Hell in a Cell (2018)
Hell in a Cell (2018) was a professional wrestling pay-per-view (PPV) event and WWE Network event, produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on September 16, 2018, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. It was the tenth and final event under the Hell in a Cell chronology.
|Hell in a Cell (2018)|
|Date||September 16, 2018|
|City||San Antonio, Texas|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Hell in a Cell chronology|
Eight matches were contested at the event, including one on the pre-show. The main event, which was a Universal Championship Hell in a Cell match between defending champion Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman with special guest referee Mick Foley, ended in a no-contest after previous champion Brock Lesnar appeared and attacked both men, rendering them unable to continue. This was also Strowman's Money in the Bank cash-in match. In the other Hell in a Cell match, which opened the main show, Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy. Other prominent matches included AJ Styles controversially retaining the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe, Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair to win her record tying second SmackDown Women's Championship, and Ronda Rousey retained the Raw Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss.
The card featured eight matches, including one on the pre-show, that resulted from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated in a wrestling match or series of matches, with results predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands. Storylines were produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live.
At SummerSlam, The Miz defeated Daniel Bryan after Miz's wife Maryse gave him a pair of brass knuckles that the referee did not see. On the following SmackDown, Miz and Maryse mocked Bryan's retirement speech from two years earlier. Bryan and his wife Brie Bella came out and confronted them. Bryan called Miz a coward for having to cheat to win and said that SmackDown General Manager Paige approved of a mixed tag team match between Bryan and Brie and Miz and Maryse at Hell in a Cell.
At SummerSlam, during the WWE Championship match between Samoa Joe and defending champion AJ Styles, Joe taunted Styles by disrespecting his wife and daughter, who were in attendance. An irate Styles attacked Joe with a steel chair, resulting in Joe winning by disqualification, but Styles retaining the title. On the following SmackDown, Joe attacked Styles from behind during an interview, and continued to disrespect Styles' family. On August 24, a rematch between the two for the title was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
On the August 21 episode of SmackDown, The New Day's Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defeated The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) in a no disqualification match to capture their third SmackDown Tag Team Championship. On August 26, Paige scheduled two triple threat matches, with the winners facing each other to determine who would face The New Day for the titles at Hell in a Cell. Cesaro and Sheamus won the first triple threat match by defeating Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson and The Colóns (Primo and Epico) on the August 28 episode of SmackDown. Rusev and Aiden English won the second triple threat match by defeating The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) and Sanity's Eric Young and Killian Dain on the September 4 episode of SmackDown, thus setting up Cesaro and Sheamus and Rusev and English facing each other for the September 11 episode of SmackDown, which was won by Rusev and English.
At SummerSlam, Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar to win the Universal Championship. Before the match began, Money in the Bank contract winner Braun Strowman came out and declared that he would be cashing-in on the winner of the match and stayed at ringside. Strowman, however, was incapacitated by Lesnar during the match, preventing him from cashing in; this distraction allowed Reigns to defeat Lesnar to win the championship. The next night on Raw, Strowman once again attempted to cash-in after Reigns successfully defended the title against Finn Bálor, but was stopped by Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins coming to the aid of Reigns, reforming The Shield. The following week, Strowman confronted Reigns and announced that he would be cashing-in at Hell in a Cell inside the namesake structure so that Ambrose and Rollins could not interfere. On the September 10 episode of Raw, Mick Foley was named as the special guest referee for the match.
At SummerSlam, Ronda Rousey defeated Alexa Bliss to win the Raw Women's Championship. On the August 27 episode of Raw, Bliss announced that she would be invoking her championship rematch clause at Hell in a Cell.
At Backlash, Jeff Hardy retained the United States Championship against Randy Orton. At Extreme Rules, after Hardy lost the United States Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura, Orton made his return to the WWE and attacked Hardy. Two days later on the July 17 episode of SmackDown, Hardy had a rematch with Nakamura, but it ended in a draw after Orton attacked Hardy. The following week, Orton explained his attacks on Hardy by stating that he felt disrespected by the WWE Universe and hated how they were supportive of superstars like Hardy. The next week, Orton launched a third attack on Hardy with aidance from Nakamura. Hardy invoked his rematch clause at SummerSlam, and would once again fail to regain the title. After the match, Orton came out while Hardy was incapacitated in the ring, only to turn back and walk away. The following SmackDown on August 21, Orton and Hardy had a match that ended in disqualification after Hardy low-blowed Orton. Hardy then proceeded to attack Orton all around the arena and eventually spread in the crowd area. Hardy then executed a "Swanton Bomb" on Orton off the balcony through a table. On the August 28 episode of SmackDown, Hardy challenged Orton to a Hell in a Cell match at the namesake event, which Orton accepted.
At SummerSlam, Charlotte Flair defeated Becky Lynch and Carmella in a triple threat match to capture the SmackDown Women's Championship. After the match, Lynch turned heel and attacked Flair. The following weeks, Lynch and Flair confronted and attacked each other. A match between Lynch and Flair for the title was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
On the September 3 episode of Raw, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defeated The B-Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel) to win the Raw Tag Team Championship. The following week, a rematch took place between the two teams with Ziggler and McIntyre retaining the titles. A tag team match between Ziggler and McIntyre and Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins for the titles was scheduled for Hell in a Cell.
|English commentators||Michael Cole (Raw)|
|Corey Graves (all matches)|
|Renee Young (Raw)|
|Tom Phillips (SmackDown)|
|Byron Saxton (SmackDown)|
|Spanish commentators||Carlos Cabrera|
|German commentators||Carsten Schaefer|
|Ring announcers||Greg Hamilton (SmackDown)|
|Pre-show panel||Jonathan Coachman|
During the pre-show, The New Day's Big E and Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods) defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against Rusev Day (Rusev and Aiden English, with Lana). In the climax, Kingston performed "Trouble in Paradise" on English to retain the title.
The actual pay-per-view opened with Jeff Hardy facing Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match. During the match, Orton threaded a screwdriver through Hardy's earlobe. Hardy would then counter with a low blow. Hardy performed a "Twist of Fate" on Orton, then placed a chair on him and performed a "Swanton Bomb" on Orton for a near-fall. In the climax, Hardy climbed a ladder and grabbed onto the top of the cell. Dangling from the cell, Hardy attempted a splash on Orton through a table, only for Orton to move, causing Hardy to crash through the table. Orton pinned Hardy to win the match.
Next, Charlotte Flair defended the SmackDown Women's Championship against Becky Lynch. In the climax, as Flair attempted a spear, Lynch countered and pinned Flair to win the title for a record tying second time. After the match, Flair offered a handshake, only for Lynch to refuse.
After that, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre defended the Raw Tag Team Championship against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. In the end, as Rollins had Ziggler up for the "Falcon Arrow", McIntyre performed a "laymore" on Rollins, and Ziggler fell on top of Rollins to pin him and retain the titles.
Later, AJ Styles defended the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe. The closing moments saw Styles attempt a springboard only for Joe to counter into the "Coquina Clutch". Styles countered this into a pin, but during the pin, Styles submitted. The referee did not see Styles submit and counted the pinfall for Styles to controversially retain. After the match, an irate Joe attacked Styles as he felt he had won the match.
In the penultimate match, Ronda Rousey (accompanied by Natalya) defended the Raw Women's Championship against Alexa Bliss (accompanied by Mickie James and Alicia Fox). In the climax, Rousey forced Bliss to submit to an armbar to retain the title.
In the main event, Roman Reigns defended the Universal Championship against Braun Strowman in a Hell in a Cell match with Mick Foley as the special guest referee, which was also Strowman's Money in the Bank cash-in match. Strowman struck Reigns with the steel steps and performed a running powerslam on Reigns for a near-fall. Reigns performed a spear through a table on Strowman for a near-fall. Later in the match, Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre attempted to interfere, only for Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to intercept McIntyre and Ziggler. Atop the cell, Ziggler performed a superkick on Rollins. Ambrose struck McIntyre and Ziggler with a kendo stick. Rollins and Ziggler fell off the cell through the announce tables. In the climax, Brock Lesnar with Paul Heyman made a surprise return. Lesnar kicked in the cell door while Heyman incapacitated Foley with pepper spray. Lesnar then attacked both Strowman and Reigns with broken pieces of a table and performed ""F-5"s on each man before departing. A second referee came out and declared that Strowman and Reigns could not continue, resulting in a no-contest, thus Reigns retained the title. Strowman became the fourth person to fail in gaining a championship in their cash-in match, and the first to fail by a no-contest ruling.
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