At WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view later this month, expect the company to try and make up for the (relative) disappointment of Battleground and offer fans some thrilling swerves and storyline development.
WWE set the stage for this on Monday’s Raw when it placed Shawn Michaels, along with Bob Backlund and Booker T, in the fan-voting contest to determine who would be the special guest referee during the Randy Orton/Daniel Bryan rematch at Hell in a Cell.
Shawn Michaels was, naturally, the winner—although Backlund put in a surprisingly strong performance—which was almost certainly the plan.
So, just what will Michaels do at the event?
He could, of course, call it fair and square down the middle, but doesn’t that sound a bit boring? No, more likely “The Heartbreak Kid” will be forced to choose sides.
Will he align himself with Daniel Bryan, a wrestler whom he once trained? Or could he shock everyone by screwing Bryan out of the belt and joining Triple H, Stephanie and Orton in The Corporation stable?
It might sound a bit out there—Michaels hasn’t been a heel in years—but it’s the type of twist that would help breathe new life into a storyline that’s quickly losing steam.
So what else can we expect on the pay-per-view?
As Vickie Guerrero announced on Raw, John Cena’s coming back at the show to take on World Heavyweight champion Alberto Del Rio.
Yes, Cena has somehow been cleared for a return from his torn triceps by doctors and will compete at the show.
Whether or not the former WWE champion has miraculous healing powers, I simply can’t say.
Looking at the match, it’s hard to imagine Del Rio being afforded a clean win over WWE’s top star, especially when you factor in how much his stock has plummeted in the past year (has there ever been a more forgettable World champion?).
However, you can’t picture Cena getting a run with the belt either.
While the star may be healthy again, throwing him into the deep end and giving him the World Heavyweight Championship—meaning he would probably have to defend his belt at every house show—seems unwise. The performer needs to take it easy for now.
One solution would be to have Cena defeat Del Rio at the pay-per-view, only for Damien Sandow to cash in his Money in the Bank title shot and snatch the belt from the new champ.
This would also serve to get Sandow’s main event run off to a bold start, as well as hint at a possible future feud with Cena.
Ideally, WWE will use the Hell in a Cell event to develop its angles and establish a firm plan for creative going forward. There is great potential in Cena’s comeback and Michaels’ role as guest referee, so let’s hope the company can capitalize on it. It would a shame if, after Battleground, they delivered another disappointing pay-per-view.