The build to Hell In A Cell hasn't been the strongest by WWE. Not only is it considered a secondary PPV but we are also in the midst of hyping two other big shows at the same time. It has made for some crowded and muddled episodes of Raw and SmackDown Live. However, if history has taught us anything it's that the WWE PPVs with the least expectation surrounding them end up being some of the best. We think that was exactly the case on Sunday night at Hell In A Cell, but we'll let you decided for yourselves.
Some fans were likely questioning why Randy Orton versus Jeff Hardy was the SmackDown Live match selected to be inside Hell In A Cell with the other options on offer. Well, the two veterans answered that question unequivocally on Sunday night. Hardy and Orton put on a cell match to be proud of and proved that you don't need to break out of it for it to be memorable and shocking. The Viper and The Charismatic Enigma did exactly what you're supposed to do inside the cell, put your opponent through hell. Despite blood dripping down Orton's back and leg, Hardy still couldn't finish him off. His hail mary was to hang from the top of the cell and crash down onto Orton who was led on a table, but he moved. The referee tried to end the match but the 13 time World Champion wouldn't let him until he counted three, making Orton the winner as Hardy was stretchered away.
While Orton and Hardy went about proving why they deserved to be inside the cell, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch showed us why they didn't need one. These two women know each other extremely well, coming up through NXT together and becoming best friends. That chemistry was evident on Sunday. The result, however, was unexpected. After an epic back and forth, The Lass Kicker reversed a spear from The Queen, rolled her up, and kept her down for a three count. Lynch is now a champion once again, but her refusal to shake hands after the match just goes to show that her attitude remains the same.
The run of terrific matches continued when Samoa Joe and AJ Styles came to the ring for their WWE Championship match. Another bout that did not need to be inside Hell In A Cell, especially considering the animosity between these two. Joe has not only been going after Styles' title, but also his family in the build to this one. As expected, both men went after one another like they wanted to do a lot more than just win the match. A massive clothesline from Joe towards the end of the match turned The Phenomenal One inside out and left him with a mouth full of blood. Not long after that, The Destroyer had the coquina clutch locked in, but when he dropped to the mat Styles rolled backward over him and pinned his shoulders to the mat. After the match, however, another camera angle showed that the champ actually tapped before the three count, so Joe was naturally irate with the result.
At SummerSlam we witnessed one of the most one-sided Women's Championship matches ever. Ronda Rousey effectively toyed with Alexa Bliss until she decided that she wanted to end things. It wasn't as straightforward for The Rowdy One at Hell In A Cell. The Raw Women's Champion's injured ribs made the playing field much more even. The constant distractions of Alica Fox and Mickie James at ringside helped too. Injured ribs or not, though, as Rousey said on Raw last week, even at her worst she is still the best. Rousey eventually got the momentum she needed to win, making Bliss tap to the armbar and retaining her Women's Title.
If you thought the first Hell In A Cell match of the night was chaotic, it had nothing on the night's main event. Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman put each other through hell inside the demonic structure to the the point that neither man could get to their feet. That's when the cavalry arrived and the chaos really began. Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose all arrived and since they couldn't get inside the cell, they climbed on top of it. The Showoff quickly realized his mistake but as he clambered down, Rollins chased and both men wound up falling from about halfway up through the announce tables. Then the biggest shock of the night, Brock Lesnar. The Beast kicked down the cell door and beat whatever was left out of Strowman and Reigns. Meanwhile, Paul Heyman pepper sprayed a visibly angry Mick Foley. A great PPV all round aside from the very end. Once Lesnar left, the match was simply called off.