Gutteridge’s “Man vs. Machine” WWE Hell in a Cell Predictions: Will we finally get a WWE Champion? And can John Cena overcome the odds and defeat his own triceps to return strong?
By Darren Gutteridge
Can Dot Net contributor Darren Gutteridge predict the outcomes of pay-per-view matches with more accuracy than the WWE '13 video game simulator? Let's find out
I don’t have it in me to write an introduction detailing the run up to this PPV, as I will exceed my word count complaining about the state of WWE at the moment and how they’ve screwed up several sure fire storylines since Wrestlemania. So instead, consider this a eulogy for WWE 13.
Over the past 9 PPVs, the game only managed one victory, but it was Wrestlemania, which either speaks for the validity of the old saying “a broken clock is right twice a day”, or my own failures as a journalist. In it’s penultimate PPV, WWE 13 called four matches right to my six, leaving the overall score 8-1 to me. I intend to report back next year with a whitewash over WWE 2K14.
Pre-Show – Curtis Axel vs. Big E Langston for the Intercontinental Title: One of the few bright sparks in an otherwise poor month of television (though honestly not as bad as some on the internet would have you believe) has been the face turn of Big E. Take it from someone who saw his NXT Title run – the man can get over by being a good guy. Followers of his Twitter account will already know he’s quirkier than most would have thought, plus his straight forward offense is reminiscent of Ryback’s arsenal of moves that helped him get over as a babyface in his initial run. I’m pulling for Langston to win here, if only for my own selfish reason of hoping to avoid Axel vs. R-Truth on the house show I’m set to attend in a few weeks.
Prediction: Big E Langston defeats Curtis Axel to win the Intercontinental Title
WWE 13: Big E defeats Axel to win the IC Title
AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella for the Divas Titles: I really do wish WWE could recapture any type of imagination when it came to turning heels into faces. Almost all of them these days are done by the heel associating with babyfaces. No new character, no new motivation, nothing. Unless the heel character was well over with the crowd, having a person turn and not change won’t endear them to anyone. Case in point – Brie Bella. From the outside looking in, the only way you could tell she is a babyface, outside of her opponent, is that she now smiles. To the casual fan, both her and her sister are the same hard nosed, stuck up bitches they were last month.
If she had been turned with a little more enthusiasm, I could see this feud going places. However, Brie Bella is getting no more of a reaction than the normal “flavour of the month” Diva would, and thus a title change isn’t necessary. Lets hope WWE sees the potential AJ has to build a babyface star, and stick with her as champ.
Prediction: AJ Lee defeats Brie Bella to retain the Divas Title
WWE 13: Brie defeats AJ to win the Divas Title
Los Matadores vs. The Real Americans: We all know all four of these guys can work, but the potential for gimmick overkill is huge. There will be giant swings galore, some painfully cliché matador moves, and outside shenanigans from El Torito and Zeb Coulter. Hopefully it doesn’t outlast it’s very short welcome.
Prediction: Los Matadores defeat The Real Americans
WWE 13: The Real Americans defeat Los Matadores
Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. The Shield vs. The Usos in a Triple Threat tag match for the WWE Tag Team Titles: WWE missed a trick in not giving Cody and Goldust mic time coming out of Battleground. They stole the show with a fantastic match, and won their jobs back in the process. You’d think they would have a lot to say, and yet they couldn’t get one segment to say their piece and then get jumped by The Shield?
I digress. I’m expecting this to be yet another barn burner, although the stipulation may go against them. Triple Threat matches are tricky at the best of times, they must be impossible when it involves teams. Unlike the quality though, the result isn’t in doubt – the Rhodes boys will retain.
Prediction: Rhodes and Goldust defeat The Shield and The Usos to retain the WWE Tag Team Titles
WWE 13: Goldust won a 6 man battle royal to give his team the victory
CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman in a 2-on-1 Handicap Hell in a Cell match: How often will we be told this is the first ever 2-on-1 handicap HiaC match? (Don’t worry, I checked, there has been a handicap one before, but it was 3-on-2, DX vs. Vince & Shane McMahon and the Big Show). I like the logic of making this a HiaC match instead of going with tradition and making the World Heavyweight Title match one. Cena doesn’t need the extra pressure and wear the Cell would put on him during his first match back, plus this storyline is intense enough to warrant it.
As I mentioned last time out at Battleground, I loved Punk and Ryback’s previous Cell match. The addition of Heyman may work to the matches detriment if Heyman doesn’t just scurry away for the bulk of the match, as Punk’s constant attempts to catch him may get old quickly. If Heyman does stay away, Punk and Ryback are more than capable of putting on a great match, even if the fans will likely only perk up for Punk getting his hands on Heyman. There is a chance this stretches to Survivor Series, but I’m more than ready for Punk to move on, or wade into the Authority storyline.
Prediction: CM Punk defeats Ryback and Paul Heyman
WWE 13: Ryback and Heyman defeat Punk
Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena for the World Heavyweight Championship: Remember the dreams we all had of what changes WWE could make to the top of the card in the absence of Cena? Yeah, now may be the time to wave them goodbye. Cena deserves a lot of credit for getting back so quickly (I hope for his long term sake he hasn’t rushed himself back too soon), but the stage is set for him to slot back in immediately to where he was. It’s not even like there was anybody “keeping the throne warm” – with the WWE Title being vacant, neither Bryan nor Orton have elevated themselves into a higher position, worthy of being handed a title feud with Cena in which they look strong going in.
But, bizarrely, I don’t think Cena will leave with the WHC. It would be very difficult to explain to anyone who doesn’t know the business why a World Title is “beneath” a wrestler, but there is no way Cena could be seen holding the B level title. Yes, the title is still prestigious, and the highest accolade all but the very elite can aspire to, but it’s not the title, and therefore the guy can’t hold it. So Del Rio will find a cheap way to win, possibly by getting himself DQ’d for targeting Cena’s injury too ferociously.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio defeats John Cena via DQ to retain the World Heavyweight Championship
WWE 13: Cena defeats Del Rio to win the WHC
Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton in a Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Title, with Shawn Michaels as Special Guest Referee: Unlike Punk vs. Ryback, this match doesn’t feel like it warrants the gimmick, in the main because a lot of the focus has been taken off the two men competing for the vacant title. I couldn’t tell you why. The fans were into it right off the bat, but for some reason the powers that be shifted a lot of the spotlight onto Triple H and Big Show. So instead of giving the white hot Bryan and newly turned Orton chances to cut promos and build intensity the old fashioned way, they went with giving all of their camera time to Show and HHH. In 2013. Even the inclusion of HBK, which carried a lot of promise given his unique relationship with all parties, has amounted to nothing in the run up to the PPV. It’s laughable.
The logical outcome is a Bryan win, so this storyline can end and he can resume his feud with Cena. But if that was always going to be the outcome, regardless of the length of Cena’s stint on the sidelines, why not keep the title on Bryan? I feel like smashing my head against a wall, so I’ll call this match, which I hope can rise above the sum of it’s parts, quickly.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan defeats Randy Orton to win the WWE Title
WWE 13: Bryan defeats Orton to win the WWE Title
Thanks for reading. If you had any comments or thoughts on the show or this preview, add me on Twitter via @Dazatheg
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