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Hell In A Cell Review

Belair was constantly in danger of losing her championship. She was clearly the match's most imposing presence. Asuka and Lynch retaliated with quick exchanges and opportunistic pinfall attempts to try and wiggle the title away from the EST of WWE. Lynch nearly won the title after landing a guillotine leg drop on Belair off the middle rope. "The Man" continued to steamroll the competition, punishing Belair with a top rope leg drop. "The Empress of Tomorrow" finally found her groove, landing a near pinfall on Lynch after a series of thudding strikes. A standing moonsault from Belair nearly pinned both Asuka and Lynch simultaneously. The trio teased a Tower of Doom, but Belair backflipped off the ropes and ate a Codebreaker by Asuka, who also delivered one to Lynch. Asuka struck both women with a shining wizard.The Man Handle Slam appeared to put Belair away for good but Asuka saved the day. The less experienced Belair closed out the show by using Lynch's tactic against her. Lynch planted Asuka with a Man Handle Slam only for Belair to toss her foe from the ring. The champion pinned a defenseless Asuka to retain her title. A tremendous way to start the evening. Fast-paced action, fluid and creative offense. Everyone delivered big. Bianca Belair def. Asuka and Becky Lynch via pinfall to retain the Raw women's championship. Grade: B+

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP (Handicap match): Omos tried to lure Lashley into a battle of strength vs. strength. The veteran leaned on his MMA background and striking advantage against his larger foe. MVP only tagged himself in when Lashley was on the ropes and was quick to flee anytime Lashley built momentum. Omos repeatedly extinguished any fire that Lashley stoked. Outside of the ring, Omos built a head of steam and bulldozed Lashley through the barricade. "The Almighty" barely beat the referee's 10-count only for MVP to swarm him. Cedric Alexander -- who earlier in the evening was shooed away by MVP after offering to help his former Hurt Business boss – interfered in the match. Alexander distracted Omos long enough for Lashley to topple his gargantuan opponent with a spear. He applied the Hurt Lock to MVP to force a tap out. Post-match, Lashley grabbed a fan's replica WWE championship and proclaimed himself the champ. A solid effort by all involved. Lashley def. MVP and Omos Grade: C-

Ezekiel vs. Kevin Owens: Ezekiel nearly shocked the world, flooring Owens with a flying knee and landing the top rope elbow drop for a near count. Owens took back control on the outside and cut Ezekiel open along the forehead. Owens showed off his fantastic athleticism, landing a picture-perfect springboard moonsault. Owens' obsession with Ezekiel's identity distracted him, allowing Elias' brother to punish him with big corner splashes and a spinebuster. Ezekiel landed a second flying knee that folded Owens for another near fall. A superkick, cannonball in the corner and stunner secured the victory for the villainous Canadian. A very fun midcard match that keeps the ball rolling on this unexpected hit feud. Owens def. Ezekiel via pinfall. Grade: B- A.J Styles, Finn Balor and Liv Morgan vs. Judgement Day (Edge, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley): The two teams

brawled to kick things off with the hodgepodge group of good guys taking control. Styles propelled Morgan through the air to land a snazzy hurricanrana on Ripley. Judgement Day punished Morgan and Balor early, distracting their foes to gain the upper hand anytime momentum slipped away. A Pele Kick by Balor finally presented him with the opening to make a tag. The crowd, after witnessing Balor receive an extended beatdown by Edge and Priest, roared to life when Styles tagged in. "The Phenomenal One" rattled off his signature strikes and slams on Edge and Priest while Morgan took out Ripley. Styles finally clocked Edge with the Phenomenal Forearm, a move he had not been able to land on his rival since before WrestleMania 38 in April. Priest saved his team by interrupting the pinfall. Former teammates Morgan and Ripley tagged in next. Morgan's speed outpaced Ripley's strength repeatedly until Ripley changed the tempo with a nasty suplex. The match escalated into another six-person brawl that concluded with Balor, Morgan and Styles diving onto their opponents outside. Balor countered Edge's spear and had him laid out for a fight-ending Coup de Gras. Ripley stood in between Balor and Edge long enough for her Judgement Day leader to crush Balor with a spear for the victory. A solid match without much to complain about. Judgement Day (Edge, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley) def. Finn Balor, A.J. Styles and Liv Morgan via pinfall. Grade: B+ Madcap Moss vs. Happy Corbin (No Holds Barred match):

There was no love lost between these friends-turned-foes. The action immediately spilled to the outside. Corbin planted Moss with a chokeslam to the ring apron. Corbin provoked the Chicago crowd as he repeatedly smacked Moss with a steel chair. Corbin drilled Moss in the back of the neck with the chair, taking advantage of Moss' storyline injured neck. Grabbing a fresh chair, Corbin dug it into Moss' throat. This drew chants of "asshole" from the audience. Moss ducked out of the way as a sprinting Corbin collided head first with a chair in the corner. Fans broke out into "we want tables" chants, but Moss settled for a chair. Moss got his payback with repeated chair shots to Corbin's back and torso. A DDT to the steel chair nearly secured the win for Moss. Ringside, Corbin wrapped a chair around Moss' neck and tossed him into the announcer's table. It appeared the end of days was near for Moss as Corbin grabbed the steel steps and leaned them into the corner. Moss took advantage of the lull, picking up Corbin and tossing him into the steps with a fallaway slam. Moss enacted the ultimate revenge on Corbin. He wrapped a chair around Corbin's neck, dropped the steps onto the chair and pinned his defenseless rival. A fun brawl that showed Moss' vicious side despite the feud feeling less than spectacular. Madcap Moss def. Happy Corbin via pinfall. Grade:C- United States championship -- Theory (c) vs. Mustafa Ali:

The Chicago crowd was firmly behind their hometown hero Ali. Theory is Vince McMahon's chosen one and the youngest U.S. champ in WWE history. Ali is an under-appreciated superstar who was benched for months while vocally demanding his WWE release. Ali out-grappled Theory early into the match. When Theory finally got control with strikes and slams, the audience booed him loudly. Both men showed off their athleticism. Ali backflipped off the top rope and landed a super kick on an airborne Theory. The champion leapt up and landed a sitting springboard Spanish Fly. The hometown hero also fired off a sweet tornado DDT. The crowd came to life when Ali countered Theory's finisher, locking up an STF that nearly had the champ tapping. A tilt-a-whirl DDT by Ali raised the stakes and a 450 splash attempt brought the crowd to its feet. Theory dodged the aerial offense and landed his finisher for a clean win over the challenger. Both competitors looked slick in the ring. The real-life contrast between Theory and Ali, plus the fan investment elevates the match. A great move to have the smarmy villain defeat the hometown hero, but the sentiment that WWE will never really commit to Ali is difficult to shake off. Theory def. Mustafa Ali via pinfall to retain the U.S. championship. Grade:C Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell match):

Full credit to Rollins for the fantastic heel work. Rollins entered the ring dressed in polka dots to mock "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, Cody's father. Rhodes took off his jacket to reveal a terribly bruised right chest and bicep. Rhodes suffered a legitimate complete pectoral tear before the event. Rhodes did not shy away from offense, landing a Cody Cutter early into the match. Rollins definitely did not shy from the injury, digging a kendo stick into the injured muscle before smacking him with it. Rhodes refused to compensate for the injury, landing a clothesline with his injured half. Rollins tortured his opponent physically and psychologically. Rollins donned Rhodes' jacket, grabbed his opponent's weight belt and repeatedly whipped at the legitimate injury. Rollins dragged a table into the ring as the crowd erupted into chants of "Thank you, Rollins!" Well in control, Rollins launched off the ropes in hopes of landing a frog splash on Rhodes through the table. "The American Nightmare" rolled out of the way as Rollins crashed into plunder. Rhodes dragged a bull rope into the match, provoking Rollins to latch himself in. A throwback to stipulations in the era of Dusty, Rhodes and Rollins abused each other with the rope and cowbell while both were tied in. Rhodes struck his finishing move despite the pain surging through his body, but it was not enough to put away Rollins. Rollins then tossed Rhodes through the table with a powerbomb yet Rhodes managed to kick out on his injured side. The sheer toughness drew chants of "This is awesome!" from the Chicago crowd. Rhodes nearly defeated Rollins with The Pedigree, a move Triple H bestowed upon Rollins. A curb stomp by Rollins swung the pendulum once more in Rollins' favor. Even louder "This is awesome" chants from the audience. Rollins landed the Cross Rhodes on the fan-favorite only for Rhodes to return fire with the same move. Rhodes kicked a sledgehammer out of Rollins' hands, landed two consecutive Cross Rhodes and domed him with the sledgehammer to win the match. What a fantastic match. Any tribute to Dusty Rhodes is a treat. The polka dots and bull rope were a welcomed addition to the match. The multiple Cross Rhodes dilute Rhodes' finisher, but we're splitting hairs considering how great everything else was. Rhodes and Rollins had a hall pass to take things easy with the severity of Rhodes' injury. Instead, they worked a legitimate problem into the story of the match. It may have been inadvisable and uncomfortable but it makes you feel. Pro-wrestling is at its absolute best when it makes you feel. Cody Rhodes def. Seth Rollins via pinfall. Grade: A++++

Cody Rhodes after ppv finished:

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