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Sunday, October 08, 2017

WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 Late Blog

1. Hype Bros vs. Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin

ER: I almost always end up enjoying these pre-show matches, they're usually structured more satisfying that the actual PPV matches. I have no clue why. And the pre-shows continue to deliver as this tag was awesome. Gable was a real beast, and the trap arm belly to belly on Mojo alone would have probably made this work, and I dug the sequence that set it up (Gable lands on his feet missing a moonsault, catches Mojo in the suplex, then hits the moonsault). Mojo played a good FIP, had some well-mapped kickouts off some big Gable spots, but was also there to make some nice saves for Ryder. Gable eats a big shoulderblock from Mojo, hits Ryder with a killer spear in the corner to knock him to the floor. We had a lot of constant movement, which made the nearfalls more exciting. Wasn't sure which team was gonna get the win, which also helped add to the excitement. I could watch a match like this every day. Classic formula, good personality.

2. The New Day vs. The Usos

ER: These guys start with absolute lunatic bumps and crazy bumps are gonna make me get into a violent cagematch. Big E is a nutso bumper for a guy his size, and in one minute we get to see him splat onto the floor at high speed, then hit his spear to the floor (that I can't believe he still does!), an Uso takes a running leap into the cage, and things are crazy. Woods gets a chair thrown at his head and bumps to the floor and we get a good nearfall off a superkick. I get less interested in kendo stick use, but full credit to Usos for clever usage when they trap Woods in the corner to set up the hip attack. E gets caught on a spear and Jimmy punches him right in the freaking ear, then E runs him into the ringpost. They set up some crazy spot where E gives Jimmy a uranage off the apron to the floor, onto the sliding knees of Woods. It doesn't go flawless, but it's something that looks more violent the more messy it was. You basically had Uso getting thrown violently off the floor and landing off kilter on a pointed knee. It could have injured several men at once. Now Jey gets locked into a cell corner by 4 strategically placed kendo sticks, with Woods throwing shots to the ribs while Jey can't move (So.....New Day are the babyfaces...right?). They keep coming up with more dangerous spots, now with the Usos setting up a doomsday device on the floor with Big E up on the shoulders, and an Usos flying through the ropes with a crossbody. Knees and elbows and bodies are flying everywhere. Usos do a couple great big splashes, and then the handcuffs come out. Usos hang Woods over the ringpost by his cuffed wrists and beat his prone body with kendo sticks. Good lord. But they spend so much time on Woods that by the time they get to E he is ready to do damage, and proceeds to do some spectacular damage, throwing them with suplexes and running them violently into the cell. But the Usos keep going back to Woods' ribs, more kendo attacks, huge double splash, this whole thing was nuts. New Day had a great comeback and Woods valiantly tried to keep going despite the beatdown. These guys went all out, came up with some clever uses of tired gimmicks, really amped up the violence. I don't anticipate anything else on the card approaching this level of violence.

3. Rusev vs. Randy Orton

ER: After a match like that, you know Orton is the guy to go out and try hard! He does momentarily shut my mouth by taking a nice bump to the barricade and a fallaway slam on the floor. I miss Rusev as a top heel, and I miss Lana being on TV. Rusev is better than most at setting up Orton offense. I really liked the strikes he was throwing that were meant to be caught by Orton, and liked him holding the ropes to make Orton miss an armdrag. But things get fairly uninteresting once Orton went into his finishing run of offense. They made it pretty clear that Rusev had no chance. Fans were into it, but Orton is super stale to me (unique hot take!). I guess just gimme a Rusev/English tag team so I can see them work the other fun teams every week. I'd rather see that at this point since I doubt Rusev will make it back to the main events.

4. Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles

ER: Tye Dillinger's entrance cape looks like something Meng the Merciless might wear to a long weekend at Fire Island. I haven't really been following this story so I'm not sure why Dillinger is added, but Styles makes it known pretty early that he'll be trying his damndest to have a killer match. Corbin hits him with some hard elbows and Styles gets launched off a hip toss. It looked fantastic. We get some fun misdirections with Dillinger splashing Styles in the corner, then Corbin missing an attack on Tye but hitting AJ, then Styles gets pinballed ribs first off the ringpost and skids to the floor. Styles is a loon in this, flying full force into every possible surface. He seriously looked like he was trying to break down the ringside barrier with his body. Corbin locks on a super nasty cravate on Dillinger and Styles continues stealing the show, getting punched out of the air on a springboard by Corbin and ragdolling to the mat. Corbin takes a nice bump to the floor and eats a cool sliding knee from Styles, then Styles takes a big backdrop from Dillinger. Dillinger has some shockingly nice corner 10 count punches (I say shocking because his other strikes don't leave much of an impression on me), and if you're going to have one good set of punches with his 10 gimmick, those are the ones to have. I also really liked Dillinger kicking his way out of the Clash, which is weirdly something they don't do that often. Styles is turning in maybe his greatest performance since the Elimination Chamber earlier this year, and as I type that he takes a bananas choke slam from Corbin, insane height. And the finish was real fun with Styles levelling Dillinger with the forearm, then getting booted violently to the floor by Corbin (and you know Styles splats onto the floor, Corbin punts him right in the chest and Styes flies down practically head first) as Corbin steals the win. This match...was really damn good, and I went into it not caring at all. People are really busting ass on this show.

5. Charlotte vs. Natalya

ER: I tend to really like "big match" Natalya, while almost completely disliking Natalya. Charlotte is good at selling a knee injury and Natalya is good at doing perfunctory legwork. This took me a while to get involved but I got there once Charlotte's knee buckled doing a kick to Nattie's jaw. The moonsault to the floor was crazy, and chair to the leg finish was fine. I liked the touch of the ref removing Charlotte's boot, and Natalya had a great grin while posing with the belt. It seems like people really hate Natalya and think she's a bad heel, but I get annoyed just by looking at her, sooo...

6. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal

ER: "What Nakamura needs to do is grind this match to a jinder maHALT." Me, making grade F puns off of things Corey Graves says. Nakamura was like Rachel's favorite wrestler before he got called up to the main card, now she hardly reacts to him. One year ago she was flipping out live for him at the NXT show, scrambling to get out her camera. Now she just left the room to change the laundry. Admittedly she has zero interest in Mahal, so that could play into it. "Slow, Methodical, Effective" should be the slogan on the next Jinder Mahal shirt. Nak maybe didn't get the memo that you're supposed to be recklessly violent with the Singhs. He gives a couple knees, but very safe. They're only out there to take super dangerous bumps or get kicked in the ear. One of them takes an okay bump off the apron, but Styles took like 5 crazier bumps to the floor earlier. The nearfall off the kinshasa was decent, and I wish we could have gotten more brawl through the crowd so I could see more bald event security guys joylessly pretending men aren't fake fighting inches from their face. They're like the Queen's Guard, but with bald heads and tucked in blue polo shirts. And my god they are going to have Jinder break Backlund's title reign record, aren't they?

7. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

ER: You hear those stories about prospective employees who don't get a job because the employer finds a bunch of embarrassing drunk or stoned photos on their public Facebook page? Some day an employer is going to find a bunch of 2009 posts where I constantly praise Ziggler and realize I am clearly the least qualified person for any job. Ziggler locks on an early sleeper and Graves says "Ziggler might put Roode to sleep!" If Heenan were still with us he then would have said "He's already put the viewing audience to sleep, why not Roode!?" Rest in peace, Bobby. Though I don't really hate the minimalism of this match. It feels like a house show match, out of place on a PPV. Ziggler hitting the famouser out of a sleeper looked good. But whatever the reason this isn't grabbing me. I did really dig the finishing stretch, so that's something. Ziggler misses a superkick, gets hit with a boss spinebuster; Dolph hits a slick roll up to reverse the glorious DDT, Roode misses a corner charge and they do a just-the-right-amount-of-silly rolling prawn holds, each one showing more and more butt. Dolph hitting the Zig Zag immediately after the match while Roode's music starts playing. That's the kind of teeth the rest of the match needed.

8. Shane MacMahon vs. Kevin Owens

ER: I am unashamed to admit that I am completely loving this match. Shane jumps Owens and starts throwing those MacMahon brand potato punches (I could totally see a poorly designed WWE shirt with cartoon potatoes that says MacMahon Brand Potatoes and then the back says something stupid like "Want Fries With That!?") where 60% of them miss completely and the other 40% all land on the most annoying places possible. Shane is the blind squirrel accidentally finding Owens' ear and nose bridge. I am now over the moon as Shane sweeps the leg and then does a cartwheel kick!! Holy lord this rules. Shane dropkicks the cage door into Owens and Owens boots him off the apron, with Shane taking a big no look bump backwards into the cage. Match still rules. Shane eats a senton and cannoball, then Owens swantons right into Shane's knees. Shane sells the knee convincingly afterwards, then punches Owens in the ear a few times. Shane's face keeps getting redder, and then he misses a shooting star press! And then Owens hits a full force frog splash! OMG Shame MMAcMahon grabs a triangle off a pop up powerbomb, then grabs it again from the apron leading to him getting powerbombed onto the steps. People are shitting on this match but it feels like a total miracle match to me. Owens misses a cannonball off the apron through a table with aplomb. This still rules. Shane gets DDT'd hard on the entrance ramp, and it was the least flashy spot so far but looked great. You knew they were going up to the top of the cage, because MacMahon wants to make his father proud or something? And the Russian leg sweep on top probably won't get talked about after the show, but you know they both smacked the back of their heads on the support beam part of the cage. They're doing a lot of stuff up on the cage, and I keep waiting for a giant hole to get torn through as they both die on their way down. I likely would have rolled an ankle taking my first step onto the top of the cage. I dug all the teasing around getting thrown off the cage, and Shane's kicks to the ribs while climbing down were sharp. Owens takes a big bump off the cage and yeah, you know Shane's gonna do something stupid now. And my god that was crazy. And Zayn saved Owens!! Holy cow the timing of that was amazing, with Zayn grabbing Owens' hand as Shane came violently crashing - HARD - through that table. That did not look like a classic Shane crash pad landing. That looked like a Parkour Fail video. And weirdly this doesn't totally feel like Zayn turning heel, it feels like Zayn pushing slightly towards heel and Owens getting pulled slightly towards face. This match FAR exceeded any kind of expectation I had for it. I'm kind of stunned how much I loved it. Really.

ER: Was this the WWE PPV of the year? There's so damn many that I honestly can't remember what has happened this year. But the low points were kept brief, the two Cell matches overly delivered, and that triple threat over-delivered. These WWE shows that look bleh on paper seem to always crush it. This was a quality PPV man, these folks busted butt.



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2 Comments:

Blogger Yerfuneral said...

1) Old school tag with even a Hulk-up moment from Mojo. I surprisingly liked this a lot. Had my worries with 3 guys I could care less. I am liking Benjamin and Gable and hope they move up into the title picture. The feud of New Day and Usos has been great but month in month out has it starting to get stale.

2) This match went way to long for something filled with such violence. I get it this is probably the final match for a good long while between these two and they want to inflict and prolong the damage as much as possible but unfortunately it didn't work for me. Cheapened the effectiveness of weapons and the brutality of the cage for me. I think seeing Russo vs Flair in a cage, live, has planted my own expectations of a cage match and seeing some what of a cheapening of damage detracts things for me on a ring psychology level.
Physically it was great though it has been a pleasure seeing these 5 guys work these ppv matches.

3) I think this is the first time I seen Rusev perform at a level where I can understand why he was an upper level heel. When I came back to wrestling he was in an overly silly thing with New Day over ice cream or something. He disappeared and was stuck in gimmick stuff and a weird build up to this.
I like the idea of a Rusev/English tag team. Heel teams are seriously lacking on Smackdown and no one really there for a face team to face before the Uso's.
I liked the Wyatt stuff with Orton. I think he works best in a posse situation; Evolution and such. He doesn't work as a loner for me. Making him a heel I don't see helping either.

4) I like the intro of the open challenge to the US belt. I liked at first Baron Corbin trying to move in on Dillinger's shot but they messed it up by not throwing in another person or two. People should be wanting the title, open challenge opens it to a lot of people, elevating some, and give a better impression of people earning it. It isn't necessary to throw every one of those guys into the final match but WWE seems to forget the importance of a belt. The set up was pretty organic and a surprise to throw in Dillinger last minute though it sets off the wrestling spider sense who is likely to get pinned to protect the bigger dogs.
I never cared much for Dillinger in NXT and this match made me think I missed his best stuff since like Elias I caught the guy on the tale end of their run before being called up. I was enjoying the teaming with Zayn but was given a reason to have second thoughts about his single wrestling with this.
Now Corbin is champion. To much of Smackdown is caught in a rut so this switch doesn't do much for my thinking of things changing with Styles rematches and such on the horizon. It some of the other stuff finally moves on when it comes to the other belts and storylines it might be okay. We will see.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Yerfuneral said...

5) Is it weird to be happy that Natalya won? Charlotte's switch to Smackdown has been weird to me going from a version of her father into a face. With a face champ she was pushed a bit to the background. I was a bit disappointed to see her instantly put to the front of the line with a heel queen in place. I been wanting to see her in a chase for the belt. I am hoping to see a good chase built around Asuke too. I loved both ladies as champs and didn't see how they got there. I look forward to a story built around their respective journeys.
The knee stuff had me thinking we were building towards a comeback and then a Money In the Bank cash in but will take the dq just fine.

6) With the repeated Singh Bros stuff I didn't understand this wasn't in a Cell to give us something new. This came across as same old same old. Loved Nakamura in NXT but it feels like Nakamura was brought up and fast tracked to give Mahal a credible opponent while protecting Mahal (and protecting other talent from jobbing to him) for whatever business reason since he definitely is not drawing as a champ and off the top of my head can only think of one ppv where Mahal was in the actual main event.
I don't get it and sad to see what has happened with Shinsuke since his call up.

7) I don't know what to make of face Roode. It is to weird. I remember seeing some of the Beer Money days and I am guessing a good chunk of his NXT run; at least all his championship run. Is he being built up as another person seeming credible to bury with Mahal? Were they both told to hold back since they are in the match before the main event? I expected so much more.

8) The problem with Shane matches is you know what it is building for when a cage is involved. So the big question is how is it going to build to those moments. Every match is that way but were talking insane over the top spots. Unfortunately the story to those moments I found to be pretty bad and Shane did nothing new. He gets involved in something like this every blue moon so if you are like me you are hoping for something new. They spent so much time on the top thought maybe we were going to get the Foley through the cage. Nope.
The thing I liked the most was the trepidation of Owen's jump from top of the cage not that he need it but fed the fearless factor of Shane.
Liked the physicality but the pacing was awful.
I really don't know much about Zayn. He has been a credible jobber pretty much for the show other than his brief tag run with Dillinger. So I was a bit lost with it all.

The first 2/3's or so of the show was good but those last 3 matches all I can do is shake my head. The tag cage match was probably match of the night even though I talked about the things I disliked rather than liked. For how insane some of those ECW matches were weapons still had a bit of credibility of damage. I mean the trumpets were definitely a prop but disliked the weapons pretty much a prop in that match.

12:01 AM  

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