He has been waiting more than 10 months to finally have a breakout moment, and we saw shades of it last week on SmackDown when he made the turn from a stale, jobbing heel to a refreshed, promising babyface. Big E. Langston finally has an opportunity to have his own identity instead of being in the shadows of Dolph Ziggler and AJ Lee.
The chance to become a major player heightened when he automatically became involved in the CM Punk and Paul Heyman storyline, balancing out the man advantage that Heyman's guys had over Punk. On Raw, Big E. further showed his eagerness to ascend in the WWE rankings by pinning Curtis Axel in a tag-team match that pitted Langston and Punk against Axel and Ryback. This led to WWE announcing an Intercontinental Title match between Big E. and Axel to be held at the Hell in a Cell pre-show.
After a lackluster IC title run by Axel, now is the chance to make the title important again, instead of being defended last-minute on PPVs with no major buildup.
At least, that is what we thought—from Monday until now.
Recently reported on WrestlingInc.com, the match has now potentially been nixed from the show altogether:
...it now appears that the match has been nixed, as the match is no longer advertised on the Hell in a Cell page on WWE.com, not to mention that the page previewing the match, has been deleted.
Moreover, there is no mention of the match on the WWE.com website anymore, as the pre-show page describes the half-hour kickoff as "This Sunday, the WWE Universe will get exclusive insights from some of their favorite Superstars and Divas during the WWE Hell in a Cell Kickoff, which streams live at 7:30 p.m. ET/4:30 p.m. PT."
Were you looking forward to Big E. Langston vs. Curtis Axel at the HIAC Kickoff show?
This is unfortunate for the uprising Big E. Langston, and the stock of the Intercontinental Championship. There have been no reports as of yet that either one of them are injured or have some kind of emergency that prevents them from competing. Therefore, unless an injury is involved, it appears as if the WWE is either saving the match for another pay-per-view with more of a build, or nixing the idea of having Big E. in the title hunt altogether.
Whatever option it is, we will have to wait longer to see the rise of Big E. Langston as a babyface champion.
UPDATE: WWE posted on their Twitter page that the match has been pulled due to Curtis Axel being injured:
Surprised, Big E. Langston replied:
Since this is the case, it would only make since for Big E. to compete against Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship. He put himself in the eight-man tag match on SmackDown, which involved the Shield, so it would not be a bad idea to replace the match. This would be preferred, instead of having ongoing John Cena vignettes for a half-hour.