PWP’s Zack Heydorn explains why the upcoming Hell in a Cell match between Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns is “put up” or “shut up” for these two competitors and this feud.
WWE’s annual Hell in the Cell PPV event is coming up this Sunday and though its main event is The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar, the most meaningful and important match on the card is the Hell in a Cell match between Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt.
Because it’s put up or shut up time for both of these superstars. Both have been given opportunity after opportunity to succeed and this match highlights their responsibility to own up and deliver.
Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt have been entrenched in a blood feud since the Money in the Bank PPV in July. You don’t see too many long con feuds in the WWE these days so this storyline was a breath of fresh air from the start. More so than that, this upper mid card feud featured two guys who are undoubtedly the future of the WWE going head to head with full steam.
Both were seemingly put together with in this feud to not only tell a good story and be entertaining, but to bring out the best in each other as they continue their ascent to the top of the WWE ladder. The segments and matches throughout the entirety of this story have been a mixed bag at best, but with this main event level opportunity on Sunday, it behooves both of these performers to do their jobs and succeed for themselves.
It’s totally on them.
Bray Wyatt has been quite the complicated phenomenon since his debut on the main WWE roster. He has an abundance of charisma, a great gimmick, and no doubt can be big money for the WWE. Because he is as talented as he is, Bray has been used in very high profile feuds and programs with the likes of John Cena and The Undertaker.
This use of him is a double edged sword for the WWE. Bray is talented enough to work with those performers, but the losses that he took in them derailed a lot of his momentum and mystique. That said, because Wyatt is so good, he bounced back both times and is now once again positioned as one of the main players in the company’s future.
Roman Reigns is WWE’s golden boy. It’s obvious now and has been for the past year that the WWE wants Reigns to be the next face of their company. They’ve put him in numerous high profile situations like dominating Survivor Series, breaking Kane’s record for most eliminations in a Royal Rumble event, winning the Royal Rumble, and headlining Wrestlemania 31 in a match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. That is big time stuff. Superstar stuff.
Unfortunately for Reigns though, the fans didn’t buy it. Similarly to Wyatt, his rapid ascent derailed virtually all of his babyface steam, and post Wrestlemania, WWE brass virtually started over with his build back up to the top of the roster. Shifts in booking and in his character have helped provide the spark again, but it is this blood feud and program that he’s had with Wyatt that has been the major catalyst for getting fans back on his side.
For both wrestlers, Sunday is the culmination of both their rebuilds. They have a chance to put on a match for the ages, together, to solidify each other in their respective spots in the WWE. Here’s what needs to happen:
1. We need to see an all-out brawl – This was a blood feud, folks. Roman Reigns has been tortured by Bray Wyatt for four months and Reigns finally has a chance to face him one-on-one with no rules. He shouldn’t be interested in head locks or hip tosses. His only interest should be beating Bray Wyatt up and down the sides of that cell.
2. We need to see the delicate intricacies of both their characters shine brightly – Bray Wyatt the torturer and Roman Reigns the sympathetic but bad ass hero. That has to be a focus of this match. Wyatt needs to continue his mental mind games and emotional torture through physical actions to Reigns during the bout. Reigns needs to sell his corresponding pain and emotion back, but harness it via his bad ass persona to take Bray Wyatt down. This will lead to the audience truly understanding who and what these guys are as characters. It will add layers to their personas which will allow the audience to connect with them even more moving forward.
3. We need elements of realism – This story relied on the fact that it felt real. With the use of Roman’s daughter, the intensity of their fights, and the length of their feud, it feels as if Reigns truly despises Bray. The match needs to follow that formula. I’m not saying blood needs to get involved, but there needs to be spots in the match where they make the audience feel like they genuinely want to hurt each other. This means it needs to be a stiff match from both performers. This realistic approach will help the fans side with Reigns, show in detail why Wyatt is so despicable and evil, and create the necessary drama that the match needs to deliver.
4. We need to see Roman Reigns win cleanly – This is obvious. From a storyline standpoint, Reigns needs the win so he can finally finish the feud and vanquish the evil Bray Wyatt. From a company point of view though, the WWE wants big things from Reigns soon. Being the victor in this feud will help elevate his stock so that he can legitimately be “the guy” in the WWE, but it should also legitimize him in the eyes of doubtful fans because it is a true signature win.
If those four points can come together, not only will we have seen a five-star match, but we will have seen both guys make each other’s careers.
Only a select few can say that they have been handed what the WWE has handed to Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns. For an abundance of reasons, neither one has lived up to their potential based on what they’ve been given. That all gets thrown out the window now. Their upcoming match is for them to own. Yes, they’ve been handed plenty, but now it’s their opportunity to sink or swim. Sunday is the time for them to look in the mirror, take responsibility for their own success, and put on a match that none of us will ever forget.
It’s totally on them. Believe that.