Hell in a Cell 2017 Preview

It’s currently Saturday night and we’re about twenty four hours away from the start of “Hell in a Cell 2017”. I’ve known that I need to start getting this together but the more I think about doing it the less interested I am in the show. All week long and especially while I watched the last two episodes of “Smackdown Live”, my interest level in the show has gone downhill faster and faster. It’s entirely and completely a one match show and that one match hasn’t grabbed my attention. I’m not thrilled with this show but let’s get to it.

Kickoff Show: Shelton Benjamin/Chad Gable vs. Hype Bros

This is a match that was teased a few weeks ago on the YouTube channel and for once I’m fine with that being all the build the match receives. It’s not like this is a match that means anything but it’s a good choice for an opener. All four guys will get a solid reaction and it should be a perfectly acceptable ten minute match.

I’ll take Benjamin and Gable to win here as the Bros have been going through some issues as of late. You know, because the “Smackdown Live” tag team division is so deep that it can break up teams at the moment. Benjamin and Gable might not seem like an option with the longest lifespan but WWE might as well see what they have with them. Benjamin and Gable win without much trouble.

Women’s Title: Natalya(c) vs. Charlotte

How many times have we seen this match now? Be it down in NXT or up here on the main roster, it feels like a match that we’ve covered so many times now. At last they haven’t dragged Ric Flair and Bret Hart into it again, but that’s not exactly the highest level of praise. Natalya is doing fine but that doesn’t make her interesting as champion.

I’ll take Charlotte to win here as they need to get the title on either her or Becky Lynch as soon as possible. They’re the only two women on the show with the combination of charisma and in-ring abilities to make it work (though Naomi has come an incredibly long way towards that combination this year). It’s the right call and about as close to being overdue as you can get.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

What does it mean when the big selling point of a match is they might go longer than five minutes this time around? These two have trades wins in a pair of matches that didn’t combine to go thirty seconds. Rusev needs the win a lot more than Orton but WWE has a really bad track record of just giving Orton wins that he doesn’t need, especially at the expense of someone who needs the support.

I’ll give WWE some hope and take Rusev for the win here, as he’s owed this one after being screwed over twice this year. Allegedly he was in line for the Jinder Mahal push (no word on if he would have won the title) and then he had to lose the match at “Summerslam 2017” for the sake of giving Orton another win to make up for the Mahal feud. Rusev needs this win and there’s no need for Orton to get another victory that won’t mean anything in the long run. Now if only WWE can realize how much sense that makes.

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

This is another one that should be a layup and this time around it feels like WWE knows what it’s doing. Ziggler has been mocking entrances for weeks now in a story that still isn’t clicking, though it’s been entertaining at times. Roode of course is known for his entrance and the match makes perfect sense as a result.

I’ll take Roode to win, though there’s something more important than the end result. Flash back with me to “Backlash 2017” where Ziggler faced Shinsuke Nakamura in Nakamura’s in-ring debut. Ziggler went even with him and Nakamura really didn’t blow anything away. While Roode is nowhere near as dominant as Nakamura, I’m worried about this being more of a showcase for Ziggler than Roode, who needs the push to get somewhere. Ziggler is little more than a gatekeeper to the big time and there’s no need to give him a majority of the offense. Both guys get stuff in but Roode wins in what should be dominant fashion.

Tag Team Titles: New Day(c) vs. Usos

Now this is the most interesting match on the card. These teams have been feuding for months now and barring a rather stupid move, this should be the final match of the whole thing. There’s no logical reason to have them go on no matter who wins, save for the eternally annoying contractually obligated rematch clause. Just let them end it in a huge match for a change and be done with it.

I’m going with New Day to retain here, though I don’t have a ton of confidence in the pick. WWE seems obsessed with trading the titles ass often as they can for the sake of building up the title reigns for the sake of building up the title reigns and giving the Usos their fifth reign is probably tempting. New Day doesn’t have a ton of options for opponents though, which gives me some caution. I’ll still say they keep the belts, though I’m probably going to be wrong.

Smackdown World Title: Jinder Mahal(c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Here’s the thing: Mahal has shocked the heck out of me as champion. He’s looking more and more like a main eventer every single week and as average as he seems most of the time, he’s so much better now than he was when he won the title and that’s quite the accomplishment. The problem though is very simple: no one cares. Like at all. Mahal is one of the least interesting characters you’ll ever see and people aren’t buying him as a top star.

Nakamura wins the title here, partially due to pure necessity. Mahal’s title reign has crippled the live crowds at “Smackdown Live” and there’s just nothing interesting about what he’s doing. They need to find someone at least more interesting (Nakamura might not be more interesting but he’s far less dull) in a hurry as the show can’t take Mahal on top for much longer.

US Title: AJ Styles(c) vs. Baron Corbin

First off, I’m not entirely convinced that Tye Dillinger won’t be added to this at the last minute to make it a three way dance. Assuming that doesn’t happen though, I don’t see much doubt in this one. Styles has been trying to do the whole US Open Challenge deal but he’s had all of two matches in the thing, which kind of defeats the purpose. Hopefully he can get back on track with it later.

As you might be able to tell, I’m taking Styles to retain here, even though Corbin needs the win more. The only way I could see Styles losing is to set him up as the next challenger for Mahal, though I have a feeling they would rather let Styles get back to the main event scene later. Styles is the better option here and even though Corbin needs to win something, Styles is a great US Champion and should hold the title a bit longer.

Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon

And now, the reason I care so little about this show. Make no mistake about it (and I don’t know how you could): this is the ONLY match WWE cares about on this show. The whole thing is built around “what is Shane going to do to Owens”, meaning the match is building to one or two spots. If Owens has to slow WAY down to let McMahon hang with him, so be it because this is all about McMahon doing something stupid. I need more than that to interest me in a show, but WWE doesn’t quite seem to agree.

In the pick that really, really needs to be right, I’m going with Owens to win. There’s just no need to have McMahon ever win a match again, despite him being one of the top faces on the show. McMahon can lose here and then come back in another few weeks without continuing the feud. Owens on the other hand can move up, challenge Nakamura for the title, defeat Sami Zayn at “Royal Rumble 2017” (assuming Zayn doesn’t cost McMahon the match, which has been hinted at for a few weeks now) and then face HHH at “Wrestlemania XXXIV” when HHH has to kill his own creation to defend the company and his family.

Overall Thoughts

On paper, only the two Cell matches need to be on pay per view. Other than that, everything on here feels like it could be on almost any given episode of “Smackdown Live”. Actually a lot of them have been on free TV in recent months and would Roode vs. Ziggler airing on TV be that much of a stretch? This show just doesn’t feel special and I don’t think there’s any real way around that problem. The wrestling might be just fine, though I don’t think it’s going to be anything I need to see.

Oh and as for Breezango: I think they find out who is behind it all (my guess is still the Authors of Pain) and they wrap it up in a bonus match on the pay per view.


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  1. Liam Fenech says:

    KB I don’t see the WWE title changing hands as WWE is touring India in December.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Possibly though it’s a Raw tour so it might not be a factor. You’re probably right though.

  2. Aeon Mathix says:

    Dude..Jinder is holding that thing until Mania. Cena may even be the one to beat him there.

    klunderbunker Reply:

    That’s over ten months total. I’m really not seeing that.

    BestSportsEntertainer Reply:

    Cena vs Jinder at Mania? Please no

    Ted Reply:

    Will you be serious!