San Antonio – The home of the five time NBA Champions, San Antonio Spurs will have the privilege to host their first Hell in a Cell pay per view and the third time it being held in the state of Texas (as the 2010 and 2014 events were in the American Airlines Center of Dallas, TX). San Antonio will be seeing its first WWE Pay Per View action since the epic 2017 weekend consisting of NXT Takeover: San Antonio at the Freeman Coliseum and the 2017 Royal Rumble at the Alamodome. The AT&T Center (formerly known as the SBC Center) will be hosting its first pay per view since 2011’s instalment of Vengeance, and Hell in a Cell on paper looks to be a balanced card with plenty of interesting storylines to carry into the fall and winter months for WWE long term heading into the Royal Rumble.
Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: New Day (c) vs. Rusev Day (Aiden English & Rusev)
After a series of tag team triple threat matches through the last couple of weeks, the finals culminated between the two winners. The team of Rusev Day and The Bar on the September 11 edition of Smackdown Live faced off, with the team of Aiden English and Rusev pulled an upset by defeating the former 4x Raw Tag Team Champions, Sheamus and Cesaro, to earn the right to face New Day for the Tag Team Championships of the Smackdown Live brand.
As for the match, the key is always the New Day advantage, three men to Rusev Day’s two. However, with the seemingly cohesive attitude of English, Rusev and Lana, it is a great possibility that “The Ravishing Russian” could very well be the key of the match. With New Day recently winning the Tag Titles only a few weeks ago, it makes no sense for New Day to lose at this point. This seems more like a transitional feud between both parties as New Day could go on to face other teams like The Bar or The Club moving forward, so it is expected for New Day to retain.
Winner: The New Day
Raw Tag Team Championships: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins
Weaselling their way into a Raw Tag Team Championship by sabotaging The Revival, Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defeated the lovable underdogs The B Team (Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel) on the September 3 edition of Raw. The rematch would happen a week later, however McIntyre and Ziggler would retain. On this past Monday’s edition of Monday Night Raw, Constable Baron Corbin announced that the next challengers for the titles will be the team of former Raw Tag Team Champions, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
This match could go either way with the way that the booking is. If people look at the possible outcomes there’s a strong case for either team to win the Tag Championships. Either side winning could very well continue the rivalry moving forward. Ambrose/Rollins wins, WWE’s habit of giving rematches would most likely give McIntyre and Ziggler another match in the foreseeable future. However, if McIntyre wins, pending on the circumstances of Reigns/Strowman, it could very well lead to more matches regardless, since the Raw tag division isn’t up to par and the “Red Brand” needs big names to actually bolster the division. As for the match, you have four reliable workers that could set the tone for the rest of the evening and it is going to be a solid match between the two. For these four, it would be hard for them to have a bad match. For the result however, with the landscape of Raw being the way it is, it makes the most sense for McIntyre and Ziggler to win at this point, plus The Revival has some unfinished business with the two and it makes more sense for Dash and Dawson to get a shot immediately after.
Winner: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler
Mixed Tag Team Match: The Miz & Maryse vs. Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
At SummerSlam, all Daniel Bryan wanted to do was to punch The Miz in the face. Revenge was on the mind of “The American Dragon” but in a cruel turn of events, the power of the punch was on the side of The Miz. In what was a solid match between the two The Miz managed to escape with a victory via Brass Knuckles hidden in the baby carrier of his wife Maryse.
On the Smackdown Live after SummerSlam, Bryan retorted by calling The Miz a coward while Miz constantly hid behind his wife’s words until Brie Bella came out to equalize the situation. After the Mizanin’s escaped from the ring, Bryan announced that by decree of General Manager Paige that at Hell in a Cell it will be a mixed tag team match between the Danielsons and the Mizanins.
At Hell in a Cell, this match will not be a technically savvy match on the Women’s side. Let’s face it, this will be filled with a lot of rusty spots and it won’t be as good on their side. The reason being said is that Brie after her showing against the Riott Squad was indeed less than stellar, however it was expected since Brie hadn’t been in a ring since the Royal Rumble this past January and prior to that since the summer of 2016. Maryse also hasn’t been in a wrestling ring in a wrestling capacity since WrestleMania 33 in a loss to John Cena and Nikki Bella alongside her husband. Bryan’s and Miz’s chemistry will carry this match to make it interesting. This will not be the end of the Miz/Bryan rivalry, however with the way the shows are going in the next few weeks, Miz getting the victory at SummerSlam, the second match most likely will go the way of Bryan and Brie to even the score. Super Showdown seems to be the final installment of their rivalry and with the #1 contender’s match being the case for Miz and Bryan, it makes the most sense to have Bryan take the win with his wife Brie.
Winner: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella
Hell in a Cell Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton
After the return of Randy Orton at Extreme Rules for the first time since Payback, he came out with a new attitude in which he started targeting the “Charismatic Enigma” and former United States Champion, Jeff Hardy, repeatedly beating up Hardy and pulling on his gauged ears. On the August 21 episode of Smackdown Live, Hardy and Orton finally faced off, with Hardy taking the disqualification via a low blow to Orton showing the he had enough of Orton. Hardy proceeded to attack, leading to a Swanton Bomb through a table. The following week, Hardy would challenge Orton to Hell in a Cell.
Having this match be a Hell in a Cell match makes no sense. Albeit, the rivalry has been brewing since Payback, but aside from petty attacks, for it to be a Hell in a Cell match doesn’t make sense. With the likes of rivalries of Styles/Joe and Lynch/Charlotte, the Smackdown Live side’s representative of the titular match seems weak. This seems like more of an opportunity for Hardy to jump off the cell and Swanton Bomb to either success or a crash or burn. On paper, despite the match being contested in Hell in a Cell, this is probably the least intriguing match despite Hardy’s daredevil attitude. That will at least increase the interest with fans wondering what the devil (pun intended) is Hardy going to do next. As for the match, it should be a solid entry with both trying to beat each other up severely and if Orton is at his sadistic, it will be a better than expected match. A crash and burn from Hardy will ultimately cost him a victory against Orton as “The Viper” narrowly escapes with a victory.
Winner: Randy Orton
Smackdown Live Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Becky Lynch
The battle of former members of PCB. The best friends turned rivals after a SummerSlam match that saw Charlotte Flair win the Women’s championship for the seventh time at the expense of Becky Lynch. Lynch was furious that her moment was taken away, but the seeds were planted for a while. Charlotte returning from injury getting a shot at Carmella to be inserted in the SummerSlam match and once again getting the opportunity to reclaim the throne, Lynch snapped and week after week attacked Charlotte expressing her frustrations that were justified in a manner which hadn’t been seen since the likes of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in 1997.
This rivalry is based on the issues in which the “Golden Child,” is getting all the attention. This match is based on Lynch’s mind state on wanting to take over, not to just take part as, since losing the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship, Lynch has been in severe limbo. Losing to Alexa Bliss when Naomi vacated the title back in the late winter of 2017, losing consecutive Money in the Bank matches being so close once again and yet again SummerSlam 2018. Lynch’s motivation is extremely justified and losing to Flair was the straw that broke this horsewoman’s back.
The match will be a solid match between the two. It will for sure be one of those that could very well steal the show if the writers and bookers give it the appropriate time needed. Talent isn’t an issue between the two, Flair and Lynch has it undeniably. This is a deeply rooted match of betrayal, personal issues, broken friendships and jealousy and it all surrounds the SDLive Women’s Championship and this has proven to be one of WWE’s top rivalries going today. The issue is that with WWE Super Showdown happening so soon, the result of this match could be less desirable as they do have a planned rematch at Melbourne.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss
SummerSlam 2018 saw “The Baddest Woman on the Planet,” Ronda Rousey in her third WWE match take down WWE’s residential “Goddess” and “Five Feet of Fury,” Alexa Bliss in what was a squash match, having Rousey win in literally four minutes to claim her first championship in WWE. Since the loss, Bliss has been very vocal and taken a couple shots against Rousey calling her an “Overrated Rookie” and calling out Natalya as well.
As mentioned earlier, this match was a squash. Rousey toyed with Bliss like a little rag doll and it was no competition at all, making “The Goddess” look mortal. This match without it being a rematch at Super Showdown in addition to WWE Evolution, this does imply that Rousey will retain at Hell in a Cell. Due to the storylines that are going on, there’s no rhyme or reason that in a one on one match that was so clearly dominated by Rousey in the past, to think that Alexa Bliss will win this time around. Albeit, Raw on the Women’s side isn’t the strongest in the heel side in its presentation. The “Red” brand is dominated by strong faces in the likes of Bayley, Ember Moon, Sasha Banks, Natalya, the free agent Bella Twins and the champion Rousey. On the heel side, there’s Alexa Bliss who’s a great talker, but isn’t a strong wrestler at all, Nia Jax is a tweener and we don’t know exactly where she stands, since she hasn’t been on television in a while, Mickie James and Alicia Fox have been considered lackeys, The Riott Squad has been less than stellar since their arrival post-Survivor Series 2017 and Dana Brooke isn’t even close to ready to be in any title picture. Despite the circumstances, it makes the most sense that Rousey will retain and answer a new challenge at Evolution.
Winner: Ronda Rousey
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe
SummerSlam was more of a continuation of a rivalry that brought personal ties into the squared circle, as #1 contender and challenger Samoa Joe decided that he was going to put WWE Champion AJ Styles’ family into the mix as Joe stated to Styles’ wife Wendy Jones and daughter Anney during his match with the champion, “I’ll be your daddy,” causing the champion Styles to lose his cool and lose the match via disqualification. With that disqualification, Samoa Joe technically won the match and under the circumstances is owed a rematch. After that match, Joe would continue to disrespect Styles’ family and attack Styles in the process.
Unfortunately, fans who are hoping for a title change it seems like it wouldn’t be the case. With the layout of the next few shows (i.e. Super Showdown), Samoa Joe may just be playing the role like Shinsuke Nakamura did between WrestleMania through Money in the Bank as “The King of Strong Style” on numerous occasions to take down Styles and unfortunately failed in the end. Despite reports of a big push for Samoa Joe, storylines throughout the Smackdown Live brand seems that Styles will be champion through at least October with Super Showdown determining a new #1 contender that will have Daniel Bryan and The Miz face off against each other in Melbourne. That match right there with the landscape of WWEs typical 50-50 booking which as predicted earlier Bryan and Brie winning, The Miz may win the Melbourne show, as Styles’ retains not only at Super Showdown, but at Hell in a Cell.
Winner: A.J. Styles
WWE Universal Championship Match (Hell in a Cell): Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman (with Mick Foley as Special Guest Referee)
At SummerSlam, Roman Reigns finally completed a two year journey in which he finally claimed the Universal Championship by defeating Brock Lesnar in Brooklyn. Not too far away from “The Big Dog,” “The Monster Among Men” and 2018 Money in the Bank winner Braun Strowman awaiting a cash in that ultimately got scrapped by “The Beast Incarnate.”
On the Monday Night Raw after SummerSlam, after defeating Finn Balor and retaining the Universal Championship, Reigns had to worry about Strowman cashing in (again), until fellow Shield members Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins come in to attack The Monster and power bomb him through a table. With the reunited Shield running shop, Strowman had to be smart with his approach, first declaring a cash-in, in a match in which there historically hasn’t been any shenanigans (not including the inaugural match seeing Kane interfere, CM Punk vs. Ryback, Punk vs. John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio & any Hell in a Cell match with Shawn Michaels as special guest referee) to face off against Reigns inside the titular structure. Second, Strowman later that night aligning himself with the duo of Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler, laying waste to The Shield on a weekly basis as shown in the last few episodes.
Strowman has proven within reason that (despite said heel turn) he is justified in actions. The Shield will do everything in their power to make sure that Strowman is defeated and Braun (despite lifting semi trucks) realizes that he is ONE man, there’s a true power in numbers and adding Ziggler & McIntyre evens the field. The key of this match is both parties getting involved. Who will ultimately cost their respected leader the match and ultimately it makes the most sense for Reigns to lose. Raw is thin on heels and with Reigns losing the match gives more of an opening for many of baby faces to compete against Strowman and gives more matches and potential rivalries for the likes of Rollins, Finn Balor, Dean Ambrose, Bobby Lashley and Reigns could challenge eventually but it gives more opportunities for matches in the long term as Braun Strowman holds the championship with a iron fist. Plus with 2018 being an awkward year for Strowman, he needs this victory a lot more than Reigns.
Winner: Braun Strowman