Although there were a few stinkers, the 2016 Hell in a Cell will go down as an entertaining even thanks to the work of Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho. With these two entertaining matches and the crowning of a new Cruiserweight Champion, the event certainly had a few cool moments amid the sluggish mid-card encounters.
Kickoff: Ariya Daivari, Tony Nese and Drew Gulak vs. Sin Cara, Lince Dorado and Cedric Alexander: One of the best Kickoff matches in WWE Network history, even if it was a spottiest with no story to bring it all together. After a slew of finishers and signatures, Alexander hits the Lumbar Jack for the win.
Hell in a Cell: United States Champion Roman Reigns vs. Rusev w/Lana: Did Johnny Rodz book this? With strikes aplenty the first five minutes or so, this was an old-school slug fest that ran at a snail’s pace. Things were goddamn awful at one point- even when the action spilled the outside and the competitors started beating on one another, there was no sense of intrigue. It wasn’t until the kendo sticks and tables were brought out that the crowd showed some life. The two traded kendo stick shots and Reigns nailed Rusev with a Lariat to even things out to only got back to the strike game. Reigns then hit the Superman Punch for a near-fall. With Rusev down, Reigns went for the Spear, but Rusev hit the Standing Side Kick and sent Reigns into the ring steps (set up on the turnbuckle) for a near-fall. Rusev then worked on Reigns’ back and latched on the Accolade in the center of the ring, but Reigns escaped. Rusev hit another kick though and sent Reigns outside the ring and grabbed a chain a-la Nikita Koloff. Unable to hit Reigns with it, Reigns then went on a strike-spree, but Rusev then used the chain again, this time on Reigns’ back. Rusev then brought ring steps into the ring, but Reigns fought back again before Rusev hit another Side Kick for a near-fall. Ruse then latched on The Accolade with the chain wrapped around Reigns’ mouth, but Reigns hit an ugly Samoan Drop (That Corey Graves called “Earth-Shattering.”) on the steps. Once they got back up, Reigns hit a Spear for the win.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke: A ho-hum affair as Bayley got the win with the Belly-to-Bayley after Brooke spent most of the match working on Bayley’s injured shoulder.
Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson: Amore and Cassady dominated the entire match, but after a Gallows Big Boot took out Amore while Cassady was stuck on the outside, Anderson and Gallows hit the Magic Killer for the win.
Hell in a Cell: WWE Universal Champion Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins: This was wonderful. Between Chris Jericho’s involvement, the fire extinguisher to the ref and Owens’ working on Rollins’ back throughout the match this was so much fun. Owens hit Rollins with so much in and out of the ring that even if you hated Rollins, you were pulling for him. After Rollins hit Jericho with the Pedigree and Powerbombed Owens through two tables, Rollins then hit the Frog Splash, but Jericho made the save. Owens fought back with a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Rollins kicked out as well. Owens then used a steel chair, but Rollins fought back with one as well. After some more support from Jericho, Owens rather unceremoniously Powerbombed Rollins through a pair of chairs for the win. After the match, Jericho put the exclamation mark on the match by putting Rollins down with The Code Breaker.
WWE Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick: The fans just weren’t into this one. The action was solid and Perkins worked on Kendrick’s knees, while Kendrick was tough as usual. After Kendrick kicked out of the Detonation Kick, he nearly won with a Cradle Belly-to-Back Suplex. Kendrick then locked in the Bully Choke, but Perkins escaped. Perkins then latched on the Knee Bar, but Kendrick got to the ropes. After Kendrick missed Sliced Bread #2, he played possum, as the referee asked him if he could continue. Perkins looked on and then offered to help, but Kendrick hit the Headbutt and then latched on the Bully Choke again for the submission to win the title.
WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day: Big E. Langston and /Xavier Woods w/Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus and Cesaro: Lots of near-falls and plenty of offense as Woods proved himself to anyone who thought he was the weak link of the group. The same thing can be said for Sheamus, who, at one point, took out all three members of The New Day with a Cross Body Block from the top rope. Even though Woods tapped to a Cesaro Sharpshooter, the referee saw Kingston take out Sheamus with a Trouble in Paradise on the outside, giving Sheamus and Cesaro the win via DQ.
Hell in a Cell: WWE RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair: Before the match officially started, Flair Powerbombed Banks through the announce table. The next ten minutes saw medical personnel ad WWE officials hit the ring in a long sequence that was going to end in only one way. Just before the referee was about to have Banks forfeit the match as the EMTs were putting a neck brace on her, she sprung up and the match began.
Simply put, there were too many moments to note. From signature maneuvers, to spills on the outside and even ingenuity with weapons and tables, this match had it all in terms of offense. The hatred between the two competitors was apparent and the storytelling was perfect. While Flair was in control for most of the match, Banks continued to fight back, escaping the Figure-Eight with a chair. But after Banks couldn’t pick up Flair with a Powerbomb, Flair countered with the Natural Selection for the win to reclaim the title.