By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Cedric Alexander, Sin Cara and Lince Dorado def. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari (Kickoff Match)
This match was perfectly placed on the Kickoff Show, and I've been saying since the start that the Cruisersights should be positioned toward the beginning of the shows. That's one of the bigger reasons why the Cruiserweight division has been dying a death as of late. There wasn't any real story to this match, but the in-ring action was exciting and Alexander was the absolute MVP. It was apparent even during the Cruiserweight Classic that he's a star and I hope he gets his deserved time in the spotlight sooner rather than later.
United States Champion Roman Reigns def. Rusev in a Hell in a Cell Match
Similar to the Kickoff match, I really liked this Hell in a Cell match in the opening slot of the pay-per-view as I feel the crowd would have crapped on it otherwise. At almost 25 minutes, it lasted much longer than it needed to and the first half was rather dull, but they picked up the pace down the stretch and exceeded my expectations. I'm beyond ready for this rivalry to be over with, but now I question who will be next to challenge Reigns for the United States Championship.
Bayley def. Dana Brooke
Bayley debuted on the main roster with a ton of momentum, but most of it has seemingly fizzled out because Creative doesn't know what to do with her. The crowd was receptive to her, and she is one of the few characters that won't be harmed by losing (a la Sami Zayn), but this program has zero life to it and Brooke is just atrocious. The crowd had zero reason to care about this match, and thus they sat on their hands and it came across like a Raw match as a result. Bayley won, though, so at least the right person went over.
The Club def. Enzo Amore and Big Cass
These are two more acts that are dead in the water at the moment. Again, the crowd loved Enzo and Cass, and the Toy Story references were awesome, but the match was hardly anything special. It wasn't much different than what you would normally see on Raw. Sure, The Club won, which I correctly predicted, but what next? The damage has been done, and I don't see them re-entering the Raw Tag Team Championship picture any time soon.
WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens def. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match
For a feud that was merely all right coming into this event, this match was excellent. Then again, I guess I shouldn't be too surprised considering who was involved. Owens and Rollins put forth a fantastic effort and the crowd popped huge for all the crazy spots, especially when Owens got put through two tables at ringside. Chris Jericho's interfence was logical, and the crowd was happy to see him. It was a glorified Handicap match at the end, but Rollins looked strong in defeat. After losing twice to Owens, however, I'm curious if this was the end of the program or was supposed to serve as a placeholder.
Brian Kendrick def. T.J. Perkins to Win the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
I felt bad for these guys because the bout wasn't half-bad yet there were still "Boring!" chants from the crowd. It received the same reaction the first two filler matches did earlier in the evening. There's just something about this new Cruiserweight division that isn't clicking. The presentation is fine and the matches are enjoyable, but the lack of stories and character development are big issues with it I believe. Kendrick capturing the championship was smart considering he is the most established person in the divison and can elevate level to the next level during his reign.
Cesaro and Sheamus def. Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day by Disqualification
Not only was it stupid for WWE to do this match on Raw six days before the event, their initial encounter was better than this one. It was actually a good match and I thought Xavier Woods showed some signs of singles potential down the road, and it's cool Cesaro and Sheamus are finally gelling, but the finish was horrid and pure laziness. I understand they want to hold out on New Day possibly breaking Demolition's record, but New Day's matches end in disqualification half the time it seems when there are other more effective ways of furthering a feud.
Charlotte Flair def. Sasha Banks in a Hell in a Cell Match to Win the Raw Women's Championship
There are plenty of polarizing opinions on this match, but this is my two cents after having witnessed it in person. Firstly, the entrances were epic and definitely gave the match a big fight feel. Moreover, WWE should be commended for putting the women in the main event, and this was certainly a worthy contest for the historic occasion. The crowd was very loud for the most of the match and they started out hot, but Banks' injury angle at the beginning, albeit convincing, could have been cut short by a minute or two. As for the match, it was terrific up until the first botched table spot. They lost the crowd at that point, and then when they failed to go through the second table, it was all over. I honestly could not believe Charlotte won as decisively as she did, and when she did. It was one of the most anticlimactic conclusions to a match I have seen in recent memory, and instead of booing, people just left the building. Charlotte winning was a head-scratching decision. Bayley is an obvious challenger for her right now, but we saw that prior to Clash of Champions, and Bayley shouldn't be winning the belt any time soon. The whole booking of this Banks vs. Charlotte feud has been a mess, so I supppose this was a fitting finish but also a flat ending that didn't set up or accomplish anything intriguing.
This was far from one of the best WWE events I have attended, but it was a solid show by and large. The three Hell in a Cell matches delivered, but the bottom line is that this event shouldn't even exist because it isn't necessary. The other four matches were just kind of there, but I did like Kendrick winning the title. This was a middle-of-the-road show if I have ever seen one, but it was an entertaining experience being there in person, nevertheless.
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