By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Hell in a Cell
Aired October 25, 2020 live on WWE Network and pay-per-view
Aired live from Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Kickoff Show result: R-Truth defeated Drew Gulak in 5:25 to retain the WWE 24/7 Championship.
A video package opened the show… Michael Cole opened the show and noted that Undertaker and Shawn Michaels were in the first HIAC match in 1997. Cole was joined on commentary by Corey Graves. They set up a video package on the WWE Universal Championship match…
1. Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso in an I Quit match inside Hell in a Cell for the WWE Universal Championship. Uso wore another lei to the ring. Cole said this was the first I Quit match in WWE in over five years. Uso told Reigns that he changed. Reigns said he only changed because he had to in order to keep their family where it’s at.
Reigns was dominant to start the match. Uso came back with a leaping knee to the head. Uso threw an uppercut that sent Reigns to ringside. Uso performed a suicide dive that drove Reigns into the HIAC cage, then ran Reigns into the cage a few more times.
Graves wondered if the strategy would be to apply a submission hold or simply to beat the other man into submission. Back inside the ring, Uso charged Reigns, who dropped him with a spear.
Reigns told Uso that in five or ten minutes, he would wish he would have quit at this point in the match. Uso came back briefly, but Reigns put him down with another spear. Reigns told Uso that he didn’t want to do this, but Uso was making him a bad guy. Reigns told Uso that he would end him.
Reigns ran the ropes for another spear, but Uso caught him with a knee and followed up with a superkick. Uso followed up with a top rope splash. Uso came up holding his ribs to sell the spear. Uso hit a second top rope splash. The referee checked on Reigns, who said the head of the table doesn’t quit.
Uso went to ringside and pulled a strap out from underneath the ring. Uso whipped the back of Reigns with the strap. Reigns came right back with another spear. Reigns took the strap and whipped Uso with it. “I do the whipping around here,” Reigns barked before dishing out another lash.
Reigns attached the strap to his wrist and then attached the other side to Uso’s wrist. Reigns continued the beating. Uso rallied with a punch. Reigns and Uso traded punches. Uso staggered Reigns with a superkick. Reigns went for a Superman Punch, but Uso ducked it and then pulled the strap.
Uso wrapped the strap around the neck of Reigns, who acted like he was out cold for a moment. Uso continued to wrench on the strap. Reigns went out again. Uso released the strap and the referee checked on Reigns, then informed Uso that he did not quit.
Uso brought a table inside the ring. Reigns hit Uso with a Superman Punch. Reigns applied a guillotine choke and grapevined Uso with his legs. Uso went out. The referee checked on Uso, then informed Reigns that he wouldn’t say the words.
Reigns told Uso that he simply had to acknowledge him and say that he quits. Reigns knelt down by Uso and told him that if he didn’t quit, he wouldn’t be held responsible. Reigns said he was going to take it to the next level. Uso did not respond. Reigns encouraged him to quit. Reigns told Heyman that if his family won’t respect him then no one will.
Reigns put Uso’s head against the ring post and punched him. Reigns grabbed the top half of the ring steps and placed it against Uso’s head. Graves said Reigns was going too far. Reigns got a running start and delivered a Drive By kick to the top piece of the steps, which drove Uso’s head into the post.
Reigns told Uso they could go home. The referee checked on Uso, who didn’t quit. The referee was going to stop the match, but Reigns grabbed him and threw him over the top rope. The referee who serving as the ringside official quickly entered the ring.
WWE producers Adam Pearce, Pat Buck, Jamie Noble, and additional referees came out to check on Uso. Reigns went to ringside and closed the cell door, then took two tries to throw the top of the ring steps in the ring. The referees and producers scurried to ringside.
Reigns placed the steps over Uso. Reigns said Uso is 35 years-old and still doesn’t understand. Reigns told Uso that he just had to acknowledge him. He said this is how far it goes at the top and now there’s no turning back. Reigns hoisted the ring steps above his head.
Jimmy Uso ran out and covered his brother. Jimmy asked Reigns what he was doing and what was wrong with him. Jimmy said Reigns didn’t have to do this, and they could fix whatever the problem is. Reigns sat down in the ring and acted emotional while telling Jimmy that he doesn’t know who he is anymore.
Jimmy told Reigns that they’ve got him. Jimmy said it’s all about love and extended his hand. Reigns took the hand of his cousin, who told him that he loved him. Reigns suddenly put Jimmy in a guillotine choke. Jey woke up and tried to pull his brother out of the hold. Jey yelled that he quit.
Roman Reigns defeated Jey Uso in 29:20 in an I Quit match inside Hell in a Cell to retain the WWE Universal Championship.
After the match, Heyman acted taken aback by Roman’s actions. Reigns and Heyman started to leave together. They stopped when they saw Afa and Sika standing on the stage. Reigns approached his father and uncle, who both put leis on him and hugged him. Graves said Reigns was blessed by the elders of his family and there’s only room for one at the held of the table. Reigns turned and looked back at the Usos, then held up the WWE Universal Championship belt.
Powell’s POV: Outstanding storytelling. I’ve heard from people who don’t like this feud because the outcome is predictable. To each their own, but I’ve enjoyed a lot of movies over the years even if I knew the hero would prevail in the end. Granted, it’s the opposite in this case with the villain going over, but I love the story they’ve been telling and the performances of everyone involved. This is the best storytelling that WWE has done in ages.
Tom Phillips checked in and thanked Holy Wars for the “Welcome To My Hell” theme song…
Elias made his entrance and performed a song in the ring. The lyrics included a line about how WWE stands for Walk With Elias, while Jeff Hardy stands for DUI. Hardy’s entrance interrupted Elias…
2. Jeff Hardy vs. Elias. The Raw broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Samoa Joe were on commentary. Hardy performed an early running dive at ringside, but Elias moved out of the way, causing Hardy to crash into the ringside barricade. Hardy beat the referee’s count to avoid being counted out.
Elias avoided a Twist of Fate, then put Hardy in Electric Chair position, spun him around, and powerbombed him for a two count. Hardy came back with a Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Hardy dropped Elias with a Twist of Fate.
Hardy went up top for his finisher. Elias rolled under the bottom rope. Hardy climbed onto the ring post for a dive, but Elias rolled to ringside to avoid him. Hardy dropped down from the post and went to ringside. Elias grabbed his guitar, but Hardy cut him off and ended up hitting him with it for the disqualification…
Elias beat Jeff Hardy by DQ in 7:50.
Powell’s POV: Meh. Hardy and Elias had the unenviable task of following up the excellent opening match. There’s not much juice to their feud, as it’s based on the Elias character idiotically believing that Hardy ran him over with a car even though Hardy was cleared of any wrongdoing in the lame storyline.
A Law & Otis recap video aired…
3. Otis (w/Tucker) vs. The Miz (w/John Morrison) for the Money in the Bank contract. Cole said only one person lost the MITB contract and that was 13 years ago. Otis, who had new entrance music, was dominant to start the match. Morrison distracted Otis, allowing Miz to deliver a kick and a DDT for a near fall.
Otis regained offense control and went for a Caterpillar, but Morrison dragged Miz to ringside to avoid it. Otis brought Miz back to the ring where Miz kicked him. Otis knocked Miz down. Morrison grabbed the MITB briefcase and wound up to hit Miz with it, but he stopped when the referee spotted him. The referee ejected Morrison from ringside.
Otis threw a big clothesline and got a near fall. Otis went for another pin, but Miz kicked him off. Otis’s momentum took him to the ropes where Tucker hit Otis with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Miz covered Otis and scored the pin.
The Miz defeated Otis in 7:25 to win the Money in the Bank contract.
Powell’s POV: Well, I didn’t see that coming. Well, at least not until Cole made a big fuss over Miz not having any backup once Morrison was ejected. So now they have a feud set up with Otis and Tucker even though they are on opposite brands. Will there be a trade? Will their feud play out entirely at Survivor Series? Do I care? Answers: Maybe, probably not, and not really.
After some advertising, Miz and Morrison were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Miz said he would not squander the MITB contract. He looked into the camera and told the WWE and WWE Universal Champions that they are on notice. Miz said he cashed it in successfully before and he would do it again.
Tucker showed up and Miz tried to buddy up to him, but Tucker said it’s not about Miz. Tucker told Braxton that he carried the load for Heavy Machinery. He said he did everything for Otis and he was just an after thought. Tucker said Otis can’t function without him. Tucker said Otis can’t even tie his shoes without him. Otis showed up and brawled with Tucker…
Cole and Graves set up a video package on the Smackdown Women’s Championship match…
4. Bayley vs. Sasha Banks in a Hell in a Cell match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Cole noted that this was the third women’s HIAC match and added that Banks has wrestled in all three (she lost those matches to Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch).
Bayley brought her chair with her. As the HIAC structure was lowering, Bayley turned to use the chair, but Banks dropkicked it out of her hands and it landed outside the cage area. Banks applied an early Bank Statement. Bayley bit the hand of Banks to break the hold and then rolled to ringside.
Banks slid to the floor where Bayley ran her into the cage. A short time later, Bayley grabbed a kendo stick from underneath the ring. Banks fought her off, then threw the kendo stick inside the ring.
Banks and Bayley fought over a table, which Banks used to shove Bayley into the side of the cage. Banks ran up a table performed a meteora against the cage. Banks rolled Bayley back inside the ring and hit a top rope meteora for a two count. Banks threw chairs inside the ring.
Banks set up two kendo sticks in the cage and in the holes in the ring steps. Bayley ended up performing a Russian leg sweep that sent Banks crashing onto the kendo sticks. Bayley stuck the kendo sticks back in the holes in the steps and the cage, then catapulted Banks into them.
Back inside the ring, Banks put Bayley’s head in a chair and went for the same hold she used to force Bayley to sign the contract for the match during Smackdown. Bayley slipped out and then tripped Banks, causing her to go face first onto the chair.
A short time later, Bayley pulled the apron over the head of Banks and worked her over. Bayley slammed Banks’s face into the ring frame, then beat her with a kendo stick. Bayley used duct tape to double up a pair of kendo sticks, which she stuck between the ring and the cage. It didn’t work and she gave up on whatever she was going for.
Bayley walked toward Banks, who used a fire extinguisher on her. Bayley reached through the cage door opening and grabbed her chair. Banks took the chair and threw it inside the ring, then ran Bayley into the cage multiple times. “You’re nothing without me,” Banks yelled before throwing Bayley into the cage again. Banks performed a meteora, then threw several knees at Bayley before rolling her back inside the ring.
Banks beat Bayley with a kendo stick repeatedly and then tossed it to ringside. Banks went for a frogsplash, but Bayley held up her chair. Bayley slammed Banks face into the mat on the floor, then brought her back to the ring and covered her for a near fall. Bayley tossed Banks back to ringside and then pulled a ladder out from underneath the ring.
Bayley set up two chairs and then placed a ladder over them. Banks rolled back inside the ring and was immediately hit by Bayley, who ended up dropping Banks face first onto the ladder. Bayley placed Banks onto the ladder, then went to ringside and pulled out a can of spray paint, which she used to paint an X on Banks’s abdomen.
Bayley went to the ropes and jumped off with a chair, but Banks rolled out of the way. Banks performed Bayley’s finisher onto the ladder and got a near fall. Bayley came right back with a running knee and hit her Bayley to Belly finisher for a good near fall.
Bayley picked up her chair and slammed it over the back of Banks. Bayley tried to performer her finisher onto a chair, but Banks avoided it and drove Bayley onto the chair. Banks wrapped Bayley’s head in the chair and then applied the Bank Statement for the win.
Sasha Banks beat Bayley in 26:35 in a Hell in a Cell match to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
After the match, Banks put her foot on Bayley and held up the Smackdown Women’s Championship…
Powell’s POV: I’m not big on all of the weapons being used inside HIAC, but Banks and Bayley came through with a hell of a match. I assume that Bayley will be quick to point out that Banks can win titles, but she’s never been successful in defending titles in the past.
Charly Caruso interviewed Hurt Business. MVP took exception to Caruso saying it looked like Lashley had stepped up to accept the challenge of Retribution. MVP reminded her that Lashley is the CEO of Hurt Business. MVP picked Slapjack (Shane Thorne) to be Lashley’s opponent. MVP said the Hurt Business is driven by profits, but they also like dishing out intense pain. MVP said he wanted it to be a fair fight with no cornermen or backup. MVP said he would raise the stakes by making it a U.S. Title match. Lashley said he would be in the ring waiting for anyone from Retribution who wanted to fight…
5. Bobby Lashley vs. Slapjack for the U.S. Championship. Phillips recalled that Mustafa Ali issued the match challenge that allowed MVP to pick the two wrestlers in the match. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Both men started the match without any cornermen.
Lashley was dominant to start. Slapjack rebounded with a DDT for a near fall. Slapjack went to the ropes, but Lashley caught him and slammed him into the ring. Lashley worked over Slapjjack and put him down with a spinebuster. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock for the win.
Bobby Lashley defeated Slapjack in 3:50 to retain the U.S. Championship.
After the match, T-Bar and Mace attacked Lashley while Ali barked orders from the apron. Lashley quickly fought them off. The rest of Hurt Business came out. Ali was able to scape to ringside with the rest of the group, including Reckoning (Mia Yim)…
Powell’s POV: The creative forces really need to pull the plug on the lost cause that is Retribution. Mustafa Ali is the only face attached to this and it’s not helping him aside from getting more mic time. Let the others revert to their previous gimmicks and end this nonsense.
An ad for Survivor Series focused on it being the 30th anniversary of Undertaker. Survivor Series will be held on Sunday, November 22… A video package set up the main event…
Drew McIntyre made his entrance. Randy Orton was dressed as a cameraman and tried to attack McIntyre, who blocked his punch. McIntyre and Orton fought at ringside. They eventually entered the cell and the match was officially started…
6. Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship. Orton started the match wearing the pants he had on while posing as the cameraman. McIntyre clotheslined Orton to ringside. McIntyre followed and drove Orton into the cage wall.
McIntyre tried to throw a piece of the ring steps at Orton, who avoided it. Back inside the ring, Orton took offensive control by hitting McIntyre with a chair. Orton pressed the chair onto the injured jaw of McIntyre. Orton followed up by catapulting McIntyre’s throat onto the bottom rope.
Orton controlled the next few minutes of offense. McIntyre eventually fired back with punches, but Orton caught him with a sidewinder backbreaker that resulted in just a one count. McIntyre fired up and performed a couple of nice suplexes. McIntyre barked at Orton to get up. Orton stuffed a Future Shock DDT, but McIntyre caught him with a neckbreaker.
McIntyre hoisted Orton onto his shoulders, but Orton slipped away and rolled to ringside. McIntyre followed Orton to the floor. Orton slammed McIntyre’s head into the cage, but McIntyre came right back with as suplex through a table that was leaning against the cage. A “this is awesome” chant could be heard.
McIntyre rolled Orton back inside the ring and followed. Orton kicked the middle rope into the groin of McIntyre. Orton hit a draping DDT and went for the pin, but McIntyre kicked out at one again.
Orton pulled a pair of bolt cutters out from under the ring and broke the lock on the cage door. Orton left the cage. McIntyre ran after him and roughed him up outside the cage. McIntyre tried to run Orton into the cage, but Orton reversed it. Orton looked up and then started climbing the side of the cage.
Orton climbed to the top of the roofed cage and motioned for McIntyre to join him. McIntyre obliged. Once McIntyre was on top of the cage, Orton grabbed a weapon. Orton swung the weapon at McIntyre, who ducked it, and then tackled Orton and threw punches at him.
Orton grabbed the weapon again and hit McIntyre below the belt with it. Orton climbed down the side of the cage and was joined by McIntyre. They made it to the middle beam to get their footing, then Orton slammed McIntyre’s head into the cage twice. Orton swiped McIntyre’s arm off the cage, causing McIntyre to crash through the broadcast table below. A “holy shit” chant could be heard.
Orton climbed down the cage and then looked at McIntyre, who was bleeding from the mouth. Orton crawled over to McIntyre and put his head on top of McIntyre’s head for a moment while McIntyre sold by making grunting noises. Orton rolled McIntyre over while McIntyre coughed to continue the selling.
McIntyre started crawling while Orton stalked behind him. They ended up back inside the ring. McIntyre continued to sell while Orton struck the Viper’s Pose. Orton went for the RKO, but McIntyre went for a backslide, which resulted in a two count. McIntyre followed up with a Claymore Kick. Orton rolled to ringside.
McIntyre held his abdomen as he followed Orton to the floor. McIntyre got Orton back inside the ring and went for a Claymore Kick, but Orton dropped down on his back and avoided it. Orton popped up and dropped McIntyre with an RKO and then pinned him clean.
Randy Orton defeated Drew McIntyre in 30:35 in a Hell in a Cell match to win the WWE Championship.
The broadcast team noted that Orton was a 14-time world champion. Orton posed with the title on the stage. McIntyre glared at Orton and nodded from the ring. The final shot was of Orton holding the championship belt over his shoulder…
Powell’s POV: Three Hell in a Cell matches in one night is overkill. But it’s hard to complain given that each HIAC match was structured to offer something different, each HIAC match delivered, and together they carried the show. The result of the main event legitimately surprised me if only because McIntyre as such a strong champion and the draft felt like it was designed to set him up with fresh challengers. Of course, McIntyre can always regain the title at some point, but I wonder if the plan is for Orton to defend the title against Edge once he returns or perhaps even Undertaker if he works another match at Survivor Series.
I look forward to hearing what Jake Barnett has to say about the show when we team up shortly for the Dot Net Members’ exclusive audio review of WWE HIAC. Let me know what you thought of HIAC by grading it and picking the best match by voting in our post show poll available via the main page Speaking of voting, if you live in the United States, get off your ass and vote between now and November 3.