WWE always takes a back seat during the NFL season, hence the late review. Sorry. There’s just no time to go through five hours of WWE programming and a pay per-view during the next few months. Having said that, the card for Hell In A Cell looks fucking awesome. Locked in a cage with no rules, the only way to win is via pin fall or submission, bring it!
The Shane O Mac and Kevin Owens storyline has been fantastic and The New Day and The Usos have delivered some of the best tag team matches I have seen in years so it would be great to see them go around again, in a cell no less.
So let’s not mess around, I’m late enough with this one…
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The New Day v The Usos
What a great way to open, my only concern is they’ll peak too early putting these guys on the card at the start. Well, that and maybe the fact that the cell gimmick might actually be a distraction for these guys, they’ve just been that good in traditional matches.
Tonight we get Xavier Woods and Big E while Kofi Kingston waits locked outside the cell as they square off against the Uso boys.
Straight away both teams retreat to outside to get some weapons, chairs, chains, kendo sticks… Oh my!
These guys don’t mess around. They’re big boys but they have no problem with getting airborne and soon enough to they’re flying into the mesh of the cell and the crowd pop for them right on cue. A highlight would have to be Xavier utilising trombones to beat up Jay Uso. Closely followed by a cowbell, and a gong. The slapstick doesn’t take anything away from how hard hitting and spectacular these guys are when they go around.
It’s just a shame there’s not enough variety among the tag divisions across the brands. However I could watch these guys fight any day.
The crowd star chanting “we want tables!”, now THAT is a great idea!!!
It doesn’t happen though. What does is Jay being trapped in the corner of the cell thanks to some crafty work by The New Day weaving some kendo sticks between the cyclone mesh of the cage. Followed by a some more aerial “holy shit” moments.
Then the handcuffs come out. Kinky. Xavier ends up cuffed to the ringpost and is flogged by kendo sticks. This causes Big E to come to, lose his shit and beat the hell out of both of the Usos.
The tables turn a few more times, speaking of tables… The crowd put in an order about twenty minutes ago. Not gonna get them though.
If I had a dollar for the amount of hits Xavier took from kendo sticks tonight my WWE subscription would be paid up for easily the next year.
It all wraps up with Xavier laid out in the middle of the ring and the Usos placing a chair on him then retreating to the top rope for a double splash. They pin Xavier and take the titles back.
There’s no real storyline with these blokes, they just show up and put on fucking epic matches, every time. No distractions here, they used the cell and all those props to great effect.
Winners (and new Smackdown tag champs): The Usos
Rusev v Randy Orton
Yawn. This match is set to be a snooze fest as far as I am concerned. I do hope I’m wrong but this rivalry does nothing for me. No cell for this match either.
I like Rusev’s intensity, it’s something I thought was lacking at previous PPVs but I still can’t really get into this match. Randy on the other hand, to me (maybe because I’ve seen him in so hundreds of matches) is like old furniture. Not exciting but comfortable and you know what you’re gonna get.
The crowd seem to still love Randy’s schtick.
Guess what? It ends with an RKO “out of nowhere”.
Winner: Randy Orton
United States Championship Triple Threat Match
Tye Dillinger v Baron Corbin v A.J. Styles
Baron Corbin can’t turn a trick. Rumours abound of him being shunned by the locker room for one reason or another probably aren’t helped by the goalposts being moved on his storylines. And while he can wrestle, his promo work sucks. So I get why Tye Dillinger was added to this match at the last minute.
Styles, on the other hand, is the man. Both opponents aren’t really in the same league. Yet. Dillinger has a lot of potential though.
Corbin isn’t helped by the “where’s your briefcase?” chant, referencing his epic fail in cashing in his Money in The Bank a few moths ago. Hilarious.
This match would be a bit of a mess without Styles holding it together. And he is going full tilt tonight, particularly when selling the hits he’s taking. The guy literally hurls himself into every move that is put on him.
Dillinger goes alright. If he continues to play his cards right he could find myself as part of a big push soon. But see that Styles sets the bar so high. He’s running the match. Corbin nearly kills him with a choke slam backbreaker but it’s Styles selling of the move that gets it over.
This is actually a half decent match.
Corbin pulls a robbery by pinning Dillinger following a phenomenal forearm from Styles after booking him out of the ring.
Cool twist. Styles did all the work though.
Winner (and new US Champion): Baron Corbin
Smackdown Women’s Championship
Natalya v Charlotte Flair
This is a cool rivalry and Charlotte is the bomb. Tonight a I think we’ll get the fairy tale where Charlotte wins the title for her dad, Ric, who we nearly lost after a massive health scare a few months ago.
Woo! We love the Flairs! We love the Harts/Neidharts too!
Charlotte is hands down the best in the Smackdown women’s division but Natalia is no slouch, she’s brutal. Working Charlottes legs setting her up for a submission and taking her feet right out from underneath her.
It’s a medium paced match but it’s well done and it reminds me of a lot of those slow burn undercard matches I used to watch their parents go around in during the 80s and 90s. These girls are by no means in the shadow of their dads though, they’re a talent unto themselves.
It picks up when Natalya delivers a devastating power bomb and Charlotte takes a massive bump. Charlotte kicks out of the pin fall though and you can feel a comeback building.
Or not, they spill outside the ring Where Natalya dishes out some more punishment before shoving Charlotte back into the centre of the ring to cinch the sharpshooter. Now we get some drama before before Charlotte turns the tide of the match.
She lands a moonsault on Natalya from the top rope outside the ring. Both are laid out but Natalya comes to first and attacks Charlotte with a steel chair leading to a disqualification. Bummer. Nice way to build a story line though.
Winner (by disqualification): Charlotte Flair
WWE Championship Match
Shinsuke Nakamura v Jinder Mahal
I’ve been pretty critical of both these wrestlers but I quite like this rivalry. I think it’s helped by Jinder being able to break into bit of comedy and lighten his schtick as and also that Nakamura (even though he has English as second language) can still cut a better promo than Roman Reigns. Nakamura’s entrance still shits me though.
Tonight might be Nakamura’s night. It’s definitely what the fans want (the American ones anyway) especially after Summerslam. Their previous match was pretty lacklustre though so I hope they have a bit more of a feel for working with each other in this one.
I’m really unnerved by Nakamura gesturing for Mahal to “come aaaahhhnnn” from his crotch though. His whole Michael Jackson styling sucks.
So far it’s a pretty similar match to Summerslam, Jinder uses a lot of knees and elbows and sells them well but his move set is kind of limited. I’m pretty sure I can hear a few people trying to get a “this is boring” chant going.
Nakamura is a crowd favourite for sure and he’s pulling out all his tricks tonight but the crowd seem really quiet. It turns around slightly when it spills outside and he takes out the Singh brothers. The Nakamura chants start up.
The Singh brothers return to the apron and provide a distraction and the crowd pops when the ref ejects them. Nakamura hits the Kinshasa with and calls the ref back in for the pin. Jinder saves himself by grabbing the ropes. Now it’s heating up.
It gets a bit hectic but Mahal lands a Khalas on Nakamura and manages a pin. There was a lot of fucking around before that match got good but when it did it was pretty cool.
Winner (and still champion): Jinder Mahal
Bobby Roode v Dolf Ziggler
It’s pretty cold seeing Roode come up from NXT to quite a lot of fanfare, it’s also interesting seeing Ziggler come out with none, no music, nothing.
I think Ziggler is going through the motions though, I don’t know wether it’s because he’s landed some shitty storylines of late or he’s just over it. Let’s face it, this match really is just a warm up/toilet break for the big dance between Kevin Ownens and Shane McMahon.
Roode seems to have hit the ground running since coming up though and he has the crowd, pulling them along with the “glorious” chant. To their credit, both wrestlers are making something of this match and their place on the card.
It all gets a bit slow though when they mess around with too much grappling and Ziggler puts Roode in a sleeper holds for what seems, like and age. He enthrall breaks out and the momentum picks up.
It feels like Ziggler is just a high profile jobber at this stage which is a hell of a place for someone of his caliber to be. He must’ve pissed someone off. It’s not helped by him tuning up the band Sean Michaels style to deliver sweet chin music, lame.
Roode gets the pin after a series of rolling pins albeit by using a handful of tights as leverage, and cops a Zig-Zag for his efforts. The whole thing was a bit absurd really.
Winner: Bobby Roode
Main Event Hell in a Cell
Shane McMahon v Kevin Owens
I’m all in on Kevin Owens, he is the best talent in and out of the ring in the WWE at the moment, and that’s tough for a lot of people to take. It’s polarising opinion. The storyline between him and Shane is white hot though and this match is gonna be amazing, it can’t be anything but.
It’s about time we had another feud between the a stable mate and the McMahon family, this is where the WWE soap opera is at its best. The beating KO put on Vince the other week was excellent.
Owens doesn’t even make it into the cell before Shane attacks on on his entrance, they’re beating this shit out of each other before they even get into the the cage. Owens finally gets in there and shuts the door behind him to get away from a Shane but Shane O’Mac keeps on coming. Finally they get inside the cell and proceed to launch each other into the mesh, Owens is taunting Shane’s kids at ringside and it is fucking great!
Owens is the best heel in the business, hands down. But I get the feeling that a good portion of the crowd could get behind him here.
Once they’re in the cell it’s all Owens. He’s relentless but then he goes for a Swanton off the top rope, Shane puts his knees up and the tide turns. McMahon is equally as impressive, he is fearless in his pursuit to put on a great show and I’m seeing shades of the old Shane in this match, which is actually quite exhilarating because shit gets reckless when he’s like this.
The crowd call for tables again and they lose their shit when KO pulls one out from under the apron. He lines Shane and the table up against the edge of the cell and cannonballs off the ring apron but Shane moves and the table is destroyed, along with Owens. Shane then proceeds to beat him with half of the broken table, then he reaches under the apron and pulls out an old friend, a garbage can.
This is where it gets creative! I love it!
Owens propped up in the corner of the ring, garbage can planted on Owens’s chest and a coast to cost drop kick from the top rope. He pins Owens and the ref calls a rope break when Owens puts his foot on the rope. Um, falls count anywhere ref? It’s a stupid mistake from the ref that almost breaks the story these guys are telling in the ring.
Shane wants out of the cage and pulls out some bolt cutters from under the apron and opens the cell. Then goes back to work on Owens with the garbage can. Now they’re out in the arena and it continues, and slows down a little bit. Until Owens gets control again and goes to the announcer’s table, contemplates a splash from the barricade and then decides to climb the cell. Fuck yes!!!
He’s a big boy, this is gonna be insane. He freaks out and can’t do it, bummer! Shane comes to and starts scaling the cell, elation! When he gets to the top they trade blows. Shane slams Owens on top of the cell and everyone is just waiting for it to give way. For a time, the crowd are quiet, not because they’re not happy, because they’re stunned. Then the chant comes “this is awesome!”. The tension is incredible with every bump that happens on the top of the cell, just waiting for someone to fall through.
Ok it’s actually getting nuts. They’re clearly trying to break through the roof and it’s not giving way. Owens gives up and starts to climb down, but Shane is coming after him. I mean really, there’s no way they were gonna go right off the top. Instead, Owens gets his face bashed against the mesh and then crashes from the side (which is still about nine feet high) right through the Spanish announcer’s table.
Shane could pin him here but he decides to dish out more punishment and clears another announcer’s table. He Owens on it and climbs to the top of the cell. That’s what separates this guy from the rest of the locker room, he’s fucking mental. Shane goes off the top and Owens is pulled t of the way at the last minute BY SAMI ZAYNE!!! He missed! The table and Shane are broken in half.
Before they can get McMahon onto a stretcher, Zayne drags Owens onto Shane and it’s a pinfall, Owens wins.
Amazing match! And a possible heel turn for Zayne or face turn for Owens, who knows? BUT how great if Ownes and Zayne team up beyond this?!?!
The only thing that is really missing from this match is Jim Ross’ iconic and hysterical commentary.