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The alleged original plan for Fiend/Rollins at Hell in a Cell wasn’t any better

The main event of Sun., Oct. 6’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) continues to be a topic of discussion almost a week after it happened.

Just about everyone’s weighed in on it, from participants Seth Rollins & Bray Wyatt, to the referee & WWE’s talking heads, to competitors, fans and (checks notes) internet porn sites.

Add to the mix an item from the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter about Vince McMahon’s original plan for how the match would end. We’d already heard that Vince booked Rollins’ Universal title defense against The Fiend, and that he initially laughed about the reaction to what we now know was a referee stoppage finish. Dave Meltzer’s report backs up both, and adds details of his original plan.

It wouldn’t have changed the result. As was also reported by Meltzer after the show, McMahon wanted Rollins (along with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Brock Lesnar) as champion heading into tonight’s Raw/SmackDown Draft. But he knew he had to protect Wyatt’s new act. So he was going to have The Fiend take a bump from the top of the Cell to a padded area or object on the floor, which would prompt Rod Zapata to stop the match. Then Wyatt would sit up Undertaker-style, grab Seth with the Mandible Claw... basically the same thing we got in Sacramento after the Stomps, chair & ladder-piling, and toolbox & sledgehammer shots.

It might have made for a better image, a GIF-able spot that could be shared around social media. But the blowback would have come regardless, since it would still lead to a non-finish in a bout which supposedly guarantees a finish. And this one would have directly mimicked not only the infamous Mankind/Taker Hell in a Cell from King of the Ring 1998, but also the Shane McMahon/Taker bout from WrestleMania 32 just a few years back. Like Mick Foley’s, Shane’s fall from the top didn’t result in a match stoppage.

So we don’t need Stone Cold to tell us the bottom line. If your priorities are keeping the strap on Rollins and protecting The Fiend - both perfectly reasonable priorities, by the way - DON’T BOOK THEM IN A UNIVERSAL TITLE HELL IN A CELL MATCH IN THE FIRST PLACE!