Woopsy Wowie

Last night WWE’s Pay per view Hell In A Cell went off the air with a shot of The Fiend being showered in booos. What happened? I thought this was the new thing? I thought everyone loved Bray Wyatt?

If you are asking those questions you are correct. Everyone did love Bray, he was the new thing, and what happened is exactly what we all feared.

Last night The Fiend faced Seth Rollins in a Hell In A Cell match for the Universal Title. The match was built to show that The Fiend can not be stopped. No matter what Rollins did The Fiend kicked out. The main display of this was Rollins using every finisher in his arsenal only to have the pinfall broken a count of one by Bray.

As the ring was covered in an eerie red light Rollins went into a tailspin. He delivered the first “on purpose” chair head shot in WWE in over ten years. He used a ladder, a tool box and eventually a sledge hammer to put down The Fiend. 

It was the swing of the sledge hammer that ended the match to a referee’s discretion.

As the cage was raised and medical staff charged into the ring to check on Bray it had seemed The Fiend was dead and buried. Just as they began to put Bray on the backboard his hand shot into the air grabbing Seth by the jaw and applying the Mandible Claw. 

After applying the claw a few times Bray retreated to the top of the ramp. The screen went black as Bray looked over his shoulder at Seth Rollins bleeding from the mouth on the floor. 

Now what I told you was the match. Void of commentators and fan noise. The match itself was pretty cool. There were moments in this match that made you smile knowing The Fiend character was being booked like Undertake or Andrea the Giant. Invincible, a force that can’t be stopped. 

However in a match no one asked, for Bray was put into a tough spot. The only result that wouldn’t warrant a chorus of boos was Bray winning a title that the character isn’t ready for. This caused the crowd to rebel. They booed every time Seth got the upper hand. They chanted AEW after Seth won. The entire crowd chanted restart the match to a point where you couldn’t hear commentators anymore.

 Also choking the life out of the match for the viewers at home was commentary. The new announcers whose names I don’t know were just bad. The King Jerry Lawler accompanies two new guys on commentary for RAW now. Which for most of the matches was great. However, the three of them seemed to miss understand the levity of the match. They did not do a great job at expressing how Bray Wyatt has driven Seth Rollins to this point. They felt the need to fill every moment with commentary. Instead of letting it breathe they just talked and talked. They could have been attempting to drown out the boos of the crowd. But it was really bad.

All and all this was a giant flop. Well at least in my opinion. Here is an interesting conversation between the members of the Wrestling League in our group chat. They have a more positive outlook.

Kalie

I think

1) this was the wrong match for hell in a cell but,

2) this was the right match for the fiend at this moment in his character development. 

Malek

I also think that we as wrestling fans, when we see something that makes no sense our immediate reaction is to say the sky is falling so optimism is welcomed sometimes

Kaeli

I don’t have the historical and nostalgic feelings about hell in a cell so upset for you all is probably fair given the history of HIAC, but sometimes it’s a blessing not to have the history of the event in mind

Justin

I totally agree with you. I think a hell in the cell match was a great idea for the fiend. I just wish the title wasn’t the match he was in. I also think if the crowd hadn’t shit on that entire match it would’ve changed how I felt about it. And today’s hell in a cell so far removed from what it used to be and probably for the better. I compartmentalize them in different eras. I think wrestling has to compartmentalized to different era’s. I like my wrestlers lives to last as long as possible.

Malek

I can respect that. You’re coming in with a fresh mind and without bias from previous events

Kaeli

i think the fiend looked absolutely terrifying, strong, and supernatural, and i 100% agree that his character doesn’t need the belt, so i think a screwy finish that still yielded an absolutely horrifying bloody mandible claw moment is perfect and shows the WWE is trying to avoid a repeat of bray losing to cena and being basically a joke

Malek

If we take that crowd reaction out of the equation, would our opinions be different?

Justin

It wouldn’t have put a spotlight on it for sure

Scelp

The crowd knows he shouldn’t have lost that match

Justin

I think the crowd expected Seth to win and the minute it looked that way, they turned.

Scelp

If there was ever a perfect time for bray to win, it’s at a red-lit HIAC match. Unless they are going for the long con “you can’t kill Michael Meyers” type shit.

Kaeli

tbh i still don’t fully understand the crowd reaction.

Ryan

a few hot tales: the fiend doesn’t need the belt, and he never wanted the belt. I don’t think he mentioned the universal title once. he made seth snap. seth did everything he could to take the fiend out, and it still didn’t work. he took a sledgehammer to his head which lead to referee stoppage, and losing the match, only to get decimated by the fiend after the match. hell in a cell was the wrong place for this match, and wwe booked themselves into a corner, it’s too early for the fiend to win the title, but it’s too early for him to lose too.

Justin

And that’s the thing they’ve could’ve booked an angle where bray doesn’t care about the title and that it was never about the title. They could’ve had Seth curb stomp him 12 times in dark lighting like they practiced at house shows to see the response they were gonna get the 5 times before this and then they could’ve had bray get up and destroy Seth Seth, break his neck, and bloodily choke him out (Kaeli I also thought visual was awesome). But he needed to walk out leaving Seth like that. Or have normal bray show up on the titan tron and with an impromptu funhouse episode to explain that the fiend hurts just hurt and not for titles or glory. Instead they went with an HBK mankind mind games angle to give Seth an edge and arch of evil he didn’t need. Seth tried to kill dean with cinder blocks and threatened to kill edge to get a shot against John Cena. I already know he has a mean streak. I think they produced that match down to a T and didn’t listen to the crowd reaction as they went. It also would’ve been cool to have the lights come up more and more as Seth got closer to beating him only to have them shoot back to red the minute bray returned fire. And the ref checking in on bray after every curb stomp and chair shit humanized the fiend way to much for me. Just random thoughts

Kaeli

Morehead

So basically embrace the hate storyline with Cena and Kane lol

Justin

Right! I’ve been thinking about it and like.. okay, but who’s next?

Kaeli

i think there are a lot of similarities btw cena and seth, for better or worse. and i think they’ll always that guy, part gatekeeper part superhero, who can look respectable outside the WWE context for outreach.

No matter what your opinion it will become clear this morning that WWE has really put themselves against a wall. Booking themselves into a corner with their hottest talent. Having a forgettable debut on Fox, and really only having NXT as a good foothold. While AEW quietly goes about their business. I told you the first Dynamite wouldn’t shock you, but instead fill your belly with good wrestling content. In the wake of WWE’s latest misstep AEW will continue to thrive.

As for Bray Wyatt, we hope his character recovers. But how many more times can he bounce back before we all give up hope. Dolph Ziggler, will tell you there is a limit.

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Written by elsass77

Video Producer for Thoughts From The Bench

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