KELLER’S WWE HELL IN A CELL PPV REPORT 10/8: Mahal vs. Nakamura, Shane vs. Owens, Usos vs. New Day, Natalya vs. Charlotte

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

KELLER’S WWE HELL IN A CELL PPV REPORT
OCTOBER 8, 2017
DETROIT, MICH. AT LITTLE CEASARS ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK

KICKOFF SHOW

Panel: Renee Young, David Otunga, Peter Rosenberg

-Tye Dillinger explained to Daniel Bryan that since he beat Baron Corbin, he should be added to the U.S. Title match. Daniel Bryan agreed, saying it was a great idea. Then Tye led Bryan is “10” chants.

(Keller’s Analysis: This might have been the moment WWE became the least cool it’s been since at least the Attitude Era, maybe ever. I can’t stress enough how dorky this all came across. What’s worse is they’ve made the heel challenger, Corbin, the babyface in this match in the sense that at the last second he now has a second challenger in the match and now two babyfaces against him. Besides Triple Threat matches being way overdone so I’d be against this on principle to begin with, doing it this last second, with two babyfaces, and the dorky way it was executed, this was just an awful segment all around.)

-Baron Corbin gave essentially a babyface promo, explaining that this is unfair to be thrown at him at the last second.

(Keller’s Analysis: Corbin recited the STUPID “WWE MATH” thing they always do, saying his chances of winning went fro 50 percent to 33.3 percent. NO IT DOESN’T. Unless he believes Styles and Tye and him are all TOTALLY EQUALLY GOOD, the odds aren’t exactly split three ways. Not every NFL game has 50/50 odds. The odds vary depending on the strengths of each team involved, and often odds are 60/40 or 70/30, roughly, with two teams involved. Argh. This is an aggravating start to the evening.)

(A) SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHAD CABLE vs. THE HYPE BROS.

WINNERS: Benjamin & Gable when they pinned Zack Ryder.

MAIN PPV SHOW

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

-A long video package aired hyping the line-up and the history of HIAC match.

(1) NEW DAY (Big E & Xavier Woods w/Kofi Kingston) vs. THE USOS – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match in a Hell in a Cell match

Big E said, “Y’all better call your priest because they’re about to drop some biblical doom and gloom. We will crush your mind, your body, and your soul.” The Usos then came to the ring. Phillips explained the match would have Tornado Tag Team rules with strict tag team rules otherwise and the finish has to happen inside the Cell. Graves said it’ll be different later with Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens.

New Day and the Usos jumped outside of the ring and came up with weapons. Big E had a chain, Xavier a rainbow colored kendo stick, and the Usos chairs. They charged at each other. Big E charged at Jey, but Jey moved and Big E flew through the ropes and into the side of the cage. Jimmy then leaped over the top rope onto Xavier at ringside. After Big E speared Jimmy off the ring apron and into the side of the cage, the crowd began a “This is awesome!” chant.

Big E pulled a trombone out from under the ring and used it against Jey. The crowd chanted “One more time!” Big E handed Xavier a cow bell next. Xavier tapped it and danced, then bashed Jey with it. Big E came up next with a gong. Xavier rang it, then bashed Jey across the back with it. Xavier leaped off the second rope, but Jimmy threw a chair at him. Jey then hit Big E with a superkick for a near fall. The Usos then took turns bashing Big E with kendo sticks. Then they attacked Xavier at ringside, including charging into his head against the cage. Big E caught Jimmy on the ring apron and one-arm slammed him onto Xavier’s knee as Xavier lay on his back at ringside. They were slow to get up. Xavier then leaped off the top rope and landed on Jimmy as Big E sideslammed him mid-ring. Jey made the save.

New Day used kendo sticks to lock Jey against the cage in the corner by sliding them into the cage. They trash talked him more than they beat on him. They then turned to Jimmy who was struggling to get up elsewhere at ringside. They yanked off his shirt, then rammed his face into the ringside steps. Xavier then stood on the ringpost, but Jey broke free and went after Xavier with a kendo stick. Xavier ducked, but he superkicked Xavier instead.

Jey Uso put Big E on his shoulders, then Jimmy charged and speared Big E into the side of the cage. The crowd chanted “Holy sh—!” The Usos landed stereo splashes on Big E, one after another, and scored a very near fall. Jimmy tried to handcuff Xavier at ringside, but Xavier fought free. The crowd chanted “We Want Tables.” They weren’t cheering for a team to win, they were cheering for spots. That’s not ideal. They handcuffed Xavier’s hands and hung him hands-over-head from the ringpost. Then they took turns hitting his torso with kendo sticks over and over rapid-fire.

Big E backdropped Jimmy over the top rope, then gave Jey an overhead suplex. He went after Jimmy at ringside, ramming him hard into the side of the cage. Graves said the Cell just shifted about two feet. He did it a second time, this time ramming Jimmy into Jey in the process. Big E landed a Big Ending on Jimmy, but Jey made the save. Big E then grabbed his leg and applied a stretch muffler, but Jimmy superkicked him. The Usos stereo superkicked him next, then landed a double top rope splash for a near fall; Xavier made the save.

The Usos took turns bashing Xavier with kendo sticks while his arms were still cuffed. He used headbutts to briefly stop the attack, but he was soon overwhelmed by both Usos again. They landed the double splash on a chair on Jey next and scored a three count this time.

WINNERS: The Usos to capture the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships in 22:00. (****)

(Keller’s Analysis: That seems, well, just too violent for the opening match. It was so brutal and sometimes crossing a line of violence that seemed a bit beyond what WWE normally presents, it’s hard to imagine what’s coming up later to compete with this. I was disappointed that the match felt like it was more about big spots to the crowd then rooting for New Day to win, but that’s largely a consequence of how WWE presents and narrates the product. These two teams have good chemistry and this was a good conclusion to the feud. Not sure what’s next for New Day.)

-A commercial aired for WWE 2K18.

-They went to the announcers at ringside who talked about that was “just the first match” and there’s another HIAC later. They pivoted to hyping the U.S. Title Triple Threat match.

-Kayla Braxton interviewed A.J. Styles about having another challenger added to the match. He said he gets where Daniel Bryan is coming from by adding Tye to the match. He said now he doesn’t have to be involved in the finish to lose his title. He said he was going to prove Corbin’s shortcuts don’t work with him, but he’ll just go ahead and show the WWE Universe why he is the U.S. Champion. He quoted the late, great Tom Petty: “You can stand me up at the gates of hell, but I won’t back down.”

(2) RUSEV vs. RANDY ORTON

Phillips said this is Orton’s 143rd PPV match, tying Chris Jericho and Big Show for fifth-most of all-time. Rusev checked Orton to the mat. Orton went for an early RKO, but Rusev pushed off and slid to the floor. Graves said “once upon a time Randy could coast through the ranks, but now the game is different and the level of competition is higher.” Rusev knocked Orotn off the ring apron, and Orton flew ribs-first into the barricade. Orton gasped for air. Rusev fallaway slammed Orton into the ringside barrier. Rusev settled into a chinlock mid-ring. Orton head-butted himself free. Rusev came back with a spinning wheel kick for a near fall. At ringside, Orton dropped Rusev back-first over the barricade. Rusev came right back, though, with a clothesline.

Back in the ring Rusev kicked at Orton and yelled, “It is Rusev Day!” Orton avoided a Rusev charge into the corner and Rusev landed head-first into the ringpost. He kept his teeth in place. Orton punched away at Rusev to make a comeback, but Rusev booked another RKO attempt. Orton came back with a snap powerslam instead for a two count. He set up a DDT off the middle rope, but Rusev turned into a fallaway slam, then a high round kick to the back of Orton’s neck leading to a near fall.

Rusev went for an Accolade, but Orton rolled to the floor. Rusev charged at Orton and gave him a sidekick to the face. Graves said, “It looks like we’ll be celebrating Rusev Day instead of Columbus Day tomorrow,” he said. A minute later Orton made a comeback and hit a DDT off the middle rope. He played to the crowd and then pounded the mat to signal for the RKO. Rusev, though, spun around and nearly surprised Orton with an Accolade, but then Orton hit a sudden RKO for the win. They showed Rusev soaking up the loss at ringside as Orton celebrated to his music in the ring.

WINNER: Orton in 17:00. (***)

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match with a cool finish. It managed to hold the crowd despite following the HIAC opening tag match. They fought a lot at ringside, but overall it was paced well and told a good story.)

-They replayed the segment earlier when Tye asked for and received his wish to be added to the U.S. Title match.

(3) A.J. STYLES vs. BARON CORBIN vs. TYE DILLINGER – U.S. Title match

During Tye’s ring entrance, they showed a bunch of other announce teams on camera. The crowd taunted Corbin with a chant of “Where’s your briefcase?” Styles and Dillinger double-teamed Corbin and clotheslined him over the top rope. Tye then schoolboyed Styles for a two count. Styles came back with a roll-up for a two count. Tye hit a neckbreaker for a two count. Styles went from a leapfrog to a dropkick to down Tye. Corbin tripped Styles from ringside and yanked him to the floor. He then went after Tye, but Tye fought back right away. Corbin dropped Tye crotch-first over the top rope. Styles re-entered and went after Corbin. Corbin checked Styles hard to the mat and yelled at the crowd. Another “Where’s your briefcase!” chant started.

Corbin got in sustained offense against Tye. Styles slingshot back into the ring, but Corbin met him mid-air with a punch. He went back after Tye. Tye tried to fight back, but Corbin overwhelmed him with elbows to the face in the corner and then a two count. He threw Tye to the floor, then turned to Styles. Styles took it to Tye with a barrage of punches and then kicks and finally a clothesline to drop him. Styles lifted Corbin onto his shoulders, but Corbin elbowed out of it. Styles hit an enzuigiri and then a running forearm. Styles ducked a charging Corbin and pulled down the top rope, so Corbin flew to the floor. Styles charged at Tye, but Tye lifted and dropped him over the top rope. “10” chants broke out. Tye mounted Styles in the corner, then leaped at Corbin when he climbed to the ring apron. Styles blocked a superplex attempt by Tye. Tye lifted and dropped Styles and then scored a two count. Everyone was slow to get up.

Tye lowered his kneepad, but Styles countered into a Styles Clash attempt. Tye blocked it. Styles came back with a Calf Crusher. Corbin yanked Tye out of the ring to stop him from tapping and break the hold. Styles slingshot onto Corbin at ringside. All three were down in a pile at ringside. An “A.J. Styles” chant rang out. Corbin shoved Styles hard into the ringpost. Tye and Corbin battled inside the ring. Tye scored a two count with a small package. Corbin came back with a Deep Six seconds later. Styles then popped Corbin with a forearm, but Corbin caught Styles on the top rope and gave him a chokeslam backbreaker for a believable near fall.

Corbin hit both Styles and Corbin. Styles came back with a Pelé kick, knocking Tye onto Corbin for an inadvertent near fall for Tye. Styles avoided a charging Corbin, who went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Styles then landed a springboard 450 splash on Corbin. Tye broke up the pin. Tye limped as he chopped Styles a few times. Next he went for a Tye Breaker, but Styles broke free and then hit the Phenomenal Forearm. Corbin entered and gave Styles a big boot, knocking Styles to the floor, and then he covered Corbin for the victory. Graves called it poetic justice.

WINNER: Corbin in 19:00 to capture the U.S. Title. (***1/2)

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a really good three-way, with the usual instances of wrestlers breaking up submissions and pins to keep the match going, but not to an absurd degree. Styles was the star here, but Tye and Corbin contributed well. This in theory could move Styles out of the U.S. Title picture without losing to Corbin, but I assume he’ll be due a rematch.)

-A video feature previewed Natalya vs. Charlotte.

(4) NATAYLA vs. CHARLOTTE – WWE Women’s Title match

Phillips noted this is Natalya’s 40th PPV match, surpassing Trish Stratus for the most of any woman wrestler. Natalya went after Charlotte’s left leg early. Graves said all of the time in the dungeon (Stu Hart’s) would pay off in this match.

Several minutes into the match, Natalya powerbombed Charlotte for a near fall. Charlotte caught Natalya on a discus forearm attempt with a boot to the face. Both were down and slow to get up, with Charlotte clutching her left leg. Natalya applied a sharpshooter mid-ring. Charlotte yelled in pain and then crawled toward the corner. He powered out, sending Natalya neck-first into the bottom turnbuckle.

Charlotte landed a moonsault. When she went for a second, Natalya rolled to the ring apron. Charlotte kicked her instead. Then she climbed to the top rope and executed a moonsault to the floor on Natalya. Charlotte grabbed her leg in pain afterward. Natalya had enough and used a chair against Charlotte. The ref called for the DQ immediately. Natalya beat on Charlotte after the match for another minute, then gloated with her belt and blew her a kiss. Charlotte cried in pain afterward as the ref helped her untie her boot. Her selling was convincing.

WINNER: Charlotte via DQ in 13:00, so Natalya retained the Women’s Title. (**)

(Keller’s Analysis: This finish extends the feud. This felt like a match meant to bring the pace of the show down a couple notches and not be a standout. It was fine for what it seemed to set out to accomplish the middle of the show.

-The announcers plugged Renee Young and Peter Rosenberg would be joined by Corbin, Styles, and the Usos.

-They went to the announcers at ringside who threw to the return of the Fashion Files, titled “The Return.” The bulletin board featured Cesaro with busted from teeth titled “Tooth Fairy 3,” then pictures of Randy Orton and Kevin Owen titled “Allergic to Sleeves.” Then Raven with a caption “That’s so Raven.” And Tye’s hair with a caption: “That Hair’s a 4.”

Breeze and Fandango were packing a box titled “2B” and agreed it was case closed. They then had a flashback that went no where. They were suddenly back live and in walked The Ascension in disguise. They presented him a tube. He said it sounded like “2B.” Fandango said the case is still open. The poster inside the tube was of the Ascension which said “We Want 2B Your Friends.” They agreed they are idiots and ugly and small. They took off their disguises and Breeze was shocked. Their feelings were hurt and they left. Breeze said their disguises were incredible. There was a knock on their door. Outside was a briefcase. Breeze brought it in and asked Fandango what they should do. They agreed they’d “open it… together.” It lit up their faces and they looked enamored. It was a “new case” for them to solve. Then they teased “Pulp Fashion” coming to Smackdown on Tuesday.

-They went to the announcers. Graves said it’s a good thing he has IQ points to spare because that killed off several.

(5) JINDER MAHAL (w/The Singh Brothers) vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA – WWE Title match

Shinsuke wrestled Jinder to the mat early and went for a cross arm breaker, but Jinder forced a break with his foot on the bottom rope. Shinsuke followed up with some knee drives. Jinder rolled to the floor at the first hint of a Kinshasa. At ringside, though, Jinder shoved Nakamura back-first into the ringpost and then into the ringside barrier. Nakamura flipped over into the front row.

Back in the ring Mahal controlled the action for a while. Nakamura came back with a flying boot that showed some light. He then hit Mahal with some roundhouse kicks to the chest and head. Then he hit a running knee to the abdomen and scored a two count. Almost no crowd heat. Jinder elbowed out of an exploder suplex attempt, then he slidekicked Shinsuke. Shinsuke fought back and took out the Singh Brothers, then kicked Mahal on the ring apron. Mahal moved on a knee drop attempt, and Shinsuke landed hard on his knee at ringside. Mahal suplexed Nakamura into the ring for a two count.

He went for the Khalas, but Nakamura escaped. Nakamura hit a flying knee off the second rope to Jinder’s jaw. Still no crowd heat. A Singh Brother distracted Shinsuke as the other distracted the ref. Nakamura yelled at him, then knocked Jinder into the Singh Brother. He delivers a face driver. The Singh Brothers yelled at Nakamura again. The ref ejected them from ringside. Nakamura then hit the Kinshasa kick, but Mahal grabbed the bottom rope to stop the count. Nakamura grew frustrated, but then stood and went for another. Mahal rolled to ringside. Nakamura pursued him, but Mahal went all the way into the crowd. Nakamura dragged him back to ringside and into the ring. Mahal kicked Nakamura as he re-entered the ring. Nakamura arm dragged him, but Mahal surprised him with the Khalas for the clean win.

WINNER: Mahal in 12:00 to retain the WWE Title. (*1/4)

(Keller’s Analysis: That was flat, and this seems to mark the end of my having any hopes Mahal gets better quickly enough, but it also plants serious doubt Nakamura can rebound to anywhere near the stardom predicted for him in WWE, and I’m starting to blame him as much as the booking.)

-Dasha Fuentes attempted to interview Owens, but he dismissed her and cut his promo on his own. He said every time they have a HIAC match, the commentators talk about how anybody who walks into that Cell isn’t the same afterward. He said what they don’t, but should warn everyone about is him, the most dangerous, unforgiving man in WWE. He said he cannot wait. He wondered why no one is talking about how he almost ruined his livelihood for his family when he screwed him out of the U.S. Title. He said he is a bad person who abuses his power and makes people who work for him feel like lesser people. He said he will teach him a lesson, even if it means grinding every piece of flesh off of his face. He said he is ready to go that far to make sure he gets the message. He said for all he has put him through, he is sending Shane to hell right where he belongs.

(6) ROBERT ROODE vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER

After Roode’s “Glorious” entrance, Ziggler came out without any music and a darkened screen. Graves said Ziggler doesn’t need an entrance because he believes he is the best in-ring performer in WWE. Graves said this is his chance to silence the doubters. Roode settled into a side headlock a minute in. Ziggler escaped and pounded Roode with punches. When Ziggler gloated, Roode exploded out of the corner with a forearm. He rammed Ziggler into the top turnbuckle. Ziggler came back with a standing dropkick for a soft two count.

A Ziggler had Roode down in a sleeper a few minutes later, Graves said Ziggler would have big bragging rights if he spoiled Roode’s WWE PPV debut. The crowd still wasn’t back into the show. Roode side-stepped a charging Ziggler and sent him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Both were slow to get going. Roode got the better of a mid-ring exchange. He hit a blockbuster seconds later for a near fall. Saxton said Ziggler is finding out Roode is more than a ring entrance. They exchanged DDT’s and near falls.

Ziggler went for a Zig Zag, but Roode held onto the top rope. Ziggler applied a sleeper. Roode drooped. Ziggler followed up with a Fameasser for near fall. Roode’s kickout got no pop. Graves said Ziggler didn’t get all of his Fameasser. Both were slow to get up. Ziggler stomped the mat in the corner, but Roode side-stepped him and landed a spinebuster. He played to the crowd, but Ziggler countered in a rollup with a yank of tights. They rolled through on each other several times and Roode ended up getting the win with a yank of tights. Afterward, immediately, Ziggler hit the Zig Zag. Graves said Roode beat Ziggler at his own game.

WINNER: Roode in 12:00. (**)

(Keller’s Analysis: This was fine, but probably should have been the second match of the night, as this was too many matches in a row that seemed to take the crowd down. Maybe that was by design to help Shane, but I wonder if it will backfire because the crowd might too far gone to recover. I don’t see how this match or the finish played much into all of the TV time Ziggler got headed into the match.)

-The announcers hyped TLC in two weeks.

-A long video package aired on Owens-Shane.

(7) KEVIN OWENS vs. SHANE MCMAHON – Hell in a Cell match

Shane came out first and received a “Shane-O-Mac” chant. He pounded his fist to his heart. Graves said Owens is depraved and truculent. Shane slidekicked Owens to start the match. They fought at ringside before the door was closed. Shane kneed Owens and then rammed him into the ringside barricade. Shane threw his “punches.” Owens threw Shane into the side of the cage and then tossed him against the barricade. Shane popped up and leaped off the barricade with a clothesline onto Owens. Shane cartwheel kicked Owens. Owens kicked Shane in the gut and then entered the cage and closed the door to gave himself a rest. He yelled, “Screw you, you piece of garbage.” Shane kicked the door into Owens’ face.

Shane threw Owens into the cage, then made sure the ref chained it closed. Owens recovered and kicked Shane off the ring apron into the side of the cage. He threw Shane hard into the ringside steps. Owens asked the camera man if he “got a good shot.” Owens yelled, “Some on Shane, do it for you kids, do it for your dad!” A loud battle chant broke out of “Shane-O-Mac / Kevin Owens.” If only Shane had asked, “What’s up, Detroit” maybe he’d have the whole crowd.

Owens stomped away at Shane in the ring, then he stood on the side of his head. He yelled, “This is my g—damned show!” He short-arm clotheslined Shane and then landed a senton for a two count. Owens yelled that if Shane was smart, he’d have stayed down. Graves said emotion brought Shane to the match, but Owens is going to finish it. Owens then hit a cannonball in the corner. He scored a near fall. Owens yelled Shane’s kids at ringside and said he should be their role model. Owens climbed to the top rope. Shane lifted his knees on a flip splash attempt. Both were slow to get up, as Shane grabbed at his knee.

Shane punched away at Owens and whipped him into the ropes and then landed a flying elbow. Shane landed a DDT. Fans chanted “You still got it” at the 47 year old. Shane leaped off the top rope with a shooting star press, but Owens moved and Shane crash landed. Owens climbed to the top rope and landed a frog splash for a two count. When Owens went for a Pop-up Powerbomb, Shane turned it into a triangle attempt. He locked it on mid-ring. Owens slid to the floor and then powerbombed Shane onto the ringside steps and scored a two count. The announcers said the ref counted because falls counted anywhere in this match. Both were slow to get up and they went to a wide shot of the arena. Owens asked, “Why are you making me do this?” They were a few minutes past the three hour mark at this point.

The crowd chanted “We Want Tables!” Owens looked under the ring and pulled out a table and leaped it against the side of the cage. He then climbed onto the ring apron and then hit a running cannonball, but Shane moved and Owens crashed through the table. A “Holy sh—!” chant broke out. Shane draped his arm over Owens’ chest and scored a two count. Shane then bashed Owens across his back with half of the tabletop. Shane pulled a trash can out from under the ring and threw it into the ring. Phillips called it a calling card of Shane over the years. He hit Owens with the tabletop again.

Back in the ring, the deliberate pace continued. Shane propped up Owens in the corner, then placed the trash can against him. Shane took his time, looking quite winded and sweaty. He climbed to the top rope and launched himself at Owens with a coast-to-coast. Shane grabbed the back of his head and eventually crawled over and covered Owens. Owens put his foot on the bottom rope. The ref stopped the count. Graves said the ref made a mistake as the pin should have counted because of the Falls Count Anywhere rules. He said the ref “got caught up in the moment.” So is that the moral victory or technicality built into the match for Shane? Shane ordered the door to be opened. Graves said when you’re commissioner, you can make your own rules. Shane used a cutter to break the chain. He struggled to get them to work for a minute, but finally did. He swung open the door.

Back in the ring Shane bashed Owens across his back with a trash can. Some fans chanted “One more time!” Shane kicked Oweat 1ns to ringside. Owens used a low blow to stop him, then DDT’d him onto the metal ramp. Owens then lifted Shane and drove him crotch-first into the side of the open cage door. Owens ground Shane’s face against the side of the cage. Owens headbutted Shane onto an announce table. Shane had the wherewithal to make sure his shirt was pulled down to cover up his gut. Owens then stood on the barricade. He paused, though, and looked up. Then he climbed the cage. Saxton said Owens is not thinking sanely. Graves agreed and said Owens is looking to end Shane McMahon. Owens looked down from the top. Graves said people are about to find out how far Owens was willing to go. Owens pretended he was going to jump, but then he hesitated and backed down. He rubbed his face. Shane was down there a very long time as all of this played out, to the point that it wasn’t the least bit believable Shane would stay in place.

Shane stood up and climbed the side of the cage. Owens eagerly awaited his arrival. He hit Shane before Shane could climb to the top. Shane dangled by one hand and one foot. Shane punched back and made it to the top. Shane battled Owens on the roof. Graves said bad, bad things happen on the top of Hell in a Cell. They exchanged punches. Shane gave Owens a neckbreaker onto one of the tiles of fence on top. Graves said he was praying the roof held up. A loud “Shane-O-Mac” chant broke out. Shane body slammed Owens onto another ceiling tile. Both were slow to get up. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!”

Shane next suplexed Owens. Graves said the roof of the cage was flexing “and this isn’t going to end well.” Both were slow to get up. Owens superkicked Shane. Then he gave him a senton splash. Graves said everyone was holding their breath with every move. Saxton said it’s a feeling of being on the brink of disaster. Owens then set up Shane for a Pop-up Powerbomb. Shane backdropped out of it. Owens grabbed at his ankle. Both were slow to rise again.

They exchanged punches. Owens then gave Shane a Pop-Up Powerbomb. Graves said, “Enough! I thought for sure that was the end of Shane McMahon. I don’t know if you thank modern engineering or God that the roof of the cell held up after that. I’m speechless as to what we’re witnessing right now.” Owens stood over Shane and then looked at the edge. Owens tried to toss Shane over the edge, but Shane dropped down and put on the breaks. Graves said Owens said he’d toss Shane off the top, but he didn’t think eh’d actually do it. They exchanged more blows on the roof. Owens punched a charging Shane, then scaled down the side of the cage. The crowd booed. Shane crawled over and grabbed at Owens. Owens kept climbing down. Shane followed. They stood on the middle rung of the structure. Shane rammed Owens’ head into the cage. Owens teased falling backward. After another ram of his head into the cage, Owens did fall backwards through the table below. Medics checked on Owens. One asked, “Is he responsive?” Shane climbed down and caught his breath as medics continued to tend to him.

Shane then leaped off the top of the cage, but Sami Zayn showed up and yanked Owens out of Shane’s path. The announcers wondered why Shane would do that. Medics checked on Shane. The camera showed it was Sami, which got a small pop and then some boos, too. “What in the hell is going on?!” exclaimed Graves. The medics brought a backboard out for Shane. Sami dragged Owens onto Shane and yanked the ref down and told him to count. He did. End of match. Shane was put on a backboard and in a neckbrace.

WINNER: Owens.

(Keller’s Analysis: That was a nail biter and stressful, with a big angle at the end, but also ridiculous. People might talk about this match for years, which is what they were going for, but it was nothing but an overly long unapologetic stunt fest. Shane’s heavy breathing and slow pace hurt the match.)

15 Comments on KELLER’S WWE HELL IN A CELL PPV REPORT 10/8: Mahal vs. Nakamura, Shane vs. Owens, Usos vs. New Day, Natalya vs. Charlotte

  1. Sorry but Keller I cannot let you get away with complaining about a Hell In A Cell Match being too violent. It is a Hell In A Cell Match. That is the license to throw out the tools. I think that was the best way to open the show as you want to get the fans pumped up and energized from the get go. Totally disagree with your assesment on that match.

    • The point I made was it came across as too violent FOR AN OPENING MATCH and just noted it went beyond what WWE normally does in terms of the immobilizing of wrestlers twice in the match as they took a beating, which is also beyond their normal mix of moves. I’m not even critical of that as much as making note of it.

      • Yes, but the argument still stands. It is a Hell in a Cell match between two teams that hate each other, they needed to come out ready to murder death kill and that’s exactly what we got and then some. If the New Day didn’t kick it up a notch, people would have complained about them relying too much on jokes. Here, they knew that they were about to go through the Gauntlet, and responded in kind. I personally found this to be the best WWE match I’ve seen so far this year, and one of the better Hell in a Cell matches of recent memory. I think that the two Hell in a Cell matches showed exactly why they need to go back to making this a super rare occurrence though, Shane vs Owens did very little for me, which is the same thing I can say for most HIAC matches that are just two guys with slight disagreements working this match like it’s a typical cage match

  2. Time for Shinsuke to go back to NJPW. The logical payoff would’ve been for Mahal to get his comeuppance (especially after those awful promos) but nothing ever works the logical way. This was a new low.

  3. This was a terrible PPV…the finish to the Women’s Title match sucked like a Dyson…scientific match, watching Charlotte sell her butt off, to have it end with a near off screen chair shot? It seriously killed my PPV buzz…the “Main Event” *COUGH* was truly a waste of Mister Owens’ talent…

  4. It was a Shane match. If it wasn’t an unapologetic stuntfest people would be disappointed. When Shane is headlining, it basically says “unapologetic stuntfest” on the marquee. My complaint with the match is just that Shane comes out looking stronger than Smackdown’s #1 heel, but KO’s heat is strong enough to take that hit so it’s not as bad.

    The Sami turn should be interesting too.

    One thing is for sure, the KO show and the AJ Styles show remain a mile more compelling than the WWE World Title scene. I’m hoping that this transitions to Styles taking the title back at the next opportunity.

  5. I thought this was a very middle of the road PPV. A fifty year old man who is out of shape in the man event was just blah. What does that say about his opponent? Mahal is just terrible. The ratings will continue to be in the toilet. Corbin as champion? He makes a better janitor than a wrestler.

  6. The tag match was the only highlight for me. The rest of the show was just there for the most part. I haven’t watched a lot of WWE lately, but they gave me the Network for free for the rest of the year so I decided to watch this. I won’t say I wasted 3 hours of my time, but I am glad I didn’t pay for it. How Mahal is champion, and Aj and Nakamura are mid-carders just shows how out of touch this company has become.

    It felt like a paint-by-numbers show, and the matches besides the tag team match felt that way too. Disappointing.

  7. No offence Wade, but I don’t see why you get so riled up by the statistics thing. Yes it’s not exactly right, but the crux of it is – competitors have less chance of winning if there’s more people in the ring. Plus we are dealing with a pre-determined outcome here, so odds hardly matter. I do understand that’s part of the point you’re making, but I really think the casual viewer doesn’t mind their attempts to put across the main point of having less chance of winning in a triple threat. Probably just another thing they could communicate better, but you could say that about every aspect of their shows. In general they do a pretty decent job, hence why we watch right?

    • I’ve said all I want them to add is the word “roughly.” But to say 33.3 percent of winning a three-way is just wrong. It is using a precise number when a general number is called for. As for it being predetermined, that of course doesn’t matter in the narrative any more than you’d hold “Game of Thrones” writers accountable for their characters speaking accurately about the world they inhabit. Just once I want a heel to say: “My odds of winning a two person match was 100 percent, and my odds of winning a three-way match is 100 percent. Because I’m not losing no matter how many wrestlers they throw in this match.”

    • He just hasn’t risen above the booking, and as I’ve reported, I’ve heard he’s got a rep for being pretty laid back about everything and not necessarily motivated in a way that inspires management to work really hard to get him over as a special attraction.

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