WWE presents Hell In A Cell this evening on its network and on pay per view live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio with two matches to be held within the confines of the huge metal cage as Roman Reigns defends the Universal title against the challenge of popular heel Braun Strowman and Jeff Hardy battles recent nemesis Randy Orton.
While Reigns vs. Strowman in the Cell makes perfect sense due to their long-standing feud, having the Hardy-Orton bout in it doesn’t seem to be anything other than a ploy to have somebody on the show take a big bump from the unforgiving structure. With the insertion of our friend Mick Foley as the guest referee for the Reigns-Strowman affair, a perfect addition given that it is the twentieth anniversary of the infamous Foley-Undertaker Hell In A Cell encounter that cemented Foley’s legendary status in the business and is the main topic of his current barnstorming tour of storytelling, one might be tempted to think they are teasing that Mick could be taking one more big bump.
Although some degree of involvement in the match on Mick’s part wouldn’t be surprising, Mick seems too smart to seriously consider doing anything crazy at this stage of his life given that he has not too long ago had replacement parts like hips and knees installed and would be foolish to risk damaging any of those with a dangerous bump that throws caution to the wind, as he often did in the formative days of his legendary mat career. Not to mention that he realizes he has already absorbed more concussions than the average bear.
Foley did a great promo after interrupting Elias on Raw and said he had talked to Stephanie about being guest referee at HIAC. He was moving around better than he has in a long time, so well that he may no longer technically qualify for that golf cart that he’s clearly needed at Knoebels in recent years, though it would probably still be a good idea for security reasons. In any event, it is great to see him back on television and one of his shows has been taped by WWE for a special broadcast on the WWE Network following HIAC tonight.
From a booking sense, it would seem that the return bout between WWE champ AJ Styles and rival Samoa Joe has been built to culminate in the Cell, but their title match is not scheduled for it. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose challenge Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre for the Raw tag team belts. Their feud and athletic ability would lend them to being Cell participants, but it is not to be. Ambrose revealed he sustained a serious staph infection setback after his first shoulder surgery that required a second operation and delayed his return to wrestling by an extra couple of months.
This past Monday’s Raw had a strong promo delivered by Triple H, as he responded to the Undertaker promo cut on Shawn Michaels from the previous week in the continuing effort to push the big Down Under show coming up later this month in Australia where he squares off with the Dead Man one last time. No word yet on whether the WWE Network will be carrying the event.
Rhonda Rousey gives Alexa Bliss a rematch for the women’s championship on tonight’s show and the New Day grapples with Rusev and Aiden English for the Smackdown tag straps. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch tangle over the Raw women’s gold and Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella team for a grudge contest against the Miz and Maryse. While there could be other matches added at the last minute, those are the ones announced by the time of our deadline.
Nature Boy Ric Flair and Wendy Barlow reportedly held a commitment ceremony recently with Dolph Ziggler and the Undertaker among those attending. Barlow played the role of Fifi the Maid on one of the Flair For the Gold segments on WCW in the 1990s and has been at his side through the major health scares he endured in the past couple of years after they became an item a while back. Flair had been married four times previously.
Renee Young, wife of Dean Ambrose, has officially joined the announcing team for Raw. She replaces Jonathan Coachman, who missed some shows due to golf announcing commitments. He will continue to work with the company in other announcing roles.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that Simone Johnson, the daughter of the Rock, worked out at the Performance Center recently. She had reportedly expressed interest in becoming a wrestler, but is only 17 years old, so it could be a little while, if ever, before she becomes a fourth generation WWE superstar.
Last weekend’s Fight For A Miracle 4 results included Unbreakable Andy Harner winning a three-way dance over Tim Rush and Super Crazy. The Kings of Mustachery captured the tag team titles from the Step Dads in a Tables Match and Juventud Guerrera picked up a disqualification victory over Sam Adams. Ultimo Dragon bested Jason Furious and Stevie Shields beat Thomas in front of a nice crowd on hand for a good cause last Saturday night in Danville.