WWE Hell in a Cell 2013: Realistic Expectations for PPV with Minimal Build Time
On October 27, World Wrestling Entertainment will produce its second pay-per-view event of the month with Hell in a Cell. Coming from the AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, the show will be headlined by a WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton and the return of John Cena.
With only three weeks between it and its predecessor, Battleground, there are certain expectations fans should have looking forward to Hell in a Cell.
What are those expectations, and how will they affect the pay-per-view?
Let's take a look.
A Satisfying Main Event
WWE finds itself in a bit of a sticky situation coming out of Battleground in that, for the second time in three weeks, fans are complaining about the main event of a pay-per-view. In some cases, fans even requested refunds.
Many feel as though Battleground alienated the paying customer in favor of creating a must-see Monday Night Raw.
To make up for that, expect the company to deliver a crowd-pleasing main event as Daniel Bryan takes on Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Championship.
The inclusion of special guest referee Shawn Michaels will help to add a fresh element to the match, and the unpredictability surrounding whether or not he will call the match down the line will help to create intrigue in the match, despite it being the third time the two competitors have met in as many pay-per-views.
Bryan and Orton have already been responsible for two near-classic title matches, so their match at Hell in the Cell inside of the Devil's Playground should live up to expectations on that front.
Add in the drama surrounding Michaels and there is no reason to believe WWE will make it three-for-three in disappointing main events.
Expect a definitive winner and new WWE champion after the October 27 show.
Solid In-Ring Action
If 2013 has taught fans anything, it is that WWE can deliver a really solid pay-per-view event even if the build to the show has been lackluster.
That is thanks to its very talented roster. Superstars such as Dolph Ziggler (pictured), Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Wade Barrett, Curtis Axel and The Miz have gone a long way in assuring that the marquee matches have outstanding support.
Those Superstars have made it possible for a main event star or two to have off nights and not have the quality of the show dip significantly thanks to their performances elsewhere on the card.
Is today's crop of midcard talent the best in WWE history?
With Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk vs. Ryback already announced for the card, there is potential for three very good main event matches.
Add to them the possibilities that exist involving the previously mentioned stars, as well as the Wyatt Family, R-Truth, Fandango and the Real Americans, and even the biggest skeptic can be confident of the quality, from an in-ring perspective, of the event.
Rushed Midcard Angles
Speaking of WWE's talented midcard Superstars, most will head into Hell in a Cell without strong storylines supporting whatever it is they are a part of.
Would stronger midcard stories enhance your enjoyment of WWE programming?
When a promotion has only three weeks to build between pay-per-view events, there are sacrifices that must be made. Most of the time, the attention will be paid to the card's top bouts. They are the matches that drive in fans and buyrates, so they are the ones that must be heavily hyped.
Then there are one or two underneath matches featuring talent the company is high on that they will direct a bit of time toward. At this point, those stars would include the Wyatt Family and The Shield.
Everyone else on the card is there because the company believes in their ability to perform up to the high-pressure situation that pay-per-view presents, regardless of whether there is a reason for fans to be invested or not.
Which leads us to our next reasonable expectation.
A Quiet Crowd
Matches with no reason for existing are tougher for fans to invest themselves in.
After all, why should we care about matches the company clearly had no interest in building toward?
Case in point: The Intercontinental Championship match between Curtis Axel and R-Truth at Battleground (pictured above).
The match was very solidly wrestled. Axel, for his lack of charisma, is a skilled in-ring worker. Truth, on the other hand, is a dynamic worker with a flashy skill set. They worked well together and delivered a title match that had few flaws from a wrestling standpoint.
Do quiet crowds hurt your enjoyment of a match or an event?
The one major flaw that kept it from achieving a higher level than it actually did was the Buffalo fans' apathy toward it. The crowd was downright silent, and it really hurt the overall quality of the bout.
At Hell in a Cell, expect more of the same.
With so little time to build an interesting and intriguing story for most of the midcard bouts, it will once again be a challenge for the talented performers to instigate a reaction.
A Noteworthy Show
Survivor Series is traditionally one of World Wrestling Entertainment's premier events. With one or two major angles reaching their boiling point at Hell in a Cell, there is reason to believe something major will happen to help build to the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
Whether that means the rumored return of Mr. McMahon occurs at the show, the next chapter in the Big Show-McMahon family saga takes place or Damien Sandow cashes in his Money in the Bank briefcase is unknown at this time.
But fans should expect something noteworthy to occur to create a buzz heading into the final months of the year.
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