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   Mon, April 11, 2011



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Countdown to WWE Hell in a Cell
By SLAM! Wrestling Staff




Somewhere, Count von Count is laughing. "One Hell in a Cell match! Ah-ah-ah. Two Hell in a Cell matches! Ah-ah-ah. Three Hell in a Cell matches! Ah-ah-ah."

The WWE creative team? Probably not laughing as much.

The challenge of coming up with three, intriguing, competitive and entertaining Hell in a Cell bouts must be causing ulcers.

To help them out, the SLAM! Wrestling staff is throwing out some last-minute advice with their picks for the pay-per-view tonight.


WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE - HELL IN A CELL

CM Punk (C) vs. Undertaker

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman: You have to imagine that the intention here is to have Punk go over by nefarious means. I'm guessing that a second screwjob takes place (say something like a mystery man popping out from under the ring or through the canvas) leading to a blowaway screwjob at Survivor Series in a title vs. career match. The result of this is that Vince McMahon has been trying to get rid of 'Taker and has now succeeded. This, of course, will lead to 'Taker vs. Vince at 'Mania, as Vince believes that he and he alone is the only one who has the power to end the streak.

Chris Sokol: This pay-per-view is based on and named after The Undertaker's speciality match, so this match looks like an easy one to call. I predict 'Taker getting the win, taking the gold and continuing his feud with Punk through the December pay-per-view.

Andy McNamara: Iím sure this will go on last and should be a phenomenal battle. Punk will solidify main event status by taking a severe beating, but somehow coming out with the title.

Greg Oliver: Punk is one of the best things on WWE TV, a refreshing change from, say, a guy who first won a world title when Punk was 13. It will be a mistake to take it away from him, but WWE has painted itself in a corner here. Undertaker wins, but it's his last run with the title, and it'll be short like his first reign in 1991.


WWE TITLE - HELL IN A CELL

John Cena (C) vs. Randy Orton

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman: I'd be more excited about this match if there was any possibility of blood; because at this point there has to be a crimson mask and career-threatening damage in this feud. I remember being so excited about seeing these two mix it up, but that was two years ago and since then they've probably had a dozen or so PPV main event matches. Straight up, the interest in this feud is done and it's time to bring someone new into the mix (and I don't mean Triple H). Alas, with Survivor Series next month, we're likely to get one more match between these two. Cena wins, but just like Jimmy cracking corn, I don't care.

Chris Sokol: I'm calling outside interference on this match, possibly from Ted DiBiase's brother again, leading to Orton recapturing the gold and setting up a four-man team (The Dibiases, Rhodes and Orton) to take on Cena, DX and a partner of their choosing at Survivor Series.

Andy McNamara: Three Hell in a Cell matches on one card is, of course, overkill, and I think that this will be the one to get the least heat from the live crowd. Cena Iím sure is scheduled in for a long title run so heís not losing it here.

Greg Oliver: There has to be something significant that happens here beyond the match, otherwise they have been doing a dance they have been doing for far too long. Perhaps Orton goes so psycho that Ted DiBiase saves Cena? Or will Rhodes go good? Or Cena loses it completely and gets so violent that he is "suspended." My hunch is the first, that even if Cena retains that DiBiase takes a significant step away from Orton. I just can't picture exactly how DiBiase survives his own Hell in a Cell match to get here.


HELL IN A CELL

D-Generation X (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) vs. Legacy (Ted DiBiase & Cody Rhodes)

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman: I like that DiBiase and Rhodes are being treated like main event players and not second-class citizens. I think Ted will benefit more from this feud than Cody, simply because he has more to offer and has the look (well, aside from the ear -- wonder if Scott Steiner can help him out?). I don't think the feud ends here by the way -- with Road Dogg and X-Pac available, I'm thinking a one night, larger scale DX reunion is in the works for the Survivor Series, which would mean at least one more Legacy member needs to be added to the mix. DiBiase's brother is perfect for that, as is Joe Hennig, so expect a debut to give the young lads the advantage here.

Chris Sokol: DX tapped out at Breaking Point, so I see them gaining a mesaure of revenge and totally destroying Legacy inside Hell in a Cell. As I stated with the Cena vs. Orton match, something will happen later in the night to keep this feud rolling into Survivor Series.

Andy McNamara: This can be a huge turning point in the careers of Rhodes and DiBiase. Hopefully, DX is ready to do the right thing and pass the torch. A win for them means nothing, but would push Legacy to that next level of legitimacy. I will play optimist and pick Legacy.

Greg Oliver: Since HHH is the de facto commander-in-chief, and he made the gesture of putting over young talent at Breaking Point, he gets his ego back in line here, waltzing to a victory.


U.S. HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE

Kofi Kingston (C) vs. The Miz vs. Jack Swagger

SLAM! Predictions

WHAT YOU THINK
Who will be the U.S. champion after the Hell in the Cell PPV on Sunday?
Kofi Kingston - 31%
The Miz - 33%
Jack Swagger 36%
Jon Waldman: Okay, aside from the belt-stealing schtick, this has been a very entertaining series of bouts. These guys, a couple others are becoming WWE's version of Benoit/DDP/Raven who were the workhorses in the U.S. Title hunt in WCW. I'm guessing these guys will get a significant amount of time, and as much as I like Kofi, to have him win another multi-man match isn't the best move. Yes it solidifies his dominance, but it also makes rising stars Miz and Swagger look like chumps. I'd say put the belt on Miz, not just because he's awesome, but because I'm convinced that he can do more with the belt than Swagger can.

Chris Sokol: Swagger and Miz are going to get greedy and turn on each other during the match, leading to Kofi picking up the pieces and retaining his title.

Andy McNamara: This could be match of the night if they are given time. Swagger grabs gold, and splits off to feud with Kingston. Miz doesnít need a belt with his heel persona right now.

Greg Oliver: Three rising stars battle for a title belt fighting for meaning again. Not a bad scenario at all. I'll take Swagger to win.


UNIFIED TAG TEAM TITLES

Chris Jericho & Big Show (C) vs. Batista & Rey Mysterio

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman: I like Jerishow a lot, but that's two top level heels taken up with the belts who could be better served to be feuding with Cena. Same applies on the face side, because Mysterio and Punk could have an excellent series of matches (and there's a great, ready-made storyline). I sense that Jerishow keeps the belts and moves on to another tandem of thrown-together superstars. Hey, maybe it'll be ECW's turn to have a random team attempt to take the straps.

Chris Sokol: With Rey Mysterio just coming off a suspension, I doubt they are going to put a belt on him right away. Jericho and Big Show will get the win here and keep their belts.

Andy McNamara: Iím thinking some sort of DQ finish to keep this feud going. Y2J and Big Show are way too good of a team to take the straps off them yet. Batista and Rey win, but via DQ.

Greg Oliver: Mysterio's public punishment after his drug test failure will be to be squashed here, annoying Batista, and setting up a short program between the two babyfaces. Jericho & Big Show retain and continue to entertain on whatever program they choose.


INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE

John Morrison (C) vs. Dolph Ziggler

SLAM! Predictions

WHAT YOU THINK
The WWE PPV Hell in the Cell is almost here. Your thoughts?
I love Hell in the Cell bouts! - 21%
More than one Hell in the Cell is overkill - 62%
I'm indifferent to it all - 16%
Jon Waldman: Morrison and Mr. Ziggles. There's just so much to like about this feud. These two have the look, they have the charisma and they have the skills. And there's the girl. The side story of Maria helplessly in love wih Mr. Ziggles and all the Divas warning her about him makes you think that Dolph will get her into this feud by nefarious means. I'm guessing Morrison wins here and Dolph puts Maria (or her contract) on the line in a winner-take-all feud at the Series.

Chris Sokol: Dolph Ziggler will eventually capture the WWE Intercontinental Championship, just not on this night. Morrison gets the win in this match-up.

Andy McNamara: A couple of terrific young talents who will hopefully be given some time to showcase their athleticism. Ziggler has come up short time and time again so I think he pulls off the upset to put Morrison back in the chaser role.

Greg Oliver: I just get a sense that somebody in power just doesn't want either of these guys to succeed, so I don't think this match will get the time or the attention it deserves. Morrison will retain regardless.


DIVAS TITLE

Mickie James (C) vs. Alicia Fox

SLAM! Predictions

Jon Waldman: I hate that I'm even thinking this, but Mickie's really getting stale as a character. The girl-next-door happy Mickie isn't nearly as fun to watch as psycho stalker Mickie. WWE really needs to bring that character back. Alicia has actually surprised me with being an above-average female wrestler and has a decent future ahead of her. That being said, putting the title on her now would be far too early. Mickie wins.

Chris Sokol: I'm going with Mickie James.

Andy McNamara: Meh, not too much interest in this one as the womenís division continues to be stale. Mickie retains.

Greg Oliver: The proverbial popcorn match goes to the champion. Fox might be a decent champ down the road, but she's only just pulling out of the driveway.


RELATED LINKS
  • Hell in a Cell by the numbers