WWE Hell in a Cell Results: Predicting the Five-on-Five Survivor Series Match
Wrestling Inc. reported earlier in the month that descriptions for pay-per-view companies have been written for November's Survivor Series pay-per-view. The description all but guarantees that the traditional Survivor Series match will remain a part of the event this year.
It also will likely ramp up rumors that current WWE champion CM Punk will be involved in a Survivor Series match this year, based upon the word "respect" being conveniently placed in the description.
Punk began his current reign as WWE champion at last year's Survivor Series. Thanks to the help of WWE official Brad Maddox inside Hell in a Cell, that reign continues.
By the time Survivor Series comes, Punk will have passed Diesel's reign and tie Hulk Hogan's reign at 364 days—the third-longest reign in the last 25 years. If this Survivor Series match ends up happening, it may end up being that Punk will not defend the title at Survivor Series, something that has not happened since 2006.
Assuming that The Best in the World would be the captain of a Survivor Series team (or should I say that Paul Heyman will be captaining it from ringside), here would be an educated guess as to what this five-on-five traditional Survivor Series match could look like on November 18.
Team Captain: CM Punk
CM Punk is the WWE champion and will likely remain the champ come Survivor Series. This could very well end up being much more than who is the champion at the time. This could be about the word Punk uses more than most lately: respect.
If there's one person in WWE who respects Punk right now, it is Paul Heyman. Heyman has put together some incredible alliances and was the mastermind behind Team Lesnar at Survivor Series 2003. That team was a mix of established super heavyweights and incredibly strong youngsters looking to make a name for themselves.
Punk can be the leader of this team and, assuming who would be his opposition, use the other four members to protect himself from the wrath of some of his current rivals. It's a typical heel move for Punk, who has kicked things up a notch as time has gone on. The moment where the crowd will come unglued is if Punk remains all by himself facing either one or both of the men who were trying to face him at Hell in a Cell this month.
The notable thing about Survivor Series is that it is the date that Punk's current reign would tie Hulk Hogan's reign of 364 days as the eighth longest in the history of the WWE Championship. The following night on Raw will be day No. 365, commonly recognized as an entire year.
Punk's reign actually began November 20, 2011.
Team Punk: Wade Barrett
Barrett remains on the cusp of a breakout and Survivor Series has often been good to him.
Last year, Barrett captained a team and was one of two survivors who took down a team captained by Randy Orton. The year before that, Barrett was in a WWE Championship match and nearly defeated Orton for the title, only to have John Cena get himself fired by counting Orton as the winner of the match.
Barrett still is looking for that first world title reign, and a big match like this can get him back on the map.
Barrett has a great new feel to his character since returning from injury a few months ago. His fighting style is more barbaric and he has the attitude of a Heyman guy.
Punk needs friends who will take a punch for him, but Barrett is a guy who will throw a punch instead. Barrett and Punk don't have a fond history with one another, but WWE hopes you will all forget that and fans probably should.
The Nexus is gone, and born out of the ashes are the Best In The World and the Barrett Barrage.
Team Punk: The Miz
The Miz simply belongs in this discussion.
He hasn't really done much to merit it this year, but that fact alone means he deserves a reward. It isn't easy to elevate the stock of Kofi Kingston, but The Miz is doing what others have tried to do for years and is succeeding at it.
Kingston is the Intercontinental champion, and The Miz is floating around with nothing to do but fight Kingston yet again. That's the perfect excuse to latch the storyline to this Survivor Series match.
There isn't really much of a bond between The Miz and CM Punk, but why does there need to be? Why can't someone who wants respect and calls himself the Best in the World align with a guy who says he is must-see and awesome? It feels like a pretty solid pairing.
Team Punk: Brock Lesnar
If Heyman is making this team, it only feels fair to shock the world on Raw and throw Brock Lesnar back into the fold.
Lesnar is a Heyman guy obviously and has dates to satisfy leading up to WrestleMania, where he is advertised on the poster (via Cageside Seats). Lesnar is needed for a big event, and Survivor Series is among the biggest of the year. It also provides a fast track to WrestleMania and can build to whatever they are planning for Lesnar.
Lesnar makes his return to pay-per-view with Survivor Series and shows his dominance in the match. Pick someone from the opposing side, likely whoever eliminates him, and you have Lesnar's likely WrestleMania opponent.
WWE can use his relationship with Heyman to bring him back and use the match to legitimize his WrestleMania match.
Team Punk: Alberto Del Rio
No matter what you do to Alberto Del Rio, he just will not go away. Del Rio can be far removed from a title shot, but he will always be relevant and on a good part of the card
It's what to expect for a former multi-time WWE champion who has been handed a lot since coming to WWE. This isn't to say that Del Rio isn't worth having his talent on Punk's team.
If there is something that Del Rio knows how to do, it is how to be cunning and underhanded, while also knowing how to expose the weaknesses of guys like Randy Orton, who he faces regularly on SmackDown.
Del Rio is a nice name to throw out and really is just a way to fill the team out. Del Rio could get a singles match away from all of this, but he could show his experience, being a captain of his own team two years ago.
Team Captain: John Cena
I'll give the captain spot for the opposing team to John Cena since he is the big name and major rival to CM Punk.
Cena would have been in the Hell in a Cell main event with Punk had it not been for the surgery on his elbow. Now, Cena is healed and can return to pay-per-view action at Survivor Series.
Along with him will be the first team he will captain since SummerSlam a few years ago, which was a seven-man team to combat Nexus.
Cena doesn't have a lot of friends in the back. His tag team title reigns have all been with rivals he had at the time. Even when he had that team to face Nexus, his teammates were envious of Cena.
To say that someone won't turn on Cena is being naive. It just seems likely. Cena will captain this team and get his hands on Punk, but little will say that something unusual won't happen too.
Team Cena: Ryback
Ryback sure is furious following the way his Hell in a Cell match ended.
Ryback now has a loss according to the record books and there is no going away from that. All that we can hope for with Ryback is that the unfortunate circumstances of his first loss will not define his legacy like it did for Goldberg.
Ryback needs to use that loss as a positive by building on the main-event spot and continuing to face more top-tier talent. A Survivor Series match gives Ryback a chance to face Punk once again, as well as facing some opponents for the very first time.
Ryback is one of the priorities in this match because keeping him strong will ultimately be important. It will be wise to show a bit of weakness in Ryback so as not to make him completely indestructible.
He definitely needs to get some eliminations of the other team, but having him survive the match is not entirely necessary.
Team Cena: Kofi Kingston
Kofi Kingston needs to rub shoulders with top-tier talent, and what better way to do that than to have him compete at Survivor Series alongside a bunch of them?
Kingston is the current Intercontinental champion and that used to mean a whole bunch. Now, it's just that title that can be defended in an opening match to get the crowd pumped up. It would really benefit both the title and Kingston to have this match make him relevant.
This cannot be a place where Kingston is in for five minutes, sells a finisher very well and gets pinned. That didn't work for Rob Van Dam for years, and it won't work for Kingston today either.
Kingston needs to be used more like how Jeff Hardy was used in 2007. He doesn't need to survive, but having him be the driving force of a comeback will make his placement worthwhile.
Team Cena: Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is having a lot of fun playing tag team with Sin Cara, but Mysterio is still a main-event face.
Sin Cara seemed to tweak his neck a bit at the end of his match at Hell in a Cell, so that may free Mysterio up for a few weeks for a Survivor Series match. Mysterio is getting toward the end of his career and is not as mobile as he may have been a few years ago, but he is still a major draw for the company and will do well to see himself in a big part of Survivor Series.
Mysterio has been known to put on great matches with Punk and The Miz in the past, while his rivalry with Del Rio is well documented.
Having a small guy like that getting thrown around by someone like Brock Lesnar or Wade Barrett will only generate heat for those strong heels. Mysterio doesn't need to do a lot for this match. His name alone will help the importance of it.
There have only been three men to hold the WWE Championship since Punk won it for the very first time. Mysterio is one of those three and was actually the one who replaced Punk when he left. That isn't a major point, but there's something to dive into for the writers.
Team Cena: Randy Orton
Orton is a veteran of these types of matches. He is also a multi-time world champion who has taken a long time to try and get back atop the mountain.
This is a match that can reaffirm his spot in the main event and use his star power to put his team over the top. While last year saw Orton as the last man eliminated from his team, he is classically seen as a Survivor Series match specialist.
Randy can be that secret weapon to combat just about anything Punk and his team can throw at them. Orton is powerful enough to take just about anyone down with one RKO.
It also will be nice to see Orton possibly rekindle his feud with Wade Barrett or face Brock Lesnar for the first time since he was a young rookie on the main roster. To be honest, as long as it is someone who isn't Alberto Del Rio, it will feel refreshing. Orton has spent long enough spinning his wheels.
His Hell in a Cell win means to me that he is ready to move on.