Posted September 15th, 2018 by 1Wrestling News Team


By Don “The Predictor” Murphy

Another month – another show! I can’t remember a time since I’ve been a fan where there’s been so much content available to the fans. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a great thing. More companies mean more places for wrestlers to hone their craft. And, different presentations give the fans options. But, it also means that there’s only so many hours in the day and there’s increased competition for focused eyeballs on your product. Now, the WWE is still the biggest dog in the fight – no question. But, it’s becoming increasingly important to keep the fan base engaged with compelling stories, leading to matches that people want to see. That leads us to this Sunday night’s Hell in a Cell show, emanating from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The issue with these themed pay-per-views is that they basically force matches into the “Cell” stipulation, whether it’s needed or not. The great thing about cage matches, back in the day, is that the story usually built to them and it made sense. For the two “Cell” matches Sunday night, it feels a little disjointed from a storyline perspective, but in the end, it will still create intriguing scenarios. Let’s run down the card!

WWE Universal Championship Match/Hell in A Cell: Roman Reigns defends the WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman

Topline Thoughts: The quest to make Roman Reigns the beloved babyface continues, even if it means making the most over performer in the company a dastardly heel. In all my years of fandom, this is one of the few times I can say that I have no idea where they are going with this. I’m not digging this whole “Shield vs. the World” framework, especially when the Shield is getting the upper hand. There are too many top-tier heels involved that can be damaged by doing this. As for the match itself, Strowman and Reigns can put on a solid match, so I’m not worried about that. And I guess, at the end of the day, it makes sense to have the “Cell” in play to keep all the extra players out (in theory, of course). But, I think you’re going to see a lot of overbooking and interference, which will ultimately lead to Reigns retaining.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Roman Reigns retains the WWE Universal Championship

WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles defends the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe

Topline Thoughts: I wish they would have focused on their history and their in-ring credibility. This one doesn’t need a “story” but, here we are. It does seem that they’re focusing more on AJ and Joe, while AJ’s family are just talking points, so that’s a good thing. I’m really hoping we don’t get a Wendy appearance during the match, but I’ll accept it, if it doesn’t factor into the finish. For the match, we never really got the match we know these two are capable of, so I’m optimistic that we’ll get it here.

“The Predictor” Predicts: AJ Styles retains the WWE Championship

WWE Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey defends the WWE Raw Women’s Championship against Alexa Bliss

Topline Thoughts: This will be the blow-off match to the feud, as Alexa gets her contracted rematch. I can appreciate that they’ve tried to present Alexa as a threat, by playing up Ronda’s injured ribs, but this will be nothing more than another Rousey squash match, as we head toward Evolution

“The Predictor” Predicts: Ronda Rousey retains the WWE Raw Women’s Championship

WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match: Charlotte Flair defends the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch

Topline Thoughts: In another weird twist, the creative team decided to take the most “over” babyface women’s wrestler and turn her heel. I must say, Becky is making the most of it and I love the heelish edge. I just don’t know if it’s resonating with the crowd, as she is still getting a lot of cheers. There’s still time to course correct, but I think this will be the match of the night. And, if they’re going to continue down this path, now’s the time to put the belt on Lynch and have Charlotte in chase mode.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Becky Lynch wins the WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defend the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose

Topline Thoughts: I really wanted to see the Revival get a run with the titles, but if it means that the titles will be featured in the main event storyline, I’ll accept it. This should be a fun match, and all four bring something different to the table. I don’t see a title change here, as I think this program is just getting started, but Rollins and Ambrose are at the top of the babyface list, so the chase should be fun.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler retain the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship

Mixed Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella meet the Miz and Maryse

Topline Thoughts: The Miz and Maryse would be the biggest heels in the company if they weren’t so likeable and relatable on their reality show. And, surprisingly, the fans sat on their hands at SummerSlam, which I think was because the outcome was so predictable, I like that they didn’t rush this to a Hell in a Cell match, and I think this will be another instance of the Miz getting the better of Bryan. The men will carry the load here, as it’s clear that both women are rusty and still trying to work out the kinks.

“The Predictor” Predicts: The Miz and Maryse defeat Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella

Hell in a Cell Match: Jeff Hardy meets Randy Orton

Topline Thoughts: My fear is that the only reason this match is in the Cell is so that Hardy can do some crazy stunt. Whatever it is – I hope it’s safe. Aside from that, these are two veterans capable of telling a good story and putting on a good match – so the Cell won’t be a wasted effort with them.

“The Predictor” Predicts: Randy Orton defeats Jeff Hardy

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match/Pre-Show: The New Day defend the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship against Rusev and Aidan English

Topline Thoughts: I’m surprised that this match is on the pre-show, given the amount of build and time it was given on Smackdown. The New Day has just won the titles, so I don’t think it’s time to make a move. If anything, this will continue the story of the eventual split between Rusev and English.

“The Predictor” Predicts: The New Day retains the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship

Follow me on Twitter: @DonThePredictor

Category: Wrestling.

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