WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 30, 2016

WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    History accompanied brutality as rivals descended into a steel abyss at WWE Hell in a Cell 2016.

    The Devil's Playground welcomed women for the first time, when Sasha Banks and Charlotte clashed inside the infamous structure for the Raw women's championship. Their battle was everything it needed to be and more.

    Banks and Charlotte proved that they and their peers belong in that sadistic contest. They made it clear that WWE made the right move in making them the pay-per-view's main event.

    The Boss and The Queen carved their name in the history books as they demolished each other brick by brick.

    The rest of the night featured an up-and-down card. 

    Roman Reigns and Rusev underwhelmed. Seth Rollins and Kevin Owens killed it during their own trip inside Hell in a Cell. And the Raw-exclusive event saw a veteran claim a championship from an old friend.

    The following is a breakdown of Hell in a Cell, looking at where the event thrived and where it stumbled. 

Cruiserweight 6-Man Tag Team Match

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    Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, Ariya Daivari

    The pre-show's in-ring action featured six stars of the cruiserweight division. 

    Sin Cara fended off the heels early. Dorado went on his own flurry before the action moved to the outside. All six men battled at once, the chaos allowing Daivari, Gulak and Nese to take over.

    Order unraveled, and the pack quickened until Alexander put away Gulak with the Lumbar Check.

                       

    Result

    Alexander, Dorado and Sin Cara win via pinfall.

                          

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Dorado hits a gorgeous Shooting Star Press.
    • Nese knocks over Dorado with a springboard moonsault.
    • Sin Cara, Dorado and Alexander all dive out of the ring on their foes at the same time.
    • "Cedric sailing through the skies!"—Corey Graves.

                     

    Grade

    B-

                        

    Analysis

    A fun opener showed flashes of what each wrestler can do.

    The athleticism was off the charts. The ample amount of highlights couldn't quite counteract the lack of build, though.

    This was a thrown-in bout with no story. The cruiserweights have been exciting to watch, but the division has suffered from a lack of character development and no rivalries outside of T.J. Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick.

Roman Reigns vs. Rusev (Hell in a Cell Match for the United States Championship)

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    Boston welcomed Roman Reigns with jeers. The champ looked unfazed as he traded blows with Rusev. The two rivals slugged it in and out of the ring.

    An aggressive Reigns battered Rusev, using the cage and ring steps as tag team partners.

    The Bulgarian Brute battled back. He issued a methodical offense that stunned Reigns. 

    Reigns first whipped Rusev with a Kendo stick. Rusev paid him back with cane strikes of his own.

    The challenger followed by throttling his foe with a chain, stretching it across Reigns' face in the Accolade. Reigns escaped the hold, hit a spear and walked away with the win.

    Result

    Reigns wins via pinfall to retain the United States Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans fire off dueling "Let's go Rusev!" and "Rusev sucks!" chants.
    • Reigns drives Rusev into the steel with a shoulder block off the ring apron.
    • Rusev slams Reigns' face into the steel steps.
    • Reigns hits a Samoan Drop onto the steps.
    • Reigns spears Rusev off the steps.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    A hard-hitting effort from both men felt sluggish. The bout featured all kinds of weapons and big spots, but they didn't have the impact WWE would have liked.

    Blame a poor storyline line leading up to it, Reigns' supposed babyface status clashing with how the audience treated him and this not being nearly as violent as the most brutal Hell in a Cell bouts of all time.

    Reigns will be better off moving on to a new foe. This rivalry never fully clicked.

    Rusev looks poised to turn babyface and charge up the company ladder. He was Shakespearean at times with his reactions to failure and frustration in the ring.

Bayley vs. Dana Brooke

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    Dana Brooke pounced on Bayley's injured shoulder right away. She tortured the babyface, wrenching and stomping on the weak point.

    Bayley gutted out a comeback with one good arm. She tagged Brooke with lefts before suplexing her for the three-count.

    Result

    Bayley wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Break your arm! Break that arm!"—Brooke to Bayley.
    • Brooke slams Bayley's arm across the top rope.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    Both women told a clear, engaging story here, but it was condensed. It felt more like a Raw bout than one worthy of a PPV.

    Bayley showed off her babyface acumen while Brooke looked better than she has to date. This wasn't meant to be an epic battle, though, but a cool-down contest after the first Hell in a Cell encounter.

    Bayley needs bigger, more high-profile bouts ahead. She's a first-rate storyteller with massive potential a la Sami Zayn.

Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson

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    Enzo Amore and Big Cass trashed Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson on the mic.

    Cass clubbed Anderson in the corner. Amore hoped to continue the momentum, but the heels pounded on him, punishing them on their side of the ring. 

    The Club withstood Cass' onslaught, but Amore left the duo bewildered with his speed. Gallows and Anderson double-teamed the babyfaces in the end, though, pinning Amore after hitting Magic Killer.

    Result

    Gallows and Anderson win via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I've been with women bigger than you."—Amore to Anderson.
    • "You're like Times New Roman font, generic as it gets."—Amore to The Club.
    • Cass flings Amore over the top rope onto their foes.

    Grade

    C+

    Analysis

    The pre-match promo showcased how electric of a connection Amore and Cass have with the crowd. The bout was solid, leaning on a classic tag-team dynamic and a good pace.

    It was not a special outing, but hinted at bigger and better things to come between these teams. For once, Gallows and Anderson have some momentum. This feud could easily progress into one of Raw's biggest hits.

Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell Match for Universal Title)

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    Kevin Owens retreated immediately, fishing for a weapon under the ring. Seth Rollins leaped onto him to prevent whatever Owens was planning.

    A slugfest broke out.

    Owens zeroed in on Rollins' bad back. He left The Architect wincing with a relentless attack. 

    Rollins charged back, flying at his opponent. Owens, though, cut his comeback short. The champ blinded the referee with a fire extinguisher, which led to Chris Jericho sneaking into The Devil's Playground.

    After sending Owens crashing through tables, it looked as if Rollins had the match sewn up. Jericho saved his best friend, however.

    Owens and Jericho clocked Rollins with steel chairs. 

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall to retain the Universal Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Owens climbs onto the side of the cage to gloat.
    • Owens hurls Rollins face first into the cell.
    • "You wanted to know how vicious Kevin Owens can get? How diabolical? You're seeing it right now?"—Byron Saxton.
    • Rollins and Owens trade superkicks.
    • Rollins powerbombs Owens through two tables.
    • "The Garden's come unglued!"—Michael Cole.
    • Rollins kicks out of the pop-up powerbomb.
    • Owens powerbombs Rollins onto two chairs.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    Do not tell me Superstars can't produce great Hell in a Cell matches in the PG Era.

    Owens vs. Rollins was a wild ride with an intriguing story. The champ cheated and connived his way to a victory. The challenger valiantly fought back, but ultimately fell short. We need more of this heart-on-the-mat babyface Rollins.

    The wrestlers expertly built to the bout's high points. Chairs, tables and the cage door all played vital roles.

    The match featured kind of chaos the structure should breed.

    Rollins and Owens helped erase memories of an uneven, underwhelming feud here. WWE Creative has to keep up the momentum, figuring out better ways to tell each man's story going forward.

T.J. Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick (Cruiserweight Championship)

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    Backstage, Brian Kendrick begged T.J. Perkins to throw the title bout.

    Kendrick attacked the champ with a fast-paced offense, but Perkins was able to evade and counter much of it. The veteran followed by using Perkins' wrist tape to tie him to the ring rope.

    Perkins used his speed and agilty to rattle his foe. 

    Kendrick came down awkardly on his knee and looked to be injured. Perkins came over to help, only to receive a head butt for his efforts. Kendrick clamped on the Bully Lock for the win.

    Result

    Kendrick wins via submission to become the new cruiserweight champ.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Perkins delivers a picture-perfect dropkick to the back of Kendrick's head.
    • Kendrick dropkicks Perkins out of the air.
    • A fan yells at Kendrick to get a haircut with some NSFW language.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    The crowd reaction didn't match the action. An eerily quiet audience watched the cruiserweights use strong chemistry and fun exchanges to put on a strong bout.

    The story of the desperate man cheating to reclaim glory was a few beats from being a thriller.

    Kendrick's win makes sense considering how poorly the Perkins reign has gone. The process to get that point wasn't as emphatic as it could have been, though. Kendrick at the helm of the division with the young guys chasing is a big improvement. 

The New Day vs. Sheamus and Cesaro (Tag Team Championship)

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    Kofi Kingston led the way as The New Day hyped up the crowd before the bout.

    Xavier Woods and Big E represented the champs up against Sheamus and Cesaro. The challengers took control early, taking turns beating on Woods.

    Big E rode a series of suplexes to gain back control of the match. Sheamus and Cesaro recovered, though, using surprisingly good teamwork.

    Sheamus accidentally knocked out Cesaro with the Brogue Kick. A brawl broke out at ringside, ending with Kingston kicking Sheamus.

    The referee disqualified the champs just before Woods tapped out to Cesaro's Sharpshooter.

    Result

    Sheamus and Cesaro win via disqualification, meaning The New Day retains the Tag Team Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Kofi, I feel like the pandering is at a legitimate all-time high."—Woods to Kingston. 
    • Kingston jokes about his initial gimmick, referring to it as "the whole Jamaican thing."
    • Big E grabs Sheamus in midair and hits a powerbomb.
    • Woods tight ropes on the ropes before hitting a diving elbow drop.
    • Sheamus flies off the top rope to the outside onto all three members of The New Day.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    WWE effectively teased a Cesaro and Sheamus victory several times. It looked too as if the odd-couple would implode on sight.

    This match didn't feature the kind of decisive finish most prefer on a PPV, but it was a energy-filled, well-paced contest. WWE left the door open here for the challengers to get another shot or for them to start tearing at each other again.

    The New Day, meanwhile, look destined to surpass Demolition as the longest reigning WWE tag champs of all time.

Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (Hell in a Cell Match for the Women's Championship)

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    Four men carried Charlotte to the ring on a palanquin. Sasha Banks rode in atop an Escalade surrounded by security guards. 

    As the Hell in a Cell descended, Charlotte ambushed Banks. As the cell's lowering paused, Charlotte took the champion out of the ring where the rivals battered each other in the crowd. 

    Charlotte scaled the cage; Banks followed. The Queen then slammed her foe through the table, leaving Banks struggling to stand.

    Medical staff tried to take Banks out of the arena, but hearing that Charlotte would win by forfeit, The Boss charged into the cell.

    Charlotte withstood an offensive flurry before overwhelming Banks by attacking her spine. After a long stretch of punishment from Charlotte, Banks gritted her teeth through a comeback. The women clobbered each other until both were wobbly and drained. 

    Banks' bad back failed her in the end, and Charlotte took advantage, pinning the champ after using Natural Selection.

    Result

    Charlotte wins via pinfall to win the Women's Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Charlotte powerbombed Banks through the announcers' table.
    • Charlotte launches Banks over the top rope onto the ring apron and floor.
    • "You will respect me!"—Charlotte to Banks.
    • Charlotte slams Banks into a steel chair.
    • "Making history, but at what cost?"—Cole.
    • Banks leaps off the cage wall, hitting Charlotte with diving double knees.
    • Banks pays tribute to Eddie Guerrero with Three Amigos.
    • Banks drives Charlotte into a chair with her patented double knees.
    • Banks breaks out of a Figure Eight with chair shots.

    Grade

    A++

    Analysis

    Banks vs. Charlotte was savage, dramatic and breathtaking. It was a work of art, aided by bells and whistles, powered by two wrestlers willing to grind their bodies into dust in order to tell a story. 

    World-class heel work from Charlotte bolstered the bout. The same goes for the amount of pathos Banks generated by fighting from underneath, refusing to quit, even when her back threatened to.

    The expectations were impossibly high for this match, and the women exceeded them. Banks and Charlotte made it clear that women are more than welcome inside Hell in a Cell and that the women's revolution isn't just a tagline. It's the reality unfolding before our eyes.