WWE Hell in a Cell 2016: Why Three Cell Matches is Overkill


Ideally, Hell in a Cell matches settle prolonged and intense feuds. But three matches in the cell diminishes the purpose WWE has for this structure.

Hell in a Cell is one of the best innovations WWE has made in the last 20 years. Since the first classic cell match between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker in 1997, these contests created many memorable moments. The cell served as an amazing debut for Kane. Not to mention it propelled Mick “Mankind” Foley to a main event star after his legendary fall off the top of the cage. Most recently, it created the most memorable moment of Wrestlemania 32 when Shane McMahon jumped off the top and through the announce table. The popularity of this specialty match influenced WWE to name one of their annual pay-per-views after the massive structure.

So now the onus is on Raw to present WWE Hell in a Cell next Sunday. For the first time, there will be three cell matches taking place on the show. But is this the right move? The use of the cell is most effective when it settles a “blood feud” where two rivals have built so much animosity that this violent match is the only way to finish it. A cell match should be special and only used when earned by the angle. With three matches in the cell, the WWE compromises the novelty of the event and risks watering down its effectiveness.

Roman Reigns and Rusev was the first match announced for the cell. This feud is entertaining and both seem to work well together. However, much of this angle consists of comedic promos stemming from Reigns ruining Rusev and Lana’s wedding celebration. These two are annoyed by each other as opposed to having mutual hatred. The cell isn’t the appropriate setting for this program in its current state. That is not to say that this feud has been ineffective. On the contrary, these two have elevated the US title and the focus should be solely on the championship.

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Speaking of champions, Kevin Owens will also defend his WWE Universal title against Seth Rollins inside the “demonic” structure. The issue here is that the highly entertaining “best friends” angle has over-shadowed Owens issues with Rollins. The cell should be the focal point between Owens and Rollins with its purpose being to keep Jericho from interfering. Over the past weeks, WWE creative should have established the need for the structure by having constant interference by Y2J. As of now, the necessity for a cell match between these two is unclear.

Now its quite clear to see how a cell match is the appropriate next step for Sasha Banks and Charlotte. These two have had a tremendous rivalry. They have traded the WWE Women’s championship several times in their intense lead-up to WWE Hell in a Cell. The issue is the focus is on the significance of this being the first women’s cell match. Not to diminish the accomplishment of both women, but these two deserve their work to be the focus of their cell match. The angle is two women competing in a cell for the first time. However, it should be showcased as two amazing athletes that are hated rivals having a violent blow-off to their war. The most fitting tribute to their accomplishments would be to not let the fact that they are women be the reason that this match is special.

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Having three matches in the cell also hinders the ability for each match to stand out. Its difficult to present a match as special when there are three of them on the same show. Also, WWE runs the risk of desensitizing the violence to the viewing audience by having multiple matches in the cell. The Raw brand faces a tough task in making all the matches feel different and special. Lets see if they can pull it off.