And the Hellmouth Has Opened – WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 – Detroit, MI – Recap and Reactions

Welcome to Detroit, Michigan, and welcome to The Dark Match’s coverage of the 2017 Hell in a Cell PPV.  This Smackdown branded PPV has a pretty sweet lineup, so let’s see if they can bring a better show than our rather disappointing No Mercy experience in Los Angeles a couple weeks back.  Stick with us throughout the evening and I’ll bring you all the action as we get it, especially for those of you who are watching the Chiefs take on the Texans on Sunday Night Football.

Update to the Card:  As I predicted, Tye Dillinger was added to the United States Championship match, making it a Triple Threat with AJ Styles and Baron Corbin.

Hell in a Cell Kickoff Show

As some of you may know, this match came about because of backstage bickering between these two teams on a exclusive video.  I don’t really need an explanation for why you’d put two former Intercontinental Champions on a PPV card, but that’s the build we were given.  I don’t know enough about Benjamin, aside from the fact I haven’t been impressed with his promo work, but he’s a fantastic athlete, and we all know I am a huge fan of the other three guys in the match here.

Ryder and Benjamin work incredibly well together, Mojo is always just going to be Mojo, and Chad Gable may legitimately be one of the best technical wrestlers in the organization.  Mojo is like a freight train, and I think one of the things I really appreciate about him is that when he’s not actively being used touring he’s at the Performance Center working on his in ring abilities.

On the hole, there wasn’t a lot particularly special here, a few spotty areas where it didn’t seem like everyone was on the same page, and Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable pick up the win as the Hype Bros aren’t able to land the Hype Ryder, with Gable and Benjamin working a tag team finisher and Gable getting the pinfall on Ryder.  Mojo got back in the ring and helped Ryder up after the match, so I don’t guess we are getting that breakup tonight.  Probably Tuesday.

Just because it has to be said: I hate Peter Rosenberg.  Where the hell is Sam Roberts?

Hell in a Cell 2017 Main Card

The Usos vs The New Day (C) for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship – Hell in a Cell

Jeremy and I discussed the potential that they would open with this match.  I think it’s an insane decision, because if they even put on half the show they put on at Summerslam, who the hell would want to have to follow this?

Xavier Woods will actually team up with Big E for this one, with Kofi on the outside of the cage as the opening match of the broadcast gets underway inside Hell in a Cell.

Both teams immediately move to the outside of the ring to collect weapons from under the ring.  They don’t get much use right out of the gate, but the cell does.  The New Day is in control early, but a flying chair turns everything around.  I’m not going to lie to you, I couldn’t write words to describe this match.  Put the match from Summerslam inside a giant steel cage and give them weapons.  That’s the best I can do.

The Usos land dual splashes on Xavier Woods with a chair on top of him after destroying him with kendo sticks.  New Tag Team Champions.

#ThisIsAwesome.  #AllTheseGuys I feel so bad for whoever has to go on next……


Randy Orton vs Rusev

Aiden English is not on hand as the match gets underway.  Orton goes for the RKO early, but Rusev pulls out and slides to the floor.  They went back and forth for a while, both getting to look good in the match.  Rusev spent a lot of time keeping Randy on the ground, not letting him get to his feet where he can potentially land the RKO.  They work well together, there’s just not been enough substance here that this feud means much other than just two big names you can put on the card who don’t really have a whole lot else going on right now.

I did not expect this match to get as much time as it did, especially coming off that opening contest I really figured this would be a quick palate cleanser match.  While Orton was charging up from Viper position, Rusev spun it into an Accolade attempt, only for Orton to reverse yet again and finally land the RKO Outta Nowhere and get the victory.  No Aiden English.  Odd.

Tye Dillinger vs Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles (C) for the United States Championship in a Triple Threat Match

First, I apologize for the quality of the photo here.  This is the best WWE posted on their own Twitter page, and it looks like I took a picture of my TV.  I didn’t.  I care more than that.

Dillinger and Styles teamed up early on Corbin, which makes sense.  Then, in typical Triple Threat fashion, it was a rotation of one on one pairings with a third competitor “incapacitated” on the outside.

If they wanted to make Corbin look like a monster in a match, they just did it.  That’s for damn sure.  And AJ took one hell of a beating throughout this one as well.  Dillinger is such a fan favorite.  Every time he got anything going the crowd was right behind him.

AJ Styles lands the Phenomenal Forearm on Tye Dillinger, but Baron Corbin kicks him out of the ring and steals the pinfall.  Corbin kicking him out of the ring was brutal.  Baron Corbin is the new United States Champion.


Charlotte vs Natalya (C) for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

Charlotte could potentially become the first woman to win the NXT Women’s Championship, The Divas Championship, The Raw Women’s Championship and The Smackdown Women’s Championship.

Natalya with quality ring psychology, shouting at the crowd and focusing on a wounded knee.  She carried the first half of this match, keeping Charlotte off her feet for the most part.  Charlotte “stylin’ and profilin'” on the injured leg.

The pacing of this match was slower, with Natalya working the knee and a lot of technical wrestling.  I enjoyed it.  Inevitably, the champion would take the Champion’s advantage was out, striking Charlotte with a chair and taking the loss by DQ but retaining the title.

The Fashion Files:  There was no closure, nor was it the end.  Pulp Fashion will begin on Tuesday.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal (C) for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship

The Singh Brothers, as would be expected, were in Jinder’s corner.  This match wasn’t anything special, to be completely honest.  The crowd got into the “This is Boring” chant a couple of times throughout, and it really wasn’t a long match.  The Singh Brothers weren’t necessarily a factor, but they were ejected from ringside.  A Kinshasa would have put it away but Mahal could reach the ropes.  Jinder hit his finisher (which, again, I’m not going to attempt to spell because it never looks right) and The Modern Day Maharaja is still the World Heavyweight Champion.

The Glorious Bobby Roode vs The Show-Off Dolph Ziggler

Bobby Roode’s robe game was on point tonight.  Ziggler’s “big entrance” was that his music stopped and he walked to the ring in silence.

There’s not a ton to explain about this match-up, just two talented wrestlers displaying their technical savvy.  Like 17 roll up attempts end this match, with Bobby Roode getting the victory with a handful of tights.  Ziggler would hit a post match ZigZag.

That ending did not go with the rest of that match.

Shane O’Mac vs Kevin Owens in a Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell Match

Shane met Kevin Owens outside the cell to get this match started.  After beating him on the outside, KO would attempt to get away from McMahon by escaping inside the cell.  Once the cell was locked, Kevin Owens took over.  Owens taunted Shane’s family the whole time he was beating the hell out of him.  Owens attempted a Swanton Bomb, but Shane got the knees up and launched in with a barrage of T-Rex punches, but it would be short lived.

Shane would then get powerbombed onto the ring steps, but another two count.  Kevin Owens cannonballed through a table from the apron as Shane moved out of the way.  Shane landed Coast-to-Coast, but landed on the back of his head in a bad way.  The referee would rope break the pin attempt even in a Falls Count Anywhere match.  Corey Graves would call them out on it.

Shane would then decide he wants back out of the cage, pulling bolt cutters from under the ring when the official wouldn’t open it for him.

And he’s looking at the top of the cage……

Owens took back over with a DDT on the entrance ramp.  With Shane on top of the Spanish announce table, KO would turn his attention to the top of the Cell.  But KO couldn’t bring himself to jump off, and Shane heads to the top to join him.  I think his kids are about to watch him die.  They slam each other numerous times on top of the cell but it doesn’t give.  Eventually, KO seems to decide that its too dangerous and tries to escape down the side of the cage.  Shane gives chase and throws KO off the side of the cage through the Spanish announce table.

Shane waved off medical staff for what appeared to be a pinfall attempt.  Shane wasn’t done.  He would set up KO on the American announce table and head back up the cage.  As he came off the cage, Sami Zayn pulled Owens off the table.  As medical staff was helping Shane, Sami would throw KO on top of Shane’s lifeless body, and Kevin Owens wins by pinfall.  WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?

Overall Reactions

What the hell just happened?  I’ll have to get back to you on my overall reaction.

New Day and The Usos tore it down.  That opening match was incredible.

I’ll see you Tuesday.  Hopefully I’ll have had time to collect my thoughts by then.