This Sunday marks the return of WWE’s annual Hell in a Cell event, which is predicated on featuring the horrifically spectacular match of the same name. Inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, WWE will showcase two ‘Hell in a Cell’ matches (the thirty-first and thirty-second such matches in WWE history), which will spell the end of two of the higher-profile feuds going on right now. The scheduled card for the show is as follows:
Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, and Neville vs. Rusev, Sheamus, and King Barrett
What do you do with six guys who have no storyline and dwindling momentum? You stick them in a meaningless tag match, of course! This is a re-match from this past episode of Monday Night Raw, so it’s odd that WWE would do this match again at a pay-per-view (albeit, it’s free on the pre-show). Considering that the heels won after King Barrett got the pin on Monday, it’s likely that the faces will get the victory this time around. The match may be meaningless in terms of storyline, but it’s sure to be entertaining and get the crowd excited for the strong card ahead of them.
WWE Intercontinental Championship
Kevin Owens (champion) vs. Ryback
As most die-hard wrestling fans can attest, the Intercontinental Championship hasn’t been prominent for several years and it is currently the least important championship in WWE (even behind the United States Championship, a shocking notion). However, a performer as talented and entertaining as Kevin Owens is the right kind of guy to bring the championship back to its former glory. It’s going to take time to make that happen, so it’s highly likely that Owens will retain the championship and get a good match out of Ryback.
WWE Tag Team Championships
The New Day (champions) vs. The Dudley Boyz
Its been talked to death, but it bears repeating… the New Day is the hottest thing going in wrestling. The immensely talented team of Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods has been given creative freedom to be entertaining in their own unique way. Bubba Ray Dudley likes to say that there are three things guaranteed in life – death, taxes, and tables (unfortunately, Xavier Woods knows this all too well ). However, there are three things the New Day can guarantee that will help them win on Sunday – Big E dancing provocatively, Kofi’s creepy clapping, and Woods playing the trombone. It would be sillier than any of the antics the New Day does to book them to lose the championships, so expect them to retain.
WWE Divas Championship
Charlotte (champion) vs. Nikki Bella
It’s an unwritten rule in wrestling (and an excellent story device to keep a feud going) that every champion has a ‘rematch clause’ in their contracts that allow them to get an immediate rematch should he/she lose the championship. That’s what Nikki Bella is cashing in on after losing the championship to Charlotte at Night of Champions. While the Bellas are the primary heels of the Divas division, this feud has gone on long enough and should end with this match; opening up opportunities for new feuds over the championship. It’s safe to say that Charlotte will retain her championship and start a new feud in the coming weeks (likely with Paige).
WWE United States Championship
John Cena issues an open challenge
John Cena is the reason the United States Championship is more relevant than ever and higher up on the rankings than the prestigious Intercontinental Championship, thanks to the open challenges he issues every week. Cena is a fighting champion and these open challenges have allowed him to have fun and wrestle great matches every week with various opponents. The open challenges free Cena from the storytelling tropes of a feud that would have him face the same person every week in some capacity.
Not only does this challenge have the appeal of a great in-ring display, but it also plays on the anticipation of his mystery opponent. The beauty of the open challenges is that the audience doesn’t know who is going to answer the call and WWE has proven that they’re willing to surprise the audience. We’ve seen regular roster guys like Cesaro and Stardust answer the call, as well as NXT stars like Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens.
With rumors that Cena will be taking time off after Hell in a Cell, it’s likely he’s going to drop the title, and that makes the mystery of his opponent all the more interesting. When looking at the potential landscape of WWE after Sunday’s show, the WWE World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, and Tag Team championships will all be held by heels, and you’d have to imagine that WWE would want to keep the United States Championship on a babyface to balance the championship scales. Possible options include current roster guys like Dean Ambrose, NXT guys making their debut like Samoa Joe, or a returning star like Daniel Bryan.
Dean Ambrose, currently without a match at Hell in a Cell, is the best bet to answer the challenge and take the belt off of Cena. While it would be amazing to see a big time debut or return, there are too many health concerns regarding Daniel Bryan and WWE doesn’t seem ready to call Samoa Joe up to the main roster just yet.
WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Seth Rollins (champions) vs. Kane
This feud has been slow-building for way too long now, but it’s taken an interesting (and really stupid) turn in that ‘Corporate Kane’ doesn’t understand that he’s also the ‘Demon Kane’ wreaking havoc on Seth Rollins. Professional wrestling is all about suspending disbelief and, boy, do you have to for this storyline to work. Corporate Kane is hilarious, but this storyline isn’t to be taken seriously and Rollins will definitely retain the championship.
Hell in a Cell
Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt
WWE is in the early stages of the next generation with this feud. Roman Reigns is WWE’s top-choice to be the future face of the company, and Bray Wyatt is the logical choice to be his arch nemesis for the next decade. Reigns is picking up a lot of momentum, so it’s likely he will win the match, but expect to see some shenanigans involving the other members of the Wyatt Family (Bruan Strowman, Luke Harper, and Erick Rowan) and Dean Ambrose. This is a match we’ll see for years to come, so go ahead and ignore this match’s billing as the end of their feud.
Hell in a Cell
Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
Contrary to the Reigns and Wyatt feud, this match will actually be the end of the feud for Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker. This is the rubber match for their brutal and physical feud that has led to actual injuries to the Undertaker. It’s heavily speculated that this match will set up the Wrestlemania matches for either Brock Lesnar or the Undertaker by introducing one of their opponents. No matter how the show ends, the match is going to be hard-hitting, cringe worthy, and memorable. Despite the fact that this feud will only have featured three matches in a couple of years, Lesnar (with the help of Paul Heyman) and the Undertaker have crafted something special and one of the most exciting feuds in recent memory, if not in WWE history. It’s tough to predict what is going to happen in this match because either guy could win clean or cheat in doing so, but Lesnar seems the more likely choice.
Despite dealing with historically low ratings, WWE is poised to put on a great show with Hell in a Cell. The intrigue of major developments in the Lesnar/Taker match for Wrestlemania and the potential for a really exciting debut or return in the open challenge for the United States championship make this show feel bigger than it probably should.
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