Firstly, I am not talking about the 2021 version, but by god do I have some things to say about THAT in a minute, but no, what I am against is Hell In A Cell being its own PPV. This will happen! And people will meet in the cell! It is a watering down of one of WWE’s most excellent dramatic iconic perfect match types.
I remember the first ever Hell In A Cell with the Undertaker going against Shawn Michaels in an amazing clash, forever remembered for the blood and the violence and the appearance of Kane. I remember taking it to work on VHS and showing it and non-wrestling people being as mesmerised as me. I’m pretty sure it was not just in the journalism world that this was happening. It revolutionised what could be shown on WWE television/PPV and is constantly shown over and over on any clip show worth its salt.
Then…There was The Undertaker vs Mick Foley. I did not think that the original could be beaten but then I watched as Foley was thrown off the top of the goddamn cage and through a table. Then both men on top of the cell and Foley going through it. Add Jim Ross’ iconic commentary and this was wrestling perfection.
Now…My problem…It used to be that you remembered every Hell In A Cell match as they were the end of a long feud and you were totally invested in the story. Every. Single. Time. By having HIAC as an annual PPV, things just get thrown together and the whole thing seems totally pointless and watered down. 2021, to be fair, McIntyre against Lashley DOES deserve to be a Hell In A Cell match, we have seen it over and over and over again so there needs to be a full stop and HIAC is the ultimate end. But it could have headlined a b-show PPV as a Hell In A Cell match, “A fight too bitter to be anything but…(Vince Voice) IN THE CELL.”, rather than being shoehorned in here. That’s the hot one, not the frozen one, and I don’t mean Olaf and company, unfortunately…Roman Reigns has been an absolute star on Smackdown for the last few months, WWE realised finally that fans just didn’t like him as a babyface carrying the company on his back and so they swerved us all and this heel Reigns is fucking great. Add the Usos into the soap opera storyline, I use that as a compliment, the way you used to watch Neighbours the next day because of what the last scene showed, and you have the best thing in WWE right now. Until Adam Cole comes up, but let us deal with the chickens already hatched. Reigns at the PPV? Surely he should have clotheslined Jimmy Uso and then taken him on at HIAC, with Jey in his corner, unsure of which corner he should be in…Classic. Instead…Reigns vs Mysterio. REALLY? FUCKING REALLY? In 2021, Rey Mysterio is on top of a card. In a Cell match. For what seems like no reason. There have been a couple of weeks where Rey and Dominik have been attacked and blah blah blah, I don’t buy Dominik as a main event player and Rey is only there to make this happen so…Nope. You know that Rey cannot beat Roman, if he did the last year of storylines have been for nothing and even I, as someone disappointed by recent WWE events, cannot see that happening.
So why are we getting this Cell match? I’m guessing we will see Roman beat Rey so mercilessly that Dominic tries to get in and save his Papi but then Jey beats Dominic so mercilessly that Jimmy pleads with him to stop. Then Roman wins, comes out, beats up Dominic and Jimmy faces off with him. That seems to be where we are going but continuing a pointless storyline (the Mysterio bit not the excellent Reigns performance) in the best PPV match of all time seems silly.
If this PPV has to exist then would it not have made more sense to do Bayley vs Belair in the cell to end that story. We know Belair will always win because she is the new blood but Bayley is always entertaining and they could tear the house down I am sure. Or you put Bayzler against Jax, surely that is coming, make Bayzler back into being a killer and when Reginald (why does he exist in WWE, that is another question) interferes, he runs up the cage and voila, Bayzler throws him off and he is GOOOOOOOONE for good.
To have a mid card family (in 2021, obvs Rey was amazing back in the day but Jesus, you wouldn’t wanna see Sammartino in a cage in these days) stepping into the limelight of the most exciting most savage match type in WWE history, means you are ruining the most exciting most savage match type in WWE history. Yawn. I never thought Hell In A Cell would make me yawn. Crushed.