I QUIT HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE IN WHICH IF ROMAN REIGNS WINS, THE USOS AND THEIR FAMILIES WILL BE BECOME ROMAN REIGNS’ “INDENTURED SERVANTS”:
Roman Reigns(c) (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso- DUD!
Do they always keep a strap under the ring in case of an impromptu strap match? I’m impressed.
Anyway, they wind up both in the strap, so now we’ve got an I Quit stamp match inside of Hell in a Cell, for the world title, and also if the babyface loses, he and his family become the heel’s slaves… because without the strap, it just wasn’t enough, I guess.
The beginning of this was fine, but the last twenty minutes or so were boring as hell, with all of the double-downs and the pacing around saying “I don’t want to hurt you, cuz” and “it didn’t have to be like this” and similar. That sort of thing can work- and, in fact, did work- spectacularly in the first match of the feud, but we’re past that point now. This is the second match, and yet they’re doing the exact same thing as the first match. Roman beats on Jey and won’t end the match until Jey says the predetermined phrase of submission.
And unlike last month’s match, this match had no hope of the match ending any other way, as an I Quit match has no pinfalls where no matter how much you’re sure of an outcome, that certainty slips away more and more as the milliseconds go by between two and three and the ref’s hand gets lower but the favorite hasn’t gotten the shoulder up yet. In this match I was just sitting there, waiting for Jey to just give up already.
The finish saw Roman beat Jey half to death, but Jey wouldn’t give up. The referee went to stop the match but Roman didn’t want it so he beat the referee up. The “outside referee” then came into the ring (why the f*ck would you need an “outside referee” in a cage match?), followed by a bunch of WWE officials, all of whom begged Roman not to murder Jey while not taking any physical steps to stop him. Why didn’t the second referee call for the bell? Or Adam Pearce? Surely if Pearce can book matches then he has the power to end a match via referee stoppage.
Eventually Jimmy Uso came out and we got more of the “what’s wrong with you, cuz?” stuff. Jimmy started using shoot names, because apparently someone in WWE still thinks that that will make people think it’s real here in 2020. Roman got all agonized and then offered Jimmy a handshake, and then, in a move that everyone other than Jimmy Uso saw coming, used the handshake to pull Jimmy in and lock in the guillotine. Jimmy pulled on Jey’s leg and Jey woke up and saw his brother in danger so he quit, meaning that even in a Hell in a Cell I Quit match, we couldn’t even get a real finish with one guy proving he’s better than the other.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Didn’t like it. Roman posed with the belt and Jey was upset. That part I liked.
Roman then went up the ramp and Afa and Sika came out and presented Roman with the ceremonial lei of leadership and hugging him like they’re proud of him. Why? He’s been nothing but an asshole and cheater, and this is two guys who are theoretically babyfaces like all WWE legends are portrayed as, coming out here and endorsing him when they have no reason to.
Jey got the strap around Roman’s neck and kept choking him unconscious, even though, as the announcers constantly told us, you have to say “I quit” or else the match doesn’t end, so why is Jey wasting his time just choking Roman unconscious time after time instead of beating on Roman, or using the time when he’s unconscious to tie him up so he can threaten him or something?
Jey finally got the idea and went for a chair but ate a Superman punch, and now it’s Roman trying to choke Jey out. That’s not going to help you! Roman choked Jey out but Jey wouldn’t quit. Roman went back to his common refrain of “it didn’t have to come to this,” and in doing so, he accidentally said “I quit,” but the referee didn’t stop the match. Still, Jey Uso is technically your rightful WWE Universal Champion. Congratulations, Jey!
JEFF HARDY vs. “THE DRIFTER” ELIAS SAMPSON - 5/10
They were having a fine match until the finish, which was a DQ. If you want to do this crap, you should have done this match on tomorrow’s Raw and given this spot to some other match. And if you didn’t have any other feud ready for a match on this PPV, that’s your fault for not having anything ready.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS OTIZ DOZOVIC - A rare good promo by Otis. This was a fine go-home promo.
SINGLES MATCH FOR THE MONEY IN THE BANK CONTRACT:
Otis Dozovic(c) (w/Tucker Knight) vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison) - 4.5/10
This was vaguely enjoyable until Otis started his goofball comeback with the gyrations. He needs to knock that sh*t off. He’s already a goof without it. It adds nothing and only annoys people who want the matches taken seriously. Morrison eventually got ejected from ringside. Miz was distracted by this, allowing Otis to hit his finisher and have the match won but Tucker turned on him. They’re on different shows, so I’m not really sure how they’re going to feud, but this seems like something done just for shock value. If Miz was in on it and Tucker is going to join him that then would be one thing, but based on Miz’s reaction, he had no idea this was coming.
I do like Miz having MITB, simply because… well… Otis is a joke and a good and he shouldn’t even be close to the title. Also, we all know Roman isn’t losing the belt to Otis and that Roman isn’t losing it anytime soon, whereas I can actually see Miz cashing in on Drew and them having Drew chase Miz for a month or two before getting it back as a way to keep Drew’s reign still feeling fresh by the time Mania rolls around.
KAYLA BRATXON INTERVIEWS THE MIZ - Great! She asks him if his victory was worth the cost of “destroying Otis’ life.” Has she not met Miz before? He doesn’t give a sh*t about Otis. Miz cut an excellent promo on both Otis and the importance of MITB. Tucker Knight showed up, so Kayla went to interview him.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS TUCKER KNIGHT - Good. She asks Tucker why he turned on Otis. Tucker explains that he turned on Otis because he was the workhorse but Otis got all of the glory, even though Otis can’t function without him. Otis showed up and attacked first Miz (who apparently didn’t actually leave) and then Tucker.
HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE:
Bayley(c) vs. Sasha Banks - 9/10
Sasha kicking the chair out of Bayley’s hands and outside of the cage as it was lowering was a great spot. This is one of those matches where you could tell that they put A LOT of thought into what they were going to do, as they kept coming up with these clever new spots to do. It backfired on them once with whatever Bayley was trying to do with the Kendo sticks and duct tape, but everything else here was awesome. I think Sasha might have come up with a list of every possible way to hit a Meteora and then worked them all into this match. This was vicious and brutal, and these two (especially Sasha) are absolutely crazy. This was everything this needed to be to blow off this feud.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS THE HURT BUSINESS - Awesome. Apparently on the pre-show Mustafa Ali issued a challenge for one member of the Hurt Business to face one member of Retribution. MVP offered to raise the stakes by having Lashley put the US Title on the line and making it one on one, with no back-up. MVP was f*cking tremendous here. It’s a real shame the Hurt Business’ shirt is so lame. If they weren’t, I would buy ten. That’s how much I love these guys.
WWE UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH:
Bobby Lashley(c) vs. Slapjack - no rating, bad segment
Lashley pretty much squashed Slapjack. The match went less than four minutes. Retribution attacked him after the match, but he fought them off on his own and was in total control even before the rest of the Hurt Business hit the ring. This served no purpose other than to once again make Retribution look like total chumps.
They aired a Survivor Series commercial that was all about The Undertaker, so hopefully this means no “battle for brand supremacy” bullsh*t this year.
HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE:
Drew McIntyre(c) vs. Randy Orton - 8.25/10
The whole trip up to the top of the cell and then the bump through the table off the side felt extremely forced. I guess we’re supposed to believe that Randy somehow hid the pipe on top of the cell, but even if we buy that, it doesn’t make sense that he’d start to climb down when he has just gained a major advantage by hitting Drew in the knee with the pipe. Also, those little footholds for them to stand on will never not make any fighting anyone does on the side of the cell and any bumps anyone takes off of them feel scripted. It makes the cell feel like something that was designed for wrestlers to do spots on rather than what it’s supposed to be, which is a cage meant to contain the violence until the hated rivals conclude their war. Everything else these guys did was good- especially incorporating things like the injured jaw and finish of their first match into the feud, but that series of spots on the outside and on the roof really detracted from this match for me.
Randy won here, which completely baffles me. Drew is THE GUY right now. He should be going on to defend the belt against the likes of AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, and Sheamus. Having him lose to Randy Orton feels like it’s setting him back down the card, which is the worst thing you can do. If he’s losing it to Randy just to win it back, it’s better for the belt and for Drew to just not do the title change. Even if Randy is winning the belt so he can drop it to Keith Lee, I still think it would be better to just leave the belt on Drew and let Lee be the one to take it from Drew (maybe at Mania, or a few months after that).
This was a bad show from WWE, propped up by one really awesome match. At this point the Hell in a Cell gimmick feels completely burned out and I don’t want to see it again for a long time (more than one year). The Roman/Usos stuff was just plain bad, the booking in the main event was baffling, and two of the three non-HIAC matches felt like pointless filler unworthy of a PPV spot. Hopefully things start to change soon.<