By Rob Siebert
Editor, Fanboy Wonder
This year’s Hell in a Cell has more intrigue than it deserves, considering how stale and cold the product has been lately. WWE is supposedly planning to keep ratings up by bringing more of the part-timers back, including The Rock. That’s a fine band-aid, I suppose. But it’s not going to fix the real problem: This company needs new stars, better booking, and in a perfect world, a two-hour Raw.
But hey, one problem at a time…
I hate this match. I hate it so much.
It’s nothing personal against the guys in the ring. It’s just that I’m so damn tired of six-man tags. This week on Raw they did three of them. Even they put Rollins with Ambrose and Reigns to face the Wyatts, I was just so sick of six-man tags that whatever novelty it might have had was totally washed out. As for who wins this match, given WWE’s policy of “even steven booking,” and that the bad guys won on Raw, I’m giving it to the good guys here.
The really sad thing here is that Dolph Ziggler being in this match likely means he won’t be answering Cena’s open challenge again.
PREDICTION: Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, & Neville
Weren’t they supposedly planning to make this a triple-threat match with Paige? That match would likely have had more intrigue than this one, given that we’ve seen it twice already.
Still, while I don’t often use the word “respect” in the same sentence as Nikki Bella’s name, I’ll do it here. I respect what Nikki has done with Charlotte, and the match they had on Raw for the title. So I’m willing to sit through another match between the two. But after this, they really need to put Charlotte with somebody else. Paige is basically just standing around acting weird. I don’t see why she shouldn’t be next in line.
The right thing to do here, for my money, is to keep the titles on The New Day. Put the Dudleys with another up-and-coming team (Harper & Rowan?), and let The New Day move on. Who do you put them with at this point? That’s a tough question. Either way, Kofi, Xavier, and Big E. will likely make it entertaining. And that’s 90 percent of the battle, right there.
PREDICTION: The New Day
Firstly, what the hell was Ryback wearing on Raw this week? He was clearly trying to pander to Komen crowd. But there are better ways to do it than dressing like a newborn baby girl with a beard.
Having seen Kevin Owens as champion, I have very little desire to see the belt back on Ryback. Owens may not have the build that Ryback has, but he clearly makes up for it in charisma and wrestling ability. Even the stuff he did with the Lucha Dragons was fun to watch. There’s a whole line of babyfaces you can put Owens with, including Sami Zayn when he heals up. So I say we keep the title right where it is.
PREDICTION: Kevin Owens
The build-up to this match has been brutal. They overcomplicated things so damn much with the Corporate Kane/Demon Kane multiple personality angle. All this needed to be was a chase story. Kane has been dying to get his hands on Rollins all year, and now he’s finally going to get that chance. Until then, you have Rollins constantly looking over his shoulder as Kane (mask and all) plays bizarre mind games. There’s a lot of fire imagery they could have played around with, and of course Kane is a good promo. But instead we got a lot of bad and contrived storytelling, the worst of which saw Kane pin Rollins in a lumberjack match.
I don’t see this being one of Rollins’ better pay per view title defenses. But I’d love to be proven wrong. The big upside here is once he wins, the whole “director of operations” thing is over, and we hopefully won’t have to see Corporate Kane again.
What a damn waste…
PREDICTION: Seth Rollins
Given what we know about Cena taking time off until December, it’s not hard to pick a winner here. The only question is, who does Cena pass the torch to?
Ideally, you’d want it to be a heel, right? Looking over the roster, there’s nobody that jumps out as an obvious choice. Theoretically, they could have Ziggler pull double duty and then cheat to win. Cena has been out there with The New Day a lot lately, so it could be one of them. Stardust is a sentimental pick for yours truly. He could win the title and then have The Ascension be his run-in buddies. If they really wanted to piss the smarks off, they could put the title on The Big Show. *shudders*
Either way, this John Cena open challenge for the United States Title is a bigger selling point for the pay per view than what Rollins and Kane are doing with the World Heavyweight Title. That’s a little bit sad.
PREDICTION: Not John Cena
One more note from this past week’s Raw: Um…hi Erick Rowan?
This is the match that should really be main eventing the show. It’s tough for me to complain about having The Undertaker and Brock Lesnar on a show, but you’ve got to believe this was the original main event for Hell in a Cell. But then thanks to low ratings, ‘Taker and Brock got called in early. In a way, that’s a shame. They’d been trying to build this Reigns/Wyatt feud for months now, with varying degrees of success. But despite it’s drawbacks, the time and effort they’d put into it merited a big blow-off like this.
One of the things that has kept this program from being as compelling as we’ve all wanted it to be is the scripted promos WWE has been feeding to Roman Reigns. Ironically, by trying to push him as their next top guy, WWE has prevented him from blossoming into the star he could be. When Reigns talks, you can tell he’s got some of the same swagger that The Rock has. That’s not to say Reigns will ever blow anybody away on the mic the way Rocky did. But somewhere under all that scripted verbage is a real human being that I’d like to get to know. That’s one of the reasons why Reigns, at some point, needs to turn heel. As a bad guy, Reigns can finally be free of some of those shackles, and learn to be himself out there.
As for this match, I’d love to see Bray go over. But if WWE wants to give Reigns another try at Wrestlemania this year, a win inside the cell is the way to go. Here’s hoping a feud with Chris Jericho is in the works to close out his year.
PREDICTION: Bray Wyatt
This match feels surprisingly under-hyped, considering how epic it’s supposed to be. They tried to kick things into high gear this past week, but it felt pretty last minute. They spent too much time focusing on that damn match at MSG with The Big Show. It’s a Hell in a Cell match with the goddamn Undertaker. You’d think they’d give it a little more than two or three weeks of build-up.
Considering that originally this match (presumably without the cell) was supposed to take place at Wrestlemania in Dallas, you’ve got to think ‘Taker was originally set to go over. Obviously plans have changed. But if the rumors about ‘Taker not wanting to retire at Wrestlemania are true, he must be going over here. Otherwise, he just looks like an old man who’s overstayed his welcome.
Granted, they’re not going to beat Brock clean. Oddly enough, I imagine the ending to this year’s Hell in a Cell being much like what happened last year. We’re going to have some kind of screwy finish, in which Brock’s next rival gets in the cage and screws him over somehow. Who’s it going to be? I have no clue. But please, can we keep Brock away from The Big Show?
PREDICTION: The Undertaker
Images courtesy of WWE.com.
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