By Jason Powell
WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 Kickoff Show
Aired live on WWE Network and social media
Boston, Massachusetts at TD Garden
-Renee Young, Booker T, Jerry Lawler, and Lita hosted the show from their usual spot on the arena floor. Tom Phillips checked in from the mobile kill room known as the social media lounge. New Day will be joining him to answer the worst of the fan submitted Twitter questions.
-A Roman Reigns vs. Rusev video package aired. The hosts spoke about the match. Lita spoke about how it’s still possible for Lana to influence the match from ringside. Lawler predicted a Rusev win.
-Young hyped the six-man tag match and mistakenly called Lince Dorado by the name of “Lance” Dorado. Doh!
-Bayley joined the Kickoff show team at their desk. She pondered whether Dana Brooke is jealous of the way Mick Foley brought her in with fanfare. Bayley said tonight is about revenge. She said Brooke was doing what Charlotte told her to do until a couple weeks ago when she made it personal on her own. Young pointed out that Bayley had a taped shoulder. Bayley said the arm wrestling match injured her shoulder even more and she knew that was Brooke’s plan all along. She said she will end it once she gets her hands on Brooke.
Booker asked Bayley about being a role model. She said she wants to be a role model and spoke about being a fan when she was younger. Bayley was asked about Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks making history by working an HIAC match. She said it means a lot. She said she has respect for both women, but she will be waiting in line for the winner because her ultimate goal is to become women’s champion.
-A video package focussed on the Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins feud and Chris Jericho’s involvement. Lawler compared Rollins winning the Raw handicap match to the Cleveland Indians winning two straight games at Wrigley Field (King is a big Indians fan).
-Backstage, Brian Kendrick approached TJ Perkins about the request he made on Raw to drop the match. Kendrick said Perkins could help him out just like he did back in the day. Perkins said he would always be Kendrick’s friend, but he should do it the right way and try to win. Kendrick stopped Perkins from leaving and told him he needs him to let him win.
-Rich Swann joined the Kickoff Show panel. He said Kendrick has changed. The conversation switched to dancing and Young asked her to show her how. His music played and he danced briefly. Booker danced too. Ugh.
-Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves were on commentary for the Kickoff Show. Yes, the voice of Smackdown is calling a Raw Kickoff Show match.
1. Sin Cara, Lince Dorado, and Cedric Alexander vs. Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak. Graves boasted that the cruiserweights can only be seen on Raw. Sin Cara performed a nice springboard moonsault onto Daivari. Dorado and Nese checked in. Dorado performed a Shooting Star Press and went for the cover, but it was broken up by Nese’s partners. A short time later, Nese threw Dorado onto Sin Cara and Alexander at ringside. [C]
Gulak worked over the legs of Dorado coming out of the break. The heels isolated Dorado briefly. Cedric took a hot tag and hit a nice kick, then the babyface trio performed simultaneous dives onto the opponents at ringside. Back inside the ring, Gulak caught Alexander in a submission hold, but Dorado broke it up with a move off the top. Following some rapid fire spots, Alexander caught Gulak with his backbreaker finisher and got the three count…
Sin Cara, Lince Dorado, and Cedric Alexander defeated Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese, and Drew Gulak in 9:45.
Powell’s POV: A good six-man opener, just as it was when I watched these teams in the opener at Monday’s Raw in Minneapolis. I’d love to think the live crowd’s enthusiasm is a sign that the cruiserweights are catching on, but some of it is likely due to this being the first match of the night.
-New Day joined Phillips in the social media lounge. They wore Halloween version of their BootyO’s t-shirts. The segment was all comedy. They were asked how they decide which two of them will wrestle. Kofi Kingston said it wouldn’t make sense for them to share that because teams don’t know how to prepare for them.
-A video package aired on the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte match. The hosts spoke about the match. Lawler stayed true to his heel character by predicting that Charlotte would win. The HIAC structure lowered as the Kickoff Show concluded.
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The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Will Pruett on the Roman Reigns whodunnit angle, WWE heading into SummerSlam, AEW's October 2 premiere on TNT, the New Japan Pro Wrestling G1 Climax Tournament through Day 11, and more (77:45)...