The WWE PPV schedule got switched around a bit this year.
Raw got its paws on No Mercy and happened to put on a decent show. As for Hell in a Cell (a show closely associated with the Raw Brand), Smackdown Live is prepared to handle the PPV hosting duties. To say the card for this show is star-studded and stacked with interesting matches would be an understatement. The most important match of all is the Hell in a Cell grudge match that’ll pit Kevin Owens against one of the men who oversees his brand, Shane McMahon. Also on deck for this show is a WWE Championship rematch between Jinder Mahal and Shinsuke Nakamura, AJ Styles defending his United States Championship against Baron Corbin and even a tag team Hell in a Cell matchup between The New Day and The Usos.
So who do I think will walk away from HIAC 2017 as the ultimate victors? This preview and predictions piece of mine will definitely answer all that question.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder)
Predictions & Winners: The Hype Bros are looking real shaky these days. Zach Ryder and Mojo Rawley have been on the losing end of most of their matches, which has resulted in Ryder getting a bit more salty and far less humble. One of the teams they’ve been defeated by in the past few weeks is the amateur wrestling combination of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Those two gentleman are most likely going to win against The Hype Bros (again), which will finally cause Ryder to fully snap and attack his boy after the bell. No one’s really asking for a Hype Bros breakup that leads to an extended Ryder vs. Rawley feud. But it’s gonna happen regardless, folks…
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Predictions & Winner: Why is Rusev so low on the totem pole right now? Dude’s one of the more underrated competitors in WWE and he can always be counted on to deliver a low-key funny promo and solid in-ring performance. Even though he got pitted against Orton at SummerSlam in a high-profile contest, he was beaten in just a few seconds. I guess this rematch is an apology of sorts to Rusev. Which means it’ll probably go longer than 10 minutes and actually be sort of competitive between the two rivals. Rusev deserves to take the victory here, but I can totally envision Orton being handed the victory here (again). I think WWE feels like they still owe Orton a few victories since they subjected him to a lame feud with Mahal for far too long. So yeah…Orton wins. Rusev will look good in defeat, at least.
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
Predictions & Winner: Ziggler, man. Just…Ziggler. How far the mighty have fallen. When I heard he was coming back with a revamped gimmick of sorts, I didn’t picture him doing a 2017 rendition of Charlie Hass’ copycat gimmick. Ziggler’s just wasting his time at this point. The crowd sits on their hands when he comes out as wrestlers they actually care about and craps all over them on the mic. So who’s going to be the one to save us from any more boring, heatless Ziggler promos? The Glorious One himself, Bobby Roode! This feud is reminiscent of the one where Nakamura came up from NXT and needed someone to quickly go over on. Just replace Nakamura with Roode and you pretty much have the same scenario here. Roode’s knocking down Ziggler on his road to bigger and better things.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Baron Corbin (WWE United States Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Why couldn’t this one be a triple threat match that includes Tye Dillinger? Anyways, Styles can have a 5-star match with a bag of horse manure so surely he can deliver a solid effort with Corbin. I’m actually still a Corbin guy, so this matchup is pretty interesting to me. Styles works extremely well with taller opponents and Corbin’s the right guy to play the dominating role here. This seems more like a match that will lead to plenty more rematches down the line. So Styles will retain here, but it’ll happen by the skin of his teeth. Corbin will probably beat himself due to some overzealous attempt at a match-ending move on his part and practically give Styles the win.
Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair (WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship)
Predictions & Winner: Naomi had a decent run with the SD Live’s Women’s strap, but now it’s time for Natalya to lend even more legitimacy to the title. She’s gone full crazy cat lady and she’s a bit more vicious than she usually is. Charlotte’s been on a hiatus since she’s had to be by her father’s bedside. But now she’s returned and primed to clash with a rival who’s given her a great match during her NXT run. I’m still shocked that Charlotte’s more of a bit player instead of one of the main players of the division like she was on Raw. I think she’s going to be kept in that role for a while longer cause I’m going with a Natalya win here. I’m betting Carmella runs out to distract Charlotte and cost her the match since she’s out for revenge due to the loss she was given by Miss Flair.