Moving on towards the main event, we look at the WWE Championship.
WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Ryback (Hell In a Cell Match)
I’ve found myself saying the same thing after almost every pay-per-view this summer: “Something big is about to happen.” While I’ve been terribly mistaken in most cases, I feel like it’s finally going to come true.
This match has a lot of potential to set up some great things in the WWE. Cena’s injury has allowed the WWE to give a new guy a shot in Ryback, and to me that's a great thing. Ryback is over with the crowd in a huge way, and this feud has developed a lot better than I thought.
Ryback looks like an unstoppable monster and Punk is doing a great job as the bad guy who refuses to back down, while showing his sheer terror every once in a while (at the end of the last Raw).
Putting the cell around this match will be a big help to Ryback, who has been criticized for having no long matches.
They’ll put on a good show, going back and forth in the main event, but I can’t see this one ending clean. I think we’ll see Punk get frustrated that he can’t stop Ryback and turn to heelish tactics to win. Punk will resort to foreign objects (stairs, maybe even things under the ring) and I honestly think that we’ll see the structural integrity of the cell compromised in the match (thanks JR).
Punk will go for that “career defining” moment that Mick Foley pointed out a few weeks ago, which is where things get really interesting. Will McMahon let his new poster boy take a big risk at Hell in a Cell? I’m really not sure.
I can’t wait to see this match because I really have no idea what’s going to happen.
If I had to make a prediction I think Punk wins. Paul Heyman won’t let his guy lose, even if he has to call on Brock Lesnar to help him out.
Brumagin brings up a great point that I totally forgot about (spoiler alert): John Cena. Cena is being advertised for the YouTube pre-show on Sunday to explain his AJ storyline, but will the WWE really keep Cena off the camera when the show starts? I’m not so sure. Like Michael said, if Cena cost Ryback his big moment the fall in the WWE could get very interesting.
Overall, we’ll see a great match between Punk and Ryback and something crazy at the end like a Brock return to help/hinder his fellow Heyman guy, or the emergence of a new faction with Heyman at the helm. Punk gets the win, but things will get CRAZY.
As of right now, this is the only Hell in a Cell match on the card. I would prefer this match
to be between CM Punk and John Cena, but with Cena’s injury it wasn’t going to happen. I
am surprised at how quickly Ryback has gotten over in a short amount of time, but he’s being
thrown into the main event picture way too soon. Ryback hasn’t even been in a legitimate feud.
What happens if he loses? Where does he go from there?
WWE cannot have CM Punk lose on Sunday. They already have The Rock waiting at the Royal
Rumble and a Ryback vs. The Rock match doesn’t seem like a show stealer. If Ryback were to
win, they could have him drop the title at Survivor Series, but it would make for a much better
story if Punk can hold onto the title for over a year.
Many people believe Brock Lesnar will appear during this match and form a partnership with
Punk. I don’t see that being the case. WWE won’t waste one of Lesnar’s appearances on this
show. I believe Lesnar’s next appearance will be at Survivor Series the earliest. Punk will retain
in a very brutal match which will put Ryback over even with the loss.
Winner: CM Punk
Can Punk lose here? I love that I don’t know.
Daine said it—something big could happen here. There’s a lot they could do with this match to put Ryback over big as the next huge main event babyface. This undefeated behemoth is challenging for the WWE Championship inside Hell in a Cell.
While I think it’s inevitable that Ryback will lose a little steam if his undefeated streak ends at Hell in a Cell, he will establish himself in a completely new way if he takes the WWE Champion to his limit. Ryback is perfectly poised to do so inside the Cell.
I didn’t think that Ryback had a chance at the title a few weeks ago. They’ve done a phenomenal job building up Ryback in the last two weeks, though. After seeing him hurl Punk out of the ring, I genuinely questioned if he could win on Sunday.
I don’t think he will, though. I think the WWE would be giving up too much by having Punk lose the title. Chris Jericho is right when he says that they’d instantly make a star out of Ryback, but I think they’d lose too much in the process. They’re not going to want Ryback to face The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Giving Ryback a brief title reign could end up hurting him in the long run.
How Punk retains is a completely different beast. I’d like to see Brock Lesnar make an appearance and officially align himself with Punk. I don’t know if that will happen and that’s my favorite part. I’m going to be sitting on the edge of my seat as this match unfolds.
This is the kind of match that sells PPVs.
Winner: CM Punk
I’m going with my instincts (and my previous predictions) here: CM Punk is going to retain. By hook or by crook, the WWE has too much riding on Punk to throw off his momentum by giving the belt to Ryback for a month. That, in my opinion, would cheapen the value of the belt and ruin everything that they are building towards for the Royal Rumble.
They need to handle this situation carefully, so as to not destroy all of the momentum that they have built up for Ryback. If they have him lose outright, it could diminish the run that he has been on and put him back at square one. I don’t think that Creative wants to have to rebuild him.
I suspect the simplest way to appease both situations would be a “dirty” win for Punk. Brock Lesnar runs interference, Cena tries to get involved to help Ryback, misses and hits Ryback, setting him up for failure and potentially causing a rift with Cena (maybe?). Punk wins with a three-count.
Or, perhaps, in a noble gesture, Punk goes for the “moment of greatness” that Mick Foley was eluding to, climbs to the top of the cage and drops on Ryback with an old-fashioned Macho Man elbow, incapacitating them both and ending the match in a “No Contest.”
Winner: CM Punk
The Round-Table is a collaborative effort by four of the Bleacher Report Sports Writing Interns to discuss pro wrestling. Participating in the inaugural round-table will be B/R Featured Columnist and Hell in a Cell Coverage Team member Michael Prunka and B/R Correspondents Bill Pivetz, Daine Pavloski and Michael Brumagin.
Click on the matches below to read further analysis from the Young Guns Round-table.