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The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Hell in a Cell 2016



Stop me if you've heard this before: WWE puts together and hypes one hell of a matchup (no pun intended), the performers bust their ass and leave it all in the ring in a display of fiery emotion. It's around 15 or 20 minutes of investment. You think you've got a classic in the making here. And just when the bout hits its spectacular climax... you realize that the wrong person is winning.

Whatever joy you were feeling becomes deflated. It's not someone taking a needle to a balloon, but just letting go of the opening they held tight. The air shoots out like a fart in church, and you're left standing there in stunned silence.

This is the WWE's disease, and you and I both know it very well. It's the illness of refusing to give fanservice, in the name of either petty reasons or adhering to a bigger story. For Daniel Bryan back in 2013, it was the former disguised as a clever execution to the latter, until it was finally fixed. We don't know what it is yet for Sasha Banks, but it's happening all over again.




When you've got an event that beats one big bout into the ground with three different iterations, the least you can do is make it easier to swallow. Sasha had to win last night, for five reasons: 1) it was her hometown, 2) it was a championship match, 3) it was a history-making championship match inside Hell in a Cell main-eventing Hell in a Cell, 4) Charlotte didn't need the third title reign just yet, and 5) you just don't pass over a huge star-making moment like that. It doesn't matter what the reasons were, even if they were setting up something long-term; sometimes, you just have to blow your load in the moment—especially when you have an underdog everyone is rooting for. You just cannot be tone-deaf in important moments like these.

So where did this leave RAW now? It inevitably dulled a groundbreaking, progressive moment in not just WWE history, but all of pro wrestling history. They were on the right side of it, but they offered the wrong casualty to get there. Years down the line, when passionate fans and pundits discuss this match's place in the annals of our sport, there's no doubt fans will be looking back at this moment as the first time women got inside Hell in a Cell and closed a big show, no matter who was for and against the idea. They just won't be looking back on it as fondly as they would if the underdog battled the worst of odds and came out triumphant. 

You know, the story everyone loves to watch unfold.

*****

Quick results


  • The team of Sin Cara, Lince Dorado, and Cedric Alexander def. the team of Drew Gulak, Tony Nese, and Ariya Daivari in a kickoff match

  • Roman Reigns (c) def. Rusev in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE United States Championship

  • Bayley def. Dana Brooke

  • Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson def. Enzo Amore and Big Cass

  • Kevin Owens (c) def. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match to retain the WWE Universal Championship

  • Brian Kendrick def. TJ Perkins (c) to become the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion

  • The team of Cesaro and Sheamus def. the New Day (c) via disqualification

  • Charlotte def. Sasha Banks (c) in a Hell in a Cell match to become the new WWE RAW Women's Champion

Photo from WWE
*****

Romeo Moran (@roiswaris the Editor in Chief of Smark Henry and one of the three hosts of the Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He gets by in this hard knock life through working in publishing. Smark Henry was his and Stan Sy's original vision of a watering hole for local wrestling fans. He roots for the undersized guys who hit hard, but really hates Davey Richards with his entire soul.

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