Originally published by SacBee.com on Oct. 1, 2019 and in the Oct. 4, 2019 print edition on page 4A.
World Wrestling Entertainment is kicking off the spookiest month of the year with its hard-hitting, action-packed brand of entertainment as it transforms Golden 1 Center into Hell.
The Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event is coming to Sacramento just in time for Halloween. Wrestling fans can expect to see their favorite superstars battle it out inside the squared-circle, with some matches featuring the gigantic steel structure known for altering and shortening careers of the men and women brave enough to step inside.
There are several big matches slated for the show but none bigger than the main event, which will take place inside the 15-foot steel cage structure itself. That match will feature Seth Rollins as he takes on “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt for Rollins’ WWE Universal World Heavyweight Championship.
The match was set up after “The Fiend” challenged the winner of the Seth Rollins versus Braun Strowman title match at the September 15 Clash of Champions event, in which Rollins retained his title.
This will be the second pay-per-view match for Bray Wyatt’s new “Fiend” character since his return following a lengthy injury. He stepped in the ring for the first time with his new look, attitude and gimmick at SummerSlam in August, where he defeated Finn Bálor.
This came after months of Wyatt teasing a return with weekly promo videos in the style of a demonic children’s show called “Firefly Funhouse.”
The other headlining match for the show comes in the form of a second match inside the Hell in a Cell cage that will see Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch defend her title against Sasha Banks, who also recently returned with a new attitude after an extended stint away from the ring.
This is a rematch from Clash of Champions after the two collided in what ended in a disqualification when the referee was knocked down and the two ladies fought it out all over the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Banks was declared the winner but Lynch retained her title.
Another huge clash will see Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan team up to take on Bryan’s former running buddy, Erick Rowan, and Rowan’s returning long-time partner Luke Harper in a tag team match.
Daniel Bryan enlisted the help of Rowan – the former Wyatt Family member and former Bludgeon Brother with Luke Harper – when he was WWE Champion to help him retain that title in several defenses earlier this year. But their relationship recently soured when Rowan was accused of orchestrating several attacks on Roman Reigns.
A match between Reigns and Rowan at Clash of Champions included the return of Harper. That led to an attack on Reigns and Bryan by Harper and Rowan on a recent Smackdown episode, perfectly setting up the tag team bout at Hell in a Cell.
WHAT OTHER MATCHES WILL I SEE AT WWE HELL IN A CELL?
As of publication, all the matches for the show have yet to be announced, but WWE pay-per-view events average anywhere from eight matches to 12, so more will surely be added.
A match between former UFC star Brock Lesnar and current WWE Champion Kofi Kingston has been teased in recent weeks as well as a possible Bayley versus Charlotte Flair match for Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Championship.
The Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakmaura and United States Champion A.J. Styles will likely have matches on the card as well.
Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens, most likely inside Hell in a Cell, is another match that looks like a solid lock. Their rivalry has really heated up in recent weeks and Hell in a Cell might just be the perfect place for it to come to its bitter end.
Another rivalry that’s been heating up in the past couple of weeks is the one between new King of the Ring Baron Corbin and the man he beat for the crown Chad Gable. A definitive end to their conflict could come at Hell in a Cell as well.
Drew Gulak’s Cruiserweight Championship and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship, currently held by Nikki Cross and Alexa Bliss, could be part of the show as well. Other superstars who may participate in matches include the likes of Randy Orton, Cedric Alexander, Ali, Rey Mysterio and the recently reintroduced Rusev.
WHAT IS THE HELL IN A CELL MATCH?
The Hell in a Cell match debuted in 1997 and got its own themed pay-per-view event 10 years ago in 2009.
The first Hell in a Cell match, which featured Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker, was a classic. The match became a pro wrestling tradition at the 1998 King of the Ring pay-per-view, when The Undertaker threw Mick “Mankind” Foley off the top of the cell through an announcer’s table, a segment that has been replayed on WWE programming in celebration of the match ever since.
This is the first time the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event comes to Sacramento and the second time it’ll air live from California, with 2015’s event taking place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Last year’s event saw the debut of the red cell – with previous iterations of the chain-linked fencing that makes up the structure being a more traditional silver. The new, more sinister design will most likely make its return this year.
WHEN AND HOW CAN I WATCH ON TV OR FROM MY MOBILE DEVICE?
Hell in a Cell will air live on WWE Network, the pro wrestling company’s Netflix-style service, on Sunday, October 6, at 4 p.m. for the pre-show and 5 p.m. for the main show.
In addition to a team of commentators running down the match card, showing replays of the events leading up to the event and interviewing superstars, the pre-show usually includes a couple matches with some of those being title matches.
Some cable providers still offer WWE shows on the more traditional pay-per-view format, but expect to pay upwards of $49.99 if you go that route. WWE Network runs $9.99 a month, but new subscribers receive their first month free.
WWE Network features streamed live and pre-recorded wrestling events, many years of archival WWE, WCW, ECW and other wrestling footage and original programming, most starring past and present WWE wrestlers. WWE Network is available on the web, mobile devices and several video game consoles and streaming devices such as Roku.
TICKETS ARE STILL AVAILABLE
WWE and Ticketmaster are advertising tickets are still available for the event. Tickets start at $25, according to Ticketmaster.
For those attending live, doors open at Golden 1 Center at 3:30 p.m. WWE pay-per-view events tend to last approximately four hours, including the pre-show, so expect to be at the event through about 9 p.m.