Latest posts by kayfabetoday (see all)
- Raw Review 12/11/17 - December 12, 2017
- The RAW Review – 4/12/17 - December 5, 2017
- Kayfabe Today, Matches of the Month (November 2017) - December 1, 2017
What can be said about rasslin’ in a cell that hasn’t already been said before? I guess the only word for it is uhhhh “hell”. This Sunday, WWE presents a few of the aforementioned hellacious matches (though no match made in Heaven, sorry) in addition to a full slate of title matches and even a Dolph Ziggler appearance. While Sunday’s PPV is no guarantee to feature a choir of angels (or even Bray Wyatt’s Choir For Wayward Creeps) it can’t help but feel heavenly in comparison to Smackdown’s last PPV Battleground, which might as well have taken place in a lake of fire. The card for the 2017 interpretation is actually pretty intriguing, so let’s strike up the harp and enter the not so pearly gates of WWE’s Hell In A Cell
Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens (Hell In A Cell, Falls Count Anywhere)
So every time I see these two in the promo for this match, all I can think is “Dad Fight!” Now, I say this with the utmost respect for both competitors (each having been my favorite superstar at one point or another) and for dads, being one myself. Am I wrong? In what has been a fun, well-planned feud, Kevin Owens has finally dropped the Face of America shtick in favor of his usual paranoid, vengeful, monster self. Shane has proven that he’s still willing to put his body on the line in big matches, and it would seem this match should at worst offer us a few “holy s&@*” (that’s how you spell it!) worthy moments. Interesting to see if Sami Zayn gets involved in this one (especially knowing that the match likely spills out of the cage), as he’s been sniffing around this feud for the past few weeks.
Prediction: Not sure where they’re headed here, other than to assume that these two will be done fighting after tonight. With rumors of Owens departing the blue brand for the redder pastures of Raw, the possibility exists that Shane gets the upper hand here and banishes him from Smackdown Live (Owens has also alluded to having unfinished business with the Universal Title). I mean Shane has to win sometimes right? However, if Owens is going to continue acting as a top heel, there’s no need to give him a loss at the hands of the CEO’s son. Owens wins.
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
I’m not sure who booked this feud or for what purposes, but I don’t think it has really helped anyone involved and certainly not the WWE brand (especially after the questionable “Jinder is racist” segment a few weeks ago). They’re grasping at straws to make a meaningful rivalry where there is none. Yes, it’s nice to see Nakamura in the main event scene, but I’m not sure skyrocketing him to the top, only to get bogged down in this strange feud has done him any favors.
Prediction: There’s still a tour of India and for some reason this ISN’T a cage match (yay, more Singh brothers interference), so WWE has all the easy outs to keep the belt on Mahal. Ugggh, Jinder wins and remains unhindered.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair
After her surprise win at Summer Slam back in August, Natalya makes her first PPV defense of the women’s champion against fellow “female wrestler who in some way shape or form calls herself Queen”, Charlotte. The Nature Girl finds herself back on PPV (her last appearance saw her playing soccer with cars) after winning a Fatal Four Way match to become number one contender. Also, Carmella has loomed quietly with the Money in the Bank briefcase, so there’s always the possibility of a cash-in here.
Predictions: Tough to call as we don’t know if/when the Four Horsewomen program is happening or in what form. I’m going to go with a Charlotte win and Carmella cash in, leading to a mini-feud between the Queen and the Princess of Staten Island.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. The Usos (Hell in a Cell Match)
Though it’s unfortunate that the Smackdown tag division has essentially been two teams the last few months, the fact that said two teams are the Usos and The New Day has been OK with me. This has been a great rivalry, especially as the Usos have really grown into their heel selves. I’d imagine this will be the last matchup we see from these two mega teams (who have been feuding since May) for some time. Perhaps it’s finally time to bring the Fashion Police and maybe even Gable/Benjamin into the mix.
Prediction: Lately, WWE is obsessed with creating “real” records for their fake sport, one of which is the all-time tag title reigns record. The New Day can’t win another title if they still have the title, so the Usos do the reverse job here and allow New Day to win another title down the road.
United States Champion AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin
Baron Corbin’s stock dropped seemingly overnight (losing the Money In The Bank briefcase, and suffering a quick, clean loss to John Cena at Summer Slam) and has somewhat surreptitiously been built back up as he finds himself in a title match against one of the blue brand’s top performers, AJ Styles. Styles has been pretty quiet of late (apparently he’s working dark matches in lieu of TV matches, to hold the live 205 crowd) so it will be nice to see him dust off his boots, even if it is to fight in this lackluster feud with the lone wolf.
Prediction: I can’t imagine WWE brass has suddenly done that much of a 180 on Corbin. Styles retains.
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Love him or hate him, you can’t help but be entertained by Dolph Ziggler’s latest incarnation, mocking the crowd with his take on your favorite superstar’s entrances. Actually, you can help it. In fact, you might find it not all that funny, and kind of sad. Anyway, Bobby Roode is a good guy for some reason on Smackdown, and he doesn’t take kindly to heels making fun of entrances. They’s gonna rumble.
Prediction: This feud drags out, so Ziggler goes over for now (likely in some sort of underhanded fashion) before Roode gets his win back down the road.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
If for no other reason than seeing Rusev’s overjoyed celebration after beating Randy Orton on Smackdown, this feud has been OK. Throw in Aiden English for further heel comic relief and you’ve got a recipe for a rivalry that isn’t as bad and lazy as it once seemed.This is the rubber match after both superstars notched uber-quick victories over one another. Hopefully, better things lie in store for both men. Well, at least for Rusev. I don’t really care what they do with Orton actually.
Prediction: For some illogical, not-at-all-based-in-reality type reason, I believe that WWE actually wants to push Rusev a bit and they let him steal one from the Viper.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Kickoff Match)
In order to best enjoy this matchup, it is recommended that you not only “get hype” (or is it “hyped”? I don’t know and it kind of bothers me) but additionally “stay hype.” The Hype Bros have been in a bit of soul-searching mode lately, and it seems inevitable that they’ll be going their separate ways sooner than later. Gable and Benjamin meanwhile have yet to really click with the WWE Universe, but it’s still pretty early for American Alpha Two (The Alpha-ning). Hopefully, Smackdown affords them more time to develop their relationship, much like the American Alpha vignettes on NXT served to develop that duo’s goofy charm.
Conclusion: Seems obvious, but Gable & Benjamin pick up the win, while the Bros spiral towards a breakup (and Zach Ryder is left to woo woo woo a new tag partner…man I’m funny).
Sunday’s PPV should be a marked improvement over Battleground though we may not get a ton of storyline development if November’s Survivor Series is again a Raw vs. Smackdown encounter. Regardless, the matchup and performers are solid so this should be a fun night…in HELL….which takes place in a CELL…I can’t wait until they ring the BELL…Who wins? Only time will TELL!
The Real DC (yes that IS his real name) is a blogger/humorist, & subpar identity concealer. Check out his blog at www.therealdc.com and on twitter @TheNotFakeDC.