It was in 2005 that troubled promotion TNA Wrestling created their PPV concept Lockdown. Originally billed as a show that would feature two cage match main events, they decided to up the ante by booking every match on the show inside the steel structure, a unique tradition that they would hold on to for many years. WWE has yet to hold an event like that, but this year, they’ve come pretty damn close with their ‘triple main event’ at Hell in a Cell. WWE decided to book three matches inside the once barbaric playground on what will be the second event of the year after the polarizing Shane vs. Undertaker encounter at WrestleMania to utilize the match type. And for the first time ever, two women will compete in a Hell in a Cell match and their match is billed as one of the three main events. Chances are it won’t be the ACTUAL main event of the show, however, as the chances of it ending the show or incredibly low as of right now despite backing from creative and Mr. Helmsley. I can’t help but feel like this entire ‘triple main event’ thing is WWE trying to appease fans begging for the women to main event a PPV by technically giving them one without really giving them one. It’s ‘asterisk-on-the-end’ booking. But whether it’s the actual main event or not, history is being made regardless, as both competitors (especially the current titleholder) will remind you every chance they get. We’ll get to the three main events in a bit, but let’s work our way up to them as we enter the Forecast for Hell in a Cell.
6-Man Tag Team Match
Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari
According to most, the Cruiserweight Division hasn’t been doing as well on the main roster as anticipated. While the Cruiserweight Classic was a huge success as a WWE Network exclusive, the smaller dynamos of the squared circle haven’t set the world on fire as a part of the Monday Night RAW roster. Honestly, it’s not completely their fault; they’re just working with what they’re given, but they’re really not given much aside from a change of aesthetics from red to purple whenever they’re on-screen. With little to no characters to speak of and only one storyline (which we’ll get to) and usually getting stuck in a dead spot on a show, crowd investment is pretty low, save for a few flashy moves. So it makes sense that this six-man tag match is taking place so early in the card that it’s the calm before the main show storm. Team Cedric Alexander (which I’m only calling because he’s my biased favorite person on this team and in this match) takes on Team Tony Nese. Joining Alexander are masked stars Lince Dorado and Sin Cara, while Nese will be teaming with Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari. Hopefully they don’t put in half an effort just because half the crowd hasn’t filed into the building yet.
Who I Want to Win: Team Cedric Alexander. Since Alexander is currently my second favorite wrestler in this division, I’m up for seeing him win anything.
Who Will Win: Team Cedric Alexander to send us into the show happy, because for some reason, I still treat that like a factor in these things.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
The WWE Women’s Division continues to be as limited as the list of match options for the Wii version of Smackdown vs. Raw 2008. They seem to have either given up on Nia Jax already or are holding her off for a future title program, Summer Rae is busy making more appearances on event carpets than wrestling canvases, and Alicia Fox just appears fly evaporated from creative’s memory banks again. And then there’s the curious case of Paige, who’s injuries, suspensions, and personal relationships have kept her benched for most of the year. So only FOUR girls have really gotten any focus on RAW lately, all set for action at Hell in a Cell. We’ll get to The Boss and The Queen’s trip to Hell later, but in the case of Bayley vs. Dana Brooke, we don’t even know if a title shot is up for grabs here. I assume the purpose of this match is for Bayley to let Dana know that she won’t put up with the bullying from the muscle-bound beauty, but has that been emphasized enough to make this a strong match on paper? Especially after that match they had a couple weeks ago with the awkward end in and the fans rejecting that corny arm wrestling contest, it’s doubtful. We get it, Dana; your arms are gloriously toned. Don’t mean we want to be subjected to a boring arm wrestling contest.
Who I Want to Win: Bayley, especially since there would be less chance of a botched finish this time around.
Who Will Win: Bayley. By WWE’s 50/50 booking rules, this is when Bayley gets her win back after Dana’s victory a couple of weeks ago.
Enzo Amore & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Can 2016 get any worse for Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson? Everyone knows at this point to remain cautious whenever WWE plucks someone from the independents and places them into their system, especially when that wrestler has already built up a wave of roaring popularity and shining success elsewhere. But when we heard that AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Gallows & Anderson were coming to WWE, even we couldn’t imagine the latter two in this group would be booked this abysmally. They’re on par with The Ascension as far as being tough-looking disgraced losers who can barely be taken seriously anymore. And now that they’ve kayfabe choked worse than B-Rabbit out of a Tag Team Title feud with New Day, they’re set to face another comedic tag team with weird fashion sense, Enzo & Cass. Not much of a story here; just AJ Styles’ buddies trying to remind you that they’re still totally dominant despite being so far away for the word that even Oscar Proud could defeat them without Suga Mama‘s help.
Who I Want to Win: Enzo & Cass; as much as I hate to admit it, Gallows & Anderson are THIS close to Wyatt Family territory with me as far as being wrestlers I used to care about.
Who Will Win: Gallows & Anderson. I feel like in this instance, WWE will actually throw us a curveball and let them win for once.
Raw Tag Team Championship
The New Day vs. Cesaro & Sheamus
Maybe, just maybe, it’s time for a changing of the guard. The New Day have been WWE (RAW) Tag Team Champions forever and a day now. It’s awesome that WWE has decided to make a title mean something by avoiding hot potato switches and actually letting the title holders have such a lengthy reign. But at the same time, it’s kind of a concern for the division that so many teams have failed to defeat a comedic stable who’s appeal peaked months ago over the course of an entire year. Not even The Club could get it done as they continued their descent from former threats in Japan to the biggest losing losers of loserdom since The Ascension. Now, in typical WWE fashion, WWE has decided that maybe, just maybe, a makeshift tag team could be the ones to do it. Because why have an actual tag team win the Tag Team Titles when you can give them to two singles competitors that were just randomly thrown together. Gee, it’s like John Cena & any tag team partner he’s ever held the titles with. Or Cody Rhodes & Drew McIntyre; remember they were a team? Boy, that was random. Maybe Sheamus and Cesaro have potential to be the best team to do this since Team Hell No? They sure got the bickering down at least.
Who I Want to Win: I’m sorry, but The New Day. I know RAW’s tag team division is thin, but why on Earth would I want to see Sheamus & Cesaro as tag team champions with one another?
Who Will Win: Sheamus & Cesaro. They wouldn’t put them in this angle for nothing, now would they?
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
TJ Perkins vs. Brian Kendrick
I mentioned earlier how the Cruiserweight Division’s biggest weakness right now is the lack of characters, motivations, and storylines. Well, it’s a good thing that for the one example of the latter that the division does have, it also does contain the former two elements. Maybe Brian Kendrick should stop complaining about how anything he does might be his last chance since WWE keeps refilling his lives count like he’s Scott Pilgrim regenerating after Gideon Graves kills him. On the bright side, however, it gives him motivation. He’s realizes he’s no spring chicken, so he wants to make sure he finally wins that Cruiserweight Title before his goose is cooked. And he’s apparently prepared to do anything to get it, including tearful requests to the dab-happy champion. TJ Perkins is probably having a blast as Cruiserweight Chamlion, not that I can tell by his often wooden facial expressions, so I doubt he’ll lay down for Brian Kendrick. He certainly didn’t do it at Clash of Champions. But whether this match turns out to be quick emotional bait-taking or an actual competitive match, let’s just pray they actually get any kind of reactions from the crowd.
Who I Want to Win: Honestly, Brian Kendrick. I’ve explained before how I’m a longtime fan of the guy and I’d love to see him win at least one singles title in WWE.
Who Will Win: TJP. The story is perfect for a Kendrick win, but I’m just not sure this is where TJP’s ride with the title ends.
Hell in a Cell Match for the United States Championship
Rusev © vs. Roman Reigns
I don’t know who to feel more sorry for in this feud. I want to feel sorry for Rusev because it was the perfectly reasonable notion of wanting to express his love for and defend the honor of his lovely new bride that started this entire thing. I want to feel sorry for Roman Reigns because he hasn’t been accepted as a top face like the corporate heads wanted, so pairing that with his suspension for doing some kind of drug, he got stuck in a midcard feud just months after main eventing WrestleMania…..actually, after writing it all out like that, I totally feel more sorry for Rusev. If Rusev busts up Roman something ugly on Sunday inside the Cell, I would not be surprised. It would probably be safe to say that Lana would definitely enjoying watching it go down, even though she might wanna stay away from the Cell just in case. Just because Cell matches are tame now doesn’t mean craziness can’t still occur. She could get smacked with a ladder for all we know.
Who I Want to Win: Rusev; I pretty much spelled out why above, didn’t I?
Who Will Win: Roman Reigns. You thought WWE gave up trying to make Roman Reigns a thing? You thought wrong!
Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship
Charlotte Flair © vs. Sasha Banks
Good news: WWE has finally developed a sense of progressiveness when it comes to their female performers, so much so that they’ve finally expanded their list of acceptable women’s stipulation matches beyond “Lumberjill Match” and “Battle Royal”. Thus 2016 will see the first ever encounter between two women inside Hell in a Cell; Sasha Banks will do battle with longtime rival Charlotte “Don’t-Forget-The” Flair with her women’s title on the line. Bad news: the fact that this match is such a history-maker seems to be it’s only purpose for happening because Sasha and Charlotte aren’t really working with much of a story beyond that. There isn’t even much of a personal grudge between the two; Sasha’s SummerSlam back injury hasn’t factored in since Sasha returned and Charlotte’s desire to retain her reputation as being one of the greatest, if not most entitled, stars on the roster doesn’t seem like motivation enough. But if we can get a good final encounter main event* match after months of back-and-forth title switches, maybe this feud can have an explosive payoff where hopefully no one does something that could get themselves killed. (*Not the actual main event; this match is reportedly not going on last and no one takes WWE’s “Triple Main Event” tagline seriously.)
Who I Want to Win: Sasha Banks; it may inflate her ego past Kanye levels, but with Charlotte having been champion so long, let’s give Sasha a longer reign. Also, this is Charlotte’s one guaranteed rematch. We can finally end this feud and Sasha can go on to fighting Emma Thumbelina or something.
Who Will Win: Sasha Banks; her last time reign may have been brief, but I think even WWE realizes that it’s time to put this story to rest and let Sasha roll with this one.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Universal Championship
Kevin Owens © vs. Seth Rollins
Somewhere down the line, Seth Rollins became a babyface, and in typical top face fashion, he’s adopted a really corny sense of humor. “Sparklecrotch” probably won’t go down in Seth Rollins history as well as genuinely funny moments like “Kane Was There”. But at least with material that lame, it’s obvious he’s a face now. Or at least it would if The Old Day wasn’t still the least funny comedy segment in recent memory and probably of all time. But nevertheless, the former WWE World Champion once again finds himself in the top match on a RAW card as he takes on Chris Jericho‘s B.F.F.F.F.F.F.F.F.F.F. forever Kevin Owens. Jericho failed in his attempt to make this a Triple Threat match, so Owens will be trapped in the Cell alone with Rollins, and since this is Owens, we all know that he can handle himself. He beat John Cena in his PPV debut after all. Of course, this also happens to be WWE’s cowardly version of Owens, so chances are he will resort to cheating to get it done. Once again, I’m just praying that the match itself will be good at the very least, even if a distraction of some kind is what causes the finish decision. Side note: Why do I get the feeling that this bout with see the return of Hell in a Cell MVP Triple H? Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. But you know, I’m gonna go ahead let that play a part in my final [Matt Hardy voice] PRE-MO-NEE-TION!
Who I Want to Win: Kevin Owens. You can’t cancel the Kevin Owens Show yet!
Who Will Win: Unless WWE is planning a series of rematch clauses, Kevin Owens totally has this one won. And if Triple H gets involved to set up something for Survivor Series, it’s definitely game over for The Architect.