The following was written several months ago but not posted due to us being too lazy to go through and take screenshots. And we still are too lazy! Sorry, catch us next time.
But, with Hell In A Cell 2017 now in the history books, we thought this seemed like an apt time to revisit the last time that the words Hell In A Cell were being regularly spoken on WWE TV.
2017 Elimination Chamber
We are officially ON the Road To Wrestlemania! Are YOU ready to pay the TOLL? IF NOT, PREPARE TO BE ELIMINATED! EXACT CHANGE ONLY!
Our hosts are: Renee Young, Booker T, Carmella and Sam Roberts. You know, the Sirius radio guy on all of those WWE Countdown shows. Fans of 90s sci-fi show Babylon 5 might recognise Sam Roberts best for his tireless work in cos-playing both Lennier and Ambassador Londo Mollari at the same time. The lad’s done well for himself.
Carmella spends the pre-show just playing with her phone, yawning and asking if someone can get her some coffee.
Sam: “Man, my Twitter blew up when The Ascension won!”
Booker: “… American Alpha…”
Sam: “No, the Ascension”
Sam: “…One of my favourite teams are American Alpha!”
Various match previews, including Natalya vs. Nikki Bella.
This past Tuesday, Nattie and Nikki were on Smackie, sharing their views. Happily those same views are repeated here, thanks to the wonders of modern video replay technology. Hooray for Silicon Valley, eh?
You know what we’re talking about.
James Ellsworth joins the panel. He has skybox tickets! Carmella decides that it would be better to hang out with him there, than to stay on the panel.
A quick check of the clock shows that 31 minutes remain of this pre-show.
We get an advert break.
‘king hell, this is going to be a bit of a tough one to get through, we can already tell.
Hype for later, when Kalisto and Apollo Crews team up to take on Dolph Ziggler.
Sam Roberts asks the question every fan has been wondering: why is Apollo Crews always smiling? Answer: He’s a happy guy! Personally, we reckon he’s hopped up on goofballs.
Becky Lynch is in the social media lounge! She is herself, which is to say charming, intense and just a little bit mad.
She and Finn Balor both always seem so short of breath during their interviews. We wonder why. If you know why, please write in. It’s been bugging us. We don’t remember Sheamus or Fit Finlay being similarly afflicted. Or Hornswoggle.
Another advert break.
JBL fell down again. This time, whilst dancing down the ramp. They show JBL dancing until he falls down. JBL and Booker T are most amused.
We see the commentary team. Tom Phillips, JBL, Mauro Ranallo and David Otunga.
Tom Phillips always has such a cheeky grin on his face! As if he can’t quite believe he’s being allowed to stay up late and watch the wrestling, with the older kids. Bless him.
Always infectious to see such enthusiasm. Like the kind you expect to find in the WWE social media lounge.
Speaking of which we hear Tom Phillips really likes Facebook.
He looks so excited to be here. I’ll be he’s gonna Facebook the shit out of this!
Curt Hawkins vs. Mojo Rawley
This match is unofficially for the love of Zack Ryder, Whoever wins gets to hang out with Zack to watch Predator and talk about Carl Weathers.
Mojo controls initially, Hawkins quickly turns the tables on him, leaving Mojo down on the outside and facing a 10 count. Hawkins howls when Mojo beats it back in, obviously hoping to pull out a sneaky victory. After a lot of conniving on the part of Hawkins, Mojo Rawley wins with some big power moves. He’s like a big dynamo out there. He’s already better in my mind than, say, Crush.
Renee, Booker and Sam talk about the Elimination Chamber match and wrap up the show. We forget that Dean Ambrose is in that match. No slight on him — right now, every guy going into the Elimination Chamber is doing something interesting. No chair-fillers!
Our netbook has approximately 4 hours remaining. Let’s see if that’s enough time to cover the rest of this wrestling show.
BEAUTY! IT’S EVERYWHERE! IT’S THE WARM GLOW OF OUR ASPIRATIONS. BUT IT CAN ALSO BE COLD AS STEEL. AND THAT’S BEAUTIFUL.
A dramatic piano entrance to the show. We are reminded instantly of Reby Sky playing the piano, except not quite as good.
Tom Phillips asks JBL about every possible main event match type. “AHH IT’S THE MOST FIERCE!” Hell In a A Cell? “MOST FIERCE” Elimination Chamber? “MOST FIERCE!” Basically every type of match is tougher than every other type of match. Got that?
Becky Lynch vs. Mickie James
German announcers are introduced with the subtitle, “GERMAN ANNOUNCE TEAM SPEAKING GERMAN”. Thanks guys.
Nice new gear on Becky, she looks less of a threat to Dr. Robotnik now.
Tussle outside to start, Mickie controls it back inside, shows her stuff. Nice camera angle on Becky delivering a flying forearm from the ring to Mickie on outside! Looked proper rough on Mickie.
Mickie comes back, working the arm of the Irish Lass-kickerworker. Crowd let her know she’s still got it.
Back and forth, Mickie’s elbow bleeding a little. They wrestle over arm submission holds before eventually, Becky wins with a jack-knife cover.
Commentators really stress how much of a big win this is for Becky, with beating a storied veteran such as Mickie James perhaps the second biggest win of Lynch’s career, according to JBL. The biggest being when she won the first-ever (well…) Smackdown women’s championship, of course.
Carmella and Ellsworth eat popcorn and act like tools
Corbin shows off his secret love for Fiona Apple, shadow boxing against a wall.
Someone here points out that as well as looking like Kevin from F Is For Family, Corbin looks a bit like Trigger from Only Fools & Horses. Can… not… un… see…
Apollo Crews and Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler
Zigger attacks Kalisto during Kalisto’s intro and damages the screen a bit. OOh, that makes Apollo Creed frown a bit! He does well to defend his little mexican friends honor, before Ziggler overcomes him.
The crowd is mostly dead or cheering for the evil, heelish Ziggler.
Kalisto makes it into the match at last and he fares well for a bit, before tagging back in Apollo. And… they win via 2-on-1 advantage.
And that’s the way it goes.
TRAVIS CITY sign is visible in the crowd. Very appropriate, the match felt like a Travis song.
Afterwards, Ziggler continues to be a big meany afterwards and Pillmanizes Apollo.
This leads to some inexplicable Thank you Ziggler chants as he leaves the others in the ring lying.
Wait, isn’t Dolph from Phoenix, where this show is?! Why is he playing a hated meanie here before his hometown… oh, forget it.
Now we have a TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCH.
Heath Slater & Rhyno vs. Tyler Breeze & Fandango a.k.a. Breezango a.k.a. The Fashion Police a.k.a. The Fashion Po Po
JBL gets in the line, “Rhyno ran for office, but he was too honest, he had too much common sense.” And that explains Trump’s election.
Deputy Dango is wrestling with Fashion Police tickets sticking up out of his pants.
After a “Woah… woah…!” sunset flip attempt by H, Fan blocks him and showers H in tickets.
Rhyno gores Fandango to get the pin. And now The Vaudevillains come out, and to my excitement they don’t immediately lose!
Shortly thereafter, they do, of course. Heath Slater gets the pin and now here come the Usos, Jimmy & Jay!
At this point the commentary takes a turn for the surreal. JBL compares Mauro and David to Beauty and the Beast.
Mauro becomes so flustered that he immediately starts talking about the upcoming Hell In A Cell match, before being reminded that it’s the Elimination Chamber.
JBL suggests that Mauro should receive a sobriety test before he comes out.
Somehow amidst this chaos, the Usos get the win and now they await the next team… American Alpha!
This is a strange crowd. What’s happening in the ring is all solid action, but the crowd just don’t care. Oy.
Gable gets the pin but the Usos prove themselves to be very bad sportsmen indeed and beat up American Alpha.
The Ascension come out to a good reaction. American Alpha are lying defenceless. Our living room holds its breath in excited anticipation of The Ascension finally winning the big one.
TOTAL ELIMINATION / FALL OF MAN! Sadly, this doesn’t immediately score the win for them and we get a regular match.
Oh, American Alpha win. Pppffffff.
The fans in the arena look as nonplussed by the result as everyone watching the TV here does.
I guess it just wasn’t The Ascension’s time.
I have written down, “Maryse touches The Miz’s face. Unsure if he’s liking it.” Can’t remember the context, but I’m backing this story all the way to the presses.
Natalya vs. Nikki Bella
Someone better go get Europe because… IT’S VAGINAL COUNTDOWN!
Much like Angel the vampire, Nattie is so much more fun now that she’s turned bad.
Awesome open-handed slap by Nattie with big pink fingernails
Natalya taunts Nikki with Nikki’s fella’s famous catchphrase, “YOU CAN’T SEE THIS!”
Oh Nattie it’s Me, not This.
Methodically paced match. Builds up the heat though. Classic nastiness from Nat, beating Nik up in front of Momma Bella.
Really physical by the end, both women brawling outside which leads to double count out. Few boos from the crowd, but this story line shouldn’t finish yet, it needs this non-ending so the story can just start beginning.
As we read this back months later, neither of us can remember this story developing any further. This apparently was the end of it. Huh.
Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton
Mauro refers to Luke Harper as the pothole in The Road To Wrestlemania for Randy Orton. That’s it son, embrace this analogies!
Harper wrestles with spit in his beard to start. My wife declares Luke Harper the most attractive man in WWE. Hopefully these two things are unrelated…
The big man controls Randy to start, using his size advantage before busting out a fine dropkick.
Orton suplexes Harper onto and over the announce desk, sending everyone flying.
Orton brings the chin lock. Camera pans away from Harper’s bald spot.
Mauro calls Harper the Bearded Brawler from the Backwoods. Yes! Nice.
And a very nice standing senton from Harper!
This is such a weird show. The crowd don’t seem to care about ANYTHING. As we are saying that, “Let’s go harper” chants start building. About damn time.
Solid power match, starts slow but builds well. We even had some doubt that Orton would win, the month before Wrestlemania!
But win Orton does, with Luke Harper trying for a discus punch but RO reverses into RKO outta nowhere.
Best crowd reactions of the night, so far anyway, with both guys both working hard.
RKO into a Harper Superkick, they slug it out on their knees, finally another RKO seals it.
I think somehow that ran 45 minutes including trailers, entrances, adverts. Epic stuff, shame about the crowd.
Another advert. Eurgh. Why not show someone in the back advertising it instead?
Since we wrote this, even though it wasn’t published at the time, every show seems to have someone backstage and advertising chicken. We can only say ‘sorry’…
Nikki is interviewed, but Nattie attacks. Talcalm powder all over Maryse! Oh… my…
All of this leads to your humble writers having to go upstairs for a lie down for a while.
When we return, Nikki gets the powder on her head and instantly starts looking like Adam Ant, somehow.
Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi
Naomi’s entrance gets the crowd amped, and about damn time.
As the two competitors are introduced, the crowd sound so much more into this. Were the mics just all way down or something, before? Weird.
Fast match with lots of pinfall attempts, cool reversals and a powerful finish. We have a new women’s champion, Naomi!
ABOUT DAMN TIME. YOU DESERVE IT chant from the crowd, who finally justify their being there. And they’re totally right, well done Naomi.
She says she’ll have it still come Wrestlemania.
Which is in her home town.
Uh oh, Naomi, I’ve got a bad feeling …
As we wait for the next match, the room discusses the difference between the TV shows and the PPVs, across the two brands.
Smackdown — great TV, average PPVs. Raw — average TV, great PPVs. Combined PPVs — pretty good!
Weird Photoshop on Roman and Braun in these hype photos . Emboss-a-go-go.
John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose vs. A J Styles vs. Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz vs. Baron Corbin
THE ELIMINATION CHAMBER!
Mauro calls it Hell In A Cell again. Heck On A Deck! Rage In The Cage! Hate In A Crate! A Lot Of Men In An Ottoman!
AJ and Cena are the first two out and fighting. Vicious start from AJ to start. Cena pulls a lush sunset flip out the of bag on AJ though.
Ambrose next, a house on fire all over Cena Ambrose launches himself off the top of the pod onto Cena, very coool.
Cena fires back, with a German suplex from cena lifting AJ who is in turn lifting dean.
Now it’s Bray in to kick ass! He throws AJ into the cage / cell / chamber / deck / crate / box.
AJ and Cena fight on the cage wall before Cena takes a tumble. This is a redesigned Elimination Chamber by the way. It’s supposed to be tougher and harsher now but honestly, it looks kinda nefed.
Actually it looks more and more like a ball pit minus the balls. It’s an oubliette, which we don’t remember it being before.
Dean and AJ fight on the top of a pod, before Bray pulls AJ down from the top in some kind of suplex. AJ takes a big spill and the camera changes to some guy in the crowd looking mildly impressed. We don’t recall seeing many of these random shots of the crowd tonight, probably because they’ve been so lame.
Weirdly timed bit with Dean and Baron in the corner sees only Baron standing. The Miz is scared. Then, Dean rolls up Baron
Some of the crowd start chanting NA NA NA NA. They’re going banana!
Miz covers Dean, eliminating Ambrose from the match.
Here in the room we start talking about how much we miss Mizdow. And how Miz should have a partner called Gomez. See, the crowd would like him and The Miz would think they’re chanting Go Miz, but they aren’t! Money.
Bray goes down on the mats. They look so cushiony. Not like the Elimination Chamber of old. They look much softer now. Some bad camera shots here illustrating this.
Super Cena with a power AA to Miz to eliminate him. Now, AJ and Cena go at it again. Cena climbs the pod, earning a DON’T KILL YOURSELF CENA chant. He wipes out Bray and AJ.
A lot of this match, such as the sequence just now, is pretty much perfect wrestling.
Cena goes for the AA – but Bray Wyatt hits Sister Abigail on Cena! He gets the pin – this means we are going to get a new champion soon!
Bray looks on with evil intentions at AJ and we get a cool zoomed out view just taking it all in.
Mauro says bird’s eye view AND IT IS! A correctly identified bird’s eye view. Truly, anything can happen in the WWE!
AJ tries but Bray is just on too much of a roll tonight – and he wins! The match and the championship are his.
Orton comes out and looks all moody and full of portent.
We’re out of time! And have just 3% battery remaining Thanks for reading, we hope this passed a few minutes for you. See you again next time!