Probably the most notable thing about this year’s edition of WWE’s Hell in a Cell event is a match that didn’t take place here. Instead of defending the Universal Championship at the Pea-Per-View, Roman Reigns’ match against Rey Mysterio took place two days before the event at Friday Night SmackDown! on Fox. Reigns has been on an incredible streak since he returned from a hiatus last year. Take a look at the overall Top 10 down below. Matches including the Head of the Table take up the top three spots and four of the top five.
But he wasn’t going to add another notch to his Pea-Per-View belt here.
Losing a premiere championship match with maybe the best villain in wrestling right now took the prestige of this show down a few notches. Yes, there were other matches I wanted to see, but it all feels like less of a big deal without the Big Dog.
It’s possible WWE was ready to write this show off from the get-go, as it’s the last big streaming special to take place in the Thunderdome, the WWE’s workaround for the lack of fans due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The only time fans have been in attendance for a WWE streaming special since early 2020 was at the TWO-NIGHT WRESTLEMANIA this year from Tampa, but the football stadium was nowhere near capacity due to safety restrictions. Hell in a Cell quickly became a throw-away event with a bigger deal on the horizon, as the company prepares to tour again next month.
Best Match: WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Drew McIntyre – Man, did these two beat the hell out of each other. The Hell in a Cell main event felt like it started a little slow before building to a fever pitch in the final half of the match. That could have hurt the match’s overall standing, but man did Lashley and McIntyre bring it in the second half. McIntyre put in a valiant effort, but wasn’t able to overcome the Almighty champ and manager MVP, who managed to sneak his way into the cage when a new referee came in to replace the one who was knocked out. MVP tripped McIntyre up as the challenger was getting ready to put the champ away, allowing Lashley to surprise him with a roll-up for the win. Not the most dominate victory, but it works here after such a brutal match. As a result, McIntyre can’t challenge for the WWE Championship against Lashley again. When is the next WWE Draft again?
Worst Match: Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens – Maybe it’s the law of diminishing returns, since we’ve seen this match up so many times over the last few years, that this match did nothing for me. Or maybe it was the story the pair were telling in the ring, that Owens was trying to overcome a perilous couple of blows to the neck from Friday Night Smackdown! just two nights earlier. Either way, this was a disappointment, considering I’m a fan of both guys. Zayn comes away with what feels like a rare win over his long-time bestest buddy with a Helluva Kick, and maybe he can close the book on all of his wacky conspiracy theory shenanigans.
Since I’m running a little behind this month due to extenuating circumstances, we’ll jump straight to the rankings. You know my situation is dire when I don’t even take the time to gush over Bayley and complain about how she lost her Hell in a Cell match to open the show. Suffice it to say that SmackDown! Women’s Champion Bianca Belair made her look like a chump and I’m totally not happy, but such is life.
And yes, I thought Owens-Zayn was worse than Alexa Bliss and Shayna Baszler. It’s definitely a matter of opinion, but Bliss looks like she’s having a blast with this character and the match was much better than I expected. Sure, it had its silliness, like Alexa mind-controlling Nia Jax into slapping Reginald at ringside, but it never became too crazy for me.
Ranking Hell in the Cell 2021
*DISCLAIMER* The rankings are for discussion purposes only and in no way reflect an official or authoritative list. It is simply my opinion. If you disagree, let me know in the comment.
1 – WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Drew McIntyre
2 – Seth Rollins defeated Cesaro
3 – Raw Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair beat Rhea Ripley (c) by DQ
4 – Smackdown! Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bianca Belair (c) defeated Bayley
5 – Alexa Bliss defeated Shayna Baszler
6 – Sami Zayn defeated Kevin Owens
The 2021 WWE PEA-PER-VIEW Top 10
The main event sneaks its way into the 9 spot this time around.
1 – Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns ( c ) defeated Cesaro – WrestleMania Backlash
2 – Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) defeated Daniel Bryan w/ Edge as Special Enforcer – Fast Lane 2021
3 – Universal Championship Triple Threat Match: Roman Reigns (c) defeated Edge and Daniel Bryan – WrestleMania 37 Night 2
4 – Elimination Chamber No. 1 Contenders Match: Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso, Cesaro, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Baron Corbin – Elimination Chamber 2021
5 – Universal Championship Last Man Standing Match: Roman Reigns (c) defeated Kevin Owens – Royal Rumble 2021
6 – No Holds Barred Match: Drew McIntyre defeated Sheamus – Fast Lane 2021
7 – Kevin Owens defeated Sami Zayn – WrestleMania 37 Night 2
8 – Raw Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match: Rhea Ripley ( c ) defeated Asuka and Charlotte Flair – WrestleMania Backlash
9 – WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley (c) defeated Drew McIntyre – Hell in a Cell 2021
10 – Bianca Belair wins 30-woman Royal Rumble – Royal Rumble 2021
Next time out, in four weeks at Money in the Bank, live crowds return! Stay tuned!