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    Monday, October 26, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Hell in a Cell 2020

    Sasha Banks and Bayley at WWE Hell in a Cell 2020

    If there's anything to mark this particular year's edition of Hell in a Cell by, it's the fact that it's the only Cell show so far to have three Hell in a Cell matches. When people talk about this show, they're going to talk about more than a few things—but primarily, they'll talk about how having three Cell matches are a bad idea.

    They are right. No matter how good Roman Reigns and Jey Uso were, how deserved Sasha Banks's win was, or how shocking Randy Orton's 14th WWE Championship win is, three Hell in a Cell matches in one evening is never a good idea.

    On WWE's part, it was an experiment on just how much they could build a show around the central theme. Many people have already gone on and on about how forcing a special match stipulation on a particular pay-per-view event—instead of letting it come naturally to stories—makes it feel less special. That horse has been beaten so much that the meat's tender. There's no point in having that argument anymore, because the only time it'll matter is when they decide to stop having Hell in a Cell shows.

    Instead, praise has to be given to all six Cell participants in trying to make their own matches stand out as much as possible.

    Reigns vs. Uso was all about the family drama and less about the workrate. Bayley and Sasha went to war and proved that they could work well inside the Cell. Orton and McIntyre was a slugfest—and had the only high spot. Hell in a Cell matches are all similar no matter which way you wrestle them: you use the Cell and the weapons within to exact brutality on your opponent, but it's fair to say they succeeded in flavoring it their own way.

    Is it enough to save the show, though? As always, when it comes to the WWE product, the card suffers from tunnel vision outside of the Cell. Jeff Hardy vs. Elias is a tacked-on match that no one really cares about (who even remembers Elias getting hit by a car that was allegedly driven by Hardy?); Otis vs. Miz meant very little for the important plot device they were fighting for, just being a vehicle for yet another tag team breakup; and once again Retribution gets owned by the Hurt Business.

    If there's one good thing to come from that lack of careful thought, it's that the show kept to three hours, which is always a welcome blessing in modern wrestling. Especially in a company that's made it a point to go to four-and-a-half hours before the pandemic. It's even better when you think of the Hell in a Cell matches as the only must-watch matches from this card; then your viewing time gets cut by around half. It's honestly the best way to get through three Cell matches.

    Hell in a Cell 2020 Rating: B

    Match of the Night

    It doesn't matter who The Man is—Bayley and Sasha had the best women's match in NXT history so far, and they were poised to bring down the house again inside the Cell. It's not the most perfect match, but they went above and beyond to have the most engaging Hell in a Cell bout on the whole show, and one deserving of Sasha's Grand Slam win.

    Photo from WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Hell in a Cell 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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