By Big Red Machine
From October 06, 2019
HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE RAW WOMEN’S TITLE:
Becky Lynch(c) vs. Sasha Banks - 8.25/10
Awesome, brutal violence but Sasha is now basically dead as a character with this loss. It’s not that she can’t recover, but all of the momentum she had when she came back has pretty much disappeared by now as she has been booked like a completely generic heel rather than something special and different. She should have been portrayed in an almost CM Punk-like way, as someone who walked out and is now back to cause trouble for the company.
TORNADO TAG TEAM MATCH:
Erick Rowan & Luke Harper vs. Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns - 8.5/10
This was one hell of a wild brawl with some great selling, but the thing I loved the most was the way they made use of the stipulation to create this big surprise “run-in” type of spots that really upped the excitement level.
POST-MATCH BIT - Dumb. Bryan subs Roman on a handshake just so he can demand a hug and get the fans to chant for it and they tease it a bit before doing it just for the pop. This was stupid indy sh*t.
CHARLY CARUSO INTERVIEWS SETH ROLLINS - Bad. Seth tried his best to look unnerved and put over Bray’s bullsh*t “mind games” crap before finishing it off by forcing his catchphrase in. I bet you he doesn’t actually try to burn down Hell in a Cell.
RANDY ORTON vs. MUSTAFA ALI - 7/10
Ali’s midsection got worked over and he sold it like the babyface megastar he could be if this company would push him. That RKO counter and roll-up was one of my favorite spots all year.
WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Alexa Bliss! & Nikki Cross(c) vs. the Kabuki Warriors - 6.25/10
Alexa has an excellent point that the Kabuki Warriors haven’t done a damn thing to earn this title shot. The Kabuki Warriors would go on to prove that they were not worthy challengers, but still walked away with the belts due to green mist. They did a great job of making Asuka and Kairi feel progressively more heelish as the match went on, culminating in the very heelish finish.
SMACKDOWN ON FOX PREMIERE VIDEO PACKAGE - Yes, really. They wasted time trying to convince people who are already paying for their subscription service that we need to tune in to their free TV show.
THE VIKING RAIDERS & BRAUN STROWMAN vs. THE OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson) - 6/10
They had what was a decent tag team match for a while before it ended with the heels getting DQed for being in the ring for too long without a tag. They beat Braun down until the Viking Raiders took out Gallows and Anderson, allowing Braun to knock AJ out with one punch because Braun is now feuding with a boxer so he has to have a knockout punch. If that was what you wanted to get over then why didn’t you just have Braun knock someone out with his big punch and cleanly pin him for the win?
THE STREET PROFITS WASTE TIME BACKSTAGE - They got interrupted by 24/7 goofball crap. Tamina is the new champion. Truth is still a moron.
BARON CORBIN vs. CHAD GABLE - 6.5/10
Before the match we got Corbin making short jokes at Gable. Has this feud even gone anywhere since day one? Even the ring announcer is calling Gable “shorty” now. Gable won by roll-up after avoiding a shot with the scepter. Cole proved that he has no knowledge of the context of the phrase “let them eat cake.” A match that got as much time as this one felt like it got should have been better than this was.
MORE 24/7 GOOFINESS - Bad. Tamina used Funaki as a human shield, prompting R-Truth to act in a rather racist manner. Carmella kicked Tamina in the face and pinned her to win the title back, then she and Truth left.
WWE SMACKDOWN WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH:
Bayley(c) vs. Charlotte Flair - 6.75/10
There were some spots in here that looked rather bad. Both women worked the leg. Charlotte won clean via submission, so she is now a ten-time champion despite being on the main roster for just over four years.
KAYLA BRAXTON INTERVIEWS CHAD GABLE - Good. Now Kayla is being a jerk, too. Gable’s promo was pretty great, though. Then Corbin jumped him from behind in what was actually a pretty great backstage attack.
HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR THE WWE UNIVERSAL TITLE:
Seth Rollins(c) vs. The Fiend - no rating, weird but very good segment that turned into a bad segment
The goal here was to create a horror movie-esque feel with this inexorable that will not stay dead no matter what you do to it, and they succeeded wildly. The Fiend and Seth both played their parts wonderfully, and the match was laid out brilliantly for this purpose. That being said, I greatly disliked the decision to keep the wacky entrance lighting on the whole time, as it made it feel less real by making it feel like the promotion is on everything and is purposely adding mood lighting and a heavy breathing soundtrack.
I also despised the whole “think about what you’re doing, Seth!” part. First of all, the referee’s job is not to care about Seth Rollins’ conscience. The referee’s job is to ensure the safety of the competitors. If he doesn’t want Seth to hit The Fiend in the head with a sledgehammer, he should CALL FOR THE F*CKING BELL and award Seth the victory via referee stoppage. Thankfully that did happen when Seth hit The Fiend with the sledgehammer (through a pile of stuff, of course), and Seth’s “you made me do that!” reaction was great… but then the whole idea of Seth having gone to a bad place mentally in order to beat The Fiend was rendered irrelevant when The Fiend got back up and kicked Seth’s ass.
As much as I didn’t like the things I have listed above, it was The Fiend’s comeback that really killed this for me. First of all, as the fans noted with their “RESTART THE MATCH!” chant, The Fiend kind of got screwed, here, as the referee awarded Seth the match when The Fiend was still capable of fighting. I’ll accept the argument that The Fiend was knocked out and that Seth was the rightful winner, but either way, The Fiend making a comeback and beating Seth up at the end killed everything they did here, because it pretty much sets us back at square one. Seth is still the champion, but The Fiend is a scary unstoppable force. Even while giving us a clean finish, they still managed to screw us over on the finish of a Hell in a Cell match.
This was a surprisingly good show from WWE, despite the ending. It was mostly just wrestling that was solid or better (and, in most cases, better). Bryan & Roman vs. Harper & Rowan is definitely a match everyone should check out, and I would encourage everyone to watch the main event for themselves and form their own opinions on it. Even despite hating the finish, this is a WWE show that I am not walking away from feeling particularly screwed out of my time, which is a big step for WWE.