In the constantly changing landscape of wrestling, there isn't much that you can count on. Storylines change, characters change, even companies change. However, for over a decade now, one thing you could count on is that Sami Zayn would be standing there as a beacon of goodness, a true babyface. However, that all came to an end Sunday night at Hell in a Cell.
Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon squared off in the brutal spotfest everyone was expecting. They used weapons, from the steel steps to a trash can that Shane put in front of Owens before going coast to coast. A table came into play in the cell, as Owens attempted a cannonball off the apron, though Shane moved and Owens caught the brunt of it. And the two scaled the cell. As fans in the audience and at home held their breath, the two took turns slamming each other on the top. It seemed remarkable that the cell held them. Then, as the two started going down the cell, Shane was able to catch Owens, slam him against the side, and Owens fell from halfway up through the Spanish announce table.
That move wouldn't be it though. Shane, not content with that fall, set Owens up on the main announce table. He once against scaled the cell, and just like at Wrestlemania 32, he would attempt an elbow drop. And once again, he missed. This time though, it wasn't simply due to Owens rolling out of the way. Instead, seemingly out of nowhere, Sami Zayn appeared and pulled Owens out of the way. Shane dropped through the table in a rather sickening bump, causing medics to come out. Before they could take Shane out though, Sami pulled Owens on top of Shane, to get the pin and win the match.
There were hints of something happening leading up to Sunday's turn. Quite frankly, there was no reason for Sami to be as involved in the feud as he was. Even as someone who constantly is intertwined with Owens, Sami's inclusion two weeks ago in the match, and then in trying to tell Shane to back off last week, was odd. It seemed he had to get involved somehow during the match. So some had proposed the thought that maybe it might not be as easy as Sami once again getting involved to fight his old friend, but instead reuniting with him.
However, the idea of Sami Zayn being heel is an odd one. Sami Zayn, to this point, has been the ultimate white meat babyface. For better or for worse, he wouldn't cheat, he wouldn't do anything underhanded to get ahead. It even was a story of his NXT title win. Despite Neville criticizing him for being too soft to get ahead, and despite having opportunities during the match, he wouldn't cheat against Neville, and eventually ended up winning cleanly. That's who he was. While he wasn't quite as squeaky clean as El Generico, he still always was a babyface, though he was a little bit more willing to sink to depths in personal feuds … like against Kevin Steen. Sami Zayn as a heel? That's unthinkable, even if it does get us the reunion of Steenerico that we've been waiting on for eight long years. Who is going to stand for what's right if not Sami? This may not be up there with the Black Sox scandal, but it wouldn't shock me to hear a kid say, "Say it ain't so Sami" in the upcoming days.
So we're entering new ground here. Maybe this is finally the tweak that gets Sami the push fans have been clamoring for since he joined the main roster. It certainly puts him in a high-profile spot. But it will be different. A heel Sami Zayn. This is truly a new age.
The rest of Hell in a Cell:
-While Owens/Shane had the biggest bumps, the best match of the night was the tag match in the Hell in a Cell that opened the show. The Usos and New Day used a ton of weapons in the match, but more importantly, they used the cell as a weapon. There was even an extremely creative spot as one of the Usos was trapped in the corner, and Xavier Woods trapped him with kendo sticks. However, the Usos got the final blow. After trapping both Big E and Woods with handcuffs, they dealt out some massive damage. While both members of The New Day got free and attempted to make a comeback, both were cut off, and the Usos ended up getting the pin to become five-time champs.
-The tag titles weren't the only titles to change hands. There is a new U.S. champion: Baron Corbin. Tye Dillinger was added to the match before the show started. While all three men looked great in the match, AJ Styles eventually hit Dillinger with the Phenomenal Forearm. Corbin quickly got into the ring, tossed Styles out, and pinned Dillinger himself to earn his first title in the company.
-Charlotte won in the women's title match, however, she did not win the title, as it came via DQ. As Charlotte took advantage, Natalya grabbed a chair and hit Charlotte with it. This leads me to wonder if Charlotte may end up winning the title at Starrcade, a show in Greensboro at the end of November. You would think that they'd try to make that special, and with Ric Flair being such an important part of Starrcade, why not have his daughter win it there?
-Bobby Roode beat Dolph Ziggler, but it wasn't quite as clean as some would have thought. At the end of the match, Ziggler tried to roll up Roode while grabbing the tights. The two reversed the pin several times, with Ziggler grabbing the tights each time, and finally it was Roode who grabbed the tights to earn the pin. Ziggler immediately hit him with a Zig Zag after the win though. It was a somewhat odd finish for Roode's main roster PPV debut.
-Randy Orton beat Rusev yet again. It doesn't make a lot sense, and yet, it's hard to call it surprising.
-Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable beat the Hype Bros on the preshow.
Questions? Thoughts? Leave them in the comment section here, email me, or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster. You can also hear my podcast, Jobbing Out, at https://soundcloud.com/jobbingout