Welcome to the Smark’s 2012 Hell in a Cell predictions! I was to defeat Mike Lightning six to three in our last prediction set(Bound For Glory) and I now possess a seven point lead on the year. Let’s see if he can take the lead on this card! There’s a lot to cover for this one, and we’ve got KP and Jace D. Ace joining us with their thoughts!
John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler
JA: I love Ziggler and a win over Cena would launch him well into position to cash in Sunday night and really show off. This match is likely to happen if Zigs interrupts Cena during the preshow.
ML: If, indeed, this is a match on the card, it should be a good one. I’m kind of surprised the WWE didn’t go ahead with Cena vs Punk if Cena is able to wrestle. I’m guessing the WWE wants Cena to take it easy and a match inside the Cell would be tougher to “take it easy” during because of the nature of the match. Ziggler just lost in a horribly boring match to Ryback on Main Event on Wednesday, and John Cena is the WWE golden boy. If this match takes place, I can’t imagine Ziggler being able to win, but what I do see happening is Ziggler taking this match to prove to WWE officials that he is ready, more than ready, for the main event scene.
Prediction: John Cena
Confidence Points: 5
JT: If this match happens, the chemistry between the two could make for a show stealing match. I just feel like the setup from Raw is going to lead to some sort of confrontation between these two. Cena would win the match if it does take place(5).
The Prime Time Players vs Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara
ML: Again, another potential match that could be “impromptu” for the card. Funny that this match is even being rumored, when the WWE was thinking about having Cara and Rey lose by forfeit to the Rhodes Scholars in the finals of the WWE Tag Team Number One Contender tourney. That marked Cara and Rey’s first official loss as a tag team. The Prime Time Players have been held back too long from their tag team title run and if the rumors are true about Mysterio being banged up, this could be their opportunity to take a major step forward in the right direction.
Prediction: Prime Time Players
Confidence Points: 3
JT: I doubt this one will take place now that it’s been booked for Main Event next week as part of a six man tag, but I like the idea of seeing these teams go at it again. The PTP are too good and deserve to be on ppv. I’d expect Mysterio and Sin Cara to win any match right now if it doesn’t involve the tag team titles(4).
United States Championship: Antonio Cesaro vs Justin Gabriel
JA: I hope this actually happens and keeps the US Belt relevant. Cesaro’s been a great champion and he really needs a constant feud (or maybe a few of them simultaneously) to show he’s a fighting champion and his dominance.
ML: Finally! Finally! Finally! Justin Gabriel, potentially, is finally being rewarded for his wrestling talent. Gabriel is exciting and a fun wrestler to watch and he deserves to be considered a contender for the mid-card titles at all times. I just wish the WWE hadn’t held Gabriel back for so long that his win over Cesaro doesn’t really help him. I also wish the WWE had built this match better, if indeed it does take place. Cesaro being the US Champion has been a good thing for the title, but they need to feature him and the title in more relevant storylines, so he doesn’t just become “another US Champion.”
Prediction: Antonio Cesaro to retain the WWE United States Title
Confidence Points: 4
JT: This would just be filler material for WWE to prove that they care about the US Title. Gabriel got the win over Cesaro on Raw in the non title match to set this up, but I doubt he would win here. It infuriates me that WWE can’t think of more “creative” ways to setup mid card title matches. Cesaro would keep the gold and would hopefully move on to a new rivalry.
John Cena addresses the AJ Lee situation on the youtube pre show
JA: I get it, you’re trying to keep AJ & Cena relevant. While a little controversy is fun, this storyline sounds awful. THIS is a preshow I actually want to skip.
ML: I expect no one will care about this nor will they really care what he has to say.
Confidence Points: One Million Billion Thousand
JT: This is the part where I think a match with Ziggler could be set up by Vickie Guerrero. I don’t see any other point for this segment than to get Cena involved in the show.
Divas Championship: Eve vs Layla vs Kaitlyn
JA: I honestly hope with this lineup of Divas who CAN wrestle that this will be a good match. They struggle to keep them relevant week after week and it’s impossible with how little time they give them on TV.
Prediction: Kaitlyn – as improbable as it is, this would be the smartest move from the WWE. A new face for the Divas division to energize it, and hopefully move beyond the Tonya Harding story (1994 called, they want their headline back.)
KP: I think the Triple Threat Match will be a way to continue the Eve vs Kaitlyn storyline until Survivor Series when I believe Kaitlyn will win the title. I think here we may see Eve steal a victory. Finally a somewhat interesting Diva story but some may still take a piss break.
Winner and STILL Diva’s Champion: Eve
ML: Well, I have to give the WWE props for trying to revive the Divas Division. The problem is they’re trying to revive it in the same way that they destroyed it to begin with; by featuring just three Divas at all times. I feel like we’ve seen Kaitlyn, Eve and Layla too much recently and it has become hard to actually care about this match or its outcome. Eve winning “Stars Earn Stripes” on NBC has boosted her stock with WWE Management and it came as no surprise when she beat Layla for the title. I suspect that Kaitlyn’s recent “holdback” stems from WWE officials believing that she isn’t ready for a title reign yet. Maybe they changed their opinions?
ML: Eve to retain the Divas Championship
Confidence Points: 3
QuickNote: I suspect that this match will result in a Kaitlyn and Layla feud.
JT: This match was setup on Smackdown. I hope it’s a well worked match coming from these three, but I won’t hold my breath. I predict Eve will find a way to overcome the odds and retain her title. Confidence Points: 5
Intercontinental Championship: Kofi Kingston vs The Miz
JA: Not much to say about this. I predict Kofi’s going to win this one on the basis that Miz should hopefully be in the running for another main event push, and rightfully so.
KP: Kofi Kingston against The Miz feels like a forgone conclusion to me…Miz is moving up from the midcard and he’s giving Kofi a rub that he really needs. I thought this guy should have been a star 3 years ago before being buried. Hopefully he can rebound and be a good IC Champion
Winner and STILL IC Champ: Kofi Kingston
ML: Big things are in store for The Miz in the near future and Kofi’s win over The Miz solidifies Kofi as a top-tier mid-card guy. My problem here is how can anyone truly believe that they’ll book The Miz to win this match so shortly after losing it on Main Event? I can’t imagine that the WWE is going to remove the title from Kofi so quickly, unless they plan on pushing him to bigger things in the near future.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston to retain the Intercontinental Title
Confidence Points: 5
JT: Kofi just won the title, and the Miz has been continuously buried ever since. I think this is Kofi’s time to run with the gold and get propelled in terms of his popularity. They need more face power going after the World Title, so I think Kofi might be the guy in line for that push to the next level. A good run with the IC Title could really give him the boost he needs. Kofi wins and retains the title. Confidence Points: 5
WWE World Tag Team Championship: Team Rhodes Scholars vs Team Hell No
JA: Nothing I can say could explain how over Hell No is with the audience, and rightfully so. I’d love to see DBry back in the main event scene too, but this character just doesn’t work there. Hopefully, now that Kane & DBry are in more comedic roles they won’t get sent to Ryderland, Population: 2. I am very high on Team Rhodes Scholars and would love to see them win. I don’t know if it’s too early to throw the belts on such a newly formed tag team though. This feud could be quite interesting.
Prediction: Hell No to retain. They’re too over to lose right now, the crowd loves them, and the merchandise just came out. I expect this feud to go on straight through to TLC where Rhodes Scholars are going to get it and feud with the Masked Warriors through WrestleMania.
KP: Team Hell No = Most Entertaining Team Today bar none. Close second = Rhodes Scholars. But I really think Kane and Bryan will hold on a little longer. They just got it, let em roll with it. I like the Rhodes/Sandow tandem but I wish they’d be doing more things singles wise
Winner and STILL Tag Champs: Team Hell No
ML: Kane and Daniel Bryan have been one of the best things to happen to WWE television in a long time. Their segments are amongst some of the funniest and best on WWE programming and over the time of their tag team title reign, they have started to mesh well as a team. The Rhodes Scholars are comprised of two of the best and brightest stars of the future that the WWE has to offer. Cody Rhodes has continually taken a back seat for his push into the World Title scene, and Damien Sandow is one of WWE’s biggest rising stars. I originally predicted that the WWE was going to have Kane and Daniel Bryan only hold the tag team titles for a short period of time, but with Survivor Series around the corner, I’m beginning to wonder what they might have in store.
Prediction: The Rhodes Scholars to become the New World Tag Team Champions
Confidence Points: 3
QuickNote: Just because I’m doubting it doesn’t mean it won’t happen. I suspect that Kane and DBry losing the tag team titles now will be good for a rematch at Survivor Series. And it will add depth for that card. I firmly believe this PPV is being used as a set-up post for Survivor Series.
JT: Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow are the future of WWE, and this run together as a tag team is going to be uplifting for both their careers. I enjoy watching both of them in the ring, and they seem to be ready for main event matches in the singles scene. Unfortunately, there are a lot of top talent in WWE right now that are contending for those spots, and so teaming together is the best thing WWE will do with them. I don’t think they’ll win the titles on this ppv, but I do believe they’ll have the gold sooner rather than later. Team Hell No is on too much of a roll to drop the belts this soon. I predict Kane and Dbry to retain the titles in this one. Confidence Points: 1
Alberto Del Rio vs Randy Orton
JA: While I don’t think the match will be bad, I’m not excited for it since both these guys bore me to hell with their milquetoast personalities (yes, I just used that word for Orton because as a face he’s boring as hell.)
Prediction: Del Rio will win this one to allow Orton more time to film 12 Rounds 2. Del Rio needs the win to gain his nonexistent dominance after having Sheamus beat him what, 7 times in a row at PPVs?
KP: Randy Orton against Alberto Del Rio….they finally get Del Rio away from Sheamus but he’s now running against Orton….personally I don’t exactly care too much for the feud. Partially I’ll blame WWE for that, they’re putting Orton against guys who should be or are in the main event scene. ADR is beating midcarders….that doesn’t even make sense. I think Orton wins, basically it. Don’t want to get too negative about this, will stay positive.
ML: I’m actually looking forward to this match. I can’t believe I just typed those words, but I am. Del Rio and Orton have the potential to steal the whole show. Possibly put on the best wrestling match of the night, and Del Rio’s newfound “aggressiveness” has actually been somewhat bearable to watch. Orton’s almost done filming 12 Rounds Reloaded, and he should be back into title contention once the film is completely wrapped up. Del Rio, after spending most of the summer around the World Title picture, is going to have to regroup before either focusing on the WWE Title or just kind of do what Cena does and hang around for no reason.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Confidence Points: 3
JT: As much as people complain about Alberto Del Rio being boring, I’ve grown to enjoy the guy more and more as of late when it comes to his in ring work. Yeah, sometimes it’s a bit repetitive, but what wrestler doesn’t go through the same thing at one point or another? I like the roll that he’s been on as he squashes face opponent after face opponent. As far as Orton goes, the guy wants to be a heel. Unfortunately for him, WWE is lacking in face power and they want to avoid that direction. I’d book Orton’s next big storyline as a chase for the World Title. For this match, these two will give us more than we could ask for and I think it could be a show stealer. Orton seems to win far too much on pay per views, and so I’m picking Del Rio to find a way to win this match. Confidence Points: 3
World Heavyweight Championship: Big Show vs Sheamus
JA: This feud has been going nowhere for me and I only care about the ending.
Prediction: Dolph Ziggler cashes in the briefcase (finally) to become the new World Heavyweight Champion. It’s time for a new champion.
KP: Sheamus has been on a Superman like run…just bowling through every and anyone all year. Until running into Big Show, they’ve attempted to build him into in my opinion….Sheamus’ biggest threat and to an extent it’s worked. I think they will have a good match, wondering how their chemistry will be like. Part of me is hoping there is a cash-in though because if Sheamus does win and leaves with the title….I don’t expect too many people being happy with that.
Winner and STILL WHC: Sheamus (side note: I wish this reads Ziggler by the end of the PPV)
ML: Finally a contender that Sheamus just can’t power his way over, but also, a contender that won’t exactly be “lights out” in terms of wrestling. I suspect that this match will be a brawler’s delight. Big Show will probably exert his dominance early and often, before Sheamus unleashes his Superman powers and makes a comeback. Sheamus has had some of the best matches on television in the past month and it’s been more interesting watching him in the ring. I’m still extremely bored with his World Title run, and that’s mainly because of how he’s being booked. This “new” Big Show gimmick has actually been entertaining to me; he somehow has made himself relevant again.
Prediction: Big Show to become the World Heavyweight Champion
Confidence Points: 2
QuickNote: I’m not fully sold that Dolph Ziggler will cash in his Money in the Bank after the match, but I do believe that if he doesn’t cash it in, Big Show will hold the World Title for a rematch with Sheamus at Survivor Series.
JT: I’m excited to see the chemistry of Sheamus and Show one on one. I really don’t think it matters who wins this match, and that’s because I believe Dolph Ziggler will cash in and become the new World Champion when all is said and done. If Big Show wins, WWE will use his title win and loss as another mockery for him over the next year. If Sheamus wins, Big Show will knock him out and Ziggler will cash in. Either way, Dolph should cash in now and shake up the title scene; he’s earned it. For the purpose of having to pick a winner, I’m predicting Sheamus to retain the title. Confidence Points: 1
Hell in a Cell WWE Championship: CM Punk vs Ryback
JA: Ryback doesn’t belong to be in the main event scene yet. The crowd gullibly chants “Feed Me More” but he says nothing else; what a bore. He’d be a horrible choice for champion and it’d make CM Punk’s championship run look cheap. Meanwhile, I don’t think Ryback’s streak will end either. I’m interested in the ending of this match too, but the match itself sounds weak even though it should be an entertainingly physical one.
Prediction: CM Punk retains and Ryback’s streak is broken. The latter is just my wishful thinking.
KP: CM Punk against Ryback has been discussed to the point where not even WWE knows what they’re going to book as the finish….to me it’s part of the reason I didn’t want that match to happen because now we’ve got this lengthy and refreshing title reign in CM Punk then you have a lengthy and refreshing winning streak in Ryback….why put those dynamics together? It was bad timing by WWE and they called an audible for Cena….and it was Ryback? It just felt like a bad idea for me from the start. Am I excited for the match? Yes, will I be happy with the result? We’ll see. Because I’ll be honest I don’t like Ryback….but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the guy to succeed in WWE and it’s hard to see any success for him considering the finish that WWE comes up with. Him winning buries Punk’s long reign and then there’s word of Punk being the champion by the time the Rumble comes by….so why have a transitional reign when he can go the distance? On the other hand it could be the end of Ryback’s streak….there’s only a handful of ways the end of a winning streak can be handled. Who knows if it’ll happen? And these questions have been raised most likely numerous times within Creative….but I think it’s Vince’s fault for approving this. He’s basically going to kill one entity, a well deserved title reign or a winning streak. My choice is CM Punk, judge me if you want, I honestly don’t see how Ryback winning helps the company if they want Punk to be champion by the Rumble, feels pointless now to even have him in the WWE title picture.
Winner and STILL WWE Champion: CM Punk
ML: So, the WWE wasn’t thinking when they threw this match together. Now they are struggling to come up with a way to book the end of this match because they don’t want to take the title off Punk but they don’t want Ryback to lose his streak. GUESS WHAT WWE!?!? One of those two things HAS to happen; you booked the match in the cell. There are no DQs! Brillance, I know. The only possible outcome that could make this match not hurt Ryback or Punk is by simply having someone interfere(which, in my personal opinion shouldn’t happen and Punk should beat Ryback without help from anyone).
Prediction: CM Punk to retain the WWE Championship
Confidence Points: 5
QuickNote: Ryback isn’t ready. Period. And having Punk win with help from someone is bullshit. But that’s because I actually
believe that your company’s champion, heel or face, should be made out to be strong no matter who the opponent is. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE BROCK LESNAR back. But Lesnar is the most likely candidate to help Punk win, which could set-up a potential match of Ryback vs. Lesnar at Survivor Series(cue the Goldberg/Lesnar match jokes now.)
JT: For those of you who read the rundown last week, you know I’m not big on Ryback. I want this match to prove me wrong and to be something special. If I were booking the show, CM Punk’s title reign wouldn’t come to an end here. If WWE insists on putting the title on Ryback, I wouldn’t do it here. I would have Punk get a weapon from Heyman and steal a win, and then I would have Ryback defeat Punk for the title on Raw the next night(want to boost the ratings?). I’m not sure how much follow through WWE has for their tentative plans, so I’m going to pick CM Punk to retain his WWE Title one way or another. Confidence Points: 5
KP: I’m thinking these matches will all be good, I’m am intrigued to see how both the World title matches will be booked tonight as well as what I believe to be a solid under and midcard matches. Time to wait and see how everything goes. If I sounded too negatively I apologize, sometimes I have to be honest with how I feel about certain matches/feuds. Well enjoy the show everyone!
Thunder/Lightning: This card feels like an afterthought. WWE seems to be using this show to set up for Survivor Series rather than give us something memorable. What’s the point of a pay per view(that most drop fifty dollars or more on) if it isn’t going to deliver the goods? The potential is there for the card to shine, but WWE booking has shown us time and again how good they are at screwing up a sure thing. I hope we’re wrong this time. What I find ironic is the fact that Smackdown has actually set up the card better tan Raw. SD has hyped ADR/Orton, the tag title match, the women’s match, and the Show/Sheamus match better than the build that we’ve seen for Ryback/Punk and Kofi/Miz on Raw. Just an observation, though. Enjoy the show!
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