Match Ratings For WWE Hell In A Cell 2018 From Sean Ross Sapp Of Fightful.com

Pre-Show

  • I'm not sure how the math works on this, but I've thought Coach, Otunga and Rosenberg have been good on the pre-show. No surprise that Paige is.
  • Alexa Bliss has a good backstage interview with the panel. 
  • I have to put over the usual suspects that get criticized. This was an outstanding panel. 
  • Baron Corbin talks to Mick Foley about his duties tonight and rejects Mick Foley's advice. Mick Foley always has this look of "I wonder if I'll be respected tonight?" 
Io Shirai Sends In Video For Stardom 10th Anniversary

 

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
New Day (c) (w/ Xavier Woods) defeated Rusev Day (w/ Lana)
6.5/10

  • Aiden English comes out and clears his throat, which leads to a throat clearing battle between the two teams. The building is still really empty.
  • There are a couple of early Tornado DDTs and some beautiful hoss style hot tags from Big E and Rusev.
  • Gimme a good 13 minute Big E vs. Rusev hoss battle and a damp rag for my forehead.
  • Big E does a goddamn YOLO Dive to Rusev, but Aiden English is the legal man. 
  • Tope con hilo and front DDT. Babyface Aiden English is a joy to watch. He kicks out after an insane powerbomb/double stomp combo.
  • Rusev catches Kofi over the top rope with a Machka Kick, and English catches Big E with an apron DDT.
  • There's some miscommunication between Rusev and Aiden English. It was too good to be true. 
  • English applies the Accolade, but doesn't tag in Rusev and gets pinned after a Trouble in Paradise. 

Hell in a Cell
Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy
7/10

  • Jeff Hardy surfboards the table into the ribs of Randy Orton. Later he hits Whisper in the Wind into the cage.
  • Hardyac Arrest connects for two. I think if WWE were going to use a red cell, they shouldn't have a giant red LED board in the background of shots
  • An Orton superplex and Hardy Whisper in the Wind don't finish things off, and neither does an Orton front suplex onto a ladder.
  • Hardy has his mesh shirt ripped off so those chair shots from Orton hurt WAY MORE. 
  • Orton throwing on a chinlock 14 minutes into a Hell in a Cell match. He goes and gets a screw driver AND WRENCHES IT THROUGH HARDY'S EAR. Sick.
  • Hardy kicks Orton RIGHT IN THE PENIS, hits a Twist of Fate and a Swanton. 
  • Hardy ups the ante by putting Orton on a table, swinging from the top of the cell (via a ladder), but missing Orton and faceplanting through the table. 
  • The ref calls for help, but Orton pinned Hardy. 
  • That was probably the best Randy Orton one on one match I've seen since the Rollins Mania match.
  • Finish was planned, stretcher job was planned. All went perfectly. The referee really played this up well.
  • They announce later that Jeff Hardy has been "throwing up blood" at a local medical facility.

WWE Smackdown Women's Championship
Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair (c)
6.75/10

  • Even Becky Lynch's stroll to the ring is better now. 
  • They trade holds until Charlotte gets caught charging the corner. She made this spot look great.
  • The pace picks up and we get the brawling that we probably should have gotten early.
  • Becky works over Charlotte's arm, including a modified Cattle Mutilation.
  • Charlotte is able to stop the barrage with a big boot to the face. No water in the pool on a moonsault attempt though.
  • I wonder why Becky does a better armbar in WWE than Rousey. Either way, Charlotte powerbombs her out of it. 
  • Becky Lynch gets caught in a Boston Crab on a missile dropkick attempt, but makes it to the ropes. She applies a Disarmher but Charlotte gets out of the ring. 
  • Charlotte goes for a spear, but Becky turns it into a DDT for the win!
  • Becky gets huge cheers when she leaves Charlotte hanging on a handshake. She says Charlotte won't take her moment and spotlight. 
  • "I'm a sucker for good limb work" - Fightful account. Thanks for the Blue Chew segue.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
Dogs Of War (c) defeated The Shield (Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose)
8.75/10

  • Dean Ambrose always looks like he's about to make a quick trip to Best Buy and hopes he can get in and out before he sees anyone he knows.
  • Drew wants Ambrose, and gets his ass kicked for that request until a Ziggler distraction helps out McIntyre.
  • This is typical heel works over the face stuff, and Ziggler for some reason screaming at Rollins to do something before putting him in a sleeper. 
  • We get the now-underused "ref misses the tag" gag, which we haven't seen in quite a long time. 
  • Ambrose finally gets the tag and mudhole stomps Drew, then clobbers Ziggler with a lariat. Both members of Dogs of War gets indisposed at ringside. 
  • McIntyre counters a flying elbow with a belly to belly into the corner. 
  • Ziggler and McIntyre stop a Rollins suicide dive by catching him, but Ambrose flies out onto the group.
  • This crowd is hot. Rollins misses a Curb Stomp, but gets a Falcon Arrow. There's a series of pin attempts, but Ziggler gets 2.9 on a Zig Zag. This was a great series. Rollins superkicks Drew a couple of times, but the frog splash is kicked out of. 
  • Michael Cole is having one of the best matches of his announcing career right now.
  • Rollins hits a superplex, but mid-Falcon Arrow, McIntyre gets a Claymore. Ziggler wins!
  • This was a fantastic match.

WWE Championship
AJ Styles (c) defeated Samoa Joe
7.5/10

  • Thankfully, this didn't kick off with a headlock. Rather, we get some good brawling. Specifically a great sliding knee on the apron from Styles.
  • Joe catches AJ midair outside with a kick, then heaves him into the stairs. 
  • Joe hits a violent suicide dive and a collision in the ring. 
  • After fighting back, Styles lands the moonsault reverse DDT, but eats knees on a Lionsault. Joe follows up with a powerbomb and Billy Goat's Curse.
  • I will never NOT be impressed by AJ Styles doing a rack powerbomb on Samoa Joe.
  • Joe clobbers AJ with a clothesline, and is able to block a Styles Clash and the Calf Crusher. He throws an awesome enziguri, too.
  • Styles somehow still has the energy to do a 450. 
  • Joe catches AJ Styles in a Coquina Clutch, but gets pinned. He's livid at ringside and says that Styles tapped.
  • WWE wants us to think all their Smackdown broadcasters besides Corey Graves are pieces of shit. Graves says he saw it, but the others are like "yeah well too bad, ref's decision is final." When do you hear Phil Simms or Tony Romo say "well fuck what the screen and evidence says, the BASED REF'S call is final!"
  • The video does show Styles tapping, and I am sufficiently intrigued.
  • Joe attacks AJ, but gets kicked.
  • Joe is going off backstage, and Paige says he'll get a rematch at Supershowdown. They agree there has to be a winner. 

Miz & Mrs. defeated Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan
5/10

  • A match with Daniel Bryan in it might be the worst of the night.
  • Miz tries to run from Bryan, but Miz tags out to Maryse, who just tags him right back in. 
  • Miz is late on a huracanrana sell after getting knocked off the top rope. Bryan is still super over in front of this crowd.
  • More smoke and mirrors when Maryse breaks up a Yes Lock. Miz trolls Brie with Yes kicks, but Bryan is able to send Miz out of the ring and tags Brie.
  • Miz gets punched in the schnozz when he tries to stop Brie. Brie baseball slides through his legs, and beats up Maryse with a missile dropkick and Thesz Press in the ring. Maryse has great facial expressions.
  • The angle they used for Knee Mode wasn't a good one. She gets pinned by Maryse anyway. 
  • The good crowd pushed at par.

WWE Raw Women's Champion
Ronda Rousey (c) (w/ Natalya) defeated Alexa Bliss (w/ Alicia Fox & Mickie James)
4.25/10

  • Rousey's selling and defensive body language is not good, but her offense is. 
  • This is not good, early. It's like a super rehearsed match you'd see at the Aberdeen River Park. Rousey matadors Alexa into her buddies. 
  • Rousey's footwork is still off, too. 
  • Rousey's back gives out after having it worked over.
  • How are we supposed to believe Rousey is getting worked over by Alexa Bliss, a skin of her teeth former Champion? The lazy booking doesn't extend to Riott Squad and Absolution. They book Bliss and Carmella exactly the same. I half expect her to start feuding with Heath Slater after he challenges her to matches. 
  • It's not all bad. Rousey has one of the most smooth backslides I've ever seen and a fantastic gutwrench powerbomb.
  • Rousey wins with an armbar. This wasn't good. 

WWE Universal Championship (Braun Strowman's Money In The Bank Cash In)
Hell In A Cell
Special Guest Referee: Mick Foley
Roman Reigns (c) defeated Braun Strowman
6/10

  • Strowman pretty quickly knocks Reigns off the apron and into the cell.
  • Braun takes some of the best bumps to the outside in the world.
  • Reigns grabs a kendo stick and a chair and attacks Braun. Strowman is able to catch both, but he gets posted.
  • Strowman stops the superman punch with a Chokeslam.
  • Foley's count is rough. WWE refs swing their arms around. Foley doesn't.
  • This is really just move after move after move, but paced slow. Reigns gets a two on a Superman punch.
  • Stairs to the head of Reigns and a powerslam, but Reigns kicks out. "Why won't you stay down you moron?"
  • Reigns lands a couple of Superman Punches and Spears Strowman through the table for 2.
  • Dogs of War show up, but get attacked by Rollins and Ambrose. The new LCD monitors aren't as dramatic to pull off of the announce tables as the old CRT monitors.
  • Rollins and Ziggler are fighting on the cage. McIntyre follows, as does Ambrose with a Kendo Stick. 
  • Ambrose and McIntyre do a double clothesline that makes me scream. 
  • Ziggler and Rollins go halfway down the cage and end up both taking a spill through the tables. That's a good 20 feet up. 
  • BROCK LESNAR IS HERE. Brock Lesnar kicked the door off the hinges! Heyman sprays the eyes of Mick Foley!
  • Lesnar beats Reigns and Strowman with a goddamn table. 

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor
Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.

 

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