WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 was held at the Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. The show focused on the two championship Hell in a Cell matches -- Seth Rollins defending his Universal Championship against "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, and Becky Lynch defending her Raw Women's Championship against Sasha Banks.
Here are the instant and live reactions from each match on the pay-per-view card.
Kickoff Show: Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
This match was a bit underwhelming, but at least there was some kind of build leading into it. Natalya winning was a pleasant surprise. Natalya is typically the person used to put others over, so it is finally good to see that she was able to win a feud.
I am not sure what is next for Lacey, but there has been a disconnect for me regarding her since the very beginning. She has potential, but WWE pushed her way too soon.
Raw Women's Championship (Hell in a Cell) -- Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Interesting twist to the beginning of the match, starting outside of the cell, and the Sacramento crowd is making it difficult to watch the match at times, due to their split chants. Sasha wants to be a heel, so cheering her was counterproductive to refreshing her character, especially when she was getting booed during her run as a babyface.
It is a really good match early, but I wish the commentary was better to increase the intensity of the moves and excitement of the match. The spot where Becky dropkicked Sasha while she was sitting on the chair atop the kendo sticks would have been a "Mama Mia" moment by Mauro Ranallo, but there was not a strong enough pop from Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin, and even - surprisingly - Jerry Lawler.
This was a really good title match. There have been some rumors of Becky going to SmackDown, which would make Sasha win the title, but this may not be the case.
Tornado Tag Team Match -- Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
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It's amazing what pyro can do. Roman Reigns is certainly a staple top guy in the business, but the pyro added to his introduction brings him up to another level. Daniel Bryan clearly looked like he does not want to be defined by the "Yes!" chants, which I can respect. However, I doubt the fans will ever remove him from those chants, so he might as well embrace it.
We will see by the end of the match, but there is still something fishy about Bryan's shift to a babyface. It seems like there still may be a heel turn coming up, especially since the turn came as a result of Rowan getting slapped repeatedly by Bryan and wanting to break away from him. Being the leader of the faction including Harper and Rowan could be coming, which would cause a feud between Bryan and Reigns with two more names possibly to assist Reigns eventually.
Harper and Rowan are looking good as a strong heel tag team. Not very gimmicky like their Bludgeon Brothers run. Nice spot by Roman Reigns on Rowan! Looks like he hurt his knee, unless he's selling it very well. Wow. Clean finish, and good sequence of finishers between Reigns and Bryan. Interested to see where this goes from here.
Although there were reports months ago that a Reigns vs. Bryan feud was supposed to happen, it may not happen and they could be splitting from each other come the Draft.
Haha! Bryan brings back the "hug it out" moment. He sells that so well. During the Untold show on the WWE Network, Bryan stated that this moment with Kane was one of his favorites, because he found his fascinating to get such an ovation from a hug. I guess that solidifies his face turn, unless there is still something brewing.
Randy Orton vs. Ali
I understand that these two have a bit of history from the beginning of the year, since Orton did legitimate injury Ali, which actually did cost him opportunities, but there is not much interest in this match at all. It seems like WWE writers are really trying their best to give Ali a push, but people just are not connecting with him. However, I would not be surprised if they had Ali beat Orton, although it would be surprising to see Orton lose a random match which stemmed from a backstage verbal exchange.
Fans chanting "RKO!" Again, this is why it is hard to establish new stars, because the fans are quick to sabotage a babyface during a match. Moreover, this is why WWE needs to do a much better job creating babyfaces that make it easy for fans to get behind. There is nothing about Ali that elicits support from the crowd.
Well, there is the RKO outta nowhere. Good counter from the previous RKO, but I figured that Orton was not going to lose this match. Orton certainly should be in a position to put a babyface over, but it should be someone who is not struggling to get fan support.
Women's Tag Team Championship -- Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss vs. Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane)
I think Asuka is one of the biggest WWE booking failures in recent history. There was so much opportunity to make her the star that she was in NXT, but that was squandered at both WrestleMania 34, as well as losing right before WrestleMania 35 -- both to Charlotte. Her loses to Carmella in 2018 also was a big blow to her main roster momentum.
Asuka with the Great Muta and Great Kabuki mist! This is a nice twist to her character. Finally, WWE books them even marginally good after bringing Sane up from NXT. This is also Sane's first championship on the match roster, which hopefully helps her momentum that she built while being a star on NXT.
The OC (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows) vs. The Viking Raiders, Braun Strowman
So, Braun Strowman was chosen as the Viking Raider's mystery partner in this six-man match. Although this is another match that was random, hopefully it does reignite the United States Championship feud between Strowman and Styles. Strowman is long overdue for a singles championship, and the US title is a good one for him to have, especially since WWE has booked him poorly with all his failed WWE Championship and Universal Title opportunities.
Odd finish, calling a disqualification due to triple-teaming Strowman, especially after the Viking Raiders taking out Anderson & Gallows. Strowman getting the best of Styles at the end of the match hopefully gives him a US title opportunity, although it looks like it is more of a set-up for this ridiculous Strowman vs. Tyson Fury feud. Funny moment by Styles at the end to further sell the Strowman punch.
Tamina just won her first championship by pinning Carmella backstage!
Although it is a comedic title (24/7 Championship), at least she can at least say that she has won a singles championship during her WWE career. It is quite crazy how, despite all the contribution that she has done in the women's division, she has never been champion.
Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
This match should definitely not be on the main card. I understand that WWE is trying to get some heat on Corbin from his King of the Ring win, and booking Gable as the underdog, we have seen enough matches between these two since the King of the Ring with no desire to see any more.
Aside from a few chants and small attempts to help rally Gable, the fans do not seem to be very interested in this match. Rightfully so, because it should not be on the main PPV card. I enjoy watching Gable compete in the ring, but his character just is not strong enough to keep my interest.
Wow, so they are really going with the Shorty Gable name? There were reports of Shorty G being trademarked, so it look like they are trying to capitalize on it. Gable winning was a surprise, though, especially since Corbin just had a major segment on the SmackDown episode on FOX with The Rock and Becky Lynch.
SmackDown Women's Championship -- Bayley vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte Flair still seems awkward as a babyface currently. Yes, she has been a face before, but turning her face was not the right call. There are people being held back in the women's division, and WWE should book Charlotte to further help revive these stars. Ember Moon, for instance, has been very poorly booked since coming from NXT, especially considering how dominant she was in NXT.
This match has been done ad nauseam, so it seems like the crowd does not care too much about it. Charlotte always has the ability to draw interest from the fans due to her impressive in-ring work, but it is clear that this match should have not occurred at yet another pay-per-view.
Charlotte defeats Bayley to become WWE SmackDown Women's Champion for the fifth time, and women's champion overall for the 10th time. Again, to reiterate my point, Charlotte should be in a position to create new stars. It was a surprise that WWE allowed Bayley to even win the title with the way they were booking her for so long, but from what we saw at the end of the match, this could be used to make Bayley a more villainous heel.
Before the Bayley vs. Charlotte introduction, we get another 24/7 title change.
Near the Japanese commentary booth, R-Truth pinned Tamina to win the title again, after Tamina tried to move Funaki in front of her, but turned around and got superkicked by Carmella. The 24/7 Championship segments are beginning to lose interest from many fans, but at least R-Truth is still in the mix. It seems like the 24/7 Championship exists to thank R-Truth for his loyalty to WWE.
Chad Gable gets interviewed backstage about his win over Corbin, but gets beat up by Corbin. Why didn't this just happen after the match? Why did this take two different segments? It seemed like way to prolong time to me.
Universal Championship (Hell in a Cell) Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt
It will be interesting to see how this pans out. I believe that it is too early to put the title on Bray, but I also think that The Fiend character is one of the best characters in WWE right now. There are rumors stating that The Undertaker may appear to cost Byatt the match, so we will have to wait and see if this happens.
WWE is clearly going all in on The Fiend character with these red lights. He is also no-selling a good portion of Seth's moves, including kendo stick shots, so that is a good way to keep his character strong. Rollins getting a chorus of boos, which goes to show how much WWE needs to make sure that Bray Wyatt focuses on being a stronger heel. It significantly hurts babyfaces if the heels are much more popular.
It is amazing how invincible WWE is making The Fiend. After numerous stomps, a chair shot to the head, a ladder shot onto a chair, and countless superkicks, Bray still kicks out. Then, he piles a ladder and a chair on him, and hits him numerous times with a toolbox.
This match was so confusing. Why would the referee try to stop Rollins from hitting him with the sledgehammer? The referee then calls for the match, due to the belief that Bray was knocked out. However, Bray pops up and put Seth in the Mandible Claw, then Sister Abigail outside twice.
AEW chants from the crowd, as well as "restart match" chant. Instead, another Mandible Claw onto Rollins, which causes fake blood to come out. Then, the dark flashing lights that Bray usually gets during Raw occur while he had the claw on Rollins, with Wyatt eventually standing on the ramp to close the show.
This was one of the most ridiculous finishes ever.
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