hell in a cell

It’s been a wild road on our way to Hell In A Cell. We had plenty of twists, turns, and bloody Vince McMahons along the way. SmackDown Live’s brightest and best were prepared to put it all on the line in Detroit’s brand new Little Cesar’s Arena. Some people might have been risking more than others in their matches. Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon promised to be a match with a falls count anywhere stipulation so it was anyone’s guess how far those two would take things.

Hype Bros vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable (Kickoff Show Match)

Looks like Benjamin and Gable have figured out an entrance pose where they both their best Sheamus impression.

This is an odd match because both of these teams are supposed to be babyfaces. Regardless, they faced each other anyway. Gable and Benjamin got an early advantage and sent Hype Bros out of the ring.

Gable and Benjamin worked well together as they tagged in and out in fluid fashion. Mojo got a “woo” chant going but Ryder’s comeback didn’t work out well. Benjamin and Gable cut the ring in half on Ryder until Zack Ryder hit a wonderful looking missile dropkick from the top rope for the tag. Mojo got rolling and took some punishment to Gable as soon as he was tagged in.

Gable reversed out of a slam but ended up taking a hard spinning powerslam for a two count. Gable hit a nice belly to belly and landed a moonsault for a two count of his own.

Then Benjamin and Gable hit a nice double team move and Gable took out Ryder but Mojo kicked out. Then Mojo started cleaning house. He took out Shelton and Gable then he tagged in Ryder.

The Hype Bros tried for a double team move but Benjamin avoided it. In the end, Zack Ryder ended up taking a loss after Benjamin and Gable hit him with another tandem offensive move.

Winners: Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable

The New Day vs The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Title Match)

These two teams really know how to put on a show so it’s no wonder they were chosen to start things off on the main show.

The New Day (Woods and Big E) went right for kendo sticks because those are useful to the ring crew while they’re setting things up. They also got a steel chain to go with the steel Cell. They used their weapons well as Woods wrapped his fist with the chain and Big E lifted him up for a powerful fist drop.

Jimmy Uso later hit an amazing dive onto Woods as they crashed into the cell. Jey then ate a diving spear through the ropes from Big E and E really hurt his head. He kept grabbing it in pain. Woods broke his trombone Franscnesa 2000 Turbo over Jey’s body and then Big E pulled another trombone out from underneath the ring so Woods broke it over Jey as well. Then Big E called for more cowbell as he pulled one out so Woods used that. After that Big E pulled out a gong and Xavier hit Jey with it too. Craziness… just wild stuff.

Xavier had a chair launched at his head from Jimmy while he was on the top rope and Big E ate a Superkick from Jey. The Usos started belting Big E with kendo sticks as the bloodthirsty crowd started chanting “we want tables!”

Woods took a wicked hip attack from the Usos against the cell and he was in a lot of pain. Big E dodged a kendo stick attack but ended up eating a superkick. Then Jey went running at Big E and he hit a one-armed slam to the ground while Woods slid in and put his knees up for a backbreaker.

Woods jumped on top and they hit the Up Up Down Down for a two count. These guys were wrestling like they wanted this to be their last match. Jey got clotheslined outside while Woods went under the ring and grabbed about eight kendo sticks. Woods started teeing off on Jey Uso with a kendo stick while Kofi taunted from on the other side of the cell.

They trapped Jey with the kendo sticks in one of the most innovative ways I’ve ever seen and beat him for a bit. The New Day left Jey trapped and then focused their attention on Jimmy.

Xavier went to the top but just as he was about to jump onto Jey, Jimmy freed him and took Woods out with a kendo stick. Jey hoisted Big E on his shoulders and Jimmy hit a suicide dive on him to bounce E off the cell and to the ground. Good lord that was nasty because Big E whacked his head off of one of the cell’s support beams. Both Usos hit splashed on Big E but he kicked out at two.

The Usos pulled out some handcuffs and cuffed Big E to the ring post and then they cuffed Woods’ hands together. They hung Woods up and grabbed another kendo stick. Woods took some shots to his exposed torso from a stick and all Woods could do is kick his feet but it did him no good whatsoever.

Big E got free somehow and tossed Jimmy outside. He his a belly to belly on Jey and went back outside to drive Jimmy into the cell. He did it again and smashed Jimmy into Jey that time. They returned to the ring and Big E hit the Big Ending but Jimmy kicked out because everyone kicks out of that.

Big E got a stretch muffler on Jey but got Superkicked by Jimmy a couple of times. Then they both hit him with Superkicks and twin splashes. Xavier Woods jumped in to break up the pin still with his cuffs on.

Jimmy and Jey got kendo sticks once more and started picking Xavier Woods apart. Woods hit a headbutt on Jey and started hammering away on him. Jimmy pulled him off and Jey broke a stick over Woods. This was all very violent.

They put a chair over Woods and hit another pair of splashes. 1-2-3 and The Usos are the new SmackDown Tag Team Champions.

Winners AND NEW SmackDown Tag Team Champions: The Usos

Rusev vs Randy Orton

The Bulgarian Brute was out to prove himself and he set off by taking some damage to Orton. Rusev stomped Randy down and Orton came back with a clothesline and a couple stomps.

Rusev avoided Orton’s signature through the ropes and sent Orton off the apron and onto the barricade. Then Handsome Rusev hit a fallaway slam on Orton. Once they returned to the ring Rusev kept up the offense. He hit a nice kick to Orton’s back and took some time to taunt the crowd.

Randy rolled out of the ring and Rusev stalked him but ended up taking a suplex onto the edge of the barricade. However, Rusev popped back up and clotheslined Randy Orton down. They returned to the ring and Rusev kept up the assault on Orton until he took a turnbuckle after Orton moved out of the way from a splash to the corner.

Orton mounted a comeback with a few fists and a clothesline. Rusev ducked an RKO but took a powerslam for a two count. Rusev countered another signature DDT through the ropes form Orton and hit a fallaway slam for a two count.

Randy rolled outside but took a kick to the face from Rusev. But when they returned to the ring Orton rolled out of the way of a splash from Rusev and then he hit the DDT through the ropes.

Randy geared up for the RKO at this point and countered out of an accolade attempt with an RKO outta nowhere for the win.

Winner: Randy Orton

AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin vs Tye Dillinger (Triple Threat Match For US Title)

Corey Graves compared adding Tye Dillinger to this match at the last moment like adding another team to the World Series which would be a very confusing game of football.

Corbin went outside as soon as the match started so AJ and Tye went after him but once he was in the ring they clotheslined him back outside. After that, Styles and Dillinger started working on each other trading moves and near falls for a moment.

Then Baron Corbin re-entered the match and took out AJ to focus on Dillinger. “You should have stayed at home!” Corbin yelled as he continued his assault. AJ got back on the apron but Baron kicked him off to the floor.

Tye tried to fight back but took an elbow from Corbin to send him back down. The Lone Wolf exited the ring and tried to send AJ against the barricade but Styles turned it around on him. The second attempt wasn’t so successful as AJ took a stiff shot to the barricade.

Dillinger turned things around momentarily when Baron Corbin came back in the ring but it was short-lived yet again. AJ tried for a Phenomenal Forearm but Corbin knocked him out of the air. Baron kept taking damage to Tye and turned his focus to AJ.

Styles hit some shots and took down The Lone Wolf with a clothesline. AJ hit a sliding forearm on Corbin and prepped him for a Styles Clash but he was dumped onto the apron. Corbin charged but ended up outside and AJ hit a sliding knee.

AJ returned to the ring to face Tye who racked him over the top rope and hit a backdrop. Dillinger hit some mounted punches but AJ slid under him. Dillinger lowed his kneepad and picked up AJ for the Tye Breaker. AJ reversed and tried to get another Styles Clash but Dillinger blocked it. AJ called an audible and rolled Tye through for the Calf Crusher but Baron Corbin pulled him out of the ring before he could tap out.

AJ hit a Phenomenal Forearm to the outside by leaping over the top rope onto The Lone Wolf but AJ took a shot to the ring post outside. Once the action returned to the ring Baron hit a Deep 6 on Tye and caught AJ Styles during another Phenomenal Forearm attempt turning it into a chokeslam backbreaker for a two count. Baron smashed by Tye and AJ then it was Styles’ turn to do the same.

Tye hit a Superkick on Corbin and AJ hit a Pele Kick on Tye and he fell back onto Baron Corbin. 1-2-Baron Corbin kicked out! AJ hit a springboard 450 Splash on Corbin but the pin was broken up by Tye.

Dillinger went for the Tye Breaker but AJ turned it into a Phenomenal Forearm. Baron Corbin tossed AJ out of the ring and pinned Tye. 1-2-3 and Baron Corbin looked pretty great with his new United States Title.

Winner AND NEW US Champion: Baron Corbin

Natalya vs Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women’s Title Match)

Natalya was making history at Hell In A Cell with her 44th WWE PPV match beating Trish Stratus’ former record by one. Charlotte was also looking to make history as well to become the first woman to ever capture the WWE Diva’s, Women’s, Raw, and SmackDown Women’s title.

These two know each other well and battled back and forth in the early moments of this match before Nattie started focusing on Charlotte’s left knee. She kept this punishment up for a good bit.

Charlotte was able to get to her feet for a moment but ate a discus clothesline from Nattie to take her back down. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter but Charlotte muscled out of it.

Charlotte fought back for a bit and the two ended up trading shots in the middle of the ring. Flair went for the big boot but her leg gave out after hitting it. Nattie kicked Charlotte outside after trying for a Figure 8 and then Nattie sent Char-Char into the steel ring steps.

Once they returned to the ring, Natalya locked in a Sharpshooter. Charlotte struggled to crawl toward the ropes and ended up twisting her body around to send Nattie’s head into the bottom turnbuckle.

Nattie rolled outside and Charlotte hit a sick top rope moonsault on Nattie to the outside. Charlotte sold her injured knee which gave Nattie a chance to grab a chair and smash Flair in the knee.

Charlotte wins via DQ but the title wasn’t changing hands in Detroit. Nattie raised her title up proudly as she stood over Charlotte and called her pathetic. Then she kicked her once more before trotting off with her prized title.

Winner: Charlotte Flair (By DQ)

Jinder Mahal vs Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship Match)

Jinder started out the match by trying to slow Shinsuke down with a few arm submission holds which makes sense seeing how much the arms have to do with a Kinshasa. Nakamura ducks a shot in the corner pranced around and told Mahal to bring it. Nakamura hit the Good Vibrations and then started delivering some knees to Mahal.

Jinder rolled out of the ring before Nakamura could deliver any more punishment. When Nakamura went out to join him, he ended up taking some punishment against the ring post and the barricade.

Once they returned to the ring The Modern Day Maharaja kept applying pressure to Nakamura. Mahal kept up the abuse to Nakamura’s left shoulder and Shinsuke landed a knee and a few stiff kicks.

Nakamura sent Mahal outside and landed a baseball slide then he rolled Mahal back inside to land a kick but Mahal moved out of the way of a knee drop and The Artist went crashing to the floor.

Mahal went for The Khallas but Shinsuke dodged while the “Nakamura” chants broke out. Nakamura hit a knee to the jaw off the middle rope and then the Singh Brothers got involved.

Nakamura shoved Jinder into one of the Singh Brothers and they were soon ejected from ringside. Shinsuke Nakamura hit a Kinshasa but the Singh Brothers distracted referee Charles Robinson too much and by the time he slid back in the ring, Mahal grabbed the rope.

Mahal rolled outside and started to leave but Nakamura went to get him. Jinder hit a boot but Shinsuke countered out of another Khallas. He ducked out of the way from another kick from Nakamura and then hit The Khallas to win clean!

Winner AND STILL WWE Champion: Jinder Mahal

Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler

Dolph Ziggler’s theme song cut off during the intro and sounded like a record needle being taken off (remember records, kids?) So Ziggler walked to the ring in silence except for the people booing him. It was great.

Roode took control of the match early on and pulled off a Glorious taunt. Roode maintained his advantage until Ziggler brought his throat across the top rope to a sea of “CM Punk” chants.

Ziggler brought some old-school heat by raking Roode’s face across the top rope and choking him on the middle rope. He hit a neckbreaker for a two count. It’s a shame this was a cool-down match because these guys could have been a good starter for the show. But the tag team match was incredible so there’s no complaining.

Ziggler caught Roode in a sleeper and brought him down to the canvas. Roode fought to get back on his feet and hit a side suplex to break up the hold. Roode hit a blockbuster off the middle rope for a two count and got to his feet to hit a uranage slam.

Ziggler reversed out of a Glorious DDT and countered into a DDT of his own eventually. 1-2-kick out!

Ziggler reversed out of another move from Roode and hit a Fameasser which didn’t really connect. Then Dolph started “tuning up the band” like he was Shawn Michaels. Roode ducked out of the move though. They ended up trading roll-up pins while both of them held the tights. Bobby Roode ended up getting the upper hand and pulled off the three count.

Winner: Bobby Roode

After the match was over, Dolph Ziggler hit a Zig Zag to leave Bobby Roode selling Dolph’s finisher while his music played.

Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon (Hell In A Cell/Falls Count Anywhere Match)Shane hit a baseball slide which sent KO out of the cell before they ever closed the door. The bell rang very quickly. They fought on the entrance ramp for a little bit and McMahon took Owens out with a fist.

KO bounced Shane off the cell and then McMahon hit a flying clothesline off the barricade. Owens went in the cell and held the door shut to keep himself away from Shane. So McMahon just kicked the fence against Owens’ face.

But as soon as they were in the ring, Shane took a sick bump off the cell and then KO applied even more damage. He grinded Shane’s face against the cage right in front of his kids and yelled: “look at daddy!” But when the camera panned over to his kids they didn’t look too enthused.

KO beat Shane around the ring some more and disconnected the steel ring steps. KO drug the steps over and placed them in the middle of the ringside area inside the cell. McMahon hit Owens with some shots and they both rolled in the ring.

Kevin hit a short-armed clothesline and a running senton for a two count. KO followed it up with a cannonball for another two count. “I should be your role model,” KO said to Shane’s kids before he climbed to the top rope.

Shane got his knees up when Owens went for a senton and followed it up with some shots to KO. McMahon hit a jumping elbow and started dancing around the ring while he landed some quick jabs. McMahon hit a nice spike DDT as the “you still got it” chants started to rise in the crowd.

Shane climbed to the top rope and executed a beautiful shooting star press however, KO moved out of the way and climbed up to hit a Bullfrog Splash for a two count.

KO went for a popup powerbomb but Shane locked in an armbar in midair. KO drug Shane outside but McMahon kept the hold locked in. Then KO slammed Shane on the steel steps and kept up the assault.

“We want tables,” the crowd chanted so Kevin grabbed a table. He propped it up against the cell and laid Shane against it. KO jumped on the apron and hit a cannonball through the table however Shane moved out of the way so KO went crashing through the table by himself. 1-2-kick out.

Shane picked up half of the table and started whacking KO with it. Then Shane pulled out a garbage can. That’s an old favorite. McMahon hit Kevin with half of the table one more time and then KO got in the ring. He propped himself in the turnbuckle and Shane placed the trashcan on Owens.

Shane McMahon climbed to the top rope and hit a beautiful Coast To Coast dropkick through the trashcan. 1-2- KO got his foot on the rope! The referee allows it. Then Shane McMahon looked up and the crowd went wild. He told the ref on the outside to open the door but he wouldn’t do it. So Shane grabbed some bolt cutters he had hidden under the ring and struggled to snap the chain. He got the job done eventually — thankfully.

McMahon hit KO with the trashcan a couple more times and Owens left the cell. Shane punched KO a couple times but Owens hit a DDT on the entrance ramp. That was the same DDT that took Jericho out of action so he could go tour with Fozzy.

KO drove Shane’s knee against the cage. They made their way around the cell where KO smashed the top of an announce table on top of Shane. Then he pelted him with a monitor. KO hit a headbutt to McMahon and laid him out on the table.

KO climbed on the barricade and then he looked up at the cell. Kevin jumped down and started climbing up the cell. Once Owens was on top he prepared to jump on Shane but he couldn’t do it. Owens looked conflicted and then geared himself up. This was enough time for Shane to wake up and climb to the top as well.

KO stood up there waiting for him and punched Shane over and over but he didn’t let go. McMahon made it to the top and faced KO on top of the cell. The two hammered away at each other and Shane hit a legsweep on KO which almost caved in the top of the cell.

Shane slammed Owens on top of the cell as the “this is awesome” chants broke out. KO and Shane-O traded punches and Shane hit a suplex on Owens. Let’s hope they double reinforced the cell because it looked like it was ready to go.

Kevin hit a Superkick and a running senton which really made me nervous because it looked like the cell was going to collapse on that one. Then KO geared up for a powerbomb but Shane turned it into a backdrop. Thankfully the cell held once again.

They traded a few more shots while still on the cell. It looked like KO was trying to powerbomb him but it didn’t take but then they went for a second try. Shane went bouncing off the cell without the cage breaking and miracles do happen.

Kevin looked like he was thinking and that couldn’t be good. He tried to throw Shane off the cell, but McMahon put the breaks on and switched it up. Shane and McMahon hit some more shot and then Shane ran right into a forearm shot. Kevin started climbing down the cage and the crowd started to boo. Shane tried to grab ahold of him but Kevin kept climbing down. Then Shane followed him down.

The two fought on the side of the cell and Shane started to bounce KO’s head off the side of the cell. The third one caused Owens to let go and go crashing through the announce table.

The medical staff surrounded Kevin Owens while Shane McMahon sat on the ground surveying the situation. He crawled over to Kevin but wouldn’t pin him. Instead, he picked Owens up and drug him over to the other side of the cell.

McMahon started deconstructing another announce table. Shane laid KO across the other announce table and climbed to the top of the Hell In A Cell once again. Shen reenacted WrestleMania 32 perfectly except it was Sami Zayn who popped up out of nowhere and pulled KO to safety.

Shane McMahon went crashing through the announce table and wasn’t moving. Sami Zayn dragged Kevin Owens over to Shane and made the ref count for the pin.

1-2-3 and Kevin Owens wins, but more importantly, Sami Zayn turned heel.

Winner: Kevin Owens









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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble