WWE Hell in a Cell 2019: Live Reactions and Grades

10/6/19

Golden 1 Center

Sacramento, CA

Preshow

20 minutes into the preshow and we get our first match of the night.

Lacey Evans vs. Natalya

So far, about 5 minutes into the match, nothing eventful has occurred. There has been a lot of rest holds until Natty goes for a Sharpshooter and the duo goes to the outside. While outside the ring, Lacy smashes Natty’s leg into the steel steps and now is targeting the leg. Around the 10-minute mark of the match and Lacy is still working on the injured leg of Natty. Lacy goes for the Sharpshooter but Natty fights back and sends Lacy out of the ring briefly. Natty reverses a Bronco Buster but Lacey lands a nasty clothesline. Lacy goes for a moonsault but Natty moves and locks in the Sharpshooter. Lacy taps, Natty wins.

Post-Match: Natalya decks Lacy with a Woman’s Right of her own

Result: Natalya wins via submission with the Sharpshooter

Grade: C

A 1-hour long preshow that only featured 1 match that lasted a little over 10 minutes… fun.

Main Card

We start the main card with the Raw Women’s Championship match.

Becky Lynch (c)  vs. Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship inside the Hell in a Cell

Before the cell reaches the ground, Sasha attacks Becky and the fighters up outside the cell as it reaches the floor. Sasha enters the cell via the door first but Becky boots the door into her as she tries to come back for her. Before the ref could lock the door, Becky takes the chain lock and uses it as brass knuckles on Sasha. Becky then uses the lock as its intended purpose and locks the door herself. Becky slides a table into the ring but Sasha uses a chair to take her out. Becky recovers as Sasha sets up a ladder and uses the same chair to nail Sasha in the face. More chair spots occur when Sasha escapes a Dis-Arm-Her attempt and boots the chair into Becky’s face. Becky then sends Sasha into the cell wall multiple times before Sasha hits a crazy Meteroa into the aforementioned ladder. Sasha then slides Becky’s arm through the door opening and smashes it between the door and cell wall. Continuing to work the arms of Becky, Sasha slams Becky’s hand inside of the chair. Another Meteroa connects while Becky is placed onto the chair but Becky kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Sasha wedges a chair into the cell wall but Becky is beginning her comeback as she kicks a different chair into Sasha and then kicks her into the cell wall. After Sasha gets sent into the ring post, Becky hits a Becksploder on her into the cell wall. After some near-falls, Sasha grabs a kendo stick and stabs walloping Becky. Now Sasha places multiple kendo sticks into the cell wall. Before she can use them, Becky fights her off and places a chair on top of said kendo sticks. Becky places Sasha onto the chair and then dropkicks her into the cell wall from the apron. A very innovative spot. Back in the ring, Sasha kicks out of a pinfall attempt after a Becky leg drop. Becky sets up the table from the beginning of the match but Sasha takes her out with a backstabber. Sasha then hits a Meteroa on Becky through the table but Becky kicks out of the pin attempt! Sasha uses another kendo stick to add more pressure to the Bank Statement but Becky escapes and uses the kendo stick herself. Becky then gets sent through the chair that was propped into the cell wall. Sasha is now loading tons of chairs into the ring on and around a prone Becky. Sasha spends too much time gloating and Becky springs to her feet to deliver a Super Becksploder from the middle rope on to the pile of chairs. Becky locks in the Dis-Arm-Her which makes Sasha tap out. 

Result: Becky retains via submission with the Dis-Arm-Her

Grade: A+

Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper in a Tornado Tag Team Match

After the heels start off strong, the faces fight back with a tope suicida and a Superman Punch. Reigns hits a Samoan drop on Rowan but Harper hits Reigns with a superkick before he can go for a Spear. The heels now beat down Reigns in the corner until Bryan fails at a save attempt. Rowan now uses the steel steps to attack Reigns and take him out of the match for the moment. The heels are now double-teaming a weakened Bryan in the ring. Before Harper can hit a top rope dive onto Bryan who is on Rowan’s shoulders, Reigns takes down Harper. Rowan then takes out Reigns who is still on the apron and Bryan attempts a comeback. But, Harper reemerges and the double-team on Bryan continues. Bryan fights back but Harper hits a Michinoku Driver for a 2-count as Reigns makes the save. After some Yes Kicks to Harper, Reigns hits a Driveby on Rowan who made the save and then Harper hits tope suicida on Reigns. All 4 men are down on the outside of the ring. The heels get to their feet first and they clear off the announce tables and the padding from the ring apron. Bryan gets sent face-first into the exposed ring apron as the heels turn their attention to Reigns. Rowan now uses a section of the crowd barrier to level Reigns into the crowd. As the heels try to Powerbomb Bryan through the table, Bryan reverses with a hurricanrana on Harper and Reigns reemerges from the crowd to hit a Spear on Rowan through an announce table. Harper hits Bryan with a powerbomb from the top rope in the ring but Bryan kicks out of the pinfall attempt. As Harper and Bryan exchange moves, Reigns enters the fray with a Superman Punch which leads to a Spear and the pinfall.

Result: Reigns and Bryan win via pinfall after Reigns hits Harper with a Spear

Grade: C+

Post-Match: Bryan and Reigns hug after Bryan pulled his hand away “too slow” style when they attempt to shake hands. 

One hour into the show and with 2 matches down, we get our first break in the action. So far, the show has been pretty solid. The opening match was simply amazing and the last match was decent.

Randy Orton vs. Ali

So this is a match happening for some reason. Hopefully, something eventful happens during it because there has not been a build to this match.

A very typical Randy Orton match to start as this is already dragging and slow-paced. Ali tries going up to the top rope but Orton dispells him to the outside from the top rope. Orton then slams Ali onto an announce table twice as he begins to taunt the crowd from inside the ring. Ali is able to beat the 10-count but Orton just continues to slowly beat him down. Orton goes to slam Ali onto the announce table again but Ali slides out of his grasp and hits a dropkick. Orton recovers quickly and sends Ali flying into the ring post before dragging Ali back into the ring. Orton is utilizing more rest holds as this match has not been that fun despite Ali bumping like a mad man. Ali is able to fight back and send Orton over the announce table with a tope suicida. Back into the ring and Ali hits a facebuster on Orton for a 2-count. As Ali tries to continue executing some offense, Orton hits Ali with a “Vintage Orton” powerslam. Ali recovers with a spinning heel kick and goes up top for the 450 but Orton moves. Ali rolls through and hits a tornado DDT on Orton and goes back up top again. On this 450 attempt, Orton moves again but this time Ali crashes and burns. Orton hits a “Vintage Orton” DDT and sends up for an RKO. Ali reverses the RKO but doing a handstand in a very creative reversal! Ali goes for another rolling facebuster but this time Orton connects with the RKO for the win.

Result: Orton wins via pinfall after an RKO

Grade: C-

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c)  vs. Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) for the Women’s Tag Team Championship

Sane offers to shake Nikki’s hand to start but it was a trap as she attacks both her and Alexa who is on the apron. Asuka tags in but before she can do much, Nikki gets to Alexa for the tag. Alexa tags Nikki back in as they do some double-team moves on Asuka. Asuka fights back but she sends Nikki to the outside where she can but Asuka into the ring apron for the special move she always does. Alexa had made a stealth tag as she is the legal women but Asuka fights her off. Asuka tags in Sane who doesn’t do much before tagging Asuka back in. Asuka has been in complete control for some time now as she works the legs of Alexa. Sane tags in and does her pirate march across the ring to poke Nikki in the eyes before hitting the sliding clothesline on a seated Alexa. Asuka tags back in and goes back to work on the legs of Alexa. Alexa crawls to Nikki for the hot tag as Sane tags in as well. Nikki takes the heel out and goes up top for the Crossbody… 2-count! Sane plants Nikki and goes for the InSane Elbow but Nikki gets her legs up. Nikki hits a neckbreaker but Asuka makes the save. Sane reaches the corner and tags in Asuka who gets hit by a Nikki clothesline. Sane distracts Alexa on the apron which draws the attention of Nikki. When Nikki turns around, Asuka spits green mist in her face ala Tajiri! The heels steal the tag belts!

Result: Kabuki Warriors win via pinfall after cheating and we have *NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions*

Grade: B+

Another break after 2 matches as we approach the third hour of the PPV. So far, I’ve enjoyed this PPV as the only stinkers have the preshow and the Orton/Ali match. 

The OC (A.J. Styles (c), Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) and a Mystery Partner

And the mystery partner is… Braun Strowman!

The Viking Raiders and Strowman are working together because… they are 3 big bearded men I guess? Ivar starts the match by slowly beating down Anderson. The heels get Ivar into their corner but Ivar shows off some surprising athleticism as he escapes and makes the tag to Erik. Erik and Gallows are the legal men as Styles catches Erik with a kick when he tries to run the ropes. Styles tags in and hits a Pele kick on Erik for a pin attempt. Meanwhile, Gallows takes out Strowman who was on the apron holding back Styles. Anderson tags in and hits Erik with a spinebuster for a pin attempt. Styles tags back in to prevent a hot tag but Erik takes down Styles. Now Erik makes the hot tag to Strowman who does Strowman things. Running Shoulder Tackles for everyone but when he reenters the ring, Styles locks in the Calf Crusher! Erik makes the save with a botched knee to the face of Styles. All of the heels enter the ring and cause a DQ for not obeying the refs’ authority. 

Post-Match: The Viking Raiders make the save for Braun by taking out Gallows and Anderson. Styles attempts to beatdown Strowman and hit him with a Phenomenal Forearm but Strowman hits him with a KO Punch (like Tyson Fury). As Styles tries to walk away, he continues to sell the KO Punch acting like he is concussed and unable to walk.

Result: Viking Raiders and Strowman win with DQ

Grade: B

24/7 Champion Shenanigans

During a Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) backstage promo, Carmella (c) and R-Truth enter the scene but a returning Tamina pins her to become the new 24/7 Champion. As she starts to run away, Tyler Breeze enters the scene and he… gets punched in the face. Tamina makes a run for it with her new championship as the Street Profits say she ran away in different directions.

Result: Tamina pins Carmella to become the *New 24/7 Champion*

Grade: B

King Corbin vs. Chad Gable

Before the match, Corbin grabs a mic and runs down the crowd and Gable. This is just a repeat of the last months worth of Monday Night Raws. 

Gable tries to some offense in early but Corbin easily overpowers him. Gable is relentless and continues to fight but Corbin sends him flying across the ring into the bottom of the ring post in a nasty looking spot. Corbin now has the advantage as he slowly beats down Gable. Corbin punches Gable in mid-air when Gable tries to fight back with a springboard move. Corbin hits his signature clothesline on Gable but Gable kicks out of the pin attempt. Gable is able to fight out a top rope predicament in order to hit a dropkick on Corbin. When Corbin goes for his signature clothesline again, Gable is ready for it and reverses the move. But, Corbin reverses the reversal into a spinebuster. Gable starts to rally and hits his rolling German suplex for a 2-count. Gable hits a couple running bicycle kicks but when he goes for a third one, Corbin catches him with a powerbomb. Gable rallies again and slams Corbin’s leg into the ring post multiple times. When Gable tries to take advantage of the situation, Corbin catches him with a surprise Deep Six but Gable kicks out! Corbin goes for another Deep Six but Gable reverses and hits a neckbreaker before a moonsault! Gable then locks in the Ankle Lock! Corbin crawls out of the ring to break the submission and goes to get his scepter. When the ref tries to take the weapon away, Gable rolls up Corbin for the pinfall.  

Result: Chad Gable wins via pinfall after a roll-up

Grade: B

24/7 Championship Shenanagins

Tamina (c) hides behind Funaki before R-Truth and Carmella find her. Carmella hits Tamina with a Superkick and R-Truth pins her to become champion.

Result: R-Truth pins Tamina to become the *New 24/7 Champion*

Grade: B

Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair for the Smackdown Women’s Championship

Charlotte has the power advantage and it shows at the start of the match as she is dominating. Bayley rakes the eyes of Charlotte to get the upper hand. Bayley gets too cocky and Charlotte fights back with some “WOO” chops. Bayley gets back into it when she drops Charlotte on the outside of the ring and slams her into the apron a few times. This match is very Randy Orton-esque as Bayley works the leg of Charlotte. While only being able to use 1 leg, Charlotte hits a big boot on Bayley. Charlotte hits Natural Selection but is too close to the ropes as Bayley is able to grab the bottom rope to save her title. Charlotte is now working the leg of Bayley as they both have the same strategy. Charlotte goes for a moonsult but Bayley gets her legs up. Both women roll out of the ring and Charlotte hits a fallaway slam on Bayley. When Charlotte goes for the Figure-Four, Bayley rolls her up but Charlotte kicks out. Bayley then reverses a big boot and rolls Charlotte up for a pin attempt but the ref catches Bayley cheating by having her legs on the ropes as leverage. Charlotte connects with the big boot while Bayley is arguing with the ref and then locks her into the Figure-Eight for the victory.

Result: Charlotte Flair wins via submission after Bayley taps to the Figure-Eight and we have a *New Smackdown Women’s Champion*

Grade: C+

Another break in the action after Corbin attacks Gable backstage. This middle portion of the show has been pretty meh if I do say so myself. We’ve had a couple of TV-esque matches and segments and the Women’s title change was just a slow match.

Main Event

Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for the WWE Universal Championship inside the Hell in a Cell

The Fiend does, in fact, still have his lantern made out of his own face despite the WWE removing it from their YouTube and Network previously because it was too scary for kids.

The lights are staying off as the championship match will be fought under a red glow. Rollins is running around the ring in search of a weapon. Rollins gets a kendo stick but The Fiend no-sells the hits. The Fiend is now throwing Rollins into the cell wall repeatedly. Rollins is thrown into the steel steps as The Fiend is just toying with him now. As The Fiend is searching under the ring for a weapon, Rollins uses the steel steps to take down The Fiend for the first time. Rollins slides a table into the ring before hitting The Fiend with a couple of tope suicidas. Rollins sets up the table in the middle of the ring but is caught with a Sister Abigail into the cell wall when he goes for another tope suicida. Rollins fights out of The Fiends’ potential attack and puts him throw the table with a Frog Splash. The Fiend no-sells the table spot and gets back up quickly. Rollins hits the Stomp but The Fiend again pops right back up. The Fiend hits a Sister Abigail but Rollins kicks out at 2! The Fiend “breaks the neck” of Rollins which gives him enough time to go get a comically over-sized mallet. Rollins hits a trio of superkicks and another Stomp onto the mallet but The Fiend rolls into the ring. Rollins hits a couple of springboard knee strikes but The Fiend stays up. Rollins hits a chorus of Stomps, a Pedigree, another Stomp… and The Fiend kicks out at 1! Rollins hits 4 more Stomps on The Fiend before searching for a weapon. Rollins brings a chair into the ring and slowly steps over The Fiend and attitude era chair shots him in the head! The Fiend kicks out! Rollins places the chair over The Fiend’s head uses a ladder to smash a chair into it… The Fiend still kicks out! Rollins now brings a toolbox into the ring as he places the ladder and chair on The Fiend’s head. He uses the toolbox to smash both objects into The Fiend’s head. Now with all 3 objects on top of The Fiend’s head, Rollins grabs a sledgehammer. The ref is now trying to tell Rollins that THIS is too far. Rollins uses the sledgehammer to smash all of the objects into The Fiend’s head and the ref DQ’s him. 

Post-Match: The crowd is booing like crazy right now. As The Fiend is being attended to by medical personal, The Fiend sits up and locks in the Mandible Claw on Rollins. The Fiend removes the padding on the floor and hits a Sister Abigail on Rollins. The Fiend then locks in the Mandible Claw again as blood spews from Rollins’s mouth. 

Result: The Fiend wins via DQ, Rollins retains

Grade: D+

Conclusion

The show started off hot but was downhill from there. The main event was a very disappointing finish as it finishes with a DQ… IN A NO DQ MATCH. The Fiend looks strong, kinda, but the credibility of Seth Rollins is severely damaged. The opening match carried this show and the rest of the show, especially the main event, was disappointing. If it weren’t for the Hell in the Cell stipulation, this could have been the average Raw/Smackdown show.

Overall Grade: C+

-Mitchell Seefeldt

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