Hell in a Cell 2017 Review and Grades

We’re cutting back on some podcasts for us, and one of them is the WWE ppv stuff. We’re focusing more on the topic point of view for the meanwhile. So instead of going through the effort of recording, editing and uploading a show, I figured I’d take an 8th of the time needed and write up my thoughts on this show. So check it out.

Hell in a Cell Match for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles
The Uso’s vs. The New Day (c)

– In what’s easily the best feud of the WWE’s year, the Uso’s and New Day kicked it up once again with another violent affair. While I docked some creative points for the overuse of the dives, and the generic way to start the match with weapons, I do have to commend this match on several things. Firstly, the corner “prison” spot, where they used the Kendo Sticks as restraints against one of the Uso’s, locking him in. The other, as violent as it was; has to go to the spot where Xavier Woods got peppered by those kendo sticks. That invoked some strong imagery. The spot where Big E went off in a full on rage mode was beautiful, and so profound. Unfortunately, Woods ate another loss, dropping the belts back to the Uso’s. I’m ok with this title change because no team has felt like they were booked a certain way, and the win keeps being a joke, like the Banks/Charlotte rivalry. Sasha won on RAW, Charlotte on PPV; and it was done so rapidly that it was at times mere days, while this can be weeks, if not months between title switches. I’m not sure how they top this; perhaps they don’t

Winners: and New SmackDown Champs, The Usos.
Grade: 4.5

Randy Orton vs. Rusev
– Ugh this match. This match was boring. It’s the same Randy Orton match. Goes for RKO, gets beaten up for twelve minutes, hits RKO, wins. Rusev has no heat anymore, he’s dead in the water. It’s because of shit booking like this that has fans leaving the WWE in droves for other wrestling companies.

Winner: The RKO
Grade: 1.75

United States Championship
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles (c)

– When Dillinger was added to the pre-show, I figured for sure he was going to go over. Why else add him? Well, to get the title onto Baron Forehead apparently. While I’ll endlessly applaud Corbin standing up for WWE wrestlers when the loan doctor in the world who doesn’t believe in CTE tells wrestlers that CTE isn’t a concern, he still has no business being a title holder. He’s too damn boring, and no amount of gold will legitimize him.

Winner: and New United States Champion Baron Corbin
Grade: 2.75

SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
Charlotte Flair vs. Natalya Neidhart (c)

– This was a lame match. Natalya is a phenomenal talent, and the fact that she’s often disregarded or given little to do is rough, though she isn’t that dynamic a character. So that hurts. However, Charlotte Flair is no different, like at all. She just comes from a more impressive “stock” so to speak. So a match between these two should of a been a clinic. Instead it was more typical WWE booking. Natalya is on the run for most of the match, and finally Charlotte is able to get some real offense in. However, things go nutty when Charlotte does a moonsault off of the top turnbuckle onto the ringside floor, that she tries to stick the landing on, and endings up ‘blowing out her knee’. It might of been for real, it might of been an angle. But that’s weak as hell booking regardless, and unnecessary for anyone to take the risk on.

Winner: And still SmackDown Women’s Champion, Natalya
Grade: 1.75

Somewhere around here, we got a Fashion Files segment that I’ll address. I enjoy the dynamic, and the type of vignette that this stuff is. I think it works better as a low budget, 20 minute sitcom on the WWE Network, but that’s just me. However, this weeks was mildly funny with the Ascension trying to join the ranks of ‘the force’ but Breeze and Fandango start mocking the two, who happen to be standing next to them in poor disguises, then as they reveal themselves to the intrepid heroes, points out that The Fashion Police were being jerks to them for no reason. Eventually we end the segment on a Pulp Fiction reference. Still don’t know who attacked them in July though….

SmackDown WWE Championship Match
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal (c)

– This. Match. Sucked. Why anyone thought Jinder Mahal is some how a great wrestler is beyond me. He’s got a great steroid frame, sure, but he’s not entertaining in the ring, AND damn sure not on the mic. Hell, that whole trio is about as charismatic as Vince McMahon’s old-man-glasses. The match is somehow worse from their first encounter this summer, which might be due to the fact some fans actually thought Nakamura was going to dethrone Mahal. That’s funny. With that out the window, we know that Mahal is just using Nakamura’s international legacy to “try” and build Mahal’s own legacy. The problem is, Mahal has no real heat and it’s not working. As for Nakamura, I told everyone he’d never be a great headliner in the WWE and apparently the WWE, despite the decline in ratings with Mahal as champ, don’t have faith in “The Artist”. That may be because Nakamura’s English is brutal to listen to, and his charisma in the ring can only carry him so far in this country. Mahal wins cleanly(ish).

Winner: and still SmackDown WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal
Grade: 2.0

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
– I think this is Roode’s PPV debut for the Blue Brand. I might be wrong, and I don’t care enough to fact check that, so there ya go. This match was boring. There’s just nothing about Dolph Ziggler, who came out to no music or entrance highlights. Just a dark, and quiet arena; which, ironically where he wrestles his matches too. Ziggler has fallen so far and so fast in the WWE spectrum that he’s clearly the next one to go on the WWE Chopping Block. Come join us next Black Friday, as every Ziggler has GOT. TO. GO! Twenty Five or Two for Fifty! The whole match was just largely uninteresting, and Roode struggles to get the win, needing the tights to secure a victory. Post match sees Roode get jumped by Ziggler. Key reminder; Roode isn’t over, his music is. Change his music, kill his push. Just saying.

Winner: Bobby Roode
Grade: 2.0

Hell in a Cell Match
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon

– So let’s just get to the good stuff, after about 14 mins of brawling in the ring and doing really nothing new, the duo cut the bolt cutters (well, Shane did, after a few attempts), and ascended the Cell where they spent over ten minutes throwing each other onto the structure in a human version of the hit board-game from the 90’s, “Ice Breaker”. After neither man plummeted onto the ring, and to their deaths, they brawled off the cage. Eventually Owens would end up through one table, by falling off of the side (if I remember correctly, the end of Game 3 conspired with this moment). Just after that though, Shane yanks Owen’s up, and drags him to the crash-pad announce table. He lays Owens out on it, ascends the Cell again and leaps, but misses. At first glance it looked like a grip at ringside helped yank Owens up for the spot. However it was revealed, on camera moments after, that Sami Zayn intentionally pulled Owens up off the table. If that wasn’t enough, Zayn then throws Owens down on McMahon to get the three count and the victory. (Writer’s Note: Shane gave the “all good” sign post match with a thumbs up.) I expected some stupidity in this match, but I didn’t expect any swerve, let alone a Sami Zayn swerve. This is the first interesting thing they’ve done in a while, so I’m interested in this.

Winner: Kevin Owens
Grade – 4.75 (Match of the Year Candidate)

Final 2.78
– For the WWE to get a C+ with how I grade is rare as hell. This was a strong show, well, it started off and ended strong, with just enough in between to not suck. Definitely rewatch the opener, and the main event, but maybe skip the Women’s, WWE Title, and Orton/Rusev match. Just saying.