By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter
Another Hell in a Cell pay per view is nearly here. Like previous HIAC PPVs, the this one features two of the trademark cage matches, Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan will battle for the WWE Championship and CM Punk takes on Paul Heyman and Ryback in a handicap match. I don't read dirt sheets or spoiler reports, so I'm basing my predictions on just what I've seen on Raw and through highlights of SmackDown!
I'll start with the championship match. Regular readers know I'm not a huge Randy Orton fan. While I can't exactly pinpoint my disdain with him, I do know I'd rather see just about anyone as the "face" of WWE other than him. Daniel Bryan on the other hand is probably the fastest rising star the company has had in recent years. He's not your typical WWE cookie cutter Superstar, and that's what I like about him. I would love for him to really get a chance to stay at the top of the card for a length of time, but I don't see it happening.
I smell a Shawn Michaels screw job (he's the special guest referee). With all the "tension" they're showing between Orton, Triple H, and Stephanie McMahon and Shawn, I just think it'll go down that way. They're setting us up to believe that HBK is going to be Bryan's advocate, since he trained him, but I predict Shawn delivers some Sweet Chin Music on Bryan and Orton wins the match and the vacated title. Big Show, who's being built up as the sympathetic hero, will avenge it all and beat Orton for the championship eventually.
CM Punk has had his history with Ryback before. I think they even met in last year's HIAC with Brad Maddox screwing over Ryback as the referee. Punk is looking for revenge on Heyman for the loss he suffered. I would be really surprised if the former WWE Champion lost this contest. I still gotta wonder if Brock Lesnar is going to be brought back in to finish the story with Punk. Maybe that chapter continues Sunday night. I'd love to see Punk get his mojo back and I think this is just the feud to accomplish that.
John Cena makes his return on Sunday against World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. I want to start off saying I like John Cena. I think he's great for business, but I wonder if the company is rushing his return. I also wonder why in the blue hell (sorry Rock) is he getting the WHC match? Sure he's John Cena, but I find throwing him right back into the title picture is exactly what's wrong with the company. Guys like Dolph Ziggler continue to toil and put over other talent, while guys who have been around a decade or longer enjoy the main event picture. I was once told never bet against Cena. So for that reason, I look for him to win the title, but I have nothing else to base that prediction on.
Big E Langston has suddenly become a contender for the Intercontinental title. I wouldn't be surprised to see him win the belt Sunday night. But really, to make the Curtis Axel Project work, he needs to retain. I really don't think the WWE has done a good job with the development of the Axel character. I predicted months ago that he was going to be the next Paul Heyman guy, but I feel like he's just kinda there. Personally, I think they put the IC title on him way too soon, and never really gave him a chance to develop. He went from not being on TV to almost being over exposed. I wonder if he's headed down the same path Zack Ryder took.
I love that Goldust is back in the WWE. I think he and Cody Rhodes make a great team. I wonder though how long term this deal is for Dustin and whether this is all leading to that much anticipated Cody vs. Goldie match at Wrestlemania. The Rhodes' Brothers will defend the tag team titles against the Shield and the Usos. While I don't like to see titles hot potatoed, I do prefer Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins as the tag team champions. The Usos were under utilized for so long, I still can't buy into them as contenders.
Brie Bella challenges AJ Lee for the Divas Championship. I'm not going to bash the Bellas in this post, but I'd much rather see AJ in a program with Natalya or even her new bodyguard Tamina Snuka. Even though the Bellas are getting fan support again, they're a duo I just can't get in to either. I understand why they're keeping Brie in the spotlight now since she's engaged to Bryan, but I wonder if he loses Sunday, what does that mean for her? My hope is that AJ retains and Natalya gets another shot at redemption.
As of this writing that's all the matches announced. Would love to see guys like Ziggler, Damien Sandow, and the U.S. Champion Dean Ambrose involved. I suspect there will be at least another match or two added, maybe tonight on SmackDown or Sunday on the show. Let me know what you think.
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