WWE Hell in a Cell is nearly here and fan expectation is very high that this event will be a success. The first Cell match of the night is CM Punk versus Ryback and Paul Heyman, with the second one being Daniel Bryan versus Randy Orton. As if that were not enough, Hell in a Cell also features the return of WWE's top guy, John Cena.
But despite how good that card looks, there is likely an underlying tension for fans on this one. And that tension can be best described using one very basic principle: Keep it simple, stupid.
The "kiss" principle definitely applies to pro wrestling and, more specifically, to WWE. The fact is that, over the years, we have seen all sorts of insane twists and turns, match finishes that just cause us to stare on in disbelief.
Actually, Bryan and Orton's rivalry has seen so many of these twists that at this point, fans are surely ready for a resolution. From referee Scott Armstrong's fast count at Night of Champions to Big Show's surprising double knockout at Battleground, this feud has had more ups and downs than many fans expected.
Punk's heat with Heyman is another good example. First, Brock Lesnar stepped up to protect Paul. Then, Curtis Axel filled that spot, and he was eventually joined by Ryback. Ryback's interference at Night of Champions allowed Heyman to pin Punk and since that time, he has claimed the mantle of "Best in the World."
Of course, fans expect drama from WWE. It's a huge part of the company's allure, the element that keeps viewers tuning in from one week to the next. After all, if every single match was a decisive victory with no controversy whatsoever, then chances are the product would likely become very boring very fast.
But for these feuds in particular, the truth is that at some point, decisive victories and compelling conclusions should be the name of the game.
This is what pay-per-view was intended to be. Hell in a Cell is not Monday Night Raw or Friday Night SmackDown. One no-finish after another is certainly not what fans want, as the major events are typically not business as usual for storylines.
Fans expect payoffs to occur at a pay-per-view. Two Superstars begin and maintain a rivalry on TV then face off at the company's big events to further the story along. When the time comes to wrap it all up, it's back to pay-per-view we go. That's where the outcome is determined and the company can move on to the next feud.
Of course, that's not always the way it goes. But it is a tried and true formula for the business. And Hell in a Cell should be no exception.
Again, keep it simple. Overly complicated match finishes may ensure that rivalries continue, but it will eventually cause fans to become very frustrated in the process. However, some fans love the idea of complicating things.
Many fans are talking about the possibility that Shawn Michaels, who is acting as referee for the Bryan and Orton match, will turn heel. They believe that he could side with best friend Triple H and ruin Bryan's WWE Championship opportunity. All it would take is Sweet Chin Music, and Bryan would once again be flat on his back, screwed out of the WWE title.
The only problem? We have seen Bryan physically destroyed so many times that to see him end a WWE program on his feet is a true rarity indeed.
Some fans are predicting that Brock Lesnar could once again muscle his way into Punk and Heyman's feud. They believe that he could make an appearance at Hell in a Cell and disrupt the match, assaulting Punk once again.
But the fact is that we have seen this already. And Brock has already defeated Punk; what more would he have to gain by getting involved once again?
The easiest match on the card right now could very well be John Cena's return versus Alberto Del Rio for the World Championship. From the moment that this one was announced, many fans automatically assumed that Cena would definitely walk away with the belt. He is WWE's top money earner, so to put the title on him seems like the most sensible decision.
And let's face it, if this match does not end in a clean finish, then who cares? This could likely be just the first match a in new rivalry for Cena and Del Rio. This bout could end however WWE wants it to. There is plenty of time to flesh out this angle without having to worry about being too complicated at any point.
But to me, there should be no gimmick finishes in the other two storylines. That means no fast counts and no Big Show. It also means no heel turn for Shawn Michaels and no Brock Lesnar ripping the Cell door off to annihilate CM Punk. The finishes in these two matches specifically should not be overly complicated; it would surely affect the fans' interest in each rivalry.
Daniel Bryan, for better or worse, should either win because he was the better man or lose because Randy outwrestled him. And Punk should pin Ryback, then finally get his revenge on Heyman. These are two payoffs for two great feuds and neither one should end ambiguously.
Just keep it simple.