and follows with rights. Miz cuts him off and hits a corner dropkick. The clothesline follows and Miz up top and Bryan crotches him. Bryan follows with rights, follows him up and hits the RANA. Miz gets a cradle, but Bryan gets the YES lock but Maryse makes the save. Bryan now hits a corner dropkick but misses the second. Miz grounds things, and follows with the beck breaker combo for 2. Miz continues to control and lays in the IT kicks. Miz takes time to mock Brie and takes Bryan up top. Bryan fights him off and knocks Miz to the mat. The flying head butt misses. Miz cuts off the tag, but Bryan dumps Miz to the floor and Bryan tags in Brie. Miz begs off and Maryse drops to the floor so Brie works over Miz and attacks Maryse on the floor. Bryan hits the flying knee off the apron to Miz. Back in and Brie hits a Thesz press and missile dropkick for 2 as Miz breaks it up, Bryan is back and brawls with Miz. Bryan & Brie lay in YES kicks, and Miz & Maryse bail to the floor. Bryan & Brie follow and attack. Brie & Maryse back in and Brie hits a running knee strike. Brie runs Maryse into Miz, but Maryse counters into a cradle for the win. Miz & Maryse defeated Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella @ 13:00 via pin [**½] They smartly kept the Brie & Maryse interactions to a minimum, and the finish gives the heels another way to gloat about how much better they are than the faces. Miz & Bryan obviously carried this, and Miz was an amazing asshole here. The match was solid and the crowd was into it, but the “worse on the show” so far.

– Injury update, Jeff Hardy is “reportedly” throwing up blood at the hospital.

Raw Women’s Championship Match: Champion Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss: Fox and James are out with Bliss; Natalya is out with Rousey. Rousey immediately takes Bliss down and starts looking for pin attempts. They work to the ropes and Rousey lays in a right but Bliss attacks the ribs that were injured on Raw. Rousey quickly counters back, gets distracted by Fox & James, and then tosses Bliss across the ring. Kames pulls Bliss to the floor. Rousey follows and attacks Bliss. Back in and Bliss begs off, charges and Rousey sidesteps her and Bliss wipes out her friends on the floor. Rousey brings Bliss back in but Bliss stuns her off the ropes and attacks the ribs and covers for 2. Bliss follows with kicks to the ribs, and then works a grounded abdominal stretch. Rousey fights out but Bliss cuts her off as Rousey favors her ribs. Bliss hits the double knee moonsault for 2. Bliss again grounds things, takes Rousey to the corner but Rousey fights back and Bliss fights off the superplex. Bliss knocks Rousey into the tree of WHOA and dropkicks the ribs and covers for 2. Bliss back to the grounded abdominal stretch. Bliss wraps Rousey around the post, James &Fox get involved and Natalya helps out and that leads to Bliss & Rousey working into a double down. Rousey gets a cradle and backslid, both for 2. Bliss kicks her in the ribs, cuts her off, and mocks Rousey as she grounds her. Rousey gets pissed and hits a doctor bomb to take control back. Rousey fires up and lights up Bliss with strikes, but Bliss cuts her off with a kick. Rousey hits a Finlay roll variation and gets the arm bar and Bliss taps. Champion Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss @ 12:03 via submission [***] As expected, they set up the body of this match on Raw when Bliss “injured” Rousey’s ribs, which was done to try and give Bliss a believable way to have any control over Rousey after her destruction at Summerslam. Bliss was a good heel foil for Rousey, but they have to be careful because Rousey is feeling like just another wrestler and not nearly as special as she was when she first arrived. The match was good, but makes me concerned for how they book Rousey going forward. Rousey continues to do extremely well for her lack of overall experience; her offense, facial expressions, and selling are well beyond where they should be at this time.

– Joe complains to Paige about AJ tapping in their match and runs down the ref. Paige says the decision is final but Joe will get a rematch at Super Show-Down. Joe promises to make things worse around here and at Super Show-Down, there must be a winner as they teased no DQ & no countouts.

WWE Universal Championship Hell In a Cell Match: Champion Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman (Mick Foley as special referee): Reigns attacks right away with strikes, working over Strowman until Strowman posts him and sends him into the cell. Strowman follows and slams Reigns to the cell and then the post. It’s all Strowman now, dominating the champion and rolling him back in. Reigns tries to fire back, and finally knocks Strowman to the floor. Reigns follows but Strowman steamrolls him into the cell. He then repeatedly slams him to the steps, but Reigns cuts him off with a running kick and then the drive by. Strowman has had enough of that shit and chokeslams Reigns onto the apron. Strowman gets a kendo stick and then opts for a chair. Reigns attacks with the kendo, but Strowman takes it and breaks it. Back in and Reigns attacks with the chair, Strowman cuts him off, charges and posts himself. Reigns follows with a DDT onto the chair for 2. Superman punch by Reigns, he hits another, but Strowman cuts off the third with a chokeslam for 2. Strowman yells at Foley, as he thought it was 3. Strowman misses a charge and Reigns hits a superman punch for 2. Strowman rolls to the floor, Reigns follows and pulls out a table. He slides it into the ring and Strowman is up. Reigns now charges and Strowman wipes him out with the steps. Back in and Strowman attacks again with the steps and covers for 2. Strowman yells at Reigns to stay down and grabs the steps again. He smashes reigns’ ribs with them and then tosses them to the floor. The powerslam follows for 2. Strowman sets up a table in the corner, Reigns counters out and hits a pair of superman punches and then spears Strowman through the table and that gets 2. Dolph & Drew arrive and they brawl with Rollins & Ambrose. Dolph takes a beat down and Rollins & Ambrose clear off the announce table. Drew makes the save and they clear off another table. More brawling and Dolph climbs the cell, Rollins follows and they make it up top and brawl. Drew follows them up as Reigns and Strowman take a nap. Ambrose now climbs with a kendo stick. Ambrose runs wild with kendo shots and then brawls with Drew and they work into a double down. Dolph now climbs down and Rollins cuts him off. Rollins follows and they battle on the side of the cell, they slam each other into the cell and fall off through the announce tables. BROCK LESNAR is back and heads to the ring. He rips off the cell door and heads into the ring and Heyman maces Foley. Brock beats on Strowman with parts of the table and then beats on Reigns. Brock runs wild and hits an F5 on Strowman. He hits an F5 on Reigns onto Strowman. Brock’s business is complete and he leaves. We have a new ref that calls off the match. Champion Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman went to a no contest @ 24:07 [**] I was enjoying the first half of this, the actual Reigns vs. Strowman portion; it was hard-hitting hoss plunder brawl that played to their strengths well. And then it fell off a cliff as they took a nap while Rollins & Ambrose and Dolph & Drew did stuff and took a cell fall to keep the crowd interested until the Brock return. It ended as a failure as they took out the special ref and ended in a no contest complete with outside interference that once again devalued the HIAC stipulation. I guess I’ll call it ok overall, but what a disappointing end to a show that started off so strongly as one guy (Brock) looked strong and six ended up looking like goofs. I’ve just completely had it with run-ins and shit finishes in wrestling, but I guess the positive is that Braun didn’t lose.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 was a show that started off extremely strong and I thought we had a show of the year contender on our hands. The pacing of the show was much better than usual and even the worst match (Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse) I felt was solid and advanced the angle well. We got two great matches, and a lot of the wrestling was good to very good. But the main event really turned me off and continued WWE’s inability to end a show strong and carry momentum throughout an entire event. It’s a largely good and fun show, as well as a big improvement over most WWE PPV in 2018, but I felt was hurt badly by the uninspired main event and finish to the show.