Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bray Wyatt
Hell in a Cell match for the Universal Championship
This is a very intriguing match for many reasons. Not so much for what the match itself will be. Surely it will be a good match between two good talents. But it’s the questions surrounding what came before, how the match will be booked, and possible fallout that I find most interesting. So let’s dive in to all of that.
What Came Before
Bray Wyatt’s new Fiend character has been being built for months and done so very well. They started with the Fun House and children’s host Bray and used that to introduce the Fiend. That led to the puppets escaping the Fun House. And finally the Fiend attacked Finn Bálor. It was all well done.
But when it comes to displaying the character outside the videos, it’s been random Fiend attacks and one match with Finn. That match at SummerSlam was very good, all focused on showcasing Bray’s new villain. It was a huge hit.
It wasn’t that long after that we learned he’d get to face the winner of Clash of Champion’s Universal title match between Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman. Rollins survived the Monster Among Men but was attacked post match by the Fiend.
The Fiend character has not been around long and already has a title match. You can look at that two ways. You can say it’s too soon, that they should have established the character a bit more and perhaps feuded him with a couple more big names prior to thrusting him into a championship match. But on the other hand, the Fiend is a really hot character right now. Why not strike while the iron’s hot? Why risk the character cooling off?
If they have a plan on how to present this character in a larger role, this shouldn’t be a problem. If it’s a rush move, that could be an issue.
The match itself
Given Bray had what could be considered a squash match against Finn Bálor, it should be interesting to see how he handles in a match that’s surely going to be a lot more competitive. Not that it will be reinventing the wheel. There have been plenty of characters that are difficult to defeat. Seth Rollins just had to overcome a monster in Strowman last month. This may not be too different.
The big question is do they pull the trigger on Bray?
They pretty much have to, right? They can’t afford for Bray to take a loss here without the whole mystique suddenly fading away (which is another risk of running this title match so quickly). There’s always a non-finish, which happened just last year in a Hell in a Cell match, but even that would weaken the character. A mystical character like the Fiend shouldn’t be deterred by some interference.
It being Bray Wyatt would make a loss hurt more. That character has a history of not delivering in big ways. Loses to John Cena after his initial debut (and a squash by Super Cena after SummerSlam later that year), a WrestleMania loss to the Undertaker, losses to Roman Reigns all plagued a character who had all the potential but was never realized. He did have a brief WWE title run, but the biggest memory from that is a dud of a match at WrestleMania where he lost to Randy Orton.
It may be hyperbole to say this character is finished if he doesn’t win tonight, but it’s not too off the mark.
So let’s say he wins. Then what?
The Fiend is a different type of champion than we normally see. He only speaks via the Fun House version of himself and that’s always via video. So that’s where you’ll get your promos since the Fiend doesn’t talk. He just grunts. (And he shouldn’t talk.)
I’d think the Fun House Bray would need to move on from the confines of the Fun House and make his way down to the ring talk to the fans and his opponents.
It’d be different than someone like Rollins, who’s front and center every week. He’d be represented on every show, but they’d have to get creative. Different is good and could be a breath of fresh air. It just needs to be planned out and done right.
There are a lot of questions surrounding this, but it could still be really good. It’s probably going to be a bit unorthodox, especially with the aftermath if Bray wins the title, but it should be fun to watch. The only thing that feels certain is if Bray Wyatt loses tonight, that’s going to hurt his character a ton. So let’s not do that.
The Fiend Bray Wyatt challenges Seth Rollins for the Universal championship inside Hell in a Cell tonight at the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, which airs on the WWE Network at 7 PM ET.
Who will win this match?
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