Hell in a Cell – Successful Summer Rae, while AJ Lee retains again

Natalya Fandango WWESummer Rae makes her WWE main roster in-ring debut at Hell in a Cell as part of a mixed tag team match alongside Fandango against Natalya & The Great Khali, while AJ Lee puts the Divas Championship on the line against Brie Bella once again.

The Great Khali & Natalya v Fandango & Summer Rae
The Background
• The two couples have squared off in dance-offs earlier in the year, but the most recent hostilities took place on last Friday’s SmackDown. Summer and Natalya exchange words and punches outside the ring during the singles match between Fandango and Khali, which led to this “bonus match” on the pay-per-view.

The Match
• The men kicked off, but Fandango quickly tagged out to Summer who yelled at Khali before Natalya came into the ring. The pair engaged in some chain wrestling into some pinball attempts before Rae stopped Natalya’s momentum with a dropkick. However, Summer’s gloating came back to haunt her as she regains the advantage, and despite Rae tagging out to Fandango, Natalya still took him down for a Sharpshooter attempt.
• Fandango worked on Khali’s leg before the former World Heavyweight Champion hit back with kicks and chops, causing the dancer to tag out again.
Summer Rae Natalya WWE• Natalya carried on where she left off with a suplex and sit out slam, followed by a clothesline – though she came unstuck when Rae dropped her adversary throat-first onto the rope and rolled her up for the upset pinfall.

Thoughts
• First off, good on Summer for making her wrestling debut. She did a decent job, though forgot how to run the ropes at one point, and there was nothing too dynamic as it pertains to the action. Having said that, good job to her, and the action with the women was much better than the male contribution, so they have that to be very happy about. Natalya also slowed herself down so she didn’t lose Summer, which was to her credit too.
• However, this match was pants. Lame comedy, and had no place to be on a PPV. Stick it on SmackDown and I may have been more forgiving – but if you paid for this, you had a right to feel disappointed. Khali needs to stop wrestling, as he’s barely mobile, and teaming him with Natalya does neither any favours.

AJ Lee v Brie Bella
The Background
Brie Bella AJ Lee WWE• AJ Lee has been attacking the Total Divas cast since August. At Night Of Champions in September, Lee retained the Divas Championship over Brie Bella, Natalya & Naomi, and then AJ beat Brie in a singles match earlier this month at Battleground.
• Bella earned another title shot by pinning AJ in a non-title match on the October 18 SmackDown, and then got one over her again in a tag match the following Monday on Raw.

The Match
• A hard lockup led to the pair exchanging slaps and forearms, which led to them exchanging arm wringers to gain the advantage, with AJ getting the upper hand with a neckbreaker over the top rope after Brie attempted to climb to the top rope.
• Lee slowed the action down with headlocks and a neckbreaker. Brie attempted to fight back but AJ cut off her momentum again with a guillotine choke, though it was broken when Bella rammed her opponent into the corner and nail a second rope dropkick. Two more dropkicks and a clothesline saw the tide turn, though the titleholder tried to cut her off with a Black Widow attempt – however, it was turned into a half crab.
• AJ’s hired muscle Tamina Snuka climbed onto the apron to distract the ref from seeing the tap out, which led to Nikki Bella tripping Snuka to the floor. Brie’s attempt at a running knee failed as AJ moved out of the way, and she struck her sister instead, giving Lee the opportunity to lock in the Black Widow for the submission victory.

AJ Lee Tamina Snuka WWEThoughts
• For a second straight PPV, AJ defeats Brie after a miscommunication with the Bellas. It’s like Groundhog Day.
• As for the match, it was fine. It was booked in the death spot on the card, in-between John Cena‘s return and World Heavyweight Championship win over Alberto Del Rio and the Hell in a Cell WWE Championship main event between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. As a result, the crowd was pretty quiet, except for AJ’s music and when she skipped around the ring during the match.
• I feel bad for Brie though. She’s doing her best to rally the crowd, be liked and to be the best baby face she can be – and it’s just not connecting with the crowd. I give her all the credit in the world for her doing her best to be a likeable babyface, though it’s not working. Should AJ have been more heelish to help things along the way?
• I hope that we don’t get a third AJ v Brie match on PPV as it is showing diminishing returns like the AJ v Kaitlyn feud, which never really culminated, and went out with a sniffle at SummerSlam. The Divas division needs some new blood – and with Summer Rae’s debut earlier in the evening and the NXT female roster blossoming nicely, we may have to sit through the next few months until the real sparks start to fly.

– Lee Burton
– Photos by WWE

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