By Jason Powell
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte for the Raw Women’s Championship in a Hell in a Cell match: The match that belonged in the main event slot until they never bothered to promote it as being in the main event. The HIAC match was positioned as a reward for the women, which is ridiculous. Mick Foley stepped in at the end and made a nice last ditch effort to put over the danger of the match. The real reward should have been putting this match in the main event slot. Now that they didn’t advertise it as the main event, I actually find myself hoping they will hold off for a time when they will hype the first women’s match to headline a pay-per-view. They don’t need to pat themselves on the back over it, but they should certainly acknowledge the historical significance. I don’t have a strong feeling regarding the outcome of this match. Sasha’s minor injury led to a situation that showed they can trade title wins and still have the title retain its meaning. I lean toward Sasha going over because it’s her hometown. Granted, that’s usually a reason to go with the opponent, but I’m sticking with it this time around.
Sasha Banks retains the WWE Universal Championship.
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship in a Hell in a Cell match: The build for this match was all about the fun heel friendship between Owens and Chris Jericho. They spent so much time focussed on Jericho that I honestly thought he would be added to this match to make it a Triple Threat. WWE finally put some heat on Owens at the last possible moment by having him powerbomb Rollins onto the edge of the ring at the end of Monday’s Raw. It felt too little, too late as far as making this match feel HIAC worthy. Sadly, we’ve seen WWE damage the HIAC gimmick by having outside interference in the past. With so much focus on Jericho, I assume they will do it again this year by having him interfere.
Kevin Owens retains the WWE Universal Championship.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev for the U.S. Championship in a Hell in a Cell match: The feud that feels the most HIAC ready of the three, yet the one I find myself least looking forward to. It’s been plodding along for months. We’ve sat through two instances of Rusev killing the crowd with long talking segments designed to get Reigns cheered simply for putting the fans out of their misery. Those segments provided temporary fixes to the ongoing problem of the vocal majority of fans not viewing Reigns as a babyface. It’s really baffling that Vince McMahon refuses to budge. He’s even gone so far as to take Reigns out of the main event mix by putting a secondary title on him. Reigns belongs in the main event picture, but he belongs there as a heel. McMahon’s ongoing battle of wills with fans is one that is costing him some serious money. The hilarious part is that if he had given in even six months ago, we’d be six months closer to when Reigns could conceivably turn babyface with an edge and have the vocal majority behind him. The longer Vince resists, the harder it’s going to be to get all of the fans behind Reigns. It won’t happen in this match.
Roman Reigns retains the U.S. Championship.
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Kendrick asking Perkins to let him win the match was awful. It also left me assuming that Kendrick is going to win the championship. It’s probably for the best at this point, as the cruiserweight babyfaces are stronger and deeper than the bland heels beyond the talented Kendrick.
Brian Kendrick wins the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.
New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro for the Raw Tag Team Championship: New Day is closing in on breaking Demolition’s record for the longest championship reign. Perhaps Sheamus and Cesaro will ultimately be the team that takes the tag titles from them, but not now.
New Day retain the Raw Tag Titles.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: It seems like WWE is finally attempting to make Gallows and Anderson a serious tag team. Even if they don’t get the win, they are going to win this battle in that they will take out Enzo and Cass after the match or on Raw, as this feud is just beginning. I suspect there will be plenty of issues between the two teams when they are forced to team together at Survivor Series.
Gallows and Anderson win.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke: Brooke is a better character than a wrestler at this point. Bayley dropped one match to her and I suspect she gets the win back here. Unless they go from arm wrestling to leg wrestling.
Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, and Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, and Ariya Daivari (Kickoff Show): These six had a nice match at Target Center prior to Raw on Monday. The babyface trio won the match on Monday night and I suspect they will do the same here. Perhaps the first challenger for new champ Kendrick will start to be established. Then again, when is Gran Metalik showing up?
Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado, and Sin Cara win.