Kind of late, but due to maintenance issues with the website yesterday, I was unable to upload the article and I had to re-do this all over again. So let’s just get started.
The Usos def. The New Day (C) – Smackdown Tag Team Championship (Tag Team Hell In A Cell Match)
I mean, what more is there to say with this? These two teams are just freaking incredible. How much more could you have asked from these two teams after the incredible series of matches these two teams have had. First off, I loved the fact that they set the tone early by just bypassing all the basic ring stuff and immediately just got to the weapons part, and they absolutely laid it on each other in a huge way. I think they did an incredible job of playing up the visceral hatred that these teams had towards each other. However, the most impressive part about this match isn’t the fact that they were brutal toward each other, but more so that this was probably the most creative Hell In A Cell match in the history of the stipulation. There have been a plethora of singles matches, but few tag team matches inside the Cell, and never before have I seen individuals in the cell use it in such a creative fashion.
Xavier Woods being used as a battering ram was incredible, and it actually made me feel sort of bad for him because I couldn’t imagine the suffering he was going through with those stiff kendo stick shots. Him trying to fight back towards the end but still being jumped sealed that for me. The New Day pinning one of the Usos up against the cell wall like he was about to get incinerated or sacrificed was also just so awesome. They also played up spots from some of their previous matches and kept the match going even past that. Combine all the heart-stopping near falls, the consistent pace of the match, the storytelling, pretty much everything was delivered to a tee, and what we got was probably the best match of the year, and one of the greatest Hell In A Cell matches ever. The Usos winning and backing up their Uso Penitentiary gimmick gives them much-needed credibility. Whoever was given the task to follow this surely peed their pants in the gorilla position. Realistically speaking, the two teams should spend some time away from each other because of the sheer frequency they’ve faced off with each other since the summer, and they probably will, but hey, if they produce matches like this, I’ll have no beef with it whatsoever. I have no reason to not give this the full monty. *****
Randy Orton def. Rusev
I’m beyond caring about what happens to Rusev at this point because it’s clear WWE is beyond caring about the former Bulgarian Brute too. Now, I’m a huge Orton fan, so of course, I didn’t mind Orton winning, but this begs a rhetorical question. Does Orton, a veteran of over 15 years, need to win over Rusev? I just hate the fact that Rusev is being buried yet again, but the reasoning behind it is even more frustrating. There’s literally no reason given to not give Rusev a PPV victory over Orton, or even Cena. Rusev has yet to win on PPV this year, and he seems to be going nowhere rather fast. I don’t know why WWE even bothered hyping up Rusev’s return to Smackdown if they had literally no plans for him whatsoever. The actual match was fine. I thought that there weren’t any dead spots in the match, they kept things going and both men were able to hit some of their signature moves. I thought they were going for something with that finish, and it would have been cooler had Rusev caught Orton prepping for the RKO and winning then and there. But of course, with Rusev, he’s not allowed to do anything special these days. So whatever. Decent match. Poor booking. **1/2
Baron Corbin def. AJ Styles (C) and Tye Dillinger
Tye Dillinger’s insertion into the match probably led to the surprising victory given to Corbin. I actually had expectations a little elevated for this match, but sadly, they were too high. I didn’t think the match was bad, but the problem is that there was far too much fluff to begin the match. The first 5-10 minutes were just all of them playing around and hitting moves without any purpose. There really wasn’t any story being told and they were sort of just playing around. I did liek the sequences that involved Styles and Dillinger going at it, but whenever Corbin got in the ring, the match slowed down frequently. Corbin’s issue is his inability to get heat on his character, and that’s because he’s not interesting enough to make anyone care about him or what he does. Therefore, that also affects him whenever he hits his moves. Styles did his very best to make both men look like a million bucks, and I do commend him for that. However, if you haven’t noticed already, the quality of Styles’ matches have simmered down significantly from last year, and there’s no doubt a huge part of that is him working the majority of this year as a face and not being WWE Champion.
Now, I’m inclined to believe WWE is trolling us, because Enzo Amore and Baron Corbin both won the titles within three weeks of each other, and those names have only been associated with backstage heat, so either WWE was playing this up all along and taking us to the woodshed or a title is their way of freshening up their characters. For Corbin, putting the title on him won’t fix what’s wrong with him, but I do believe there’s nothing wrong in experimenting and see what works. As for the match, it did get going towards the end and there were some lovely sequences, but it took far too long to get to the point, and to top it off, Corbin botched the finish. Not a way you want to win your first title. Again, decent, but did not need 20 minutes. ***
Charlotte Flair def. Natayla (C) by DQ – Smackdown Women’s Championship