Sunday, Oct. 27 is the second pay-per-view of the month for the WWE, and the excitement surrounding Hell in a Cell has fans ready to forget the lackluster Battleground show.
The hope is that the Hell in a Cell stipulations and the foreshadowing for November’s Survivor Series will ensure that this PPV is not an afterthought, but there is a genuine concern that this will be nothing more than Battleground Lite.
Where: AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami, Fl.
When: Sunday, Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Watch: Pay-per-view (local cable providers)
Live Stream: WWE.com
After a non-finish to the last PPV, the WWE Championship should finally find a new home when Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton settle their differences inside the Hell in a Cell structure with WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee.
The championship excitement continues in the world title picture as Alberto Del Rio defends the belt against the returning John Cena. With intrigue about how healthy Cena is after major surgery on his triceps, this is the most interesting world title match in years.
Add in another Hell in a Cell match between Punk and the duo of Ryback and Paul Heyman, and there is no doubt that this Sunday’s show has the potential to be much better than Night of Champions and Battleground.
Reports of a WWE Superstar having backstage heat seem to constantly be circulating, so it's difficult to distinguish fact from fiction. The latest object of such rumors is Ryback as WWE officials are reportedly down on the once-promising monster, according to WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider Elite.
The report suggests that there are several reasons behind WWE's disenchantment with Ryback, including a regression terms of in-ring work, recklessness in the ring and having a bad attitude when making public appearances.
According to the report, an anonymous source said that the "bloom is off the rose" when it comes to Ryback from WWE's perspective.
While this could certainly be true, it seems as though there are a lot of generalities being thrown around. Ryback wasn't particularly good in ring during his huge face run a year ago, so it's difficult to imagine WWE suddenly souring on him because of that. He also doesn't appear to be any more dangerous in the ring now than he always has been.
It's easy to see why Ryback acting arrogantly in public might rub WWE officials the wrong way, but there is something to be said for keeping kayfabe alive. Ryback's current character is a jerk who bullies people around, so it isn't as if it would make a ton of sense for him to be shaking hands and kissing babies outside the ring.
Whether this report is true or not, it has been blatantly obvious for quite some time that Ryback has fallen out of favor when compared to where he was at this time last year.
Ryback's heel turn was initially a success as he looked quite strong against John Cena in a draw at Extreme Rules, but he inevitably lost a rematch to Cena and hasn't been able to regain momentum ever since.
There was some hope that pairing Ryback with Paul Heyman would revitalize his character, but the feud with CM Punk is already stale as it occurred last year with roles reversed. Assuming Ryback and Heyman lose to Punk at Hell in a Cell, Ryback figures to drop even further down the card in the near future.
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There has been legitimate concern that the Hell in a Cell PPV would be a continuation of what the fans were forced to sit through at Battleground or Night of Champions, but the card is already more impressive.
- Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match).
- Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans.
- World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena.
- CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman (Handicap Hell in a Cell Match).
- WWE Tag Team Champions Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. The Usos.
- Divas Champion AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella.
- Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston.
The WWE Championship match is almost guaranteed to have an owner by the end of the night—even if that means Shawn Michaels screwing over one of the combatants—and that will ensure a better show than Battleground.
John Cena’s appearance makes the casual fan care about the world title scene, and CM Punk’s match against Paul Heyman and Ryback inside the Hell in a Cell structure makes that bout exciting.
With a plethora of interesting matches, this is one of the most intriguing cards of 2013.
Whether you like the duo or not, the Bella Twins have the support of the right people in the WWE and fans should expect more of the sisters on television and in major storylines moving forward.
That even reportedly includes getting involved in a possible angle between John Cena and Daniel Bryan, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Wrestling Inc.:
There has been an idea pitched where Daniel Bryan would feud with John Cena and each man would have a Bella Twin in his corner. Regardless if that happens, they are looking to do a split between the Bellas with Nikki going heel and Brie playing the babyface.
The relationship between the Bella Twins and the two biggest stars in the company right now is no secret if you watched Total Divas for even one episode—Cena is dating Nikki and Bryan is engaged to Brie—but their involvement in a major storyline is still wrong.
While allowing the women to feud against each other and make a legitimately interesting angle in the divas divisions is the right way for this situation to be booked, there is no doubt that the duo’s involvement in a main event storyline would hurt more than help.
Cena can feud Bryan again, but the Bellas should stay far away.
According to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the company has finalized its script for Sunday’s PPV. While there is a chance that this is the real plan for Hell in a Cell, there is a feeling that the script is fake and will be used to throw off anyone leaking information to the mainstream media:
Regarding the Cell main event with Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, someone in WWE creative suggested a few weeks ago to have Big Show tear the cage door off leading to a finish. As noted, Curtis Axel will defend the Intercontinental Title against Big E Langston on the pre-show. On the script that has been finalized, it's not scheduled to be a title change but that could mean nothing if it is in fact a dummy script. No word yet on the outcomes of the WWE Title match and the WWE Divas Title match but the idea was suggested to have Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella leave the pay-per-view as double champions. For the WWE Tag Team Titles, WWE could put the belts back on The Shield but one working idea is to keep the belts on Cody Rhodes and Goldust until around Royal Rumble time at which point Dustin Rhodes, not Goldust, would turn on Cody, leading to brother vs. brother at WrestleMania XXX.
That’s a lot of information to process. Let’s take this rumor one piece at a time.
The report of a possible Big Show appearance in the Bryan vs. Orton match was not a shock considering he interrupted the main event of the go-home edition of Raw this past week. Add in the need to give Orton the belt while still making Bryan look strong, and interference was always a likely possibility.
As for the possibility of Bryan and Brie Bella leaving Hell in a Cell as double champions, that is very unlikely. Orton needs the title far more than Bryan, but there is no question that Brie and Bryan would form a legitimate power couple if they both were champions.
The tag team title scene is one of the most interesting in the company right now, but fans shouldn’t expect a monumental change in the triple threat tag match. While WWE is considering giving the titles back to The Shield, the Rhodes Brothers have been great thus far and the company shouldn’t consider taking the titles yet.
No matter what is real on this script or what is fake, it has become clear that this will be anything but a throwaway PPV.
After the report broke that Big Show and WWE chairman Vince McMahon could be working together to take down Triple H, per F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc., the speculation about when McMahon would return to television was running rampant.
According to F4WOnline.com via Wrestling Inc., McMahon is currently being advertised to appear on Monday’s Raw:
Vince McMahon is being advertised in the Orlando, Florida area to appear on this Monday's episode of Raw at the Amway Center. The venue's official website, however, is advertising "the McMahon's" for the show. WWE has yet to make an official announcement.
There is always a chance that this was an oversight or just a simple error, but the lack of Vince on TV lately is noticeable. He was playing a large role in the Daniel Bryan storyline, but quickly disappeared and hasn’t been seen again.
If McMahon is scheduled to be on Monday’s show, there is a chance that he will be following up an appearance on the PPV. Vince is at every show backstage anyway, so adding a wrinkle into the main event storyline that gets people excited for Raw is always a good strategy.
Whether it’s helping Big Show take down Triple H or adding another layer of support for Stephanie and her husband, WWE programming is always better with Vince and his power strut on TV.
Fan favorite Dolph Ziggler has been left off the Hell in a Cell card, and there are now reports that WWE officials are not happy with the Superstar over the way he handles himself outside the ring, according to PWInsider Elite via Wrestling Inc.:
Regarding why Dolph Ziggler seems to be stuck in the midcard right now, he has the reputation backstage for being someone with a bad attitude. It's said that WWE officials don't like the way he represents himself backstage, the way he speaks to people and the way he speaks to the media. While Ziggler tries to make it sound like he's keeping with the storylines, there are people within WWE that don't like how he speaks out about the company.
Whether you like Ziggler’s character or not, there is no denying the in-ring prowess of the former world champion. With plenty of charisma and a hardcore following already, the WWE’s lack of faith in Ziggler is disheartening.
Ziggler is outspoken as part of his character, and nothing that he is doing now is any worse than legends like Shawn Michaels and Triple H did when they were on top of the business. The fact that a worker as skilled as Ziggler is not on the Hell in a Cell card is a joke.
While I am always skeptical of anonymous reports about heat on a wrestler, there is no arguing that Ziggler went from world champion to jobber in record time. Let’s hope WWE shoehorns him into a match on SmackDown and books him properly moving forward.
Despite being tied up with CM Punk and Paul Heyman in a marquee storyline that will culminate with a Hell in a Cell match, the long-term plan is to move Ryback to a feud with Big E Langston heading into November, according to F4WOnline via Wrestling Inc.
This is a step down from a co-main event for Ryback, but this is the kind of secondary feud that will build both superstars’ credibility. Each is still a midcard talent with immense upside, and this potential battle will be a good chance for backstage officials to analyze each star’s performance.
While Ryback looks to have more support backstage, the recent face turn for Langston proves there is hope surrounding the former NXT champion. Instead of giving Ryback another meaningless victory, this potential feud could be Langston’s chance to steal a huge win.
Add in the possibility that Big E could be the defending Intercontinental champion at the time (he could easily beat Curtis Axel on the pre-show), and the possible battle between Ryback and Langston would help bring intrigue to a secondary title.
This is a win-win situation.
The Usos and Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns fought to a no-contest in their battle to become No. 1 contender for the tag team titles on the most recent Raw, leaving the picture for Hell in a Cell somewhat cloudy.
However, WWE confirmed on Monday night that it would indeed be a triple-threat match for Cody Rhodes and Goldust's titles.
It's hard not to be excited about the tag team division, which has lacked excitement over the past few years.
Rollins and Reigns began to bring credibility back to the titles, but they never really had a very wide range of noteworthy opponents. The Rhodeses immediately changed that, as they are fan favorites and excellent inside the ring, already putting on two terrific matches with the Shield duo.
Don't forget about the Usos, either, who are able to enthrall audiences with their athletic, high-flying ability. Jimmy and Jey have also put on several entertaining battles with the Shield.
Triple-threat matches aren't easy to pull off, but there is going to be a lot of talent in the ring for this one. This is a lower-card match that has a chance to steal the show.
John Cena is the biggest star in the wrestling industry today, but the WWE is reportedly not going to bring him back to television until after the Hell in a Cell PPV. This will drive the buy rates for the PPV up as fans pay to see the return of the polarizing Superstar.
According to Wrestling Observer Newsletter via Wrestling Inc., the company will bring Cena back to TV on the Raw following Sunday’s PPV:
The current plan is for John Cena to return to WWE TV for the October 28th Raw, the night after Hell In a Cell. WWE wants his first appearance back to be on the pay-per-view as opposed to putting him on the go-home show to build his World Heavyweight Title match against Alberto Del Rio.
This is a very smart move by the WWE on two different levels. Cena’s appearance is going to ensure a great numbers of sales on the PPV, but it will also add legitimacy and intrigue to the World Heavyweight Championship scene for the first time in a long time.
As long as Cena is completely healthy after undergoing surgery and there is little risk of long-term ramifications from coming back earlier than expected, there is no down side to adding a name like Cena to the card.
The WWE has teased a possible match between Triple H and Big Show over the last several weeks, but instead of giving it away at Hell in a Cell, the company could be saving Triple H’s appearance for the bigger Survivor Series card.
According to PWInsider via Wrestling Inc., the WWE may already be looking ahead on the calendar:
WWE is keeping distance between Shawn Michaels and Triple H so that it's a bigger moment when they come face to face. Triple H vs. Big Show is being discussed for the Survivor Series pay-per-view.
Some WWE fans will question the reported decision to save this match for November’s PPV, but Hell in a Cell already has its main events. Instead of shoehorning Triple H into this month’s show, building a month of programming around his potential main event match would give Survivor Series a serious high-profile bout.
Add in the possibility that this would allow the company to do a traditional five-on-five Survivor Series match (possibly Team Bryan vs. Team Orton), and saving this intriguing Triple H vs. Big Show bout is the right game plan.
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