Only two SmackDown rivalries are smeared with enough bad blood to warrant a trip inside The Devil's Playground at WWE Hell in a Cell 2017.
A clash between SmackDown's best teams would be right at home in that imposing enclosure. And a war between the brand's commissioner and its resident egotist is certainly befitting of the Hell in a Cell, too.
The Oct. 8 pay-per-view is sure to have at least one Hell in a Cell match as to live up to its name. But which grudge matches and title bouts should be held inside that steel structure?
Too often, WWE forces the issue and puts rivals inside The Devil's Playground that don't belong there. The Hell in a Cell is a designed to house the most intense of feuds, creating a brutal setting in which to have a storyline climax.
By those standards, Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura shouldn't be a Hell in a Cell match.
Their rivalry is still in its early stages. It's not particularly personal. The gimmick is not needed in this case.
The same goes for whatever bout WWE has lined up for Natalya for the SmackDown Women's Championship and the likely AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin contest. The Usos vs. The New Day and Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens, however, have all the makings of ideal Hell in a Cell collisions.
The Usos vs. The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Jimmy and Jey Uso have been battling The New Day since the end of May. In that time, the teams have twice traded the SmackDown tag titles.
They have competed in high-octane, draining matches. They have cut each other down in a rap battle that had its share of verbal low blows.
A Hell in a Cell match would allow these rivals to settle things between them for good.
Their back-and-forth feud needs an emphatic ending. Their growing animosity needs a fitting home. The Devil's Playground would give this storyline both those elements.
And the novelty of the bout would make it more interesting. Tag teams rarely meet in that steel structure. Pitting The Usos vs. The New Day in the Hell in a Cell would help make the SmackDown tag titles feel bigger.
Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens
No two stars on SmackDown hate each other more right now than McMahon and Owens.
KO is convinced the commissioner has cheated him out of his shots at the United States Championship. McMahon's officiating directly affected the result in Owens' last two title matches with Styles. And per McMahon's orders, Owens can never challenge The Phenomenal One for that title again.
The rage created from that situation has caused Owens to lash out against his boss, berating him on TV and on the latest SmackDown, telling him his family would have been better off had he died in his recent helicopter crash.
Shane-O-Mac pounced on Owens after that, his fury leading to a suspension.
This story looks to be headed to a place rich with animosity. Things only promise to get more heated from here.
It's that energy that has many, including Heel by Nature, ready to see McMahon and KO battle it out in the Hell in a Cell:
Heel By Nature @HeelByNatureYT
Just waiting for them to announce Owens vs Shane at #HIAC #sdlive https://t.co/JhzlZ18y0V2017-9-6 00:11:48
Plus, McMahon's strength is big, risky spots. The Hell in a Cell setting opens the door for him to deliver in that area.
For Owens, it will increase the ways he can inflict pain on his enemy, allowing him to be an even more merciless heel.
This is the kind of rivalry that the Hell in a Cell was built for. McMahon needs a way to exact revenge; Owens wants to punish the executive he blames for his failures.
If the upcoming PPV doesn't feature these enemies smashing each other against the steel, WWE will have whiffed on a major opportunity.