With WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 concluded, it’s time to look back on what happened and assess the damage, praise the positives and talk about what went down.
Per usual, at the end of this post, you’ll see my regular Smack Talk Pay-Per-Viewpoint post-show podcast, which reviews the event in more detail, but for those who want a more condensed version of my thoughts, I present to you my “quicker than a hiccup” reaction to the different parts of the evening:
Lacey Evans vs. Natalya:
What a bland way to kick things off. When you don’t announce any but 4 matches in advance and then you rush the hour beforehand to say the majority of the card, it should at least be matches people would be interested in. This is not the case.
Evans and Natalya have had a ton of matches together this year, one of which was even this past Monday. None of them have been great and there’s no heat to this feud where people would hear that this was happening and go “Well I wasn’t going to watch the event before, but NOW I HAVE TO.”
The match was blah. Worse off, we’re getting another one tomorrow night. Someone thinks having three matches with these two in the span of a week will draw ratings for Raw. At least that wasn’t the biggest mistake they made tonight.
Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks:
This match was phenomenal. It was easily the best of the night and it exceeded my expectations tremendously.
In fact, I’ve gone so far as to add it onto my list of the best matches of the year and I think it’s the first one I’ve done for that on the main roster. Everything else has been from NXT.
I’m surprised Becky retained the title and I’m interested in how that will play out. I loved the journey to get to that point and they really deserve a ton of credit.
Tornado Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper:
Surprisingly, I was a big fan of this match, too. At this point in the night, I was thinking Hell in a Cell was going to pull a rabbit out of its hat and turn into a great pay-per-view, as this match was a lot of fun.
It’s great that Bryan didn’t turn on Reigns or anything like that. I liked how strong Rowan and Harper looked, even in their defeat. Really, I have nothing but positives to say about this. RIP pencil.
Ali vs. Randy Orton:
The sheer lack of a build to this was annoying, and the match itself was good but forgettable. Then, the ending happened with Ali escaping the RKO and it was one of the best things of the whole evening. Even in his loss, Ali got something out of this. He should be on Team Hogan.
Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross (c) vs. The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane):
I liked how Bliss asked on the pre-show what The Kabuki Warriors had done to deserve a title match. I’m always a fan of someone calling bullshit on the stuff that makes little sense.
The match was what it was—not bad, nor good. I don’t quite get why Asuka in particular is acting more like a heel. Maybe they’re heels now? I don’t know if that’s the right direction to go with Kairi Sane. For that matter, I don’t know if WWE has any direction with these tag titles or anything regarding this.
It wouldn’t surprise me at all if this were done to split up Bliss and Cross in the draft and there’s no reason for the title change other than that, so The Kabuki Warriors promptly do nothing now that they’re the champions.
Braun Strowman and The Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.:
Hey, viewers. Have you seen enough matches between The Viking Raiders and The O.C. over the past few months? Yeah? It’s just the same match every time? Well how about we do it again, but this time, instead of Cedric Alexander being their partner, it’s Braun Strowman?
Then, we can end it in a disqualification, because pay-per-view matches don’t matter. Maybe, we’ll even try to sell you tomorrow on Raw that there will be a super special rematch from Hell in a Cell and we can do this AGAIN.
Chad Gable vs. King Baron Corbin:
Just what I needed: another rematch which serves no purpose other than to try harder than ever to get over this ridiculous Shorty Gable nickname that I absolutely hate. Ugh.
The match itself was fine, but nothing I would have ever told anyone they should be excited to see if they had announced this in advance and tried to act like it was something to be hyped about.
I hate this Shorty Gable thing. It bugs me how Baron Corbin is still wearing those stupid clothes as ring gear. I’m just very underwhelmed.
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Bayley (c) vs. Charlotte Flair:
Speaking of being underwhelmed, this match did nothing for me. I remember pretty much nothing that happened in it and the only thing I’m interested in is what happens in the draft.
Hell in a Cell Match for the Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bray Wyatt:
Look. We all know this was awful. I rant about it for a long time on the podcast and no matter what I type out here, it isn’t going to do it justice. Suffice it to say, this was one of the worst main events I could have imagined they would do. WWE should be ashamed of how ass-backward stupid their logic is and how out of touch they are with what people would have enjoyed. On a week where WWE needed to put its best foot forward for Raw, NXT, SmackDown and Hell in a Cell in order to prove that AEW was the weaker brand, on all fronts, they failed. I’d love to say I hope they learned some lessons out of this, but we all know that won’t happen and Raw is going to suck tomorrow night and the draft will make some massive mistakes and the build to Crown Jewel will have problems and that event will underwhelm, too. It’s just the reality of the way things go in WWE anymore.
For more opinions on the show as a whole, check out the latest edition of the Smark Out Moment wrestling podcast SMACK TALK as the panel reviews Hell in a Cell with our immediate reactions following the event before the dust has fully settled.