WWE Hell In A Cell 2019 Report Card: Grades Are In From California!
We got plenty of brutality and a pair of Hell in a Cell matches from California. Now, it is time we look back at each match and provide a score.
Before Hell in a Cell started, WWE only announced four matches before tossing together several more bouts. When that happens, it makes you think that WWE was too focused on RAW’s season premiere, SmackDown’s move to Fox and NXT airing two hours on the USA Network opposite AEW’s Dynamite. Still, tickets were sold and it is now time to see what our scorecard said.
Universal Championship Inside Hell in a Cell: Seth Rollins vs. ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt
The most obvious thing to mention is the red lighting. Personally, I was not a fan and the live crowd probably had similar feelings as the lighting made the match feel awkward. But, ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt came out fast until Seth Rollins got some offense. ‘The Fiend’ was no selling moves like Undertaker and then he gets a mallet from the under the ring. What a sight to see.
The crowd eventually started to turn on Rollins as Wyatt’s new personality is so over with fans. After so many curb stomps and shots to the head, you have to question the booking. The crowd hated the ending after Rollins went to a dark place with the referee calling the match. ‘The Fiend’ destroying Rollins kept the fans from completing turning on the product. Yet, the final sounds were Wyatt’s laugh and the fans booing. The match was certainly unique. Grade: C-
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs. Asuka & Kairi Sane
With the WWE Draft starting in days, there are many questions. One involves the status of the Women Tag Team Championship and if they will become brand exclusive. We could have very well seen the last of Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross as a team.
Apparently, Asuka & Kairi Sane are heels, which is news to me. Asuka using green mist was a nice throwback to some of the legends and another addition to her arsenal. Grade: B-
SmackDown Women’s Championship: Bayley vs. Charlotte
Sasha Banks did not leave with gold and her best friend Bayley did not have any better luck. Charlotte got a rather easy win to start her 10th reign and could surpass 20 reigns at this rate. So, Charlotte is once again champion and then Bayley had a mild breakdown after another lousy title run. Grade: B-
The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) vs. The Viking Raiders & Braun Strowman
Sort of a random match that would have been better suited for RAW or SmackDown. It was designed to open or close on any WWE brand. The disqualification ending, which lowered the grade, made no sense as someone should have at least earned the pin.
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After Braun Strowman delivered a punch to AJ Styles, WWE really sold the blow. The clip was replayed several times and Styles’ performance made the whole spot a bit cheesy. This all leads to Tyson Fury on RAW and a match against Strowman at Crown Jewel. Grade: B-
Lacey Evans vs. Natalya
First off, it is really strange seeing a pay per view with no Cruiserweight Championship being featured on the pre-show (or at all for this matter). We have seen Lacey Evans and Natalya battle several times over the past few months and that will continue into Monday’s RAW. It is the right combination as Evans is green and there is no better female performer in WWE to help improve her in-ring abilities than Natalya.
Evans worked over the leg, which was a smart move; but, she went to the well one too many times. After missing the moonsault, Natalya locked in the sharpshooter for the submission victory to open the show. Then, Natalya with her own women’s right hand after the bell for good measure. Grade: B-
Randy Orton vs. Ali
A backstage promo by Ali that was interrupted by Randy Orton created this match. Maybe, this was done as a way to add Ali to the big Crown Jewel tag team match with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair serving as captains. Orton hit the vintage spots, which looked even better the way Ali absorbed the bumps.
I have never seen anyone counter the RKO like Ali did, but the second one connected. Orton, who does not have the best reputation in the ring, even looked impressed with Ali. After winning, Orton patted Ali on the leg and seemed generally impressed with his opponent. Grade: B
Baron Corbin vs. Chad Gable
Even though the King of the Ring tournament is over, we still have a feud with the finalists continuing. Their first encounter was better and that might have to do with the match taking place on RAW; with time on their side.
Still, Chad Gable continues to prove that he belongs in better storylines and Corbin as the ‘King’ works. Plus, their original match involved the winner claiming the King of Ring honor. With WWE, in a month, nobody will remember this angle. Grade: B+
Tag Team Tornado Match: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan vs. Erick Rowan & Luke Harper
The big question before the match was if Daniel Bryan would turn on Roman Reigns or if he truly has become a face. At one time, it felt like a heel turn was the obvious choice, but then the storyline shifted. Bryan & Reigns are former world champions, so seeing them get picked apart by Erick Rowan & Luke Harper was a bit unexpected.
Both teams tore the ringside area to pieces, with Rowan & Harper showing off a more aggressive side. It was the teamwork of the makeshift duo of Rowan & Bryan to survive and secure the victory. Bryan sealing the win with a hug completes the face turn. Grade: A-
RAW Women’s Championship Inside Hell in a Cell: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks
Sasha Banks has the advantage, taking part in the first women’s Hell in a Cell match. They fought outside the Cell and I wish that lasted a few more minutes. Both women showed their vicious side and Banks repeatedly slamming Becky’s arm between the door and cage changed the pace of the bout. The chair being placed into the Cell and several feet off the ground was a first and showed how the Cell continues to evolve.
This was a hard-hitting fight that saw weapons used frequently and of course the Cell walls. The storyline should have been Banks winning the title; instead, she is 0-2 in the Cell as Becky retains the title. Both women will be feeling the effects of the match for the next several days, if not weeks. Grade: A-