Well, this was unexpected.
Just a few days before their annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view taking place at the WWE Thunderdome, the company made a bombshell announcement. The scheduled HIAC match for the Universal Championship between champion Roman Reigns and challenger Rey Mysterio will take place tonight on Friday Night Smackdown. It will mark the first time since August of 1998 that a Hell in a Cell match has been featured on live tv instead of pay-per-view.
Let’s get into the match and the possible ramifications for Sunday’s PPV and beyond.
How to watch
Date: Friday, June 18
Time: 8 p.m. ET (look for this to be the show-closing main event)
Live stream: FOX.com/live
What to watch
This feud kicked off just a few weeks ago when Reigns’ cousins, the Usos, failed to capture the Smackdown Tag Team titles from Rey and Dominik Mysterio at the top of the show. Incensed, Reigns got them a second shot at the Mysterios later on the night and when it appeared that Mysterios would emerge victorious, Roman brutally attacked the father-son duo to trigger a disqualification. Last week on Smackdown, Rey retorted by issuing a challenge to Reigns for his championship and was joined by his son in attacking the champ with kendo sticks. Reigns brushed off this assault and promptly dumped Dominik out of the ring with a vicious.
Interestingly enough, this will be the first ever one-on-one matchup between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio — surprising considering how long both have been in the company together. With so many extra factors including the Usos and Dominik potentially getting involved, the outcome of this match may carry over into the PPV on Sunday and Smackdowns for weeks to come.