Follow along as I, the Botching one, bask in the afterglow of last night’s “Hell in a Cell”…
Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. The Hype Bros.
I’ll start off by saying that I’m so glad Shelton is back in WWE. The rumors about his return swirled for a really long time so it’s nice to finally see him back again. He’s a fantastic worker who works well with Chad. They don’t yet have the chemistry that Gable enjoyed with Jason Jordan yet but it works. This match was a very good one and all worked really hard in there. Mojo has more charisma in his pinky finger than most have in their whole bodies and it was on display nicely here. I can’t wait until he breaks off on his own. The Hype Bros. aren’t really going anywhere so it’s time they break up. I looked for that to happen tonight but I’m almost certain it’ll happen this Tuesday.
New Day vs. Usos
These men left it ALL out there. I know I said in my “predictions” that I wasn’t invested in this match.
I was completely and totally wrong.
I expected both teams to entertain but I was NOT ready for both teams to go ECW on us. They did some completely crazy things. The trombones flew (musical sadists!!!!), trashcans were crushed, and kendo sticks were swung. Watching Xavier just stand there with handcuffs on taking those repeated kendo stick shots like a boss is just incredible. He WILL be hurting tonight…big time.
I also have to say that I absolutely HATE Big E’s spear through the ropes. He did it tonight and his head hit with great force into the cage and he got a bit hurt doing it. It is a needlessly dangerous move and I really wish he’s just stop doing it.
Throughout, there was still the comedy you’d expect from the New Day but also a viciousness we haven’t seen before. They had to take this match in a whole new direction and the cage definitely brought out something completely new in both teams. New Day and Usos have no fear of getting extreme and they both did tonight.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
This was another pretty good one that could in no way measure up to the previous match…and it definitely didn’t. Orton is getting rather repetitive in there but he sold Rusev’s moves pretty well. Few sell as well as Rusev and he did a stellar job in that department yet again. We’ve all gotten used to the “RKO out of nowhere” thing and that’s what we got to end the match.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger
This was definitely one worth watching. My initial thought when it was revealed that Dillinger was put into the match was that he was added to take the pin…and I wasn’t wrong. I knew he would do really well in there and stand toe-to-toe with both men and he did that too. He has nothing to be ashamed of. Baron actually worked really hard in there as well. AJ was AJ – that’s really all we need to say. He’s the best worker in the business right now and he showed us why. Dre and I both felt that any of them could have won this match and we wouldn’t have been upset about it.
Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
I honestly thought this match was going to steal the show. If you haven’t seen their NXT match at the 2014 NXT TakeOver, you need to. If you have, you know what these incredible women are capable of. I wanted another one of those. I didn’t get it. I got a solidly-worked match that neither woman should be ashamed of. Charlotte seems to have gotten the hang of her moonsault from the top rope and I loved watching Natalya destroy her knee a la Arn Anderson. Selling is very nearly a lost art form and one that Charlotte has learned well. She is the best seller working today and it made Natalya’s punishment all the more believable. The final assault at the end will elongate this feud and I’m all for it.
Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
“Joshua” (our Maharaja) from our “Dignified Discussion” said that Shinsuke and Jinder didn’t seem to have much chemistry. I agree with him. This match was far from a mess but Jinder and Shinsuke just didn’t connect as well as I’d hoped they would. The match was, however, booked interestingly at the end. The outcome isn’t what anyone wanted (India visit forthcoming) and Jinder’s uneventful and unsuccessful reign continues. For the record, I also can’t wait until the Singh Brothers break off as a tag team again. That’ll be fun.
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
When this one was set up, I was looking forward to it. I figured it would be a very entertaining match and they’d leave it out there. They were in a difficult spot. They were forced to follow matches that had the crowd going throughout. No crowd can remain that hot for the previous 6 matches and still have anything to give after that. They need a cool-down. Sadly for Ziggler and Roode, this was that match. It also didn’t help that Roode and Ziggler didn’t really take it to the next level like I expected them to. They turned in a decent match. Decent didn’t cut it. The crowd barely responded at all.
Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Never has a match made me as breathless as this one. It started incredibly hot and never cooled down. The crowd, having all but rested for the previous match, were all in for this one and both men delivered beyond anyone’s expectations. McMahon, clearly insane, gave it everything he had like he always does, although his punches still look very strange. Notable, too, was Owens’ facial reactions. His face sold everything brilliantly. When his face wasn’t doing it, his trash talk as he punished Shane was taking over. I almost didn’t want to hear the commentators just so I wouldn’t miss any of Owens’ brilliance.
They seemed to stay on the top of that cage forever and all of us in “DD” got really quiet while they were up there. Move after move occurred on the top of that cage and it was incredibly stressful for us to watch. Thankfully, the cage held up and no one was seriously hurt up there. When they both climbed down, the crowd was disappointed. They didn’t know the worst was yet to come.
Owens took a nasty bump from way up there but there was more coming yet. Shane is certifiable and stopped the whole show with the leap from the top.
Zayn’s seeming heel turn was perfectly shown in multiple ways and nothing else could have been expected from a match, really. I’m really looking forward to hearing all about his motivation tonight on “Raw”.
All PPV’s should end with questions and this one certainly does. It also didn’t “blow off” all the feuds. PPV’s, because they’re on the WWE Network, no longer do that and I don’t mind that at all. I wasn’t looking forward to this PPV much at all but I have to hand it to WWE; they really delivered here more often than not.
Join us again in “The Afterglow” next time for “Tables, Ladders, & Chairs”.