Hell in a Cell PPV was a usual October “Rendez-Vous,” a special moment before the Road to Survivor Series. But this year, WWE decided to have it close the post-WrestleMania chapter, before Money In The Bank and, of course, SummerSlam. Hell in A Cell has long represented one of the most brutal match types in all of WWE since its debut in 1998, and it has remained so. Women wrestlers have proved in the last 5 years they can be as brutal and imaginative as their male counterparts.

The card of this PPV is nothing but a surprise. Moving the Universal Title match to SmackDown made sense, it was like an excellent “appetizer” for the PPV. It surprised a lot of people when announced but the PPV deserved a Women’s Cell match. Then, the rest of the card is more or less a series of rematches from WrestleMania or WrestleMania Backlash, with tiny changes. It’s all about closing a chapter, as long as WWE choose to open a new one after…

Note: Predictions are simply that, predictions. None of us has heard anything ahead of time, we promise. The card may be incomplete but we chose not to make you wait too long…

Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens once acknowledged that they “might be destined to do this forever.” Having already faced off in several show-stealing barnburners over the years, Owens and Zayn are indeed set to once again battle in a highly anticipated slugfest this Sunday at WWE Hell in a Cell. Though they went some time without crossing paths, KO and The Great Liberator have been brought back together by their dogged pursuit of the Intercontinental Championship. And while neither has taken the workhorse title from Apollo Crews, Owens and Zayn have emphatically rekindled their own rivalry in the process.

Zayn, who has spent months explaining why he believes everyone in WWE is out to get him, has hired a documentary crew to track his every move. He has also done everything in his power to talk Owens into supporting his crusade, but KO has been sceptical of Zayn’s claims from day one and is looking to pulverize his former friend back to reality. Clearly miffed by a lack of support from Owens, Zayn got involved in a tag team match on the June 18 edition of SmackDown, and his interference paved the way for Crews and Commander Azeez to defeat Owens and Big E. With animosity arguably at an all-time high, what will happen when Owens and Zayn match wits and fists?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Kevin Owens – I’m a huge fan of both these men, but they’ve been involved in storylines together too much, whether it’s as friends or foes. Following this match, they could benefit from an extended period of time on separate brands.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: They have known each other since they are teenagers (they are both 37), they have wrestled each other a good million times in front of 20 people like 80.000 people… One word comes to my mind, again… And once again, I give it to Owens.

Alexa Bliss vs Shayna Baszler

While we haven’t seen hide nor hair of Bray Wyatt since WrestleMania, his former sidekick, Alexa Bliss has been ever-present on RAW, except now she has company in the form of the mysterious and supernatural doll, Lilly. Alexa Bliss and Lilly have been putting the lives of women on the RAW roster at risk. Their supernatural powers have dropped lighting rigs and set off pyros, usually when the likes of Shayna Baszler is nearby. Underestimating what she was up against when she picked a fight with Bliss and trod on Lilly.

The repercussions on Baszler were severe, where she was haunted and tormented by Lilly in an ending to RAW that was more akin to a Hollywood horror movie. We haven’t seen Shayna since, but a challenge for a match with Bliss was made by proxy via Nia Jax. Alexa Bliss hasn’t competed regularly in the ring for some time, so it’s not entirely clear what we should expect, especially now that Alexa appears to have powers that she’s inherited through her time in the Firefly Funhouse. After an extended time away from the Women’s Championship scene, it may be just the difference Bliss needs to take her back to the mountaintop again.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Alexa Bliss

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: WWE is able to make it worst than the supposed Intergender match… Win for the best at mind games, Alexa Bliss

Cesaro vs Seth Rollins

Bitter rivals Cesaro and Seth Rollins will look to take each other out of action when they go head-to-head this Sunday at WWE Hell in a Cell. Since Seth Rollins returned from a hiatus several months ago to feel slated by Cesaro’s response to his vision for a better WWE, the two Superstars have been fighting tooth and nail. From countless Cesaro Swings, both inside the ring and backstage, to multiple Rollins’ Stomps and an epic matchup at WrestleMania, they have left nothing but destruction in their wake.

In fact, their showdown on The Grandest Stage of Them All only intensified their contempt for each other, which led to The SmackDown Savior putting The Swiss Superman on the shelf and Cesaro making a surprise return to destroy Bayley’s “Ding Dong, Hello!” set and nearly taking out Rollins along with it. Will Rollins be the kryptonite to The Swiss Superman? Or will Sunday’s pay-per-view prove to be a swinging show?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Seth Rollins – This feels like the middle of this feud, maybe with a rubber match at SummerSlam? If executed right, this is a match where Rollins can win but Cesaro can leave looking like a star. While there has been some flirtation with framing Cesaro as a main eventer, there still seems some reluctance to pull the trigger.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: It was a match made for the Cell, but… I’m biased because I will always root for Cesaro

RAW Women’s Championship
Rhea Ripley (c) vs Charlotte Flair

The Nightmare is coming to WWE Hell in a Cell, and The Queen will be waiting. Rhea Ripley will look to look to secure a reign-defining win when she puts her RAW Women’s Title on the line against Charlotte Flair. Ripley secured WrestleMania glory with a hard-fought win over Asuka, but Flair was incensed to not be included in the Show of Shows’ festivities and has targeted Ripley ever since.

Flair has offered lobbed insults at the RAW Women’s Champion in recent weeks and let her know she’ll be waiting to regain her spot atop the RAW Women’s division. The most recent run-in seemed to get the best of Ripley, as Nikki Cross bested her in a Beat The Clock Challenge much to the enjoyment of The Queen. Flair followed that up with a statement win over Asuka that put the champion on notice.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Rhea Ripley

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Rhea Ripley – It was a match for the Cell, and Rhea would have shined there

Hell in a Cell Match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
Bianca Belair (c) vs Bayley

It’s one thing to win a Championship, it’s another thing entirely to stay Champion. Despite only being on the main roster for only a year, Bianca Belair has cleared every hurdle put in front of her. From winning the Royal Rumble and winning her first-ever WrestleMania match – which just so happened to be the main event – and also capturing the SmackDown Women’s Championship. The next big hurdle was defending the Championship, which Bianca did successfully at WrestleMania Backlash, knocking off Bayley, the longest-reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion and veteran of the division.

Although the ending of the Backlash match wasn’t without controversy. Belair used her long braid as leverage to pin Bayley, but it was only after Bayley had already tried using the braid to her advantage. They say that turnabout’s fair play, but it left the Role Model’s pride feeling rather sore, as she accused the EST of WWE of cheating. Taking exception to the accusation, Bianca – the Champion – took the usual step of challenging Bayley to a rematch. One can only imagine that’s exactly what Bayley was hoping for. It was Bianca Belair who issued the challenge for this match to take place under Hell in a Cell stipulation. It’s certainly a bold move for Bianca to request this match, especially when Bayley is the one here who has experience in the Cell. Has the Champion bitten off more than she can chew?

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Bianca Belair – for me, Bianca is the standout female performer in all of WWE right now. I love that she’s constantly going for the baptism by fire, constantly looking to do things the hard way, but always rising the occasion.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: The Hell in a Cell stipulation completely changes my prediction. Bayley wins.

‘Last Chance’ Hell In a Cell Match for the WWE Championship
Lashley (c) vs Drew McIntyre

While this isn’t quite on the level of repetition as Orton vs Cena, it feels like we have seen Bobby Lashley vs Drew McIntyre for the WWE Championship quite a bit. This is the third PPV in a row where these two have faced off (of course, Braun Strowman was included in the equation last month, but we feel like WWE won’t reference that). WWE must be aware of how often they’re presenting this match, as this is billed as Drew McIntyre’s last chance to capture the WWE title, for as long as Bobby Lashley is Champion. While McIntyre has a legitimate claim for a rematch – he wasn’t involved in the decision at Backlash – it does seem just as well that this is the end of this feud. A lot of that comes down to a lack of depth in the brand split era, but rumours of a draft in the near future may well see the loser of this match traded to SmackDown in order to freshen things up.

This is a rare time when the Hell in a Cell stipulation makes sense. As Lashley and McIntyre have faced off on a number of occasions, the Devil’s Playground is fitting as the place to settle this feud. In theory, it should also prevent any outside interference, not that that’s always been effective in the history of Hell in a Cell matches. It may well be the case that MVP still finds a way to help out his business associate, and the way that MVP has recently been trying to solicit the services of Kofi Kingston is certainly a development to keep an eye on.

Danny Cause’s Prediction: Bobby Lashley – I still see the All-Mighty WWE Champion being built up, potentially for a showdown against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. While Drew McIntyre has pretty much faced everyone that RAW has to offer. Maybe it’s time for the Scottish Warrior to explore the waters of SmackDown instead.

Steph Franchomme’s Prediction: Lashley

WWE Hell In a Cell is streaming this Sunday at 8 PM EST (1 AM BST) on the WWE Network. The Kickoff Show begins at 7 PM EST (midnight BST) on WWE Network and WWE social platforms.

All pics and videos courtesy of WWE 

By Steph Franchomme

News, Reviews, Social Media Editor, Impact Wrestling Reviewer, Interviewer Well, call me The Boss... And French...

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