Well ladies and gentlemen, Hell in a Cell 2017 as presented by the SmackDown brand has come and gone. Was it good? Was it bad? That’s up to you, but sit back and read as I dish out my own opinions on the event.
The Usos def. New Day – Hell in a Cell Tag Team Championship match
The New Day vs Usos feud has been fireee so far, and the end to the feud did not disappoint. These two teams once again stole the show for me. While this match seemed different compared to their previous encounters, it was different in a good way. Instead of nail-biting near-falls, this match was just plain brutal. Both teams presented themselves like they genuinely wanted to beat the hell out of the other, and it was awesome. Xavier Woods is a mega star in my opinion, and extremely underrated. His facial expressions, and his babyface comebacks are always great, but he’s also so smooth inside the ring.
The spot where Woods made the comeback while being handcuffed was the moment of the match for me, and made him look like a boss. I’m unsure what the New Day will do from this point onwards, but I’m excited to find out. Massive thumbs up. WATCH THIS MATCH!
Randy Orton def. Rusev
For me this was just another match. I love Rusev, and I think that Randy Orton is such a great in-ring worker, but this feud has absolutely no meaning. The finish to the match was very cool, and the RKO is still an amazing finisher – and always will be. However, I feel like Orton needs new direction. Him joining the Wyatt family was interesting, but he then just went back to be the same Randy Orton straight after it. Both these guys need something different to freshen up their characters. You could easily get away with missing this match and it would not have any impact on your viewing of SmackDown Live.
Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger & Aj Styles – US Championship match
This match was decent, and the decision to make it a Triple Threat was a good choice. It added to the quality of the match, and made sense in terms of continuity after Tye beat Corbin on SmackDown Live.
The moments where Styles squared off with Tye in this match were notably enjoyable. AJ Styles is just the best man – at least top three in the world. I think I would’ve preferred it if Tye had won this match, simply because I’ve always thought of the mid-card titles as the workhorse championships. But maybe this means Roode will eventually go on to feud with Corbin, hopefully leaving Styles to go after the WWE Championship. This was by no means a bad Triple Threat match, but it also wasn’t amazing (though AJ Styles definitely is).
Charlotte def. Natalya (by DQ) – Women’s Championship match
This match wasn’t at all that bad. The choice to have Charlotte win by DQ was, I think, a good one – it means Natalya doesn’t drop the title straight after winning it and prolongs the feud a little longer. It’s worth noting that Charlotte is phenomenal. If she is to win the championship (which I hope to see), I’d like for it to happen at Starrcade.
Starrcade and the Flair name go together like peanut butter and jam (or jelly depending on nationality). The ending saw Charlotte coming off injured, which I think is the perfect way to go to keep the feud heated. Though I do think Charlotte is a much better heel.
Jinder Mahal def. Shinsuke Nakamura – WWE Championship match
My god, the Jinder experiment is clearly far from over. Jinder Mahal defeated Shinsuke Nakamura clean as a whistle. The match was very average and didn’t highlight either man’s strengths at all. I genuinely don’t see what direction they can go with Nakamura at this point, I felt this was the time to pull the trigger on him.
I don’t dislike Mahal, the guy has a great look, but he’s not a world champion in my opinion. The US title would’ve been a much better option for his character. I just hope Nakamura now goes into a hot feud with someone else and that Jinder finally loses the title to Styles.
Bobby Roode def. Dolph Ziggler
This match was not bad, but it was far from great. I don’t think these two worked together as well in the ring as I imagined – which is unusual because they’re both great workers individually. Roode defeated Dolph with a roll-up, but Dolph immediately hit his finisher on Roode after.
I don’t mind this storyline, while the entrance impersonations are very cheesy, the idea of Dolph saying he doesn’t need an entrance (which was highlighted here as he entered with no music or titantron) is fitting for his character. But I just don’t think he’s performing on the level he was once at. Three years ago Dolph was on absolute fire after he was the lone survivor in the 5 on 5 match between Team Cena and the Authority. Now, he’s just floating amongst the roster with no real direction. I’d love to see Dolph go to New Japan maybe as in-ring quality is the highlight there, and I feel Dolph could have some whopper matches. Going forward I’d like to see Roode eventually pick up the US title, or even go straight towards the WWE title.
Kevin Owens def. Shane McMahon – Hell In a Cell match
I really enjoyed this match, and Kevin Owens continues to be a phenomenal heel. Why is Kevin Owens not WWE Champion? He’s bloody great at being the ultimate bad guy. Not only is he an awesome personality, he’s great in the ring.
Props to both of these men who delivered nail-biting moves on top of the cell structure (I genuinely thought one of them was going to break the cell). Both announce table spots were enjoyable, and something that we’ve come to expect from a Shane McMahon match.
However, the moment of this match is awarded to Sami Zayn. My god, Sami Zayn helped Kevin Owens by pulling his body off of the announce table, meaning Shane jumped off the cell and crashed straight through the other announce table. Some might say this is confusing as Owens powerbombed Zayn on the apron of the ring like two weeks ago. While that is a valid point, you can’t deny this is super intriguing. If the writers can come up with a good reason why Zayn helped Owens, then I am excited for this storyline.
If you haven’t watched this event yet, watch it. It’s one of the better events that WWE has put on this year. The opening match and main event were both very enjoyable. Though I haven’t watch SmackDown Live fully in a very long time, I’m contemplating watching it this week. Good job WWE, good job.