I’m not sure which is more dramatic, HIAC or the social media reaction by the IWC about HIAC. What a crazy twenty-four hours! Usually the IWC loses it in some way after a PPV, but this is leaps and bounds ahead of anything short of post-WM craziness, but I believe this is worse than anything since Batista won the Royal Rumble over Daniel Bryan. The big question is will people really speak with their wallets or not.
While I’d love to say that Nattie versus Lacey was a great match and they made the Kick Off show worth watching, they didn’t have, and it wasn’t. I’m so disgusted with how these two women have been booked lately. First off, their feud has been so boring! Stuck in the mud, slogging to get out but never moving, boring! Second, I cannot imagine that they feel great about their feud that will never end! It’s boring and means nothing to anyone I know. What a mess for both women and I feel horrible for them. Hopefully the Draft helps them both but I highly doubt it.
The Second Time Around
It’s obvious that they spent some serious time figuring out how to use that cell! The chair Sasha wedged into the cell, the kendo sticks, then the chair wedged onto the kendo sticks in the corner. That was one of the most creative things we have seen in a cell that has nothing to do with someone flying off the cell and onto or through something.
At least this time the table broke for Banks? I couldn’t help myself after watching Charlotte slam Banks onto the table over and over and having it not break last time.
I’m bummed at the ending, I felt that they needed one more big thing before ending it. It also felt a bit of a blah ending with Banks tapping out (Hubby said the same thing as I was typing this). I’m not saying this wasn’t a great match, because it was, but something about it screamed for one more big final series of moves before it ended in something huge, not a tap out.
Where Was Dr. Shelby?
I didn’t know what to expect out of this match other than greatness, and they gave it. I love that they didn’t go in the obvious direction with this one. Yes, Reigns got his win and the IWC is going to kvetch over this (after they exhaust their angst over the main event), but Reigns hasn’t been winning to the extent he once was, Rollins has fallen into the corny Super Cena role right now. I don’t know why McMahon thinks he needs a top face who doesn’t know how to be anything but Hogan, but it seems like when he cannot figure things out he reverts back to making the top guy into Hogan, because that works so well, right?
The ending of that match was great! I was so worried about Reigns’ knee after he speared, but he looked good at the end. Well, until after the hug and then he really was in pain. He was obviously coming down from the match and the pain he had been trying to ignore was again at the forefront. Fingers crossed that they shake things up in the Draft and give us more interesting combinations for teams and feuds. I like the idea of Reigns and Bryan doing something going forward, as long as they’re not too corny together.
DDT Outta Nowhere!
That welt on Ali’s torso looks really painful and you know that every breath he took hurt. Maybe it was just a scrape with nothing more to it, but it looks painful. As the match continued the welt got darker and darker, it made Bryan’s welt look like nothing. I give huge props to Ali for working that match as if he didn’t look as though he’d eaten the ring post the way he did.
Ali’s DDT on Orton off the top was beautiful! We have seen so many of Orton’s RKO outta nowhere on people coming off the top, so this was a great change of pace. I’ll also give Ali props for reversing the RKO there but totally figured that Orton would hit his RKO – which was beautifully hit – and win this one. It really bothers me that Orton won this match, but I have an article in the works about my feelings about Orton right now.
I was not at all impressed when this match was announced as I thought there would be no way Sane and Asuka had a chance to win this, boy was I mistaken! They came out of nowhere and turned heel right before our eyes. This is what Asuka needed and I thought she did a better job of really working the fans and being the heel than Sane did, but the two of them together could be a force to be reckoned with. I’d love to see them fight their way through the roster, destroying them all, then lose the straps to Bayley and Sasha at WM, really bringing the straps full-circle and building Asuka and Sane to where they should be – if they have to be a team.
When Asuka spit the green mist, she made a bit of a hash of it, and a bit of a mess, but that didn’t matter as the point was made, the heels turned, and the straps won. That was exactly what they needed to change their direction in a huge way. Fingers crossed that they are not forgotten after that one match.
I wonder where Bliss and Cross will go from here as I thought Bliss would lose the straps, when it happened, and Cross would flip out, turn heel and start that feud. Maybe on their fight to try to get the straps back? Hopefully they will get that chance to be something great between them, somehow.
Viking Strowman Experience
This was a decent match and Strowman was a great addition to the bearded ones. That being said, I really have not changed my mind about Gallows and Anderson. I thought that putting him back with AJ would be great for them all, but they’re just as boring as ever. This match was only good because of Strowman’s energy and AJ’s ring work. Yes, the Vikings are a force, but nothing thrilling since they were brought up to the main roster. They should have stayed in NXT. I hate to say this, but I think Gallows and Anderson should have stayed in NJPW, or joined the others in AEW, because the WWE really isn’t working for me.
Sexy Samoan Champion
Tamina defeated Mella. I loved that the women were all chasing the 24/7 Championship and wish it lasted longer with more women getting involved. We could have had Becky 2 Belts again for a while. They could have gone through NXT and had it bounce around there for a night, then back for SD. So many directions they could go with this and I hope the women get it back sooner than later as it shows just how equal opportunity the 24/7 Championship really is.
I really wonder why we have to keep up this pretense that King Corbin can handle Gable at all. Gable is so beyond Corbin and should be booked as such. Give Gable an IC or US Championship match where he looks great and Corbin doesn’t handle it well and keeps going after him. Gable can keep doing better and better in his matches and Corbin cannot handle it and tries to thwart him at every turn, but fails.
While this match was fun and told a great story, it felt a bit long and a bit slow. I know that’s because most of the matches has been faster pace until this point, so this felt a bit sloggy to me. That being said, this match told one of the best stories of the night. I don’t know how these two get along personally, backstage, but I have to think they get on fairly well as their work together is some of the best we have seen in the mid-card in a while. They have this chemistry that has made this feud so much better than it would have been without the chemistry they have.
SD #1 Announcer!
I really wanted to see Funaki pin Tamina here. It was Mella who took out Tamina, but I think Funaki pinning her would have worked really well for all involved. They could have shown him running through the airport, avoiding everyone, but being forced to go to SD for some reason and lost the 24/7 there. It would have been a feel-good moment but could have messed everything up on Japanese announce for the rest of the night. I fell like it was a missed opportunity.
Bayley Lost, Woooo!
Okay, I’ll admit that I wrote myself a little note about this match so I could remember where it was in the show, then when I came back to write this match I simply took the H out of the woohoo I’d had there and turned it into the title for this match. I really am over Charlotte winning these championships so often, but they needed to get that strap off Bayley before the Draft. I think Charlotte is the lesser of the two evils in this right now, even if all the work she’s had done on her face.
I will give Bayley props for how she worked the ring. This was a different Bayley in that she specifically focused on Charlotte’s leg to make it harder for her to use the figure 8. That’s a much more heel-like way of doing things than she had before. I hope Bayley goes full-on heel as she’s so much more interesting than she has been since being called up to the main roster, and that’s way too long for anyone to coast in the WWE.
Call Me Shorty!
Gable came across really well here. He was a bit robotic in one spot, but the rest was really strong coming from someone who doesn’t get the mic time normally. With that attack, I guess the feud is far from over. I love how pissed Corbin is getting over this, and it makes me actually more interested in seeing what he will do next to get over Gable. They are a bit of unexpected greatness I wasn’t expressive.
Eat Your Heart Out Jason Vorhees! (by Sir Mitch)
Ok, so let me start by saying that there are plenty of valid criticisms to be made about this match. Firstly, a DQ finish in a Hell In A Cell match is pretty bloody silly. Even the wrestlers who were participating in the “watch-along” on YouTube were wondering just what on earth was going on. Sean Waltman’s reaction to it was quite amusing and I highly recommend you check it out.
It was also kind of sad to see Seth’s Curb Stop finisher be buried as nothing after he fought so hard to let management let him use it again. He must have hit the move on Bray at least thirty times in the match.
But you know what, as much as I’m usually the first one to lament these “plot holes” that seem to infest WWE programming these days…I honestly couldn’t care less this time around. Why you may ask? Because the exquisite story they told in this match more than makes up for the silly ending they gave it!
Throughout this match, everyone involved (especially the referee) did a masterful job of making Bray look like a more unstoppable horror movie villain that Jason Vorhees and Micheal Myers combined. While at the same time, they made Seth look more and more like an honourable fighter, a great hero forced into a situation where the only way he can be the victor against a monstrous evil that will not stay down is to become everything he despises and commit increasingly despicable acts of violence.
It was a story of the hero living long enough to become the villain…and it was so great to watch.
If I where Vince and company though, I would probably try to sell this finish as the referee stopping the match in order to try and protect Bray’s wellbeing as opposed to an outright DQ (and it looks like that’s what they are doing) to help quell some of this understandable fan backlash over the finish of this match. Because after all, you are not allowed to kill someone in a pro wrestling match. Not even in Hell In A Cell! Remember, they did try to stop (both legitimately and storyline-wise) the famous Mick Foley vs. Undertaker match several times but Foley refused to let them!
My advise guys, don’t let Vince and company forget that they keep putting these silly “plot holes” in WWE programming, but keep in mind the overall narrative they are trying to establish.
I wasn’t in the right place to write the main event last night. I had planned to sleep on it and then write it, but the insane IWC explosion I asked if anyone else wanted to write about it. Mitch stepped up, which I greatly appreciated. After talking to Botch I could have written the main event, but Mitch was on it and I didn’t want to take it back. I feel I need to address a few things. First I will say that if there were any issues with the main event it’s that Wyatt and Rollins were not enough in tune with listening to the fans, and Wyatt should have recovered about a minute sooner than he did. I shouldn’t be as shocked as I am, but that the IWC have lost their minds. They really don’t get it, and if they’re flipping out over this, I think it’s time they shut their yaps and stop watching. If you hate how things are going so much, shut your faces and move on from the WWE. I’m so over all the crankiness and complaints, step up and do something about it or knock it off! I’m so over it.
Queen & Sir Mitch