The New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) (c) vs The Usos (Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso)
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Little Caesars Arena, Detroit, Michigan, United States
(reviewed 10/18/2017) Ok so wow. I mentioned before that these teams have had soooo many matches this year that I liked but couldn’t find meaningful commentary for and after yet another highly-touted hardcore match I was a little skeptical about this match. Add to that the tonal dissonance of a team like the New Day in HIAC and you’ve got a mixture that screams “not for me”. But this is great. Really great little hardcore tag. “Hardcore” is a pretty relative term, being that the extent of weaponry at hand here is a few kendo sticks and steel chairs, but man do these boys get inventive with the tools that they’re given. From nutty apron spears into the cage wall from Big E to a GRUESOME side slam/lungblower combo off the apron from the New Day to trapping the Usos in the corner of the cage with the kendo sticks to the best usage of handcuffs I’ve seen in wrestling in years (eat your heart out, Will Ospreay), this match has it all. I’ve got more than a few complaints (the length, the inane WWE cinematography that actively makes a few spots worse, the brief goofiness of using multicolored instruments to attack the Usos, some weak striking scattered throughout) but there’s so much to enjoy here that I can’t help but sort of love this match. The Usos are great as a villainous team who aren’t so much evil as they are crafty, malicious dickheads who are more than willing to fight dirty and do a lot of that here. The New Day are a much more varied team. Big E is something of a goliath here, this meaty, unstoppable force who is in the thick of it throughout most of this match but eventually is overcome by the numbers game. Woods is far more vulnerable and finds himself overwhelmed by his larger opponents, eventually trapped in a pair of handcuffs late in the match. His big spot of leaping into the ring, still handcuffed, to break up the pin on the Usos’ big double splash combo, is awesome, one of the better break up spots I’ve seen since Trevor/Wilkins. He does what he can to take it to the Usos, who have basically killed Big E at this point, while his hands are still bound and it’s a lovely babyface performance of valiant defiance in the face of inevitable defeat, one of my favorite things in all of wrestling. If this was a little tighter or perhaps a little bloodier, which basically means if this wasn’t in WWE, then this would carve out a comfortable spot on my MOTY list. As it stands it’s still a hell of a match I’d recommend to most anyone. Be sure to check this one out, folks.