Updated: Jul 4
Reverse Hipster's Reviews
Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch vs. Asuka, Raw Women's Championship 9.8/10
The match was incredible. These are three of the best women in wrestling today, and they proved it. They stacked their sequences so well. On top of their fantastic triple threat sequences, they highlighted each person's strengths. Asuka had a double Ankle Lock submission and hit Becky with a gruesome striking combo in addition to putting Becky in the Asuka Lock. Becky was an opportunist. She would strike at the right times and almost won multiple times by taking advantage of someone else's work. Bianca showed off her athleticism and backflipped out of numerous spots. She deadlifted Becky out of the Disarm-Her. Any one of these women could have won. However, Bianca threw Becky out using Becky's stratagem against her before pinning Asuka. It was the perfect finish.
Bobby Lashley vs. MVP and Omos 8.1/10 B
I'm not a big fan of handicap matches, but they did the best they could to make this enjoyable. It looked like Bobby was done several times, especially when he was driven through the barricade and barely made it back to the ring. However, things turned when Cedric Alexander, who MVP had spurned earlier, distracted Omos by attacking him. Bobby speared Omos, and made MVP tap out to the Hurt Lock. Bobby looked unstoppable. He said he was coming for the championship after the match. Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley would be money.
Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens 8/10 B-
The match was good. I like that Ezekiel and KO started out fast. Ezekiel almost beat KO right out of the gate, hitting him with a knee and a top rope elbow drop. It was a great way to start the match. The match continued to be good from there. The reason it's not ranked higher is because I think Kevin was the wrong winner. Plus, this match didn't do anything for either superstar.
Liv Morgan, Finn Balor, and AJ Styles vs. Judgment Day 8.3/10 B
This match started hot right out of the gate, when everyone brawled. Finn slingshotted Liv to AJ, who popped her up into a Hurricanrana on Rhea Ripley. That was my favorite spot of the match, but there were plenty of highlight spots. The match was pretty fast-paced, except for when Judgment Day beatdown Finn Balor. Liv, Balor, and Styles had Judgment Day on the ropes the entire time, but they kept finding ways to stay in it. In the end, Edge won with a spear after being distracted by Rhea. However, Liv, Balor, and AJ looked as good as possible in a loss. I think Judgment Day winning was the right call. They are a new group that needs the momentum more.
Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin 8.5/10 B
These two had a really solid brawl. Both Corbin and Madcap had their moments to shine. Corbin showed his viciousness by brutally beating Moss down with his fist and chairs. But, Corbin's best moment was when he pretended to get a table and then laughed at the crowd for believing he would listen to them. However, it was Madcap who got the last laugh. Madcap fallaway slammed Corbin into the steel steps. Madcap also got his revenge by doing exactly what Corbin did to his neck back to Corbin. It was cathartic and the perfect exclamation point to this match.
Mustafa Ali vs. Theory, United States Championship 8/10 B-
This was a good match. The action was pretty solid. Theory and Ali went back and forth all match, with Ali getting the better of Theory most of the time. However, Theory hung tough. When Ali missed his big flip off the top, Theory seized the opportunity and attacked Ali's leg. Theory then did his A-Town Down, and won the match. The crowd supercharged this match, and it went surprisingly well.
Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes 9.1/10 A
Just like I said with MJF in the wrap-up, I don't care if this was a complete work or embellished truth, it was damn entertaining. Seth started the match disrespectful by walking out wearing Dusty Rhodes dot gear. It just seemed like he couldn't lose that night, but, with one arm, Cody beat Seth for the third time and beat all the odds. The Backlash match was good, but it couldn't possibly live up to the emotion of their WrestleMania match. This Hell in the Cell match, aided by the stipulation and Cody's injury, approached that level of emotion. It was a phenomenal end to their series. In terms of matches, omitting weekly TV, Cody vs. Seth has been the best sweep I've ever seen.
Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch (Raw Women’s Championship)
These are three great women wrestlers who have good chemistry. They had great timing and creative spots in this triple threat match. The crowd didn’t want to get into this match in the beginning, but the women got them into it, especially the quick strikes of Asuka. Bianca Belair was the right person to go over, having just won the championship. I didn’t like that the story of the match made her look like she needed help or luck to win, and it made Becky Lynch look like the best overall, something Lynch didn’t need. The action was still too good to dislike this match.
Final Grade: 7/10 Good
Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP
I was sort of burnt out on this feud and not bought into the match going into the show, and they did nothing to win me back over. Omos is not quite ready for the big time. The highlight of this was the spot through the barricade. Even though it’s kind of cliché, it worked well with these two. I’m not sure why Cedric Alexander is still playing into this feud, but hopefully, it means we finally get a resolution to this. Because of everything, Bobby Lashley was the right guy to go over, and I’m actually rooting for him to win the WWE Championship so Raw has a present champion.
Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens
These two had a very entertaining feud and a solid match. Unfortunately, I never really bought into it as a match that deserves to be on a premium live event. Ezekiel has a lot of potential in-ring that they just started to explore in this match. I hope they continue to give him opportunities. I liked seeing Kevin Owens win: he’s been such a huge asset to WWE that they have to keep him credible.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan vs. the Judgment Day
I was looking forward to this match to see all of the stories play out, and I think they did a good job telling it in the ring. Unfortunately, that means this match was not quite as dynamic as one would hope. Edge has been doing some of the most underwhelming in-ring work in this persona. AJ Styles looked as good as he has in a while, and Liv Morgan still has so much undiscovered potential in the women’s division. If they are continuing to promote the Judgment Day, I think it was the right choice for them to win.
Final Grade: 5/10 Average
Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss
They really did a good job capitalizing on the heat of this feud from SmackDown. The No DQ action looked genuinely dangerous, and it felt novel to the feud. I like that Madcap Moss revisited some of the things that Happy Corbin did to him in the build of this feud. It was a nice touch, and Moss looked great in victory.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Theory vs. Mustafa Ali (United States Championship)
Even though the story was underbuilt, commentary and the crowd did their job building up Mustafa Ali as an underdog babyface in his hometown. Theory doesn’t look out of his element in big spots like this, and Ali looked the best he has since he was cruiserweight champion. They pulled together a good wrestling match, but the end result was obviously disappointing. On a card that was sort of anticlimactic to this point, it would have been a good time to pull the trigger on a surprise win. That definitely hurt the final grade.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell)
Let’s get one thing straight: this match should not have happened. I don’t think we should treat Cody Rhodes wrestling hurt as a valiant babyface move. Nobody should be expected to work under those conditions. If I have to judge what happened on the screen, though, I have to admit that the shoot injury made every part of the action more meaningful. It was impressive what Rhodes and Seth Rollins could pull off, given the restriction. It made for an entirely different match from their other encounters, but one that met the moment of Hell in a Cell and the injury to Rhodes. I don’t know if I agree with Rhodes winning this match. He won the first two, and he was so hurt that if Rollins was genuinely willing to do anything to win this match, he should have. Still, Rhodes is mega over, a nearly guaranteed future WWE champion, and this performance will be a memorable part of his career for better or worse.
Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average
Rob's Final Thoughts
This card desperately needed more star power. With the Unified World Championship and Tag Team Championships and neither on the card, it felt like this card was a scam. Most of the matches were underbuilt and overexposed feuds. No championships changed hands. The main event was worthy, but the injury put a weird tone on it. The opener was super strong. But besides that, this is the first WWE premium live event that I have to give a thumbs down. This feels officially like the WWE have killed all their momentum from WrestleMania, and they will have to scavenge for stars if Reigns and Rhodes are both out for the summer.
Overall Grade: 4/10 Below Average
Reverse Hipster's Final Grade 8.5/10 B
I really enjoyed Hell in a Cell. WWE has knocked these smaller PPVs out of the park. The thing that stood out the most to me about Hell in a Cell was the booking. Every match was smartly created and told an interesting story. WWE has been on the run since WrestleMania of great PPVs, and I hope they continue.