You can have a Hell In A Cell match. And you can have a Hell In A Cell match. You want one, too? Not a problem! Come one, come all!
Such is life in WWE’s gimmick PPV era. Hell In A Cell 2020 takes place this Sunday on the WWE Network. As usual, WWE has loaded the card with matches that articulate the name of the PPV, while sacrificing logic and future returns to do so. So far, there are three Hell In A Cell matches slated for the show. Three! That’s wild, but especially wild given the fact that only four matches have been announced.
Two things. First, for a match inside a structure so ominous, destructive, and dangerous, nobody seems particularly worried about participating in it. This severely hurts the Hell In A Cell gimmick. In addition, showcasing the match three times on one show waters down its significance and its ability to draw big and close feuds in the future. Secondly, there is only so much that can be done inside the structure. With countless Hell In A Cell matches already in the can throughout the years, the list of unique things to do with it has all but dried up. Time helps alleviate that issue. Three cell matches in a matter of three hours though? It doesn’t matter how good you are or how hot the feud is, keeping the matches fresh is simply impossible. Main event or not, if I’m Roman Reigns, I’m itching to go on first.
Call this a preview, a calm look into the distant future, or a gaze into a wondrous crystal ball; just don’t hold me to anything, ok?
Drew McIntyre vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship Hell In A Cell Match
This program with McIntyre and Orton has been, well, absolutely fine. Solid matches, solid promos, solid interest. This match needs to serve as the blow off, though. It’s time. Orton and McIntyre have produced a rivalry worthy of the WWE Championship, but more importantly a rivalry that has helped boost Drew’s championship reign. He needed a successful run with a credible heel and Orton provided that for him. Sunday’s match has some heat and though I’m putting another match on the card up for match of the night, this one should deliver strongly as well. McIntyre is missing the definitive 1,2,3 win over Orton. Look for him to get it here before both men go in different directions.
Jeff Hardy vs. Elias
The Elias song? Ok. The concert? An abomination. Going out on a limb here, but rock concerts shouldn’t be an avenue to a wrestling fight. Right? Especially now. WWE has a strong and dramatic story between Jeff Hardy and Elias. The angle from the summer in which Elias was struck by a car could be intense and the heel wrongfully accusing the babyface as the perpetrator works well to drive the narrative and sympathy for the babyface. Unfortunately, that promising story is taking a back seat to nonsense involving respecting Elias’s musical prowess instead. Talk about a swing and a miss. This is a one and done program, folks. Look for Hardy to hit the Twist of Fate and Swanton Bomb to get the clean babyface victory.
Sasha Banks vs. Bayley – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Hell In A Cell Match
From the turn to the Hell In A Cell match itself, everything involved with Bayley and Sasha Banks right now is backwards. Bayley turning on Banks, though entertaining, was ineffective in establishing Banks as a likable babyface. Her demeanor is the same and the stench of her successful heel run from the summer still hovers around her wherever she goes. Banks needed her moment. She needed a moment to be the catalyst that split from Bayley because she saw the same awful qualities about her friend that the audience had seen. That would have created investment that just isn’t there right now and Banks is sinking because of it. Her words in promos have lacked depth and aren’t credible as its hard to believe Banks when seemingly the only reason she changed her tune was because the heel Bayley forced her to. Not a strong narrative for a budding babyface. Plus, starting a feud with the Hell In A Cell stipulation leaves nowhere for the program to go. Because of that, look for Banks to win the championship and face her “never successfully defended a championship” story head on against Bayley again at TLC in December.
Roman Reigns vs. Jey Uso – WWE Universal Championship Hell In A Cell “I Quit” Match
The match of the night, folks. Reigns vs. Uso has been a pristinely executed story that features drama, family history, and extremely high stakes. This cell match being with the “I Quit” format gives it a fresher range than the other matches on the card and will be particularly helpful in Reigns demanding submission from Jey once and for all. That’s the story and we’ll see that play out in full. I see Roman Reigns getting the acknowledgment he wants and bringing Uso fully over to his side as the first piece in a stable around him. That’s a logical next step for the Reigns character, but a smart way to keep Jey Uso strong and involved on the main event level even in a losing within this match.
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