This Sunday, October 8, 2017, sees the return of the legendary Hell in a Cell, a match so brutal that we will only see it used twice on the show named for it! A match so devastating that it has not been utilized since, well, last year at this same PPV. Will we see new champions crowned? Will the Uso Penitentiary live up to the hype? Will a 47 year-old father of three do something amazingly stupid and reckless? Let’s ask the experts at AiPT! Wrestling what they thing in our Hell in a Cell 2017 Predictions!
Kickoff Show: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs. The Hype Bros
Jason: One team is on the rise, the other is on a fast track to a broski breakup and probably a heel turn. I’d rather the Hype Bros stay a team and turn heel together, but that doesn’t seem likely. Either way, there’s no chance in hell (in a cell) that Chad and Benji are losing this one. While I’m not sure we need another face tag team on SmackDown, American Beta is gonna keep on rolling.
Brian: Why did American Alpha break up again? Because it seems like they just stuck Shelton in Jason Jordan’s place and now Jordan is over on Raw tagging with Woke Matt Hardy. I hope that we see a path forward for both teams: The World’s Greatest American Tag Team towards the top of the tag division and The Hype Bros to a feud that pushes (I can’t believe I’m saying this) Mojo Rawley towards a heel run at the US Title. What is my life? WGTT with some amazing variation on the Grand Amplitude.
Paul: I remember when Mojo Rawley won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal earlier this year, and I thought that he was on his way to a big push. Here he is towards the end of the year still fighting on kickoff shows. I can’t imagine a scenario where Gable and Benjamin don’t win this.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Baron Corbin for the WWE United States Championship
Jason: Part of me feels like the WWE is turning Baron into their effigy for millennials. He’s covered in tattoos, entitled, throws temper tantrums when he loses, and, with the latest round of bookings, seemingly a bit lazy. He’s going up against a guy in his 40s who busted his ass to get every bit of recognition he’s earned, has a large family, and is undeniably a self-made man. Shoot, just give Barry C a vape pen and thin suspenders and he hits millennial cliche bingo — he’s already got the participation trophy. No way Corbin wins this unless Shinsuke also wins the title tonight and Styles is set to face him at Survivor Series. Seeing as modern WWE feuds tend to go in 4s instead of 3s, I just don’t see that happening just yet. Styles all day.
Brian: Corbin seems to be surviving the loss of the Money in the Bank briefcase and demotion to the US Title program well. Although, is it a demotion? I’ll talk about that later. I just don’t know where he or AJ are going right now. I’m going to go with AJ just because I know he can make new superstars. A program with Mojo Rawley or Aiden English would elevate them just by being competitive with Styles. Styles wins with the Calf Crusher.
Paul: I feel like a big win by Baron Corbin would really help out his momentum, and a loss absolutely wouldn’t damage AJ Styles. Unfortunately, when things make too much sense in WWE, they generally don’t happen. I think that Styles wins, but I could see this being a feud that carries on at least until the end of the year.
Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair for the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship
Jason: This is one of three matches that I want to go one way, but is definitely going the other. Nattie, who I’m sure is a sweetheart in person, is an absolutely abysmal Superstar. She cuts awful promos, her matches are dull and flat, she garners no crowd reaction and she removed Naomi’s cool-ass light-up belt from the WWE merch wagon. Sadly, they’ve been building to a Carmella vs. Natty feud for weeks, so Cams needs to cash in her briefcase on the Anvil’s daughter for that to make sense. Admittedly, making sense has never been central to WWEs booking, but I’d still call this for Natty. Charlotte deserves better.
Brian: I just don’t care about the Smackdown Women’s division right now. Go ahead, convince me to care. I really, really want to care, but I can’t. The MITB winner is no credible threat to anyone and is the only member of the division regularly left out of the myriad of multi-women matches. I really think that something drastic needs to be done with the women over the next six months or so before Mania. Putting the title on Charlotte is a start, but it needs to stay there until SDL can build some viable contenders. So, Charlotte wins with the Figure Eight, I guess. If Carmella cashes in, we all lose.
Paul: It was nice of WWE to give Natalya a little title run, but man Charlotte really needs to win here. It seems that the SmackDown women’s division has been mostly uninteresting and boring since Alexa Bliss left. On top of that, I feel like Charlotte has been pretty dull since leaving Raw. Give the belt back to the Queen, and give the fans someone that they feel they could be invested in. I just said that WWE doesn’t do things that make sense, but I think that they’re smart enough to make this happen. No Carmella cash in, and a clean Charlotte win.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode
Jason: Speaking of millennial effigies losing to 40 year olds, Bobby Roode is going to totally eat Dolph Ziggler’s lunch at Hell in a Cell. The whiny complainer who feels like he never got a fair shake despite his own talents is going to get trounced by the magnanimous and super popular elder statesman who has worked for like 20 years to get where he is. Yeah, Ziggles is a bit too old to be considered a millennial, but if the skinny jeans fit. Roode FTW.
Brian: I never, ever want to see Bobby Roode smile like a babyface again. I get that Ziggler is a frustrated X-ennial, but I really, really need to care more about him getting his ass handed to him. I need Roode to be vicious again. Beat Ziggler’s ass and move on towards the US Title picture. Roode wins with the Glorious DDT.
Paul: When Dolph Ziggler cashed in his Money in the Bank briefcase on Alberto Del Rio the night after WrestleMania 29, I said that he will be the next big main event superstar. It seems almost comical to think of that now. I’m predicting that this will be match of the night, but there’s a 100% chance that Bobby Roode wins here.
Randy Orton vs. Rusev
Jason: Another instance of young upstart forgotten by the bookers struggling to find his place against an established superstar in his…late 30s…look these aren’t all one-to-one. Anyway, this is another match that I want to go one way, but just don’t see it happening. I love Rusev and he desperately needs the win, but Randy looks like he’s still rinsing off the shame of all those Jinder losses and my man RuRu is the unfortunate roadblock to be overcome. Sorry, Bulgaria, Sunday will be another sad Rusev day.
Brian: Here’s another example of how I just don’t know where things are going, and not in a good way. Rusev should be fighting for the US Title along with his new partner Aiden English. Orton should be working with and improving new talent, which he kinda is. Or, at least, I hope that was the idea with the Jinder program. I don’t see how Randy winning does anything for anyone, so I’m going to go with Rusev by Accolade after interference from English.
Paul: Speaking of people who I thought would be main event superstars a couple years ago. It’s crazy to think how fast Rusev went from being an unstoppable heel to a massive joke. After the squash at SummerSlam, I’m sure that they’ll give this match much more time, but I still don’t see it ending well for Rusev. After his consecutive losses to Jinder, Randy Orton probably won’t be losing any other PPV matches this year.
Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship
Jason: Why isn’t this in the Hell in a Cell again? Jinder’s entire gimmick is about having people run in to win his matches for him, so why – in an event built entirely around the concept of cage matches – are these two in a regular title match? I know they need a reason for Shinsuke to lose here, but jeez. This Jinder as champ thing needs to end, but do I think they’d have him drop the title BEFORE they tour India in December? I do not. Get ready for another boring match leading to Singh interference, a sloppy looking Khalas and another loss for the Japanese superstar. I imagine both will be on opposing teams at Survivor Series and then (mercifully) we can get a title change in maybe January.
Brian: How can Jinder keep the WWE Title any longer? I get that there’s the India tour coming up, but he has done so little to make his matches mean anything in the grand scheme. A run for Nakamura would put some gravitas behind the belt, especially if he can get back some of the magic from his NXT run. Nakamura with the KINSHASA!
Paul: When Jinder won the title, I figured that he would maybe keep it for a month to gain some publicity. So, I’m shocked that his reign has lasted this long, and I’ll give them credit for sticking with it. It’s time to end now though. If they want Nakamura to continue to be looked at as this incredible international phenomenon by main roster fans, then he absolutely needs this win.
The New Day (c) vs The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships (Hell in a Cell)
Jason: The undeniable match of the night, this is the real selling point for this PPV event. Both teams are great, have tons of charisma, and great chemistry. It’s hard to choose a winner here because there’s not a lot of options for either team in the SmackDown locker room, but I’m going to go with the New Day. I don’t like when the titles are hot-shotted between teams too much, so even though I like the Usos more, I think the smart bet here is for Xavier, Kofi and E to head backstage with the belts.
Brian: The only issue with this match is that someone has to lose. I think this, especially with the motivation behind the wrestlers involved, will be the match of the night. No doubt, right? I look for a few moments of innovative offense and putting this rivalry to bed for a while. Maybe move the Usos to Raw to shake things up. New Day in a barnburner.
Paul: I would be really excited for this match, except that we’ve seen it a thousand times before. Putting it inside the cage obviously gives it a new dynamic, but it’s not like they use it anymore anyway other than for a couple big spots. Still, this feud has brought about some of the best matches that these teams have ever had, and I don’t see that changing here. I think that this is the least predictable match at this event, but I’ll go with a New Day win.
Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens (Hell in a Cell)
Jason: I can’t believe this is the main event of the night. It has the most obvious outcome on the card. The question isn’t so much “will KO win,” it’s how. The addition of a “falls count anywhere” stipulation is…well, stupid. Conceptually, you are supposed to be locked into the cage and unable to get out. So like…were you going to pin your opponent ringside? They’re telegraphing the fact that they are going to leave the cage and, since this is Shane we’re talking about, they’re also telegraphing that Mr. McTan is going to be falling off of something super high (likely the cage) and staying right there to eat the pin, rather than having to find his way back into the ring. KO in a walk.
Brian: I’m glad that Shane has the opportunity to do some of his traditionally stupid, risky stunts and have a good reason to do so. Think back to his match against Taker. Why was it in the Cell at all? No good reason. This one? Perfect timing, great reason. Now, it isn’t going to be good by any stretch of the imagination, but it will be entertaining. I really hope for two things in the aftermath of this match: Owens gets his run at Nakamura for the title and we never see Shane McMahon “wrestle” again. Owens with the Pop-Up Powerbomb off the cage.
Paul: I couldn’t be less excited about the main event to a PPV. I used to love Shane’s crazy stunts in the Attitude Era, but that was like two decades ago. They really need to stop trying to relive their glory days with these guys that are in their 40’s and 50’s when they have such a talented young roster. Anyway, I guess that’s a discussion for another day. Everyone is figuring that Shane McMahon will do a huge spot, so I’m predicting that Kevin Owens will be the one to do some insane move. I’m calling a frog splash from the top of the cage through a table for the victory.