Hell in a Cell (2020)
|Hell in a Cell|
|Date||October 25, 2020|
|Attendance||0 (behind closed doors)[a]|
|WWE Network event chronology|
|Hell in a Cell chronology|
Hell in a Cell is an upcoming professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brand divisions. It is scheduled to take place on October 25, 2020 (originally November 1) at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. It will be the twelfth event under the Hell in a Cell chronology and will feature WWE's virtual fan viewing experience called ThunderDome.
Hell in a Cell is an annual gimmick pay-per-view, generally produced every October by WWE since 2009. The concept of the show comes from WWE's established Hell in a Cell match, in which competitors fight inside a 20-foot-high roofed cell structure surrounding the ring and ringside area. The main event match of the card is contested under the Hell in a Cell stipulation. The 2020 event will be the twelfth event under the Hell in a Cell chronology and feature wrestlers from the Raw and SmackDown brands.
Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE presented the majority of its programming from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida since mid-March with no fans in attendance, although in late May, the promotion began using Performance Center trainees to serve as the live audience, which was further expanded to friends and family members of the wrestlers in mid-June. On August 17, WWE announced that all future shows and pay-per-views would be held at the Amway Center, a larger venue also located in Orlando, for the "foreseeable future", beginning with the August 21 episode of SmackDown. Furthermore, the shows now feature a new fan viewing experience called "ThunderDome", which utilizes drones, lasers, pyro, smoke, and projections. Approximately one thousand LED boards were installed in the Amway Center to allow fans to virtually attend the events for free and be seen on the rows and rows of LED boards. Arena audio is also mixed with that of the virtual fans so that chants from the fans can be heard. Hell in a Cell itself was originally scheduled to be held on November 1, but was moved up to October 25; this change was reportedly done as WWE's initial contract with the Amway Center expired on October 31.
The show will comprise matches that result from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portray heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches. Results are predetermined by WWE's writers on the Raw and SmackDown brands, while storylines are produced on WWE's weekly television shows, Monday Night Raw and Friday Night SmackDown.
At Clash of Champions, Roman Reigns defeated Jey Uso to retain the Universal Championship after Jey's injured brother Jimmy Uso threw in the towel to stop Reigns from repeatedly assaulting Jey into forcing him to acknowledge Reigns as the tribal chief of the Anoa'i family. Although Jey refused, Jimmy reluctantly acknowledged Reigns as the tribal chief after the match. On the following SmackDown, a celebration ceremony was held to crown Reigns as the tribal chief, but Reigns refused to be named as such because Jey did not acknowledge him and Reigns called out Jey for a talk. After Jey continued to eye the Universal Championship, Reigns gave Jey another title shot at Hell in a Cell with "the highest stakes of any match in WWE history," which Jey accepted. The match was confirmed as a Hell in a Cell match the next day. The following week, Reigns stated he wanted to hear Jey say "I quit," turning the match into the first-ever "I Quit" match contested inside the Hell in a Cell structure.
At SummerSlam, Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton to retain the WWE Championship. Orton earned himself a rematch for the title at Clash of Champions, where McIntyre again retained, but this time in an ambulance match. During that match, several legends who Orton had attacked over the past few months returned to seek their own vengeance against Orton, including Big Show, Christian, Shawn Michaels, and Ric Flair, who drove the ambulance. On the following Raw, McIntyre celebrated with the legends, but before the show ended, Orton attacked all of the legends backstage in their private lounge. The following week, Orton challenged McIntyre to a Hell in a Cell match at the namesake pay-per-view, which McIntyre accepted.
At Payback, Bayley and Sasha Banks lost the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship to the team of Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler. On the following SmackDown, they were unsuccessful in regaining the championship. After the match, Bayley turned on and brutalized Sasha Banks, turning the latter face in the process. After Bayley retained her SmackDown Women's Championship via disqualification at Clash of Champions, Banks appeared and attacked Bayley with a steel chair. On the following SmackDown, Banks challenged Bayley for the title on the following week's episode. Banks won the ensuing match via disqualification after Bayley attacked her with a steel chair. In a backstage segment, Banks challenged Bayley to another championship match at Hell in a Cell inside the eponymous structure, which was confirmed the next day.
|1||Roman Reigns (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Jey Uso||Hell in a Cell "I Quit" match for the WWE Universal Championship|
|2||Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton||Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship|
|3||Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks||Hell in a Cell match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship|
|4||Jeff Hardy vs. Elias||Singles match|
- The event will be held without a paying audience due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, though it will still feature a live crowd of virtual fans via WWE's ThunderDome viewing experience.
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