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I’m pretty sure a two week build-up to a PPV is pretty unprecedented in it’s shortness, and a lot of people have been critical of this, including me. While I definitely about what will happen on Sunday, it hasn’t had enough time to distinguish itself as an event yet. Luckily, the feuds that will be on show are all solid, and if it’s anything like Night of Champions, it will be very good. I maintain that Hell in a Cell is one of the worst ideas in terms of gimmick PPVs as it will seriously detract from the aura around the match. The booking of a Hell in a Cell match is no longer because a feud dictates it, but because the PPV schedule dictates it, and that’s a shame. For instance, I like the chemistry Sheamus and Orton have together, but they’re nowhere near the heat required for a HIAC match … I would much prefer the idea if there was only one HIAC match, especially here as it is very apt booking for Kane vs Undertaker!
1) Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship: Randy Orton (c) vs Sheamus
I think this is one of the more predictable matches on the card as Orton only won the championship two weeks ago, and hense the reason I think it’ll be first out. I have no doubt that both Sheamus and Orton will get pretty dark and have a decent HIAC match, but with no title changing hands, I think they’ll be holding back in stipulation terms for the second match (another problem with this sort of gimmick PPV). Since roughly Summerslam there have been speculating on Triple H’s return. Now I don’t know his exact health status, but I know he’s at least nearing a return, and I think now would be a good time for him to make it. Him somehow making his return and costing Sheamus the title (be it physically or not) would set up a hot feud between those two and help Orton move on to a new challenger. Also, while i’m sure this match will be pretty good, I also think it will be forgotten under some of the other matches, so a HHH appearance would allow it some headline-grabbing of it’s own.
Winner: Randy Orton
2) Intercontinental Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler (c) vs MVP (?)
This match is not booked yet, but after their attempt at a championship match on Smackdown and bearing in mind that the card is a little light, I expect at least one match to be added to the card – this being the most likely. These two, if booked together, will no-doubt put on a very good match, and while I think MVP would make a great IC champ, I can’t see him quite doing it this time. I think Ziggler has one or two further defences to achieve before he drops the belt, so, no doubt with some help from Vickie Guerrero, I think he’ll go over here.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler
3) Unified Divas Championship Match: Michelle McCool (c) vs Natalya
Now, I have no idea why Michelle is defending the championship again. I’d have thought this whole co-champion thing would mean Layla and Michelle would be swapping duties. That would certainly make it more interesting. It appears however that it is booked this way, though I hope for, and wouldn’t be surprised to see Layla bringing it up and actually wrestling the match for LayCool. This is a relatively difficult one to predict. On the one hand, Natalya is clearly an excellent wrestler with a lot of momentum that would make an excellent champion, not to mention that her getting gold may further catalyse the tension between the two Hart Dynasty boys. On the other hand, while LayCool have long been champions, they have only just become Unified Divas Champions, which might point to a retention. If this one gets ten or so minutes, it’ll be a very good match, and I think that LayCool have to sneak this one – though hopefully this gives Nattie a rub that will lead her eventually to the title!
Winner: Michelle McCool/Layla
4) Submissions Count Anywhere Match for the United States Championship: Daniel Bryan (c) vs John Morrison vs The Miz
I remember at last year’s underrated Breaking Point PPV really enjoying the submissions count anywhere match, so i’m looking forward to this version with a bona fide submission specialist taking part. This is another predictable one, with Daniel Bryan no doubt retaining his title here by making Morrison tap (so as to save Miz from looking weak). I actually think this could be the start of a Morrison heel-turn. After Bryan beats Morrison, Morrison tells him ‘I know I can beat you’ and sets up a one-on-one match which he will lose, driving him over the edge etc etc. By that time, Joey Mercury’s hair might have grown back enough to allow the much rumoured return of MNM …
Winner: Daniel Bryan
5) Tag Team Championship Match: Drew Mcintyre & Cody Rhodes (c) vs The Hart Dynasty (?)
Now i’m sure we’re all sick of seeing these two teams go at it by now, and this match is a lot less sure to happen than the IC match is, but I think if they have time to fill, this will be the match that is booked. I think this because I think it will be a way to get the future stars of Drew and Cody on PPV while providing the straw to break The Hart Dynasty’s back, so to speak. Basically, they lose again and start blaming each other and then beating on each other, setting up a small programme between Tyson Kidd and DH Smith. If that does happen, though the programme itself will be good, I wonder what will happen to them afterwards? Remember Cryme Tyme? What i’m saying is their tension is too insular at the moment, and to be successful, they will have to branch out. Anyway the champs will retain, and I imagine relatively quickly to further show that the team is no longer ‘working’.
Winners: Drew McIntyre & Cody Rhodes
6) John Cena vs Wade Barrett
First of all, I would like to speculate that this match may also be in a Hell in a Cell. I wouldn’t want it to be, but there were three last year, and with Nexus already banned from involvement, it would be a natural way to ensure that they didn’t interfere. Now, I hold my hands up to saying – relatively recently – that I was 95% sure Cena will be going over on Sunday. However, ever since writing that, that percentage has been decreasing and decreasing. A lot of IWC hype, though to be taken with a pinch of salt, is suggesting that a much-needed Cena heel turn is being seriously discussed and that Nexus have more time on the clock – both assertions would of course suggest a Barrett win. Personally, i’ve noticed that Nexus are again being treated as a genuine and germ-like threat to the WWE, and have been somewhat rejuvenated. So my instinct is telling me that Nexus may well not be ‘done’. So , while it just be that WWE have done a great job of making an obvious result much more surprising, i’ve come down to being about 50/50 on this prediction. If forced to choose, I think (perhaps driven by the heart) i’m going to predict a Barrett win. Now, there are a few scenarios to discuss. 1) and the one i’d most like to see would be a 3rd man style swerve in which, rather than having a match, Cena just lay down for Barrett and joined Nexus of his own free will. That would send tremors through the wrestling world for sure. 2) Is some kind of Nexus involvement. Now I know they’re banned from interfering on pain of suspension, but the impact of that depends on interpretations of the word ‘interfere’. Perhaps they’re just not allowed to attack Cena, in which case they could distract him enough to cost him the match. 3) Is that Barrett wins clean, which would be huge in it’s own right. Pick your poison. If Cena wins it will be a disappointment, but at least WWE will have done a ood job of making it interesting.
Winner: Wade Barrett
7) Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Kane (c) vs The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
This match will undoubtedly steal the show in my view. It’s a perfect storm of compelling narrative, fluent nostalgia and timely booking. These two wrestlers, and this storyline, are perfect for this match, and I hope and think that they will both leave it all in the ring. This one has the makings of a genuine classic, despite the predictable outcome. I think there will be at leat one more match (specifically, a Buried Alive match) between these two, and a Kane win would leave the Undertaker (and the storyline) with nowhere to go. These veterans could put on a match for the ages which Undertaker will win, reclaiming his ‘holy grail’ and necessitating a statutory re-match for Kane. I wouldn’t even be surprised, if one of them got busted open towards the end of the match, to see some untreated blood. Who’s going to stop the Undertaker when he’s about to ‘go home’!? I wouldn’t want to try. I can see this one running to Survivor Series, though i’ll leave speculation about that off the page for now at least.
Winner: The Undertaker