Much of the debate heading into WWE’s latest pay-per-view, Hell in a Cell, centered around what match should main event the show. Much of the debate following it centered around whether the right decision was made in the end. Sasha Banks and Charlotte closed the night, but the immediate reaction following Hell in a Cell seemed to indicate that it wasn’t the best match on the card.
That distinction seemed to favor Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins, who were fighting over the WWE Universal Championship, the presumptive other option to headline, inside the same Hell in a Cell structure. Still, there was no shortage of praise for the women on social media afterward, making history not once, but twice on the same night.
It’s been noted that the final decision to put Sasha and Charlotte on last was not made official until the day before Hell in a Cell. The most resistance was provided by none other than Vince McMahon, while Triple H and most other WWE officials were pushing for the women to be in the main event. Obviously, Vince gave in to his staff in a move that will certainly spawn even more debate.
However, deciding which match should close out Hell in a Cell wasn’t the only source of discussion on Sunday in Boston. According to the Daily Wrestling News, there was a lot of talk backstage before the show about introducing blood into the RAW Women’s Championship match as well. A portion of WWE management felt that some measure of “red” was needed to amp up the importance in the bout, while some were more concerned about the safety of the two competitors.
As seen during the match, there was no blood, but there were plenty of high-risk spots, some of which weren’t executed properly. There was a genuine worry hovering backstage in the days leading up to Hell in a Cell due to a feeling that Sasha and Charlotte would put their health at risk to make sure the match was memorable.
The women’s match wasn’t the only one that had officials scrambling until the 11th hour either. DWN also reports that the WWE Universal Title match caused some contention behind the scenes as well. Officials had every intention of including Chris Jericho in the match somehow, but it wasn’t until the last minute that a final decision was made.
As seen, Jericho made an appearance during the match when the door to the Hell in a Cell was left open. He locked himself inside the structure and kept the key so that another official would be left outside. Despite no advanced booking, there was still talk of inserting Jericho into the match as a special guest referee, all the way up through Sunday afternoon. That had been discussed previously, but ultimately the call was made to nix those plans.
Jericho wasn’t the only person discussed as it pertained to someone interfering in that match either. There was some discussion centered around the idea of having Triple H run in during the bout, but that too ended up being scrapped. One thought was that because Owens and Rollins did not main event the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, it wouldn’t make sense to include HHH, and they preferred to save him for another show.
The plan remains to book Triple H with Seth Rollins in a feud to culminate at WrestleMania, but there have been whispers that their first singles match could be pushed up to the Royal Rumble. Whether Rollins gets another title opportunity remains to be seen, but if he does before the year is out, it’s more likely Hunter will cost him the match at that point to further set up a showdown between the two.
Lastly, there was genuine consideration given to a tag team title switch at Hell in a Cell, where Cesaro and Sheamus would have become champions. Obviously, that didn’t happen either, but WWE officials are impressed with the strange bedfellow pairing and expect the team to stay together for the rest of 2016 at least.
Officials want The New Day to break the title reign record held by Demolition, but they didn’t want to make Cesaro and Sheamus look bad either, and that is why the finish was booked the way it was. All in all, plenty of decisions weren’t finalized until Sunday right before the show. Not totally uncommon, but generally not this many either.
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