Kurt: Welcome one and all to the TJRWrestling preview of Smackdown Live’s Hell in a Cell offering this Sunday from Detroit, Michigan inside the brand new Little Caesars Arena. Shout out to my Pistons. Our fearless leader John Canton is on a well deserved vacation, so I am hosting this preview in his place.

This is a huge card for Smackdown, both in terms of amount and quality of matches. Also though, in terms of getting some momentum for the brand. The sparse attendance at TV tapings have been no surprise to anyone and ratings are going down as well. They need a really strong effort here to jump start the brand again and get some interest back into it. I think they’ve done the best they possibly could with this card. It’ll be up to them to deliver on the two main events, where as Raw was not able to do so at No Mercy. There are seven matches on the main card and one kickoff match.

Joining me will be the team of Matthew Douglas and Mike Holland.

(Note: All graphics are from WWE.com. The banner up top is courtesy of our friend Melo Man.)

Kickoff Match: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros

Mike: The Hype Brothers get hype, and then they stay hype. They apparently also tease breaking up on every Smackdown since WrestleMania. This duo screams out as yet another example of how awesome things in NXT end up being not so awesome when they get onto the WWE main stage. (And, you guessed it, there’s PLENTY of examples of that on this card.) Mojo Rawley does less than nothing for me and that alone perfectly qualifies him for a lengthy and substantial run once he goes over Ryder in their midcard feud.

I’m fine with the Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable pairing, but would like it a heck of a lot more if Shelton Benjamin was revealed to be the grandfather of Gable. Since that hasn’t happened yet, we’ll just have to roll forward with Benjamin providing mentorship and words of wisdom to Gabes. Given that there may in fact exist an alternate universe in which The Usos need a team other than The New Day to have wrestling matches with, I’d guess B&G could provide that option. I’ll go with Shelton and Chad to get the duke. Not believing the hype here.

Prediction: Chad Gable & Shelton Jordan, err Benjamin

Matthew: I’m not super interested in this match, but there are certainly angles that can come out of it that have me interested. Unfortunately those angles aren’t so much concerning Gable and Benjamin. It would be better if there was something interesting on both sides of this match, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles.

I am very curious as to what the future holds for the Hype Bros. On one hand their miscommunications could be leading to a double cross by one of them (preferably Zack). In many ways the team may have just run its course and both guys might be better utilized on their own. On the other hand, maybe this match could lead to or feature a change in attitude for both men. Maybe they could rebrand their tag team and turn to villainy together. That option is certainly not a bad one. All I know is that the direction they head in will be clearer after this bout, so it has at least some of my attention.

Prediction: Gable and Benjamin (because they’re still building this team up, while the other is breaking down)

Kurt: I’ve never been shy about my liking of Zack Ryder. I really want to see him succeed again. This slow build to a turn of some sorts with him and Mojo has been really well done. No need to rush it. In this match though, I at least want to be able to say, “Ok, that’s where they’re going with this.” Whether it’s one turning on the other, or after the loss, they both beat the holy hell out of Gable and Benjamin and both turn heel. No one needs a turn more than Zack Ryder. I think he can do some really great things on the other side of the fence. Gable & Benjamin I’m sure are next in line for the titles.

Prediction: Gable & Benjamin

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

Mike: Is this thing on? If you care a whit about this match, good on you. When the story is written on Randy Orton’s lengthy and illustrious career, 2017 will be the chapter I rip out and throw away. It’s been one disaster after another. It’s painfully clear he wants another fun heel run before his time is up, and who can blame him? He’s never been comfortable as a face anyway. As for Rusev, what can be said? It’s hard to imagine there was a time when he was being booked like a true monster on a crash course with championship gold. Now he’s a forgettable foreign menace that shows up to act tough and then get beat in less time than it takes you to lock your car.

This is in effect the rubber match between the two, and hopefully the blowoff to this pointless and lamely booked feud. For that reason, you’d expect Orton to get the nod here and ascend back to championship heights. I can’t in good conscience predict that though, as I have to hold out hope that creative will give the Bulgarian Brute a break. Orton can afford to drop this. Rusev cannot.

Prediction: Rusev

Matthew: I guess this could be a good match. It could be really good even. I’m just not remotely interested in anything that either of these guys have been up to recently. Randy is miscast as a babyface, and as a top heel I think he’d be killing right now. Rusev without Lana is like Peanut Butter without Jelly. I weirdly could get into that duo as a babyface act. Handsome Rusev and Ravishing Lana could be fun.

As it stands, both guys feel pretty stagnant to me. They could both certainly use a great performance here to transition to bigger and better things. I wouldn’t be against a double turn, more for Randy’s sake than Rusev’s. Hopefully they have something creative planned.

Prediction: Rusev (because a loss may bring Randy closer to the Dark Side. That’s all I want)

Kurt: This storyline does absolutely nothing for me. I almost feel like Aiden English has benefitted more from this storyline than either of these two. If you heard Orton on Edge & Christian’s podcast, he couldn’t have made it any clearer how much he doesn’t want to be a babyface. I don’t blame him either. He hasn’t done anything memorable in two years. Rusev is the Smackdown version of Bray Wyatt, where he’s been scorched earth one too many times. He really needs to be pushed as a top heel again but I don’t think the company sees it in him anymore. I’d love to see Rusev get a decisive win, because defeating Orton still means something, but I can’t imagine that’s a win they want to give him.

Prediction: Randy Orton

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

Mike: There’s good news and bad news for “Glorious” Bobby Roode. The good news is that he successfully transitioned a very good NXT run (including as champion) into a solid debut for the better overall show in Smackdown. The bad news is that the very best thing about Roode’s character, being an over-the-top self-aggrandizing jerkface, did not accompany him. Roode not being a heel equals sad face emoji. It’s like Larry David not complaining or Michael Cole not irritating you within five seconds of Raw starting. Let the people do what they are good at, please?

As for Mr. Ziggles, what can I say? This gimmick he’s doing now of ripping off everyone’s entrances because the fans don’t show him any respect has some legs, but it’s like a less funny version of Damien Sandow. I like Ziggler a lot and he’s got plenty of reasons to gripe, but make like Cody Rhodes and go burn down the indy scene if you’re not gonna take it anymore. The sad and painful truth is that the gimmick is unintentionally ironic, because he’s still occupying the same exact space he was before it started: Getting. Talent. Over. My next proposed gimmick for DZ is that he goes around shaking hands backstage and introducing himself as “Dolph Ziggler, Jobber to the NXT Stars.”

Prediction: Bobby Roode

Matthew: The degree to which this company is unsure of how to best utilize Dolph Ziggler is almost mystifying. I guess using him as cannon fodder for debuting NXT Superstars is an okay use for him if you think he has nothing left, but I simply don’t believe that’s the case.

Dolph could be leading a faction on Smackdown right now. Give him the disgruntled Hype Bros, pair him with Baron Corbin for a short run, hell let him roll with Harper and Rowan as some kind of Warriors-eque gang. There is no shortage of creative ideas for utilizing Dolph that go beyond imitating entrances and not wrestling. As a creative person, it’s frustrating to watch. I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t wait for Dolph to go to NJPW. As far as this match is concerned, the outcome is very much a certainty.

Prediction: Bobby Roode (because Dolph is just Cannon Fodder)

Kurt: One of the biggest problems in WWE is they’ll go far with something, but not far enough. Take Dolph Ziggler for example. Even though he’s been grossly mismanaged, this current “I hate the entertainers you crave” gimmick had some legs. When he came out as The Undertaker, despite Tom Phillips sounding like an idiot, Ziggler got serious heat for it. So why not go even further? Why not hit CM Punk’s music? Why not hit Cody Rhodes music? WWE obviously likes to poke at the New Japan guys now, so why not do something like that? At least creat a moment that will get people talking and get Ziggler true heat. They didn’t do it though and all we’re left with is a blatantly obvious result. I need more from Roode as a face though. An entrance theme isn’t enough… or is it?

Prediction: Bobby Roode

United States Title Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Baron Corbin

Mike: This is a surprisingly tough match to call for me, because who I think wins the match is the secondary story. This to me is all about setting up the next big thing for both guys, and The United States Title is a great tool to do just that. Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way: AJ Styles is the best wrestler on the planet. I don’t care what anyone says, he has been the biggest and most impressive breath of fresh air to hit the WWE roster in some time. He doesn’t need the US Title and it shows. He’s that good. Having him halfway down the card so Jinder Mahal can be champion is a disgrace.

As for Baron Corbin, I kind of get the feeling that this is a potential mulligan. In wrestling, you get knocked down a peg or two when it’s called for. It’s why Triple H jobbed to the Ultimate Warrior and came up short in the ’96 King of the Ring after the Curtain Call. Corbin’s served out his punishment, and is the perfect kind of guy to get bumped up a notch or two with the belt. AJ has bigger belts in mind and rightfully so.

Prediction: NEW United States Champion, Baron Corbin

Matthew: Will this be the night that Baron Corbin has a great match? I ask this question completely seriously. I don’t want to make Hell in a Cell the referendum on Corbin, but he needs to deliver on this show.

The truth is, I simply don’t recall a single memorable moment or match or promo in Baron Corbin’s entire career, dating all the way back to NXT. Most guys have that by now in their careers. One defining image or match or promo that you can point to and say “that’s why I’m a fan of this guy or that’s why I’m interested in him as a character and/or perfromer”. If Corbin can’t get that here, in the ring with AJ Styles, then I honestly don’t ever see it happening for him.

Prediction: Still United States Champion: AJ Styles (because there’s still plenty of time to get the belt off him in time for Wrestlemania)

Kurt: Despite all the trash being thrown Corbin’s way (and no, I’m not calling Styles trash), he is still my favorite thing going on the brand. I love his cockiness, he gets better in the ring each time out, and I think his new theme is one of the top in all of WWE. The one thing he’s missing is a breakout match. He hasn’t had that one match that put him on the map. I think that’s why people weren’t sold on him as Money in the Bank, rightfully so. That doesn’t make it ok how he lost it, but he definitely needs to do more to get to the next level. That’s where The Phenomenal One comes in. This hopefully will be the first in a string of matches that takes them through the end of 2017. I have a feeling that’s what WWE would like to do, to keep AJ busy until WrestleMania season, but it’s up to Corbin to carry his end. Tye Dillinger is the wild card and I actually think he’ll get involved and inadvertantly cost AJ the match, which will lead to a triple threat match at Survivor Series. Then have the AJ/Corbin blowoff in December.

Prediction: Baron Corbin by disqualification

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

Mike: This match is less about the two participants and more about Carmella, who’s been a huge focal point of the show every week that has really overshadowed anything else. You can tell the company is high on her and she’s got Ellsworth in tow, so it’s really a countdown to when she successfully cashes in her MITB contract as everyone knows there is zero chance she won’t win the title at that point since Baron Corbin already blew his chance due to his Full Throttle-fueled keyboard warrioring. Will she do it here? Only if Charlotte wins, natch.

Natalya has done a reasonable job as champion and I was all in favor of moving it off the past-the-expiration date reign of Naomi, but she’s not very good on the mic and never has been. I like Nattie as a heel but would prefer a mime gimmick. As for Charlotte, since she arrived on the blue brand it’s really been a countdown to her winning the belt. There is a strong possibility Natalya retains and drops it to Charlotte at Starrcade, but either way it’s a matter of time. All the stuff that’s gone on with her dad The Nature Boy guarantees a sentimental title swap.

Prediction: NEW Smackdown Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair. I do see Carmella possibly cashing in and winning it here.

Matthew: The story here isn’t anything super personal or creative but these two women are great competitors with Wrestling in their blood. With these two, you don’t need contrived storylines or inflated animosity. Just let them go out there and wrestle. It will be awesome.

The storyline wrinkle is the fact that Carmella is hovering around at all times with her Money in the Bank briefcase. Will she cash in at Hell in a Cell after Charlotte and Natalya tear each other apart and wear each other down? It’s absolutely a possibility. For me it’d be a little early and not quite as impactful as it could be just yet. My guess is that they hold off on that part and just let Natalya and Charlotte do their thing.

Prediction: New Smackdown Women’s Champion: Charlotte (because I’m surprised they’ve kept a title off her for this long)

Kurt: The match that turned Charlotte into The Queen was her NXT Women’s Title Match against Natalya. They had an absolute classic and I think the stage is set for them to have another one. Nattie has felt like the third wheel despite being champion, because the focus has been on Charlotte and Carmella with the briefcase. I don’t think Nattie has done a bad job as champion, I just don’t think she’s been spotlighted like she should be as champion. It feels too early for her to lose the title but I think this is the time that Carmella finally cashes in. I would have the classic match Nattie and Charlotte can have and have Charlotte really fight from behind. Have her escape The Sharpshooter after repeated attacks on the knee, but then catch Nattie by surprise with Nature Selection. Charlotte becomes new champion, but she clearly can’t fight more and Carmella comes out and ruins everything. The best way to make Charlotte a true babyface is to make it to where she’s not handed everything and has to face adversity.

Prediction: New Smackdown Women’s Champion, Charlotte… but Carmella then successfully cashes in Money in the Bank

WWE Title Match: Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Mike: I have no words for how horribly awful this feud has been. Jinder Mahal will go down as one of the worst wrestlers to hold the WWE Championship in its history. He’s mediocre in the ring, he’s been booked like a stooge, and his feud with Shinsuke Nakamura is notable only for creative having him use ridiculous racist rhetoric to bash his challenger when his whole point as a heel champion is that the audience are racists for not appreciating an Indian champion from Canada. Only in pro wrestling, folks.

Nakamura deserves better. At this stage, I don’t know that it even makes sense to have him win the belt since the champion is so weak. Needless to say, the WWE Championship should be defended in the Cell, but the stank of the Punjabi Prison match is so overpowering that even the muckety-mucks in Titan Tower can’t hold their nose long enough to book another one. Everyone knows WWE has two events in India in December, and there is really no way in hell they keep the strap on Mahal to this point just to have him drop it before going there. Hopefully Styles unseats him the day after and he and Nakamura make us forget all about this drivel.

Prediction: STILL WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (But make no mistake, there are no winners here.)

Matthew: There’s a lot I want to say here and I’m going to try to say it all as concisely as possible. Firstly, the Jinder Mahal experiment has been a flat out failure. The WWE Title has never been less important and I believe ratings and ticket sales speak to the damage that was done by deciding to make Jinder Champion without first rehabilitating him as a character and giving him tangible credibility. I don’t blame them for not trying that though because I doubt even with some build up, Jinder would have never been able to be seen as a credible Champion by the audience, because in several objective ways, he’s not good.

With that said, I also don’t want Shinsuke to win this match. I believe putting the Title on him is a flagrant case of jumping the gun. They are pretty much painted themselves into a corner where they need to get the Title off Jinder and onto Shinsuke, and it all highlights mismanagement at the top of Smackdown.

I’ve said it before but I will reiterate, Shinsuke Nakamura shouldn’t be cutting promos and doing interviews like The Rock or John Cena or any of the other guys of that ilk. Shinsuke should be a mystery. He should be more like Undertaker and Sting… leave us wondering what makes him tick, what his motivations are, why he does and acts the way that he does. The interviews are being used to humanize him. STOP THAT! He must be deified not humanized. Furthermore, if they really wanted to make him a star, patience should have been the virtue. He shouldn’t even be wrestling for the WWE Championship until Wrestlemania. He should have been the first person in years to win the Royal Rumble having not held or competed for the WWE Title prior to winning the opportunity that the Royal Rumble provides. That is special. That is how you create an iconic figure. Instead they do everything they can to make him just another guy.

Prediction: New WWE Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura (because after the whole racist mocking angle, I can’t see him not winning. It’s a lose/lose situation for me though)

Kurt: I may have been the only supporter of Jinder as champion, but even I can’t defend what’s taken place over the last month. It has just been BAD. Nakamura hasn’t been made to look good either. I 100% believe that Vince doesn’t think Nakamura isn’t a star because he can’t speak English, so he’s been booking Nakamura in these awkward promos to make some sort of point. I don’t think Jinder is fully to blame for the bad attendance and ratings, but I really wouldn’t argue anyone who thnks he is. As for the match, I think Nakamura is going to win for two reasons. 1. It will appease fans to see him as champion and maybe Vince wants to see if it’ll actually have an impact. 2. They just announced they’re going to India in December and what better way to pop that market than to have the home county hero in Jinder come in and recapture his title in front of his fans?

Prediction: New WWE Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura

Smackdown Tag Team Title Hell In A Cell Match: The New Day (c) vs. The Usos

Mike: This has been billed as the end of this feud, but in a profession where the loser doesn’t leave town and nobody retires until they’re dead (and sometimes not even then) you’ll forgive me if I am not quite buying it. Everything about this very lengthy feud has been smartly booked, to the point where flip-flopping title reigns aren’t even bothering me. The backstory here, which was very subtly done, is that the champions have a bit of a disadvantage since only two of them can be inside the Cell and the third guy is far less likely to be involved in the decision for that reason. That makes sense, but it’s less of a factor since New Day are faces anyway. I still thought it was a nice touch to make The Usos look like favorites heading into this encounter.

If you’ve read my predictions before, you know I generally look ahead to the next thing on tap for both parties rather than just focusing on what should happen. Smackdown is far better stocked on the heel side of things when it comes to tag teams, and that number figures to increase when Harper and Rowan and The Authors of Pain show up. That fact makes me feel like it would make far more sense for New Day to retain the belts in what should be the match of the night. My personal prediction? New Day scratches one out against the Usos and then get leveled by the debuting Authors of Pain. That would be both a smart use of the structure and a great way to set up some new storylines.

Prediction: STILL WWE Tag Team Champions, The New Day

Matthew: This is going to be so awesome. Like insanely incredible! Anything less than pure gold will be a disappointment. These two teams have been putting on great matches for months now and inside Hell in a Cell, I expect more of the same. I’m not sure what else really needs to be said. The Usos are in peak form. The New Day have never put on better matches and been seen as more credible threats (which is saying a lot given how long they held the Tag Team Titles).

There’s a reason that this match is being used to sell this PPV instead of the WWE Title. These guys will deliver! We all just need to make sure we’re watching.

Prediction: Still Smackdown Tag Team Champions: The New Day (because I will always support New Day!)

Kurt: This match will take place just shy of the 18 year anniversary of the Edge & Christian vs. Hardy Boys ladder match that made all four men bonafide stars. So much so that 18 years later, those same Hardy Boys are arguably the most over act in all of WWE. This match inside Hell in a Cell should be set up to do the same for these teams. There is no reason this shouldn’t be the match of the year when all is set and done. Both teams have stepped up and clearly realize they’re in the middle of something special. Now it’s time to punctuate it with the masterpiece of the series. I would expect everything to stay in the cell due to the stipulation added to the other cell match, but I also expect these guys to leave it all in the ring and give a big “Follow that!” to Shane and Owens. They may not go on last, but they will make sure they are the main event. With Gable/Benjamin and maybe even Breezango set up to be new challengers, it seems like it’s more likely for an Usos win, but I think New Day can go against any time and make it entertaining. This is by far the hardest match to predict, but I can’t wait to sit back and enjoy the hell out of it.

Prediction: The New Day retains

Hell In A Cell Match – Falls Count Anywhere: Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens

Mike: It’s pretty much a given that if you have an insane wrestling structure, you can get Shane McMahon to do crazy things off of and around it. That makes this Hell in a Cell match perfect. Hilariously and unsurprisingly, this match has gotten a far better build than anything else on the card despite not even involving a championship. That’s what happens when you run a billion-dollar company, boys and girls: You can put yourself and your brood into any match you want and make it a doozy. Nepotism, thy name is McMahon.

I’ll give credit where it’s due that the elder McMahon coming out and taking one very sick and real-looking bump at the hands of Owens did wonders for KO’s already-hated character. It also injected another level of personal drama and rancor into this feud, and those are the kinds of matches you want to have in a cage. It also makes the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation a little excessive and frankly dumb, but I can only assume that’s because they want Shane to drop an elbow on Owens from the top of the building or have some other kind of McShenanigans.

The only real issue is that they’ve painted themselves into a corner here. The only way Owens conceivably loses here is if he’s being storyline fired from Smackdown, and I hope like hell that’s not the case. Raw’s already been given every roster advantage possible and nobody brings the heel heat KO does. It’s entirely possible Owens brutalizes Shane to the point where his war with the McMahons continues, but it’s hard to see the endgame there unless Trips is going face time. This match to me is like every Shane McMahon match: A couple big spots and a loss for him. I give him credit for putting his body on the line over and over for a business he obviously loves. Unfortunately, it takes more than that to have a wrestling match, and this is not that. It’s a sad state of affairs when this is the buzziest thing on a card with more talent than ever.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

Matthew: While the Tag Title Match has been promoted heavily in the advertising leading up to Hell in a Cell, it is the match between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens that might be the show’s biggest. Following Kevin Owens’ attack on Vince McMahon, who doesn’t return to TV for nothing, it would seem like the WWE put a lot of effort into making this rivalry feel like a big one. Mission accomplished. I’m pretty damn interested to see how this plays out.

Now the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation on top of the Hell in a Cell, may seemingly telegraph this match a little. We can say with near certainty that the match will finish outside the ring, and the only question is in what way?

Given that Shane is involved, we can expect to see something absolutely nuts go down. I’m personally not looking forward to that but it will be a memorable moment if the past is any indication. Kevin Owens will also bring a physicality that recent Shane matches have been missing a little bit. These guys are going to do damage to one another. Shane hasn’t won a match since returning to WWE. I’m sure this match is also just the beginning of something bigger to come. Taking all that into account when trying to settle on a prediction makes this tough.

Prediction: Shane McMahon (because Kevin Owens would lose it if he lost to Shane which could lead to something crazy afterward… and Shane does need to win something to keep us interested in him having matches every now and then)

Kurt: The Falls Count Anywhere stipulation may seem weird on the surface, but let’s be real, did anyone actually think they were going to stay in the cell? I have no problem with them giving the spoiler of, “hey everyone, Shane is going to do something insane outside the Cell!” The question is though, will he be the only one? Owens is no stranger to insane bumps and I’m sure on a stage like this, with all eyes on him, he’ll be more than willing to go beyond the limits. Shane has always been a guilty pleasure of mine. There is absolutely no reason for any of the things he does besides love of the business and being an adrenaline junkie. I’ve seen two of his matches live and there’s just a different buzz in the air when Shane is involved.

I’ve stated on the Raw side of things that they need something to get momentum and that was putting The Shield back together. Well it looks like they’re finally doing it, so now I move on to Smackdown and what they need to do to get some juice into the brand. That something is Sami Zayn. Zayn is pretty much the concensus pick for most underutilized character in WWE. He’s been used in this storyline a little bit, which to me was planting seeds for something in this match. Something no on would see coming is Sami turning heel and siding with Kevin Owens. They’ve been best firends forever and they’ve been partners as babyfaces, but never as heels. It’s a dynamic that even this story hs never seen. Imagine if Shane and Owens are on top of the cell and Owens is teasing throwing Shane off, then here comes Sami. Sami climbs up the cell and looks like the guy that will save Shane and get some revenge on KO, only for him to be the one that throws Shane off. Owens climbs down in shock, pins Shane on the outside on top of all the carnage that Shane’s fall created, and then we end the show with Sami looking down at KO and KO looking up at Sami. THAT’S a hook.

Prediction: Kevin Owens

BONUS TOPICS!!

Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Mike: I will go tag title match on a card without very many options for me. Should be a very solid effort from two excellent teams.

Matthew: New Day vs. The Usos for sure.

Kurt: New Day vs. Usos isn’t just the match I’m most looking forward to on this show, it’s the match I’ve most looked forward to all year.

 

Match I Care About The Least

Mike: Orton/Rusev. I can’t fathom why anyone would care about a match that the promotion they work for doesn’t.

Matthew: Charlotte vs. Natalya. I think it will be great, but there’s not too much riding on the outcome or their performance, and very little narratively to grasp onto, so I care about it the least.

Kurt: I could name about three matches, but I’ll go with Orton vs. Rusev.

 

Longest Match

Mike: I’m tempted to say Shane and Owens since that will have a lot of dead time between spots, but I’ll go tag title match again.

Matthew: New Day vs. The Usos

Kurt: It should be New Day vs. Usos

 

Shortest Match

Mike: Kickoff match. If we’re going main card only, I’ll say Ziggler and Roode.

Matthew: Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (I can’t sit through a long Jinder match again)

Kurt: Roode vs. Ziggler. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it be a glorified squash, no pun intended.

 

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

Mike: Not very impressed. This is one of those couple of moments, bleh card deals for me. 4 at best.

Matthew: Solid 7. Could be higher but Canadian Thanksgiving will have at least a portion of my excitement and attention.

Kurt: It’s bordering a 10. Yes, there are matches I don’t care about, but the 3-4 that I do, I REALLY care about. I’ll say an 8.5.

 

Final Thoughts

Mike: I’m not a fan of Hell in a Cell being on the regular rotation. It should be broken out as a “big feel” type match for those feuds that can’t be contained in just a regular one. I’m also very much against closing a show with a match featuring a very part-time wrestler with no belt on the line. I get that championships mean less in wrestling than they ever have, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. That deadly combination makes this a less-than-exciting prospect for me. If Carmella cashes in and we get some surprise moments, this card could be far better than I expect.

In addition, and because it needs to be said: No Sami Zayn? Really?

And RIP Tom Petty. One of my favorites and he will be missed beyond words.

Kurt: That’s all for us. Thanks to Mike and Matthew for the help and to John Canton for allowing me to run the show. I will be doing the live review of Hell in a Cell as well on Sunday night, so check it out on TJRWrestling.net during the show or after it’s over for all my commentary and live results of the show.

John gets home from vacation on Monday night, so he should have a Hell in a Cell review a day or two later as well.

Kurt – @KTankTMB

Mike – @DharmanRockwell

Matthew – @MJDP_GSE

If you want to send an email, send it to me at ktankrko@gmail.com as well. Thanks for reading.