Hell in a Cell 2020 was a professional wrestling pay-per-view and WWE Network event produced by WWE for their Raw and SmackDown brands. It took place on October 25, 2020 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. It was the 12th event under the Hell in a Cell chronology and featured WWE's virtual fan viewing experience called ThunderDome.

Production

Background

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.

Storylines

The show included matches resulting from scripted storylines, where wrestlers portrayed heroes, villains, or less distinguishable characters in scripted events that built tension and culminated 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 SmackDown Live.

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 for 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 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. The match was confirmed the next day.

In May 2020, Jeff Hardy was involved in a feud with Sheamus, which saw the latter attempt to exploit Hardy's past issues with alcohol. During a segment on the May 29 episode of SmackDown, Sheamus framed Hardy, who was "arrested" (kayfabe) after allegedly crashing his car into Elias while under the influence. This also took Elias out of action for five months. After both Hardy and Elias were drafted to Raw in the 2020 WWE Draft on the October 12 episode of Raw, Elias made his on-screen return that episode and attacked Hardy, believing that Hardy was not framed and had actually hit him with his car. The following week, Hardy attempted to attack Elias, who managed to escape. Later, Elias challenged Hardy to a match at Hell in a Cell that was made official.

In early September, The Miz and John Morrison tried to steal Otis' Money in the Bank contract that he had won at the Money in the Bank event back in May, but they failed on multiple attempts. The Miz then convinced management to trade Otis' girlfriend Mandy Rose to Raw as a way to "help Otis" so he could focus on cashing in the contract, but after insults, Otis attacked Miz and Morrison. The Miz then threatened to file a lawsuit against Otis if he did not forfeit the Money in the Bank contract. Otis, backed up by his Heavy Machinery tag team partner Tucker, said he would not forfeit the contract. During the 2020 WWE Draft, Otis remained on SmackDown while Tucker, Miz, and Morrison were all drafted to Raw. Despite being drafted to separate brands, the trial over the Money in the Bank contract commenced on the October 23 episode of SmackDown with WWE legend John "Bradshaw" Layfield (JBL) serving as judge. After the hearing, JBL initially ruled in favor of Otis, but after Miz provided last minute evidence (bribery), JBL changed his ruling in favor of Miz and ordered that Otis would defend his Money in the Bank contract against Miz at Hell in a Cell.

Match Preview

Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso Preview
Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton Preview
Bayley vs. Sasha Banks Preview
Jeff Hardy vs. Elias Preview
Otis vs. The Miz Preview

Results

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
(c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.

Other on-screen talent

Commentators
Pre-show Panel
Interviewers
Ring announcer
Referees

See also

DVD release

  • Amazon.jpg [ Hell in a Cell 2020 on DVD]

External links

Hell in a Cell 2019 previews

Roman Reigns v Jey UsoDrew McIntyre v Randy OrtonBayley v Sasha BanksJeff Hardy v EliasOtis v The Miz

Hell in a Cell
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2020 World Wrestling Entertainment pay-per-views

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