Here we go again! It’s time for another WWE PPV. It’s Raw’s turn once again and they’ll be looking to improve from a rather bland Clash of Champions. I’m sure certain WWE bosses would also like them to blow Smackdown out of the water, which has been doing better quality wise since the brand split.
It’s time for one of my least favourite PPV events of the year. Hell In a Cell. I can not stand gimmick PPVs. They seem so tacky and forced. Extreme Rules, TLC, Elimination Chamber and Hell In A Cell. For me, Hell In A Cell is the worst of the lot because in kayfabe terms, it shouldn’t just be paraded out once a year for the sake of it. It should only be used for the feuds that are heated enough and the wrestlers hate each other enough to justify the match. After all, this is ‘the most dangerous match in WWE’ but every year it means less and less.
It comes with two other problems as well. Firstly, the PG style of WWE does not suit the match in anyway shape or form. It’s supposed to be barbaric, but for years now it hasn’t been allowed to reach those levels. Now I’m not saying I need everyone to be thrown off the top of the cell each match, but I do need something. These days, Hell In A Cell tends to feel like a watered down street fight that happens to be in a large cage. It just comes across as rather ‘meh’ rather than ‘holy shit!’.
Secondly, there’s too many off them. Never mind the fact that we’ve already seen one of these matches this year at Wrestlemania. This PPV tends to feature two matches itself, but its even worse this year with three matches. THREE!? That’s far too many. The reason I’m so against multiple matches in one night is simple. Instead of WWE putting on one potentially great match. They’ll end up putting on three average ones. Spots will have to be shared out evenly for example. Haven’t WWE ever heard the phrase ‘too much of a good thing’? Although, in this case it will probably be ‘too much of a bland thing’.
What is interesting though is that for the first time ever, we’re going to witness a women’s Hell In A Cell match. I’m not saying I particularly want to watch two women beat each other bloody but it is nice that WWE are finally attempting to book them on a similar level to the men. It might also be the ‘main event of the evening’ but it is yet to be seen if that means the last match of the night (the fans idea of the main event) or just a ‘main event’. In which WWE just promote it as a big match but it could be anywhere on the show. Even first…
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
This is a bit of a weird one. A couple of weeks ago Brooke picked up a surprising victory over Bayley. Which, certainly gave the impression of a rather botched finish. Then this past week we got everyone’s ‘favourite’ arm wrestling segment.
Normally with these segments you’d expect the heel to cheat a few times and pick up the victory. Then perhaps a beat down to end the piece. Well, it almost happened. Apart from Bayley ended the bit standing tall which means Bayley loses at Hell In A Cell?!
It’s not the way I’d book it personally. I think Bayley needs a few wins under her belt. Yet at the same time she is the underdog and underdogs do need to lose too to keep the gimmick. Why did Rey Mysterio suck as an underdog? Because he won every single match he ever had.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Club
I love Enzo Amore and Big Cass and I really want to love The Club, but unfortunately they keep being booked in the worse way. A few weeks back I thought we’d turned a corner for them. Dropping the awful forced comedy and returning to a more ass kickers persona. Two loses for Karl Anderson in a row though and I’m once again concerned.
Now logic tends to lead that having lost on the ‘go home show’ means they’ll win on the PPV. Which will be good for them, but why can’t WWE just book them consistently well. They seem so easy to work with too and yet, every other week it’s a mess.
Where would a loss leave Cass and Enzo though? They’ve been directionless for months too. I understand wanting to keep them clear of New Day until they’ve broken Demolitions record but can’t we find them something really big to sink their teeth into in the mean time? No?Just me? Okay…
Winners: The Club
US Title: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rusev (HIAC)
One of the main problems I have with this PPV (other than there being too many Hell In A Cell matches) is that I don’t see any title changes of the cards. Which, unless the wrestling is all fantastically amazing means the show will receive negative reviews. I know, title changes don’t equal good shows or matches but for Raw to have another show with no real storyline advancement or switch ups would be a bad thing.
Speaking of bad things. I still don’t like Roman Reigns. I still find him to be an insufferable smug son of a bitch who has no fight to be considered a babyface. Rusev is clearly the good guy in this feud. He’s just defending his wife’s honour and yet we’re told to boo him because he’s foreign. Well guess what WWE, I’m foreign too. So that shit don’t fly with me. Screw you and your ‘oh but he’s American thus he must be the good guy’ nonsense.
Still, there’s one good thing about Roman Reigns being US Champion. He’s not World or Universal Champion. So, that’s something.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Cruiserweight Title: T.J. Perkins (c) vs. Brian Kendrick
Did you know Brian Kendrick is really old? At the age of 37 he’ll be dead soon. I joke obviously, but Vince just loves ramming home points over and over again don’t they. In typical WWE fashion the heel in the rivalry is by far the most interesting character but we get it, this is a kind of redemption story/last chance angle you’re working with Kendrick. Don’t beat us over the head with it.
Without putting to much pressure on Perkins and Kendrick, this match needs to be amazing. They need to tell a story, they need to be impressive technically and they need to blow away all of the doubters. Because the Cruiserweight division is struggling right now.
I think the best way to set about changing things is to install Kendrick as a heel champion. Desperate to hang onto his title via any means necessary. Considering he’s the only cruiserweight with any personality it makes sense to have him as the focal point. Then WWE can introduce us to the rest of the roster one by one by trying to take him down.
Having said that though, I don’t think it will happen. Perkins to retain.
Winner: T.J. Perkins
Universal Title: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins (HIAC)
The Universal Title has had a bumpy first few months. Firstly Finn Balor had to vacate the belt the night after becoming inaugural champion. Secondly, Triple H made a huge return helping Kevin Owens win over Seth Rollins but then disappeared and hasn’t been heard from since.
In the mean time, Seth Rollins has stumbled around slowly turning face basically waiting for him to return to kick off that feud but it seems a while away. Stephanie McMahon doesn’t know if she’s heel or face and cuts different promos every week. Kevin Owens has been entertaining with Chris Jericho but in the end the fact that Jericho and his list are more over than Rollins, Owens and the title combined points to how poorly this is being managed.
I’m a huge fan of both guys and I’m sure they’ll put on a great match though. I just hope the ending won’t be as overbooked as I think WWE will make it. I’m sensing the involvement of Stephanie, Mick Foley, Triple H and Chris Jericho. Which will probably result in Owens retaining, but a McMahon looking like the real champion. As always. Seth needs something to sink his teeth into and really it needs to be Triple H. Don’t wait until ‘Mania WWE, do it now. Otherwise Rollings will flounder around aimlessly for too long and lose all of his potential momentum.
What I’d really love is for a short feud between Owens and Jericho after Hell in a Cell, they’ve built up the potential for something really good from seemingly nothing and I hope WWE don’t ruin it.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Tag Team Titles: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
With The New Day so close to breaking Demolitions tag team record, there is absolutely no hope for Cesaro and Sheamus here of walking out champions. What there is hope of though is them continuing to prove me wrong about them being set up as a tag team after that bizarre end to their best of 7 series. While I still think that was dumb, the duo have been entertaining while being forced to work together. If that continues, then that’s great!
Winners: The New Day
Raw Women’s Title: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte (HIAC)
Boy oh boy, the pressure is going to be on during this one. The entire world is going to be watching with bated breathe to see what the first ever women’s Hell In A Cell match looks like.
I’m caught between two minds on this one. On the one hand I want them to go all out, go big or go home etc. Yet on the other I think it’s that very attitude that could lead to something going horribly wrong. I’m terrified that they’ll be so eager to get over how good they are that they will do something incredibly dumb.
But you know what? Sasha and Charlotte are brilliant and while I think it might be too soon in the women’s revolution/evolution to have a Hell In A Cell match up. If anyone was going to put on a great match, it would be these two without a doubt.
The title has changed hands quite a few times recently, so I think Sasha will retain on this occasion which means the end of Charlotte’s undefeated PPV streak. This won’t be the end of Charlotte and Sasha long term obviously, but this should be the low off to their current feud. Time to shake it up a little and freshen things up. Even the best of things go stale if you keep them around to long.
Winner: Sasha Banks