The Real Winners and Losers from 2020 WWE Hell in a Cell
WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 was a show built on only a few matches, but those contests delivered in spades as everyone expected.
Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso was a brutal display from both men. The Tribal Chief earned his title once more in one of the greatest WWE openers in recent memory.
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks showed just how far these two women were willing to go to be champion. The Legit Boss finally managed to outlast the SmackDown women's champion, earning the one title that had eluded her over the years.
Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton went all-in on its story to get to this point as The Viper went after the jaw of the WWE champion from the outset. That damage was too much for the Scot to overcome. Orton took him down in a bloody, intense victory.
This show had a trio of defining contests, but the winners and losers of the night were less clear throughout this big event.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Jey Uso came out swinging against Roman Reigns, but he just wasn't ready for the power of The Tribal Chief. Both men refused to quit, even after The Tribal Chief choked out his cousin to the point of passing out.
Officials intervened to demand the match end, but Reigns would not have it. After Jimmy Uso had to intervene to seemingly save his brother's life, the universal titleholder choked out Jimmy in front of Jey until he quit for the sake of his brother's health.
While it was already clear that Reigns was made the moment he committed to his new heel run, it wasn't clear just how good he could be. This match with Jey solidified the fact that WWE is willing to go beyond all typical storytelling boundaries to sell an unforgettable run for the universal champion.
The subtlety behind this storytelling far exceeded what WWE typically does with its major storylines. Reigns is not a convenient heel. He is brutal and unrelenting, but he also openly weeps, knowing what he has to do to his own family.
He was ready to do anything to Jey because that was what his opponent signed up for. To attack Jimmy was a step he would only take as a last resort. It was the only way to break Jey and make sure The Usos no longer disrespected the family.
While The Tribal Chief was already on track for a Hall of Fame career, this new run may finally soldify him as this generation's defining Superstar.
After months of tormenting Otis, The Miz finally got his shot at the Money in the Bank briefcase. And after John Morrison was thrown out by the referee, Tucker smacked his supposed friend with the briefcase, allowing The A-Lister to take the win.
When Otis won the MITB briefcase, it was a shocking moment. Over time, though, WWE has done the work to build Mr. Money in the Bank's dominance. He defeated anyone he faced, but he never felt like a world title contender.
While losing the briefcase could end up forcing Otis to earn a true shot down the line, he has now lost everything: The briefcase is gone, his best friend has turned against him, and his girlfriend is on another brand. Nothing is going his way.
It was always possible Otis pulled off a shocking win to become WWE or universal champion. Now, it feels far less likely. Still, SmackDown needs him to step up, and he and Tucker will likely be slowly feuding since they are on different brands.
Potentially a winner of the night is The Miz. He has needed a serious storyline since he turned heel, and he could run with the briefcase and become WWE champion soon. At the moment, he is still missing the world-champion air he once had.
Winners: Bayley and Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks took away Bayley's steel chair right off the bat, forcing her to get creative. The Role Model did just that using kendo sticks, chairs, ladders and the steel steps.
However, it was The Legit Boss who got the most creative, trapping the champion in a steel chair and the Bank Statement to make her tap out.
Even after a fantastic opener, Bayley and Banks did not let the night end early. They put on a show completely different from Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso, focusing on the physicality and intensity of the Hell in a Cell.
The innovation throughout was staggering, especially given that The Boss has already competed inside the Cell twice and is still pulling out more every time. Not everything worked (especially Bayley's odd duct-taped kendo-stick contraption), but they never lost the pacing of the match because of it.
The Boss has earned her time in the sun. Arguably working at the highest level of her already-incredible career, she can define her legacy with this reign. She should not immediately lose the title as she has in the past.
The Role Model redefined her career with her record-breaking 380-day title reign. Hopefully, she will not be forgotten. She can continue to define the blue brand's women's division in and out of title contention.
Losers (Eternally): Retribution
Retribution's Mustafa Ali challenged The Hurt Business to a match in which one member of each stable would fight.
Bobby Lashley put the United States Championship on the line against Slapjack and made him tap out to the Hurt Lock. Retribution attacked The All Mighty, but The Hurt Business ran the group off.
This was another nail in a Retribution coffin that had already been buried. Ali's group has lost so much credibility in such a short time after a brief restart. It is clear which stable is better to the point that the word "rivalry" feels like a stretch.
It has been time for at least a month to scrap this concept entirely. If Retribution needs to continue, WWE must establish the group as more than it has been so far. This contest was a waste of everyone's time.
Ali deserves better. Everyone else involved with Retribution deserves better. Even The Hurt Business deserves better. The heel team should be competing against top babyfaces, not a group that never wins.
Loser: Drew McIntyre
Drew McIntyre was seemingly ready for Randy Orton. He thought he had every plan figured out. However, he fell for The Viper's trick to follow him to the top of the Cell. As the two men descended, Orton knocked him off through the announce table to eventually set himself up for an RKO to win.
This was a disappointing decision by WWE. McIntyre has been a fantastic champion and already defeated The Viper multiple times. No one had been able to pin him in 2020 one-on-one. This was the time to sell him, and the Scot could have run all the way to WrestleMania 37 in April 2021.
After everything, though, McIntyre fell. He looked dominant throughout but still lost in the end. This will lead to a major turning point in his career. While Orton is established as a 14-time world champion, this was the first title reign for the Scot.
If McIntyre can lift himself, he can remain one of WWE's defining stars. He should be the top man on Raw. He certainly has the talent to prove it. This should just be a bump in the road.
It's just a question of whether fans will buy McIntyre as two-time champion quite in the same way they did when he first won the title at WrestleMania 36. Crowds are not coming back to WWE any time soon, but hopefully he will still be cheered as a top star when they do.