In case the constant reminders from Sasha, Charlotte, Stephanie, Mick and the RAW announce team weren’t enough to clue you in, the main event of last night’s “Hell in a Cell” pay-per-view was a historic event. For the first time, two women locked themselves into WWE’s most sadistic structure, with only one walking out as WWE champ.
For all intents and purposes, Charlotte and Sasha put on a fine match. A few botched spots (turns out it’s not all that easy for a 114 pound person to break through a table) but plenty of great matches have contained far worse mistakes. The actual wrestling of the match was far above average, but in an effort to make history WWE relied too much on history that they simply couldn’t (and very likely shouldn’t) try to replicate.
In order to promote the match, WWE’s always stellar video team put together a package showcasing the brutality and most iconic moments of the cell. Undertaker’s reign of terror, a bloody HHH wielding a sledgehammer, and Foley’s famous fall from the top, his subsequent crash through it, and his bleeding, tooth-embedded face afterwards. All of these clips were punctuated with a visibly distraught, hobbling Mick Foley warning them of the terrors that occurred in the match.
After Foley’s cell match, Vince McMahon famously thanked him for what he did, and then made him promise to never do anything like that again. So in the very first minutes of the match, Charlotte and Sasha go through a sequence that was not only inspired by the Foley and Undertaker match, but clearly copying it, albeit poorly. While Foley was forcibly tossed from the top of the cell, Charlotte tricked Sasha into starting to climb the cell, then powerbombed her through a table. Both spots were followed by EMT’s loading the victim onto a stretcher, and supposed match stoppage before our hero fought their way back into the ring. The difference is, no one actually bought into Sasha’s supposed injury, and how could they? If Undertaker/Foley’s cell match was “The Devil’s Playground”, then Sasha/Charlotte looked like an actual playground in comparison.
If the so-called “Women’s Revolution” is to be historic, then it needs to do something new. Imitating historic matches and angles with women wrestlers in a PG era only serves to diminish the performers in the ring. Let these women be their own characters, have their own matches, and forge their own way.
Unless we’re booking Charlotte to bodyslam Nia Jax at the silverdome in front of half a million Flairaholics brother.