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WWE HELL IN A CELL KICKOFF REPORT
JUNE 20, 2021
REPORT BY MIKE F. MEYERS, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Kickoff Panel: Jerry Lawler, Kayla Braxton, JBL, Peter Rosenberg
-A video package was shown reviewing the Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio match from Smackdown. The panel didn’t dwell on this and pivoted to a Rollins vs. Cesaro package. Kayla said that these men have taken turns embarrassing each other. Peter asked JBL which wrestler is under more pressure tonight. JBL mentioned that Cesaro “has not made it yet.” Lawler and Peter picked Rollins to win. JBL picked Cesaro, and further predicted that he would be a world champion in the next two years.
-Megan Morant welcomed Sami Zayn backstage. Zayn explained the concept of karma to Megan, even though she said she knew what it is. He indicated that Kevin Owens will be punished via karma for his role as a conspirator. Zayn insisted that he had nothing to do with Owens’s recent challenges – rather, it was karma. He said that by winning tonight he would be “serving cosmic justice.”
-JBL declared Zayn “an absolute nutcase.” Peter compared Zayn’s mannerisms to Doc Brown from the hit 1985 film “Back to the Future.” They spoke of Zayn becoming aligned with Commander Azeez, even though Azeez is Apollo Crews’s guy.
Announcers: Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
(1) MANDY ROSE (w/ Dana Brooke) vs. NATALYA (w/ Tamina)
After Rose’s entrance, a video recap was shown of Natalya and Tamina bickering and then fighting with Rose and Brooke from Raw. Natalya kissed her tag team title on the apron before entering the ring and handing her gear to Tamina.
The women locked up and exchanged holds on the mat. Rose twirled out of a wristlock and reversed the hold. She rolled up Natalya for a surprise two-count. They exchanged some very coordinated rope-running maneuvers. Natalya got the upper hand and issued some punishment in the corner, then leveled Natalya with a right cross before covering for two. Rose applied a leg scissors around Natalya’s waist on the mat. Natalya managed to twist around to face Rose and hammered down multiple blows. Rose ended this with a front chancery, but Natalya stood up and slammed Rose to the mat.
Rose landed forearm shots to Natalya’s back, then applied an abdominal stretch in the middle of the ring. Natalya reversed the hold and shouted, “You’re nothing but a fitness model!” Rose reversed the hold back to her advantage, but Natalya immediately whipped Rose to the mat. Natalya side stepped a charging Rose in the corner and went on a brief flurry of offense before covering Rose for two.
Rose got to the top rope and kicked Natalya away before hitting a missile drop kick. She covered Natalya for two. Rose went into a double underhook hold but Natalya blocked any suplex attempt. They exchanged quick pin attempts. Rose made a backslide pin – when Natalya kicked out at two, Rose hit an immediate knee strike and covered again for a believable near finish.
They exchanged pins once again and Natalya briefly applied a cross arm breaker but Rose quickly got to the bottom rope. Natalya reversed out of a jackknife cover, then applied the sharpshooter. Rose tapped out after two seconds. Brooke consoled Rose on the ring apron while Natalya and Tamina held their titles aloft in the ring.
WINNER: Natalya by submission in 9:40.
(Meyers’s Analysis: Decent match with one believable near fall. Natalya is a veteran solid hand in the ring, and Rose is a step behind her in this regard. The biggest surprise of the match was that neither of the tag partners got involved, in spite of their boiling disdain for each other as seen on Raw.)
-The panel did a final rundown of the main card before throwing to an elaborate Lashley / McIntyre video package. Kayla asked who had the advantage and pointed out that McIntyre has had a Hell in a Cell match and Lashley has not. Lawler said he loved matches with stipulations. He pointed out that this was McIntyre’s final shot at this championship, and that’s a lot of pressure. JBL said it was a definite disadvantage that Lashley has never fought in the Cell, yet still predicted a Lashley victory. The panel seemed to have mild orgasms as the Cell structure began lowering around the ring as the Kickoff show concluded. Belair vs. Bayley will open the show.
Find Mike Meyers on Twitter: @themikeshow42