KELLER INTERVIEWS ROB VAN DAM FOR FIRST TIME...
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KELLER’S WWE HELL IN A CELL PPV REPORT
OCTOBER 6, 2019
SACRMENTO, CALIF. AT GOLDEN ONE CENTER
STREAMED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
KICK-OFF SHOW HIGHLIGHTS
-In an interview with Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross, Alexa was back to being a snotty heel, questioning whether The Kabuki Warriors actually earned the Women’s Tag Team Title match tonight. Nikki listed what they’ve done lately, but it wasn’t enough for Bliss. Cross said they’ve proved everyone wrong and become champions, and they will continue to tonight against the Kabuki Warriors.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Erick Rowan. He said Roman Reigns beat him in a battle, but so what, because this is a war, and he plans to win the war. He said Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan think they’re tough, but in a tornado tag match, there are no rules for them to hide behind.He said after he and Harper win, they’ll get the respect they deserve. He said tonight the big dog and his pup get put down for good.
(A) LACEY EVANS vs. NATALYA
WINNER: Natalya with a Sharpshooter.
MAIN PPV SHOW
Raw Commentators: Vic Joseph, Jerry Lawler, Dio Maddin
-After a video package previewed the top advertised matches, they went to the opening with pyro blasting. Joseph said Dio had been eyeing the Hell in a Cell all afternoon and is intimidated by it.
(1) BECKY LYNCH vs. SASHA BANKS – Raw Title match in a Hell in a Cell
Banks attacked Becky as the Cell was still lowering and knocked her to the floor. They actually fought outside of the cell as it lowered to the floor. Banks threw Becky into the side of the cage. The ref checked on Becky at ringside as Sasha entered the Cell and called for Becky to enter. Becky slapped the door on Sasha, knocking her into the ring apron. Becky entered the Cell and stomped away on Sasha. The door was locked and the match was officially on.
A couple minutes in, Banks threw a chair at Becky. Then she lifted a ladder and leaned it against the side of the cage. Then she leaned a ladder against the wall and put Becky against it, then hit a Meteora. Becky recovered and hit Becky with a chair, then slid the chair into the ring. She set up the chair and wrapped Banks’s arm in it. Sasha fought back and kicked the chair into Becky for a two count. Becky came back with a Becksploder and then a sidekick to Banks on the floor, sending Banks hard into the Cell wall. Banks rammed Becky’s arm between the door and doorframe, then took over in the ring with a chair wedge on her arm. Becky cried in pain as Sasha scored a two count. Lawler Sid his only regret is he can’t sit in the crowd and enjoy the match as a fan.
Becky dropkicked Banks off the ring apron; Banks flew hard into the side of the cage. Becky then gave Banks a Becksploder into the side of the Cell. Back in the ring Becky sent Sasha into a chair with a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Lawler said both women refuse to quit and refuse to lose. Becky climbed to the top rope and Sasha knocked her off balance. Becky threw a chair to Sasha. Sasha caught it. Becky dropkicked the chair into Banks and scored a two count. Banks attacked Becky with a kendo stick. Sasha threw Becky into the kendo sticks wedged in the corner, but Becky blocked her and rammed her into them. Cool spot.
Becky then placed a chair on the kendo sticks that were wedged into the corner. Banks recovered during that time and battled back. Becky, though, lifted Banks and placed her on the chair and then leaped off the ring apron and dropkicked Banks. “Holy shit!” chanted the fans. Becky threw Banks back into the ring and scored a near fall. Becky sat up and looked frustrated.
The crowd chanted “We Want Tables” and Becky set up a table in the ring. Banks gave Becky a nasty looking back-stabber. Banks set up a superplex onto the table, but Becky slipped free and set up a power bomb. Banks blocked and it a top rope meteora onto the table for a believable near fall. The crowd was shocked. Banks looked up in disbelief. Banks applied a Bank Statement with help from a kendo stick across Becky’s neck. Becky slid to the floor to wriggle her way free. Becky then commandeered the kendo stick and whacked Banks with it over and over.
Banks threw Sasha into a chair that was sticking out of the side of the cage. Banks threw around a dozen more chairs into the ring. She bashed Becky with a chair three times. Becky then gave Banks a Becksploder suplex off the top rope onto a pile of chairs, then applied the Disarmher and Banks tapped out while on a pile of chairs while yanking on Becky’s hair to try to break free. As Becky celebrated, Banks sold the agony of defeat from the stage.
WINNER: Becky Lynch in 22:00. (****1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Tremendous Hell in a Cell match. Some innovative spots that utilized the Cell itself well along with memorable big spots in the ring with various apparatus. The final few minutes with near falls was especially good.)
Smackdown Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
(2) ROMAN REIGNS & DANIEL BRYAN vs. ERICK ROWAN & LUKE HARPER – Torado Tag match
The bell rang and all four went at it. Harper whipped Rowan into Reigns, but Reigns lifted his boot. Bryan surprised Rowan with a dropkick off the second rope. Bryan then dove through the ropes onto Rowan. Reigns then hit him with a Superman Punch. Back in the ring, after taking out Bryan at ringside, Harper took over on Reigns after escaping a Samoan Drop. He hit a dropkick but Reigns avoided a running splash. Harper then landed a superkick for a very near fall. Rowan landed an elbow for a near fall.
The acton spilled to the floor again here Rowan and Harper beat up Bryan some more and then whipped Reigns into the lifted steps. They then went back at Bryan and set up a Doomsday Clothesline from the top rope by Harper onto Bryan on Rowan’s shoulders. Reigns hit Harper, then Bryan rolled up Rowan for a surprise near fall. When Rowan yelled at Bryan, Bryan surprised him with a LeBell Lock. Harper broke it up.
Harper and Rowan made sure Reigns was out at ringside, then regrouped and focused on Bryan in the ring. Bryan side-stepped a charging Rowan and threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Bryan then outmaneuvered Harper until he ate a Michinoku Driver out of nowhere by Harper. Great sequence. Reigns broke up the cover and went to work with Superman Punches and clotheslines. He hit his four corner clotheslines, which looked worse than Shane McMahon’s punches. That was inexcusably weak looking. Rowan held the top rope down as Reigns ran the ropes, so Reigns bumped to the floor. Bryan, though, took over on Harper with a series of Yes kicks in the corner. Bryan fended off a Harper comeback and threw more Yes kicks to Harper’s chest. Rowan tripped Bryan and yanked him out of the ring. Reigns surprised Rowan with a Drive-by. Harper leaped over the top rope at Reigns, but hit his forehead over the edge of the table as he landed. He held his forehead afterward and looked stunned. Everyone was down at ringside and slow to get up.
Harper and Rowan took all the stuff off the top of the ringside announce desks. They lifted and dropped Bryan over the edge of the ring apron, then slammed Reigns at ringside. Rowan slammed Harper onto Reigns seconds later. Rowan lifted part of the ring barricade near the time keeper’s area. He charged and rammed Bryan with it. They both stood on the desks. Rowan lifted Bryan into Harper’s arms for a powerbomb, but Bryan leg scissor escaped and send Harper off the table. Reigns then surprised Rowan with a spear onto the desks. They both crashed through one of them and were slow together up. Reigns sold a night knee injury.
Bryan came back in the ring with a flurry of running kicks at Harper in the corner. He mounted Harper in the corner and set up a top rope huracanrana. harper caught him and hit a flying powerbomb off the top rope for a near fall. “How was that not it?!” exclaimed Graves. Harper gave Bryan two overhead suplexes, but Bryan escaped the third. Reigns then gave Harper a Superman Punch. Bryan hit a high knee. Reigns hit a spear. Reigns got the 1-2-3.
Bryan offered a hug afterward. Reigns shook his head no and was going to leave, but fans booed. Reigns then smiled and limped over to Bryan and hugged him. Reigns lifted Bryan’s arm. They shook hands. Cole said they made a hell of a team tonight.
WINNERS: Bryan & Reigns in 17:00. (****)
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent tornado tag match. Start to finish action. Reigns did seems to be genuinely favoring his right knee afterward as he left the ring and winced as he walked up the ramp. Might have just been good selling.)
-Charly Caruso interviewed Seth Rollins backstage. She asked how he is preparing for The Fiend tonight. Seth said he’s been asking himself that question for the last 48 hours. He said he’s done a lot in his career, including slaying monsters and beasts, but nothing like The Fiend. He said the psychological warfare will be the greatest test of his career. He said he will have no choice by to be ready and survive and burn it down once that cage lowers. “At least I hope so,” he added, in a solemn tone.
(3) RANDY ORTON vs. ALI
Orton dominated most of the match. Ali made two brief comebacks during the body of the match. The third comeback came up short when Orton avoided his top rope finisher. When Orton went for an RKO after really building it up and telegraphing it, Ali countered with an escape that Cole said he had never seen before. Ali rolled up Orton for a believable near fall. Orton then countered Ali’s face buster attempt with an RKO for the win.
WINNER: Orton in 12:00. (**1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match and the right kind of match for this stage of the show after two long and memorable openers, but it was missing the hype to make fans care. Also, the next two matches could have served the same purpose, so in the end this just seemed to be bloating the show beyond the three hour mar so they could rack up more “WWE Network engagement” status to brag to Wall Street about.)
-A commercial aired for Raw hyping what’s next between Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman.
-Cole and Graves were shown on camera. Graves said he’s eager to see what Fury will say on Raw. They threw to highlights of the Natalya-Lacey Evans match from earlier. After Natalya won, she gave Evans her version of a Women’s Right. They announced a rematch for Raw with “Last Woman Standing” stipulations.
(4) ALEXA BLISS & NIKKI CROSS vs. THE KABUKI WARRIORS – Women’s Tag Team Title match
Asuka opened up with a flurry of offense against Bliss and Nikki. She settled into offense against Nikki. Nikki made a comeback and quickly tagged in Bliss. Asuka took it to Bliss on the floor and threw her into the ringside barricade. Eventually after a sustained beating, Bliss crawled over and tagged in Nikki. Not much of a pop. Cross leaped off the top rope onto Kairi for a two count. Kairi came back and went for a top rope Insane Elbow, but Nikki lifted her knees and then hit a neckbreaker off the top rope. Asuka broke up the cover. Asuka threw a series of round kicks at Nikki’s chest. A minute later, Asuka sprayed Nikki with green mist in her face and then a kick to the head for the win.
WINNERS: Kabuki Warriors in 11:00 to capture the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
-They aired an extended video package on the debut of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox.
(5) THE O.C. (A.J. Styles & Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar) & BRAUN STROWMAN
The O.C. came out first. The Viking Raiders came out next, milked the moment, and then revealed Strowman was their mystery partner. Styles looked worried. After some early back and forth action, The O.C. isolated Ivar. Ivar eventually hot-tagged Strowman. Strowman cleared the ring and then charged around the ring and shoulder checked all three heels, one after another.
Back in the ring Styles cut off a rally by Erik with a flying forearm. Strowman, though, avoided Styles and lifted him onto his shoulders. Anderson and Gallows attacked Strowman. The ref DQ’d then for the double-team. The fans booed. Joseph said the referee had no choice.
After the match, the Raiders leaped through the ropes onto Anderson and Gallows at ringside. Styles went after Strowman, who was still down from the attack that caused the DQ. Strowman, though, knocked Styles out of mid-air as he springboarded him.
WINNERS: Strowman & Viking Raiders in 8:00 via DQ. (**1/4)
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid tag team action.)
-After the match Anderson and Gallows helped Styles up. They played it a bit for comedy as Styles as over-the-top in selling that he couldn’t keep his balance and didn’t know what happened. He got to the stage and tried to stand on his own, but stumbled again.
-The Street Profits were chatting when R-Truth and Carmella stumbled into the scene. Tamina rolled her up for the win. Truth asked what happened and where is her title. Truth told Carmella they’d go find them. Street Profits pointed in opposite directions.
(Keller’s Analysis: The 24/7 Title is really flat right now. These segments feel half-hearted and thrown together at this point. Truth calling the 24/7 Title by the wrong numbers has had diminishing returns in terms of humor for weeks. It’s probably time to move on from Truth and Carmella and find some new wrestlers to be the centerpiece of the title if they insist on keeping it around. Once it became a way for celebrities to get them fleeting mainstream crossover attention, it lost even more of it’s appeal.)
-They went to Cole and Graves who threw to a video package on the Baron Corbin-Chad Gable feud.
(6) BARON CORBIN vs. CHAD GABLE
Before the match, Corbin made short jokes about Gable. He said he is too short to be taken seriously and he hopes his career is as short as his legs. Gable fended off early Corbin offense and took him down. Corbin soon took over again, though. Gable made a comeback attempt about five minutes in and rolled up Corbin and then rolled through into a German suplex with a bridge for a near fall. Corbin asked if Gable is tied of being called short. Gable wrapped Corbin’s leg around the ringpost twice. Corbin took over with a Deep Six in the ring. When Corbin tried to use his scepter a few minutes later, Gable ducked and rolled up Corbin for a three count. Greg Hamilton, the ring announcer, said Shorty Gable was the winner. Cole was outraged at Hamilton using that nickname. Graves said Corbin said it was a royal edict that Hamitton had to follow.
WINNER: Gable in 15:00. (*1/2)
(Keller’s Analysis: Their least inspired effort so far. Some of the excitement is gone without the King status at stake, too. This felt more like a filler match than something fans were eager to see again. The two wrestlers seemed to approach it that way, too.)
-An NXT commercial aired including footage of the return of Finn Balor to NXT.
-The announcers talked about the upcoming WWE Draft with Raw and Smackdown wrestlers. Cole said it’ll shake up the landscape of the rosters for both Raw and Smackdown. Graves said the battle for supremacy between the brands will begin again.
-They showed various announce teams. Tamina was wandering around the floor area. Truth chased her around the international announcers. She hid behind Funaki, for some reason. Truth got into a crane kick pose. Funaki then got into a fighting stance. Truth bowed at him. Tamina then turned to leave, but Carmella kicked her and then Truth scored a three count when Carmella urged him to make the cover. Truth then ran away with Carmella on his back.
(Keller’s Analysis: There is no mainstream TV show left in the country that treats Japanese with such stereotypical zany comedy antics straight out of, well, Vince McMahon’s childhood era.)
(7) BAYLEY vs. CHARLOTTE – WWE Smackdown Title match
Graves said Bayley feels like she’s been shorted the type of push by WWE that others have. He said she has a good case. Bayley got cocky and showboated before charging Charlotte a couple minutes into the match. Charlotte caught her with a boot, then chopped away at her in the corner. Charlotte kipped up and played to the crowd to not much response. Charlotte tried to work over Bayley’s leg, but Bayley evaded her attack and then dragged her by her legs to the floor. She applied a half crab mid-ring, but Charlotte rolled through and leveraged Bayley’s shoulders down for a two count.
A couple minutes later Charlotte hit Natural Selection to score a near fall. When Charlotte went for the figure-four, Bayley blocked it and rolled up Charlotte. Bayley tried to score a pin with her legs high on the middle rope, but the ref saw it and didn’t count. As Bayley complained to the ref, Charlotte gave her a big boot and then applied the Figure-Eight for the tappet win. They instantly cut to the front row where a fan was on his phone instead of reacting to the finish. Oops. Cole declared she is now a ten-times Women’s Champion.
WINNER: Charlotte in 10:00 to capture the Smackdown Women’s Title.
(8) SETH ROLLINS vs. “THE FIEND” BRAY WYATT – Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Universal Title
The Firefly Funhouse jingle aired, and then shifted to The Fiend’s official entrance music. He showed up on the stage with a lantern. He entered the ring and kneeled in the corner, wearing the Fiend mask. The light was lit up in red and stayed that way. Seth tried to attack Fiend with a kendo stick early, but Fiend no-sold them. Fiend caught Seth flying at him and gave him a urinage. Fiend then took it to Seth at ringside. Seth picked up the steel steps, which Vic Joseph regrettably called “a toy.” He hit Fiend with it to take over for the first time. Joseph said Seth now has to think and act fast. Seth pulled a table out from under the ring. He got his obligatory dive through the ropes at Fiend at ringside. He did it a second time and then threw him into the stairs.
Fiend caught Seth flying at him through the ropes again, but this time The Fiend caught him mid-air and drove him into the side of the cage. Fans chanted “Wowie Zowie.” Seth came back with an enzuigiri and a superkick, sending Fiend onto a table set up in the ring. Seth landed a frog splash to break the table, although he overshot it slightly. The table broke, Fiend tipped over, and Seth came up selling a rib injury. The Fiend stood up and no-sold it. Seth looked scared. Seth landed a Stomp. Fiend stood up and no-sold it. Seth kicked him and then charged, but Fiend hit Sister Abigail for a convincing near fall.
Fiend stayed on Seth with a barrage of punches. He took it to Seth at ringside and hit him with a mallet. Dio said he nearly impaled him. Seth came back with two superkicks and then two stomps in the ring. The crowd began booing, then cheering as The Fiend stood. Seth gave Fiend a Pedigree and another Stomp for a one count. The crowd popped. Fiend sat up and looked at Seth. Seth kicked him in the face and hit another Stomp. And another. And yet another. And another. And another. Fans were with Fiend and turning on Seth as this match played out. Seth stumbled around. He stood over Fiend and bashed him across his forehead when he was flat on his back with a chair. When he went for a cover, Fiend kicked out at one. Seth rolled to the floor briefly. Seth placed a chair over Fiend’s head and then jabbed ladder down on it. The chair seemed to dent. Fiend still kicked out at one.
Seth rolled to the floor and pulled more kendo sticks out from under the ring. He then found a tool box. He put the ladder over Fiend’s head. He began smashing the large tool box onto the ladder and chair over the Fiend. More boos. He put the tool box on top of the ladder lying over the Fiend. Then he grabbed a chair and threw it aside. He leaned on the ring apron and tried to think of what he could do next. He then looked under the ring again and found a sledgehammer. The ref told him to back away and not use that. More boos. The ref said that would be going too far. Then Seth did use it. The ref called for the bell. Huh? Eruption of boos.
Over a half dozen referees came out. Fans began chanting “AEW! AEW!” Medics were going to roll Fiend onto a gurney. Fiend suddenly rose up and grabbed Seth with the Mandible Claw. He threw Seth out of the ring and gave Seth a Sister Abigail on the floor. Seth was out cold. Another loud “AEW!” chant broke out. Fiend gave Seth another Sister Abigail.
WINNER: AEW in 18:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: What a disaster start to finish, but especially at the finish. This whole storyline just blew up in their face. Getting out of a Hell in a Cell match you can’t book a finish for because it got too violent is stupid and the complete fan rejection of the referee’s call was deserved.)