October 24, 2016
From the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN
Your hosts are Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, and Michael Cole
Chris Jericho comes out “unexpectedly” despite being announced by Lillian Garcia. A distraught Jericho says he has some terrible news and that is tonight’s triple threat match has been cancelled. Jericho then says the reason for this is that someone has stolen his list as the crowd chants “no.” He then says until the list is back in his hands, he will not leave the ring. Kevin Owens comes out and says he does not have the list but does not care, either. Owens then said because Jericho is his friend, he will help him find it because they are friends but not until they take care of Kevin Owens. Jericho says the match will not happen until he finds the list as its his personal property. Stephanie McMahon comes out and says she will do everything in her power to make sure the list returns tonight but until then he has to listen to his best friend, Kevin Owens. Jericho says nothing will happen until he gets the list then Seth Rollins comes out with one hand behind his back. Jericho yells at him to give back the list then Rollins turns around to reveal the list. Stephanie screams at him to return the list as does Owens but Rollins tells them they are both on the list. Jericho tells him he is wrong as Owens will never be on the list and goes on about why that is the case. Rollins then reads off what he will do to Owens at Hell in a Cell and says if they want the list they can come and get it.
The crowd was red-hot for this, especially Jericho. However, it was too goofy and contrived and the dialogue was terrible for the most part. Rollins part at the very end was okay I guess but for a title feud, you need better than this. And Owens is still not presented as a credible title holder and having Stephanie out here added nothing at all other than a way to shoehorn her into the segment.
Rollins is walking backstage when Stephanie approaches asking for the list. Rollins tells her all she wants his for both Jericho & Owens to take him out before Hell in a Cell then says he does not have the list and will win tonight.
Enzo & Big Cass are in the ring. The mic gets cut off as Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows come out to say the jokes are over as they talk about a “good brother” in the production truck willing to shut off their mic after a payday. However, Enzo does his routine with the crowd repeating what he says. The part with the crowd acting like Enzo’s microphone was cool and a testament to how over they are as an act.
Enzo Amore vs. Karl Anderson
Enzo gets the best of Anderson to start. He comes off of the top but Anderson catches him then hits a spinebuster as we go to break. Back from break as Anderson is beating on Enzo in the corner. Enzo dodges a charge and takes over until Anderson uses the ref as a shield. Their partners are now on the apron but Cass ends up catching Anderson with a big boot behind the ref’s back and Enzo rolls him up for the win (7:30) *1/2.
Thoughts: Anderson loses again as he and his partner are just dead in the water at this point. Any mystique they once had is gone now as it will take a complete overhaul for anyone to take these two seriously again, let alone want to see these teams go against each other.
Rusev is telling us he sometimes has trouble sleeping but last night he slept like a baby as Roman Reigns’ stranglehold over the United States Championship will come to an end. He will then do despicable things to him inside Hell in a Cell after what Reigns did to his family. It was a basic promo to hype up their match at Hell in a Cell.
The New Day come out to the ring. They talk briefly about facing Sheamus & Cesaro for the Tag Team Championship at Hell in a Cell before they head to break as they will in fact face off against Sheamus & Cesaro in a non-title match next. They pretty much just did their basic routine here. The fans dug them a lot.
Big E & Kofi Kingston vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Cesaro slaps Kofi’s hand after a handshake attempt. Cesaro hits an uppercut then gets two with a backbreaker. Sheamus tags and they take Kofi down with a double back elbow smash. Big E then tags in and takes control as Sheamus gets hit with the Unicorn Stampede. Cesaro is then with Sheamus outside of the ring telling him to get his head into the match. Back from break, Cesaro & Sheamus are in control as we saw Sheamus clothesline Kofi from the apron. Cesaro misses a charge in the corner then Kofi tags out as Big E runs wild on Sheamus for a bit. Sheamus comes back with a tilt-a-whirl slam and makes the tag. Kofi also tags in and mixes it up with Cesaro for a bit. The match breaks down and Kofi flies to the outside but Cesaro nails him with an uppercut then Sheamus surprises Big E with the Brogue Kick for the win (11:55) **1/2. After the match, Sheamus takes all the credit and Cesaro leaves.
Thoughts: I do not even get the point of having these teams square off six days before Hell in a Cell. You could have shown Cesaro & Sheamus working together against any other team they have in the company. They at least did a bit of storyline advancement as Cesaro & Sheamus were able to work better as a team. Anyway, the crowd did not care about Cesaro & Sheamus here and the match itself was not that good, either considering the talent. Hopefully, the match is better at the PPV.
A highlight video on Goldberg’s appearance from last week to hype up tonight’s appearance of Brock Lesnar. And what an appearance that turned out to be.
Jericho is backstage in the locker room searching for his list. He puts down the Shining Stars timeshare brochure by saying he hates the Dominican then calls Jinder Mahal a “stupid idiot” for offering breathing exercises. Funny, but the list humor is starting to wear thin tonight.
Dana Brooke is in the ring as Bayley comes out, holding her arm, as the announcers tell us that Mick put them in a rematch. Dana tells Bayley that they will not be having a rematch from last week but rather an arm wrestling contest. Dana toys with Bayley then attacks her arm. Bayley is able to catch Dana with a belly-to-belly suplex as the segment ends. Bad segment. The crowd turned on this and the end was very predictable. Thinking an arm wrestling segment would work in 2016 is a sign of incompetence as this feud has been terrible. Dana has been a disaster on the main roster for the most part and the WWE is squandering all of Bayley’s popularity with segments and feuds like this.
Jericho asks Stephanie for help in getting back his list as it was not in the locker room like Rollins said. Stephanie tells Jericho she is too busy focusing on Hell in a Cell and the Survivor Series as Jericho will be in tonight’s triple match whether he likes it or not. Jericho refuses so Stephanie tells him if he does not compete tonight that he’ll be suspended.
A video package on the Hell in a Cell “Triple Main Event.”
Curtis Axel is in the ring. He tells us about really “bo-lieving” in Bo but last week he was laid out. His shirt has the word “Skol” on it as I have no idea what that means. Axel then said that he has to go back to his roots, which run deep in Minnesota. He talks about the legacy of his grandfather and father and that Bo Dallas attacked everything he stands for and will not let that happen. The crowd was really behind Axel, who showed some fire here. It also helps that he is a local guy.
Curtis Axel vs. Bo Dallas
Bo slaps Axel but gets slapped down. Axel stomps a mudhole in Bo but eats boot on a charge. Bo tries for the Roll of the Dice but Axel counters and gets two with a fisherman’s suplex. Bo takes over and lays into Axel with forearm smashes before applying a chinlock. The crowd chants “skol” as Axel starts fighting back. He hits a neck snap then follows with a knee lift for two. Axel has Bo hunched over on the ropes and charges but Bo dodges and comes back in to rollup Axel for the win (3:00) *.
Thoughts: Fine for while it lasted as these two are now destined for a feud.
A video package for Rich Swann is shown as he will face Brian Kendrick tonight. He likes to dance and party. I hope they let Swann be himself as he has a ton of charisma.
Jerich is in the hallway looking for his list. Some guy tells him he saw the list as we see that Braun Strowman is reading it so Jericho carefully approaches. He asks for the list but Strowman wants him to say please then gives it back after not seeing Sami Zayn’s name and leaves. Jericho said it was on page four then puts Strowman on the list because he touched his property.
We now hear from Reigns in a pre-recorded promo. He tells Rusev he has no idea what its like to be inside of the cell as we are shown clips of Reigns vs. Wyatt from last year’s Hell in a Cell show. Reigns says he has not made this personal yet but he will as inside of the cell its only about the United States Championship and he takes that very personal then closes by telling Rusev “I’ll see you in hell.” This promo was fine but the feud is more than ready to end.
Golden Truth w/ Mark Henry vs. Shining Stars w/ Titus O’Neill
Goldust takes care of Epico to start. The Shining Stars make their comeback as they double-team Goldust for a bit. Goldust catches Primo with a power slam then tags R-Truth as he runs wild on Primo. Titus pulls the ropes down on Truth as the referee was distracted but Henry comes over and takes care of him as the Golden Truth finish off with a double-team move (4:04) *.
Thoughts: I guess these six will be feuding for a bit. This match was dull and its tough to care about any of these acts at this point. The Shining Stars do not have the charisma to get a gimmick over and at this point Titus has managed to regress as a talent.
Mick Foley is in the ring for the WWE Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell match contract signing. He then talks up both women and notes the history being made with this match. Both want to sign as Charlotte keeps yelling at Mick to hand her the contract but Mick tells them both they do not know what they are getting into and screams as he puts over the horrors of the match and how it will haunt you for life. Charlotte then tells Sasha she will go to hell and back for the title and that she will know the meaning of the word “respect.” Sasha tells Charlotte there is no queen of the WWE but rather a boss and then Foley starts yelling how he is broken down and cries as he talks about knowing Charlotte since she was little and tells Sasha about Eddie Guerrero and his family. Both women then sign the contract as this ends with Charlotte pointing at the title Sasha is holding up.
I’m guessing there will be a lot of opinions on this segment. My take is that at times, it just felt like three people screaming over each other. Foley came off the most genuine when describing his own injuries but since he is not the focus of the match that is a bad thing. Plus, Foley has constantly come back to put over the dangers of Hell in a Cell so its nothing new. The narrative of “making history” with the first women’s HIAC match was dialed back a bit here but its been so forced the past few weeks that it has taken away from the rivalry these two women have going on that led to this point. The Eddie Guerrero name-dropping also seemed unnecessary here too. Charlotte did a fine job as a heel while Sasha did not impress much in her limited mic time but at the end, this was all overproduced to the point it was tough to get invested emotionally into the match. I wish they just let Charlotte and Sasha go back-and-forth here about the match and their feud. Make it about them, not a narrative put out by the company.
Another video hyping up Emmalina.
Brian Kendrick vs. Rich Swann
TJ Perkins is on commentary. Swann catches Kendrick with a dropkick after an Irish whip sequence. Kendrick rolls outside after getting hit with another dropkick as Swann flies out with a corkscrew senton as we head to break. We return with Kendrick working the neck. Swann fights back as Perkins talks about Kendrick not being able to beat him clean years ago is eating him alive. Kendrick heads up top but Swann leaps up and takes him off with a hurricarana for two. Swann gets a bridging pin for two but Kendrick got his knees up on a standing moonsault as the camera showed us a wire on the mat. Swann catches Kendrick with a forearm but Kendrick takes him down and locks on the Captain’s Hook but Swann reverses and rolls up Kendrick for the win (8:35) **1/4.
Thoughts: Swann looked good here and beat the challenger right before his PPV match, which makes zero sense. Usually in the WWE, this means that the challenger will win the title so I suspect this is leading to a Kendrick vs. Swann feud. I wouldnt even mind that as the Perkins character is not getting over and the video game speak is not going to help, either. And Perkins was quite dull on commentary too.
Tom Phillips is backstage with Kevin Owens. He asks him about the list effecting their friendship and match tonight as Owens says it will not and they will both beat on Rollins tonight. Owens then talks about wanting to be a part of the Hell in a Cell ever since seeing the first match. He talks about being excited for this, just like Charlotte and Sasha, as he will dismantle Rollins piece-by-piece and leave a permanent scar on him and everyone else watching as the only thing that matters is the Universal Title and there is nothing he will not do to keep it. This was okay but I’ve seen Owens do much better on the mic.
Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn
Before the match, Strowman yells to Mick Foley that this is not competition. Zayn then slaps away the mic and chops him across the chest. Zayn gets Strowman to chase him around the ring and takes him off the apron with a pair of dropkicks but Strowman catches his pescado attempt and slams him into the barricade. Strowman then leaves as Zayn gets into the ring and wants Strowman to return, but Strowman just turns around and heads into the back.
Thoughts: I liked this segment. Shows the underdog Zayn is not afraid of the monster and he can really help out Strowman in the ring. I am all for these two in a program with each other.
Perkins is taking is wrist tape off as Kendrick comes in, saying he does not want trouble. Perkins says you just cannot reset everything as Kendrick is crying, saying he cannot feed his family without this job and needs for Perkins to feed him like they did when he was breaking into wrestling. Basically, he is asking Perkins to lay down for him. I thought this was just awful and I have no idea why anyone would care about this feud after watching this segment.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman come out to the ring. Heyman addresses Goldberg as we get a “suplex city” chant but Heyman signals out a fan chanting Goldberg and says those chants piss Lesnar off. We get a dueling chant as Heyman tells the crowd to stop chanting for Goldberg but we are getting more anti-Goldberg chants than anything. This segment then ends. A complete waste of time that killed the crowd. To think Lesnar would get booed in Minnesota is well, not thinking at all. Plus, they did nothing to advance the storyline as we will have to wait for next week when Goldberg returns.
Jericho is backstage with Owens and happy his list is back. Jericho said no matter what happens they will still be friends as he leaves while Owens does not seem so sure.
Seth Rollins vs. Chris Jericho vs. Kevin Owens
Owens and Jericho talk strategy before entering the ring. Rollins then rolls outside and wants them to fight each other but they chase Rollins around instead. Rollins takes them both down as he now works over Jericho. Owens takes Rollins outside but gets sent into the barricade and hit with a dropkick. Jericho comes out as Rollins takes them both out with a crossbody from the barricade. Owens fights back inside but misses a cannonball as Rollins hits a springboard knee smash for two. Jericho runs in and attacks Rollins then tries to put him in the Walls of Jericho. Rollins fights back and tries for the Pedigree but Owens makes the save then yells at Rollins about not hitting Jericho with that move. They beat down Rollins for a bit but Rollins makes a comeback. Jericho rolls away from a frog splash then hits the Codebreaker for a nearfall. Jericho yells that it was a three count as Owens hits Rollins with a cannonball and they set him up for a double superplex but Rollins ends up rolling both of them up for the win (9:43) **. After the match, Jericho & Owens beat on Rollins for a bit. Rollins comes back to attack Jericho but Owens takes him back down after officials separate them and ends up powerbombing Rollins on the ring apron. Owens then runs back down to the ring and poses with his belt as the show goes off the air.
Thoughts: The finish to this match was pathetic. To have both men actually rolled up at the same time when they were not even in any danger makes them look like goofs and one of those men is the Universal Champion. Why you would book your champion like that is beyond me. The end with Owens powerbombing Rollins on the apron made it so Rollins would be going into Hell in a Cell hurt but Rollins did not appear to have a tough time against both guys here.
Final Thoughts: This was an awful show. None of the feuds have any real momentum and the booking decisions and match finishes left a lot to be desired. On paper, the Hell in a Cell matches look good but nothing tonight made you excited to see the show. RAW lacks compelling characters and storylines and worst of all, the creative team is not able to connect with the crowds with the convoluted dialogue and storylines. It is tough for anyone to get momentum with a show like this.