Wednesday 11 October 2017

Hell In A Cell done right (and so very, very wrong)

[SPOILERS for this past weekend's Hell In A Cell pay-per-view, specifically the two HIAC matches that bookended the event: New Day vs. Usos and Kevin Owens vs. Shane O.Mac]

First of all, the bad: Hell In A Cell should not be a comedy match. As good as it got towards the end when the Usos unleashed the light bondage on Xavier Woods, it started with comedy shtick. There was a gong. There were rainbow-patterned kendo sticks. There were trombones of many colours. It wasn't good. It was a bad fit of performers, really, the New Day as faces just aren't people who should be in this sort of match.

Kevin Owens vs. Shane O'Mac, though: my goodness, that was HIAC done right.

The highlight of the match, obviously, was the whole business of the two men fighting on the top of the cage. Now, I know in my head that after that disaster all those years ago when Undertaker managed to throw Mick Foley through the cage roof and the very real damage that did to Foley that they must stress test that cage to destruction every time they intend to use it for standing on top of purposes. In spire of that, every step those two men took, every time one of them threw the other onto the chainlink, was a heart in my throat moment.

My housemate Matt and I watched it on Monday night and at least once each we both said “We'd know if one of them had died, right?”

It was a hell of a match. I'm still a bit annoyed there wasn't a women's HIAC match this year as I think Charlotte and Natalya could have put on a fantastic one (and also because the DQ finish is my only real criticism of the match they had here) and I was hoping that the trend of every gimmick PPV having both a men's and women's version of the titular match was going to continue.

Mostly I want this to hold true for reasons of feminism and equality but a tiny bit also because I want a second Women's Division Money In The Bank on PPV that gets won by a woman!

[Incidentally, as I write this there are reports Shane had to be rushed to hospital after the match with broken ribs. Unfortunately, every report I've read seems to be reading from a WWE press release that could be set-up for a storyline rather than reality.

Either way: get well soon, Shane, you mad, indestructible bastard.]

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