Powell's WWE Hell in a Cell 2012 Preview and Predictions: Will C.M. Punk or Ryback leave Hell in a Cell as the WWE Champion? Will Dolph Ziggler cash in his Money in the Bank contract?
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C.M. Punk vs. Ryback in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Championship: This is far more intriguing than the usual WWE "B" pay-per-view main event because it's a rare case where the outcome is in question and people genuinely seem to care. Has WWE painted themselves into a corner by booking the unbeaten (at least according to WWE) challenger against the long term champion? Perhaps they have in terms of delivering a satisfying pay-per-view main event.
I'm not of the opinion that Ryback will automatically suffer major damage if he doesn't walk away with the WWE Championship. Sure, a clean loss to Punk would damage him, but there are plenty of ways around that. WWE isn't counting his wins. He's not Goldberg. I do feel the Hell in a Cell gimmick is going to take a hit, which may explain why WWE has done such a lousy job of hyping that aspect of the match this time around.
We may see a rare case of "inside interference." In other words, someone could be waiting under the ring. I suppose it could be Brock Lesnar, but that would be an awfully expensive move for WWE given his limited dates deal. If healthy, Mark Henry seems like a better option because his return would be a surprise and it would set up Ryback with a long term program that would take him away from the WWE Title picture. Of course, they could always go the cheesy route and have Henry or someone else break the lock on the Cell structure with their bare hands. Ugh.
Prediction: C.M. Punk defeats Ryback via "inside" interference to retain the WWE Championship.
Sheamus vs. Big Show for the World Heavyweight Championship: WWE beat us over the head to remind us of Big Show's nearly forgotten 45-second title reign. I'd like to believe there's a storyline reason for this because otherwise it was a foolish move that made the challenger look bad heading into a title match. The obvious way to play into that 45-second bit is to have Show win only to have Dolph Ziggler cash in. Show could knockout Ziggler and keep the title or he could once again drop it quickly. The latter doesn't make much sense simply because that would seem to require a Ziggler vs. Show run afterward, but perhaps there's a way around it.
Farfetched fantasy booking time. WWE has viewers focussed on the A.J. and John Cena saga. Dolph Ziggler stuck his nose into the situation via his Raw promo. Sure, he's involved with Vickie, but perhaps they are setting it up so that Vickie's evidence indirectly reveals that A.J. was having an affair with Ziggler. Warning: I'm about to really reach. Ziggler wore Converse shoes on Raw recently. Was it a wink to his secret girlfriend? Yeah, I said I was reaching.
Anyway, WWE could do a lot worse than new World Hvt. Champion Dolph Ziggler and his new girlfriend A.J. feuding with John Cena coming out of this pay-per-view. I like this one enough to make it my long shot pick. I don't know how they get there with Show winning, so I'll take Sheamus going over.
Prediction: Sheamus pins Big Show, but Dolph Ziggler successfully cashes in to win the World Championship.
Kane and Daniel Bryan vs. Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes for the Tag Team Championship: I could go either way on this one. Lord knows WWE creative is in love with the Kane and Bryan duo, but I could see them putting the straps on Team Rhodes Scholars to put Team Hell No in chase mode. If nothing else, it would give us a break from the tired "I'm the tag team champions" routine. That seems too good to be true.
Let's compromise, WWE. You can have the "I'm the tag team champions" line if you drop the pointless "Team" part of the tag names. This is pro wrestling, er, sports entertainment, not Twilight. Sandow and Rhodes will probably be the team that takes the straps away from Kane and Bryan at some point, but I don't think that will happen tonight. I hope I'm wrong because the tag division would be a lot more interesting with strong heel champs.
Prediction: Kane and Daniel Bryan win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio: The build has been mostly about Del Rio, but that's only because Orton has been off growing his hair while making a future flop film. Orton has done plenty of losing in recent months and I'd give him one more to help establish Del Rio as someone on his level. We saw Wade Barrett get the better of Orton on Smackdown. I'd like to see him pop up to help give Del Rio the win, but something tells me that interference will backfire and Randy will keep his "Apex Predator" name.
Prediction: Orton wins.
Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship: Can someone explain why Ryback had to destroy Miz on Monday's Raw show? The reason I care is because they had done a good job of setting up Kingston vs. Miz as a nice feud, but that Miz loss brought it down a couple notches. Kofi just won the strap, so I don't see any reason why he would drop it here.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston retains the Intercontinental Championship.
Eve vs. Layla vs. Kaitlyn for the WWE Divas Championship: The current storyline involving these three has given fans more incentive to dislike Eve, yet I don't sense that viewers care more about Layla or Kaitlyn. Eve and Layla can go in the ring, but I can't say the same about their green third wheel. Thus, I assume Eve will do something to aggravate Kaitlyn's knee injury early on so that she's the odd person at ringside for the bulk of the match.
Prediction: Eve pins Kaitlyn to retain the Diva's Championship.
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