Thursday, October 25, 2012

WWE Hell In A Cell Preview

This Sunday the WWE brings us there Hell In A Cell PPV. To me, it is the most frustrating PPV of the year. The WWE has taken what used to be a match to end a long, bitter feud and turned it into a cheap gimmick PPV that now has no meaning. It is not the WWE's fault, but Cena/Punk could have actually been a feud that warranted the Cell for a match. But the injury once again exposed why gimmick PPVs like this are stupid. Hell In A Cell does not make people buy a PPV anymore.

So far the WWE has only announced five matches for the show. I would expect another match or two to take place on the show. I could see Antonio Cesaro defending the US Title against Justin Gabriel. There will probably be some sort of Divas Match as well. Or maybe we will find out the answer to the most compelling question in the WWE: Who attacked Kaitlyn? The WWE has been putting in a good amount of effort in the build towards this PPV. You can't fault them for trying. But I haven't really enjoyed the build to the show at all. It just hasn't clicked with me.

Not having John Cena in a match at a PPV might have an effect on the PPV buys. I would say most people know Cena will be on in some capacity. But some die hard Cena fans who order the show just for him may not take the risk. Cena has been announced for the WWE Pre-Show on YouTube. You can tweet or tout or whatever you do to get him questions. It looks like we are getting some kind of John Cena/A.J. love story. Why do all women in the WWE have to fall for John Cena? I think Cena fights Punk again at Survivor Series. Hopefully this A.J. thing is only temporary.

But time to get away from talking about John Cena (for now). On to the Preview!

Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs The Miz

I hate to use the term "Mid Carder for Life," but that seems to be the label Kofi Kingston will be stuck with for his career. Could Kofi be elevated to a main event slot in the future? It is always possible. But Kofi had his chance early in his career but the WWE seemed to pull the rug out from under him. Kofi is an over act and his move set in the ring is very explosive. I actually thought that maybe, just maybe, that the promo Miz cut on Kofi calling him a never was and telling him how his career has been full of missed opportunities might lead to something. But it appears I just got my hopes up.

Miz continues to be the same old Miz. He's gone from main eventer to mid carder. His act just hasn't changed at all over his career. Sometimes you have to add a little bit to your character. Miz is a decent promo, who if called upon could fill in the main event slot. I think the WWE pulled the plug on Miz too quickly after Wrestlemania. I really thought a Miz face turn could have done his career a little better. He's good enough on the mic to make it work. These two put on a good match on WWE Main Event a week ago. I don't know if these two will get as long as they did on that show, but I would expect a decent 12 minute match. I don't think the WWE would make a Title change just to make another one within two weeks. I think Kofi retains here.

WINNER: Kofi Kingston

Randy Orton vs Alberto del Rio

So, how much longer can Alberto del Rio keep going like this. Del Rio has had opportunity after to opportunity to get to the top. But Del Rio has yet to have a successful reign with the World Title. He had three matches with Sheamus but did not come out on top at all. To me, that is a sign that the WWE just does not have any faith in Del Rio to carry the World Title. Yes Del Rio has had two WWE Title reigns, but neither reign went longer than two months. ADR was suppose to be more aggressive when he returned from injury, but he just hasn't shown that side to his character. It seems like he's started to in this feud with Randy Orton. But it may just be too little too late. Del Rio took out Orton before his #1 Contenders Match for the World Title, then took him out again after. Orton returned a couple of weeks later to take out Del Rio.

Orton has been booked rather strangely since his return. He wins a match then loses another. He hasn't really done much since his return. He hasn't been in a set program. He's off filming the new 12 Rounds movie, so that has caused him to miss RAW and a couple of Smackdowns. Orton should be wrapping up filming soon, so it will be interesting to see where the WWE goes with Orton. You would think a World Title feud with Sheamus would be in the works, but Dolph Ziggler is waiting in the wings with MITB. Also add to the fact that Orton has already been suspended twice for violating the WWE's Wellness Policy. Giving Orton a main event push has to be considered a risk at this point. I honestly would rather give a push to Kofi Kingston at this point in his career rather than Randy Orton.

I think you could make a case for either guy to win here. Orton could use the win to justify a World Title Match in the future. Del Rio has lost three PPV matches in a row and could just use a win. I think the WWE will go with Orton. But I would not be surprised if Del Rio won.

WINNER: Randy Orton

WWE Tag Team Championship: Team Hell No (c) vs Team Rhodes Scholars

Who would have thought that at this time last year the WWE would be putting this much effort into the tag team division. The tag champs may be the best act the WWE has right now. And they even put together a tournament surrounding the Tag Titles. Sure some teams are just thrown together, but the WWE isn't just doing them as one time things. They are sticking with them like they are with the Rhodes Scholars. I still think Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow have potential to be main eventers in the future. I especially like Sandow's act. Sure the "smarter and better than you" act has been done before, but Sandow does it very well. Sandow's delivery is what makes it work. These two work well together.

I for one did not see the team of Daniel Bryan and Kane working out as well as they have. These two guys may be the most over act in the entire WWE. Just when you think the WWE has nothing left for Kane, they put him with Bryan and they have some comedic gold. Sometimes they aren't just funny, but they are usually more funny than not. Despite the fact that these two guys are over, you have to wonder when the WWE will consider splitting the duo up. I really think Bryan could relaunch his singles career once he breaks away from Kane. There's no reason to think Bryan won't remain over when the duo breaks up. Bryan was over before Kane and himself started teaming. I don't think the WWE will break them up now, but I would not be surprised to see it by the end of the year.

So what happens here? I think the heels take this one. After Team Hell No loses, we get some weeks of them coming together and rebounding in their effort to reclaim the Tag Team Titles from Rhodes and Sandow. If built right, the reaction could be huge for Team Hell No when they retain. But the Rhodes Scholars pick up the win here.

WINNER: Team Rhodes Scholars

World Heavyweight Championship: Sheamus (c) vs Big Show

Just like it seems like with almost any other Big Show feud, I like the work he has done so far. He's been very serious and delivered his promos very well. I have no problem with the Big Show when it comes to delivering promos. He knows how to get his point across and knows how to sell the match. My problem with Big Show feuds is when it gets to the actual match. Every single Big Show match is very slow moving. It feels like you are watching the match in slow motion. Big Show usually does one powerful move, walks around the ring, yells at the crowd, sweats a lot, then goes back and does one more move. The guy just can't put on an entertaining match. Mark Henry's matches were more entertaining than Big Show's. Add to the fact that he is a guy that doesn't really need the World Title at this point in his career, it just adds up to a pile of meh in the end.

And then there is Sheamus. Is the WWE trying to get the adult audience to hate him like they do with John Cena? Sheamus has just been very unlikeable in the last couple of months. And as I talked about, I prefer everything Big Show has done in the build to this match when you compare it to what Sheamus has done. Sheamus makes stupid jokes about Big Show losing in 45 seconds or brings in a wrestling dummy and plays around with that. There are a lot of people in the audience that just don't want to see another John Cena. That is what Sheamus is turning into. Why can't the WWE ever have a serious, no nonsense face Champion that doesn't make corny kid or poop jokes. I almost think Big Show was put in this match so it could be assured Sheamus gets cheered. The WWE is going into dangerous territory with Sheamus.

So how does this one turn out? Again, I don't see what putting the World Title on Big Show would do at this point in his career. I think the WWE is trying to shift away from short reigns with their top two titles. I see Sheamus retaining here after a Brogue Kick. But....

This has to be Dolph Ziggler's time. Ziggler can't sit around doing nothing anymore. I see Big Show landing a KO Punch after the match, and Dolph cashing in and winning the World Title. If the WWE doesn't do it now with Dolph than I think it really means that they have some hesitations with him being World Champ. Dolph should win here, and hopefully he gets a World Title reign longer than a month.

WINNER: Sheamus
Leaving World Champion: Dolph Ziggler

WWE Championship: C.M. Punk vs Ryback

Whether it was by choice or their own free will (probably the former), Ryback is in the main event of a WWE PPV. If you would have told me this was going to happen three months ago, I probably would have laughed in your face. I never pictured Ryback getting over like he has. The guy doesn't have an expanded move set, but what he does is powerful and makes an impact in the ring. Ryback has been around the WWE for a while. He's been in developmental for years and also has been slowed by injury. It is great to finally see the guy at the top of the card. But you have to wonder how he will handle himself in the main event spotlight.

That is why it is a good thing that Ryback is in the main event with C.M. Punk. If there is anybody that can carry someone to a workable main event, it is C.M. Punk. He's the best wrestler the WWE has right now. Punk has held the WWE Title for just under a year at this point. But every WWE character has been putting Punk down on TV. I think that is a dumb move by the WWE. Why are you putting down your WWE Champion? I think it is great to see the WWE keeping the Title on Punk for such a long time. Do I wish they would have done a better job during the early part of his reign making him seem like a main eventer? Absolutely. But you have to live with what you have now. I think the WWE did a smart thing pairing Punk with Paul Heyman. The two work off each other's strengths and know the business very well.

But the WWE has booked themselves into a bit of a corner here. This match is inside Hell In A Cell. You can't book a cop out DQ finish. Something has to come to an end. It is either the undefeated streak of Ryback or the almost year long Title reign of C.M. Punk. The WWE has to come up with a creative finish here. To me, you have to think about what is better for business long term. I know the WWE is very high on Ryback and hope that he could get to Goldberg levels of over, but I don't see that happening. Goldberg could cut a promo, and we haven't seen that with Ryback yet. Punk's long WWE Title reign means more than Ryback's win streak. And people will remember the reign more than Ryback's streak long term.

So how does the WWE book this one? Ryback goes to spear Punk through the Cell, but Punk moves and Ryback goes right through the Cell. Punk takes this as an opportunity to bail, but as he is walking to the back, John Cena stops him and brings him back to the ring. Just as it seems like Ryback is about to win the WWE Title, Brock Lesnar comes out and takes out Ryback. I know the WWE is hesitant about using Lesnar's dates. But all you really have to do is have him appear here. If you don't want to use him again until 2013 then you don't have to. All you say is Paul Heyman used Lesnar as an insurance policy to help keep the WWE Title on Punk. C.M. Punk leaves Hell In A Cell WWE Champion.


Unless something comes up, I plan on writing about Hell In A Cell live Sunday night.

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka

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