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Kevin’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 Review

October 7, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2019 Review  

WWE Hell in a Cell
October 6th, 2019 | Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California

This review is a little late as I spent my evening going to see Joker and watching the MLB Playoffs.

Kickoff Match: Lacey Evans vs. Natalya
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. I have seen this countless times since Evans got called to the main event. It even opened the Women’s Royal Rumble this year. If you’ve seen this match once then you’ve seen it a thousand times. They did the same thing but with a bit more intensity. Evans missed her moonsault and tapped to the Sharpshooter in 9:24. An odd booking call if they were trying to rehab Evans after the Becky program. Why not have Natalya win one of the TV matches so this would work as a tiebreaker of sorts? Anyway, it was wildly average like everything else they do. [**]

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell: Becky Lynch [c] vs. Sasha Banks
At TakeOver: Unstoppable, Sasha won an all-time classic against Becky (****¾), Sasha won again on the TLC 2015 Kickoff Show (**½), and Sasha won their Clash of Champions match via DQ (****). In 2016, Sasha lost her Raw Women’s Title to Charlotte Flair in a Hell in a Cell (***¾). These two picked up where they left off at Clash of Champions. Sasha attacked before the bell and took the fight outside of the cell before it fully lowered. While that didn’t last too long, the violence in this was consistent. They used chairs, ladders, and numerous other weapons with impressive creativity. I said it during the Usos/New Day Cell match but it is wild that people can still come up with dope spots for a stipulation we’ve seen over 40 times. For example, Becky sitting Sasha on a chair that was propped up by kendo sticks for a dropkick was dope. I liked how it really felt like they were trapped and you got the sense they were willing to do whatever it takes to win the title. A few spots were odd like Sasha standing in place forever so Becky can dropkick a chair into her or Becky jumping into the Meteora through the table. When most of her best offense didn’t work, Sasha resorted to bringing a bunch of chairs into the ring. It backfired as she took a Bexploder off the top onto a pile of chairs. Becky immediately put her in the Dis-Arm-Her and Sasha tapped at 21:23. Outstanding. One of the best women’s matches in recent memory and their second best match together. Easily beats out Sasha/Charlotte as the best ladies’ HIAC. Creative spots, brutal moments, a hot crowd, and two women giving it their all. I also loved that finish. [****½]

Tornado Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan and Luke Harper
Just before the show, this was changed to become a tornado tag. That means it should be a bit wilder than usual. Following a wild brawl with this wasn’t a great move as I would have spread these out a bit. Anyway, what we got was a lot of fun. Harper and Rowan are great when working against talented duos (remember their 2014 feud with the Usos), while Bryan and Reigns are two of the best in the world. When they’re on, you can bet it’ll be good. I do think some of the early portions of this match were kind of slow. Rowan and Harper worked over the faces and it wasn’t the most interesting of sections. But once things picked up, it was nuts. Lots of big moves, fast paced action, and the kind of moments I wanted from this match. The finish is one of my favorites in a tag. Reigns and Bryan just combo attacking Harper. Superman Punch, Busaiku Knee, and Spear ended this in 16:56. The kind of fun match that I wanted from everyone involved. And then Reigns and Bryan hugged it out after the match. This is where the show peaked. [***½]

Ali vs. Randy Orton
Loads of potential here. Ali is a fantastic underdog babyface and Orton has excelled as the vicious heel lately. Randy brought his trademark brand of methodical wrestling. That can often be boring but it worked here because of how sympathetic Ali is. He’s so likable that you can’t help but want to see him rally. Ali’s hope spots came off well and you could just sense his desperation. Their exchanges got better and better as the match progressed. Ali made crucial mistakes like trying the 450 splash too often. He missed it twice, leaving the door open for Orton. Ali had the greatest RKO counter ever, dropping into a handstand to block it. He nearly stole it with a crucifix but Orton survived and won with his next RKO attempt in 12:11. A great showing for Ali. He shined and Orton’s style worked well to combat him. I would’ve gone with the crucifix to end things. [***¼]

WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship: Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross [c] vs. The Kabuki Warriors
I am all for more Kabuki Warriors matches. Surprisingly, Kairi Sane was very aggressive at the start. She knocked Alexa Bliss off the apron and wailed on Nikki Cross. That set the tone for how the challengers performed. They were more violent than usual. Well, for Kairi it was unusual. Asuka is perfect in that zone. Alexa ended up as the face in peril. Imagine being told a year ago that Alexa would play that role against Kairi and Asuka. It gave us the Nikki Cross hot tag and that’s a formula that has worked for this team. Their best matches follow it. Nikki blocked the Insane Elbow and survived some Asuka offense. But when Alexa missed a somersault off the apron and took a rough bump, that opened things up for the challengers. Asuka busted out green mist to steal the titles in 10:25. I really liked that. Good match that told a strong story and gave us a sweet mist spot. [***¼]

Braun Strowman and The Viking Raiders vs. The O.C.
The Viking Raiders were tasked with getting a mystery partner. Considering their sterling record against the O.C., they probably could’ve just competed in a handicap match and won. Alas, they chose Braun Strowman. He didn’t adhere to the Viking Raider war paint gimmick so I’m not even sure he was really on their team. The O.C. vs. the Viking Raiders is stuff that you know what you’re getting. Nothing surprising. The highlight was AJ bumping and selling for Strowman but we didn’t get enough of it. The O.C. gave up on tagging and got disqualified in 8:10. Your typical Monday Night Raw six man tag and nothing more. [*¾]

Chad Gable vs. King Corbin
Their King of the Ring Final was way better than most people probably expected. In fact, Corbin had what was arguably the best KOTR run outside of Bret Hart in 1993. Dude is very good when he isn’t forced to be the focal point of a three-hour weekly show. Their rematch on Raw was also good. This was more of the same. If you’ve enjoyed those then you’ll enjoy this one. Corbin bullied Gable who played the underdog role well and had some fun spots as he rallied. I liked the twist later when Gable got Corbin on his knees and started talking smack. It was a great turn on what they’ve done so far. I will always pop for Gable doing the rolling German suplex on a guy like Corbin. Gable rules at getting a crowd who doesn’t care at the beginning of a match to be invested by the end. That was the case here. I really liked Gable’s End of Days counter sequence but didn’t care for the finish. A guy arguing with the referee and getting rolled up is overdone. Anyway, this went 12:40. Solid stuff here. [***]

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley [c] vs. Charlotte Flair
Bayley retained against Charlotte using an exposed turnbuckle at the last PPV. Since then, Charlotte has owned her in various tag matches. Bayley found herself in quick trouble so she resorted to a cheap poke of the eyes. Simple, yet effective. She added some focus on Charlotte’s leg and that gave us our story for most of this contest. Charlotte did better than usual selling though still wasn’t great with it. She nearly won with Natural Selection but Bayley got her hand on the rope to break the pin. Bayley got caught trying to cheat and then argued with the ref. Charlotte hit a big boot and won the title with the Figure Eight in 10:13. Fine match. Charlotte is a great big match wrestler but I have been over her as champion for a long time. It lacked energy. [**¾]

WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell: Seth Rollins [c] vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt is molten hot and if he didn’t win here, fans would be furious. His entrance and entire look remains a spectacle. It’s something special. Then the bell rang. Bray has always nailed his character but his matches become too goofy. This had the 1997 Kane red lighting effect so it looked silly. Then nearly every spot they did was cheesy. Okay, Bray no selling kendo stick shots was cool. I didn’t even mind the giant mallet. The real problems started when Seth got going. He hit about, no lie, 10 Curb Stomps. And Bray kept getting up. You can’t possibly keep a guy booked that strong for his whole career. Seth drove chairs, ladders, and tool boxes on Bray’s head. None of it led to the finish but Bray was down. He went for the MIGHTY Triple H sledgehammer. The ref pleaded with him not to use it and even called him Colby. When he did it, the ref called for a match stoppage at 17:02. Absolute trash. Why book Bray in this if you weren’t going to put the title on him? And then a ref stoppage finish? That’s atrocious. At the very least you could’ve had the Fiend do something so awful that the ref threw the match out. Instead, it’s Seth who does it. This was WCW 2000 levels of awful. [DUD]

Bray popped up and beat up Seth to close the show as the fans chanted “restart the match” and “AEW.” Yeah, that was bad.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
As a whole, this show is pretty middle of the road. Becky/Sasha is a classic and there’s a really fun tag match that follows. I liked Ali/Orton, the Women’s Tag Titles, and Gable/Corbin. The rest of the show feels like something I could see on a regular episode of Raw or Smackdown. And then that main event. What a debacle. Big swing and a miss. That ending leaves a real bad taste in your mouth.

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WWE Hell in a Cell, Kevin Pantoja