John Canton: Hey yo. It’s PPV preview time again for the staff at thejohnreport.net. Two weeks after previewing the Night of Champions event, it’s time for WWE Hell in a Cell. The show is headlined by the first ever Triple Threat Hell in a Cell match with John Cena defending the WWE Title against CM Punk & Alberto Del Rio while Smackdown’s World Champion Mark Henry defends against Randy Orton. There are three other confirmed matches on the card with a fourth match rumored, so we’ll preview all six below.
We keep track of the correct predictions after every PPV. You get one point for a correct prediction for a regular match and two points for a WWE or World Title match. Here are the PPV point totals after the first three PPVs since we’ve been doing the staff preview.
Christian Michael – 14
Laurence Salford – 13
Andrew Johnson – 13
Cody Dodson – 13
Thomas Briggs – 13
Matty J. Douglas – 13
Matt Seagull – 12
Mike Aires – 12
Lonestar – 11
Erik Keith – 9
John Canton – 9
Kenny Latham – 8
Marc B. – 8
Jacob Lindsey – 7
I suck. Or maybe I’m letting my staffers look good. I’m always putting people over. Haha.
FYI there’s no Canton’s Corner column this week. This will be my fourth post in 5 days this week and frankly I don’t know what else to write about. At the end of this column I’ll post the Melo Out segment from my buddy Steve. Sounds good? Damn right. On with the preview.
Christian vs. Sheamus
Matt Seagull: Didn’t we just do this? I could have sworn I just submitted my picks for a WWE Pay Per View. A two week build between PPVs is ridiculous. You’re asking quite a lot from your fanbase to drop $45 twice in three weeks, so they have to choose one or the other (or neither!). Anyway, this match technically has a bigger build than two weeks since they only didn’t wrestle at Night of Champions, only faced off in an in-ring segment. The rivalry has been built really well, with both men costing the other an opportunity to win a championship. I love old-school feuds like that. Sheamus has been getting some ridiculous face pops as of late, and it looks like he’s primed to face Mark Henry for the World Heavyweight Championship soon, since their matches over the past few months haven’t produced a definitive winner. I think Christian serves a stepping stone for Sheamus, the same way Sheamus did for Mark Henry at Summerslam. Winner: Sheamus
Lonestar: Christian, by the end of the week, will have wrestled three of the biggest faces in the WWE and you bet your ass he’ll have turned in three good matches. As for this bout, I can look it it in two ways. First, since the champ is a heel his next opponent should probably be the next biggest face after Orton. Sheamus should win to build himself up for Henry. On the other hand, this Sheamus and Christian feud should probably go more than one PPV and if Christian wins on Sunday the feud easily contains. My gut says Sheamus gets the win and the feud continues. Winner: Sheamus
Laurence Salford: This is officially the toughest match to predict on the card. The rivalry so far has felt quite well built up, and I’m looking forward to the match. The outcome is less obvious though. Sheamus’ babyface run has been very good, and he’s genuinely getting over with the crowds as a no-nonsense, tough guy babyface, so it’s hard to see him losing. Christian now firmly belongs in the main event picture, and is being promoted on shows as a top-level competitor. He loses to people like Cena, Orton etc, but he never looks bad doing it, and looks good in the process. As he lost to Mark Henry recently at Summerslam, I think that the Great White himself needs a big PPV victory against a good opponent, and he will find it here, and move onto the title picture at Vengeance. Winner – Sheamus
Jacob Lindsey: I like the potential for this feud. Both guys are good in the ring, and Christian has been so good in the role he is in right now. He needs the win more than Sheamus here, and this entire PPV is just to build up to Vengeance next month. Christian should win via shenanigans. Winner: Christian
Eric Keith: It would seem that the winner of this match would be on the fast track to be the #1 contender. But that would imply that WWE makes sense. This is pretty much the beginning of this feud, so I sense hijinks, hijinx?, high-jar-jar-jinx? Anyway, Christian needs a win more than the fella, plus he is my favorite current Superstar, so I’m taking him. Hopefully Christian brings a mirror into the ring and Sheamus gets blinded from his reflection long enough to eat a Killswitch. You don’t close ur eyes against The Peepmaster cuz then a naked truth is revealed. In Sheamus’ case it’s a very white truth. Winner: Christian
Mike Aires: Tough call. Both guys come into the match with the possibility of actually winning. However I think Christian somehow pulls a win out and gives him even more reasons to continue his “One. More. Match.” campaign. Winner – Christian
Matty J. Douglas: I could try to act like I’m excited about this match, but the fact is I’m really not. That’s not to say that these two won’t have a good match, because they’re great workers and the match should be solid. It’s just that this feud doesn’t really have anything for me to sink my teeth into. This is just the first in what should be a series of matches between the two, so seeing as its just the beginning, I do hope this feud gets more interesting as it goes along. Winner: Sheamus
Andrew Johnson: Christian might be the obvious choice for a loss in this one, but consider this; he always loses. Everyone likes to claim that he’s one of the best, but he can’t be if he’s always drawing the short straw. He has to win one every now and then. He’s basically the Philidelphia Eagles of the WWE, and this match he’s going against the Colts minus Peyton Manning. But, if he loses he’s the Browns, and Sheamus is the Texans. Or the Lions. Or the Bills. Wow, what a crazy year the NFL is having. Winner: Christian
Christian Michael: These are my two favorite wrestlers on SmackDown right now. It’s weird that Christian is the heel and Sheamus is the babyface because you’d think the story would be so much more natural being told the other way around. They have met before in TV matches that were in the ***-***1/2 range so I have high hopes for this one. Unless Christian finds himself back in the Championship hunt with his “One More Match” thing, this is only the start of their feud. Either way, a win would be good for Christian and I think he’ll pull it out using some dastardly heel tactics. Projected Winner – Christian
Cody Dodson: I expect this to be a very good match as I can see these two having very good chemistry together. I hope this feud goes on for a while as it should be very entertaining. With that said, I’m torn on who wins here. I would like to see Christian win as it gives more reason to have another match. I think that we’re more likely to see Sheamus win based off of how the WWE books things. However, I’m going with my heart over my head here. Winner: Christian
Marc B: This could be a very good feud for awhile, so it makes no sense for Sheamus to win now. However, I don’t think the finish calls for a clean pin, either. I think Christian walks away. Winner: Sheamus
Thomas Briggs: I’m really looking forward to this match. I’ve always been a big Christian fan and Sheamus has recently won me over. When he first rose to stardom, I viewed him as an opportunist with friends in the right places. Now, I view him as someone totally deserving of his standing. He’s a good worker, especially for his size, and he works well both as a heel and a face. In this match, I see Christian somehow pulling off a win. Sheamus is getting a good push, but the WWE hasn’t made him invulnerable just yet. And for this feud to continue, which it hopefully will, the heel needs to come out on top. Winner: Christian
John Canton: This will be a really good match if they get time to tell a good story. I remember two months ago when it was Henry vs. Sheamus and Christian vs. Orton. I thought then that those matches would lead to Henry vs. Orton and Sheamus vs. Christian. Here we are. Christian got the upper hand to end Smackdown, so I’d expect Sheamus to win here. Winner: Sheamus
The following match is rumored to be on the PPV although not officially announced as of this writing.
Tag Titles: Evan Bourne & Kofi Kingston vs. Ziggler & Swagger
Kenny Latham: I expect ‘We Want Ryder’ chants here. I also expect a standard tag team march, where Air Boom comes out on top. They’ll tease a Swagger face turn but save it for later. Winner: Air Boom
Matt Seagull: This isn’t Ziggler defending the U.S. Title against Zack Ryder why, exactly? Even with only two weeks to prepare, Ziggler/Ryder still had more build than this. Ryder’s got the momentum, and that segment with Hugh Jackman two weeks ago went over like gangbusters. So…they decide to blow the match off on Raw in order to have this tag team title match on the PPV. Look, I can appreciate the fact that WWE is trying to put more focus on the tag team division (while simultaneously giving Kofi Kingston and Evan Bourne something to do), but the Ziggler/Ryder program will sell more Pay Per Views than this throwaway tag title match. It’s almost as if WWE doesn’t want us to buy their shit. I’m sure this will be a good match…for the 95,000 people who choose to buy Hell in a Cell. Air Boom wins. Whatever. Winners: Air Boom
Lonestar: Airboom is bouncing along without much credibility, beating jobbers on Raw and Smackdown but also getting their butts handed to them by any wrestler with any name value attached to them. Ziggler and Swagger could pull out the win just because their “teammates with issues” storyline has more plot development going for it than Airboom’s silent but plucky babyface champion schtick. Do I think Airboom loses the titles on Sunday? Yes, mostly because I don’t think any other title will change hands. Winner: Ziggler and Swagger
Laurence Salford: Of course this match has had a rushed build up! I expected there to be at least one or two rushed matches on here, as WWE made the poor decision to have this extra PPV in October, which leaves barely any time to build up to a substantial feud. Although Air Boom are on TV a lot and win single matches, they aren’t being booked as particularly strong tag team champions. I would rather see them feud with a team that they can get a clean victory over, as this one will inevitably finish with a falling out between Ziggler & Swagger, which costs them the match. If Trips wants to have a strong tag division, he needs a strong tag team champion pairing. They still need to do something exciting to get some interest in the Tag Team division, as the titles are usually the side story to something else. Debut a new strong heel tag team for Air Boom to go up against, and give them an actual feud. Winners – Air Boom
Jacob Lindsey: This match will serve to further establish a) Air Boom as a team and b) the problems between Ziggler and Swagger. One of the blonde dudes will cost the team the win, leading to a U.S. title match next month. Of course, WWE loves with their tag champs hate each other, so who knows? Winners: Air Boom (I really hate that name…)
Eric Keith: Air Boom vs Team Swiggggler FTW! This will be an exciting match if they are given at least 12 minutes because all four men are very good workers and have worked a lot with each other. It has been thrown together at the last minute which 99% of the time leads to the champs retaining. If you watch Smackdown this week you will see why that percentage goes up to 100. The ol’ tried and true predictor is back, just like last month. I’m sure there will be a miscommunication between Dolph and Jack, leading to their downfall, possibly with some help from Mr. WooWooWoo too. Having Kofi and Evan continue to win and stablilize the (slowly) rebuilt tag team division is the right call. Let’s hope WWE feels the same way. Winners: Air Boom
Mike Aires: Although I doubt it happens, I could see Ziggles and Swagger winning, in order to push their feud or whatever it is. But Air Boom needs to be the focal point of the tag team revival, so they should continue to hold on to the belts. Winner – Air Boom
Matty J. Douglas: Keep the titles on Air Boom (I seriously loathe typing that). I have a vendetta against make shift tag teams and want the tag titles to be put on real tag teams. Air Boom has more longevity so keeping the titles on them is the best course of action, as opposed to putting the titles on Swagger and Ziggler, who have never really gotten along and are hopefully building toward a feud with each other. Would love to see the Usos get into the tag title mix, I really dig them as a tag team. Winner: Air Boom
Andrew Johnson: “Swiggler” doesn’t have much of a future, except as an ice-cream flavor. Winner: (Silent) Air Boom
Christian Michael: This match has show stealer written all over it. Ziggler and Swagger are two of my favorites on RAW. Their in-ring work is great. They just need that push to the next level. I don’t know what they did to deserve a title match other than losing a six man tag to the Champions and Zack Ryder after their partner attacked them but I’m not going to complain about Ziggler and Swagger being in a PPV match. I think Zig Swag, as I saw someone refer to them as would make great Tag Team Champions and I think it would help Air Boom if they chased the titles for a while and took them back from a team with two great wrestlers. Projected Winners and NEW Tag Team Champions – Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger
Cody Dodson: This match has been rumored but not officially announced. I think it’s safe to say that we’ll see it take place. You have four quality workers here so they should be able to put on a very good match if they’re given the right amount of time. We’ll see if that actually happens. It would be an interesting twist to the Ziggler/Swagger story if they were given the tag team championships. However, I think we will see Air Boom continue on as champs for a decent period of time, and the loss will propel Vickie’s boys to more arguing and whining. Winner: Air Boom
Marc B: This will further the Swagger/Ziggler storyline. Kofi/Bourne win while Swagger and Ziggler blame each other. Winner: Kofi/Bourne
Thomas Briggs: Not sure what to make of this match. Again, we have Air Boom, an established team in a division trying to find it’s feet, taking on two singles wrestlers. Like last month with Miz and Truth, I don’t see the heels going over here. Again, Air Boom will gain some credibility with their win, which is a very good thing, but you have to start wondering about when the WWE is going to establish a legit opponent for them. As for Ziggler and Swagger, this is as good a time as any to have the two turn on each other. I see Ziggler as a headlining talent, and Ziggler as more of a high mid-carder. A feud between the two should yield some entertaining matches. Winner: Air Boom
John Canton: If this match happens and they get 10-15 minutes it could be great. I’m a fan of all four guys. The champs will keep the titles. I think Ziggler & Swagger are quick fix opponents for them until Miz & Truth come back. I doubt that Ziggler & Swagger will be cohesive the whole way. Somebody will screw up, the champs will capitalize, hit their finishers and retain the titles. Then a Ziggler vs. Swagger match for the US Title is likely for Vengeance. Winners: Bourne & Kingston
Sin Cara (Blue) vs. Sin Cara (Black)
Matt Seagull: Sin Cara Blue vs. Sin Cara Black? Substitute “Johnnie Walker” for “Sin Cara” and that’s a match worth discussing! This would have been an interesting program if the announcers sold it correctly. There should have been shock and confusion when the second Sin Cara showed up. The announcers should have been like, Matthews: “Are my eyes deceiving me? Is that…ANOTHER Sin Cara?” Booker: “I’m seeing double here, Cole! WUT DA HALE??” But they skipped that part and went straight into, “Which one’s the real Sin Cara?” which should have been saved for the second week after the initial shock of seeing two Sin Caras wore off. I could write a thesis on the problems with WWE commentary these days, and Johnny only gave me 300 words per match. It’s a toss-up really. WWE likes to have the faces win on Pay Per View, so Blue could take this. But this program just got started, and has some legs to it, so I think the heel Sin Cara will win this round. Winner: Sin Cara Black
Lonestar: Who would have known that this whole Sin Cara debacle would give us two different characters? It almost makes all the botches worth it. Speaking of botches, I imagine the real Sin Cara is probably on super secret double probation after everything that’s gone down and I’m sure the decision makers will be watching this match to see how both men do. If this match bombs….oh boy, I’d hate to be Sin Cara at next Monday’s Raw tapings. I think the real Sin Cara will win, putting him back on the right path…….unless he screws it up. Winner: Sin Cara (Blue)
Laurence Salford: This potentially very interesting idea is currently floundering about a bit, with the audience not sure how to react to it. They currently aren’t booking it well, as the audience doesn’t know which one is which, so if one runs in to attack the other, then the audience needs to work out which one is which, before having any sort of emotional investment. They have now fixed this problem with giving them different colours, but without any reason or context why the black one is attacking the blue one, or was trying to take his place, then the audience will struggle to care or even root for one over the other. I think the match will be good, if a bit flat from lack of audience investment, and the outcome seems neither here nor there. They can get good stories from any outcome, so lets go for eenie meanie minie mo: Winner – Sin Cara (Black)
Jacob Lindsey: I’m glad we’re going to be able to tell these two apart on Sunday, but I’m still hoping they team up and switch out like the Killer Bees or…the Bellas. I don’t think it really matters who wins here, mostly because I don’t think a lot of people care. I happen to prefer Hunico as a worker, but I’m gonna go with Blue on this one. Winner: Sin Cara (Blue)
Eric Keith: Oh goodie; I haven’t been this excited since Kane v. Kane. Or maybe Undertaker v. Undertaker. This could be a fun, high-flying match, especially if both of these guys feel like they are performing to actually keep the role of Sin Cara. Something tells me that Creative isn’t really sure where this is headed and who will end up actually keeping the gimmick. I wonder what the over/under is on botches? Since we are in the business of picking winners, I’ll take Sin Blue to pull it off and immediately be subjected to a Black Sin beatdown. Hmmm, that doesn’t really sound right to me for some reason. Winner: Sin Cara (Blue)
Mike Aires: It’s like Spiderman vs. Black-suited Spiderman. Black Spidey was always stronger and more sinister. In this case, I think being stronger and more evil helps Black Cara win and continue the feud with Blue Cara. Winner – Black Sin Cara
Matty J. Douglas: Should be a wild and fast paced matchup to say the least. Not really sure who wins, but like a lot on this card (which only had a two week build) this is only the beginning. These two will have at least one more match in the future. Winner: Sin Cara (Black)
Andrew Johnson: I don’t really understand the context of this story. Does Blue Cara know who Black Cara is under the mask? Is it his evil twin? Is it his anti-matter counterpart from Qward? Is it the Sin Cara of Earth-2? I have no idea. All I know is if they go for a Flashpoint time-travel story here, I’m officially out. Winner: Black Cara
Christian Michael: How nice of WWE to give the heel Sin Cara a new color as not to confuse everyone during the match. This could be a fun match but I don’t know what to make of the feud just yet. I think the majority of the story could be rolled out when WWE is in Mexico later this month. I think SC Blue will pull off a surprise win with a rollup or something like that and then SC Black will attack him afterwards to keep the heat going. Projected Winner- Sin Cara Blue
Cody Dodson: This could potentially just be a train wreck, especially in terms of the announcing. I’d be willing to bet that Michael Cole will still be unable to tell the two men apart, even with the change in clothing for one of them. With any luck, the match will turn out better than I’m expecting. The styles of the two luchadors are certainly quite different, but it wouldn’t be the first time a styles clash leads to a good match. The fact that both men actually speak Spanish should help as well. As for the winner, flip a coin. Winner: Sin Cara (Blue)
Marc B: This will be the spotters it should be, and the real Sin Cara will win. Maybe it leads to mask vs. mask. Winner: Sin Cara (blue)
Thomas Briggs: Sin Cara vs. Earth 2 Sin Cara is a little silly. It’s definitely WWE being their most cartoon-like. But it is intriguing. Both guys are decent workers, as long as they avoid missing big spots. But how long can this feud last? Honestly, it feels like the WWE is pulling the trigger way too early on this. I think the feud will continue, so I see heel Sin Cara winning… But the WWE has been protecting face Sin Cara as much as possible… So it’s really a tossup. Winner: Sin Cara (good, blue, face, whatever)
John Canton: Since I think this is the start of their feud rather than the finish, I’m leaning towards the heel Sin Cara getting the win. It makes more sense because it would lead to a rematch, perhaps when WWE tours Mexico later this month, where the original Sin Cara ultimately wins the feud. The heel for the win. Winner: Sin Cara (Black)
Divas Title: Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Phoenix
Matt Seagull: Beth should have won in her hometown of Buffalo, but silly me to think that WWE would want to reward anybody in their hometown. History should have taught me better. They’re doing this match again, although frankly Natalya should have gotten the shot. Kelly survived last month. I don’t think she makes it two in a row. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Lonestar: Beth has lost two straight PPV matches to a Barbie Doll. I don’t think she’s going to get the title, especially not with two other options for Kelly Cena to feud with. Winner: Kelly Kelly
Laurence Salford: Urrgghhhh not this again, why not have Kelly x2 face Natalya? Please give the title to Beth, I refuse to predict Kelly for this, no matter how many unlikely victories she has. Winner – Beth Phoenix
Jacob Lindsey: For the love of God, let Beth Phoenix win this damn match. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Eric Keith: Fooled me once shame on you, fooled me twice shame on me. Fooled me 3 times? Well, then you’re just effing up the product. I picked the future Mrs. Brooks to win the last two times and I won’t be changing my mind now. The sad part is that it won’t really mean anything now when Beth wins, since it took her 3 tries to pry the butterfly from the bubble-gum princess who is afraid of the ring ropes. Many kudos to those TJR writers who picked Kelly at either of the last 2 PPV’s, but I’ll be shock(master)ed if anyone picks her this time. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Mike Aires: I’m 0-2 calling this match. I keep picking Beth Phoenix. She keeps losing to Yelly Kelly. What gives me any hope this will be different? Lulz… Winner – Beth Phoenix
Matty J. Douglas: Am I foolish enough to go with Beth again? Absolutely. If they make her lose again, then I have no earthly idea what the point of this feud was. Give Beth the damn title! Although, why isn’t Natalya demanding a crack at Yelly Yelly, seeing as Beth isn’t exactly getting the job done? I’m thinking too much, sorry WWE Creative. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Andrew Johnson: Is the third time a charm, or is it three strikes and you’re out? If Beth Phoenix’s luck is at all like mine with the ladies, she’s in for a bad night. I’m going for the underdog this time, though. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Christian Michael: I’ve picked Beth the last two months. Why change now? Projected Winner and NEW Divas Champion- Beth Phoenix
Cody Dodson: The fact that this is the third pay-per-view match between them and none of them have been a rematch with Beth defending the title makes me angry. Once again, I’ll say the winner is… Winner: Beth Phoenix
Marc B: Can Beth finally win here? If she doesn’t, there is no hope for this division. Beth should just destroy her. Winner: Beth Phoenix
Thomas Briggs: Alright, I’ve been wrong two months in a row about this match. But you know what? I’m going to go with the same pick. Yes, Kelly Kelly is being booked as the underdog here, and the WWE loves to have their underdog champions squeak out wins over dominant opponents. Yet I don’t see it happening again without Beth Phoenix losing some credibility. Could it happen? Of course. Should it happen? Absolutely not. I see Phoenix winning here, by whatever means necessary. Winner: Beth Phoenix
John Canton: When was the last time somebody got a PPV title shot for the third straight month despite losing clean twice. Both times they faced off I picked Beth. I was wrong. Can I be wrong a third time? Sure I can, but I hope I’m not. I’ll roll with Beth Phoenix to win the title here because if they don’t do the switch here what’s the point of this angle? What worries me is that Beth had the upper hand to end Smackdown, so I am going against my “get beat up on TV, win on PPV” theory. That worries me. The babyface needs to chase the champion although my preference is that Natalya wins the title. Perhaps that’s where they’re going? Winner: Beth Phoenix
World Title (HIAC): Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton
Matt Seagull: Okay, conventional logic says that Mark Henry should win this match. However, conventional logic also said that Alberto Del Rio should have retained against John Cena two weeks ago, and look where we are now. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Randy Orton wins back the title this week, because…well why the fuck not? I actually think the cage limits these guys rather than helps them, and this isn’t going to be a pretty match to watch. Going out on a limb and saying Henry retains, although it’s absolutely ridiculous that I have to “go out on a limb” with a dominant heel champion retaining his title two weeks after winning it. But with Cena and Orton, all bets are off. Winner: Mark Henry
Lonestar: Soooooo, who has two thumbs and was totally wrong about his Mark Henry prediction at NOC? This guy! And now Mark Henry is the World Heavyweight Champion. Huh. Well, I think I’ve said enough about Henry and what I feel are his weaknesses, but now that he’s champion surely they’ll keep the belt on him for a while and maintain his dominance in order to eventually drop the title to a new player in the main event. Or Sheamus……Winner: Mark Henry
Laurence Salford: There’s not much for me to say on this one really. WWE would make a massive mistake if they switch the title to Orton, as it would render the whole main event push to Mark worthless. Even though WWE sometimes make questionable decisions regarding title changes, I just can’t see Mark Henry losing here, especially since the Smackdown ratings were very good following NoC PPV. Mark will win, and move onto Sheamus next. Winner – Mark Henry
Jacob Lindsey: Henry has dominated Orton lately, and I think it’s important that he wins this match. He didn’t catch a surprise victory over Orton two weeks ago. He squished the bajeez out of him. Let him do it again. Otherwise, this belt means nothing. Winner: Mark Henry
Eric Keith: I would have preferred Mark winning his title in THIS match because you could emphasize Orton battling with the Kool-Aid Monster AND the Cell and both ultimately being too much for one man to overcome. Now that Mark already has the title, it’s tougher to predict. I think there is a chance that Orton regains the title…sigh…again. BUT, ultimately I think this feud will carry on until Vengeance so I’ve got Henry winning after some Cody Rhodes inteference and a World’s Strongest Slam on the steel steps in the middle of the ring. That’ll teach that mean Viper a thing or two about beating someone bloody. It’s just not very nice. Winner: Mark Henry
Mike Aires: This could be a physical match. I’m sure Orton will show much more life in this match since he has the cage as a weapon. But I just can’t see the kool-aid pumped heart of Mark Henry slowing down Sunday night. Winner – Mark Henry
Matty J. Douglas: Randy’s gonna get his Ass Kicked again. Mark Henry is going over here because I see Randy moving on to feud with Cody Rhodes. I expect to see Cody make an appearance in this match as well as a feat of strength by Mark Henry. Perhaps getting outside the cell for the first time in what seems like ages? I sure hope so. Winner: Mark Henry
Andrew Johnson: I’ve gone on record saying that Mark Henry is currently my favorite thing about the WWE, and I stand by that statement. It’s like the soul of Bad News Brown was combined with the spirit of a raging hippopotamus and they found a home in Mark Henry’s empty career. How awesome was it when he screamed “IF I HAVE TO PAY A FINE, EVERYONE GOTTA PAY”? Long story short, if you can’t find any joy in Mark Henry’s latest run, go ahead and pack up your shit and get out, because we are no longer friends. Winner: Mark Henry
Christian Michael: This match could be better than a lot of people think. Dare I say, this could be ***? That’s a five star match for Mizark. With Orton back to being crazy, Henry’s good power game, the Cell and weapons this has the makings of a very physical and entertaining match. The right move is to keep the belt on Henry. If you have Orton’s psycho best still not being good enough to beat Mizark then you just cement what an awesome force he is and the man that beats him for the Championship is going to look like gold. That would be a perfect opportunity for a young babyface right on the cusp of the main event. If Daniel Bryan does keep the Money in the Bank briefcase until WrestleMania then there’s really no one that fits the bill. That’s a real problem for the company. I’m having a tough time picking a winner for this one so when in doubt always go with the safe bet and in WWE that is John Cena and when Cena’s not in a match, it’s Randy Orton. Hey, a two week reign is better than nothing. Projected Winner and NEW World Heavyweight Champion- Randy Orton
Cody Dodson: Interesting to note here that last week’s Smackdown ratings were up quite a bit. Do you think WWE will take this into account in booking the finish to this match? We’ll see. The Mark Henry push has been more successful than anybody expected it to be. This is a HIAC match, so it could potentially be the blow off match to the feud. However, I expect this to continue on for a bit longer. The easy way to do that would be to have Orton win the title which would give Henry a rematch. I’m thinking they go a different route to having another match and let Henry keep the title for a few more weeks. Winner: Mark Henry
Marc B: I love the Henry story right now. Never thought he would be anything more than a “threat to win.” now that he’s champ, I don’t want him to lose right away. This program can do wonders for Orton, as him chasing the title is great, plus it will help his character greatly if he can’t beat the monster. Winner: Mark Henry
Thomas Briggs: I love what the WWE has done for Mark Henry this last year. Just think about it for a moment, here’s a guy who has been with the company for close to a decade and a half, and now that he’s near retirement, he’s given the biggest push of his career. He’s a great heel, and he deserves this moment. Ultimately, there will be a payoff in which his moment ends and another’s begins. Is Randy Orton the superstar who’s going to benefit by defeating Mark Henry? Maybe; but I don’t see it happening at Hell in a Cell. Winner: Mark Henry
John Canton: I thought Orton should have retained the title at Night of Champions through DQ or some other method while Henry could capture the title at this PPV. It would have made more sense to me. Orton’s title reign sucked because they rushed it. Now if Henry wins again does that mean no more title shots for Orton? Is that possible? It seems like they are positioning Cody Rhodes to feud with Orton while Henry can pick up his feud with Sheamus, except this time it would be for the World Title. I think that’s where we’re headed. Henry going over on consecutive PPVs was a crazy idea months ago. Now it’s likely the reality. This is what happens when the booking really supports a wrestler. Like with any Henry match, don’t let it go too long or it will go into that awful territory. Eight to ten minutes is long enough. No anal bleeding, please. Winner: Mark Henry
WWE Title (HIAC): John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio
Matt Seagull: It looks like I’ve used every match as a sounding board to vent my frustration with the booking thus far. But it’s been really bad lately. Really REALLY bad. The awesomeness that was July seems like an eternity ago. Seriously though, why the hell did John Cena beat Alberto Del Rio two weeks ago? What good could have possibly come from that? Because here we are, two weeks later, with another title defense, and there’s no drama whatsoever. Honestly, does it really matter who wins this match? Does it? Because if Cena loses to Punk or Del Rio, he’ll just win it back the next time he gets a title shot. At least if Del Rio retained at Night of Champions, there’s the drama that neither Cena nor Punk can beat Del Rio, and the fact that Del Rio went from the frying pan of having to defend against Cena into the fire of having to defend against both Cena and Punk inside of Hell in a Cell. By having Cena win the belt two weeks ago, the tension has already subsided. Cena’s going to win, and nobody’s going to care, but I’ll go out of left field and say Del Rio wins the belt back, and Cena will win it back at the next Pay Per View, because it seems WWE wants Cena to have 35 World Title reigns by the time his career is done. If you order this Pay Per View, may God have mercy on your soul. Winner: Alberto Del Rio
Lonestar: This week’s Raw did a lot to build my interest in this match and I think Del Rio looked really good beating down the other two with the chair inside the cage. That being said, I don’t think he’s gonna win the title back from John Cena. Golden boy just got the championship back and at some point the belt needs to stay on one person’s waist for more than one PPV. C M Punk is here to make things interesting but the end result won’t be. Winner: John Cena
Laurence Salford: I feel the same way towards this match, as I did towards the Cena vs. Del Rio match at NoC – massive ambivalence. I’m sure the match will be good, HIAC matches are usually exciting because you don’t see them all that often, and throwing Punk into the mix is also a smart idea, as they can sell the “never been seen before” triple threat match idea. With only two weeks to build a story though, they can’t surely expect anyone to care about the storyline, and most will just care about seeing a HIAC match. Similarly to the World Title match, I can’t see them keeping the title on Cena for a mere two weeks, so its safe to say its in his hands again. I’m fully expecting a decent 25 minute match, weapons galore, an impossibly high turnbuckle kick from Del Rio, a high risk move from Punk resulting in him injured on the outside, Del Rio runs at Cena, Attitude Adjustment, 1,2,3, Amannuuuuuuu!! Ba ba da baaaaaa, ba ba da baaaaaaa. Your time is up, your time is now etc. Winner – John Cena
Jacob Lindsey: This is a tricky one for me. I don’t know who Cena moves on to, if he wins. I’ve read that Punk and Del Rio are supposed to move into a singles feud, but I don’t know where that leaves the whole Triple H-Punk thing. I think Miz and R-Truth will interfere in this match, and maybe that’s where Cena is headed. I would like to see a Punk-Del Rio feud for the belt, but I don’t think it’s happening right now. Winner: John Cena
Eric Keith: Well, they did it. And by they I mean WWE Creative. And by “it” I mean they managed to suck CM Punk into this boring-ass storyline this Cena and ADR. Now, Punk has become boring too. Fantastic. For the second straight PPV I am thoroughly uninterested in the main event. There will probably be all kinds of interference coming from any number of people including (but not limited to) Triple H, Kevin Nash, MR. Laurinaitis, Miz, R-Truth, Christian, Hornswoggle, Rodney Mack, T.L Hopper, Big Bird…yeah, you get the idea. And I still won’t care. The Furor of the Fruity Pebble will retain, but luckily for me I’ll be watching my Ravens take on the Jets anyway. At least THAT won’t be rated PG. Winner: John Cena
Mike Aires: This match could be freaking nuts. We could end up having any combination of Triple H, Johnny Ace, Kevin Nash, Miz, R-Truth, or Ricardo somehow make their presence felt. Will they? I’m leaning towards yes. Because of this, plus the fact that the Mexico tour is fast approaching…I’m going to go out on a limb and predict somehow a new champion is crowned. Winner – Alberto Del Rio
Matty J. Douglas: Again I see the WWE title, staying put with John Cena. It’s just too soon for the WWE, to switch the title back to Del Rio or over to Punk. Cena just won the thing 2 weeks ago. Should be a great match that builds toward something good in the future. This is definitely a transition PPV. Winner: John Cena
Andrew Johnson: It would be nice to think this was going to end any way other than John Cena NEVER GIVING UP EVER but I can’t really see it happening. I’m a John Cena fan, and even I hate this. Can’t Mark Henry be in this match too? Winner: John Cena
Christian Michael: Yea, so Cena’s winning this one. Let’s just lay out how it’ll happen. Del Rio’s there to take the fall. It pisses me off so much when WWE hotshots the Championship on the Money in the Bank winners and then instead of making them look good once their Champion they quickly take the belt off them and then make them look like puke going forward. Punk is in the match because leaving him off PPV is stupid and you’re not going to have him face Triple H again so this is a good spot for him. Someone is going to cost Punk the match in the HHH/Johnny Ace/Stephanie/Nash/Mystery Guy group to keep that feud going and leave Cena all alone to make Del Rio look like dog meat. The work in the match will be good but I don’t believe these three guys hate each other enough to be in a Hell in a Cell match. WWE should really move this PPV to September. This way any rematches from SummerSlam could be put in Hell in a Cell Matches where the feuds have most likely been going for a little while and not a couple of weeks like we have had. Projected Winner and STILL WWE Champion- John Cena
Cody Dodson: I actually think this is one of the more predictable title matches in recent memory. I don’t think CM Punk is leaving the main event scene anytime soon, but I don’t see him winning the title back either. He’ll be the victim of some kind of shenanigans here. I also don’t see Alberto Del Rio winning the title back two weeks after he lost it. I expect to see some further developments in whatever kind of group Funkhouser is creating as well as the return of Miz and R-Truth. At the end of the night, the golden boy keeps his title. Winner: John Cena
Marc B: Well, let’s see. They lost faith in Del Rio, watered down Punk, and have kept Cena the same as ever. I do not see anything different here. Maybe some weird interference to prevent Punk from winning. They have killed whatever momentum they had. Winner: the young upstart John Cena
Thomas Briggs: A triple threat WWE Championship match between the top heel in the company, the top face of the company, and the top tweener in the company should be huge. So why am I a little disappointed that it’s happening at Hell in a Cell? Regardless of time and circumstance, this should be the best match on the card. And theoretically, whoever wins will be receiving a major push. To go over two top guys is always a major deal. Who should win? CM Punk. The WWE needs to continue his push, and this would be the ultimate win (besides taking out Austin or Taker in a Wrestlemania bout, of course). Who will win? Probably John Cena. The WWE seems to think it needs Cena as its champion during the NFL season, and that makes sense. Continually taking the belt off of him also hurts the credibility and legacy of the title itself. So while I could see Alberto Del Rio winning his second championship here (I actually think it’s more likely than Punk winning), I ultimately don’t think we’re going to see a title change. Winner: John Cena
John Canton: This should be a fun match with a ridiculous amount of nearfalls. I have been awful at picking WWE Title matches all year. I think it’s because I’m of the belief that a champion should actually retain his title once in awhile yet WWE believes that title changes at every PPV is the way to go. Now I’m going back to my idea of Cena retaining because with a lot of hype going into Survivor Series in November, they will likely want to have the title on the “face” of the company. Am I overthinking? Probably. Winner: John Cena
John Canton: That’s all for the matches. Now for a rundown of who we picked:
Christian vs. Sheamus
Christian – Kenny, Lindsey, Keith, Aires, Johnson, Michael, Dodson, Briggs (8)
Sheamus – Seagull, Lonestar, Salford, Douglas, Marc, Canton (6)
A near 50/50 split here. Good match.
Air Boom – 12 people
Swagger/Ziggler – Lonestar, Michael
The majority supports the champs.
Sin Cara (Blue) vs. Sin Cara (Black)
Blue – Lonestar, Lindsey, Keith, Michael, Dodson, Marc, Briggs (7)
Black – Kenny, Seagull, Salford, Aires, Douglas, Johnson, Canton (7)
An even 50/50 split.
Kelly Kelly vs. Beth Pheonix
Kelly – Lonestar
Beth – 13 people
Only one supporter for the dominant divas champ.
Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton
Henry – 13 people
Orton – Michael
The crew believes in the new World Champion except for one of us.
John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio
Cena – 11 people
Punk – Nobody
Del Rio – Latham, Seagull, Aires
No support for CM Punk winning while three pick the former champ and eleven of us expect the Fighting Fruity Pebble to retain.
The preview is done, but we’ve still got the Melo Out segment that you see weekly in Canton’s Corner.
Melo Out with Steve Melo
How is everyone’s ass doing today? I never imagined ever starting off the Melo Out with a line like that, but if Michael Cole can get away with saying anal bleeding on PG television with a straight face, then so can I. The great part about writing it though is you can’t see me! Yes, I used a John Cena catchphrase. Wut da hell!? Seriously though, what boggles my mind is how Cole couldn’t keep a straight face discussing the two Sin Cara’s with Booker T on Smackdown a few weeks back, but when talking about Jerry Lawler’s anal bleeding, he can. That’s creepy. Speaking of the two Sin Cara’s, why the hell is WWE rushing this match at a gimmick pay per view like Hell in a Cell? Never mind the fact that it’s stupid to have two pay per views in October, let alone having only 2 weeks of crappy build-up, but this has the potential to be something great if they just give it more time. I am sure that their match tomorrow is only the beginning of a much longer feud, but I would have waited until Survivor Series at the very least to kick this thing off. Of course there is the slight possibly that I could be wrong. Time will tell. I will say that am liking the Hunico version of the Sin Cara costume though. Reminds me of when I use to watch the Power Rangers as a kid. I wonder if Lord Zedd with show up and take out the blue ranger. Hey I can dream can’t I? It’s better than having a dance off with Alpha 5 or Rita Repulsa.
So Monday night Raw once again started off with a promo. Like many of you, it’s become a usual occurrence that we expect on a weekly basic. My question is imagine if they actually tried something different like start a wrestling show off with a wrestling match or shocking storyline in progress? Again, I can dream, and even though the show started with the usual Triple H promo, it wasn’t that bad. Dolph Ziggler spoke great as did Cody Rhodes. Christian is always awesome to hear so having these 3 alone was pretty solid. I enjoyed it. I just wish they would switch it up. Remember the first episode of Raw this year? Most likely not, but it started off with an awesome match with then WWE Champion The Miz facing off against John Morrison. And it was a pretty darn good match too. I say it every week but I want change. It’s still the reality era to me dammit.
One more thing I want to touch base on is how I think it’s pretty cool that they are finally giving Ryder a push. He needs a new theme song though, just to freshen things up. At least I think so. Some people say he could also use a new finisher. I have to agree with that argument as well. I like the name, just not the move. There’s just something about a guy jumping in the air and planting his ass all over his opponents face that makes you question how the guy on the receiving end could actually fall back and take it instead of throwing the dude in the opposite direction. You know… away from his face. It’s a good thing Ryder does not suffer from anal bleeding.
“It takes a brave man to swim in the red sea, but it takes a hero to drink from it” – Unknown
Until next week, sit back, relax & Melo Out, because that’s what wrestling’s about.
Steve “The Melo Man” Melo
John Canton: Thanks Steve.
I’ll be back on Monday with the Hell in a Cell recap and on Tuesday with the Raw Deal as always. Keep on checking out thejohnreport.net every day for new content by the cast of characters you’ve seen in this column.
Take care, spike your hair and try to avoid the anal bleeding.