WWE presented Hell in a Cell live from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan last night and, incredibly, the show ended up being one of the only ones this year that actually lived up to the hype.
The build-up to the match between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon easily reached a breaking point, and many of the WWE Universe were unsure if the Hell in a Cell match that was scheduled would actually be able to finish the issues that had been building between these two stars ever since Owens was moved over to SmackDown Live.
This wasn't the only match on the card. Jinder Mahal defended his WWE Championship against Shinsuke Nakamura for the second consecutive SmackDown pay-per-view, after his clean victory over "The Artist" back at SummerSlam in August.
The New Day made history by defending the Tag Team Championships against The Usos inside the Hell in a Cell structure for the first time, in a match that opened the show and easily stole it. Whilst Natalya also made history by appearing in her 40th Pay-per-view match, a new record that was held by WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus.
The United States Championship match had a late addition to the party, but despite this, it still turned out to be an incredible match. As with every WWE event, where there are positives, there are also negatives. The following list will analyze the events of last night's show.
15 Wrong: The Losing Streaks Continue
Going into Hell in a Cell last night, there were three superstars who had lengthy losing streaks that needed to be rectified. Sadly, two of those stars lost their matches clean, while the other one won via disqualification.
Dolph Ziggler hasn't won a match on pay-per-view since No Mercy last year. His loss to Bobby Roode last night now means that Ziggler has gone an entire calendar year without a win at a WWE pay-per-view event. Rusev isn't doing much better; his last win was back at Roadblock in 2016, and his loss to Randy Orton after an incredible RKO, now means that he has almost gone a year without a win on pay-per-view too. Charlotte's losing streak stretched back to the Royal Rumble back in January, but luckily, a disqualification win is still a win and it means that her losing streak won't continue to grow, unlike the two other stars.
14 Wrong: The Fashion Files Case Is Still Not Solved
It was exciting to finally see the return of The Fashion Files last night at Hell in a Cell. After weeks of WWE promoting Tyler Breeze and Fandango's return to SmackDown Live, it was great to see them back. Their segments are hilarious, but it is reaching the point now where it is starting to become the same thing over and over again.
The duo are now going to be back on Monday Night with "Pulp Fashion," but it is unknown what this even means. When are Tyler and Fandango going to finally find out who attacked them all those weeks ago and then return to the ring? It's like the duo has forgotten that they are part of a wrestling show. The WWE Universe misses seeing these guys wrestle, so we should discover who attacked them soon so that they can be part of a feud again. Hopefully, "Pulp Fashion" is the series where the duo finally cracks the case.
13 Right: Talking Smack Always Allowed Feuds To Continue
Raw Talk always follows Raw pay-per-views and Talking Smack follows the SmackDown ones. There was a time when the WWE Universe would turn off the pay-per-view when it finished. Now it seems that WWE has made their fall-out talk shows so appealing that the WWE Universe has to stay up longer now for fear of missing a huge revelation.
Last night's Talking Smack continued that trend as AJ Styles, who had just lost his United States Championship, Joined Renee Young and talked about Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Styles commented that if Shane needed any help going up against the popular duo, then he was definitely the man to call. The WWE Universe has now begun speculating that these comments could lead to a huge match at Survivor Series next month. The Usos were also part of the show and it seems that one of the brothers may have injured their elbow, since they were holding ice on it throughout their interview.
12 Wrong: Randy Orton Defeats Rusev Again
As already mentioned, Rusev hasn't won a match on pay-per-view in almost a year. His feud with Randy Orton began just before SummerSlam and The Viper managed to humiliate Rusev at The Biggest Party Of The Summer, when he defeated him in just 10 seconds.
Rusev retaliated by defeating Orton in nine seconds on SmackDown Live a few weeks ago, and their rivalry has continued over the past few weeks because of this. Rusev needed the win here to pick up some credibility; he is a young star who is coming through the ranks and it was almost predictable that Orton would put him over. This didn't happen, and instead, Orton hit an incredible RKO which left meant that he defeated The Bulgarian Brute for the second time and ended this rivalry on top. It is unknown where this loss now leaves Rusev when it comes to his place on the SmackDown roster.
11 Wrong: The Hype Bros Weren't Wearing Matching Attire
Tag Teams wear matching attire; it is an unwritten rule in professional wrestling and often makes the matches much more visually pleasing for the fans, as well as allowing people who are not hardcore fans to know which team is which.
It seems that Zack Ryder didn't get the memo for this last night, since he turned up for his match in blue attire, whilst his partner Mojo Rawley was wearing green. Their opponents Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable don't even have a tag team name yet, but they were able to come out wearing matching attire. It is unknown why Ryder did this or whether this was because he and his partner are still considered to be "at odds." What is known is that many of the WWE Universe commented on how rude it was for Ryder to do that. If WWE wasn't thinking of turning him heel in the near future, then they have definitely missed an opportunity.
10 Right: The Use Of Weapons Inside The Cell
Hell in a Cell became an annual pay-per-view back in 2009 and with pay-per-views that are centred around gimmick matches, it is always hard for WWE to build feuds that really need to go inside Hell in a Cell, given the violence that takes place inside the structure.
The PG banner doesn't help the fact that WWE is forced to water down much of its content, so many of the WWE Universe doesn't think these kinds of matches work in this era. That being said, WWE definitely pulled it off last night. The use of weapons in The New Day's match with the Usos was fantastic. There were so many kendo sticks and the duo even found an extra trombone, which broke at the perfect moment. For some reason, there was a cowbell that was also used as a weapon before The Usos decided to default back to using a chair. Owens and McMahon also included weapons in their match, as Owens found a table under the ring and Shane decided to dig out a trashcan.
9 Wrong: Camera Shots To Avoid The Empty Seats In The Crowd
It is perhaps the worst kept secret amongst WWE fans that the attendance at WWE shows over the past few months has been dire. There are many factors that could contribute to this. It's the season in WWE where the company usually makes budget cuts, because they are aware that the WWE Universe usually drop off after SummerSlam, and then returns for the Royal Rumble and the Road To WrestleMania in January.
Over the past few weeks, fans have shared a number of images from SmackDown and Raw that show poor attendances, and last night's Hell in a Cell event was another show that was poorly attended. WWE did well to keep away from using the hard camera footage to prevent the WWE Universe from seeing the full extent of the empty seats, but it seems that this could be the wake-up call that WWE needed when it comes to figuring out how to bring back their fans.
8 Wrong: The Finish Of Dolph Ziggler Versus Bobby Roode
Dolph Ziggler is without a doubt one of the most talented wrestlers that WWE currently has at their disposal. His current storyline is entertaining, but at the same time, it just doesn't seem to be connecting with the WWE Universe the way that the company thought it would.
Last night's match with Bobby Roode was the former NXT Champions first main roster pay-per-view match, and it was quite obvious that WWE was going to put him over since they want Roode to go on to be a huge star on the SmackDown brand. There were much better ways for the match to have ended than for the two men to go back and forth on pins until one finally stuck. Dolph's reaction was perfect as he jumped up and hit the ZigZag to show that this feud isn't over. However, if it was a quick roll up win that WWE wanted, there were much better ways than that.
7 Right: Sami Zayn Interference In Hell In A Cell
There were so many questions circling around the Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell match between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens last night, but very few people brought up Sami Zayn in the same conversation.
Owens beat Zayn with a chair a few weeks ago on SmackDown Live, so it was quite a shock when Zayn popped up to help his old friend in his hour of need. Even more surprising was when he helped Owens to get back over to Shane to cover him so that he won the match. Sami is a well-liked, popular WWE star, and he has thrown all that away to help a man who has done nothing but belittle him and attack him during their time in WWE. This means that SmackDown Live this week is going to be a highly anticipated show, since the WWE Universe are all now wondering, "Why, Sami? Why?"
6 Wrong: Hell In a Cell Main Event Had Mistakes
Let's be honest; it must be hard to plan a match where there are no rules. Even a pinfall isn't the same in a Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell match, which is probably why even the referee messed up once or twice.
When Shane McMahon delivered the Coast to Coast to Kevin Owens and then pinned him, Owens put his foot on the bottom rope, but since this is a falls count anywhere match, that shouldn't have mattered, and the referee should have continued the count, but he didn't. Also, when Shane and Owens were on top of the cage, the referee should have followed the two stars up there. It was a falls count anywhere match, which means that a pin on top of the cell would have been legal, and since Owens did Popup powerbomb, there should really have been at least one pinfall attempt. It was the first time WWE had presented a match of this type, so they will obviously go on to learn from their mistakes.
5 Wrong: There Was No Hype Bros Heel Turn
The Hype Bros took on Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable on the kickoff show and since this match came from out of nowhere and Zack Ryder had chosen to wear his own attire, many of the WWE Universe speculated that there was going to be a heel turn.
Even though many fans were focused on the end of the match, Gable and Benjamin proved why they should be the next stars to step up and fight for the Tag Team Championships, with some incredible offence on display from the former amateur wrestlers. The duo won the match and it was then expected that Ryder would blame his partner because there were a number of miscues in the match, but instead, the cameras came back to the panel and the heel turn wasn't happening. Maybe the turn will be delayed and will take place on SmackDown instead?
4 Right: Baron Corbin Became United States Champion
Baron Corbin was Mr Money in the Bank a few months ago, but a failed cash-in thanks to John Cena saw him dropped back down to the mid-card and made part of a feud with AJ Styles. The former NXT star finally got his chance on pay-per-view against Styles last night at Hell in a Cell, but a late addition to the match in the form of Tye Dillinger meant that he was forced to battle the odds in a triple threat match.
The odds were the one thing that were in his favour last night though as AJ hit the phenomenal forearm on Dillinger before he was thrown out of the ring and Corbin then managed to get the pin to lift the United States Championship for the first time. This was exactly what Baron deserved after the events that unfolded when he lost the Money in the Bank briefcase, and because AJ wasn't pinned, it means that the Champion was still looking strong afterwards.
3 Wrong: Natalya Retained Her Championship In The Worst Way
Natalya defended her SmackDown Women's Championship against Charlotte last night at Hell in a Cell in what was a fantastic match between two of the most technically gifted women's wrestlers in WWE today.
The match seemed to be heading towards a Charlotte win and a cash-in from Carmella, when it looked like Natalya was targeting The Queen's knee, but instead, it took a completely different turn when Charlotte executed a moonsault to the outside and Nattie decided to pick up a chair and continue to attack Charlotte's leg with it. Natalya retained her Championship, but it was in such a way that it's quite obvious that Charlotte and Natalya will be fighting for the Championship again in the near future. Carmella didn't even make her presence known at the event, which is a shock since most fans thought she would definitely play her part and there would be a cash-in or at least a tease of a cash-in.
2 Wrong: Jinder Mahal Defeated Nakamura Clean Again
Jinder Mahal walked into Detroit, Michigan, knowing full well that WWE kicks off their tour of India this week, and he could be the WWE Champion going into this tour of his "home" country. Jinder took on Nakamura in a match that wasn't inside the steel structure, but was still expected to deliver.
Nakamura had defeated the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton in recent weeks before he stepped up to challenge for the WWE Championship for the second time in as many months. Shockingly, once again, WWE allowed Nakamura to be defeated cleanly as Mahal hit The Khallas for the win after The Singh Brothers once again played their part with their mind games. Nakamura has been considerably underwhelming on the main roster since he was called up a few months ago, and it is unknown where he will now go on from here, since he is obviously out of the title picture.
1 Right: The New Day Vs. The Usos
The New Day defended their Tag Team Championships against The Usos inside the Hell in a Cell structure for the first time. The WWE Universe has seen these two teams go at it a number time before over the past few pay-per-views and they had no idea how they were going to top it inside the structure.
Shockingly, The New Day and The Usos kicked off the show and already set a tone for the level that the matches would have to be to be able to follow their encounter. The use of weapons and the fact that there were so many near falls in the match meant that the fans were on the edge of their seat throughout the match, and incredibly, The Usos once again lifted the SmackDown Tag Team Championships for a record third time. The New Day obviously still have their rematch clause, so expect another incredible encounter between these two teams.