The Harts take on the Flairs in yet another battle in the lineage of family battles tonight at Hell in a Cell. After competing for the NXT Women’s championship, Divas championship, and the RAW Women’s championship, Natalya and Charlotte will face off once again, but for their fourth title, the SmackDown Women’s championship. Will Neidhart finally get the upper hand in a title match? Or will the Nature Girl reign supreme over her long-term rival?

Before the show we join Kayla Braxton in the Social Media Lounge as she talks to tonight’s challenger, Charlotte. One fan asks Flair for her strategy in tonight’s match, and Flair seems confident about it. She reflects on the fact that she beat Natalya in all of their previous title matches, meaning that Neidhart will now know “every counter”. So with that in mind, Charlotte must try “twice as hard” to win this time.

Another user asks about the possibility of Carmella cashing in. Flair insists that her focus needs to first be on the match, and she will deal with the cash-in when it comes. Wise, or foolish?

Before closing the interview, Charlotte’s last words to Natalya are that the “Flairs are always better than the Harts.”

Onto the match!

After a promotional video plays the women head out for the contest. We see it start off quite equally, with both women getting the upper hand of one another. With a few pin attempts and some takedowns, the battle could go either way.

However, things take a dark turn as Natalya switches her focus to Charlotte’s legs. Smart move. Considering that both women’s finishers revolve around the legs, Flair could be in danger. With a ton of kicks, punches and knee smashes into the Nature Girl’s left leg, it proves to leave a lasting effect.

When Charlotte does manage to get up on her feet, it isn’t for long. She boots her opponent down and whips her chest a couple of times, but the damage is done. Flair is hurt. A climb to the top rope is then halted by her injury, and Natalya uses this moment to insert an epic powerbomb!

As the match goes on and Charlotte’s leg isn’t healing anytime soon, Natalya quickly takes advantage by implementing more damage to the lower region, forcing Flair to yell in agony. At one point, as she senses the end of the match, the champ puts the challenger in a gruelling Sharpshooter. Although we see Flair claw her way to the ropes, she doesn’t quite get there. However, with the ring awareness in mind, she twists herself around and dumps Natalya right into the bottom turnbuckle, with the back of her head taking the fall. Now it’s anyone’s game.

Charlotte, still struggling with the leg damage, climbs to the top rope for a Moonsault. But her opponent swiftly moves to the outside. And although the champ attempts to take advantage of this, she gets taken down almost immediately and rolls outside. Charlotte, aware of her new-found dominance, decides to attempt a Moonsault again, this time onto the outside. Fortunately for the challenger, she takes down the champ, sending her into a wave of worry.

Just as Charlotte is taking control of the match, Natalya gets to her feet. And instead of continuing the match inside the ring, Neidhart gets ahold of a steel chair and hits it across the body of Flair. Ring the bell!

She then hits her again, and again, targeting the injured leg. Charlotte yells in agony and Neidhart bathes in the sound of it. She may have lost, but she’s still the champion. And that’s not going to stop her from taking the title and bragging about it.

After the match, Natalya is confronted by WWE.com about her win. Although she’s in a rush, she quickly tells us that she’s proud of the way she won as “the Harts will always be better than the Flairs.” I guess she proved Flair’s earlier words wrong.

Thoughts: These two women are capable of more. They’re capable of putting on a 5-star clinic (much like their Roadblock and Takeover matches), but this wasn’t up there with the best of them. Though the match delivers good storytelling, it may not have been the best choice, booking wise.

The intention of the match is to show Neidhart as a ruthless champion, knowing no bounds as long as her title is involved. She wants to keep the title, she needs to keep the title. So in order to keep the championship around her waist, she needs to inflict as much damage as possible by any means necessary. With the constant attacks to the leg – Flair’s toughest component – she aims to dismantle the challenger to the point of no mercy. That part of the match makes sense. The psychological storytelling is brilliant.

But this doesn’t defer from the fact that it’s a dull contest. The match feels very slow. It can be one-sided, as that’s what the story requires, but the movement is too sedated to be captivating. Whether we could see back-and-forth action or more intense movements, we just need to see something more engaging. We need to see the ruthless aggression exemplified with the pace and feel of the match, rather than with slow targets. The match could easily be better, but it fails in that department.

The ending is definitely the best part and makes the most sense. Charlotte has defeated Natalya in every other championship encounter the pair have had. So to lose her first title since 2010 to this woman would be an even bigger embarrassment to add to the feud’s history. She needs to maintain this title as it’s the only reason she is even looked at within the women’s division. And Flair, the one woman whom she can never truly defeat in a feud, is standing in her way. So when the hurdle gets too high, as regardless of the damage on Flair’s leg she’s still fighting, Neidhart needs an easy escape. She doesn’t care to necessarily win, she just needs the championship to keep her spot on the roster. So inserting a chair shot to not only damage her opponent but to keep the title, makes the most sense. Neidhart isn’t here for cheers or record-book wins, she’s here for a title around her shoulder and the glory of being on top.

What this now does is it allows the women to have something in their feud. Instead of focusing on their family members of the past, and relying on all of the heat then to transcend into now, something between the two of them is being formed. Natalya is using her own methods to take over the match, rather than relying on her father or (ex) uncle. Flair is forced to not accomplish the goal of winning all 4 championships she’s ever challenged for, so the hunger inside of her will take over.

So whilst the match may be dull, it’s set the two up for a good feud from here on out. We’re now going to see them further their feud for what it should be. A personal rivalry revolving around their own issues, not because the men in the family used to hate each other way back when. And, just like Roadblock and Takeover, they’re bound to have a brilliant contest. Let’s just hope that the other women aren’t left in catering and are given a side feud whilst it happens.

Did you enjoy Hell in a Cell? What are your thoughts on the feud? What will be the fallout in the coming weeks? Let us know your views in the comments below!

  • Michael Burmeister
    • Nathan

      I missed you the night you lost the title girlll!

    • Joseph

      No Jesus you guys have no patience with titles runs.

      • Michael Burmeister

        We waited SEVEN YEARS (as the Nattie fans did-if she had beaten anybody else to win the title, I’d be overjoyed).

        So forgive us if our patience tank’s running kinda low right about now…

    • DayOneISH!

      I’m sorry and I’m big Naomi fan but I’m fine with Naomi not being women’s champion right now.Yes they could’ve done more with her title run but think about it do any of you really wanna see naomi lose the belt to Carmella? Let’s just all be happy she’s not apart of that mess.

      • Michael Burmeister

        I can respect that…remember, the report only said she’d be champ when 2017 turned to 2018…not that she’d keep holding the title all throughout.

        I’m just upset they don’t even have her as part of a side feud right now…they are leaving SO much money on the table!

    • Summer_Slay #?aryn?errell

      I have nothing against Naomi in fact i semi-stan her. But please tell me what she did when she was the champion. She only feuded with LANA of all people and didnt do anything memorable. So no i dont miss her. Neither one of her 2 reigns was good. She had a wrestlemania moment and beat Alexa Bliss who by the time was the longes reigning champion and also the one with most reigns. All this and she flopped. She’s athletic and has a dope entrance but that’s about it.

      You know who i miss and id like to get a push Alicia Fox, Summer Rae and Dana Brooke.

      What we really need right now on SDL is a side feud. IDK what is taking them so long with Tamina and Lana. They should either have Tamina built as the N1C at some point or have her turn on Lana and feud with her.

      • shumiley

        Her main event match with Charlotte was pretty amazing. And every time she was on the mic, she delivered and got reactions. Can’t blame her for bad booking, but she never did anything bad herself. She did great.

        • D. #ILoveMelina

          Right she did EVERYTHING she could. Every segment/ mic battle she had she brought the heat. She was a face that was not going to be pushed around especially when Charlotte debuted and thought she was gonna have the title handed to her. The start up with lana was good but, Lana didn’t deliver in ANY of the matches. The build up with Nattie was too abrupt imo and Nattie sucks at talking, even now as Champion so, their segments were forgettable.

          • shumiley

            Oh I love Nattie as champ. She’s so awkward and un-intimidating it’s hilarious. She’s so unique with it.

            But Naomi is amazing. DD readers love to discredit her for some reason

        • Summer_Slay #?aryn?errell

          “She did great” WHERE? As i said neither her promos were memorable nor her reigns. Naomi flopped.

      • C Mack

        She did everything except book herself. Stop downplaying her

    • Robann

      I miss her being on TV period, but I’m not ready for her to be champ again yet. Not with this stale ass booking…..her title reigns were crap and she deserved better. Once the higher ups stop sabotaging SDL, I would love for her to win the title again and have an ACTUAL feud with Char, Becky or Tamina. Tamina more than anything because there’s history between them.

    • GOD STRATUS•

      Girl yes actually

    • Dreignz

      No.

  • Joseph

    The whole point of this match was help get Charlotte more over a face which it did. The crowd hated Nattie after the DQ and the chair shots. This match was fine for the story. Whatever more they could have done would have been overshadowed by the two HIAC matches.

    • DayOneISH!

      I agree I’m fine with the outcome.

  • conan_kun

    Hope for Paige appearing on Smackdown soon to bring some freshness. Carmella cashing in against Natalya or Charlotte may not gain much crowd reaction. Perhaps Carmella would benefit more from cashing in on SDL’s best female babyface Becky.

    Seeing the purest male babyface Sami turns heel make me think Becky may turn heel anytime soon
    https://68.media.tumblr.com/7e8f793f3265cfa3ee7a46339dc516f8/tumblr_orvnujXpTV1rnux1so3_400.gif
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cfdd968513cefbfce0df42569370fe054d3f818f0b3da534a8c9cc620b9739a0.gif

  • Hoooshi

    I dislike these “work a body part” type of matches. Yes, I know it’s effective and convincing, yes I know it’s good heel work, but I still dislike the slowness of it, especially when the offense is not so inventive. For a submission specialist Nattie knows very few holds, they should let her expand those.

    The match was a means to an end, and I liked the DQ ending, but as someone said in another post had they sold the desperation better it would be more interesting. Overall not their best match, but let’s hope this sets a feud with a narrative better than their last names, but by Nattie’s video I guess not.

    • Wrestling.fan.from.France

      I don’t think working a body part always drags down the match but it has to be done well tbh. I remember again Sasha vs Becky Lynch. Talk about working a body part well and bringing that extra aggression that just elevate it all to a whole new level! It all comes down to the actual execution and obviously the atmosphere of the match itself.

      • That match was amazing and I remember legitimately wincing when they were torquing each other’s bodies and applying those submissions, especially with both of Becky’s arms looking hyperextended

        • GOD STRATUS•

          Honey Sasha laid into that match okay

      • Hoooshi

        That match was great, but the way Nattie did in this one felt boring and it slowly took the crowd out of it.

      • Crazy. #RIPMae

        Bayley vs Sasha Banks – Brooklyn was focused on the arm and it was amazing also.

    • Jo9834

      Nattie put the crowd to SLEEP.

  • ???

    Well as I said before , it wasn’t the best match ever .. but it has good storytelling that by it they can utilize a big feud between the two !

    I hope they use this as advantage to build SDL women’s division and make it watchable again , they will be stupid if they screw this opportunity too because they ruined the first EVER MITB women’s match for NOTHING .. also when Bayley returned after injury they could use this situation to either turn Sasha or Bayley heel so we can see Sasha vs Bayley feud ..

    And you have Emma , who has been showing in TV for a while now and she didn’t take the pinfall at No Mercy to book her strong .. she will most likely be squashed by Asuka at TLC and they ruin her momentum.

    Anyways , I hope WWE will not disappoint us this time too .. also we NEED a side feud on SDL women’s division, I’m sick of those boring little feuds that has no intensity and it’s all about everyone been throwen into the title picture with little to no storyline behind them.

    How about Becky vs Paige ?
    Naomi vs Becky ?

    You know I just relized that we can’t have that much good feuds because SDL desperately need more interesting women..

  • Tbh, the whole PPV should’ve just been New Day vs The Usos on repeat.

    • A match!

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  • Aye Mate

    It wasn’t a terrible match by any stretch of the imagination. The formula was well executed and Charlotte’s emoting was, as always, first rate. But the storytelling didn’t match the angle set up: Natalya wasn’t put in enough peril, as she took away most of the match as the aggressor. With a lack of dramatic pin falls, there wasn’t much urgency to inform the panicked decision to get DQ’d. Personally I’d have booked Charlotte to have pushed Nattie to her limits – again, their history would attest to a DQ finish because Nattie has never beaten Charlotte cleanly when for a title. I’m glad the feud continues and that Nattie gets to amass some heel heat, but I can’t say I wasn’t altogether disappointed by the match.

  • Danny?

    I mean the match was cute but I’m just not here for this feud. Personally I’ve seen Charlotte VS Nattie far too many times now.

    • D. #ILoveMelina

      I’ve been saying this, I honestly was hoping Carmella would come through for us.

      • Danny?

        Carmella ain’t much better tbh, she’s just as boring but I guess it’d be something fresh at least. Not that I want her as champ though.

  • Rosanna

    I don’t think there going to have a long feud. I think it’s just a filler to be honest.

  • The match wasn’t a barn burner, but kudos for the story it told, I was invested into seeing how Charlotte was going to win and come back, it didn’t occur to me that Nattie would win or use a chair. So good on them. Also shout out to New Day and the Usos, they kicked ass! And yay Sami Zayn heel turn!

  • DivaLicious?

    The match was boring it just put me too sleep? Nattie puts me too sleep as a champion? Charlotte puts me too sleep as a face? I just didn’t care about this match. All that promo build up for that type of ending. You would have been better off having the match on SD live????? Matter of fact the whole PPV was a thumbs down?? Expect for the two hell in a cell matches.

  • Nikki’s Sister

    I screamed when Nattie yelled “you like Charlotte” and everyone was silent.

    • GOD STRATUS•

      You me & my whole ppv party ?

    • conan_kun

      Charlotte is not suitable to be babyface when she’s bigger build than most of the women except for Nia and Tamina. It’s awkward to see Charlotte playing face in peril against smaller women.

      • Joseph

        Just because she’s tall doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be able to work as a face.

  • Welchy

    Trash match

  • king valor

    too me they handled the DQ finish poorly. Nattie was in absolute control. Why would she hit Charlotte with a chair when she was battered and bruised? IMO it should have been NATTIE who was decimated and in an act of desperation to avoid a loss to the Figure 8 attacked Charlotte with the chair until the girl couldn’t get up. Otherwise, I like that it was a set up for a potentially long feud between the two. I can see this culminating in Charlotte winning with Mella cashing in.

    • Organization XIII

      Totally agree with this

  • iloveTorrie

    I’m just ready for Summer and Paige to come back….

    • Joseph

      Well Paige is don’t know about Summer.

  • NoWayHoeSay

    Paige return “sick of you and your cats you and your dad that refuses to die you with your gimp on a lead and you using awful glow in the dark make up” etc etc

  • Laquane Anderson

    lol Charlotte girl…which one of ur legs is hurting? :D

    • GOD STRATUS•

      Can’t sell flair ?

  • It was cute or whatever. Nattie did what she needed to do. Damage her!

  • Candice Queen

    @09dhk:disqus thoughts on JoJo?

    • Candice Queen

      @09dhk:disqus do you think she should be renamed ‘HoHo’?

      • All tea no shade, I almost wanna feel bad for her because she’s “young;” but on the flip side of things, she should know better (from a business standpoint) than to be so promiscuous (trynna keep it a bit clean with the language here); especially with MARRIED men.

  • Michelle

    Boring match and real bad selling from Charlotte! Expected much more from these talented ladies!

    • GOD STRATUS•

      Especially ” THE TOP WOMAN”

  • GOD STRATUS•

    So the real story here is how all the flair fans are gonna pay it like nattie made the match boring when your girl flair not only has no psychology ( moonsalt to the outside on a bad leg she never wins with it either ) can’t work underneath , is supposed to be what many of you would call The top woman but can’t work Babyface in…. Fact I was watching Steph vs Trish 1 & got more life from two girls who couldn’t work at the time than ” the top woman ” & Natalya .. please I seek the defense of Charlotte on this one the girl can’t deliver much like the rest of em if Sasha’s not involved?. I swear the whole match I’m like ” so where’s Sasha ?” Then I come on here…. ” It was a great match , qweenz !! ” Breaking news….. Didn’t see it nothing happened they managed to kill the heat from what should have been a show stealing moment with the steel chair with botchlette flair holding the dam chair in place while nattie just stomps ? I didn’t even notice nattie got the chair til those weak ass hits smh everyone’s too dam friendly. It’s official r.i.p. char girl check for you when your with someone who can make you look better than you are …. Mess

  • Maddox

    New Day vs Usos was the first match in years that truly deserved to happen in Hell in a Cell

  • Crazy. #RIPMae

    That dry ass match.

  • John

    Nattie needs a memorable spot that gets her over as a powerhouse. I’d like for her to do a running powerslam onto a table.

    I enjoyed the match. She was wrestling similar to Bret Hart.