by Adam Salzer
Hello, everybody! Welcome to the latest edition of Making the Grade! Tonight may be one of the most anticipated Hell in a Cell PPVs in HISTORY! Will it live up to the hype? Let's find out!
Cruiserweight Six-Man Tag
I appreciate them getting a chance to showcase here, but this still feels like a "Hey, we've got all these guys who aren't in the title match so what can we do with them?" situation. The match itself was fun, all the fun flippy shit you expect from the cruiserweights.
Grade: B, quality start, great for the kickoff show.
US Title: Rusev v. Roman Reigns (c)
I'm not expecting much from this match, in fact, I started falling asleep about two minutes in. And then I actually fell asleep for a minute or two around the 20-minute mark. Personally, I think the Accolade with the chain should have been the finish but no, Roman wins one spot later.
Grade: C, That match went, what, 30 minutes? And holy hell did it feel like it.
Bayley v. Dana Brooke
God I hope Bayley can pull a decent match out of Dana here. I would say she did, it was nothing special, it's not going to win any awards, and hopefully Bayley can move on to something else now.
Grade: C, it was what it was and that's all that it needed to be.
Enzo and Cass v. Gallows and Anderson
As per usual, some great mic work by Enzo going into the match. I thought this match was great. Back and forth action, both teams getting a lot of offense in, and the right team went over. Very good stuff.
Grade: A, I really enjoyed that match. Sleeper hit for sure.
Universal Title: Seth Rollins v. Kevin Owens (c)
You may remember I had put this as the match I thought would be best tonight, and boy did it deliver. I loved this match. They told a story with Seth's back injury, we got Jericho in there to give Seth even more trouble, and Seth still looks great because he would have won at least twice if Jericho hadn't been inside the cell. Loved the hardcore stuff, especially the double table spotGreat stuff.
Grade: A, beautiful work by everyone involved.
Cruiserweight Title: Brian Kendrick v. TJ Perkins (c)
Obviously TJ isn't going to lay down for Brian. The story here becomes how desperate will Brian become to gain control of the Cruiserweight Championship, and it turns out he was desperate enough to pull the fake knee injury gimmick, which fooled no one except TJ Perkins. How does that always work? Anyway, fun match, a little slower than the six-man, but still enjoyable. Hopefully TJ doesn't get shunted into six-man tags that open kickoff shows...
Grade: B, the obviousness of the knee injury brings it down a little, but still a good match.
Raw Tag Titles: New Day (c) v. Sheamaro
I don't much want Sheamaro to win the titles, but I feel like that's where we are here. Also, for some reason, Kofi's pandering in the opening promo really seemed to foreshadow a heel turn to me. The match itself was decent, but the ending was shitty. Why would the referee turn around at that specific moment if he was watching to see if Kofi gave up? Rather nonsensical. The rest of the match was pretty good though.
Grade: B, dumb finish.
Raw Women's Title: Charlotte Flair v. Sasha Banks (c)
These women have a lot to prove, and I worry that they may do something unnecessary to try and prove it. We get a start very reminiscent of the 1998 King of the Ring, with EMTs (who don't know how to put a neck brace on), stretcher, and all. The match was good, but the ending seemed so sudden, there was no build to the finish whatsoever. Countered moonsault, failed running powerbomb, then two half-assed throws onto the table into the Natural Selection for the three-count? Garbage.
Grade: C, I'm cutting two whole letter grades because of that finish. Why can't Sasha have nice things?
Average Grade: B-, Hardly a bad match in the bunch makes for a solid, and high-scoring pay per view.
New Day Q&A, some people found it annoying, I enjoyed the hell out of it.
Match Order, you're goddamn right you put the women on last.
Multiple poor booking decisions. The obviously fake knee injury spot that never really works, Sheamaro winning by DQ, Sasha losing for no goddamn reason, there were things that happened that don't make sense and it did effect the overall enjoyability of the show.
Final Grade: Plus one point, minus half a point gives us a final score of B+. A solid PPV hampered by some poor decision making.
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