WWE Hell in a Cell 2017: Updated Predictions for Matches on SmackDown PPV Card
WWE Hell in a Cell is coming up on Sunday, and fans are more than ready for a great night of action. The anticipation for this one centers on what will likely be the main event, as Shane McMahon faces off against Kevin Owens in Satan's Structure.
The heat between the two men had been simmering for several months, until it finally boiled over when KO brought McMahon's family into it. Owens' attack on WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was just another crazy moment from this feud, and now the fans are ready to see what happens next.
Shane's penchant for pulling off the big stunt on the big stage only increases the anticipation.
But the rest of the card is shaping up to be a hit as well.
Bobby Roode will quiet The Showoff when he beats Dolph Ziggler, and Randy Orton will walk away with a win over Rusev. Those three matches alone are enough to bring fans to the table, but it's the title bouts that have really piqued their interest.
Longtime rivals Natalya and Charlotte Flair will battle for the SmackDown Women's Championship. AJ Styles will defend his United States Championship against Baron Corbin, and The New Day will face The Usos for the SmackDown tag team titles.
That bout will happen inside Hell in a Cell as well, and it should be a tag match for the ages.
Jinder Mahal will put the WWE Championship on the line against Shinsuke Nakamura; for many fans, this is the one that must end in a title change. Mahal's run hasn't exactly been must-watch TV, so this could be the night when he drops the gold.
When it comes to Hell in a Cell, it's the championship matches and the main event that definitely have fans talking.
Natalya vs. Charlotte, WWE SmackDown Women's Title Match
Natalya has been hailed by many as the best worker in the WWE women's division and she never needed a title to deserve the distinction.
When she did win the SmackDown Women's Championship, though, it certainly seemed like a long time coming for her. Now she will face off against her heir apparent, the woman who is carrying the women's division into the future.
Charlotte is familiar with hard-fought rivalries over championship gold; she and Sasha Banks waged war on Monday Night Raw during the latter half of 2016. But this feud is a bit different.
This one is about the leader of the Women's Revolution pursuing her mentor, and it will likely end with a title change at Hell in a Cell.
Nattie does deserve the gold, and she has been the veteran hand of the women's division. But Charlotte shines on pay-per-view and that will surely be the case once again on Sunday.
Fans are likely good with either outcome, and it's a rivalry that can continue past Hell in a Cell, but this should be Charlotte's night.
The Queen will retake her throne once again.
New Day vs. The Usos, Hell in a Cell WWE SmackDown Tag Team Title Match
The New Day versus The Usos feels as though it's been happening forever, but that's a good thing.
Despite how often fans complain of a feud lasting past its shelf life, this is one that has no business ending too soon. Intriguing rivalries are the backbone of great championships, and this one is bringing more value to the Tuesday night titles than anyone likely believed possible.
The Sin City Street Fight that took place on September 12 reminded fans of just how good these teams are together. That will surely continue at Hell in a Cell.
But who goes over?
Common sense says The New Day should retain. Brief title runs typically do not benefit the belts or the Superstars wearing them. But when it comes to this feud, it could be The Usos who will walk away from Hell in a Cell as the new tag team champions.
The New Day is being established as the team to beat, but The Usos have proved they're just as capable of grabbing that top spot again. It's an evenly matched feud and neither team needs the titles in order to get over. The feud itself is the real draw, not who is wearing the gold.
But even with that being the case, this match should see the titles remain with The New Day. However, this feud is likely not over yet.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin, WWE United States Title Match
It seems Baron Corbin is in trouble.
The Lone Wolf was red hot at one point; he was Mister Money in the Bank and on track to become the next WWE champion. But then he cashed in his briefcase and lost. Suddenly everything went south for him. The New Era Superstar just can't seem to get the job done anymore.
But that could change at Hell in a Cell.
AJ Styles is a top guy and arguably the best pro wrestler in the world today. If anyone deserves a major championship and to wear it proudly in WWE, it's him. Styles could easily retain at Hell in a Cell and SmackDown Live would roll on as always.
However, that is not the best move here.
Corbin may not be on the fast track to the top as he once was, but that doesn't mean it's over for him. It also doesn't mean he shouldn't walk away from Hell in a Cell as the new United States champion. Styles does not need the belt to get over; he's over right now.
But Corbin does need it. He could also grow with it. Corbin should win the championship, and WWE should continue with him as a budding main event star. He's got plenty of time and the company has already invested a lot of time and energy into him.
This should be Corbin's night.
Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE Title Match
Jinder Mahal will lose the WWE Championship eventually, and for many fans, it cannot happen soon enough.
What began as an interesting experiment has turned into a frustrating failure. Through no fault of his own, Mahal has slid down past the point of legitimacy in WWE.
The only interesting thing about him is the championship around his waist.
His booking has been abysmal and he's lost too much traction to be taken seriously. But it's not over yet.
WWE will likely not make the move to crown a new champion at Hell in a Cell. Shinsuke Nakamura is in a great spot and could do big things with the championship, but this one just does not have a title-change aura around it.
There's just more drama with a heel at the top.
Mahal may not be an instant legend and his run may not be the sort of title reign that Hall of Fame careers are made of. But the company is probably sticking with The Modern Day Maharajah, at least for now. He will lose the belt eventually, but Hell in a Cell is likely not the night when it happens.
Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens, Hell in a Cell Match
This one may not be a title match, but it certainly cannot be ignored.
Vince McMahon may have been the evil instigator of the McMahon clan, but Shane has been painted as the family's defender.
Shane's quest to get revenge on Kevin Owens will be fully realized at Hell in a Cell. The SmackDown Live Commissioner is stepping inside Satan's Structure and will tear into Owens. The action will be fast, intense and brutal.
If WWE still allowed Superstars to get color, this one would be a bloodbath.
But, as soon as Shane gets the upper hand and tries to get vengeance for his family, Owens will fight back. KO is the top heel on SmackDown Live, and though he doesn't necessarily need to win every big match, this is one he will win.
The end result may even be enough to eventually bring Triple H off the bench. KO may get past the boss' son, but he may not get past The Game.
Tom Clark can regularly be seen on Bleacher Report. His podcast, Tom Clark's Main Event, is available on iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio, Amazon Android, Windows Phone and online at boinkstudios.com.