Seth Rollins Says 'I Was Dead in the Water After Hell in a Cell' vs. Bray WyattMay 10, 2020
The match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt at the 2019 Hell in the Cell pay-per-view was perhaps WWE's creative low point last year.
Even Rollins knows it.
In an interview with TalkSport's Alex McCarthy, Rollins said he was "dead in the water" after the widely derided match:
“At the end of the day, there’s no real nice way to put it, I was dead in the water after Hell in a Cell. And a lot of that was nothing that I could control. I was left out there as a bit of a scapegoat in that situation and there was nothing I could do about it, but I was the one that had to face the scrutiny.
“And no one really cared about me at that point in time, or about how I was feeling or about what really went into that moment, that night and everything that went along with it. No one cared about Seth Rollins and how it affected me or how involved I was in any shape or form. So, the writing was on the wall at that point. It was time to hunker down and make some changes, and some of those are tough lessons to learn."
For those who scrubbed the match from their memory: Rollins and Wyatt went head-to-head in the Hell in a Cell main event. Wyatt was the hottest act in the company at the time, with fans falling over themselves over the then-new Firefly Fun House/Fiend gimmick. WWE had booked The Fiend to be a completely unstoppable force to that point.
Rollins, meanwhile, was getting lukewarm reactions in a babyface run that was clearly in need of a jolt. Nearly every fan who watched the pay-per-view came in expecting and wanting a title change.
WWE instead gave fans an overbooked match that concluded with Rollins being disqualified for hitting Wyatt in the head with a sledgehammer. In a Hell in a Cell Match. The same match in which The Undertaker once threw Mankind 20 feet to the floor, one that ostensibly has no disqualifications for any actions.
Fans pilloried Rollins with boos after the match, angering him to the point he got into a confrontation with a particularly bothersome spectator. The Wrestling Observer reported at the time that the finish was done because Vince McMahon wanted to have Rollins, Brock Lesnar, Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch as his champions heading into the WWE draft.
While WWE quickly attempted to fix its mistake by putting the belt on Wyatt in Saudi Arabia, the damage was done. Wyatt's heat cooled a bit, and fans complained about his overbooked matches—right until the tide turned in his favor (and against WWE) again when he jobbed to Goldberg in February.
Rollins, to his credit, steered into the curve and has been reinvigorated in his Messiah gimmick.