Backstage Report On Why WWE Ran Two Free Hell In A Cell Matches On TV
Some fans were curious, while others were critical of the fact WWE offered up two free Hell in a Cell matches on WWE programming. One took place two nights before the pay-per-view, one took place the night following. Busted Open Radio’s Dave LaGreca called it the “For no reason in a cell match” on Raw.
According to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson, this was done intentionally and not just because Sunday’s card was too full or WWE happened to have the cage just “hanging around” for Raw the next night. No, WWE opted to put the two additional Hell In A Cell matches on Raw and SmackDown to give their television network partners “something extra”.
Further to that, they report that with the ThunderDome era soon coming to a close, WWE is trying ways or using their flagship shows to draw attention to both brands and the fact certain aspects of the fan-less experience will be ending. Perhaps it worked.
The Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio match on SmackDown offered a small ratings boost, going from 1.944 million to 2.040 million in overall viewership and 0.48 to 0.54 in the key 18-49 demographic. We’ll see how it turns out for Raw.
Might Have Been A Plan For Only One
There is some talk that WWE might have only wanted to run the Reigns vs. Mysterio match in a cell on free television, but the folks over at the USA Network didn’t love what they saw as preferential treatment.
Andrew Zarian of the Mat Men Pro Wrestling Podcast noted that once FOX got the free Hell in a Cell match, USA wanted the same for their Raw show. Zarian said, “I can tell you for a fact that USA Network is very unhappy that the Hell in a Cell match is happening on SmackDown. I’m not gonna say they are fuming but they are very unhappy about it.”