Hell in a Cell Preview: Reigns-Strowman headlines solid card
And you actually get not one, but two Hell in a Cell matches: for some reason, Randy Orton-Jeff Hardy on the undercard, then Roman Reigns-Braun Strowman in the main event.
It should help that we only have eight matches scheduled for this one, and we can presume that one or even two of those will end up getting shifted to the pre-show, showing us that WWE is getting it that we don’t want to be up past midnight.
And actually, I’d have preferred at least one more Hell in a Cell match, or having Charlotte Flair-Becky Lynch replacing Orton-Hardy as a Hell in a Cell match.
Flair-Lynch is the hottest feud in all of WWE right now, with Lynch, having turned heel, getting “Stone Cold” Steve Austin-like pop right now from the WWE Universe.
I say that, though, and I’d add that I like everything WWE has been doing to get us into Hell in a Cell, the show. (It’s confusing: being the name of the show, and a gimmick match.)
OK, aside from New Day vs. Rusev Day for the Smackdown tag titles. That one is destined for the pre-show, with no build whatsoever.
The Raw tag title match, putting Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre, the new champs, against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, is a nice bookend to the Reigns-Strowman main event, and a throwback to the good old days of factions.
I loved Four Horsemen vs. Dusty Rhodes/Magnum T.A./Rock ‘n Roll Express/Road Warriors, Von Erichs-Freebirds, nWo vs. Sting, et cetera.
Triple H is clearly getting his hands on creative at the main-roster level. NXT has been using factions for some time now, and it’s been working.
I could honestly do without the mixed-tag match with Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella taking on The Miz and Maryse, but I like the Bryan-Miz feud, so if this match extends that one, gives us more to ruminate over for down the road, OK, sure.
Ronda Rousey-Alexa Bliss for the Raw women’s title is gold. Bliss is the best heel in WWE right now, male or female, and Rousey is surprisingly good for a green rookie. This one could be a show-stealer.
I’m surprised we’re getting just another straight-up match between A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe, as in, no Hell in a Cell, no extreme rules, nothing, just a match. I was hoping this feud would extend out a little longer, but it may not be.
And then, finally, back where we started, talking about Reigns-Strowman. I hate that Strowman is cashing in his Money in the Bank contract for a match. I say this often, but it bears repeating: the MITB briefcase is the best prop in all of pro wrestling, bar none, and this makes two years in a row that it has been used just dumb, dumb, dumb, stupid, why, why, why!
That said, Strowman turning heel, and factioning up with Ziggler and McIntyre, against Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose, reforming The Shield, is genius booking.
Now, again, I want this one to linger for a while. The six guys in this feud are six of the top eight or ten workers in WWE right now. You could easily extend this by having others align with one side or the other, or … what if you have, say, Finn Balor form a Balor Club, you know, maybe some time next year, maybe around the time Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks might be on the free-agent market.
We can dream.
Back to Hell in a Cell, I have no idea how Reigns-Strowman should do. I mean, I can logically see either guy walking out with the Universal belt and it making sense, which is the way things should be.
This means we have to watch the show.
So glad Brock Lesnar is out of the picture. Booking had gotten so stale with him having to face off with Reigns.