The Delco Elbow Drop

Friday, October 24, 2014

WWE Hell in a Cell preview – Booking on autopilot

WWE is hosting the “Hell in a Cell” Pay-Per-View this Sunday in Dallas, Texas, though if you look at just the card, you’d barely know it was a special event. Besides getting Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in their first real match since the start of their feud, almost everything else on this card is something we’ve seen many times before.

I’m going to run through the card quickly, go over the build-up and who should win and my take on it. But for what should be one of the most interesting events of the year, the Hell in a Cell PPV might not be much more than another episode of Raw.

First of all, before I get into the card, I have to address the fact that Brock Lesnar isn’t booked. Remember back when they stripped Daniel Bryan of the title because he was injured and not going to be able to defend the title in a 30 day period? Why doesn’t that apply to Brock Lesnar? Why is the Authority OK with Lesnar being the champ but not defending the title at the monthly PPVs?

But what’s even worse is that it doesn’t even seem to be an issue. At the very least, John Cena should be pointing it out that Lesnar isn’t defending the title and no one knows when he’s coming back. But nope – let’s just ignore the fact that this is the first month in a long time when the World Heavyweight Championship isn’t being defended on a PPV.

Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins

Hell in a Cell grudge match
This should be the legitimate main event of the show, though it’s entirely possible that it will be forced to play second fiddle to Cena vs Orton. The Rollins/Ambrose feud has been one of the longest and most well-built feuds in WWE right now and both guys are hugely popular with the live crowds. Ambrose has been working to get his hands on Rollins, even having to go through Cena to do it. These guys deserve to be in the main event spot on the card.

While everyone will want Ambrose to go over, I’ve gotta believe Kane will play some role in the match (much like he did in the very first HIAC) and allow Rollins to get the win. Though this seems like the logical way to end the feud between Rollins and Ambrose, having Kane intervene would allow them to continue the feud, which has been the only interesting and original feud in the company. Certainly more interesting than the other “main event” match…

John Cena vs Randy Orton 
Hell in a Cell #1 contender’s match
Despite John Cena losing a “Contract on a Pole” match to Dean Ambrose for the chance to face Rollins at HIAC and despite Randy Orton wanting to wrestle “the other one” (read: the loser of that match), Cena and Orton’s match is now, inexplicably, for a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

It makes absolutely no sense that either guy should be given a World title shot. Neither have done anything to earn a shot at the title. Cena failed in his last match to beat Brock Lesnar and lost to Ambrose in a bid to main event HIAC. And I can’t remember the last time Orton did anything of note at all.

On top of all that, how many times have Cena and Orton faced off now? These two have wrestled each other what feels like hundreds of times since they both came into the company over 12 years ago. Cena vs Orton is nothing new, yet they are still being handed title shots for doing nothing and still being shoehorned into the main event scene despite no one wanting them there or being interested in seeing them wrestle again.

I don’t want either of them to face Lesnar next. But if one has to, I’m going with Orton. Cena has held the belt way too many times in his career and having him beat the one in 1 and 21 would just totally negate Brock’s mystique and not to mention totally ruin the ending of Undertaker’s Wrestlemania streak. I’m not saying I want Orton to be the one to do that to Lesnar either, but at least putting Orton against Lesnar will be something different. Especially if Orton turns face (and against the Authority) sometime soon, like the internet has predicted he will.

Nikki Bella vs Brie Bella 
Loser has to be the other’s servant for a month
No lie, this should be in the Hell in a Cell, not Cena and Orton. Besides Ambrose and Rollins, Nikki vs Brie has been the only feud consistently built up over the past few months that has enough animosity and hate between the participants that would make sense for a Cell match.

Granted, WWE has totally dropped the ball with this feud the past few weeks. For a while, the Bella feud was a driving force on Raw and Smackdown. It even main evented a few episodes of Raw. But the past couple weeks, it’s like WWE all but forgot about these two, relegating the feud to app segments and some weird 6-Diva tag match last week where Brie, for some reason, pinned Nikki and Michael Cole acted like it was the end of their feud, that she finally got her redemption.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not envisioning a Nikki vs Brie HIAC match to be anything spectacular along the lines of Undertaker/Michaels or Triple H/Undertaker but at the very least it would be entertaining to see these two face each other in a Cell match and even if it wasn’t good, it would at least be memorable. But as it stands now, it probably won’t even be that. Nikki has to win this match. It almost doesn’t make sense for Brie to win. How would they make sense of good guy Brie bossing around bad guy Nikki and make her still seem like the face? Nikki is all but a lock to win this one.

Sheamus vs Miz 
United States championship
The set up for this match was pretty weird. There’s a thing in wresting called a “double turn” where a wrestler will change alignment in one match, going from a face to a heel or vice versa. Well, something similar happened with the US and Intercontinental title contenders in the past two months. Prior to Miz challenging for the US title, Cesaro was feuding with Sheamus over the belt and Miz was feuding with Dolph Ziggler over the IC title. After a series of tag matches including all four guys, they just flip-flopped contenders and at this PPV, we have Sheamus vs Miz and Cesaro vs Dolph. It was kinda odd - especially when you consider Dolph beat Miz for the IC title and now Miz just doesn’t care about it anymore and is going after the US belt? Talk about inconsistency.

Anyway, the best part of this match is a guy who probably won’t even be directly involved – Damien Mizdow. Sandow has been absolutely killing it as Miz’s stunt double, mimicking everything that Miz does, says and sells. Putting headlocks on invisible opponents, gesturing and lip syncing to Miz’s promos or selling injuries. It’s safe to say that Mizdow is more over than Miz at this point.

From a pure storyline/character standpoint, I don’t see how the Miz could win this one. There’s been almost no build up for Miz caring about winning the US title. However – Mizdow did beat Sheamus in a 6-man tag on Raw (with Miz celebrating on commentary, yelling “I won! I won!”).

What I want from this match is this – Miz, knowing he stands no chance against Sheamus in a 1-on-1 match, allowing Mizdow to wrestle for him. He’s reluctant but it’s his job to be a stand-in so he gets in the ring. And then I want Mizdow to win the title. Could be cheating or it could be clean but Mizdow is so much more over than Miz, the feud between the two of them over the title or the character or both would be pretty awesome. Then you could put Sheamus back at the top of the card or make him a heel or give him something interesting to do for once.

Dolph Ziggler vs Cesaro
2 out of 3 falls for the Intercontinental title
While I like this pairing and I’m really pulling for Cesaro to win, what I don’t get is why they had this match on Raw (where Cesaro won) and then again on Smackdown (which airs tonight and I won’t spoil who wins). There’s other people on the roster…have them in other matches! Or put them in segments hyping the title match on the PPV! Why put this match on THREE different times in one week!

I mean, both Ziggler and Cesaro are awesome and more of them on my TV isn’t a bad thing but this kind of storyline and match structure just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s this kind of booking that makes me bored with the product and uninterested in what should be a great match. It’s even more unfortunate that what should be the second most important title in WWE (or most important right now seeing as how the World champ shows up once every three months) is treated like something that is barely worthy of a PPV appearance (since this match wasn’t officially made until Cesaro issues the 2 out of 3 falls challenge on Smackdown, which airs tonight).

I love the stipulation in this match and I love that it involves Ziggler and Cesaro. The 2 out of 3 falls should really let these two go all out and tell a great story in the ring, I just wish it had a better build and more hype.

I’m predicting a Cesaro win here. I want the Swiss Superman to win and start bringing some prestige back to the title. Have him take on all comers and destroy them with uppercut variations and other ridiculous power moves only Cesaro is capable of. I want them to start booking the IC title like it’s important again and I think that Cesaro is the perfect guy to do that.

Big Show vs Rusev
I think it’s pretty obvious here that no one is going to beat Rusev for a very long time so it’s almost not even worth talking about this match. Nor do  I want to acknowledge who will eventually beat Rusev (coughCenacough). I think what will happen in this match is not to continue the program between Show and Rusev but to start the feud between Big Show and Mark Henry (or at least continue to work towards that).

When Rusev faced Big Show a week or two ago and Mark Henry came out to try and help Show, Big Show was not happy at all that Henry interfered. I think something similar happens at HIAC and when Big Show gets in Mark Henry’s face, Henry attacks him and kicks off their feud while Rusev and Lana just kinda slink away.

I also think now would be the perfect time for Rusev to start going after a title, with the obvious choice being the United States title. (As I write this, I realize that this would mean that Sheamus probably doesn’t drop the belt but if it means Rusev gets gold, I’m all for him keeping the US belt a little longer.) Rusev has crushed everyone he’s faced so far and the only thing left is to set his sights on a title and their campaign against America makes the US title the only logical choice. Have him beat Sheamus and put a Russian flag on it or Putin’s face or something and have him keep squashing people ‘til Wrestlemania.

Paige vs AJ 
Divas championship
Where to start with this one. The build has been terrible. I don’t even know what the story is, really. AJ is the champ who has no friends while Paige, who has one friend and rubs it in AJ’s face, wants the belt. I think the frenemy thing is done though beyond Paige wanting to be the champ, there’s really been no build of any kind. It’s kinda odd.

They’ve built up that despite AJ being the face in this contest, no other Diva likes her. If Kaitlyn were still with WWE, this would be the perfect time for her to show up and have AJ’s back…but that ship sailed a long time ago. Bringing Bayley up to be AJ’s diehard pal would also work but I think Bayley is gonna be stuck in NXT for a while (despite the fact that she’s ready).

I don’t know how this one plays out. I wish Stephanie McMahon was still involving herself and the Bellas in the Divas title situation, while the AJ/Paige confrontations were happening…but that doesn’t seem to be happening either. A Stephanie/AJ feud would be amazing, especially since Stephanie wanting to be Divas champ would bring a lot of prestige back to the belt but I feel like her match against Brie at SummerSlam was a one-time thing and not an indication that she’s gonna be wrestling more often.

AJ wins this one. I really have nothing to base that on either since there’s been no build and no indication of what might come next.  

The Usos vs Gold and Stardust

Tag team championship
Another match that just kinda came out of left field because they haven’t built anything, the Usos randomly have another shot at the tag team titles. I’m not even sure when this match was made, it was just another one of those things that seemed to just be assumed since there’s no other face teams to go against the Dust brothers.

Here’s what I want to see happen with the tag titles:

Have Gold and Stardust retain. The Usos and them always have good matches but there’s no point to drop the titles back to the Usos. Despite the fact that the Dusts are basically heels, they’re walking that tweener line – acting heelish but still getting cheered (because they’re awesome).

I think the Dusts continue to be the tag champs for a few more weeks until The Ascension comes out of nowhere and destroys them for the titles. Have the Dusts issue an open challenge or have the Ascension keep attacking them until they get a shot but whatever happens, have them win. The Dusts will immediately go back to being goofy, likeable faces against the Ascension, thanks to them being tweeners now.

I know the likelihood of that happening is very small but regardless, I see the Dusts retaining at HIAC.

And that’s the way this PPV is gonna play out, folks, you can take it to the bank. I would hope Lesnar shows up on Raw this Monday to start building towards Survivor Series and I would some kind of legitimate Survivor Series build begins as well. I think since Cena is going to be challenging for the belt (again) this leaves an Authority team to face a team led by Dean Ambrose for the traditional Survivor Series match but it’s hard to say, since the use of big groups/stables doesn’t seem to be a thing in WWE anymore.

Survivor Series is November 23 in St. Louis, Missouri so hopefully by then, there are some legitimate teams being built up for a traditional Survivor Series match.

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An avid gamer and long-time pro wrestling fan, stay tuned to Grizzly Gaming and the Delco Elbow Drop for game reviews and pro wrestling news.

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