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Kickoff Tag Team Match Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros
RESULT: Gable & Benjamin win via pinfall; Gable pinned Ryder after a double-team Doomsday Lariat.
THOUGHTS: Middle-of-the-road kickoff match for HIAC, with some nice pops for the longtime veterans in Ryder and Benjamin. The point of the match, as was exemplified on commentary, was that this was "make-or-break" match for the Hype Bros; while Mojo was able to break up one fall, he ended up causing a miscommunication and wasn't there to stop the second, and those will most probably be the focal points in their eventual break-up, whether that comes this Tuesday or in the next couple weeks.
Meanwhile, Gable and Benjamin get another win to help establish themselves as contenders following the New Day-Usos HIAC match.
WK KING OF PPV Julie - 1 pt Ken - 1 pt Prakhar - 0 pts Nick - 1 pt Greg - 1 pt
Tag Team Hell In A Cell Match Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship The New Day (c) w/Kofi Kingston vs. The Usos
RESULT: NEW CHAMPIONS The Usos win via pinfall; Jimmy Uso pinned Xavier Woods after a chair-assisted Double Uce Splash for the three count.
THOUGHTS: There was really no other match you could put for the proper PPV opener and by god did these four men tear the house down from the word 'go.' Kendo sticks as makeshift jail bars, trombones gallantly sacrificed by Xavier Woods, cymbals, handcuffs courtesy of the Usos, and all of the craziness and physicality we've come to expect from these two teams.
They fought tooth-and-nail from start to finish, with call-backs to every big instance and move from their storied rivalry, near falls aplenty, as well my favorite part of the match with a jacked-up Big E firing up and bulldozing through the Usos after they virtually tortured a cuffed and bound Woods with kendo sticks. Woods, even handcuffed, remained defiant to the bitter end before the Usos would put him away with the Double Uce splash onto a steel chair to pick up their 5th tag title reign.
All in all, an excellent opener and the early show-stealer for HIAC.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 2 pts Julie - 1 pt Prakhar - 1 pt Nick - 1 pt Greg - 1 pt
Singles Match "The Viper" Randy Orton vs. "The Bulgarian Brute" Rusev
RESULT: Randy Orton wins via pinfall; Orton slid out of the Accolade and hit a RKO (OUTTA NOWHERE!) for the pinfall.
THOUGHTS: A more methodical, technical match to help cool the crowd down after the hot opener. Rusev had the RKO and many of Orton's trademark moves scouted early on, keeping Orton beat down and working his midsection for the Accolade. Good exchange at the end; Orton had a nice, slick counter to the Accolade after an equally smooth counter to the RKO by Rusev, leading into a spiking RKO for the win. It was an overall solid match where both men looked better, and Rusev looked somewhat more aggressive, than they have all year.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 3 pts Julie - 2 pt Prakhar - 1 pt Nick - 2 pt Greg - 2 pt
WWE United States Championship Triple Threat Match "The Phenomenal One" AJ Styles (c) vs. "Lone Wolf" Baron Corbin vs. "Perfect 10" Tye Dillinger
RESULT: NEW CHAMPION Baron Corbin wins via pinfall; Corbin pinned Dillinger after Styles hit a Phenomenal Forearm.
THOUGHTS: While I didn't appreciate that they made the last-minute change to a triple threat rather than simply do it following the Dillinger-Corbin match last Tuesday, I can't argue with the result. At times it fell into the WWE's mindset of "two in, one out", but the rest of the time it was a fun, fast-paced and technically sound match with Corbin tossing the smaller Styles and Tye around, and the two men gave just as good back to Corbin. Styles and Dillinger had some fun exchanges themselves, and I'd love to see a more fleshed-out 1-on-1 encounter between them.
Corbin would take advantage of the triple threat rules, pinning a KO'd Dillinger off of the Phenomenal Forearm and thus showing that he could indeed take a "shortcut" to success, despite Styles' words of wisdom. This opens up a 1-on-1 rematch down the line for Styles versus Corbin, with Dillinger having been the one to eat the pinfall.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 3 pts Julie - 2 pts Prakhar - 2 pts Nick - 2 pts Greg - 2 pts
Smackdown Live Women's Championship Singles Match Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
RESULT: Charlotte wins via disqualification; Natalya hit Charlotte in her bad leg with a steel chair to force the DQ.
THOUGHTS: Something of a slow plodding match to start, part of which was due to the legwork by Natalya on Charlotte (who showed a marked improvement in her selling of the injury). Things picked up, with Charlotte showing a face-like scrappiness in refusing to stay down, forcing Natalya to resort to a steel chair to take the DQ loss, keep her title intact, and keep this feud going.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 4 pts Julie - 3 pts Prakhar - 2 pts Nick - 3 pts Greg - 3 pts
WWE World Championship Singles Match "The Modern-Day Maharaja" Jinder Mahal (c) w/The Singh Brothers vs. "The Artist" Shinsuke Nakamura
RESULT: Jinder Mahal wins via pinfall; Jinder countered the Kinshasa into the Khallas for the win.
THOUGHTS: I won't say this was exactly like every other Mahal title match in 2017, what with the ref actually having the wherewithal to eject the Singh Brothers after one too many interferences, but they still ended up being a critical factor. Simply changing up the timing of their involvement, however well-timed it was, doesn't take away from the fact that it's been the same overall format for Mahal's title reign. Paltry power offense, followed by falling back on the Singh Brothers, then capitalizing on their involvement. Rinse, Khallas, repeat.
So it's quite apparent that Jinder will hold the title throughout the rest of 2017, with the India tour coming up in December. That just leaves the question of who his first opponent in 2018 will be come the Royal Rumble, and the leading rumor is that it will be a returning John Cena in the hunt for his record-breaking 17th world championship...oh joy.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 4 pts Julie - 3 pts Prakhar - 2 pts Nick - 4 pts Greg - 4 pts
Singles Match "Glorious" Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
RESULT: Bobby Roode wins via pinfall; Roode rolled up Ziggler with a handful of tights after a series of reversals.
THOUGHTS: The cool-down fight between main events, it's not to say that these two didn't have a good match, but it felt a little dragged out due to Ziggler's focus on the sleeper hold during a couple points in this match.
The finish worked here, since we know Roode can take dirty routes to a victory as well as Ziggler, something the announcers were apt to point out. A rightful victory for Roode in his WWE PPV debut, and the Zig Zag post-match is a heavy indicator that this feud will continue.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 8 pts (LOCK; Big 4) Julie - 3 pts Prakhar - 2 pts Nick - 5 pts Greg - 6 pts (LOCK)
Hell In A Cell Match Falls Count Anywhere Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens
RESULT: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall; Zayn pulled Owens onto a prone Shane McMahon (after missing an elbow drop off the Cell) for the three count
THOUGHTS: Let's get to the core issues of this match; first off, it went WAY too long, too many quiet stretches between every spot, and the top-of-the-cell spots and teases seemed rather telegraphed. Not to mention that at 47 years of age, Shane was gassed long before he went into the final leg of his "routine" during HIAC, which turned out to be Shane's personal stunt show for the large duration of the match.
All that said, it told the story it needed to, which I've always been proactive about when it comes to pro wrestling. Shane fought to the bitter end and would literally do anything to put Owens away for good, put him out of the WWE and out of his family's hair, even if it meant Shane near killing himself to do it. Sami showing up near the end and assisting Owens in both avoiding disaster and picking up the winning pinfall will create plenty of buzz for upcoming Smackdown episodes as fans try to piece together his motive for doing so.
While an overall good match to sign off the PPV on, nothing held a candle to the main show's opener of New Day vs Usos, which was not only the best quality match of the PPV, but certainly one of the very best of 2017 for WWE.
WK KING OF PPV Ken - 9 pts (Winner) Julie - 5 pts (LOCK) Prakhar - 2 pts Nick - 6 pts Greg - 7 pts (2nd)
YOUR WINNER...AND NEWWWWW WK KING OF PPV CHAMPION...
"Your Kennection" Kenny Hill!!!
YOUR WINNER...AND NEWWWWW WK BIG 4 PPV CHAMPION...