Professional wrestling can be called many things: fun, stupid, nonsensical. This year’s hell in a cell pay-per-view set out to prove that the current WWE product is a mixture of all three.
Pre-show nerves could be expected from the fans considering there had only been four announced matches for this 3-and-a-half-hour show, presumably due to WWE pushing back as many big matches for their upcoming, and not at all controversial, Saudi Arabia show. A show reported to feature former heavyweight champion Tyson Fury and former MMA fighters Brock Lesner and Cain Velasquez.
Hell in a Cell started off positively, with an intense, physical match between Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, resulting in Lynch retaining the title. This match was widely regarded as the best match of the show, featuring two of the best women wrestlers working today.
The fast pace of the show continued when Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan, a man whose whole gimmick is that he is a vegan, teamed up to defeat the bearded rock enthusiasts Harper and Rowan in another entertaining match.
The rest of the card was an assortment of the passable to mediocre matches expected of the middle of a WWE pay-per-view, consisting of some rushed finishes and questionable victors. A particular low was the Corbin vs. Gable match, a match that’s whole build-up was based on the fact that Corbin called Gable short.
The night culminated in the main event, a highly anticipated match featuring Universal Champion Seth Rolling competing against “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt. Despite Wyatt’s character being unapologetically villainous, an audible majority of the crowd chanted their support for the Fiend. This has become a growing problem for the creative team behind WWE for years, with numerous “heroic” champions being rejected by the audience as bland and lacking believable motivations or consistent characters.
Hell in a Cell showcased the best and worst elements of modern professional wrestling. The opening championship match was an exciting display of the talent of the women’s roster and how invested fans can be when storylines are carefully developed and executed. In stark contrast, the main event was a frustrating and anticlimactic mess, far more likely to drive viewers away than draw ones in.
Last modified: 30th October 2019