WWE brings us their annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view tonight and it’s got a fairly hit or miss lineup, to say the least. While some matches are hard to care about, like Randy Orton taking on Rusev (again), there are potential instant classics like both scheduled Hell in a Cell matches. Without further ado, this is all the chaos you can look forward to tonight and who the favorites are going into the event.
Kickoff Match: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin vs The Hype Bros
This match falls perhaps flatter than even normal matches scheduled for the Kickoff Show, but not because of the competitors involved. WWE announced this during SmackDown Live, but failed to feature either team at any point during SmackDown. A short backstage segment would’ve been easy to include, and would’ve given fans more incentive to tune in for the Kickoff Show. Regardless, this should be a great match that will show us more of what Gable & Benjamin can do as a team, and it could be the end of The Hype Bros if they continue to struggle at working together.
Predictions: Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin (Patches, Craig, Jaime, Ed, Keegan, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), The Hype Bros (Jayke)
Randy Orton vs Rusev
Rusev has tried very hard to make this match matter, but even his heel skills can’t get fans interested. No one cared about this match at SummerSlam, and it’s hard to see how this one is much different. Hopefully Rusev wins and can soon position himself as a top heel on SmackDown Live, as he should be.
Predictions: Rusev (Patches, Craig, Keegan, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Randy Orton (Ed, Jaime)
Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler
When it comes to a poorly timed build, there may be no better example than this clash. Roode only recently interrupted Ziggler’s odd fascination with copycat entrances, but it leaves Ziggler in his usual place of being the least threatening gatekeeper possible to SmackDown’s newest members. Bobby Roode has proven himself plenty, including a lengthy career in TNA and a strong reign as NXT Champion, but this will be his first pay-per-view match in WWE and is important to set the right tone for Roode.
Predictions: Bobby Roode (Patches, Craig, Jayke, Jaime, Keegan, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Dolph Ziggler (Ed)
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs Baron Corbin
The Lone Wolf has had a bit of a rough go on SmackDown Live in the last few months. It all started when he lost the Money in the Bank briefcase after a failed cash-in attempt just before SummerSlam. With a subsequent loss to John Cena and a period of whining about his position on SmackDown, he finally gets a chance to prove himself. Meanwhile, AJ Styles continues to do what he’s best at: be phenomenal. This will be a great contest, and it should give us a great indicator about where both competitors are headed moving forward.
Predictions: AJ Styles (Patches, Ed, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Baron Corbin (Craig, Jayke, Jaime, Keegan)
SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Natalya (c) vs Charlotte Flair
For as much as Natalya deserves her current reign as champion, she’s been equally uninteresting. Charlotte Flair has finally returned after taking some time off to help her father recover, and “The Queen” is ready to take back her crown by force. Charlotte was arguably the best Women’s Champion of the modern era, and putting her back on top will help revitalize a division that’s falling somewhat flat as of late. Of course, Natalya has zero issues from bell to bell, so expect a classic wrestling match from two top-notch technicians here.
Predictions: Charlotte Flair (Patches, Craig, Jayke, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Natalya (Jaime, Ed, Keegan)
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Hell in a Cell Match: The New Day (c) vs The Usos
While Shane and Kevin will likely occupy the main event slot, this match certainly deserves it. The New day and The Usos have continued to have one of the best series of matches, tag team or otherwise, in recent WWE history. Their clashes have been top quality at every turn, and after trading the tag titles back and forth several times, this is the perfect way to finish things. None of these men have competed inside Hell in a Cell, and we’ve never seen a tag team title defended inside the structure. This is truly a match you don’t want to miss, and the predictions are almost evenly split because these teams have been so evenly matched.
Predictions: The Usos (Patches, Craig, Ed, Kyle, Toby), The New Day (Jayke, Jaime, Keegan, Andrew)
WWE Championship Match: Jinder Mahal (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura
I try to avoid plugging too much personal opinion into things, but it really says something that Shinsuke Nakamura is one of my favorite wrestlers on planet earth (my 5+ shirts of his can be proof) and I still can’t get interested in this match. Jinder Mahal has had one of the most disappointing WWE Championship runs in recent memory, and the fact that he’s a heavy favorite due to being expected to carry the title into WWE’s tour of India makes this match mean even less. I hold out hope that this is Nakamura’s moment, but it looks like even Nakamura can’t pull an interesting match out of Jinder Mahal or capture the championship he is clearly more deserving of.
Predictions: Jinder Mahal (Craig, Jayke, Jaime, Ed, Keegan, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Shinsuke Nakamura (Patches)
Hell in a Cell Falls Count Anywhere Match: Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens
This is almost guaranteed to close the night, and it’s something that has been building since before SummerSlam. Kevin Owens has had issues with referees and official decisions in the past, to say the least. It was those issues that led to Shane McMahon being the special referee when AJ Styles defended the US Championship against Kevin Owens at SummerSlam. Unsurprisingly, Owens eventually lost his temper and pushed Shane.
When Shane responded with a shove of his own, it ultimately led to Owens being defeated by Styles. Kevin has continued to blame his struggles on Shane, and it finally reached a boiling point as of late when he attacked Vince McMahon with a vicious headbutt on SmackDown Live. Now it’s as personal as things can get, and these two men will stop at nothing to destroy each other inside Hell in a Cell. Neither man will hold anything back, and Shane will certainly fall off something tall, so this will be a car crash to remember.
Predictions: Kevin Owens (Patches, Craig, Jayke, Jaime, Keegan, Kyle, Toby, Andrew), Shane McMahon (Ed)
Who do you think is going to win tonight at Hell in a Cell? Let us know in the comments below!