WWE Hell In A Cell - Match recaps and ratings


Brian Campbell breaks down every match on Sunday's WWE Hell In A Cell pay-per-view card, which takes place from Boston, Massachusetts. Senior stats analyst Sean Coyle offers ratings worth a maximum of five points. Criteria for ratings is based on storytelling, in-ring execution, match psychology, timing and innovation -- worth up to one point each.

The following will be updated in real time.

WWE United States championship: Roman Reigns def. Rusev by pinfall (24:35)

Roman Reigns was forced to overcome more than just the Hell in a Cell cage wall in order to defend his U.S. title in a third straight pay-per-view meeting against Rusev on Sunday.

Rusev appeared to have Reigns pinned on a number of occasions after hitting him with everything he could find within the four-walled structure -- from steel steps to a kendo stick and a chain -- but Reigns was able to dig deep into his babyface reservoir to come out on top.

Reigns broke free from Rusev's Accolade late in the match, with a chain wrapped into his mouth for added measure, and countered with a Samoan drop onto the steel steps in the center of the ring. Reigns followed up with a spear to get the pin as the crowd booed the predictable finish.

The first of three Hell in a Cell matches on the night was short on fireworks and large on methodical beatings from both. Rusev suffered a laceration on his right arm early in the match and was bleeding; Reigns suffered the same to his right shoulder later on.

The crowd, however, was never fully brought into the match after greeting Reigns with a series of boos off the start. Chants of "Let's go Rusev" and "Get the tables" were circulated instead as the two physical superstars appeared to be saving the higher theatrics typically associated with the match for the two that followed later in the evening.

Bayley def. Dana Brooke by pinfall (6:30)

Relegated to popcorn-match level in its placement on the card after the first of three cage matches, Bayley kept the chains moving for bigger plans ahead by getting past Dana Brooke.

In a brief and largely forgettable match, Bayley sold a previously injured right shoulder throughout the early going as Brooke drew heat with stiff strikes. Bayley turned the momentum in her favor, landing a running elbow into the corner and flying version off the second rope. After Brooke initially blocked her opponent's finishing move, Bayley was successful on her second attempt at the Bayley-to-belly suplex for the easy pin.

The Club def. Enzo Amore and Big Cass by pinfall (6:45)

It may be time for Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to get the kind of vicious heel booking they deserve.

The Club earned a much-needed win on the PPV level by finishing off Enzo Amore with a big boot from Gallows before connecting on their combined finishing move, the Magic Killer, to earn a relatively quick pinfall.

The momentum of the match took a final turn in the favor of Gallows and Anderson after a sequence in which it appeared Big Cass had single-handedly taken over the match. After receiving a hot tag from Amore, the 7-footer cleaned house inside the ring with a series of clotheslines to both and the combination of an Empire Elbow and fallback slam on Gallows.

But Big Cass missed a follow-up big boot on Anderson that sent him over the ropes. After Amore instantly tagged himself in, The Club was able to take control and finish him off.

The match was brief but relatively fast-paced following a particularly humorous pre-match promo from Amore.

WWE Universal championship: Kevin Owens (c) def. Seth Rollins by pinfall (23:15)

The recap of this match can be found here.

WWE cruiserweight championship: Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins (c) by submission (10:35)

In a strong piece of storytelling to an angle that has been consistently booked for weeks, Brian Kendrick put his heel skills on full display in outsmarting TJ Perkins to steal the WWE cruiserweight title.

Kendrick, 37, whose redemption angle has mirrored his real-life return to the company after seven years, effectively put over his character's desperation on Monday's Raw, begging Perkins in the locker room to let him win on Sunday. He would prey on Perkins' babyface compassion again in Sunday's match.

After missing his second attempt at his Sliced Bread finishing move, Kendrick faked a knee injury and stayed down on the canvas, causing the referee to interrupt the action by checking on him. Perkins came out to check in, as well, and was greeted with a vicious head butt before Kendrick applied his Captains' Hook submission move that forced Perkins to tap out.

While the match was ultimately short on the kind of high-flying spots the cruiserweight division is known for, the action was fast, crisp and booked even as both wrestlers regularly countered each other's moves.

Kendrick did well to establish his heel persona early on by unwrapping the tape around Perkins' wrists and tying him to the bottom rope before landing kicks. His victory appears well-earned as Kendrick has arguably become the backbone of the division following a strong comeback performance at The Cruiserweight Classic.

This is Kendrick's first singles championship in the WWE.

Raw tag team championship: Cesaro and Sheamus def. The New Day by DQ (11:15)

Cesaro and Sheamus came as close as you can come to winning world titles without doing so, but may have gotten over as a legitimate tag team in the process.

The New Day suffered defeat by disqualification as Kofi Kingston, who was not involved in the match, connected on his "Trouble in Paradise" kick to Sheamus outside the ring just seconds before Xavier Woods was about to tap out to Cesaro's sharpshooter.

The finish was well executed, providing legitimate confusion in the initial few seconds as to whether the newly formed team of Cesaro and Sheamus had actually snapped The New Day's 434-day title reign, just over a month removed from having a chance to break Demolition's WWE record of 478.

The match lived up to its PPV placement after a slow start with a frenetic finish and a number of near falls. Sheamus nearly brought an end to the bout late in the match when a Brogue kick accidentally laid out Cesaro and was forced to dive into the ring to break up a pin moments later.

Cesaro and Sheamus did great work in the ring and proved their chemistry is worthy of the title level, despite the duo being at odds with each other before the match.

Raw women's championship: Charlotte def. Sasha Banks (c) via pinfall (19:50)

The recap of this match can be found here.