I used to find the WWE Draft exciting, seeing it as an opportunity to freshen up storylines, give certain characters a new life, and inject a sense of excitement into […]
Here’s a recap of the action and some of my reaction.
The PPV starts with the Hell in a Cell, I Quit Match – Jey Uso vs. Universal Champion Roman Reigns (If Jey Loses, he become Roman’s indentured servant. If he refuses, he, his brother, their wives, and kids are kicked out of the family).
In other words, there are no real stipulations, except maybe for television. Does anyone really believe Jey Uso has a shot? WWE’s writing might make you think there’s a small chance with some rule bending or hijinks, but even that is a slim possibility. Corey Graves comments that Roman appears to be mouthing a prayer asking for forgiveness for what he is about to do to Jey. As the match begins, there is a lot of talking between the competitors. Roman takes command early, imposing his physicality. Uso eventually catches a break and stuns Roman with a kick, knocking him to the outside. From there, Uso takes advantage and makes good use of the cage. As they re-enter the ring, Roman catches Jey with a spear and retakes control of the match. Then, some more talking between the two. Its clear this match is very personal. Roman heads outside to grab a chair but is caught with a dropkick to the face by Jey. Roman quickly counters with an elbow, and then follows it up with a second spear. Some more talking, and then Roman attempts a third spear, but is caught in the face with a kick. Jey then follows that up with an Uso Splash. This exchange of moves would normally be followed by pin attempts from both men, but this is an I quit match and neither competitor is willing to at this point. Jey attempts a second Uso splash and then rolls to the outside and pulls out some leather straps from under the ring. He begins whopping Roman with the straps. The snaps sound vicious. Out of nowhere, Roman hits a third spear on Jey who is now in obvious pain, but he refuses to quit. Now Roman has the straps and begins returning the whooping on Jey, and then decides to tie one of Jey’s wrist in the strap, fixing the other to himself. A tug of war ensues over the strap and Uso catches Roman with a forearm. Roman returns fire. The action is back and forth. A Superman Punch attempt is blocked, and then Jey attempts to choke out Roman with the strap. Roman appears to pass out but catches one last gasp. Jey continues to choke out Roman and he appears passed out for good this time, but he still has not quit. With Roman incapacitated, Jey is figuring out his next move and grabs a chair. He attempts to hit Roman as he comes to his feet but is instead hit with a superman punch. Roman then applies a guillotine choke, but Jey refuses to quit. In disbelief, Roman is now begging Jey to quit. Roman is heard telling Jey, “Quit or I’m gonna take this to the next level”. Roman drags Jey to the ring corner with his head face up next to the ring post. He hits a Drive-By on Jey. Thankfully Jey’s head doesn’t hit the steel ring post. Roman continues beating on Jey and appears to set up to hit Jey with another Drive-By with Jey sandwiched between the steel ring steps and the ring post. Yikes. The referee is begging Jey to quit, but he still refuses. The ref attempts to call a no contest and stop the match, but Roman grabs the ref and throws him out the ring. The cage is lifted, and officials enter attempting to restrain Roman. Reigns appears to be leaving the cage, which by now is lowered for some unknown reason. Roman instead throws the steel steps in the ring. Now, he has the steps positioned over Jey’s throat. He lifts the steps attempting to hit Jey with them, and just then Jimmy Uso enters the ring and covers his brother attempting to protect him. After an emotional exchange, Roman appears to break down in tears and shows remorse. He instead hooks a guillotine choke on Jimmy now. Seeing this, Jey comes to and decides to quit. As Roman leaves the ring, the camara pans to the top of the ramp where Affa and Sika from the Legendary Wild Samoans await him. Roman greets both with a hug and then Affa lays the ceremonial red lei over Roman, denoting he is now the Tribal Chief.
Reaction – Well, it was going to take a very weird development to make Jey the winner of this one, so the outcome is no surprise. Personally, I hope an evil version of Reigns gains more respect than the do-gooder version did with fans. Also, with No Brock Lesner currently in WWE, and Paul Heyman in Roman’s corner, who can stop him at this point? When Reigns is aggressive, he is at his best. As for Jey, him becoming Roman’s servant might be a good creative angle to propel Jey to the next level. That or its to buy some time while Jimmy heals. I would eventually like to see Jey get a shot as the US or intercontinental titles. It was also great to see the Wild Samoans still standing. For those of you to young to remember seeing the Samoans in action, please see the below clip.
Jeff Hardy versus Elias
Elias descends to the ring to sing a song about Jeff Hardy. It sucks. Jeff interrupts the song and heads to the ring. Some back and forth mat action early on. Elias reverses an arm bar and throws Hardy out the ring. Some back and forth action in and out the ring now and Hardy attempts to hit a splash off the steps but lands in the barricade. He barely makes a ten count back in the ring. Elias is controlling the action now. After the two trade some pinfall attempts, Elias hits a spinning power bomb on Jeff, but only gets a two count. Jeff follows up with Whisper in the Wind, but only gets a two count. Jeff then follows with Twist of Fate and then climbs to the top of the ring post, but Elias rolls to the outside. Elias pulls out a guitar, but Jeff blocks his attempt, takes the guitar and hits Elias over the back. Elias wins by DQ.
Reaction – The ending tells you that WWE wants to build this rivalry out a little more. It could also be that WWE is still trying to figure out what to do with either superstar, one on his swan song ( no pun intended I think), the other a potential star of the Red brand. I personally think as a writer, there are a lot of creative options for both superstars and noting really for either to gain in this rivalry. If Elias beats Jeff, so what. If Jeff beats Elias, so what. So what?
The Miz (w John Morrison) versus Otis (with Tucker) for the Money in the Bank Contract
Otis controls the action early with a couple of splashes in the corner and a failed pin attempt. The Miz attempts his finisher, Skull Crushing Finale, but it is blocked. Some more back and forth action that eventually spills outside the ring. Morrison attempts to insert himself in the action but backs off and its enough to distract Otis while Miz attempts a pin. Two count only. The Miz controls the action for a while and after some failed pin fall attempts, Otis hulks up and regains control. Otis attempts the Caterpillar, but Morrison pulls Miz out of the ring. Morrison grabs the Money in the Bank briefcase and attempts to hit Otis, but is caught in the act by the ref. The referee bans Morrison from ringside. The action continues and out of nowhere, Tucker stuns everyone by hitting Otis with the briefcase. Miz covers Otis for the 3 count. Miz is the new Mr. Money in the Bank. In the post-fight comments, Tucker starts to lay out his reasons for the turn, saying that he carried Otis and Heavy Machinery, and that Otis would be nothing without him. Otis breaks up the interview attacking Tucker through the backstage area.
Reaction – I did not see this coming, but I like it. Good for Tucker. There is now a storyline for him and a chance to showcase some of his talent. Too bad its at the expense of Otis’s MITB contract, but it be like that sometimes. Personally, I don’t like match stipulations where the contract is on the line. It’s almost as if the WWE regretted letting Otis win, which is a mistake on their part. Now, there’s a chance Otis will win it back. There is also a chance Otis can win a title without it. Or that his popularity is waning a bit. But there is also an emotional storyline between Tucker and Otis that will be good Television for a few weeks or until the next PPV. Tucker can leave and go to AEW after that.
Sasha Banks vs Bayley – The Smackdown Women’s Championship – Hell in a Cell.
My pick for the match of the night. Bayley and Sasha have been among the top performers for years, so this matchup was very anticipated by me. The cage lowers and Sasha smack the chair Bayley brought with her out of the ring. Ring the bell. Sasha controls the action early pummeling Bayley on the mat and into the corner. An early attempt at of the Banks Statement, but Bayley escapes. Sasha follows her outside, but Bayley smashes her into the cage and takes control on the outside. A kendo stick emerges, and Bayley begins working over Sasha with it. Sasha gets a hold of the stick and slides it outside through the cage grates. Some back and forth on the outside now. Sasha pulls a table from under the ring and attempts to sets it up, but Bayley blocks and breaks the table down. Sasha catches Bayley with a Meteora on the outside which was beautifully done. She then follows up with a second Meteora inside the ring. Two count only. Bayley regains control throwing Sasha to the outside. A nice exchange leads to Sasha hitting a Hurricanrana on Bayley into the cage. Now more kendo sticks emerge. The sticks are suspended between the steel stairs and the cage and both athletes attempt to suplex each other on them. Both attempts are blocked. Bayley eventually hits a Catapult on Sasha onto the kendo stick and is now in control and focuses on the neck. Sasha eventually hits a Sunset Flip on the outside of the ring that knocks Bayley into the cage. Eventually Bayley regains control with use of a steel chair. Great back and forth action at this point. Sasha’s knee appears to be hurt and Bayley hits a nasty Sunset Flip on Sasha that buries her head into a steel chair. Only a two count. She follows that up with an elbow smash from the top rope. Another two count. Sasha is eventually able to hit a Backstabber into Bank Statement combo, but Bayley slides out the ring. In the process, Sasha gets caught up in the ring apron and hits her head on the ring frame. Bayley grabs a kendo stick and pummels Sasha. She then grabs some duct tape and begins wrapping two kendo sticks together. Much like earlier, the sticks are suspended between the ring steps and the cage. Meanwhile, Sasha grabs a fire extinguisher and sprays Bayley. The two are now outside and Sasha is wailing on Bayley. Another Meteora into the cage and then Sasha grabs a kendo stick and slides back into the ring. Now Bayley is getting pummeled. Sasha retreats in the corner to size Bayley up. Bayley attempts to grab a chair, but it is blocked. Sasha hits a Frog Splash on Bayley, but she is able to pull the chair onto herself. Both are down now. Eventually, Bayley pulls a ladder out from under the ring. The ladder is positioned between two chairs. Sasha is driven face first into the ladder and then laid on top across it. Bayley pulls out some spray paint and paints an x on her. Bayley grabs a chair and climbs the top rope and attempts to drive a chair into Sasha but misses. Sasha hits another Meteora and then a Bayley to Belly onto the ladder. Two count only. Bayley regains control and hits a Bayley to Belly of her own, two count only. Bayley has the chair and is stalking Sasha around the ring. She attempts another Bayley to Belly on the chair but its reversed into a Banks Statement using the chair. Bayley Taps. Sasha is your new Smackdown Women’s Champ.
Reaction – A great match and the end of a historic Women’s Championship Run. This match did not disappoint with a lot of great back and forth action and creative use of weapons. I wouldn’t have been disappointed with either outcome. Hopefully, this rivalry can sustain for a little while and we get to see both stars go to another level. Michael Cole said these are the two best women in the business and I do not disagree.
Bobby Lashley versus Slapjack – United States Championship
Bobby dominated the action early, but Slapjack was able to hit a Cannonball in the corner and attempt a fall. Two count only. A short time later, Slapjack attempts to climb the top rope, but is caught by Lashley and press-slammed off. A spear by Lashley and then The Hurt Lock and the match was over. Retribution then hits the ring to attack Lashley at the direction of Ali. Lashley attempts to fight them off and then The Hurt Business hits the ring.
Reaction – Can the Retribution angle be saved? Perhaps, but not in a feud with the Hurt Business. And not without some more major talent to join them. And because I don’t think WWE is willing to readjust and retool, I don’t think this will last long. The Hurt Business, on the other hand, is a solid group and I am excited for them. Hopefully, the WWE will continue to use them effectively and enable them to have a successful run. I can see all of them holding Gold at some point.
Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre – The WWE Championship – Hell in a Cell.
The action began outside the cage before it was lowered as Orton attempted to sneak up on Drew wearing a hoodie. They fight over to the announce desk and Orton appears to be setting up to drive him through the table, but it’s block. They eventually enter the ringside area, the cage is lowered, and the door is chain locked. Ring the bell. Both men trade shots early and Orton attempts an RKO which is blocked, and he is knocked to the outside. Drew follows him and begins punishing him on the cage. The action alternates in and out of the ring with a few fall attempts by Drew, all two counts. Drew appears to be setting up for a Claymore but Orton ducks out the way and hits Drew with chair shots to the leg , the stomach and then across the back. He then uses the chair on Drew’s jaw which was fractured some weeks ago. A short while later, Orton hits a stomp on Drew heads on the steel ring steps. He then continues mauling Drew into the cage. The ring steps are now in play and Orton sets them up on their side, preparing to throw Drew into them, which he does a few moments later. The two find their way back into the ring and Orton maintains control. Eventually they trade blows, and then Drew regains control with a Belly to Belly. He follows that up with a kick to the mid-section and then a Neck breaker. Orton escapes to the outside. Drew catches Orton in a Belly to Belly into the table on the outside. The two rolls into the ring and Orton catches him with a low blow followed by a DDT. Two count only. Randy rolls out of the ring, reaches under the ring apron and pulls out bolt cutters. He uses them to remove the lock on the cage door. Orton leaves the cage and appears to walk up the ramp. Drew pursues and hits him from behind. They fight outside the cage for a while and Orton knocks Drew down. Orton is looking at the cage and appears as if he wants to climb it. He indeed climbs to the top. Drew comes to and pursues him to the top of the cage. This match just got interesting. Bad things usually happen on top of the cage. As Drew gets to the top the two face off and Orton reveals a metal bat. The fight commences with Drew spearing Orton. Orton uses the pipe to regain advantage. Orton then begins to climb down the cell, but Drew is close in pursuit. Side by side now, the two then begin banging the other into the cage. Both tethering off the side, one last shot by Orton causes Drew to fall off the side of the cage into the Announcer’s table. That was nasty. Drew is not dead though. Back on solid ground, Orton stands over Drew and stalks behind the champ as he begins crawling back inside the cage. Now back into the ring, Orton appears to be sizing Drew up for a stomp or RKO. Drew gets back to his feet and attempts an RKO, but its blocked and turned into a backslide by Drew. Two count. Then out of nowhere, a Claymore. Orton crawls out the ring. Drew drags a broken Orton back into the ring and seems to be setting up for another Claymore. Orton gets to his feet, the Claymore attempt is missed and Orton counters with an RKO and the 3 count. Randy Orton is your new WWE Champion.
Reaction – A better match than I thought it would be. From a creative standpoint, there is a lot more WWE can do with Randy as champion. But I also think there is another level to be achieved with Drew as well. There will have to be a rematch between these two, although I don’t know how much higher you could make the stakes past Hell in the Cell. It could also be that WWE is setting up another chapter in the Randy Orton – Bray Wyatt rivalry. All in all, a well-written and executed match and a reason to turn into Raw tomorrow night. The 14th Championship reign of Randy Orton has begun.
Overall Thoughts – I give the PPV a grade of B. There are some interesting story-lines coming into Raw and Smackdown this week and I think both brands did a good job laying those foundation. I’m particularly interesting in seeing what challenges await Sasha as Smackdown champion. Over on Raw, I think this week will tell us a lot about the tone and attitude the brand will take over the next 3-4 months and if Orton’s win represents a more edgy product or is to execute a specific angle. Good Job over all. I’m actually starting to get used to seeing shows without fans.
DTJ October 13, 2020
I used to find the WWE Draft exciting, seeing it as an opportunity to freshen up storylines, give certain characters a new life, and inject a sense of excitement into […]