Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch steal the show! Charlotte Flair becomes a 10 time women’s champion! And WWE F the Fiend in the A with a big old D!
I’m Laurie Blake hit that like button, give us a subscribe and answer our question of the day in the comments down below:
How does WWE save The Fiend now?
Also vote in the poll above my head to give your rating for the show, where you can choose from: Best of Both Worlds, Great Per View, Thumbs in the Middle, Meh Per View and Worst of Both Worlds. While Pete and I review Hell In A Cell 2019.
For most of the day before Hell in a Cell only four matches had actually been announced for the show, so the pre-show was looking like an absolute waste of time.
Thankfully someone parachuted in the sassy southern belle Lacey Evans and Natalya to put on a completely serviceable re-run of this match they keep having in this feud that never ends and nobody cares about.
Yay. I mean what about all those tag titles? Or the cruiserweights? You telling me they were busy tonight?
Anyway Natty finishes things up with a sharpshooter after Lacey flubs a moonsault, then post match Natty gives clocks her with her own version of a woman’s right.
Thankfully the opener for the show has much higher stakes and is far better, as Sasha Banks tries to topple Raw Women’s Champion Bekcy Lynch inside Hell In A Cell.
This match was absolute perfection with both competitors working and bumping their butts off to give us a hot opening. Goodness.
There were some really inventive spots like Becky grabbing the chain for the cell before it could be locked to beat down Sasha before locking them in herself. Sasha hitting a meteora onto a ladder leaning against the cage, a meteora through a table and Becky creating a floating chair stand out of kendo sticks then sitting Sasha in it like she’s Mr Bean driving a car and nailing her with a dropkick.
The end came about after Lynch hits a super bexploder onto a stack of chairs and locks the disarm-her in. forcing Sasha to tap who then goes and has a good long cry on the ramp.
I’m not sold on this ending as I’m not sure where you go with Sasha from here, but I appreciate keeping the belt on Becky because she’s still the hottest thing in the company right now.
Next up we had a tornado tag match between Daniel Bryan & Roman Reigns vs Erick Rowan & Luke Harper.
The match itself was solid, with some nice spots to keep the crowd invested, such as Rowan ripping off a part of the barricade and smashing Roman into the front row of the crowd.
The match flowed similarly to how WWE does their triple threat matches: two people have a singles match inside the ring, while the other competitor or in this case competitors, take a breather on the outside.
The finish came about when it looked like Daniel Bryan was about to be pounced on by Harper,
however Roman Reigns slid, hit a Superman Punch, following by a Bryan running knee, finished off with a Roman Reigns spear to pick up the win. This was good solid stuff.
Seth Rollins is backstage next, saying that he’s gonna win, and he’ll fight and yadda yadda yadda, however there was one nice touch on this promo, he’s going to win and he’ll keep on fighting, and then turned back and just said “At least, I hope”, which planted that little seed of doubt, which was nice.
Following that we had a match that was made on the kickoff show, and that was Randy Orton vs Ali because…reasons I guess.
It was at this point in the show where the momentum had started to wane a little, with nothing quite reaching the levels of the opening contest. However, with Orton vs Ali, it could be a show stealer.
It wasn’t though, as it was more of the same. It was good, it was perfectly fine and nothing damaging or overtly bad in it at all. It just felt like a pretty decent TV match is all.
Ali is very, very good at taking bumps like a madman, and with Orton working over Ali’s ribs for the vast majority of the match, it was fun to watch. Ali came back and had some fun spots including two 450 Splash attempts.
Ali also had one of the most creative counters to the RKO I’ve seen in some time, doing a handstand and springing back to his feet as Orton hit the mat.
This then led into Ali attempting his rolly polly facebuster thing, however that got countered into an RKO, which Orton then eventually capitalised on with a pinfall victory. Again, this was good, solid stuff.
Following that was another match announced about two hours before the show kicked off: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross defending the Women’s Tag Team titles against the Kabuki Warriors.
It was a match that seemingly had a bunch of last minute decisions in it too: like the Kabuki Warriors working heel while Bliss and Cross were faces, when Bliss had been heel on the pre-show lol! Or the fact that the Kabuki Warriors actually won the belts after Asuka hit Cross with the poison mist causing her to die for the requisite three seconds.
I very much enjoyed Kairi Sane basically being the same old clockwork toy pirate as ever, but just throwing out hair pulls and eye pokes like nobody’s business to get the heel side over. This match was completely confusing story-wise, but ok in terms of in-ring work.
Next up the O.C. were set to take on the Viking Raiders and a mystery partner. Once Erik and Ivar hit the ramp they paused to introduce their mate, none other than Braun Strowman who has a showdown with boxer Tyson Fury tomorrow on Raw.
Which seemed to be the only story in this bout. The whole thing was built around a Braun hot-tag that saw him run rampant at ring side before inevitably posting himself and ending up locked in the calf crusher.
Things break down and the match ends up thrown out after the OC gang up on Strowman. Post-match the brawl continues before it’s swatted out of the sky by a monster right hook from Strowman who nails AJ mid-phenomenal forearm. Because he’s talking to a boxer tomorrow… member.
This match felt like it never got anywhere because it was all orbiting Strowman and Tyson Fury when The O.C. vs Viking Raiders, The Bullet Club vs War Machine, should easily be an amazing match.
One positive that did come from it though was AJ’s punch drunk selling as he tottered out of the ring asking where he was and what day it was like Ebeneezer Scrooge on Christmas morning. AJ is just the damn best.
NXT’s Street Profits are backstage next, promoting that Monday’s episode of Raw is a DRAFT SHOWCASE SHOW, which means absolutely nothing, doesn’t it? What does it mean, there’s going to be superstars from both shows on it? Wow, how different to normal.
However, things get super, duper weird, when R-Truth stumbles into the Street Profits, which distracts 24/7 Champion Carmella. Out of nowhere comes TAMINA of all people, who rolls up Carmella to become the new 24/7 champion. As it was pointed out on the live reaction stream Laurie and I did, Tamina has won a main roster championship before Sami Zayn.
The weirdness didn’t stop though, as Tamina went to leave, NXT’s Tyler Breeze was there, without Fandango, who looked all Prince Pretty-like at Tamina, who then punched him and walked away.
WHAT IS HAPPENING.
Yet another match that was announced mere minutes before the kickoff show started was King Corbin vs Chad Gable, despite…their feud being finished? Right? It was finished, wasn’t it?
Corbin came out and cut the same standard “you are short, I am tall” promo, call his Shorty Gable, which was a name that stuck on the commentary table and beyond. Shorty G is happening isn’t it.
This was a decent match between the two, but not as good as their previous encounters such as the King of the Ring final. Corbin hit some lovely, lovely offense, as he tends to do because his moveset is really, really good, Gable hit a Chaos Theory German Suplex which is always fun to watch, and the finish came when Corbin tried to use his sceptre to hit Gable, however he missed, the referee tried to take it off him, to which Gable capitalised with a rollup for the shock victory.
This feud must continue, I guess.
Next it was time for the SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Bayley and Charlotte Flair, wait no, there’s time for some more 24/7 TITLE SHENANIGANS first. After the two had made their entrance, Tamina can be seen in the crowd, looking around, waiting for her cue.
Over comes R-Truth, so she attempts to run away, sort of, before using Funaki as a human shield from R-Truth, and then Tamina threw Funaki on Truth, before Carmella appeared from outta nowhere to hit a superkick on Tamina, and she then let Truth pin Tamina to become the 24/7 Champion…again.
I genuinely don’t have the words to describe that segment.
But then it actually was time for the SmackDown Women’s Championship match, and once again, this was…fine. They had a pretty standard match, which at times was confusing, because Charlotte was acting decidedly heel-ish, before Bayley was acting like an out-and-out heel, so it was really hard to root for anyone.
Bayley worked over Charlotte’s leg, which didn’t really play into the match at all.The finish came when Bayley attempted to do an illegal pin with her feet on the ropes, but the referee spotted it, and while she was busy arguing with the ref about it, Charlotte clocked her and locked in the Figure 8 for the win.
10-time women’s champion, Charlotte Flair. Because if you don’t know what to do, put the title on Charlotte.
The camera then stuck on Bayley for what felt like 5 years, while she just kind of sat there and looked upset. Filling for time, they’re filling for time.
Chad Gable is backstage next with Kayla Braxton, who accidentally called him Shorty, what a naughty, naughty gal she is, but it’s ok, because Chad now wants you to call him Shorty. Shorty G is actually happening.
He walks off after making some short puns of his own, but then he’s blindsided by Corbin, who beats him down in a really cool looking attack. This feud must definitely continue then.
Well here we are the main event, no doubt by now you’ve heard plenty about it. It was… it was certainly something.
The Fiend vs Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship inside Hell In Cell. So much seems right about that. But so much went wrong here.
The match gets underway bathed in red lighting, keeping the Fiend creepy and most importantly out of bright lights, so he seems less like a regular dude in a mask and more like a monster.
His selling also drives home the unstoppable monster rampage, or should that be no-selling, as he shrugs off kendo stick attacks like they’re nothing and pops up from a curb stomp and after going through a table..
At one point he even pulls out the mallet he used to turn ramblin rabbit into paste and uses it to ram Seth into the cage wall.
But then Rollins begins to fire back – hitting superkick after superkick, stomp after stomp and eventually resorting to chair shots, ladders and a toolbox to try to put the Fiend away who keeps kicking out with gusto.
So Seth finds a sledgehammer under the ring and goes to attack the pile of detritus gathered on the Fiend’s face. This is when the referee steps in and says don’t do this Seth, this is not who you are.Do your job ref, you’re not my dad.
So when Seth attacks the pile the match gets thrown out. The cage is raised and a stretcher comes down to take the Fiend away. Bullllshiiiiittttt.
Thankfully Bray never makes it onto the stretcher, instead locking the mandible claw onto Rollins causing him to bleed from the mouth, before disappearing.
This ending just straight up undoes a lot of the hardwork they’ve done with th
e Fiend over the last few months. We shouldn’t be seeing him lying helpless in the ring while someone builds a game of mousetrap out of household items around his head.
No amount of kick outs and sit ups counter that. And then to have the matchend in DQ inside the Cell for the second year in a row makes Rollins look like an idiot and the Fiend look like a joke.
And the fans thought so too, booing both Rollins and the Fiend, calling for the match to restart and chanting AEW when things got really bleak.
Honestly what a waste of momentum – if you wanted to capitalise on it, have the Fiend win. If you weren’t going to do that. Don’t book the fricking match.
Overall Hell in a Cell felt like such an afterthought to this week of WWE programming, with barely anything of consequence booked for the show…..