This Sunday is Hell in a Cell, where WWE plugs a feud into an annual gimmick match rather that naturally letting a feud build to the point that only said gimmick match will settle it. This year that match involves the boss's kid. Fuck's sake. But first let's look at the rest of the show, which to be fair looks pretty good. Also, WHERE THE FUCK IS SAMI ZAYN??!? How has his career actually gone downhill after being moved to the sparsely populated Smackdown? Jeezus fuckin' Christ....
***I'm just barely holding onto my lead, with 50/74 (67%), Landon's in second with 41/62 (66%), Dave's got 25/40 (62.5%), and Dan's finally out of the 50s with 45/74 (61%).***
Pre-Show Match: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. Hype Bros
Remember how awesome American Alpha was? Why'd they split 'em up just to plug in the guy Jason Jordan was sorta copying into his old spot? So stupid. They're teasing a Hype Bros breakup, but who cares?
Justin: American Alpha 2.0 wins
Dan: I can't believe Shelton Benjamin is back. What a blast from the past. AA2
Landon: Olympic Gold Standard
Dave: AA I guess
Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler
I get that Bobby Roode's entrance/theme is total babyface material, but his character and in-ring style don't make sense in that role. He wrestles like Ted Dibiase used to, meaning his offense consists of nondescript brawling designed to bring down the crowd before the babyface comeback. I'm not sure how this will work. Meanwhile, Ziggler's offense is flashy and exciting, which is the opposite of how a heel is supposed to wrestle. This dynamic strikes me as totally backwards. Whatever, the match should be fine.
Justin: Roode wins, obviously. And I hope Ziggler leaves when his contract is up. Imagine Dolph in NJPW?
Dan: Ziggles just can't win. Dammit.
Landon: I don't want to imagine that Justin. Roode.
Dave: Roode. Ziggler has been done for many years now.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Why is this feud still going on? Does anyone give a shit about either of these guys right now? Rusev is beyond damaged goods, especially without Lana. Orton's had the worst year of his career and I can't imagine a less hot main event guy.
Justin: Orton wins again
Dan: Dude, WHO CARES? Fuck it, Rusev.
Landon: Wait, these two are feuding? Orton.
Dave: Orton, but who cares at this point?
Smackdown Tag Team Championship Hell in a Cell: The New Day vs. The Usos
Another feud I can't believe is still going on, but then who else does either team have to feud with? At least their matches have been consistently very good, and this should follow suit. It'll be refreshing to see a tag team Cell match, even if this feud isn't exactly blood feud material. WWE is apparently trying to pad New Day's title record so they can be the "most decorated" Tag Champs ever. Remember when championship longevity meant more than frequency?
Justin: To that end, The Usos win back the belts just so New Day can regain them
Dan: This should be a good one. I think New Day retains.
Landon: Remember when Vince Russo killed all the titles in the 90s with multiple short reigns? New Day.
US Championship: AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin
So Corbin's WWE Title push got scrapped (fortunately) and in the go-home show this week he also lost to Tye Dillinger of all people. Usually that means he's in line for a title win here. But who knows at this point? Corbin's developed a reputation as a real asshole, so it's hard to imagine him getting any kind of push out of this. Then again, Vince loves an asshole, and AJ Styles is due for another main event-level run.
Justin: Corbin wins
Landon: AJ retains
Dave: Styles. Then he loses it on Smackdown.
Smackdown Women's Championship: Natalya vs. Charlotte
This should be one of the standouts. It's great to see Nattie finally getting a run with the belt after a six-year drought. These two still haven't captured on the main roster what they were capable of in NXT, so hopefully that'll happen here. Give this match a good 15-18 minutes.
Justin: Too early to switch the belt here, so Nattie retains
Dave: No clue...the champ wins.
WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
For the love of Christ, why in the fuck is Jinder still wearing this belt? He's been a total bust; he hasn't improved in-ring at all, and business in India has actually DECLINED since he won the title. This experiment is a flop. Period. Get the belt off him. The fact that he's only headlined one PPV as WWE Champion oughta be a sign, no?
Justin: I'll probably get burned on this again, but Nak finally wins it
Dan: God dammit, get rid of Jinder.
Landon: Come on Justin, he beat Eddie Guerrero's reign. That means he's better. Nakamura.
Dave: I'm picking Nak, but I dunno if he'll be a good Champ. I mean, he'll be better than Jinder....
(JB Note: Dave's autocorrect changed this to "I'm honking Nak." I dunno, some kinda weird sex thing Dave has for Shinsuke I guess....)
Hell in a Cell: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Once again we have Vince's son going out there to almost kill himself. I'm sure we'll get another dive off the Cell, meanwhile Daniel Bryan can't get cleared because "concussions." But the McMahons can take insane bumps and legit headbutts, it's all cool. This match is probably going to be very good. But I once again don't care about it. Why is Sami Zayn, one of the best WRESTLERS in the company unable to get a PPV match but Shane gets two or more high profile matches per year? I shouldn't still have to be complaining about this.
Justin: KO for the win
Landon: Fucking hope Kevin wins here.
Dave: KO has to win
There's the HIAC lineup. Looks like a solid show, but yet again it's in service of a product I have no emotional investment in. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling is the day after this show and will almost certainly blow it out of the water.