WWE Hell in a Cell: 10 Bold Predictions for Sunday's PPV
We're still three days away from WWE's Hell In A Cell pay-per-view, but already the event has become mired with controversy.
The IWC has been in meltdown since the announcement of CM Punk vs. Ryback inside Satan's Structure, and the likes of Alberto Del Rio vs. Randy Orton and Sheamus vs. Big Show has failed to ignite any real excitement or interest.
With Punk's historic reign nearly at the one-year mark and Ryback's undefeated streak still intact, the WWE finds itself in what many see as a lose-lose situation for its marquee match.
Whilst we have seen a number of matches already announced, many fans also feel that the six weeks' worth of build since Night Of Champions has been somewhat wasted in developing storylines worthy of the Hell In A Cell gimmick.
But for this slideshow, I am going to wear my optimistic hat, and so without further ado, here are my 10 bold predictions for this Sunday in Atlanta.
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10. John Cena Inserts Himself into the Main Event
We already know John Cena will be headlining the Hell In A Cell pre-show this Sunday, but don't expect the former WWE Champion to simply do his regular shtick and leave.
The Leader of Cenation will probably get a substantial 15 to 20-minute slot in which to really plug the main event of the show and play up Ryback's chances against CM Punk.
However, during his monologue, I fully expect Cena to declare his presence during the WWE Championship match.
Whether it be in Ryback's corner as an equalizer to Punk's Paul Heyman or just in order to (try and) ensure no foul play on the Champion's part (perhaps in an enforcer role...?), neither Cena or the WWE will miss the chance to have their most marketable star missing from the main event, injured or not.
What part Cena plays in the match, I will discuss in a later slide.
9. Miz Regains the Intercontinental Title
I've got a funny feeling Miz and Kofi Kingston will open the show on Sunday with their rematch for the Intercontinental Title, and judging by their recent performances, expect them to deliver another great back-and-forth match.
For my money, though, Kofi still isn't considered a top-tier talent by the WWE, and therefore, I cannot see him holding the Red brand's secondary strap for too long.
The dirt sheets told us in advance of last week's title switch on Main Event, and it's pretty clear this was only done as a means of attracting interest to the company's new midweek show.
So far, the rivalry between these two has been so one-sided; the only outcome I can conceive for the match is a leveler in the Kofi vs. Miz series.
Therefore, I see Miz reclaiming the IC Title on Sunday via some underhanded means and continuing this feud forward through Survivor Series and with an eventual blowoff at TLC.
8. A Heel Turn in the Divas' Divison
This may just be wishful thinking on my part, but I can definitely see a sting in the tail of the Diva's title match on Sunday.
By now, it is all but set in stone that Eve will defend her crown against both Layla and Kaitlyn in a triple threat match on Sunday, but don't expect a straightforward victory for either of the two babyfaces in the match.
I genuinely feel through watching over the past few weeks that Kaitlyn is being groomed as a potential future face of the division, and therefore, I can see her being royally screwed out of the title on Sunday as her first big step on this path.
I can picture Kaitlyn ready to finish off Eve, only for Layla to drop the former NXT winner with her signature neckbreaker, gifting Eve the win.
After the match, just imagine Eve and Layla standing victorious, with Layla in fact revealing it was she who wore the blonde wig and attacked Kaitlin at Night of Champions. Hey, it doesn't make a lot of sense, but this is Creative we're talking about; anything could happen!
For me, this would be an interesting way to go with the WWE Divas division. However, I would be far from surprised to see a typical clean Eve victory in under two minutes, burying Kaitlyn's push in the process.
7. Ric Flair's Return Is Announced for Monday Night Raw
Yes, apparently this is happening. Ric Flair is scheduled to appear on the October 29 edition of Monday Night Raw.
With ratings in freefall, it only makes sense for the WWE to advertise such a monumental return in advance, and thereby ensure everyone watching the PPV subsequently switches on to see the return of the Nature Boy on Monday,
What part he will play will likely be kept secret until his actual appearance, but expect Vicki Guerrero's tenure as "Managing Supervisor" to be short-lived with the return of Flair.
6. Team Hell No Retains, but Only Just...
I, like many, am probably most excited to see this match on Sunday.
Team Hell No faces Team Rhodes Scholars in the first meeting between the two in a legitimate matchup.
Rhodes and Sandow earned their shot by beating Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in the finals of the Tag Team Tournament on this past Monday's Raw and still remained undefeated as a team.
Team Hell No, on the other hand, seem to become more fractured as a team by the week, suffering a number of individual losses recently, largely due to each other.
On face value, all signs point to new Tag Team champions...but I honestly can't see it.
Bryan and Kane's routine has not yet run its course, and their inevitable split will most likely come around the Royal Rumble (maybe even in the match itself..?).
In addition to this, the rivalry between these teams has the potential to breathe a great deal of life into the division, and therefore, dragging out the feud will only lead to further great matches down the road.
On Sunday, expect Team Hell No to retain the titles, but not necessarily win the match. A possible victory by DQ or count out would ensure the titles remained with the entertaining duo whilst keeping Rhodes Scholars looking strong and still undefeated.
5. Sheamus Defeats Big Show by Underhanded Means
While I appreciate a Sheamus victory on Sunday is far from bold or controversial, I fully expect another somewhat tainted victory for the Celtic Warrior in Atlanta (ala Alberto Del Rio).
This match has not been announced to take place inside the cell, and so, an ending with a twist seems like an extremely plausible outcome.
Look for Sheamus to find victory through the use of the ropes, or even via the use of a weapon, to put away the Giant and retain his World Heavyweight Title.
4. A New World Heavyweight Champion Is Crowned.. with a Little Help!
He's all but guaranteed a cash-in, but Dolph Ziggler's claims have been somewhat cast into doubt of late with his jobber-like run on WWE television.
On Sunday, however, it is Ziggler's time, and the former Spirit Squad member will successfully use his Money In The Bank contract to become the New World Heavyweight champion.
After a Sheamus victory, I foresee a WMD delivered to the champion from Big Show, only for Ziggler's music to hit and him to frantically scramble to the ring.
Once there, I think WWE could tease a second consecutive unsuccessful cash-in by having Big Show K.O. Ziggler upon his entrance to the ring.
After this initial tease, though, Big Show will cover Ziggler over Sheamus for the three count, then stand dominant over the two unconscious men, thereby still laying claim to No. 1 contendership.
3. No Brock Lesnar (or Batista)
It's the most talked about rumour surrounding Hell In A Cell: the appearance of another dominant monster to halt the undefeated Ryback in his tracks.
As much as it makes sense as a tool to retain Ryan Reeves' momentum in defeat whilst keeping the title on Punk, there is no way WWE pulls the trigger on this move just to save face.
Firstly, Batista is a ridiculous call. He has just begun a budding MMA career and needs the WWE less now than ever before.
Lesnar is a more likely option but has a limited number of contracted dates remaining, and key milestones on the Road to WrestleMania should definitely not include one of the company's B-grade pay-per-views.
Whilst a Heyman-Lesnar reunion makes sense on paper, I personally cannot see the Next Big Thing returning merely to screw Ryback with no probable cause, aside from his obvious association as "a Paul Heyman guy."
2. Ryback Wins the WWE Title
Now, before you lynch me for this pick, please hear me out...
Ryback's stock is high, and I mean REALLY high right now, and if ever there was a chance for WWE to pull a swerve, it's now.
It would appear that WWE has backed itself into a corner with Punk-Ryback inside the Cell. With so much to lose for both men, a clean finish would appear almost impossible if the company truly wished to appease the fans (particularly the IWC).
But what if Vince realizes he needs a BIG story to reel the viewers back in? (He does, incidentally.)
No-one expects Ryback to end CM Punk's run in his first PPV main event, so why not send shockwaves through the wrestling world by putting the company's premier title on someone who is essentially considered a rookie.
Even Chris Jericho has seen the benefit in giving Ryback the nod this Sunday, tweeting that the up-and-coming star has the potential to become an overnight star and, in turn a huge money-making opportunity for the company.
What many people forget is that Ryan Reeves has been groomed for years to become the unstoppable monster known as Ryback, and with him fitting the quintessential mould of a WWE superstar (in McMahon's eyes), a win for "Big Hungry" seems all the more likely this Sunday.
The only real negative to emerge from this outcome would be Punk's historic reign ending just shy of the one-year mark, but with the knowledge that the Straight Edge Savior will never even come close to the likes of reigns such as Bruno Sammartino or even Bob Backlund, I really cannot see why this would be such a contentious and uncompromising issue.
1. Ryback Is Stripped of the Title
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention my final prediction in the previous slide..
I really can't see WWE passing up the opportunity of Punk vs. Rock at the Royal Rumble, and therefore, CM Punk will have to still hold the title come January.
I genuinely think Ryback will win on Sunday, but look for the former Nexus member to be stripped of the title (possibly on Monday Night Raw) due to any number of small infractions which may occur during the WWE title match.
My guess is that John Cena somehow gets involved in the bout, possibly "feeding" Punk to Ryback towards the end of the match when the champion attempts to flee. This scenario then also continues the trend of "Let's blame Cena." (AJ's firing etc.)
The next night, similar to how Punk and Heyman appealed his pinfall loss on Raw directly following Night Of Champions, both the former Champion and his "representative" Heyman will appeal the decision to Vicki Guerrero, who will reinstate Punk as champion—thus creating a Guerrero-Heyman power stable containing both World Champions.
The build for Survivor Series is underway, and there you have it..
While I realize this may be considered as a kind of fantasy booking, I genuinely feel WWE could really pull one out of the bag this Sunday against the background of extremely low expectations.
*As an aside to this conclusion, I would also like to see Ryback keep the title but be forced to defend it in the Royal Rumble match itself - this scenario would then still technically give The Rock his shot, whilst making a near-impossible task for Big Hungry to retain the belt.. anyway, just a thought.
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