The 2017 WWE Hell in a Cell is currently streaming on WWE Network.
During the pre-show, someone at WWE read my preview column plea to add Tye Dillenger to the main show, and my wish was granted, adding him to the United States Championship match, while Aiden English graced commentary to support his new cultural comrade, Rusev.
The pre-show featured the easily expected win of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, sporting some Steiner-brother inspired ring gear, while Zack Ryder and Mojo “I won a Battle Royale Once” Rawley fall to bad scriptwriting and an inevitable split.
The show kicks off with what I believe to have been match of the night… The Usos defeated The New Day to become Five-Time Tag Team Champions. Good lord, this was an incredible match, an awesome fight, and brutal brawl, and one of the craziest Hell in a Cell matches. From multiple Kendo sticks, some rainbow-unicorn inspired, as well as the death of Francesca III through VII, kick out of multiple finishers, colossal Tidal Wave splashes, through the ropes, over the ropes, under the rope cell crushing dives, handcuffs, chairs, and lord knows what else. This was a great, great match, kudos to everyone for putting on an amazing show.
New Day hopefully can remain relevant on SmackDown, the Usos, with their newfound momentum, deserve the win. Usos personified the villainous side, with multiple one-sided beatings with the Kendo sticks, followed by the Dual Splash Tidal Wave on Woods for the win. Where New Day goes from here is a question, and with this feud seemingly over, is this time for Gable and Benjamin to challenge, or will they be given some more time to develop?
Up next, in a somewhat watchable match, Randy Snorton defeated Snoozev with an RKO that wasn’t quite from out of nowhere. Rusev sold it like he was shot. Sadly, no significant interference from Aiden English.
Up next, in a match I thoroughly enjoyed, Baron Corbin wins the triple threat to become United States Champion. The addition of Tye Dillinger was well done. The match started out like one of my MWA matches, where two gang up on the odd man out, this being Bacon Bits Rorbin. The big doof tried evading Styles and Dillinger while hearing chants of “Where’s your briefcase” from the antagonizing crowd. Pretty funny. I don’t know what happened to Corbin, but at points during the match he seemed somewhat off, stumbling a bit. Then again, at points, he played the role of being a smart big man very well. Styles sold everything with sick bumps. Dropping like he was shot dead multiple times, making Corbins weird punches look like Mayweather shots. Dillinger looked like he fit right up there with Styles over the title. Nice fake out finishes, I really could believe Dillinger could have won it, instead was the one pinned following AJ’s Phenomenal Forearm, and Corbin bum rushing boots Styles out of the ring, pinning the Perfect 10 to win the championship.
In a lame turn of events, Natalya gets herself disqualified by clobbering Charlotte with a chair over and over. Match was OK, crowd seemed to fade in and out of it. Natalya appeared as the clear aggressor during the match, until Charlotte hit a moonsault from the top all the way down to the floor. Suddenly, Natalya plays weak heel to keep the title. Made no sense, after one big move Natalya is sent to play the DQ card? Meh.
Jinder Mahal retains the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura
Eh, I really wish I could say something nice about this match, but I can’t. I just wasn’t into it, and from the sound of it, the live crowd wasn’t either, until the closing moments. A lot of near falls and a lot of close-ups on Mahal’s crawling oversized veins. Gross. Nakamura almost had the match won, but thanks to a distracted ref, a rope break, and all sorts of shenanigans, Mahal retains.
Will he EVER win a title bout clean?
Dolph Ziggler comes out to an entrance we haven’t seen since jobbers of the 1980’s. Silence. No music, no lights. His music cuts out via record-scratch, lights off, and he just walks out. Not a bad match. Roode gets the win after a lot of ass showing via multiple countered rollup attempts with the tights pulled. Despite Bobby Roode getting the win, Ziggles has the last word, hitting Roode with the Zig Zag. Guess this feud isn’t over yet.
Hell in a Cell Main Event: Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens
Shane’s family seen in the front row, “Look, there’s my dad! He’s gonna do something crazy again!” So, this makes a great drinking game, drink each time Shane takes an insane bump or dive. We’ve got a missed shooting star, a powerbomb onto ring stairs, a coast-to-coast jump, and of course, the obligatory leap off the top of the cell through an announce table.
Owens took a fair amount of pain as well. Owens crash-and-burned through a table, ate a garbage can and repeated shots of broken table. This one was all carnage folks, and a beautiful one at that.
The finish, saw Sami Zayn save Owens from the final Shane Stunt. Yep. Zayn pulls Owens off the table a moment before Shane plows right through it. Crash bag or not, Shane’s off to the hospital. Zayn drags Owens over Shane and orders the ref to count.
I enjoyed most of the PPV. Aside from the devastation caused by the main event, the Tag Team and United States Championship matches stand out as well. The rest of the show was a solid meh. Women’s match and Orton/Rusev were just no-gos, the WWE Championship was disappointing, and the pre-show was a waste.
Tune into SmackDown to see the consequences for Zayn’s actions, and I imagine Owens will get a week or two off. Wow.
What a finish.