Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens (WWE Hell in a Cell 6/20/21)

Match Reviews

It’s concerning that every time this feud comes back in the WWE, it seems to mean a little less to the company than before. It’s also concerning that the company’s “Fight Forever” approach to this rivalry means that they’ll dip into this well again in the future. Through no real fault of their own, it feels like that feud is long past its peak, each new iteration of it merely propped up by nostalgia for what was. Again that’s not an indictment on Sami or Kevin, but rather of the WWE’s inability to find any material for these two other than just throwing them together whether as partners or opponents when they’re out of ideas.

With that out of the way, I thought this was pretty great. It starts pretty steadily but there is a lot of good from the go. Sami bumps like a nut during the babyface shine and Kev’s got a built in storyline weakness as he’s selling the effects of the Nigerian Nile to his throat. Not sure about the optics of having a guy hacking his lungs up during a pandemic but the selling makes sense at least. Sami uses the injury to transition into his own control.

They do some cool nutty stuff like some of the bumps to the floor but what elevates this for me is when they start slugging each other in the face. There’s a point in this match where they just start punching each other and it owns. Sami gets a busted up lip and they just don’t let up until the match is over. I don’t typically associate these two with having the meatiest punches so seeing them just go for it was a nice new layer to this feud that I’ve seen play out for over a decade now. Pretty easily their best match since 2016.

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