Roman Reigns retained the WWE United States Championship Sunday night at Hell in a Cell by defeating Rusev in a Hell in a Cell match.
Reigns won by hitting Rusev with a leaping spear off the stairs and was able to get the pin.
The WWE Universe shared of Reigns standing tall with his belt after the match:
Scott Fishman of the Miami Herald provided his initial take on the match:
Accolade with chain should’ve beaten Roman Reigns. Great visual+wouldn’t have made Roman look weak. Rusev needed a big win here. #WWE #HIAC
— Scott Fishman (@smFISHMAN) October 31, 2016
Reigns and Rusev have been at odds for the past couple of months dating back to when the Big Dog interrupted a wedding celebration in the ring by the Bulgarian Brute and his real-life bride, Lana.
That led to a United States Championship match at SummerSlam, but the bout never took place, as Reigns and Rusev brawled before the bell and the melee led to the Super Athlete needing to be helped out of the arena.
While Rusev disappeared from WWE programming for a few weeks, he resurfaced during a match between Reigns and Kevin Owens that Reigns needed to win in order to get a shot at the WWE Universal Championship.
Rusev cost Reigns the match, but the former Shield powerhouse got revenge at Clash of Champions, when he beat Rusev to become United States champion for the first time.
After a rematch ended in a double count-out, Rusev had Lana demand another shot at the U.S. title on his behalf, but before Reigns could answer, Rusev attacked Reigns and stole the championship.
That only served to fire up the three-time world champion, as he hit Rusev with a vicious Superman Punch in retaliation, as seen in this tweet courtesy of WWE:
Although Reigns agreed to give Rusev his rematch, he stipulated that it would take place in the most dangerous structure in WWE history, per WWE Universe:
"You’re going to get your rematch, but it’s gonna be inside HELL IN A CELL!" – @WWERomanReigns to @RusevBUL #RAW pic.twitter.com/Gc5f7MhBjr
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 4, 2016
The Hell in a Cell environment was fitting for Reigns and Rusev since most of their interactions have broken down into fights that spilled out of the ring and all over the arena.
Since it was clear that they were either unwilling or unable to remain confined to the squared circle, the cell was the only way to ensure they would stay put.
Reigns had his first career Hell in a Cell match last year, when he defeated Bray Wyatt in an entertaining affair, while Rusev made his debut inside the demonic encasement Sunday night.
Hell in a Cell has a penchant for bringing out the brutal side of Superstars, and there is no question that Reigns and Rusev continued that trend.
The fact that the United States Championship was contested inside the cell may have been a big step in the right direction for the title, and Reigns’ retaining could be viewed as a positive as well.
Reigns is a bona fide main eventer capable of taking the U.S. title to new heights, but now that his rivalry with Rusev has likely reached its conclusion, there is a great deal of pressure on the creative team to find an opponent who can help him maintain the momentum.
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