This week's Monday Night Raw closed with an unlikely main event as Bobby Lashley and Xavier Woods battled inside Hell in a Cell. Not only was this the first Cell match to take place on the Red Brand rather than pay-per-view since August 1998, but it also marked the fourth match inside the Cell in the past four days and the second to take place on free TV (the first being Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio, pushed up from the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view to last week's Friday Night SmackDown). So why did WWE once again use a stipulation that was once only brought out for special occasions?
A few reports regarding the situation have already popped up. PWInsider's Mike Johnson wrote, "the prime reasons we have seen HIAC bouts on broadcast/cable TV was to give WWE's TV partners something extra as well as to try and grab fans' attention as the company builds towards the return of live audiences next month."
Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp also noted in his post-Raw recap that the USA Network wanted a Hell in a Cell match after FOX got one on SmackDown.
Lashley won the match, then he and MVP continued to attack Woods while Kingston was stuck outside the Cell. The final image of the show was Kingston screaming at Lashley while the champ kept Woods locked in The Hurt Lock.
It was confirmed earlier in the night that Lashley will defend his WWE Championship against Kingston at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view next month. The champ talked about his excitement for the matchup last week.
"Hell yeah. Someone like me stepping up in a fight against Kofi, it should be a layup and that's not how people think it will go down. That's what excites me about Kofi. I like Kofi and what he's done for the business, and to have a fight with him, I would love to have that opportunity. He was a world champion and the one opportunity that he didn't get was to have another shot at the title," he told Yahoo Sports.
How do you feel about WWE using the Hell in a Cell stipulation on free TV? Has the cage lost its mystique, or does it add more excitement to the program? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!