Shore's WWE Hell in a Cell preview and predictions: Will WWE give Ryback the WWE Championship? Will Dolph Ziggler cash in for the World Heavyweight Championship? Will other titles change?
The following preview and predictions are made with no foreknowledge of the planned finishes or storylines. In fact, as I write this at noon on Sunday, I'm not convinced all of these matches have planned finishes yet. The point is I'm guessing, just like you.
Ryback vs. CM Punk for the WWE Championship: Has there been a bigger title match this year than this one? Everyone, from former WWE Superstars to the dozens of fans who have sent me emails, has an opinion for what is right about this angle, what is wrong with this angle, and, of course, who is going to win. The theories have covered the spectrum from logically possible to wildly bizarre. Whatever happens tonight, WWE has certainly created a buzz about this match. Will that translate to more viewers on the product? I think the answer largly depends on what the finish is.
So what should WWE do? I have been back and forth on this for two weeks now, and late last night I came to a conclusion I never thought I would: WWE should switch the title. Now I know all the Punk fans are freaking out, and I understand. There are so many cool things they could with Punk's one year anniversary of winning the title, which does land on a Monday as Dot Net Weekly guest host Brian Fritz pointed out this week. And everybody knows I am all in favor of long title reigns because they give the title substance, making it a more impactful prop.
All of those are great reasons to keep the title on Punk, but there is one compelling reason to move the title onto Ryback: WWE needs new stars. Now I am not a believer in Ryback. I don’t think he's ready yet to be at the top of the card. But here's the thing, he's everything Vince McMahon loves in wrestlers. He's big. He's really, really big. He's super intense. He's borderline stiff in the ring. If Vince isn't going to take a chance on this guy, who will he take a chance on?
And that's the thing; we need Vince to take a chance. We need him to give someone, anyone a real opportunity. If Ryback stinks, move the title back to Punk. It won't hurt anything to try. If he succeeds, that may mean we don’t get Punk vs. Rock at Rumble, but who knows? Maybe we'll be even more excited about Ryback vs. Rock (I realize I'm taking it for granted Rock would work that match). SO that's why WWE should put the belt on Ryback tonight. But this is a prediction piece, and even after all that, I do not expect a title change.
Prediction: CM Punk retains the WWE Championship.
Big Show vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship: All of the other matches get one paragraph to predict the finish because WWE does such a poor job of building feuds outside of John Cena and/or the WWE Championship. This has been a decent build, but Show is doing all the heavy lifting./ His character is good. Sheamus is terrible as a character. He needs to find his edge again, and I'm hoping this match is the catalyst for it. I do not expect Big Show to take the title here, but I do expect him to set up a title change.
Prediction: Sheamus retains the World Heavyweight Championship.
Bonus Pick: Dolph Ziggler vs. Sheamus for the World Heavyweight Championship: What could be bigger than both major titles changing hands at the same PPV? This is the time of year when you take chances with people, and I fully expect them to take at least one chance. This one makes the most sense.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler wins the World Heavyweight Championship.
Rhodes Scholars vs. Hell No for the WWE Tag Team Championships: I really like this feud because I think the players complement each other so much. Kane is hilarious with his dry delivery of lines, and Daniel Bryan is as ridiculous as they come. Damien Sandow's character is saying all the things that I want to say about WWE at times, and Cody Rhodes is good enough to plug in most anywhere. I think this feud goes on for a while longer, and I don't know how you keep it going unless they move the titles, so I expect a title change to put more heat on the idea that Bryan is the weak link of his team.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars win the WWE Tag Team Championships.
Miz vs. Kofi Kingston for the Intercontinental Championship: Could anyone on this card, not counting Divas, mean less than Miz right now? WWE cut the legs out of this match from the moment they booked it. Miz took a beating and this had all kinds of gas, but they immediately made Miz look like a chump by feeding him to Ryback. If I was running creative, I would have fired someone for how poorly this feud was managed after such a hot start. My only hope is that this leads to some sort of sustained push for Kofi Kingston.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston retains the Intercontinental Championship>
Layla vs. Kaitly vs. Eve in a triple threat for the Divas Championship: They aren't quite done with the Eve story yet, which is cool because I like it. It's a little convoluted and watered down right now, but that's because she actually has to defend the title. She will definitely retain, and continue to be a thorn in the side of Teddy Long.
Prediction: Eve retains the Divas Championship.
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio: I have no idea what they are going to do here. If ever there was a "pick 'em" situation, it’s this one. On the one hand, Randy Orton is a big star and Del Rio isn't. On the other, they like Del Rio and Orton is still shooting his movie (I think). I honestly could see this one going either way, but I think Del Rio delivers a beating here to give Orton a chance to finish shooting, and then Orton kills him in a month or two.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio puts Orton out.
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