Hey, turns out Hell in a Cell is happening this Sunday. I’ll forgive you if you forgot, since there’s literally nothing but wrestling happening this week, so much so that HIAC hasn’t even been on the forefront of WWE’s mind. They’ve hyped SmackDown’s move to Fox more than anything else, which might explain why there are only a whopping 3 matches announced for this Sunday’s PPV. But I’m here, you’re here, let’s talk about them anyway.
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs Sasha Banks
This one is gonna bang harder than Sasha’s back against the apron (hardest part of the ring.) Becky has been an entertaining champ despite the fact that she refuses to update her gear, and Sasha’s hair is as blue as her outlook on life. Since her return a few weeks ago, Sasha has been on top of the women’s division, but like James Brown said, it’s a Man’s world. The match the two had at Clash of Champions perfectly set them up for the bubble episode that is Hell in a Cell. No chairs, no crowd brawls. Just two ladies slugging it out inside four steel walls, the way the universe intended.
Prediction: I’m going Becky. Sasha has an advantage having been in the only other women’s HIAC match, but Becky has the power of Ireland on her side. I’d bet on a longer story for the two of them down the line.
Universal Title: Seth Rollins vs The Fiend Bray Wyatt
The Fiend has been, hands down, one of the best things running in WWE lately. Not only did he give Jerry Lawler exactly what he deserved, but he helped get Finn Balor some time off to get married, and this week even saved Rusev the embarrassment of getting cucked on live television. He’s an avenging angel, the dark antihero we need in wrestling today. Also, he has a sick entrance, weekly development and entertaining character exploration, and a crew of puppet friends. Seth Rollins is Seth Freakin Rollins, and kids like to perform his finisher on their younger siblings. That’s about all he’s got going for him right now.
Prediction: Fiend has to win this one. There’s really no other option.
Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs Harper and Rowan
Grab your sledgehammers, the prodigal brothers have returned. Harper and Rowan are reunited and taking on the makeshift team of Bryan and Reigns, because that’s how you deal with attempted murder in pro wrestling. Bryan is kind-of-but-not-really a good guy, but he’s better than Rowan and Harper because he didn’t actually try to kill a man, but he’s still vegan so can you really trust him? Roman is understandably peeved about all the attempts on his life. Harper and Rowan are angry big boys justifying their own destruction through self-love. This is as simple as a wrestling match gets, and personally, I love it.
Prediction: Bryan and Reigns, because it’s Bryan and Reigns. Exciting to see the Bludgeon Brothers ride again, I for one would be down to see them get another run with some tag titles.
That’s it, kids! Those are the only confirmed matches we have. But, as an honor bound Serious Wrestling Journalist (SWJ), I figured I’d go ahead and give my best college try at guessing what else we might see come Sunday night:
Raw Tag Team Championship: Ziggler/Roode vs Heavy Machinery
This feels pretty likely. I can’t name another team that might challenge for the tag titles, unless they just throw the Viking Raiders in there because actually coming up with coherent storylines for tag team wrestling is too hard for this company. These two teams had a fun match on Monday, and this will put a little tag team spice on the preshow. Heavy Machinery deserve the spotlight and it’s not like I could come up with anything better to do with either Ziggler or Roode.
Prediction: ZigRoode. DolBert. There’s a Siefriend and Roy joke here somewhere that I’m not hitting and it’s really gonna drive me crazy.
Cruiserweight Championship Match: Drew Gulak vs Lio Rush
Lio Rush returned to action on NXT after several months off, presumably dodging Bobby Lashley’s phone calls while killing it in his music career, and beat Oney Lorcan to become #1 contender. 205 Live seems to operate in no-man’s land right now, but this match will slap whether it happens at HiAC, NXT, or in my backyard (Drake Maverick call me.) Rush is such a naturally snotty heel, but has such an exciting energy in ring, it’ll be interesting if we see him play a babyface. Also, he came back with incredible new Naruto gear that I feel would look really funny next to Gulak’s Flyers robe, so I’d personally just like to see that. We love a pre-show banger.
Prediction: I guess Rush can legally be considered a hometown hero for me (what up 443), but Gulak’s gonna retain.
Chad Gable vs Elias:
This show has to run several hours, right? Might as well throw in some mid-card kings. Elias sang some rude stuff about Chad being short last week, which is what the professionals call observational comedy. Gable has been on a hot streak since reaching the finals of King of the Ring, which should at least make him maybe a Duke or a Grand Marshall or something. Both men are so talented at what they do, it’s not like I would be bummed watching this match.
Prediction: Gable, because Elias selflessly puts over legends every chance he gets. We really don’t deserve him.
Bayley vs Carmella:
I had Bayley vs Charlotte originally, but then I thought “no, not even WWE would be so repetitive and predictable. There has to be some chance left in the world, there has to be.”
This would be a fun one! It’s been so long since we’ve seen Carmella heavily featured as a wrestler that I think some of us, particularly on Twitter dot com, have forgotten how good she actually is. Role Model Bayley is on a roll, learning some tricky dicky new lessons from her good pal Sasha. Throw the 24/7 title in here, make somebody a double champ again. We’ve really gotta pad out this show, guys.
Prediction: Bayley, no matter who she ends up facing.