WWE reportedly held the Hell In a Cell matches on RAW and SmackDown as a way to give their TV partners something extra, and to grab fan’s attention as the ThunderDome era comes to an end.
WWE moved the Hell In a Cell match between WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and SmackDown Tag Team Champion Rey Mysterio from Sunday’s pay-per-view, to last Friday’s SmackDown on FOX. WWE also held a Hell In a Cell match on last night’s RAW, with WWE Champion Bobby Lashley defeating Xavier Woods in non-title action.
In an update, PWInsider reports that the main reasons for the Hell In a Cell matches being held during RAW and SmackDown, on free TV, was to give FOX and the USA Network something extra. WWE also wanted to try and grab fans’ attention as the company builds to the return of live crowds next month.
This is interesting as it was recently reported that NBCUniversal officials were not happy with the Mysterio vs. Reigns Hell In a Cell match being moved from the pay-per-view on Peacock, to SmackDown on FOX.
On a related note, Lashley made WWE history last night as he became the first Superstar to wrestle Hell In a Cell matches on consecutive nights. He retained over Drew McIntyre at Sunday’s pay-per-view. Lashley’s Hell In a Cell match with Woods was the third official Hell In a Cell bout to take place on RAW, and the first since WWE Hall of Famers Kane and Mick Foley faced off in August 1998. The other saw Kane and Foley lose to The Undertaker and WWE Hall of Famer Steve Austin in June 1998.