The first week of October 2019 will go down as a pretty damn historic week for wrestling. There’s a lot I could talk about. I could talk about the first week in the “Wednesday Night Wars” between AEW and WWE NXT. I could talk about the season premiere of RAW with Lana and Lashley having a smooch session while Rusev stood and watched it. I could talk about Tyson Fury feuding with Braun Strowman. I could talk about Cain Velasquez feuding with Brock Lesnar. I could talk about both of these big time combat stars wrestling in WWE in Saudi Arabia at Halloween. I could talk about Brock Lesnar beating Kofi Kingston in 7 seconds to win the WWE Championship. There’s so much I could get into.
In case anyone’s wondering, yes, I did watch SmackDown!, NXT and AEW Dynamite. I liked all three shows. I can’t really say that out of NXT and AEW, one was better than the other. If I’m starting to keep record, I’d say this week goes down as a tie to me. In the ratings, AEW defeated NXT soundly but we’ll get a better view of things a few weeks in before we can starting really assessing these two shows head-to-head. I liked what I saw.
I even liked SmackDown!’s FOX debut. It was nowhere near at the level of the Wednesday shows but there were some parts of the show that I thought was just better in general. It felt crisper and not as much as a chore to watch than sometimes it used to be. I even saw the positives of Brock Lesnar beating Kofi Kingston the way he did. Yeah, it sucks if you’re a fan of Kofi Kingston but I understood and actually admired the boldness of this decision. A man beating another man in 7 seconds promotes the idea that anything can happen in the ring and personally, losing in the way that he did I think will help Kofi in a weird way for the future.
I liked the build towards a future Brock vs Cain match at Saudi Arabia. For Braun vs Tyson Fury, the jury’s still out. I have no idea as a match how that’s gonna turn out. All of this was going down during the week that many people, including WWE from the looks of it, forgot there was a WWE PPV on the Sunday… WWE Hell in a Cell which had promoted 4 matches before Sunday. That tells you something.
I will admit to only watching three matches. I watched the Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks Hell in a Cell match which was a great Hell in a Cell match. Both girls worked hard and it wasn’t too crazy but also creative with certain spots. It worked with me and I think it is worth watching if you haven’t yet. Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan vs Erick Rowan and Luke Harper was another good match. It was predictable with the layout but very well done with execution with the babyfaces having a feel-good moment at the end. I liked that a lot. It turns out those two matches were the first two matches of the show and every other match, thrown together at the last minute, followed until the main-event.
Dear god… this main-event.
You want to know what really bothered me about this main-event? This has nothing to do with the match itself which we’ll get to. In WWE, there was one guy that was getting over big with the fans and treated as special. With the exception of like Brock Lesnar, this guy had a unique character nobody else had and was killing guys left and right and looking like a killer. He was looking like a legitimate star. Some people may remember him as Husky Harris, others remember him as Bray Wyatt but now he was The Fiend.
I legitimately could not believe that Bray Wyatt was able to get over again as The Fiend. He started getting over so big as Bray Wyatt when he first arrived but after so many wacky storylines with the likes of Undertaker (who he resurrected), Dean Ambrose (who he feuded with over a chair), John Cena (who he tried to turn heel), Xavier Woods (who was scared of Bray), Matt Hardy (who he battled in a match that Michael Cole openly buried on TV and then teamed with to lose to the B Team) and so on. He was put through so much crap and that doesn’t even include his House of Horrors match with Randy Orton. Oh yeah, remember when he was Sister Abigail? My god, he’s been through creative hell and back.
Yet somehow, he found a scary gimmick which was working. He was over. WWE immediately decided to put this guy in a feud for the Universal Championship. Already, they rushed the guy into a title program which I think was far too early for the guy. This was not the time for such a big push yet but what the hell. The Giant was pushed to the WCW title right away after debuting in a big feud with Hulk Hogan and the guy turned out OK. Brock Lesnar won the WWE title a few months after debuting. Even if you rushed the new character into a world title program, it’s possible to make it work.
In fact, there was one sure-fire way to make this angle work. It’s simple, The Fiend goes into his big match, destroys the Universal Champion and wins the title and starts running through the roster. He does exactly what he’s been doing since he became The Fiend and you can run this angle all the way to WrestleMania where a babyface slays The Fiend and wins the title. It’s so easy to build up a new scary monster and possibly a household name. He’s got a great look as The Fiend, he’s unique and he has the side of him that makes you think that he could do anything. Why not have him as your Universal Champion?
Heck, now would be a perfect time to do WWE Champion Brock Lesnar vs Universal Champion The Fiend at Survivor Series. I got so giddy at the thought of that after Brock won the title. No matter what you do as a wrestling promoter, two men who always win facing each other in a monster vs monster match will never not draw. Godzilla vs Kong will draw when it comes out next year I believe in the cinemas and so would this match….
…and WWE took all my dreams and turned it into this nightmare.
This Hell in a Cell match was so horrible. This was not so offensive that I was mad at it. It was so horrible that I laughed at it. This was not so bad it was good. This was so bad that I mocked it. It was a parody of a Hell in a Cell match. I’m not going to do an in-depth analysis of the match like I usually do with Nitro reviews, but I will break down what happened if by chance you did not watch this match.
These two men get into the cell and they have a regular old Seth Rollins vs Bray Wyatt match. This was not The Fiend coming out of the gate and just destroying Seth Rollins. They fought evenly with weapons and big moves, with The Fiend selling a little bit but not a lot. They zapped out the dominating factor of The Fiend right away with this one. The Fiend attacks Seth with a big mallet and I want everyone to remember this when we get to the finish.
Suddenly, Seth starts to take over. I think The Fiend hit a Sister Abigail but mostly… this was Seth Rollins beating the crap out of The Fiend. He’d hit every finisher he could find, including a pedigree, but The Fiend would either no-sell it or kick out at one for each big move. While Seth Rollins, the heroic babyface, is giving it his all in this match to give The Fiend all that he had, the crowd boos the living daylights out of Seth Rollins.
They booed Seth because they so desperately wanted to see The Fiend, who was over, become champion. Seth Rollins had been a disaster of a champion, he is completely unlikable on Twitter doing such things like bragging about his bank account and he’s not over. So they decided to have a Hell in a Cell match and decided to have Seth start to dominate on The Fiend and of course the fans are all pissed about it. These fans, who can barely see the action because of the red lighting, were pissed off about this development too.
Seth hit about 11 curb stomps to no effect. The Fiend would just pop up once in a while just to freak out Seth. Seth starts freaking out. The Fiend is making his finishers look so pathetic to the point where he’s not even selling it. The Pedigree didn’t work out either. He starts getting angry that he can’t put him away so he attacks Fiend with a chair to the head. He attacks him with a toolbox. He grabs a ladder. He suddenly grabs a SLEDGEHAMMER. Keep in mind that The Fiend used a mallet earlier on in the match and this was followed with Seth grabbing a sledgehammer.
He gets back into the ring and the referee is pleading with Seth not to hit The Fiend with the sledgehammer. The ref cuts a promo on Seth telling him to not forget who he is and that he doesn’t need to do this and go too far. This is all going down… DURING A HELL IN A CELL MATCH. The very same match where Mick Foley got thrown off the top of the cell twice and still continued the match for 10 minutes. The very same match where Triple H used the sledgehammer OVER AND OVER AND OVER again in his Hell in a Cell matches. I reviewed a Hell in a Cell match with Triple H from Unforgiven 2006 where he walloped Vince McMahon in the head with the sledgehammer. The reason this was all fine was because there’s meant to be NO RULES in a Hell in a Cell match… because it’s HELLish for the wrestlers.
So Seth Rollins, with a bunch of weapons on top of Fiend’s head to protect him, hits The Fiend with the sledgehammer and the referee calls for the bell. This Hell in a Cell match ended in a disqualification.
I know that so many people on Twitter were pissed off with the disqualification but on its own, that didn’t bother me so badly. There really should never really be a disqualification in a Hell in a Cell match but then again, there should never really be a no contest in a Hell in a Cell match and we saw that last year. It’s a stupid finish but whatever… but it didn’t end there.
So Seth is screaming that “you forced me to do it” and the medics raise the cell to see to The Fiend. After the medics all come down, The Fiend gets up like he is completely fine and beats up Seth Rollins after the match.
I was so mad at this particular part. I wasn’t really that mad about the DQ but I was really mad at the aftermath. I watched Seth “destroy” or at least hit a 1000 moves and weapon shots on The Fiend for a solid 10 minutes or whatever straight. The Fiend responded by not doing anything in response or just no-selling the moves or whatever. All of a sudden, after this supposedly horrific attack by Seth that forced a DQ, he gets up like he’s 100% OK and beats up Seth.
I have no idea what the logic was behind any of this. What was The Fiend’s motivation? He had the opportunity to win the title and his plan was to let Seth try to beat him up and then after the match, attack him. If Seth’s attacks meant so little to him, why didn’t he get up and attacks him during the match and win the title? Does he even want the title? If not, then why was this a title match? What was the motivation for any of these characters?
Anyway… The Fiend left Seth laying and the show was over.
This match was an embarrassment to professional wrestling. During one of the most historic and biggest weeks in wrestling history, it ended with this Hell in a Cell match. This may have been the worst ending to a WWE pay-per-view in the history of WWE. At least Roman Reigns’ big win at Royal Rumble 2015 that was booed massively had some logic to the booking. There was no logic to this booking. This hurt the careers of both men. Seth and The Fiend both weren’t even on RAW the next night which tells you how much WWE were embarrassed by this match and really should be ashamed at themselves for this match.
There’s no chance that The Fiend will ever get back to the level of overness this character had before this feud started. There’s no chance Seth Rollins will be getting cheered any time soon. It’s IMPOSSIBLE. This Seth Rollins, on-and-off screen, has never looked so bad as he has done in the last few months. He can’t possibly be the Universal Champion after this.
Now… there are two possibilities that Seth could overcome this and redeem himself. Possibility #1 is that he goes away for a while. The Fiend could come out and attack him and Seth is forced to relinquish the title or Seth beats up an authority and gets fired. Anything to get him off TV for a while and then at the Royal Rumble, he can get a big return and try to start again. Possibility #2 is quite simple… he turns heel.
I feel like I’ve been through this exact scenario with Roman Reigns but if WWE knows what’s good for Seth, they’ll have him turn heel on his very next appearance on WWE television. It’s impossible for this guy to be a beloved babyface for the time being so you turn the guy heel for a while and then try again with him as a babyface a year from now. He’s gotta go heel and use all of this negativity to his advantage.
As for The Fiend, I’m not even sure he can be redeemed anymore. Why is it that Bray Wyatt is stuck with these bogus storylines? He finally gets this gimmick that gets him over and all they had to do was have him beat everybody on the road to WrestleMania and they HAD to this at Hell in a Cell. You can’t have him go up against Seth for a rematch. You can’t have him up against BROCK LESNAR for what could have been a big money match. I have no idea what you do now but it sucks to be The Fiend and Seth Rollins right now.
This match will live in infamy. WrestleCrap will already have this waiting in the wings for its yearly awards. People will never forget this for bad reasons and it was a nightmare. I could not believe my eyes watching this match.
My Twitter @ArmbarExpress is still active so if you have a desire to send me you shared hatred of this match, by all means send it to me! I’d love to read it. However, if you actually liked this match for whatever reason, please get in touch as I am curious if anyone actually thought this match was good and I’d like to get their opinions!
Either way, I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post and be sure to check out my Retro Express WCW Nitro reviews! I’ve been reviewing every Nitro episode from the very first one and all of the links to the Nitro reviews can be seen on the links below!
WCW Nitro Reading Order
- #1 – September 4th 1995
- #2 – September 11th 1995
- WCW War Games 1995 – September 17th 1995
- #3 – September 18th 1995
- #4 – September 25th 1995
- #5 – October 2nd 1995
- #6 – October 9th 1995
- #7 – October 16th 1995
- #8 – October 23rd 1995
- WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 – October 29th 1995
- #9 – October 30th 1995
- #10 – November 6th 1995
- #11 – November 13th 1995
- #12 – November 20th 1995
- WCW World War III 1995 – November 26th 1995
- #13 – November 27th 1995
- #14 – December 4th 1995
- #15 – December 11th 1995
- #16 – December 18th 1995
- #17 – December 25th 1995
- WCW Starrcade 1995 – December 27th 1995
- #18 – January 1st 1996
- #19 – January 8th 1996
- #20 – January 15th 1996
- #21 – January 22nd 1996
- #22 – January 29th 1996
- #23 – February 5th 1996
- WCW Superbrawl VI – February 11th 1996
- #24 – February 12th 1996
- #25 – February 19th 1996
- #26 – February 26th 1996