Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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WWE HELL IN A CELL KICKOFF SHOW
OCTOBER 30, 2016
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
-Renee Young introduced the show as they showed a view of the Cell structure hanging over the ring. Renee was joined by Jerry Lawler, Booker T, and Lita. The crowd was chanting “Goldberg.” Lita said the crowd was already expressing themselves. Renee touted the three main event Cell matches. Lita talked about how scared they were at a haunted house the night before.
-Renee pushed the free month offer, and they shifted to talking about Survivor Series Booker T said that Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar is “when fantasy warfare just got real.” Lita also plugged NXT Takeover: Toronto the night before Survivor Series.
-They went to Tom Phillips in the events center pushing the HIAC line-up. Renee said regarding Rusev and Reigns: “To say this has gotten person is the understatement of the century.” Booker T on Roman-Reigns: “These guys are going to be able to kill each other. I cannot wait! Ha ha ha ha ha!” Lawler predicted that Rusev would win and prove to be the greatest U.S. Champion of all time.
-After a video package on the Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Hell in a Cell match, Bayley joined the panel. Bayley said Dana Brooke is jealous of her and has been like that since Day One. She said whomever wins in the Cell she’ll be proud of and ready to wrestle next because her goal is to become Women’s Champion. She said the two women are “ready to make history.”
(Keller’s Analysis: This is a good example of WWE just softening the edges of what should be a lot of drama headed into tonight. Bayley is talking about the women “making history” like they’re about to become the first female president or something rather than going to war in a dangerous cage. She’s also someone who should be expressing disagreements with how Charlotte carries herself. Every time Bayley seems indifferent toward or even rooting for Charlotte, it completely undercuts her charm and innocence and honesty that is the core of her character. She should appalled at Charlotte’s cockiness and tactics instead of “rooting for her to make history.” It’s a disservice to Charlotte and WWE and herself to just act like everyone is equally deserving of being champion and it’s all about “making history.”)
-After a video package on the Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins match, Booker predicts Owens because “ten times out of ten” he goes with the champion. So remember that next time Owens defends the title, Booker will automatically pick him, apparently. Lawler and Renee picked Seth.
-After a video package on the Cruiserweight Title match, the panel interviewed Rich Swan. Booker T said he thinks T.J. Perkins is soft. Swan said Brian Kendrick asking Perkins to lose to him is downright despicable and disrespectful to their division. Renee says she is a terrible dancer and doesn’t have rhythm and she asked Swan to show her some moves. They played Swan’s music. He danced a little. Booker T joined in. He then told Renee to stop when she started moving. Booker said, “Whoa whoa whoa! Don’t do that. You’re making me think about King when he had a heart attack.” Lawler said if he keeps watching them dance, he’ll have another heart attack.
(A) LINCE DORADO & CEDRIC ALEXANDER & SIN CARA vs. TONY NESE & DREW GULAK & ARIYA DAIVARI
Mauro Rankllo & Corey Graves from Smackdown called this Raw-exclusive Cruiserweight match for some reason. Not complaining, but it sure doesn’t make sense. Mauro touted a crowd of 16,193. Nose launched Dorado onto a crowd at ringside a couple minutes, so they cut to a commercial starring The Miz and Dolph Ziggler doing a KFC commercial dressed as Col. Sanders and a chicken. [c]
Mauro said Gulak “wants to turn the Cruiserweight Division into the bruiserweight division.” We got a “Mama Mia!” from Mauro after a triple dive by the babyfaces through the ropes onto the heels at ringside. Dorado broke up a submission attempt by Gulak on Swan. In the end, Alexander finished Gulak with a leaping Lumbar Check backbreaker.
WINNERS: Sin Cara & Dorado & Alexander.
-Phillips interviewed New Day in the social media center. Phillips asked them viewers questions. They refused to divulge how they decide which two of them wrestles in title matches. They ended by relentlessly picking on Phillips.
(Keller’s Analysis: New Day were entering Mojo Rawley territory of obnoxiousness here.)
Renee loved it. Lawler buried his head in his hands and said, “I am so ready for New Day to call it a day.”
-A video package aired on the Charlotte vs. Sasha HIAC match. Lawler predicted a Charlotte win. Lita picked Sasha. Booker picked Charlotte because he always picks the champion ten out of ten times. Wait, no, he picked Charlotte because he thinks she’s the best. They turned and looked on in awe of the Hell in a Cell structure to end the show.