Full Projections for Shawn Michaels as Guest Referee at Hell in a Cell
The interjection of Shawn Michaels into any match or angle is always a good thing.
One of the three or four greatest wrestlers of all time, he brings a presence and star power to WWE programming that is not typical of every Superstar.
Take, for instance, the Triple H vs. Undertaker Hell in a Cell match from WrestleMania 28. Michaels and his reactions to the action are as important to the match as the wrestlers themselves. The way he seemed completely crushed with every punishing blow the competitors dished out to one another was phenomenal.
Now, he has the opportunity to add that type of performance to a match between Bryan and Orton that should be the blowoff of their rivalry and could use that new element to make this match feel different from their previous two.
The Heartbreak Kid has a history of refereeing high-profile matches. He also has a history of getting involved in the conclusion of those matches.
Between August of 1999 and May of 2000, Michaels officiated two matches between The Rock and Triple H, costing The Great One the title on both occasions. He has already established his fondness of Bryan and his disdain of Orton, setting the stage for some display of partiality.
The wild card will be Michaels' longtime friendship with COO Triple H.
Will he allow that friendship to play into the finish of the WWE title match, as it has in two other occasions, or will he call the match as he would have anyway?
There are three different scenarios in which Michaels' involvement would have a direct effect on the outcome of the match.
Here is a look at each of them.
Scenario #1: Shawn plays some Sweet Chin Music for The Viper
The issues between Michaels and Randy Orton are well documented.
Michaels was one of the first legends Orton set his sights on in 2003. They would feud again in 2007, leading to one of the most original matches in recent history at the Survivor Series.
The history between them creates immediate intrigue as to whether Michaels can contain himself long enough to do his job with the impartiality expected of all WWE referees.
The first option sees Michaels referee the majority of the match right down the middle. Then, late in the bout, Orton's frustration gets the best of him and causes some sort of confrontation with the official.
Michaels loses his cool, delivers Sweet Chin Music to The Viper and assists Bryan in finally capturing the WWE title.
The finish would set up the first meeting of Michaels and Triple H on television since HBK's return and, eventually, a Team Michaels vs. Team Triple H Survivor Series.
Scenario #2: Swerve!
This finish sees Daniel Bryan setting Orton up for the running knee. As he takes off across the ring, Michaels shocks the world and catches him with Sweet Chin Music, allowing Orton to pick up a tainted win.
Michaels would align himself with Orton and Triple H, creating a super trio between three of the top stars of the last 20 years.
The likelihood of this scenario is very low. Michaels has built up so much good will with the fans that ruining it all for an angle that some believed jumped the shark a month ago would be ridiculous.
Outside of a three-week stretch during the summer of 2005, he has remained a babyface, and it seems highly unlikely he nor WWE would change that at this point.
Scenario #3: D-Generation X explodes!
The final scenario features interference from Triple H as he attempts to once again prevent Bryan from becoming WWE champion.
Which of the three scenarios would you prefer to see play out at Hell in a Cell?
As fans have bore witness to in the past, there are a number of ways to ensure the cage door opens, allowing the wrestlers to roam freely or for outside interference to ensue.
Late in the match, Triple H would make his way to the ring and attempt to interfere. This would lead to a Michaels-Triple H confrontation, most likely leading to Sweet Chin Music for the COO. With The Game out of the way, Bryan would go on to cleanly defeat Orton and capture the title.
From there, Michaels and Triple H would engage in a verbal war and set up a huge Survivor Series tag team elimination match.
Whatever scenario plays out, even if it is not one of the above, it is safe to say that Shawn Michaels was not brought into the equation merely to count to three and boost the star power on the show. He will be involved in some fashion and that involvement will have fans buzzing about the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
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