WWE switches gears and heads toward hell on Mon., Sept. 16, with a show coming our way from Mayor Kane’s Knoxville, Tennessee.
After Seth Rollins used four stomps and a pedigree to put down high-flyin’ Braun Strowman and keep his Universal title, the lights went out in the Spectrum Center. The horror movie music hit, and when we could see again, a scary clown-like figure in carnival pants was cradling an already incapacitated Beast Slayer by his side. It was “HURT” time for Rollins, and after a Sister Abigail and a Mandible Claw, the The Fiend was telling anyone who would listen “RUN”.
Seth probably wished he still could.
Hell in a Cell falls only three weeks after Clash of Champions on WWE’s pay-per-view (PPV) calendar this year, and it looks like we’ve got our main event. The prospect of Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt for the red strap has cased debate among wrestling fans since an advertisement from Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center seemed to spoil it a few weeks back. How will Wyatt’s new character work with a title? Wouldn’t a slow build to a championship win on a bigger stage make more sense? They wouldn’t book Bray to lose this early in his rollout, would they?
Let’s take them one at a time.
That first question is easy. What reason do we have to be worried about ANYTHING with regards to this gimmick? While it took a little while for a lot of us to “get” the Firefly FunHouse, it was smart & entertaining from the jump. The Fiend is meticulously well though in terms of motivation and presentation. Both have been woven into Bray’s history and current WWE storylines. How will they work when he holds a title? I can’t wait to find out.
The second is trickier. Personally, my answer would be “probably?” But what’s the bigger stage? Are there enough worthy opponents, by whom Wyatt’s “been wronged in a past life”, to string us along to WrestleMania? If I had the book, Seth probably wouldn’t have the title, and The Fiend would beat him next month. In the meantime, Roman Reigns wins a belt somehow and Bray takes down his long-time rival at the ‘Big 4’ show that gave us Undertaker. But I don’t have the book.
The final one is a no-brainer, and also the one giving many of us agita. I guess I should trust Bray to incorporate an inevitable loss into his new act the same way I do a title. But there’s too many bad memories of how WWE did the cult leader version of his character. That’s why it they’re giving him this spot - and it seems crystal clear they are - he has to win. And no singing children or hologram projections either. The Fiend can sell for Rollins, who been built up well this year with two wins over Brock Lesnar and a pin of The Monster Among Men. But the match needs to end with another Mandible Claw and a 1 - 2 - 3.
It makes sense to strike while the iron is hot, and Wyatt is so hot right now. But they have to hit this one clean to forge a long-term mega-star.
We’ll see how they start to set that up tonight.
The title scene
No official preview from WWE as of press time, so here’s where things stood coming out of last night’s show...
Strowman was 0 - 2 in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and Rollins dropped the Raw Tag Team championship earlier in the night to another team which didn’t exist a month ago. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler seem custom-made to put over a young babyface act. Perhaps those Viking fellas who’ve been squashing folks and shared a Steveweiser with Stone Cold after last Monday’s main event?
She’s still the Raw Women’s champ, but even Becky Lynch admits nothing is settled between her and Sasha Banks after The Boss’ DQ win at Clash.
Many of us thought it would be the match of the night. It got five minutes on the Kickoff. AJ Styles still has the United States title. No one showed up to stop The O.C.’s post-match beat down of Cedric Alexander. Your guess is as good as ours.
Is it a Raw team’s turn to challenge Women’s Tag champs Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross now? Naomi & Natalya would make as much sense as the current men’s team holdiing the read brand straps. Maybe Nikki & Lexi will battle 24/7 champ R-Truth & Carmella, seeing as how intertwined their stories were last night.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Word was it would happen at Clash of Champions, but the finals of the 2019 King of the Ring tournament will go down tonight on Raw. Will they end with Cinderella Man Chad Gable wearing the crown, or King Baron Corbin?
- Rey Mysterio’s road away from retirement took him into a match with Gran Metalik last week. The Master of the 6-1-9 picked up a win, and showed his fellow luchador some respect afterwards. Where is this story going?
It’s the Clash of Champions fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?