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One Helluva of a Night: Hell In A Cell 2017 recap

Detroit went through hell as Smackdown hosted Hell In A Cell (HIAC) in SmackDown’s PPV return after a near three month hiatus. Some things have changed since the respective aftermaths of Battleground and SummerSlam on SmackDown and in the WWE Universe as a whole. Coming in there were questions that needed answering. Would The Hype Bros finally breakup after being one of the most cohesive duos outside of The New Day due to frustration after mounting losses? Would Charlotte regain her winning PPV dominance? Will Shane be avenged against the Prize Fighter, Kevin Owens? Will Baron regain the momentum towards his destined stardom? Lastly, will Jinder Mahal continue his improbable and Machiavellian title reign?  Let’s see…..

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Kickoff Show)

The very existence of The Hype Bros. was at stake in this match. The duo has been on the verge of splintering for sometime and a loss would virtually guarantee a split. This kickoff match may well see them kick themselves off the tag team map. Despite the tension within the Hype Bros. hype machine, they came out and intensely competed against their opponents in a high paced match that set the tone. After seemingly getting on track to win the match, the Hype Bros. lack of unity came through yet again. Benjamin escaped an attempt by Zach Ryder to win it and he took advantage of the resulting bickering between the Bros. to set up Zach for Gable to come in and double team him for the pinfall. The breakup of the Hype Bros. may finally happen Tuesday if tonight’s drama was any indication.

Winner: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin

Tag Team Championship: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos (Hell In A Cell)

The New Day and The Usos continued their heated rivalry in what’s been billed as the final chapter of their war. This match was historic since it’s the first true tag team in HIAC History. Expectations were high and this match was truly the Match of The Night. It really should’ve been a co main event or the sole main event. Xavier Woods & Big E represented the New Day. Xavier had been recovering from an injury, so tonight marked his return to ring action. The match was brutal from the bell. Everyone used weapons on each other and took big shots from their foes. Xavier Woods was arguably the performer of the match. He was isolated at times, took big hits, and gave big hits as well. Big E delivered a hellacious spear that will be talked about for a time.  Xavier ultimately couldn’t overcome a barrage of kendo stick shots and a Double Use Splash as The Usos captured the belts for the fifth time.

Winner: The Usos


Randy Orton vs. Rusev

This feud is questionable to say the least. Rusev has been somewhat misused, was working with a nonsensical gimmick in “Rusev Day”, and because the tag team championship was main event worthy, this match didn’t have much of a chance to reach the bar set by The Usos & New Day. Randy Orton owned the crowd throughout but Rusev dominated him physically throughout the match. The Bulgarian Brute couldn’t quite put away The Viper however. After a series of reversals and as is the trend, Randy defeated Rusev with a RKO.

Winner: Randy Orton

United States Championship — AJ Styles (c) vs. Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger (Triple Threat Match)

This match received an audible and added Tye into the match after he lobbied to be in the picture after beating Baron. Tye didn’t disappoint and showed he belonged in this match. Tye and AJ predictably double teamed Baron due to their respective lack of size. Baron taken out of the equation temporarily and AJ and Tye traded blows. Tye and AJ fought each other well while Baron was out of the ring. Baron inserted himself back into action and dominated AJ and Tye physically for a time. AJ rallied and landed a stunning 450 on Baron. Unfortunately, the pin was broken up by Tye. AJ later hit Tye with a Phenomenal Forearm but Baron took him out after he hit it and pinned Tye for his first title. This win should help get Baron moving back forward. He was slowed in recent months because of his documented stance on sports related concussions, especially since he was played in the NFL. Hopefully, he’ll be given a chance to fulfill the promise he’s shown towards becoming a bigger star. The last second decision to make this one a triple threat turned a solid match into a sleeper hit. If it weren’t for the Usos vs. The New Day, it may’ve been the best match of the night.

Winner: Baron Corbin

Women’s Championship: Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

This match was more of wrestling match than everything else on the card. Charlotte sold a knee injury throughout the match but stayed in it throughout. Natalya was brutal but couldn’t put away The Queen. The match was cut short when Natalya disqualified herself by attacking Charlotte with a chair. Charlotte won but due to championship rules, Natalya retained the belt. It’s highly likely this feud will continue.

Winner: Charlotte

WWE Championship — Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Everyone had their hopes that The King of Strong Style could end the reign of The Modern Day Maharajah. Shinsuke came out to his usual pop and Jinder came out to his usual scorn from the crowd. The match was a standard affair given the current champion. Rest holds, being outwrestled by the challenger for a time, and interference from the Singh brothers are the hallmarks of a Jinder Mahal match. The Singh brothers interference was limited in this match due to a late ejection, which was surprising. Still, they made the difference as they provided the opening, along with bad luck for Shinsuke, for Jinder to escape with the win. It was the “cleanest” win for Jinder during his reign so far but his championship reign is so tainted that it makes Chipotle’s E. Coli outbreaks tame by comparison.

Winner: Jinder Mahal

Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode

In a surprise turn, Dolph didn’t do his latest gimmick of mocking his opponent’s entrance en route to the ring. Bobby came out to a huge pop and it was expected that Dolph would do his thing but his not doing left the crowd stunned. That was the high point of the match due to the dead crowd. The match ended with Roode reversing Dolph’s attempts to cheat in order to win. Dolph attacked Bobby in sore loser’s defense afterwards.

Winner: Bobby Roode

Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon (Hell in a Cell)

The main event was the war that was expected from the second both combatants entered the ring. Shane surprised Kevin a bit with his fearlessness but Kevin had his way for a time with Shane. He taunted him and his family who was watching from ringside. Shane continued his comical trend of attempting moonsaults that never connect. He did have shades of Rob Van Dam when he hit Kevin with a Coast to Coast. The match also continued the trend of abuse against the Spanish announcers’ table as well. The action ultimately proceeded to the top of cage after Kevin hesitated to risk himself to dive into Shane from the top of the cage as Shane would do. The action saw the latter scenario about to play out after Shane took Kevin out and had him laid out prone on a table. In a twist that was on the level on The Crying Game, Sami Zayn pulled Kevin away at the last instant and rolled him on top of the ruin that was Shane McMahon. The ending should serve to get Sami some limelight and a big storyline. All in all, the match was good. It was largely due to this wrinkle but entertaining nonetheless.

Winner: Kevin Owens

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