Updated: Oct 18, 2019
Well, the long and the short of it really comes down to one person.......
We all know that despite all of the people that at various-times potentially have their hands in the pot creatively whether it is the wrestlers themselves, the road agents, the writers, Triple H (NXT,) Paul Heyman (RAW,) or Bruce Prichard (Smackdown.) Ultimately the buck stops with Vinnie K. He makes the final decisions on what airs on WWE programming. Case in point, the fiasco that took place at the end of the 2019 Hell In The Cell PPV was ultimately his call regardless to who's idea it was originally.
Now, a lot of people are upset and rightfully-so but before I dig into the mess of the match itself I want to state a couple of things. We as wrestling fans have the right to critique the product that we see because we are the consumers. None of the athletes would be doing this in an empty-arena with no TV cameras on them. I know that they work hard, sacrifice the bodies and their lives to entertain us and I will always respect and admire that. This does not give the talent a "pass" however to make them beyond reproach of criticism when it is justified.
That being said, I feel that the decisions made in regards to the final outcome in the main event of this PPV are unfair not only to the participants in that match itself, but everyone else that competed on the PPV. This show started off red-hot with a tremendous match between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in the Hell In The Cell. Best match of the night IMO. This was followed by another tremendous match between Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan vs Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in an old-school 'Texas Tornado' Tag-Team match (this is what happens when you let gimmicks STAY gimmicks and not make PPVs out of them.) After that the matches were decent-to-good for the rest of the night. They did get progressively-worse as the evening went on, but none of the matches were "bad" that I can remember. The athletes took a look of punishment that night. Lots of wrestlers were very battle-weary afterwards with visible injuries. These people put it all on the line to entertain us and guess what?
No one cares. Why? It's because of the finish of the show. Let me first start off by explaining what a Hell In The Cell IS and the purpose. The Hell In The Cell is SUPPOSED to be an end-all-be-all to a long-running feud or a feud that got really hot and intense right away (such as the feud between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks or even the first HITC match between Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker.) After a HITC regardless of the outcome, both wrestlers would go their separate ways and onto other opponents. I know that the hasn't been followed to-the-letter obviously, but primarily that was the point of the HITC match in it's embryonic-state. When they made the HITC match into a PPV, that was the beginning of the end of it's usefulness. I personally detest the idea of gimmick-matches such as HITC, Money-In-The-Bank, TLC, and the Elimination Chamber being bastardized into whole PPVs where the potency has been diluted and usefulness has been irreparably-damaged.
In this particular feud, there was no call for a HITC match in the first place. I know that Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt have wrestled each other many times before, but the "Fiend" is a completely different character. WWE is trying to establish the Fiend as an Undertaker-like character. Someone that walks on that tightrope of the natural and supernatural being able to do things normal wrestlers can't. Of course, if WWE creative had a clue and they didn't ruin Bray Wyatt's previous gimmick this wouldn't be necessary. He'd already be there. The point is that it was WAAAAAAAY too early for a HITC match between these two. Not nearly enough story has been told to warrant a match of this magnitude. I mean what, because the Fiend put the mandible-claw on him a few times are tore up a puppet that warrants a HITC match? So going in there was already shaky-ground on this. I wasn't aware of this because I don't care about polls, but according to Jason Solomon (Solomonster) WWE had a recent-poll asking the WWE Universe on how they thought the match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt would end. They were given three choices..............wait, what? Yes THREE choices.
.......I almost passed-out when I heard him say that. A disqualification in a HELL IN THE CELL match!!!??!?! Just let that sink in for a second.
WWE TOLD us that they were going to do something stupid. We just didn't want to pay attention. Now I was not dilapidated enough to think that Bray would go over in this. I silently HOPED that he would, but I knew better. I knew that they would find someway for him not to lose, but still be booked strong. The problem is, neither guy looked strong afterwards. 1. Seth Rollins - He literally hit Bray Wyatt with everything but the kitchen-sink and if there was one near-by he probably would have used it. He couldn't defeat him. The Curb-Stomp used to be the move that ENDED a match. In recent months we have seen that it takes multiple Curb-Stomps for Seth Rollins to finish his opponent. In this match, I lost count how many times he hit Bray Wyatt with it. At least a dozen times or more. So how are we supposed to take this move seriously when he uses it in the future and before someone says, "Well it's the Fiend. Of course it would take that many," that leads me into the next part. 2. The Fiend - If the Fiend is supposed to be this powerful, demonic, supernatural-being and he can kick-out of almost every finisher Seth Rollins has, can kick out of chair-shots, ladder-shots, tool-box shots with a ladder and chair sandwiched-together, a Curb-Stomp onto a mallet, but a sledge-hammer.........that's too far? Um, we have seen Triple H hit people in the FACE with the sledgehammer on numerous occasions in other matches. We've see him use it in the HITC match. We've seen Triple H hit the Undertaker in the FACE with the sledgehammer and the referee (Shawn Michaels) did NOT call for the bell but instead started to count the pin-fall in which the Undertaker kicked out.
So how does the Fiend look strong if he has to be protected by the referee with him calling the match off at that point after everything else that Seth had done to him and he still kicked out? Many times at a one count. I understand what they were trying to do, but you couldn't have POSSIBLY made a bigger mess than they did. There is no way that you can logically explain-away this spectacular-failure of an ending. I know that they already have their crack-pot excuses ready on RAW tonight. Simple-minded people will fall for it. Those of us that choose to use or brains will NOT fall for it. This match absolutely RUINED Seth Rollins as a baby-face-champion and he will be getting Roman Reigns post-Wrestlemania 33 heat from now on and that is not fair to him. I'm not a fan of Seth Rollins but he is only doing his job here. He didn't ask to be put in this position. For Bray Wyatt, to the cerebral wrestling-fan it does make him seem a little weaker, but to the average fan nothing much has changed. It's a gross-contradiction with how you are trying to book him. It's more annoying than anything else. It's not going to hurt anything going forward IMO for him. If WWE was going to pull the trigger and have Bray Wyatt challenge for the Universal Championship right away, why get cold-feet and do this? Why not just go all the way and give the Fiend the title? He CLEARLY is the most enticing personality on the roster. Now, with the WWE Draft coming up things are up in the air because we don't know where things are going and where talent is going to end up. A lot of the outcomes in the HITC PPV may be tied in to where they will end up. The fans have always been the ones to decide on who they want to cheer and boo and clearly people want to cheer Bray Wyatt. Even with this evil-demonic character he is ova, like Rova the Casanova. What I would have done was to save the Brock Lesnar/Kofi Kingston match until AFTER the draft. Have the same results with Brock beating Kofi, but instead of Cain Velasquez showing up to challenge Brock, it would have been the newly-drafted Fiend arriving to challenge Brock Lesnar. They still can visit this later on after Brock gets finished with Cain which who knows where that goes. The bottom line here is that this was a Vince McMahon call and just another example of why he needs to be removed from power in WWE. I don't know what action shareholders can take against WWE legally, but if I were a shareholder I would be looking at all my options. You cannot have 13,000 fans SCREAMING the call-letters of your competition (AEW,) relentlessly booing your baby-face-champion, and scream for the match to be restarted and asking for a refund at the end of a PPV. This is not a good-look. Not at all. Both the NBC/Universal and FOX have literally invested billions of dollars in WWE. This is big-boy ball here. AEW has a very long way to go to become a viable-commodity, but this PPV helped make their job a little easier.
I'll close by saying this. The only way you can cause change in WWE is to turn the product off. You don't have to jump AEW, but just turn the product off. Vince doesn't care about you complaining on social-media, on your YouTube channels, or wrestling forums. He LAUGHS at you. He gets off on your discomfort. As long as you keep watching the show, buying the merchandise, subscribing to the WWE Network, going to the shows, not one single thing will change. Vince has already heard your voice. What he needs to hear now, is silence.