WWE SmackDown Live returned last night (Oct. 3) from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado and served as the go home show for this Sunday’s Hell in a Cell. You can find all the results at the live blog here.
Falls Count Anywhere in a Cell
The main event angle was advertised as a face to face between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens. Prior to the segment, Sami Zayn found the Commissioner backstage and warned him this is a Kevin Owens that Shane cannot take lightly. Sami has known Kevin a long time and can tell that the man has snapped. Using Sami as the long time friend and long time enemy of Owens to paint KO as the baddest villain is a nice touch.
But Shane was full of hubris and still made his way to the ring to confront his nemesis. His first order of business was to make the Hell in a Cell match Falls Count Anywhere. Which means in the ring and the small area on the floor between the ring in the cage because there’s no way this match is leaving the Cell. That’s the whole point of the Cell (Of course it’s leaving the Cell)!
McMahon then called out Kevin to come down the ring, but Owens responded from up in the crowd instead. He refused to come to the ring so Shane went to him instead... and was ambushed in the concession area. Owens easily lured his boss into an area where he was vulnerable for an attack and powerbombed him through a merch table.
KO returned to the ring to explain how he’s going to use that Falls Count Anywhere stipulation to unleash punishment on Shane O’Mac all over the place. Shane won’t need to jump off the cell because Owens will throw him off.
Of course, Shane McMahon wasn’t going to stay down through one table powerbomb. Let’s not forget he’s crazy. Shane made his way back to the ring and fought the prizefighter some more. However, Owens always had an answer to Shane’s attacks. He delivered a headbutt like he did to Vince weeks back and then delivered his pop-up powerbomb, laying out his boss.
There are two forces at play come Sunday. There’s a Shane McMahon that won’t stop getting up and a Kevin Owens who won’t stop putting him down. Kevin is going to have to tap into his most vicious side at Hell in a Cell to keep an angry, motivated Shane from getting back up and it should be a blast to watch.
This feud had me sold coming into tonight. This segment just whet the palate a bit more.
Undercard WWE title match
I don’t know if it’s good or bad that the WWE title program seems so unimportant going into this pay-per-view. On the one hand, the WWE title program should always feel big but at the same time, I really don’t want them to spend more time on it.
Tonight, the show opened with a quick Shinsuke Nakamura promo saying that Jinder’s words won’t hurt him and he’ll win at Hell in a Cell. He’s interrupted by the Singh Brothers, who start introducing Jinder Mahal, only for the champ to bum rush his challenger from behind and beat him up. Nakamura tried to fight back, but (and stop me if you’ve heard this one before) the Singh Brothers made their presence known and Shinsuke was laid out by the three men.
Let’s Do It!
Prior to Sunday’s tag team match inside Hell in a Cell, the Usos came out and did what they’ve consistently done since turning heel: Cut a fire promo.
The New Day then came out and cut a promo of their own, this one just a bit more serious than standard. (Big E got passionate when he talked about how both teams stole the show for the last four months.) They didn’t put their hands on each other. They just both cut a promo and then left us eagerly waiting for this Sunday.
They really didn’t have to do much to sell us on this match. Their epic feud already did that. But they both cut simple yet passionate promos and added just a slight level of added anticipation for another probable show stealing match.
Bring it on!
All About that Entrance
Bobby Roode squashed Mike Kanellis last night, which means one thing: I got to hear the Power of Love theme music! Man, how I missed that. Go ahead. Listen to it again.
Ziggler came out afterwards and told Roode that he’s got a cool entrance of his own. Then he grabbed a marching band drum and an airhorn that he used as part of a purposefully lame entrance that the crowd had no reaction for.
Then the Showoff straight up told Bobby that Roode is only successful because of his entrance and at Hell in a Cell, he’ll have to actually get in the ring. (He also promised an epic entrance of his own.)
Is he right that Bobby Roode is only an entrance? No, but there’s no doubt it helped the Glorious One during his time in WWE. Now, Roode gets to prove that he has substance as well as style this Sunday.
The women’s title picture was represented in a tag match that pit Carmella and champion Natalya against Nattie’s challenger Charlotte and Becky Lynch. Despite not liking each other at all, the heels came out victorious. When the referee wasn’t looking, Carmella used her Money in the Bank briefcase as a weapon on Becky. That distracted Charlotte, who soon found herself tapping to the Sharpshooter.
It was a fun, but overall inconsequential tag match reminding us that Charlotte is challenging Natalya, Carmella still has a briefcase, and Becky Lynch exists.
Failed Warm Up Match
Baron Corbin had one more go at Tye Dillinger as a warm up for AJ Styles this Sunday.
Afterwards, AJ Styles cut a promo on his challenger form the titantron saying that Corbin isn’t putting in the work and that’s why he couldn’t beat John Cena, successfully cash in Money in the Bank, or defeat Tye Dillinger. And he’s going to teach him that lesson again at Hell in a Cell.
It was a bit surprising they didn’t turn the US title match into a triple threat match with Tye, but his win last night hopefully means the Perfect 10 has some plans going forward.
- Randy Orton faced Rusev’s personal bard, Aiden English, and defeated him with an RKO as Rusev watched from ringside. Rusev tried to sneak attack Orton post match but Randy turned quickly and the Bulgarian decided to wait until Sunday.
- Remember that Fashion Files that was advertised? Yeah that didn’t happen. They claim they moved it to Sunday, but I’ll believe it when I see it. I’m angrier than I should be.
This show was rather skippable and overall underwhelming. It did little to hype their pay-per-view. The segments that represented the two top pay-per-view matches (KO/Shane and New Day/Usos) helped add a little more excitement to feuds that were already really good. The rest of the show didn’t do anything to add any anticipation for the rest of the PPV.
Hell in a Cell feels like a show that has two major matches and a bunch of others. This show did little to dispel that.
Sound off below.