It was a history-making night at Hell in a Cell in Boston as Charlotte Flair beat Sasha Banks to win back the Raw Women’s Championship. It was the first time that a WWE pay-per-view event was headlined by a women’s match.

What’s interesting about the main event is that WWE barely pushed the history-making aspect of women in the main event. They did put over the fact that two women got to wrestle inside Hell in a Cell for the first time ever, but didn’t mention that it was a big deal that they were the main event. I thought that was a mistake on WWE’s part because it was significant in terms of the company’s history.

Here’s a look at the whole show while also trying to make sense of WWE’s booking decisions. Since there weren’t any major promo segments or angles, I’ll just go match by match.

Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado & Sin Cara defeated Tony Nese, Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari

This was from the Kickoff Show. The crusierweights started the show off with an exciting six-man tag match. The crowd was into it the whole way, with Alexander getting the pin for his team when he hit the Lumbar Check on Gulak. Good choice for an opening match because Alexander is a cruiserweight wrestler on the rise. The only thing I would have changed is putting Rich Swann in the match instead of Sin Cara.

Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns defeated Rusev to retain the United States Championship

Starting the PPV portion of the show off with a Hell in a Cell match is rare, but it was a part of this show since they hyped up the “triple main event” so much. The crowd was pretty excited about it the whole way with chants for both guys, the “USA” chant was pretty loud and they were given a lot of time. It felt like some of their matches that reached over 20 minutes. This one went about 25 minutes.

It may have been the end of this three-month rivalry as the guys used weapons to help enhance the story. I liked the spot where Rusev used a chain to add leverage to the Accolade submission move on the steps. Reigns fought out of it and hit a Spear off the steps for the win. It was a slightly above-average match, but nothing that special.

With all of that said, I hope we don’t see Reigns vs. Rusev again any time soon. I’m tired of their matches. Let them both move on.

Bayley defeated Dana Brooke

This was the worst match on the show with an obvious ending. Brooke worked on Bayley’s arm for a few minutes, Bayley came back with the Bayley to Belly suplex to win. It was done in about six minutes.

Bayley should move back into the Women’s Title picture with the win. As for Brooke, she still has a lot of room to improve. It wasn’t a bad performance. There’s just nothing about her that stands out, aside from having a look that WWE loves.

Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated Enzo Amore & Big Cass

The match was set up in the last few weeks after a cheap attack from Gallows & Anderson. They followed that up with singles matches where Enzo & Cass each won their bouts in back-to-back matches. In typical booking fashion, Gallows & Anderson got the win here. That’s just the way WWE books these kinds of stories. If you have watched WWE programming for years like I have, then you pick this up right away. It would be nice if they tried different things occasionally, but WWE is very formulaic and basic with a lot of their booking these days.

The win should help Gallows & Anderson have some momentum after losing multiple tag title matches in the last few months. However, both teams are likely to be a part of the elimination tag match at Survivor Series in three weeks, so I don’t know if there will be any immediate title shots. Enzo & Cass should get their title push around WrestleMania time. If you’re a big fan of them, just be patient.

Hell in a Cell Match: Kevin Owens defeated Seth Rollins to retain The Universal Championship

I thought this was the match of the night. When you give two of the best performers in WWE the chance to go out there for 20+ minutes, they are almost always going to deliver an excellent match. Much like their Clash of Champions match last year, the finish was tainted thanks to the presence of Chris Jericho.

After Owens and Rollins battled for about 10 minutes, Owens “accidentally” fired off the fire extinguisher spray into the eyes of referee Chad Patton. He did it twice, which led to Patton leaving the match. He was replaced by referee John Cone. As that was happening, Jericho showed up to ringside, went inside the cell and locked the door while keeping the key so that he could remain inside the cell during the match.

Rollins was forced to fight off both guys. There were some big spots in the match with Owens taking a Rollins Powerbomb through a table that was against the cell while another table was underneath. It was a nasty-looking bump, but it was an impressive move. Rollins hit a Frog Splash, went for a cover and Jericho pulled the ref out of the ring to save Owens.

A chair was brought into the mix with Rollins trying to battle against the two men, but he couldn’t do it. Owens nailed a DDT onto a chair. Two chairs were open in the seated position in the ring, so Owens picked up Rollins and drove him through the two chairs with a stiff Powerbomb to win the match. After the match, Jericho hit Rollins with a Pedigree. It wouldn’t shock me if Rollins beats Jericho in a match on Raw this week or next week.

It was an excellent match. The big story is that Owens beat Rollins only because of Jericho’s involvement, so people are going to wonder if Owens could beat him on his own. It makes fans feel sorry for Rollins, since he was screwed out of the gold again. It’s basic wrestling storytelling, but it still works.

I don’t think Rollins will be the guy to take the Universal Title from Owens. Rollins will likely face off with Triple H at WrestleMania 33 while somebody like Roman Reigns or the returning Finn Balor will be the one to beat Owens for the Universal Title, possibly at WrestleMania 33.

Brian Kendrick defeated T.J. Perkins to win the Cruiserweight Title

It was a tough spot for these guys because fans just witnessed a main event caliber 30-minute brawl for the most coveted title on Raw. Did WWE expect them to care about the next match? It meant a dead crowd the whole way through, even for the finish.

The finish was something done to make the babyface champion Perkins look like an idiot. Kendrick faked a knee injury, Perkins showed remorse and Kendrick slapped on his Captain’s Hook submission to steal the title. The match was not as good as their last two matches at Clash of Champions and Raw a few weeks later.

It sucks for Perkins, but I think he’ll be fine. I think it was done because WWE likely wants to elevate Rich Swann or Cedric Alexander to win the Cruiserweight Title soon. Since Kendrick is a veteran heel, he can be used to put over one of those newer faces.

Sheamus & Cesaro defeated The New Day’s Big E & Xavier Woods by disqualification; New Day keeps the Raw Tag Team Titles

This was a good match like they had on Raw last week, but the finish was something I didn’t expect. Since New Day were at 434 days in their title reign, I figured they would return and hold the titles until at least day 478 to tie Demolition for the tag team title record. Instead, they lost the match by disqualification. You don’t see the good guys losing by disqualification too often. To WWE’s credit, the finish worked well in terms of making me want to see these teams have more matches.

The match went back and forth. Cesaro ended up trapping Woods in the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring. Big E went for the save, but Sheamus pulled him out of the ring. After Big E shoved him down, Sheamus came back by hitting Big E with the trombone to the back. Kofi Kingston saw that, so he nailed the Trouble in Paradise kick on Sheamus. The ref saw Kingston do the kick, so he disqualified New Day. As soon as the ref made that cool, Woods was tapping out.

The story is that Cesaro had the match won if Sheamus didn’t attack with the trombone, leading to the Kingston spot. There will likely be another title match soon, which is cool with me because they have developed an awesome chemistry. I think New Day will retain when they do that next title match, while Cesaro and Sheamus continue to have problems.

There was a brief video promoting Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg at Survivor Series, calling it “Fantasy Warfare.” In the video, Lesnar said he didn’t care about Lesnar’s wife and son. He told them not to watch because he’s going to take Goldberg to Suplex City. Goldberg will be on Raw this week.

Hell in a Cell Match: Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks to win the Raw Women’s Title

Four title changes in four months. I’m surprised by the result, but I was impressed by the match and the effort of both women. The finish did seem off and that’s what people are going to remember.

I liked the start of the match. Charlotte attacked before the cage was fully lowered, so they brawled into the crowd and around the ringside area. Charlotte gave Banks a Powerbomb through one of the announce tables. That looked nasty. It’s also not something we usually see in a women’s wrestling match. Give them credit for doing a big spot like that before the match even started. It looked like Banks was going to be wheeled away on a stretcher, but then she went into the cell to start the match.

Most of the match saw Charlotte work on the injured back of Banks. Charlotte hitting a backbreaker on the chair made a lot of sense. I liked the way Banks kept fighting back. They messed up a table spot where Charlotte went through a table up against the cell, but the table didn’t break. It was cool when Charlotte applied the Figure Eight submission only for Banks to break the hold by hitting her leg with a chair.

The finish was off. I’m not sure what they had planned exactly, but it involved a table. Banks set up this table that was up against the side of the ring. It wasn’t set up vertically like we have seen many tables over the years. It was on an angle. Charlotte ended up tossing Banks onto the table, which didn’t break and it also gave Banks a wedgie. They did the spot again and the table didn’t break again.

Were they going to do the pin right after the table-breaking spot? I ask because right after the table didn’t break, Charlotte hit the Natural Selection neck snap move for the win. It was a flat finish to a 25-minute battle that could have used a better finish.

The crowd didn’t like the ending because most of them likely figured Banks would win since the event was in Boston, which is where she is from. I’m not sure where she goes from here, although a rematch with Charlotte is likely. After that, she can possibly feud with Nia Jax. It’s not like there are that many other options on the Raw brand.

I’m confused about the title change. My only explanation is that WWE may have wanted to end the feud for now and have Bayley step up as the next contender against Charlotte because we have seen Charlotte vs. Sasha so many times. There’s also the stat about Charlotte being 14-0 in PPV matches now, so maybe WWE wants to create this impressive streak for her so that when she does lose – perhaps at WrestleMania – it will mean a lot when that person beats here.

As I said earlier, the match was still very good and I appreciated the effort of both women. I liked their Raw match way back on July 25 better than this one, though. That was when Banks first won the title. Some of their other regular matches without stipulations were good too. It’s still cool that they could make history like this.

In Closing

I think Hell in a Cell was a slightly above-average show with some great matches, especially Owens vs. Rollins and Charlotte vs. Banks. Some of the booking decisions may upset some people. I think it’s a case of WWE trying to do too much when they don’t have to. There has yet to be a WWE PPV this year that was an all-time great show. A lot of them are the same with a couple of interesting matches, but there are rarely big angles or storylines that make them stand out. I miss when PPVs felt special.

It was a predictable show where I went 6-2 in my picks. New Day are still the tag champs, so I could say I went 7-1, but they still lost the match. I was surprised by the Charlotte win, of course.

The next pay-per-view is a big one on Nov. 20 when Raw and Smackdown present Survivor Series in Toronto. Monday night’s Raw will have a Halloween theme to it. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but we will find out tonight and I’ll be back tomorrow with my weekly Raw review.

About John Canton

John has been writing about WWE online since the late 1990s. He joined The Comeback/Awful Announcing team in 2015. Follow John Canton on Twitter @johnreport or email him at with any comments or questions. For more of his wrestling opinions, visit his website at Cheap pop!