Thumbs in the middle
- Best: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
- Worst: Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair
A totally typical WWE SmackDown show -- solid action, horrid booking and a complete lack of direction. The Hell in a Cell matches weren't exactly classics but delivered overall as Owens/Shane was exactly the stunt fest I expected while New Day/Usos was somehow both truly exciting & unsettlingly goofy. I guess the Nakamura experiment is over before it ever really even started.
- Nick Randall
Thumbs In The Middle
- Best Match: New Day/Usos
- Worst Match: Orton/Rusev
Came back from the Giants-Chargers game in NJ looking forward to this and was somewhat disappointed Shane and Owens went all-out but not by much. New Day and the Usos keep stealing the show month after month.
- Mike Stack
The two Cell matches were standouts. They both sold different stories, with New Day vs Usos selling the danger of being inside the cell and Shane/KO selling the danger and fear of fighting outside it.
The US triple threat was good, I enjoyed all three guys. Corbin looked good, and really put some stink on those kicks when he put AJ out of the ring for the pin.
Charlotte vs Natalya wasn't especially riveting but I enjoyed watching it and I'm excited to see where it goes from here.
And finally, Sami saving Owens was a fantastic moment and I can't wait to see how it plays out. Did he want to save his friend from certain doom? Did he help Owens win to end the feud, because if Owens lost he'd certainly get hurt from escalating this feud more and more? Or has he finally snapped and wanted to hurt Shane?
Cliffhangers can be fantastic for wrestling and stories in general, and Hell in a Cell 2017 ended on a great one.
- Cole Golden
Thumbs up for HiaC. Best match: Usos-New Day. Worst: Roode-Ziggler. Everything was at least good with the exception of Roode-Ziggler and the finish of Charlotte-Nattie. Would go four stars for both HiaC matches. Was very uneasy when Shane and Owens fought on the top of the cage and for the ridiculous Shane stunt at the end.
The final three New Japan matches were better than anything on the WWE PPV. I'd go ****3/4 for Naito-Ishii, and in a normal year, it would be a MotY contender. Ospreay-Kushida was almost as great, at ****1/2. Okada-EVIL was excellent, if maybe a bit disappointing since it didn't reach the level of the other two matches. ****1/4 for that one. Huge thumbs up, obviously, and not having watched any of the undercard, I can't name a worst match.
- David Wolf
Thumbs in the middle show.
Mixed bag. Some of the matches delivered, some were predictable and some were plan silly. First half of the show seemed to go by quickly, the second half was brutally slow.
- New Day-Usos: Really enjoyed this match and feud.
- Randy Orton-Rusev: Good straight forward wrestling match. I suppose you have to keep Orton strong but another missed opportunity to put someone new over..
- Charlotte-Nattie: Brutal finish. Match was OK before the finish that was just dumb and lazy.
- Corbin-Styles-Dillinger: First half of this match was basic, last 10 minutes was great.
- Nakamura-Jinder: Not as bad as previous one but still nothing to it. Finish was a head scratcher but predictable.
- Roode-Dolph: Filler and disappointing.
- Shane-Owens: Better then expected but way too long. Would love to see Shane stop trying to kill himself. Loved the surprise turn by Zayn. Just what he needed.
Thumbs in middle
- Best Match: Usos-New Day
- Worst Match: Roode-Ziggler.
- Mike Flynn
- Usos/New Day ***1/4 disappointing. Too many kendo sticks and it it was sometime unpleasant. Work was excellent and crazy
- Rusev/Orton *** fine. Clever finish
- Best Match US Championship ***3/4. AJ is still amazing. Excellent match
- Women’s Title. ***1/4 Match was good. Nattie is so much better as a face.
- World Title ***. Jinder suck but Nakamura was good here.
- Worst Match Roode/Ziggler. ** 1/4. Not good. Would have been too slow even if better wrestled. Dolph needs a sabbatical.
- Main event: *** it delivered but it shouldn’t be done
- Russell Griffith
Thumbs Up -- good show overall, much more watchable than past few WWE PPVs
- Best Match -- Usos vs New Day
- Worst Match -- Jinder / Nakamura
- Dave Gould
Thumbs in the Middle
- Best Match: The Usos vs The New Day
- Worst Match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Jinder Mahal
PPV was going well until we got into the third hour. Thought all the matches were solid with Usos vs New Day were great. Nakamura vs Mahal was rough and counter-productive booking. Mahal is the most dogsh*t wrestler to be WWE champion. He just has nothing going for him in between the ropes.
Main event was excessive. This tweet sums up my feelings
Looking forward to Owens and Zayn as a team though
- Kevin Chiat
- Best Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Tetsuya Naito
- Worst Match: Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & BUSHI vs. Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Leo Tonga
A great show, especially after intermission, even with little doubt about the outcomes of the final two matches. Ospreay vs. Kushida was outstanding, as usual with those two, and only narrowly missed out on
my Best Match vote.
- Lou Pickney
- Best Match: Okada vs. EVIL
- Worst Match: None. (I could do without Yano though...)
The last three matches were all main event-caliber awesome and it's crazy to think that they were able to follow each other and deliver big time. KUSHIDA is one of my favorite wrestlers and it blows me away that he was possibly only in the THIRD best match on this card. Solid undercard matches too, it was cool to see "Sho and Yo" and I thought the build for future matchups was quite strong and am excited to see things peak on January 4th.
Overall, a really great show. Probably best consumed with a bit of time/distance from HIAC since the disparity between the two doesn't really feel fair and is maybe best(and simply) described by this card's name: "King of Pro Wrestling".
- Jeff Parker