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HIAC Reviews

Bianca Belair vs.. Bayley Hell in The Cell(SD Women's title) 8.4/10 B

Bayley and Bianca delivered a brutal match. They didn't really have any one spot that stood out as incredible in the match. However, they did have a bunch of violent spots that entertainingly progressed the match. Bayley tied Bianca's hair to the ropes then tried to kick her in the face but instead got in a drop toe hold into the steel steps. I also loved that Bianca got a definitive win in the Cell. This is a solid end to their feud.

Sami Zayn Vs. Kevin Owens 8/10 B-

Was this an all-time great Kevin vs. Sami bout that will be or remembered for ages :no. At the same time, Sami and Ko are incapable of having a bad match. It was well-paced and action-packed. Also, Sami got his win back, which was the right choice. He needs the momentum the most, and Kevin will recover.

Seth vs. Cesaro 8/10 B-

Seth and Cesaro had more time in this fight than then they did at mania. This meant the spots weren't as crazy,, but the overall story and pacing were better. In the end,, Rollins stole a win with a rollup. I don't hate this result as much as I thought I would. This could actually work out if Cesaro either beats Seth for the Mitb qualifier or beats Seth and everyone else to win Mitb. Because then his wins over Seth will look even better in retrospect because of this win.

Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley 8.2/10 B

These two told a compelling story,, but something was missing. Throughout the match,, you could tell it was good,, but it wasn't tearing the house down like Asuka vs. Charlotte or Rhea missings Asuka. Then when the match reached its climax,, and looked like Rhea Ripley was done for,, and she escaped via Dq,, it became clear. Charlotte and Rhea were holding back so they would have somewhere to go in the rematch.

Bliss vs. Shayna 7.3/10 C

I like the Bliss character but she needs to work on the character's ring work. She needs to use her supernatural powers sparingly in the ring. She needs to find a way to be brutal in the ring without relying on powers. The right person won this matchup,, and Alexa had moments of brutality like her DDT and rock-hard punch, but she just hasn't put it all together yet. Shayna played her part well,, hitting Alexa with an offense that destroys most other competitors. Also, the Reginald slap was hilarious.

Bobby vs. Drew 9.2/10 A

This match was a clash of titans. It was a war it delivered as the main several times I thought both guys were going win. This match had several peaks and and momentum swings. Also they made great use of their enviorment. Their was so much going on in this match that I often forgot about what was set up until someone was being hit/slammed through it. I honestly think this is Lashely's best title defense so far. The only thing that holds it back is that it clearly made it look like Drew would win if Mvp wasn't there and also a roll-up was a lame way to finish such an epic clash.

Bianca Belair vs. Bayley (SmackDown Women’s Championship, Hell in a Cell)

We already knew these women had great in-ring chemistry. With minimal storyline development, they put on one of the best matches of the night, highlighted by creative spots like using Bianca Belair’s hair as handcuffs, going through taped together kendo sticks, and simple yet brutal spots landing on a ladder. This was a great way to kick off the show, and a great way to remind fans that there is still new ideas to be implemented in hardcore WWE wrestling. Belair is the right choice to win. It’s still too early to grade her reign, but it will need to improve drastically to receive an overall favorable grade, through no fault of the in-ring quality.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins

It was hard to get into this straight up rematch from WrestleMania. The feud has dragged on too long, but it would be crazy to say these two didn’t have a good match. Seth Rollins and Cesaro can outdo almost anyone on the roster with their fast in-ring sequences, smooth reversals, and quick strikes. The decision to give Rollins the win really hurt the match, and a roll up finish felt disgraceful for the effort they put in. Undoubtedly, this should have gone to Cesaro, who was just on pace to potentially beat Roman Reigns.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler

I think these two would have benefited from more plot development before this match. It felt like a rushed decision for Nia Jax and Reginald to rejoin Shayna Baszler. Even though I liked it, it didn’t make sense in the context of this storyline. Alexa Bliss introduced more to her character, showing supernatural powers and abilities that will continue to set her apart in the women’s division. Bliss was the right choice to win. Her character needs in-ring validity to back up the backstage content, and Baszler can afford to take the loss. No matter who she loses to, Baszler will always be a credible threat in-ring.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

It was really hard not to compare this to the Cesaro and Seth Rollins match. Everyone involved is an excellent wrestler, but the feuds are already old at this point. In Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s case, this straight-up WrestleMania match is also a decades-long feud. The result was another good match in-ring that I just couldn’t get behind. Zayn got his win back, so it was another 50/50 booking decision for WWE. At least Zayn got this win straight up, and maybe he can capitalize on it to get back in the Intercontinental Title picture.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women’s Championship)

These two women did their best in-ring, but I already feel like I have seen them wrestle too much. Something about it just didn’t work for me. Charlotte Flair is again overexposed in the Women’s Division. Rhea Ripley has no character on the main roster. The result was a heel vs. heel match where I didn’t know what to feel. For that reason, the finish was really disappointing. The countout finish was another cheesy WWE finish on this PPV, and I simply don’t want to see this feud continue without a significant development.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship, Hell in a Cell)

This was another great cell match that made me rethink the potential of the stipulation. Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre have styles that are made for this match. They have unmatched brutality, a willingness to punish and be punished, and a flare for storytelling that let them set up for insane spots that escalated throughout the match. The dirty finish hurt this match with the ref being knocked out, MVP interfering, and a roll up finish. I was sick of dirty finishes on the PPV to this point, but I think in a vacuum, it was the right decision for this match to utilize MVP, put heat on Lashley, and keep McIntyre looking strong. Lashley was absolutely the right choice to win. It feels like he just took the title off McIntyre, and Raw is setting up for a story-driven clash between Lashley and Kofi Kingston. Considering everything, this was the best match of the night and deserved the main event spot.

Final Grade: 7.5/10 Good-Great

Overall Grade

Hell in a Cell felt like the low-point of a string of PPV’s that have skated by on the talent’s in-ring ability with bad storylines and booking. With three dirty finishes, this PPV checked all the wrong boxes for me. I think it could have benefited from another championship match or removing at least one of those dirty finishes. The Hell in a Cell matches were good to great, but everything else was sort of on par for my expectations on a PPV.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Reverse Hipster 8.1 B

This ppv didn’t have a lot of momentum but it was entertaining. it was good ppv not overloaded with amazing things but nothing was bad and it was entertaining.

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