WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 is quite frankly a weird pay per view this year. The 10th edition of the pay per view and WWE Network special will come to you live and exclusive from the AT&T Centre in San Antonio Texas. It will feature the 39th and 40th Hell in a Cell matches and will be the first pay per view outing for the Vince McMahon led wrestling promotion since the independently promoted All In 2018. It also finds itself sandwiched between the fallout of WWE Summerslam 2018 and the upcoming WWE Super Showdown in Melbourne Australia and the historic all women’s pay per view WWE Evolution. With most of the top championships on the line (except Intercontinental and cruiserweight titles), the card seems pretty stacked. So here’s what fans can expect.
The biggest party of the summer, summerslam is in the books, most of the feuds are either over or have shifted into the next chapter. We also saw a few new storylines that started. But as mentioned earlier, the bigger shows scheduled for October have left HIAC feeling like very much a B show. With the exception of the promo-package-a-mania on the go home shows of Raw and Smack Down Live, there hasn’t been a lot of hype for this one, and the storylines have taken somewhat of a hit. Nevertheless, here’s the line-up:
Match card: (Card as indicated by the Wikipedia page and is subject to change)
I have put it in the order I think it will be, not necessarily the running order of the show.
As of the time this is being written there’s only one match scheduled for the kick off show, The Smack down Live Tag Team Championship match between challengers Rusev Day (Rusev and Aiden English) and champions The New Day (Kofie Kingston, Xavier Woods and/or Big E).
Rusev day won a qualifying match on the go home show of Smack Down Live by defeating The Bar. The story going in has been that English sacrificed himself to give them the win. On the other hand, the New Day defeated the Bludgeon Brothers a couple of weeks back to capture tag team gold for the 5th time.
Prediction: New Day retain the championship with a win.
Note: Possible additions to the pre-show could be:
- Andrade Cien Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs. R-Truth w/ Carmella, or even a mixed tag team match.
- Bobby Lashley vs. Kevin Ownes
First match: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse in a mixed tag team match.
With almost an eight year history to work with, this match is a perfect “curtain jerker”. Expect it to be a fast paced spot fest mostly worked by the men to get the crowd hyped up for the rest of the show. Although, I can very easily see Brie Bella picking up a victory for the Yes Couple, giving Miz an excuse to cover up the loss and prolong their feud going forward.
Prediction: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella win with Brie Bella scoring the pin over Maryse.
Second match: WWE Raw tag team championship match – Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. This has been a feud that hasn’t had much of a build. 2/3rd of the SHIELD, Ambrose and Rollins got their shots at the title last week in a backstage segment involving interim Raw GM, Baron Corbin and a police sheriff. Ziggler and McIntyre themselves got hold of the belts by taking out the Revival backstage before their title match a couple of weeks ago and defeated the B-Team to win the championship. The only reason this match is happening seems to be due to the fact that the champs have aligned themselves with Braun strawman, who challenges for Roman Reigns’ universal title.
Prediction: Drew & Dolph retain via a dusty finish to retain the titles.
Note: With Seth Rollins being engaged in this match, the WWE Intercontinental Championship will not be defended on the show.
Third match: WWE Raw Women’s Championship match – “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
This is one of the matches I’d love to see inside the cell. With Alexa being flanked by Mickey James and Alicia Fox, this would be a perfect reason for this match to be kept under lockdown (not the TNA one). Anyway, this is pretty much the last instalment in this feud, atleast for now. Rousey won the title off of Bliss at Summerslam in what was essentially a squash match. This time around, with Rousey injuring her ribs in kayfabe, the writers have given themselves a way to put them both in a position to have a longer bout.
Prediction: Rousey to retain with a clear victory over Bliss.
Fourth Match: Hell in a Cell match – Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
I honestly forgot this feud started with the US Title (another mid card championship not being defended). Shinsuke Nakamura and his US championship have seemed to faded in the background to make way for this match. Orton dropped the title to Hardy back at the Backlash show earlier this year who then dropped it to Shinsuke Nakamura at Extreme Rules. Orton then returned for a post-match beat down and started off this storyline. On annetwork show, table for three, Jeff told Finn Balor that HIAC was one thing that was on his bucket list and he wanted to cross that out this year.
Prediction: Randy Orton wins. This will probably be Hardy’s last match and he, along with his brother Matt will retire this year.
Fifth Match: WWE Championship match – AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
A potential Match of the Night candidate, this feud is a dream match if you’re a fan of early 2000’s TNA. This has been a very personal feud with Joe verbally attacking Style’s family during the past few weeks. The only down to this story had been that the WWE title has taken a backseat to the rivalry between two of the best performers in the company today. Let’s just hope they are given time to work the match and keep the action between the two of them. No more of the “Ohhh Weeeeendyyyy” stuff please!
Prediction: AJ Styles retains via DQ, giving Joe the victory again, while also prolonging the feud.
Sixth Match: WWE Smack Down Live Championship match: Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (c)
Ok, For real! Expect a double turn to the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart. But then again, “that’s not the story they’re telling, that’s the story we want to see” or something like that, isn’t it mr. Road Dogg? Ah well, the seeds for dissention were laid during the build up to Summerslam where Charlotte returned to insert herself into the title picture between Becky Lynch and then champion Carmella. Becky finally turned on her best friend after Charlotte won the title during their last encounter. Don’t expect a whole lot of action from this bout if it goes up right before the main event, as WWE like to keep the crowds down for the piss break matches.
Prediction: Charlotte retains the title, setting up the marquee match for WWE Evolution in October.
Main Event: Hell in a Cell match for the WWE Universal Championship – Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman with Mick Foley as special guest referee
Let’s get one thing straight, Mick Foley has had a long and well documented history of near fatal injuries, Mick Foley is 53 years old and Mick Foley hasnot been medical cleared to take a single bump since 2011! SO NO! Don’t expect them to let him bump around during the match. Althought there have been rumours of him taking a hit from Strowman, let’s just hope he’s around only to promote his one man show that airs after the ppv. As for the build for the match, Roman Reigns finally received his coronation after 3 long looooong years of the whole “push Reigns to the moon” saga, at Summerslam. Strowman, after a few failed attempts, will cash in his money in the bank shot at this match. This is a rivalry that goes back to last year when these two big men clashed on more than one occasion, in various stipulation matches. Add the biggest (supposedly) prize in the business to the mix, and hopefully this will be a good outing for the two. I am half expecting shenanigans from Dolph, Drew, Dean and Seth, but let’s hope they don’t overbook it and let it be a full on monster brawl that it needs to be.
Prediction: Reigns wins and retains his title, Strowman makes a failed cash-in.
Overall, the card looks good on paper, let’s just hope that the creative team and Vince McMahon let the wrestling tell the story and let the matches work themselves out.
Do keep an eye out on this space for a full post show review and match by match analysis.