Hell in a cell marked a seismic shift in the balance of power on both Raw and SmackDown. Randy Orton ended the show by defeating Drew McIntyre and winning his 14th WWE World Championship in the third game of the night in the cell.
But McIntyre's seven-month tenure as champion was coming to an end, far from the only big moment of the night. Sasha Banks and Bayley also had an all-out war in Hell in a Cell, and Banks finished Bayley's year-long streak as the SmackDown women’s winner. Roman Reigns opened the night by making despicable efforts to force Jey Uso to resign and become his lackey against his will.
And in perhaps the most shocking moment of all, The Miz Otis wrestled the money in the bank's briefcase, thanks to Tucker's betrayal, moved the precious token on Raw, and brought it into the Miz's possession for the second time in his career.
Let's sum it all up.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship: Randy Orton defeated. Drew McIntyre (c)
Orton seemed to have the momentum and opportunity to knock McIntyre from his lofty, indestructible place back in August at SummerSlam, but he has been repressed again and again, by chance and by his past coming back to haunt him.
But Sunday night was different. It was just Orton, McIntyre, and Hell in a cell cage. And while the match was likely third best in terms of the evening's offerings within the bell-to-bell structure, there was a reason it went on last.
Outside of use, it was the match best suited to the seemingly mandatory climb to the top of the cage. With all of McIntyre's early dominance, the gun shots and the fence throws, everything built up in the match until McIntyre and Orton stared at each other and circled the top of the cage. McIntyre lost the exchange thanks to a bright red whistle that Orton had hidden on the cage, and then suffered the blow that would ultimately cost him the title when Orton hit him against the side of the cage so many times that McIntyre got out of the middle of the Wall fell and tumbled through the comment table below.
ADVANTAGE: @RandyOrton. 😱😱😱 # HIAC pic.twitter.com/KwyGhX3MbM
– WWE (@WWE) October 26, 2020
There would be one final gasp as the time it took to get back to the ring gave McIntyre the chance to attempt to roll Orton up and then position himself for a claymore kick. But when Orton rolled out of the ring, the result seemed clear. The hobbling McIntyre used his remaining energy to push Orton's dead weight back into the ring and tried to level another claymore. Orton ducked the flying bulkhead, hit a single RKO, and took the three for victory.
What's next: As Orton climbed the ramp, championship in hand, McIntyre stood defiantly. It was the first time since August 2019 that he was caught in a single game. That rivalry seems to have reached its limit, and yet someone so dominant at McIntyre seems to be standing in line for another shot. The Miz also plays with his money in the bank's briefcase, but don't be surprised if Miz slips into the shadows a little to lower his profile before striking.
Hell in a Cell Match for the SmackDown Women's Championship: Sasha Banks defeated. Bayley (c)
Sasha Banks grabbed the SmackDown women's title and got Bayley to access her Banks statement. WWE
The Hell in a Cell match Bayley and Sasha Banks had for the SmackDown Women's Championship should have taken place on a WrestleMania stage in a football stadium with 100,000 people screaming.
You certainly wrestled as the environment was given the stakes in the game. As predicted, both women huddled to the edge and repetitively lined up their bodies, using the cage and every weapon at their disposal creatively to beat each other to the point of occasional discomfort.
There have been recalls to her 2015 instant classic on NXT. Kendo sticks and chairs flew and they even brought a ladder into play. There was barely a moment for the audience to catch their breath as the energy and action seldom waned.
Banks caught up early when early Bayley head scissors went straight into a bank statement. Bayley bit Sasha's hand to break submission, and hostility only grew from then on. Banks channeled Shelton Benjamin's ladder by running up a table and double-kneeling Bayley in the cage for a meteora.
Kendo sticks were used as platforms, obstacles, and their original purpose as a blunt power weapon. At one particularly brutal moment, Bayley catapulted a grounded Banks face first into two draped kendo sticks. Bayley and Banks exchanged Sunset Flip Powerbombs – Bayley sent in the cage, and Banks forcibly sent head and neck first to a chair wedged between the middle and top ropes.
They exchanged finishing moves and attempts to no avail. Banks sprayed Bayley with a fire extinguisher. They fought each other inside and outside the ring to the point of frustration and exhaustion.
Bayley brought the chair she'd used to hurt Banks – the one she went to the ring with – back into play. A Banks frog splash with the chair jammed in the middle injured both women. Bayley met her arm-trapped headlock driver and ended the train on the outside, but that wasn't enough either.
Eventually Bayley escalated things further by pulling a ladder out from under the ring. She draped it over two folding chairs to form a platform, picked up Banks, and slammed her face onto the ladder first.
Bayley grabbed some spray paint and drew an X on Banks' torso as she lay on the ladder bridge climbing to the center rope in her favorite chair, but Banks moved. She jumped off the ladder bridge for a Super Meteora, punched Bayley's face in the ladder, and then called back to Bayley's old destination train, a Bayley to Belly, on the ladder that had since fallen to the ground. As Banks cleared the ring and planned her next move, Bayley hit a running knee and a Bayley against Belly. It still wasn't enough.
Eventually, Bayley attempted a Bayley to Belly, supported by the chair on Banks' back, but Banks slipped and held Bayley's head on the chair. After securing the bank statement, she stomped the chair on Bayley's head, eerily reminiscent of the iconic moment of her game in 2015 when Banks stomped Bayley's hands.
Bayley guessed and Banks finally took the win.
What's next: This is unlikely to be the final chapter, and for any fan, we hope it won't. Both women are still on SmackDown, and it's likely that Bayley will hold a grudge with her tenure as champion spanning more than a year.
Hell in a Cell Match for the Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) def. Jey Uso
Roman Reigns mercilessly defeated Jey Uso in their I Quit Match in Hell in a Cell. WWE
For 30 minutes, a question popped up about the Universal Championship game between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso – how would Reigns force his proud cousin to utter the words "I'm quitting".
Uso did everything in his power not to say these two simple words together. They exchanged words, fists and kicks. A leather strap was brought into play and finally the steel ring steps.
Reigns hit two spears early in the game that incapacitated Uso but did little to shake his resolve. Uso hit several super kicks and splatters on the top rope in response, but that did little to bring either man closer to uttering the words "I quit".
The Thunderdome's shutdown allowed fans to hear every word Reigns exchanged with Uso, from Reigns asking Uso to just stop and save them both the trouble, to Uso asking his cousin to see the light .
In all fairness, the match didn't need a "hell in a cell" condition. Aside from a couple of dives and Uso tossing Reigns into the cage once, the dialogue and level of violence carried the match – and it was quite a match.
After Uso swapped whips for a leather cord, he used the cord to try to choke Reigns unconscious, and Reigns went conscious and unconscious several times. Then, when Uso was reluctant to bring a steel chair into play, Reigns struck a Superman punch and then locked up a standing guillotine with body scissors that placed all of his weight on Uso's neck.
"Stop it or I'll take this to the next level. Don't make me do this," Reigns pleaded.
Roman Reigns not only had his cousin Jey Uso say, "I am resigning," he was also recognized as the tribal chief of his family. @ WWE
A Driveby step on the apron was followed by a second Driveby, which drove the ring steps clamped under the lower rope into Uso's head and then into the steel ring post.
The referee tried to abandon the game but Reigns didn't go out without getting what he wanted from Uso and this game. Even if officials flocked into the ring, Reigns would be satisfied with nothing less than an "I quit".
When Reigns lifted the steel stairs and put Jey Uso's head under it, Jimmy Uso ran out to rescue his partner, who was covering Jey's body. Jimmy pleaded for an end to the violence, saying that they were cousins and that they could fix things. The reign burst into tears as Jimmy pleaded, "Please look at me. Whatever you're going through, you know we have you. It's not."
"I don't even know who I am anymore. I'm sorry," Reigns replied. But the moment Jimmy reached out, Reigns was pulling Jimmy – who was recently retired for knee surgery – into a guillotine. Gathering all the strength he had to pull himself up, Jey then said, "I'm quitting" to save his brother.
To rub salt into the wound, Reigns & # 39; father and uncle Sika and Afa Reigns joined up on the ramp and blessed Reigns by solemnly placing the chief's pearls around his neck.
What's next: According to Paul Heyman's prematch designation, Jey Uso is now Reign's "indentured servant" – more than a bit unsettling given the history associated with the term. In either case, he must now obey every order from Reigns to move forward. Reigns has many ways to find a challenger on SmackDown, but only time will tell.
The Miz def. Otis wins the money in the bank contract
The Miz, left, defeated Otis to capture the money in the bank's briefcase after Tucker turned on Otis and hit him in the head with the briefcase. WWE
This year was a real roller coaster ride for Otis. Everything seemed to be falling in his direction with his relationship with Mandy Rose, and the money in the bank's briefcase fell from the sky into his hands, giving him the opportunity to fight for a world title whenever he wanted.
But similar to how so many others collapsed in 2020, everything quickly fell apart. After Mandy Rose and Tucker, his heavy machinery tag team partner, were both drafted to Raw, a JBL-sponsored "SmackDown trial" forced Otis to put his money in the bank's briefcase against The Miz after months Conflict.
In the final game, before the effects of the 2020 WWE Draft would effectively end that story, it seemed like Otis would finally get the ship back in order and get his chance to get rolling himself. That was far from the case. A solid but normal match was marred by several cases from John Morrison, who meddled on The Miz's behalf, and Tucker, who did little to stop it.
When Morrison was caught trying to use the money in the bank's briefcase as a weapon and was fired by the referee, it all seemed over. But then Tucker decided to fit in in a way no one could have predicted. He used the briefcase to knock Otis down and with a stunned Miz claiming the pinfall, he was now the owner of a title shot at the time and place of his choosing.
What's next: This is a dramatic power shift. Roman Reigns was unlikely to lose the Universal Championship anytime soon, especially against Otis, but all the momentum Otis wore is now gone. He's only the second person to lose the money in the bank's briefcase without a chance to redeem it, and the first since Mr. Kennedy (who lost it in a match against Edge) in 2007. The Miz meanwhile, takes a much larger position in the pecking order with his new home on Monday night Raw. Post-game comments from Miz and Morrison confirmed this: "This contract has a meaning and a purpose. This is not a prop … it is a golden opportunity."
As for Tucker, he could step into the ring with Otis one more time to go one-on-one after Otis chased him backstage. But with Tucker on Raw and Otis on SmackDown, that won't take long. Tucker was quite impressive in his post-game comments, and it might help break up with the playful Heavy Machinery persona.
Bobby Lashley (c) def. Slapjack to keep the US championship
Bobby Lashley overpowered Slapjack to win by submission and retain the US Championship. WWE
In the ultimate filler match on the Hell in a Cell card, Retribution sent out their least physically imposing member, Slapjack, to answer Bobby Lashley's title challenge. For some reason, Retribution agreed to the terms of the Hurt Business and did not interfere in the game.
Slapjack fought more than most expected, hitting a spinning DDT for a two count, but they ultimately missed a prime opportunity for the group by not giving one of their premier members a chance to win a title.
Lashley put the hurt lock Full Nelson on Slapjack and quickly took the submission win, and the rest of Retribution quickly hit the ring only to be chased away when the hurt business ran out in response.
What's next: More conflict. The logic of retribution within the storyline parameters was ridiculous at best, and they again played the little profit fools outside of a double chokeslam attempt against Lashley that wasn't even successful.
It's a back and forth fight between @fightbobby and # RETRIBUTIONs @SlapJackRTRBTN with the #USTitle on the line at WWE #HIAC! pic.twitter.com/qkuXtKPamy
– WWE (@WWE) October 26, 2020
Elias def. Jeff Hardy from DQ
Jeff Hardy hit Elias with several strong punches before he was disqualified for hitting his opponent with a guitar. WWE
After an intense emotional match with family ties and amazing violence, this fairly brief match between Jeff Hardy and Elias was more about moving a story forward than what was happening in the ring.
Much of the game was spent on level ground, but Hardy hit a twist of fate and had Elias compete for the Swanton bomb. Elias slipped over to his apron and then outside, forcing Hardy down. Elias grabbed his branded guitar, but a frustrated Hardy grabbed it and smashed Elias, triggering a DQ.
What's next: More of these two to come. Elias tried to pin down the attack that had him on Hardy for months when it was a fairly clear setup from Sheamus, but Elias sacrificed himself for two purposes – to earn himself a win and to prove Hardy's violent streak. After the game, Hardy stomped on the guitar in frustration.
The #CharismaticEnigma brings the fight, but the POWER of @IAmEliasWWE is at the heart of WWE #HIAC !! @JEFFHARDYBRAND pic.twitter.com/HDkfWzeQCk
– WWE (@WWE) October 26, 2020
24/7 championship: R-Truth def. Drew Gulak
Drew Gulak had a brief opportunity to demonstrate his filing skills with various holds. But R-Truth, after channeling the offense of his "childhood hero" John Cena for a stretch, rolled up gulak for the pinfall and then fled the ring as the Lucha House Party and Akira Tozawa left the arena.
What's next: R-Truth is a 42-time 24/7 champion and he is sure to keep that number up by trading the title back and forth in all sorts of humorous situations and circumstances. A title change in a "real match" would apparently defeat the purpose. Gulak will win the title again, but this match was pure filler.
VINTAGE J̶o̶h̶n̶ ̶C̶e̶n̶a̶ @RonKillings! #HIAC # 247Championship pic.twitter.com/ZxjJnRbJMj
– WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 25, 2020