WWE has changed around their calendar for 2018, so Hell in a Cell is no longer landing in the same month as Halloween. Instead, we’ll get a condensed version of the Inferno inside of a large steel cage, only with 100 percent fewer Infernal Furies. Hey, if WWE isn’t even paying for pyro anymore, then Furies are straight out.
The annual WWE pay-per-view will feature the first match between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair since Becky very violently let her friend know she was tired of her inserting herself into the middle of literally everything. It also includes a continuation of the Samoa Joe/AJ Styles feud that is about the WWE Championship, but is also very much about Joe threatening to steal and/or murder (?) AJ’s family. We’ll also see Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns face off for the Universal Championship, which rules for many reasons, one of which is the lack of Brock Lesnar.
Event info, plus how to watch on TV and stream
When: Sunday, 9/16, at 7 p.m. ET
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
Watch: WWE Network.
Make friends: Check out Cageside Seats for more coverage of Hell in a Cell, WWE, and the rest of the wrestling world.
And now, here are the five reasons why you should watch Hell in a Cell 2018.
Becky Lynch is going to break Charlotte Flair’s arm right off
Geno Mrosko at Cageside Seats already got into just why this feud has worked so well: WWE has actually managed to make a shades-of-gray feud sing, with Charlotte seemingly in the right just because Becky Lynch attacked her (and continues to attack her), but Becky also being totally justified in these attacks because Charlotte is the worst. There is real potential for a double-turn in Sunday’s match if WWE wants to codify the positions of these two, as well, with Becky being the righteous, wronged party just standing up for herself Stone Cold Steve Austin style, and Charlotte embracing her inner Flairdom so she can be the worst and revel in it instead of hiding from her true path.
Everyone wants to cheer for Becky, who again, is in the right. How can you be mad at this woman?
As for the quality we can expect on Sunday: you might be tired of seeing Charlotte pushed to the moon and beyond all hours of the day, but she’s wonderful in the ring. Becky is even better. These two facing off as blood rivals instead of working together as friends is the payoff to years of the two sticking together, and I’m super here for it. I’m also super Team Becky Lynch, but you knew that.
RAW Tag Team Championship match: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose
Remember last month at SummerSlam, when Seth Rollins won the Intercontinental Championship back from Dolph Ziggler because Dean Ambrose was there to protect him from the meddling and muscular Drew McIntyre? Well, fast-forward to Hell in a Cell, and the Dolph/Drew pairing are now RAW Tag Team Champions aligned with Braun Strowman, while Seth and Dean, former tag team champs themselves and current Shield brothers, are here to challenge for those straps and help defend the honor and body of Roman Reigns, who is taking on Strowman later in the evening.
So, we’ve got one of the best feuds WWE had going over the summer evolving into a tag team feud, with roots both in the previous feud for the IC title as well as the current feud of the third Shield brother, Reigns, which includes Braun Strowman, who rules. More of the show being interconnected like this, please, especially when all the connections are dope to begin with.
Yes, yes, I know Dolph Ziggler is involved as well, but his Rollins feud earned him a brief reprieve from me making fun of him whenever I can.
WWE Championship match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
The first Styles vs. Joe bout for the WWE Championship was at SummerSlam, and it was the kind of match we’ve been waiting for Styles to have again since his feud with John Cena ended [counts] Jesus, WWE, what have you been doing with Styles since the 2017 Royal Rumble? They beat the absolute heck out of each other, especially after Joe decided to give Mrs. Styles a shoutout on the mic mid-match.
The feud itself, on weekly television, has had some ups and downs for sure, but we’re back to the part where they try to destroy each other in a ring, and so far, that’s been wonderful to watch. This won’t be the last of the feud between the two — thanks, WWE Super Show-Down in Australia for booking matches that will act as followups to Hell in a Cell matches, therefore guaranteeing we have an idea of which feuds are still moving forward instead of letting us sit and wonder about it, grumble grumble — but even knowing that, if it’s anything like their first encounter, we’ll be fine with the existence of a followup.
RAW Women’s Championship match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
I had my complaints about how the first Rousey vs. Bliss match worked. I’ll just quote it here:
...the short version is basically that [Ronda’s] attempts to yell the crowd into supporting her were just awkward, and detracted from the match.
That being said, Alexa Bliss needed a serious ass kicking to happen. She’s successful because she’s often the smartest wrestler in the ring, and it helps make up for her height — there’s a reason Bliss has as many championship runs as she does, and it’s thanks to her head. Against Ronda, though, being smart should only get you so far: she’s a force of nature. And when Ronda let herself just be that force of nature, this beatdown ruled, and sent a message to the entire rest of the locker room. When Ronda started yelling and overacting, though, it took you out of the moment.
In the long run it’s a small thing, really — I don’t want you to think I’m getting off of the Ronda train just because of some weird fan interactions. It’s something I hope Ronda and WWE learn from, though, that the whole silent killer in the ring thing works better with silence.
There were high points in the match, but they were too often distracted from. And RAW spent the last month highlighting how Ronda is unstoppable and unbeatable, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in what this rematch is going to be or do. However, this is Bliss, who as mentioned, succeeds due to that brain of hers. She might have a plan in place to win the title back, or, at least, found a way to cause some damage to Ronda so we aren’t just watching a championship squash match replete with awkward Rousey yelling again.
Combine Bliss’ brains with Rousey, who has done well enough on the whole since coming in that, and despite this being a rematch of a fight I didn’t love, I’m still super interested in seeing what goes down. That’s a credit to the two of them, and this overall story of Ronda’s rise that WWE has been trying to tell.
Jeff Hardy is going to do something ridiculous and stupid during his Hell in a Cell match, isn’t he?
Everyone please say prayers for Jeff Hardy and his body, as they’ll likely take a beating on Sunday from doing something dangerous and memorable and amazing but also painful.