WWE Hell in a Cell 2017: Five things we learned from a night of high drama that will live long in the memory

Here's what we learned from an epic night of WWE action

Matty Paddock@MattyPaddock
Monday 09 October 2017 13:06
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Owens was left standing tall after a brutal Hell in a Cell match
Owens was left standing tall after a brutal Hell in a Cell match

Kevin Owens was somehow standing tall after WWE Hell in a Cell after his victory over Smackdown Live commissioner Shane McMahon.

After a sickening brawl between the two saw them trade unbelievable blows in, out, around and on the cell, Owens would end up the victor with a little help from Sami Zayn.

Zayn and Owens had been on-screen pals for years before Owens’ shocking turn a number of years ago – so it was something of a shock to see Zayn come to the aid of the former Universal Champion.

From McMahon’s and Owen’s magic to an absolute epic to decide the tag team titles, it was another enjoyable night of action from WWE’s blue brand.

Here we run the gauntlet of five key things we learned from WWE Hell in a Cell:

The two legends took part in a brutal Hell in a Cell match

The Cell was Hell

Their main event meeting delivered in exactly the way you’d have expected – both men risking life and limb to punish one another. It’s a true art of professional wrestling that its performers can at least limit the damage done to their own bodies in the course of entertaining fans but, sometimes, it looks like stuff really, really hurts – and that’s because it does, there’s just no way around that.

It’s just as well Shane only wrestles occasionally as he’ll need a while to recover from his exploits – while Owens didn’t exactly come out of their clash unscathed, either.

This one was always destined to spill outside the cell and on top of it – a pop-up powerbomb on a buckling cell roof and sickening crash through the announce table from around ten feet among the unsavoury highlights before Zayn saved his former best buddy at the climax as McMahon launched himself from the top of the cell, pulling Owens from harm and leaving Shane to take the sickening final blow.

Five times, a thriller

Once again the Usos are Smackdown tag team champions, the fifth time they’ve been crowned. These two teams have battled in a string of television and pay per view matches but their rivalry shows no signs of becoming stale.

The contest at Hell in a Cell was an absolute thriller, a match that really had everything. There was the occasional comedy you expect from the New Day – trombones aplenty – but the storytelling here was impeccable.

In the end it was the gritty, desperate fight that Hell in Cell demands. Not for the first time this year, these teams have again set the bar for tag match of 2017.

Shortcut success for Corbin

For weeks, United States Champion AJ Styles has lambasted challenger Baron Corbin for using shortcuts to win matches – cheating here or there, a cheap shot every now and then.

How fitting, then, that Corbin was in the right place at the right time in their triple threat match at Hell in a Cell against Tye Dillinger to come in through the back door after Styles had all but seen off Dillinger to pick up the decisive pin, the incumbent dethroned without being involved in the decision.

Nine seconds the curse

Randy Orton and Rusev are two top athletes – there’s no doubt about that. But in trying to base a rivalry and its rubber match on the fact that their two previous meetings lasted nine seconds apiece really just didn’t feel right.

In a fast-pace world where the pressure to come up with new stories and angles is high, some work and some don’t – and the last few weeks won’t live long in the legacy of either man’s career.

Orton came out on top at Hell in a Cell in a match that at least went a mildly acceptable length, but WWE has some work to do to unpick the damage of making the Bulgarian Brute something of a laughing stock.

Jinder, solidified?

The mass promotion of McMahon’s bout with Owens rightly put it as the main event at Hell in a Cell, and that’s fair enough. But since when was the illustrious and historic WWE Championship relegated to a mid-card affair?

Mahal’s shock title win over Randy Orton at Backlash this year looked to have given the show a refreshing boost as a new face took over at the top, but his reign has failed to really capture the imagination – some of his recent microphone work drawing criticism from many as being lazy, if not borderline racist, as WWE pushed the envelope of what’s acceptable to try and build a match.

For me it was important to see Mahal get the job done on his own strength and merit at Hell in a Cell. While the Singh Brothers played their part at the climax, the finish saw Mahal side-step another Shinsuke Nakamura finisher after attempting to leave the ring, before drilling the rock star with his own Khallas for the victory.

If that now means Jinder has solidified his reign, let’s start making the WWE championship and its matches mean something again.

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