Hell in a Cell is a match which carries with it the most emotional and symbolic baggage for wrestling fans and the wrestling industry as a whole. The canvas has always been treated as sacred in the wrestling community, but when it is covered by the cell, it becomes demonically divine. The announcers always do a great job of hyping the match too, and this year they’ve really laying it on evocatively. I love Cole’s description of it, specifically that it’s ‘uncivilised’. Not only does it suggest the primitive brutality involved with the match, but again personifies the structure in the most humanistic way yet. And then there was J.R.s line: “Hell in a Cell is like Church – many attend but few understand.” What better way to describe a match and to draw people to it. If you build it, they will come. Now, since this match was institutionalised in a PPV two years ago, the matches have struggled to live up to its moments of genesis in folklore (Foley – Taker, HHH-Foley, Jericho-HHH), but there have been some good outings; Sheamus-Orton from last year being something of a stand-out. Though having regularly scheduled incarnations of this match detract somewhat from the special feelings surrounding this match, there is no reason why we can’t expect some more iconic moments from this match, especially given the quality of the people involved in the matches this year.
The last PPV, Night of Champions, finished in uncertain terms with a lot of vague questions because this PPV was coming up only two weeks later and so they couldn’t give away that much and ruin this, arguably more important PPV. Hopefully that will mean that this time we have a much more memorable and striking PPV.
There are only five matches on the card for this week-end. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it stay like this and the main event matches be given long times, but there is also leeway for another match on the card, most probably a tag team championship match between AirBoom and Team Vickie, a match i’d very much like to see. Anyway, ON WITH THE PREDICTIONS!
Match 1) Hell in a Cell Match for the World Heavyweight Championship: Mark Henry (c) vs Randy Orton
If the potential tag match isn’t first up, then I think it will be this. I think they’ll want to separate this match from the other as best as possible. Mark Henry, in his current incarnation, fits this match perfectly. He isn’t much of a technical wrestler, but he is a sheer brutaliser, and that is what Hell in a Cell is made for. I genuinely hope that this match can live up to the expectations of both the match and the man, and that we see some genuinely shocking moments. I have some faith in this though, given that agents seems to have been going out of their way to make Henry seem awe-inspiringly powerful. One specific prediction for the match: Henry breaks through the cell at some point. That will be explained later, but it allowing for them to leave the cell also makes for more memorable spots. As for Orton, he was recently described (I think by Arda Ocal) as the new Shawn Michaels, in terms of how he consistently puts on great (even 5 star) matches. I see him sticking and moving, and really taking it to Henry, but he can’t win. Henry is doing the best work of his life, and is over as a monster heel champion. We know that Orton can RKO Henry, but that, I believe, was just to add drama to the match where Henry had otherwise seemed unstoppable. I would like to see Henry kick out of an RKO (which in itself, would add to Henry’s list of impressive spots) on his way to another big title defense in what could be a memorable hell in a cell match.
Winner: Mark Henry
Match 2) Sin Cara vs Sin Cara
This is a very hard match to preview. Obviously, it’s going to be very visually engaging with the two masked warriors wrestling lucha style, but I imagine there is some concern about how the original Cara (who has struggled to perform blightless matches in WWE) will fair at PPV. The outcome here may well depend on what is actually at stake in the match. If it is simply the first match of the series, then I think the bad, ‘dark’ Sin Cara will win. If the good one were to win without any consequences, it would surely make for a premature end to the feud. If, however, the dark Cara were to reveal himself as Hunico, and take it from there, then perhaps the good one could win, and Hunico could pursue his vengeance (uh oh, what’s the next PPV..?) I don’t see that hapenning yet though, so I imagine the bad Cara might win this time, leaving the good Cara to fight to prove his legitimacy and honour.
Winner: ‘Dark’ Sin Cara
Match 3) Sheamus vs Christian
Though I am a big fan of both of these guys currently, I think this match will get a bit lost in the shuffle. I have no doubt it will be a very good match, especially given the sheer effort Christian has been putting in to his performances of late, but the truth is, their feud (or issue) isn’t fully defined yet, and there isn’t yet an aspect to their feud to make it anything more than hotly anticipated. Perhaps that edge will come out of this match, but for now, it doesn’t stand out too much. As for the winner, I think there’s a similar problem to the Cara vs Cara match – i.e. that if the face wins clean, it would be like he was putting the heel down assuredly and Christian wouldn’t really have any rationale for a return match. Maybe this will be a one-time PPV match, allowing that, but I think there is more to happen between the two yet. So, Christian needs to win, but he can only do so dirty, so maybe expect some help from one of his new conspirator friends.
Match 4) Divas Championship Match: Kelly Kelly (c) vs Beth Phoenix
Well, if Night of Champions taught us anything, it was that this feud is impossible to predict, and has the potential to be rather disappointing (if not in terms of the action, than the outcome). But at the risk of making the same mistake twice, surely they wouldn’t book this match again and have Kelly go over again. Well … maybe. If Kelly were to win again, it might just build this storyline even more. But! I think even WWE know that as much potential as the Divas of Doom have, if they lose again, they’ll only lose more credibility. So, I have to pick Beth, and hopefully with that Pin Up Strong submission (which i’d like her and Nattie to share).
Winner: Beth Phoenix
Match 5) Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
This match is interesting for many reasons, most immediately because it’s the first ever triple threat Hell in a Cell match. This is a more significant tangent than it may seem. The Hell in a Cell match is a match where two men walk in to hell, and one man walks out victorious (the only exception being Armageddon Hell in a Cell). That is why Undertaker’s slamming the cage door behind him has become so iconic. Three people being in the cell changes the dynamic a lot, but given the relationship these three have with each other, the content of the match should be very interesting. I think the atmosphere of this match will be very different to the first. Henry-Orton will all be about horror and survival, whereas this, while i’m sure it will be brutal in it’s fair share, will centre around the whole conspiracy storyline. Remember earlier when I predicted Henry would smash through the cell? Well, that could well allow someone to break in to the cell during the main event. In the intro, I spoke of how the uncertain end to Night of Champions took place partly because this PPV would be taking place only two weeks later; well this time, it’s important that we get a stronger twist/storyline progression. The problem with that is this: John Cena really can’t lose (I really don’t think the title should change hands again), and that means that any interference can’t cost him the match. I also don’t think it’s the right time for him to turn heel, so, unless i’m wrong, it’s hard to tell what should and will happen. Perhaps some one/some people will try to interfere (probably on behalf of Del Rio, who I think is a good candidate for the conspiracy theorists ideal champion), but be fought off, though revealing their intentions in doing so. This just shows again why Cena shouldn’t have won at Night of Champions! If Del Rio retained, you have the conspirators reveal themselves and help Del Rio retain! Simpler and better. So basicaslly, this one’s up in the air, but as long as it isn’t gratuitously overbooked, and as long as it provides us with a major storyline progression, i’m sure it will work well. I think Cena needs to stay champion at least to Survivor Series though, so somehow, he should go over.
Winner: John Cena
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