WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterOctober 8, 2017

WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The marquee matches carried WWE Hell in a Cell 2017.

    Sunday's SmackDown-exclusive pay-per-view saw The Usos recapture the tag team titles in a high-adrenaline grudge match. Kevin Owens walked away the victor in a punishing bout where drama unfolded on a stage surrounded by steel.

    These bouts were supposed to be spectacular. And they were. 

    It was much of the rest of the PPV that didn't make much of an impression. The WWE Championship bout between Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura felt like midcard filler. Bobby Roode's PPV debut was fine. And no one is going to be writing tribute poems about Rusev's latest collision.

    The uneven event plodded along at its low points and whirred majestically when warriors stepped inside Hell in a Cell.

    The following is a look at the latest Hell in a Cell, breaking down the show with highlights, grades and thoughts on what worked and what didn't.

Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Kickoff)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Hype Bros looked to pump each other up before Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin arrived.

    Mojo Rawley fought off an early attack from his opponents to briefly take control. Zack Ryder, though, struggled to hang with Benjamin on the mat. The two former amateur wrestlers remained on top of Ryder.

    Rawley's high-energy style led to a comeback, but it was one that Gable and Benjamin snuffed out. 

    Tag team cohesion was key to taking out The Hype Bros. Gable and Benjamin outlasted a pair of foes who remained dysfunctional. 

              

    Result

    Gable and Benjamin win via pinfall.

              

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Benjamin snatches up and hits Ryder with a spinebuster when Long Island Iced Z attempted to shake his hand. 
    • Rawley hits a tilt-a-whirl powerslam.

                   

    Grade

    C+

            

    Analysis

    A solid pre-show match had a good pace, a handful of exciting near-falls but low intensity. There wasn't much animosity to speak of between these squads.

    And not much happened in the story of The Hype Bros' inner turmoil. Rawley and Ryder only briefly argued.

    Gable and Benjamin are beginning to show they will be an entertaining part of the tag team scene. They already have good chemistry and now just need a worthy rival to push them.

The New Day vs. The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Championship, Hell in a Cell)

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    After The New Day cut a promo on The Usos, referees locked Kofi Kingston out of the cell. 

    Big E and Xavier Woods grabbed weapons from under the ring right away. They and the challengers slugged it out in a high-octane battle that left the cage rattling around them.

    The New Day goofed around as they smashed The Usos with weapons. Jimmy and Jey responded with a barrage of strikes with kendo sticks on Big E.

    Woods and Big E trapped Jey in a corner before beating on Jimmy. The Usos were able to battle back, using the dangerous surroundings to their advantage. The heels handcuffed Woods to the steel post.

    Big E later charged at his foes like a bull before they overpowered him. Woods led his own flurry, but the handcuffed babyface couldn't hold off The Usos.

    Result

    The Usos win via pinfall to become SmackDown tag team champs.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "The Usos like to say they have the tag team division on lock. But what they fail to see is that we have the keys."—Kingston.
    • "We will crush your body, your mind and your soul."—Big E.
    • Woods nails his foes with a steel chain.
    • Woods breaks two trombones on Jey Uso's body before bashing him with a cowbell and a cymbal.
    • The Usos pin Woods to the cell wall as they smash into him.
    • Big E pins Jey in a corner with kendo sticks.
    • Jey holds up Big E on his shoulders as Jimmy dives into him, sending him crashing into the cage.
    • The Usos crack kendo sticks against Woods like he was a pinata.
    • "It's never been just about the titles."—Corey Graves.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    Great energy pulsed through this bout. It featured an ideal blend of comedy and brutality. And boy did each team make creative use of the Hell in a Cell, delivering spots we've never seen before.

    The match had a healthy supply of moving images. The drama of Kingston having to watch from the outside as his partner suffered and Woods batting The Usos while in handcuffs stand out in that department. This was a showcase of The New Day's guts and The Usos' toughness.

    The hot-potato title changes we've seen in this feud made The Usos' victory less of a big moment, however.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

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    Rusev retreated in the early going to avoid an RKO from Randy Orton

    The Bulgarian Brute took control after slowing the match down and methodically picking apart his foe. The Viper was able to slug his way back, but Rusev was able to counter some of his trademark moves.

    Orton weathered the storm that Rusev brought his way and landed an RKO to end the bout.

    Result

    Orton wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Rusev drives Orton off the ring apron into the security barricade.
    • Orton slams Rusev into the barricade.
    • "It is Rusev day!"—Rusev.
    • Orton escapes The Accolade and lands an RKO.

    Grade

    C-

    Analysis

    It wasn't easy to buy into their hatred for each other. It didn't feel genuine or particularly intense. 

    A crawling pace hurt the bout too. There was a lot of Orton lying around in this one. A couple of fun counters kept this from earning a lower grade.

    And pinning another loss on Rusev is a head-scratcher as WWE again keeps him looking like a middle-of-the-road competitor.

AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger (United States Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Thanks to a recent victory on SmackDown and being in Daniel Bryan's ear, Tye Dillinger was added to the match shortly before the PPV began.

    Dillinger and AJ Styles worked together to go after Baron Corbin to open things up. The alliance didn't last long as The Perfect 10 and Styles were soon trading blows. Corbin then took over, overpowering his foes.

    Outside the ring, The Lone Wolf left Styles lying. Inside, he wore down Dillinger. 

    The babyfaces, though, were able to take Corbin out of the action for a spell to allow Dillinger to give Styles a tough test.

    The Phenomenal One was unable to put Dillinger away with the Calf Crusher, and a 450 splash wasn't enough to keep Corbin down. All three men battled back and forth until Corbin was able to leap onto Dillinger, stealing the pin from Styles.

    Result

    Corbin wins via pinfall to win the United States Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You can stand me up at the gates of Hell, but I won't back down."—Styles.
    • "This is Tye Dillinger's participation trophy."—Graves.
    • Corbin flings Styles halfway across the ring.
    • Corbin punches Styles out of the air, preventing a Phenomenal Forearm.
    • Styles hits a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside of the ring.
    • Styles kicks Dillinger onto Corbin, and The Perfect 10 nearly gets the win as a result.

    Grade

    B+

    Analysis

    Corbin played to the crowd well and showed off good presence in what proved to be an exhibition of his ability. He dominated early on and played the opportunistic scavenger at the end.

    The match flowed well and everyone got their chance to shine. Styles again elevated his opponents, something he's long made a habit of.

    Crowning Corbin is a bit of a surprise, but it's an intriguing move. Giving him the belt and seeing if he can thrive in that spot is easily worth the risk.

Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair (SmackDown Women's Championship)

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    Natalya and Charlotte Flair both went for their signature submission holds moments after the opening bell.

    The champ focused on Flair's left leg, stomping on it and cranking on it. She maintained the advantage for a long stretch and took pleasure in punishing her rival.

    Flair gutted out a comeback on one leg. The foes slapped each other around and traded strikes. The Queen fought hard, but her bad wheel held her back.

    Natalya smashed Flair with a steel chair, leaving the challenger hurting at ringside.

    Result

    Flair wins via disqualification. Natalya retains the SmackDown women's title.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Still like Charlotte?"—Natalya to the fans.
    • Natalya pulls Flair off the top rope and delivers a powerbomb.
    • Flair hits a moonsault to the outside.

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Natalya employed tried-and-true ring psychology in her dominance over Flair.

    The match churned up strong emotions toward the end as Flair had to grit her teeth and fight through the pain. Much like at SummerSlam, Natalya was made to look like a dangerous force on the mat, a technical master with a mean streak.

    There weren't a ton of highlights, but this told a solid story.

    While the ending was anticlimactic, this will better set up their next bout. With little time to build to this showdown, there wasn't much buzz surrounding it. That will change in the coming weeks with Flair having revenge on her mind.

Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (WWE Championship)

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    The Singh Brothers introduced the WWE champion, who soon warily approached Nakamura.

    Mahal struggled to match Nakamura's mat skills. The challenger had him reeling until the fight moved to the outside. Mahal smashed his foe into the ring post and security barricade.

    A methodical offense kept Nakamura down.

    During The King of Strong Style's attempted comeback, The Singh Brothers distracted him to derail it. Nakamura looked to have the match won regardless, but a Khallas put an end to his championship hopes. 

    Result

    Mahal wins via pinfall to retain the WWE Championship.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Mahal flips Nakamura over the security barricade.
    • Nakamura bowls over The Singh Brothers outside the ring.
    • The referee throws out The Singh Brothers.
    • Mahal grabs the bottom rope to avoid a three-count after a Kinshasa.

    Grade

    D+

    Analysis

    Mahal appears to be able to only work one type of match, one with a grinding pace filled with rest holds.  There wasn't enough creativity here. It featured lots of The Singh Brothers and lots of the same stuff we have seen repeated at each of Mahal's PPV bouts.

    Nakamura's title chase hasn't been nearly as fun as it should be. This feud has been a drag.

    A few spots of excitement weren't enough to keep this from being a major disappointment.

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode looked to prove who the better mat wrestler was as they traded the advantage.

    Ziggler's nasty side allowed him to take over. He choked and scratched The Glorious One and looked awfully proud of his work. 

    Ziggler deflated Roode with a sleeper hold. The babyface fought his way back only to fall into the same trap. Both men were soon left drained. 

    Roode was able to steal a win with a handful of tights, and The Showoff responded with a Zig-Zag after the bell.

    Result

    Roode wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ziggler cuts his entrance music short and comes out to silence.
    • Fans chant "CM Punk!"
    • Ziggler counters the lifting DDT with a roll-up.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    Ziggler's gimmick of a lack of gimmick isn't helping him.

    He and Roode put on a decent match that hit its high points near the very end. The Showoff can deliver a more energetic performance, but that wouldn't fit in with his current "no flash" persona. 

    Roode getting the win with a classic heel move could lead to a shift in character. That's one of the few noteworthy takeaways from this showdown.

Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens (Falls Count Anywhere, Hell Ina a Cell)

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    Owens barely took a step inside the Hell in a Cell before McMahon pounced on him. The SmackDown commissioner tagged his foe with right hands near the entrance ramp as the two rivals slugged it out.

    The battle moved inside the cage where Owens went on a rampage, punishing Shane-O-Mac with the ring steps.

    Owens addressed McMahon's kids at ringside as he put a hurting on his rival. A triangle armbar looked to have things swinging the commish's way, but KO squashed his attempted comeback.

    Once a table was introduced into the fight, McMahon took over. He bashed the heel with a broken table and smashed a trash can into his face. He cut his way free from the Hell in a Cell.

    The enemies battled outside of the steel enclosure.

    Owens climbed to the top of the cage; McMahon soon followed. They brawled on the cage roof. Eventually, McMahon flung Owens off the side of the cage onto a table.

    Sami Zayn saved Owens from McMahon's breathtaking dive off the cell.

    Result

    Owens wins via pinfall.

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • McMahon dives off the security barricade to land a diving clothesline.
    • "Take a good look at daddy!"—Owens.
    • McMahon misses a Shooting Star Press.
    • Owens powerbombs McMahon onto the ring steps.
    • Owens misses a cannonball and crashes into a table.
    • McMahon hits a Coast to Coast, bending a trash can over Owens' body.
    • Owens smashes McMahon's groin into the cell door.
    • McMahon nails Owens with a Russian Leg Sweep onto the roof of the cell.
    • Owens powerbombs Shane-O-Mac onto the roof.
    • "I don't know if you thank God or modern engineering."—Graves on the roof holding up.
    • McMahon leaped off Hell in a Cell with an errant diving elbow.

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    Hate burned through the screen. Two enemies risked everything to destroy each other. Owens excelled as the furious, focused predator; McMahon was his usual fearless, daredevil self. 

    An uncomfortable amount of danger created powerful suspense. This was a livewire work of theater complete with vivid images and car-crash stunts.

    Zayn's appearance is a stunner as it appears the ultimate babyface may have turned heel to save his mortal enemy. The next stage of the story may flop, but WWE has set itself up for some mighty interesting moments ahead.