The WWE’s 2020 Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is over and despite two excellent Hell in a Cell Matches, the bulk of the show was a letdown as the WWE phoned it in on any match that didn’t involve the Hell in a Cell stipulation. Let’s take a look at each match using my non-scientifically accurate rating system.
24/7 Championship Match. R-Truth (Champion) vs. Drew Gulak: Poor Drew is stuck in pre-show comedy matches now which says all you need to know about his push.
“I Quit” Hell in a Cell Match for the Universal Championship. Roman Reigns (Champion) vs. Jey Uso: Anyone familiar with wrestling tropes knows that 1) a babyface doesn’t say “I quit” and 2) a guy at Jey Uso’s level has no chance in hell (TM Vincent Kennedy McMahon) of beating a main eventer like Roman Reigns for a world title. There was only one way for this to end and the WWE went the way fans expected; Roman forcing Jey to say “I quit” by putting someone Jey cares about in jeopardy. In this case, Roman locked Jey’s brother Jimmy Jimmy in the guillotine until Jey gave up. Granted, it would have made more sense for Roman to target Jimmy’s surgically repaired ankle, but this is the WWE where “good enough” is about as good as it gets.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Rating: B. There was no reason for this to be a Hell in a Cell match as it was all about the “I Quit” stipulation.
Elias vs. Jeff Hardy: A TV-like match that went way too short and ended with a screwy finish wherein Jeff grabbed Elias’s guitar and smashed it across “The Drifter’s” back, earning a disqualification.
Rating: D- A terrible way to start what looks to be a promising feud.
Otis (with Tucker) vs. the Miz (with John Morrison). Otis’s Money in the Bank briefcase is on the line: Otis dominates despite heel tactics from the Miz and Morrison. Morrison’s interference backfires, and the referee sends him to the back. Things look good for Otis until Tucker conks him in the head with the Money in the Bank briefcase, making for an easy win by Miz.
Winner: The Miz
Rating: C. It’s good to see the briefcase in the Miz’s possession as the WWE just didn’t seem to know what to do with Otis after he won the briefcase.
Hell in a Cell Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Bayley (Champion) vs. Sasha Banks. “The Boss” is looking for revenge after her former BFF used her and abused her, but the champ isn’t making things easy on her. Fantastic match with Bayley playing an old school heel who uses every dirty trick in the book to stay ahead, including targeting Banks’s previously injured neck. Banks makes a heroic comeback, wrapping the champ’s head in a chair and applying the Banks Statement, forcing Bayley to tap.
Winner: Sasha Banks
Rating: A+. This match was everyone the fans expected and the only question is where does the feud go from here after a conclusive finish?
United States Championship Match. Bobby Lashley (Champion) vs. Slapjack: Lashley makes short work of Slapdick, applying the Hurtlock for the submission.
Winner: Bobby Lashley. Retribution make the predictable post-match run-in with the Hurt Business chasing them off.
Rating: Dud. The sad part of this match isn’t that it was a squash, but that it furthered Retribution’s burial. The group started off as a faction fans were hoping might shake things up in the WWE, but which they’re now laughing at.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship. Drew McIntyre (Champion) vs. Randy Orton: The story of this match is Randy outsmarting Drew by letting the champion’s anger lead to costly mistakes. Things are all but over for McIntyre after “The Legend Killer” knocks him off the side of the cage. McIntyre gets a hope spot, but Orton hits an RKO after Drew misses a Claymore Kick, covering him for his 14th world title.
Winner: Randy Orton
Rating: A. This was a strong Hell in a Cell Match that told a great story of the veteran outfoxing the younger champion (although Drew is by no means a rookie).
Total Rating: B, There were far too many throwaway matches on this show and there was no need for three Hell in a Cell matches. Skip most of this show and watch Banks vs. Bayley and Orton vs. McIntyre. Life’s too short to waste on bad wrestling.