All the pomp and excitement surrounding Hell In A Cell was, as concise and astute one can be, completely worth it! The blue brand once again led by example, putting on one of the more memorable PPVs in recent memory.
The main event, as one expected, saw Shane McMahon face Kevin Owens in a stipulation that initially left the fans perplexed. It isn’t often that we see a ‘Falls Count Anywhere Hell In A Cell’ match; however, the finish made sense, and juxtaposed the rules brilliantly. And as expected, Sami Zayn did play a role in the outcome.
Jinder Mahal defended the WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura, with the outcome not really surprising anyone. On the other hand, the main card opened with yet another instant classic between The New Day and The Usos.
Then there was the triple threat match for the WWE United States Championship – a bout that was altered at the last minute. Here are the complete results from the accurately booked Hell In A Cell PPV, which left the fans in utter disbelief, and them longing for more.
Kick off match:
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin defeated The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
The writing was on the wall for The Hype Bros before the event, as cracks have started to appear in the team. The duo hasn’t tasted much success together, and while Rawley was at least expected to have a good 2017, considering he won the last edition of Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, things haven’t exactly panned out the way he would’ve wanted.
On the contrary, Gable and Benjamin have been flying high, ever since they were paired together. Benjamin and Gable have great chemistry, and complement each other’s positives. An argument between Ryder and Rawley spelled the end for the duo, with Benjamin and Gable getting their hands raised.
Daniel Bryan also added Tye Dillinger to the United States Championship match during the pre show.
The Usos defeated The New Day (with Kofi Kingston) in a HIAC match to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
The main card opened with The New Day cutting a promo about walking out with the titles. The two teams have put on some stellar matches in the past, and the added stipulation freshened things up. The stage was set for The Usos and The New Day to steal the show once again, and they didn’t disappoint.
The match itself was well paced and excellently laid out. Big E and Woods initially isolated Jey and Jimmy, working on the brothers, while The Usos turned the tables on Big E and Woods later on. It also brought out the mean streak of the brothers, who handcuffed Woods to the post, and embellished his torso with kendo stick shots!
In the end, The Usos found the opening they needed, and connected with the stereo splashes to pick up the victory.
Randy Orton defeated Rusev
One of the rather forgettable bouts on the card was between The Viper and The Bulgarian Brute. You’d be forgiven if you had forgotten that the match even took place on the show. The rivalry between the two seems like (and quite possibly is) a filler, with WWE waiting to move Orton onto a different feud.
Rusev has been anything but consistently booked, and while he did not lose to Orton in 9 seconds like he did at SummerSlam, at no point did the fans believed that he was going to win their match at HIAC. Orton slid out of The Accolade, and dropped Rusev with the RKO to pick up the victory.
Baron Corbin defeated AJ Styles and Tye Dillinger in a Triple Threat match to win the WWE United States Championship
With Daniel Bryan adding Dillinger to the mix, one sensed a title change coming. WWE could just as easily take the title off AJ, while protecting him from getting pinned, and that was exactly what transpired.
All three men put on a solid match, with lots of near falls and tussle for control. AJ showcased his excellent abilities, landing a picture perfect springboard 450 splash towards the end, that nearly won him the match. However, Corbin was lurking around, and just as AJ connected with the Springboard Forearm, Corbin leaped into the ring, and kicked AJ to the outside.
Corbin pinned Tye to pick up the victory, and became the new WWE United States Champion in the process!
Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya by DQ for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
The historic rivalry between the Harts and Flairs witnessed the writing of a new chapter, as Natalya defended the SmackDown Women’s Championship against Charlotte Flair.
The Queen of Harts was in control in the early moments, before Charlotte turned things around. There were incredible moments during the match, which included a moonsault from the top rope to the outside by Charlotte. However, Natalya kept working on Charlotte’s leg, slowing her down in the process.
Just as it looked like Charlotte was in command, Natalya viciously attacked Charlotte’s leg with a steel chair, causing a disqualification. While Charlotte won the match, Natalya retained the title, and mocked Charlotte as she writhed in pain.
Jinder Mahal (with The Singh Brothers) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura to retain the WWE Championship
The WWE Championship bout between Mahal and Nakamura didn’t have the buzz normally associated with a WWE Championship match. The feud has felt forced, and courted controversy due to the nature of Mahal’s comments. The WWE Creative could’ve done better work with the duo, but ultimately sowed the seeds to a lacklustre confrontation at HIAC.
Nakamura found himself in the driver’s seat for the majority of the bout, as The Singh Brothers played foil to his title aspirations. Shinsuke connected with the Kinshasa, only to let Mahal off easily, as the champion found himself in the vicinity of the ropes. Towards the end, Mahal tried to hightail through the crowd, but was brought back to the ring by Nakamura.
This ultimately led to Shinsuke’s downfall, with Mahal dropping the Japanese sensation with the Khalas to pick up the victory.
Bobby Roode defeated Dolph Ziggler
The Glorious Superstar faced Ziggler, who came out to no music, once again highlighting his disenchantment and resentment towards the fans, and their fascination towards entertainment. Ziggler and Roode then tried to out – work each other, as Dolph tried to imprint his own style on the bout.
This led to the ending sequence, where Ziggler tried to roll Roode up with a handful of tights. Roode rolled through, and rolled up Ziggler, this time getting the pin fall thanks to a handful of tights himself! Ziggler immediately dropped Roode with the Zig Zag, leaving him flat on his back, as he made his way up the ramp.
Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon in a Falls Count Anywhere Hell In A Cell match; Sami Zayn turns heel
Going into the match, Owens butted heads with multiple Superstars, including his former best friend, Sami Zayn. Owens nearly hospitalised Zayn, before using him as a battering ram to take out Shane. The Commissioner of SmackDown Live told Sami Zayn to take care of himself, and that he would look after his own safety.
The main event not only delivered, but opened doors for potential feuds and storylines down the road. The bout itself was extremely well booked, playing to the strengths of both the competitors. Shane came flying out of the blocks with a vengeance, while Kevin Owens was methodical and calculated in whatever he did.
The one spot the fans were eager to see came during the final moments. In the lead up, Shane rammed Owens’ head against the cell as both men started to climb down the cell, sending Owens flying through the announce table! Then came the breathtaking spot, while Shane soaring through the air, crashing and burning through the table.
The swerve came when Sami Zayn pulled Owens out of harm’s way, and later dragging Owens over Shane’s lifeless body, helping his former best friend defeat the Commissioner of SmackDown Live! Zayn left everyone scratching their heads, as he turned heel for the first time in his WWE career. The show ended with the fans aghast at what they were seeing, with the perennial good guy turning heel, giving in to the dark side.