Welcome everyone to the TJRWrestling live coverage of Hell in a Cell from the brand new Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. I will be filling in for John Canton tonight. Our first bit of news is that during the Kickoff show, Tye Dillinger was shown asking Daniel Bryan to be added to the U.S. Title match since he defeated Baron Corbin on Tuesday. Daniel agreed and so we now have a Triple Threat match taking place tonight.
The Hype Bros vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
Ryder isn’t even trying to match Mojo and show they’re a team anymore. Foreshadowing? Benjamin & Gable on the other hand do have matching attire now. Good reaction from the crowd when Benjamin and Ryder faced off and they followed that up with some really good back and forth action. Ryder went for a handshake after it and Benjamin accepted, but then pulled him in for a spinebuster. Ryder went to the floor and we went to commercial.
Ryder was in peril after the break for awhile until he blocked a superplex attempt from Benjamin and then nailed a nice looking missile dropkick. Both guys got their tags and Mojo does what Mojo does. He hit a nice tilt-a-whirl slam for a near fall. Gable went for a moonsault, landed on his feet and then hit an overhead belly to belly on Mojo, then went right back up top and nailed the moonsault. That was impressive. They hit a double team back suplex/knee strike but Mojo managed to kick out. Mojo does his version of Hulking up and a Pounce on Gable. They set up for The Hype Ryder but Mojo loses Shelton. Shelton hits Paydirt on Ryder but Mojo breaks it up. They set up Ryder for the double team powerbomb/clothesline and that got the win. A VERY good tag match that was given a good amount of time. No follow up with The Hype Bros after the match, they went right back to the panel.
Winners: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin
Very good video package to open the show. Lot of highlights from past Cell matches and then they hyped both Cell matches, the Women’s title match, and the WWE title match.
Hell in a Cell Smackdown Tag Team Title Match
The New Day (c) vs. The Usos
Yep, you read that right. They’re opening with this match. Good luck to the rest of the show. Crowd shots make it look like a full house, which is good to see considering how TV tapings have gone. New Day cut a promo before the match. Nothing too comical and they understand the seriousness of this match. It’s Xavier and Big E for the champs. Kofi to the outside of the Cell but he stays at ringside. All four men start by going outside and getting weapons. kendo sticks, biker chains, and chairs are brought in. New Day with a double team wheelbarrow fist drop as Xavier had the chain wrapped around his hand. Big E went for his dive on Jey but he moved and Big E went into the Cell. Xavier goes outside but then Jimmy dives over the top rope and slams Xavier into the Cell. Big E comes back inside and this time he connects with the Spear into the Cell. Xavier sacrified Franchesca but he had a backup under the ring. He went ahead and destroyed that one too. Big E then finds a cowbell, which of course leads Corey Graves to say, “We don’t need more cowbell!” Tremendous. Next up is a gong and that’s slammed over Jey. They set up for Midnight Drive but Jimmy throws a chair in his face and then Jey superkicks Big E for a near fall.
Multiple kendo stick shots to Big E. The Usos then do the Umaga backside charge to Xavier on the Cell. Back and forth between Big E and Jey on the apron and Big E does a Urinagi to the floor where Xavier was waiting with a backstabber. That looked gnarly. They hit the Midnight Drive (Tom Phillips called it Up Up Down Down) on Jimmy but Jey manages to make the save. New Day corner Jey on the outside and they trap him with multiple kendo sticks inside the cell. Very creative spot to make it 2 on 1. It doesn’t last long though, which is a bit of a shame. Jey gets Big E on his shoulders on the outside and Jey dives through the ropes and does a shoulder tackle that sends him and Big E hard into the Cell. Awesome spot. Double Uso splashes from the top rope but Big E manages to kick out. The Usos get handcuffs and tie up Xavier over the ringpost with them. That leads him wide open to kendo stick shots. Big E has a broken handcuff but I don’t think he was ever actually cuffed. He takes on The Usos single handedly and spears The Usos into the Cell. He hits the Big Ending on Jimmy but Jimmy kicks out. Multiple Uso superkicks to Big E and then a double Uso splash, this time simultaniously, but Xavier able to make the save. This is better than advertised if you can believe it. Xavier is still handcuffed but he’s fighting off numerous kendo shots. They lay him out with a chair on top of him and they go for the double Uso splash again and we have new Smackdown Tag Champions yet again.
Winners: New Smackdown Tag Team Champions, The Usos
K-Tank’s Take: A surprising result to say the least. Maybe WWE knows they don’t want this rivalry to end, but I don’t know how to follow this. Also says something to that rumor that WWE wants New Day to have the record for most title reigns. This was absolutely OUTSTANDING. My hats off to both teams. Everyone came out looking better than ever. As I said at the beginning, good luck to the rest of the show.
AJ Styles did a promo backstage and said he understand why Dilliger is in the match but he’s not happy about it. He wanted to prove once and for all that he’s better than Corbin. Styles quotes Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” to end it.
Rusev vs. Randy Orton
Really thought this would be Roode/Ziggler, but I’m glad it’s this match because it’s by far the least interesting. Orton even asks for the crowd to make some noise and acknowledges the Cell above to say he gets they’re following something awesome. Orton went for the RKO early but Rusev blocked it. Orton with his typical offense until Rusev blocks his second rope DDT and then launches Orton off the apron into the guardrail. He followed that up with a fallaway slam into the guardrail. Rusev hit a nice spinning heel kick but Orton kicked out rather quickly. They went to the outside and Orton hit a back suplex on to the top of the guardrail but Rusev shook it off and hit Orton with a clothesline. Rusev landed the Cesaro turnbuckle spot and luckily kept all his teeth in tact. Rusev blocked a second RKO but ended up caught in the snap powerslam. Rusev blocks the second rope DDT again and kicks Orton right in the side of the head, but Orton kicked out. Orton avoided The Accolade and went to outside but Rusev followed him out there and landed his jumping side kick. Rusev missed a splash off the second rope and this time Orton nails his DDT. Orton sets up for the RKO but Rusev surprises him and turns his set up into The Accolade but Orton fights that off, gets up and nails the RKO…. outta nowhere.
Winner: Randy Orton
K-Tank’s Take: It’s what you expected it to be. Solid for what it was. Nice finishing sequence for sure.
They showed a new KFC commercial to announce Col. Sanders is a playable character for WWE2K18. Be sure to buy your copy immediately. This is where Kurt Angle dressed up as Col. Sanders and I can at least say this was a far better commercial than the Ziggler and HBK ones.
Triple Threat U.S. Title Match
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles (c)
100% pro AJ, 100% anti Baron, 50/50 for Dillinger, which looked to surprise him during the in ring introductions. AJ and Tye double team Baron to start off. They get him out of the ring and then exchange multiple quick pin attempts. AJ lands the best dropkick in WWE and then gets dragged to the outside by Baron. Baron crotches Tye on the top rope and dumps him to the outside and now AJ is back in. Baron overpowers AJ and chunks him 3/4 across the ring. Tye sneaks in, but Baron sends him flying into AJ and then he sends AJ ribs first into the ringpost. Good sequence by Baron. Baron was in control for a good portion of the match after this. AJ tried slingshotting in the ring but Baron caught him with a big right hand in mid-air. AJ finally gets back into it with a flurry of shots. AJ went for the Styles Clash but Baron dumped him to the apron. AJ ends up sending Baron to the floor and now Tye is back in. Tye with punches in the corner and goes for a top rope superplex but AJ blocks it. Tye comes right back with a modified Codebreaker and gets a near fall. AJ blocks the Tye Breaker but then Tye blocks the Styles Clash. AJ regroups and locks on the Calf Crusher. Baron breaks the hold though by dragging Tye to the outside. AJ dives over the top rope with his Phenomenal Forearm to Baron. AJ gets sent hard into the ringpost by Baron. Baron gets back in the ring and Tye tries quick pinning him but Baron kicks out.
AJ tries the Phenomenal Forearm but Baron grabs him by the throat and nails a awesome looking backbreaker out of it. AJ kicks out on a good near fall. Baron gets superkicked by Tye, who gets Pele kicked by AJ, which lands Tye on Baron and Baron has to kick out. Good sequence there. AJ gets Baron set up for the Springboard 450, nails it, but Tye gets the break. AJ avoids the Tye Breaker and sets up and lands the Phenomenal Forearm. Baron slides in, kicks AJ out of the ring and we have a new champion!!
Winner: New U.S. Champion, Baron Corbin
K-Tank’s Take: Now that it’s happened, it is blatantly obvious why Tye was thrown into the match, to protect AJ while getting the title off of him. I thought it would be to give Baron reason to ask for another title match and AJ would pin Tye. Nonetheless, HUGE win for Baron. I am beyond happy for this result. He needed this.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Charlotte with a quick pin early and then her dad’s strut. Natalya slaps her and goes for the Sharshooter but Charlotte fights out. Natalya then goes to work on the left knee. Natalya yelled out if the crowd likes Charlotte and literally no one responded. So to say the crowd isn’t into this, is an understatement. Charlotte finally gets to her feet, only to be dropped again with a discus clothesline. Natalya tries the Sharpshooter again but Charlotte fights out. Charlotte with a back slide but Natalya kicks out. The Flair chops gets some crowd reaction finally. Charlotte tries going for the moonsault, but she can’t do it on one leg, so Natalya comes from underneath and turns it into a sitout powerbomb. Charlotte manages to kick out. Charlotte lands a big boot and goes for Figure 4/8 but Natalya kicks her to the outside and then slams her knee into the steel steps. Natalya for the third time goes for the Sharpshooter and this time it’s locked on. Charlotte eventually rolls through and sends Natalya into the turnbuckles. Charlotte tries the moonsault again but Natalya rolls to the outside. That just makes Charlotte attempt it to the floor and she lands it, but of course lands badly on the injured knee. Natalya grabs a chair and uses on Charlotte for the cheap disqualification. She repeatedly hits it on Charlotte’s knee and then lets Charlotte know she’s pathetic and she’ll be champion forever.
Winner: Charlotte Flair by disqualification
K-Tank’s Take: That was a bad match and an even worse finish. The crowd was never into it, which is discouraging. Just not good all around.
Fashion Files Returns Finally
They had a sign of Cesaro from No Mercy that said “Tooth Fairy 3” underneath it. That got a good reaction. The Ascension in bad costumes drop off a “tube” to play off “2B” from the last File. Inside the tube is a poster of The Ascension that says, “We want ‘2B’ your friends”. Breezango make fun of them, not knowing it’s them in costume of course. The Ascension leaves depressed. A knock on the door and there’s a briefcase there. They open it and a bright gold light comes from it. We will now get “Pulp Fashion” on Tuesday. That was…. not very good.
WWE Title Match
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal (c) (w/The Singh Brothers)
Big reaction for Nakamura’s entrance, but not so much during the introductions, if that makes sense. Nakamura in full control early. Mahal went to the outside to regroup, Nakamura followed him out there, and ended up getting rammed into the ringpost. Then Mahal dumped him over the guardrail into the crowd. Mahal with his standard offense while the crowd tries to get behind Nakamura. He sends Nakamura hard into the turnbuckles. Mahal’s focus is on the left shoulder. The crowd is already getting restless though. Nakamura with a kick to the head and then comes off the ropes with a front dropkick that BARELY grazed Mahal but Mahal sells it anyways. Nakamura sets up Mahal for his knee to the ribs on the top rope, nails it, but Mahal kicks out. Mahal gets sent to the floor and then Nakamura follows suit. He takes out both Singh brothers and then a knee strike to the side of the head. Nakamura jumps off the apron for another knee attack but Mahal moves and Nakamura lands hard on his knee on the floor. Mahal gets him back in, hits a dropkick and goes for a pin, but Nakamura kicks out. Mahal goes for his finisher, but Nakamura turns it into a pin and Mahal kicks out. Nakamura goes to the second rope and comes off with a knee strike. The Singhs gets involved but Nakamura rams Mahal into one of them and goes for a rollup but Mahal kicks out. Nakamura lands a front suplex but The Singhs get back up on the apron. Lil Naich is the ref and he kicks out the Brothers from ringside. Meanwhile, Nakamura lands KINSHASA! The ref is still distracted though, so when he comes in for the pin, Mahal is able to grab the ropes. They go to the outside for a second, come back in, Mahal dodges another Kinshasa, hooks on his Cobra Clutch slam and 1-2-3. Ladies and gentleman, that is a CLEAN win. Sorry to all the Mahal haters.
Winner: Still WWE Champion, Jinder Mahal
K-Tank’s Take: Just based on early results, I have to assume Nakamura is out of the title picture and it’ll be AJ Styles now. I don’t see how Nakamura stays in it after that. That was very decisive. One finisher and it was over. I like Mahal as champion (I know how much in the minority I am) so this doesn’t bother me, but it’s a curious decision when you look at recent attendance figures. If we’re getting Nakamura vs. Styles at Mania, it’s either not going to be for the title, or they’re going to have to rebuild Nakamura quite a bit heading into Royal Rumble.
Kevin Owens is backstage now for a promo. Owens talks about how dangerous the Cell is and how Shane has abused his power for too long. He’s sending Shane to Hell tonight, right where he belongs.
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler’s music hits for a second, but then is cut off and there’s no music/video and Dolph just walks out. Roode outwrestles Ziggler in the beginning, making sure to let Ziggler know it’s GLORIOUS. Ziggler fights back in the corner but then gets drilled with a running clothesline. Another slow, methodical match with Ziggler in control. I’ll have more on that after the main event. Ziggler locks on the sleeper hold, which is beyond ironic. Roode comes back with a blockbuster and a urinagi, but Ziggler kicks out of both. Ziggler gets out of the GLORIOUS DDT and turns it into his high jumping DDT. Roode kicks out. Ziggler once again locks on the sleeper. Roode gets out and Ziggler goes for the Famasser. He misses Roode’s head and it turns into more of a bulldog. The crowd is not happy and chanting something I can’t make out. Ziggler goes for Sweet Chin Music, turning up the music and all, but Roode moves and catches Zigger with a spinebuster. Roode charges Ziggler in the corner, Ziggler gets out of the way and they trade multiple rollups with each grabbing the tights… Roode finally manages to get the win with Ziggler’s tights held. He barely has a chance to get his arm raised as Ziggler comes from behind with the Zig Zag.
Winner: Bobby Roode
K-Tank’s Take: Remember the complaints about Nakamura’s PPV debut against Dolph? Yeah, same thing here. Not exactly a great showcase of Roode with an even more odd finish if you’re trying to get him over as a babyface. I guess this shall continue.
Hell in a Cell – Falls Count Anywhere
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Shane’s family is front row for this. And we’re starting on the outside for this one. Owens entered the Cell but Shane did a baseball slide that sent him out the door. Shane with his legendary punches, but Owens selling like a million bucks. Shane gets sent into the Cell, but climbs on the guardrail and clotheslines Owens. Shane then lands a cartwheel kick. Owens goes inside the Cell to get away from Shane but Shance just kicks the door in Owens’ face. Both men are inside now and the door is locked. Shane gets on the apron but Owens sends him flying into the Cell. Owens mocks Shane’s dance in front of his kids, who are smiling. Probably not the visual they were hoping for. Owens during his attack on Shane yells out, clear as day, “This is my God D–n show!” Well that’s not PG. Owens lands a cannonball in the corner but Shane kicks out. Owens goes for a senton off the top rope but Shane gets his knees up. Shane with more punches and then comes off the ropes with a back elbow. Shane with a wraparound DDT. Shane to the top rope and misses on a Shooting Star Press. Owens to the top now and connects with a frog splash but Shane kicks out again. Shane counters a pop up powerbomb into a Triangle Choke. None of Shane’s offense looks good tonight. I don’t know that it ever does, but it’s really blatant tonight. Owens crawls to the floor to escape, Shane locks it in again on the apron, but Owens powers him up and powerbombs him on the steel steps.
Owens yells at Shane, “Why are you making me do this?” as he continues his assault. The crowd wants tables and Owens obliges by setting one up against the cell like you would in the corner of the ring. Owens sets Shane up on it and hops on the apron. Owens jumps off with a cannonball, Shane moves, and Owens explodes through the table. Shane grabs a broken half of the table and slams it over Owens’ back. Shane now gets a trash can and sets up Owens with it for the Coast to Coast. Shane lands it cleanly. He drags out Owens for a pin but Owens gets his foot on the rope. Corey Graves correctly states that a rope break should not count in this type of match. It’s a small oversight in the match, but that’s why he’s awesome to call it out. Shane looks up to the top of the Cell and goes outside and demands the Cell be unlocked. The ref won’t do it, so he grabs bolt cutters and does it himself.
Owens crawls away from Shane and both men are now out of the Cell. Owens with a low blow and then DDT’s Shane on the steel bottom of the ramp. Owens then gets Shane in a back suplex position and crotches Shane on the open door. They end up by the announce tables and Owens starts to clear off the Spanish table. Shane gets set up on the table, Owens goes to the top of the guardrail to jump off, but then looks at the top of the Cell and he’s decided to climb the Cell. Owens is staring down at Shane, he’s hesitating… he’s hestating… and he couldn’t do it and now Shane is starting to climb! Owens is trying to punch Shane off, but Shane makes it to the top. Both men trading punches and then Shane lands a Russian leg sweep. Shane then bodyslams Owens on the steel. Shane suplexes Owens on the steel. Owens banged his ankle hard on one of the reinforcements. Owens superkicks Shane and then does a full out senton splash. That is freaking nuts, no matter how reinforced the top is. Owens sets up for a powerbomb but Shane reverses it into a back body drop. Every one of these bumps are cringe worthy even with how reinforced everything is. There is still plenty of give. HOLY SHIT!!! A pop-up powerbomb on the Cell!!! Graves has the perfect line, “I don’t know if you thank modern engineering or God that it didn’t break.” Owens goes to throw Shane off but Shane slides out of it. Shane fighting as best he can, but he runs into a right hand. Owens finally has had enough and is trying to get down. Shane following him down. Both men halfway down, Shane ramming Owens head into the Cell and Owens finally falls back into the table. Not what everyone was hoping for, but a cool spot nonetheless. That table was reinforced with extra padding on top for what it’s worth.
EMT’s now out to check on Owens. Shane pushes them out of the way and goes for a pin but looks up one more and decides that’s not enough. Now he’s clearing off the German announce table. Shane with a throat slash and now he’s climbing once again. Shane looks at his family and sets himself up, he jumps and SAMI ZAYN WITH THE SAVE!! Zayn came out of nowhere and pulled Owens off the table. Shane lands hard through the table, but again it was reinforced with the extra padding for what it’s worth. EMT’s are now going to Shane, Sami is dragging Owens over to Shane, Owens with the cover… Sami forces the ref to make the pin and Kevin Owens gets the win!
Winner: Kevin Owens
After the match, Sami slowly walks away from the carnage, almost like in disbelief at what he did. Owens can hardly get up and Shane is put on the stretcher. The show ends with Shane being wheeled away but giving the thumbs up. Show ends at 11:35 EST, so over 3 and a half hours for this show.
K-Tank’s Take: Well, I told you in our prediction piece that Sami turning heel was the move to make. I am really happy to see it happen. It’s a huge hook for the brand who desperately needed it. My hat is off to both Shane and Owens. They took some beyond unnecessary risks. That pop up powerbomb literally had my stomach in my throat.
This was built up as a two match show and it was booked that way. Everything in between in the Cell matches were very bland. It really came across as they were all told that the Cell matches are going all out, so don’t try and do anything that will steal the show. They were slow, plodding, and a couple really questionable finishes. The only other memorable part of this show, non Cell, was Baron winning the US Title. However, if you were only here for the two Cell matches, well then you got your money’s worth.
Thanks everyone for joining me tonight! Be sure to check me out every Wednesday night for the NXT Spotlight and check me out on Twitter @KTankTJR.