SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
So it’s possible, even likely, that I’m going to get all of these wrong.
Follow @Colohue for updates.
1. New Day vs Rusev Day (Smackdown Tag Team Championships, Pre-Show)
Usually the faces win on the pre-show but we’re looking at two white hot face teams so this is probably one of those matches that could go either way. That said, given how strongly Rusev has been booked in particular for a while now I can see Rusev Day taking the tag titles and soon but I don’t see it being on the pre-show of a B grade PPV.
Winner: New Day
What If?: Big E vs. Rusev ends up being match of the night?
2. Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton – Hell In A Cell
As this feud has gone on it has started to make less and less sense but hey, it’s given us Jeff Hardy’s first match in a cell so I’m not going to complain about it.
Neither of the cell matches are likely to stay in the cell and when it comes to Jeff Hardy you can be certain that he’s jumping off the top of that cell, or higher. It’s basically written into WWE law that somebody has to come off the cell every time it’s used now but it’s Jeff Hardy so it’s basically guaranteed.
Predicting a winner really comes down to what Smackdown Live needs rising up the card. Logically, Orton vs Styles or Orton vs Bryan should come next. If Orton loses and drops down the card then what the point of turning him heel in the first place?
Winner: Randy Orton
What If?: It’s actually Randy Orton who dives off the cell?
3. Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre vs Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose (Raw Tag Team Championships)
The result of this match will have a lot to do with the result of the match later in the night and while it would be logical for The Shield to hold all of the gold given their position both on the card and in the company, I can’t see WWE tying all of their titles up that comprehensively. At the same time, the champions retaining helps create the impression that Braun Strowman might actually be in with a chance of winning the big one.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre
What If?: The heel locker room comes out afterwards to essentially eliminate Rollins and Ambrose entirely?
4. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch – Smackdown Women’s Championship
Probably the hottest feud on Smackdown Live and definitely the one most emphatically pushing a rising star, Lynch vs Flair has divided audiences all over the country in a way that shows that there is value to ambivalent booking after all. With Evolution as the only PPV left between now and Survivor Series, where I would expect to see Rousey take on Lynch, I would expect this to be a scrappy but effective Becky Lynch win via the old fashioned medium of cheating.
That of course leads into the rematch at Evolution but, more importantly, it gives Becky Lynch her long overdue second title reign.
Winner: Becky Lynch
What If?: They make the call to put this match in a Cell, too?
5. A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe – WWE Championship
So here we go again. Styles vs Nakamura was a top feud containing matches that didn’t quite set the stage alight. Styles vs Joe is threatening to be very similar and to peter out in similar fashion, leaving Samoa Joe to sink back down the card if he doesn’t at least get a brief reign at the top.
This is another match with Survivor Series implications. Will we see Styles lose once again at Survivor Series, taking the pin from Roman Reigns as per usual or will we see Samoa Joe in that place, giving the two men a rematch from Backlash? More importantly, now that AJ Styles continues to lose his temper, how will his family factor in to this?
Winner: Samoa Joe
What If?: AJ Styles retains, leaving Joe with no real reason for yet another rematch?
6. Ronda Rousey vs Alexa Bliss – Raw Women’s Championship
As with Nia Jax, Bliss was squashed, turned up for the next match and then still lost. Expect basically the exact same experience here.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
What If?: Rousey gets attacked by Nikki Bella right after the match?
7. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs The Miz & Maryse
The Miz won the first match. That was one on one. I can see Bryan and Bella winning this one in a definitive fashion, temporarily ending the feud but leaving it open to return to later if, say, The Miz takes the title from AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan wins the Royal Rumble.
Winner: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella
What If?: The match is stopped because Rousey comes out to beat on Brie in order to call out Nikki.
8. Roman Reigns vs Braun Strowman – Universal Championship Hell In A Cell
This will be far from a squash. Braun Strowman will throw Roman Reigns all around the ring, However, for once I can see this match being an entirely in the cell affair.
Ziggler and McIntyre will undoubtedly be involved somehow. So too will Rollins and Ambrose, regardless of how badly they may have been beaten earlier in the night. There’s also the matter of a whole locker room of heels without storylines who are for reasons unknown angry at The Shield.
That makes for a lot of bodies and could make for an overbooked mess. Let’s hope all of that stays outside of the cell.
Winner: Roman Reigns
What If?: The cell actually stops Strowman from getting the help that he, as a heel, undoubtedly needs.
I’ll see you tonight for a live tweeting session of Hell In A Cell 2018.