Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt ended in Match Stoppage (Hell in a Cell Match)

SACRAMENTO — In the end, the barbaric bout that concluded WWE Hell in a Cell might have been about something more than the Universal Championship: For all the nightmarish tenacity with which “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt has pursued Seth Rollins over the last few months, the otherworldly Superstar was kept from the title due to a match-stoppage ruling that led to Rollins retaining the title — a decision that proved to be instantly controversial at the end of the pair’s grisly Hell in a Cell Match. But that did very little to stop Wyatt from continuing his assault against the Universal Champion, whom he left writhing on the arena floor as Hell in a Cell finally faded to black.

With the ring bathed in red light, it quickly became very clear that Rollins was going to have to go to a depraved place to thwart Wyatt, who absorbed every single superkick, Stomp and swing with a steel chair, only to kick out at one when Rollins made his pinfall attempts. (That’s not even counting Wyatt’s relentless onslaught, which included several Sister Abigails, a sickening neck wrench and a giant mallet to The Beastslayer’s gut.) Even after Rollins hit Wyatt with superkicks and Stomps beyond counting, it didn’t seem to be enough. A shocking swing of the chair directly to Wyatt’s head seemed like it would do the trick. But to be safe, Rollins balanced that chair on Wyatt’s face and spiked it with a ladder. And then, to be even safer, Rollins stacked both on top of each other and retrieved a sledgehammer from beneath the ring.

Clearly sensing that a line was about to be crossed, the referee tried to stop Rollins from using the hammer. But The Beastslayer did it anyway, bringing the tool straight down on the whole pile, causing the ref to wave off the match while a crew of medics tended to Wyatt. Rollins, who was clearly on the verge of madness, made the mistake of straddling his fallen foe and quickly found himself ensnared in the Mandible Claw as Wyatt rose up from his back and continued his attack.

Rollins was helpless to respond as Wyatt took him outside the ring, exposing the arena floor by tearing up the mat. It became clear that the Universal Championship was the last thing on Wyatt’s mind. Wyatt smashed Rollins face-first into the arena floor with Sister Abigail and applied the Mandible Claw once again. This time, the writhing Rollins was spared only by the signature shrieks that precede Wyatt’s exit. Hell in a Cell did not end with “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt as Universal Champion. But clearly, he’d gotten what he came for all the same.