Hated the WWE Hell In A Cell finish? Well get in line! Rob Bonnette has an in-depth look at the options WWE had for the match.
We’re almost a week removed from the WORST FINISH EVER (just kidding!), the end of the Hell in a Cell match between Seth Rollins and the Fiend, and the hoopla still hasn’t totally quieted down just yet. While I agree that it was a bad call and the wrong call, some of you guys have gotten way out of hand. It’s not even my top five of bad finishes, to be honest. But I do have two questions for all of you –
You got a better idea? What were some other options than that finish?
You see it’s easy to just crap on the finish and scream into your twitter account while all the usual suspects in the Wrestling Fanspace get all hyperbolic about what it all means, just what would you suggest instead. I ran through a fwe options in my head and here’s what I came up with.
Don’t book the match in the first place.
That was the easiest way to avoid what happened, just don’t do it at all. Feed someone else to the Fiend, or just have him attack someone on the show instead of working a match, and give Rollins a different opponent (or just give him the night off, show would have been fine without that match). The Fiend is at a point where most people want him to win everything and lay everyone out so why mess anything up with a title match? And if you don’t want your Universal Champion taking a loss then keep him away from anyone who is in a must win position. I’ll let you know at the end but this option is leading right now for what I think the best choice was.
Put it on earlier in the show.
If you know you’re booking a finish that’s going to piss people off, don’t end the show with it. What was otherwise a great show got completely overshadowed by that ending, so putting it on early or maybe even first would have given people plenty of time to get over it and move on. The downside? They may not have. Pissed off fans are pretty resilient nowadays and they very well may have dug their heels in and checked out of the whole show. Not sure that this would have alleviated anything.
Change the finish.
Just book the Fiend to win the match! The match itself was a ridiculous but entertaining spectacle up until that ending. If the Fiend had won it straight up no one would be mad about the match at all whereas we know how they reacted to the non finish and they likely would have not been happy about Seth winning by pinfall. So just book the fiend to win and call it a day. The only problem with that was the proverbial question of what do you do afterwards. You can’t have the Fiend as Universal Champion for any extended period of time and quite frankly the character shouldn’t be about that anyway (everyone who gets hot doesn’t need to win a championship, people!!) You’re essentially trading one problem for another so I wouldn’t have gone there.
Make it non-title (and change the finish)!
If you make it non-title the Fiend can win straight up, and you don’t have to worry about what to do with the title. Everybody wins! After all he’d only been in one match not counting house shows, and had attacked a bunch of people so he didn’t really qualify for a title shot outside the tried and true piss off the champion, get a title shot rule of professional wrestling. Having been attacked multiple times by the Fiend Seth would have been more than justified by wanting to fight the guy, and in the cell. Just do it non title and the Fiend can win to either set up a future title match or put Seth in a compromised position for another opponent. I kinda like this idea.
Don’t make it a Cell match.
If you want to do some kind of DQ finish, have a regular match. The Reigns/Bryan vs Harper/Rowan feud had enough heat behind it to warrant a cell match so it would have been an easy swap. It would have been fine, really. The no sells would have worked fine with Seth’s regular moves. There is one big problem with this, though. The match was built around the horror movie aesthetic of Seth using all those weapons to no avail, and that’s what made it entertaining until the end. Take that away and it’s just another match so I’d probably pass on that.
Don’t change a thing.
Yeah people got pissed about it, but what matters anyway is what comes next. Even if you booked it in a way that satisfied everyone, a follow up that disappointed would have done away with that good will anyway (and seeing as how Wrestling Twitter reacts even when you give them what they ask for, that disappointment probably would have happened any way). In my time on Wrestling Twitter what I’ve found is that the people who want to be upset will find a way to get there no matter what you do. I watched it with my son, he thought the whole thing was cool, and he wasn’t the least bit bothered by the finish. Given the choice between taking it in like a nine year old or like Wrestling Twitter, my advice is to err towards the former.
I’d probably have just made it non title in the Cell. Booking it as a fight in the cell allows for all the stuff they did and for the Fiend to win without getting the title. No, you don’t want Universal Champion the Fiend but booking a cluster kind of finish was clearly not a good idea. All that being said, way too many of y’all overreacted to this like it was the worst thing ever. If you want some examples of worse I got some here. It’s perfectly fine to say that they went with the wrong decision on this pay per view without launching into an all caps tirade about how this is indicative of everything that’s wrong with Vince MacMahon. It’s one decision in one match, ok? Trying to connect to previous weird decisions or saying you can’t wait for AEW is just dumb.