The WWE-ek: Hell in a Call Preview

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As I was laying in my hospital bed, I was fortunate enough to have access to both television and the Internet. Unfortunately, when one is hooked up to a variety of fluid-drips and medication dispensing machinery, boredom can sink in very fast. It must have been a joke, but a friend of mine suggested I read up on recent events in TNA. It must have been a joke, because after reading how their so-called Hall of Fame is nothing more than a MacGuffin for the program, I vomited in disgust, or it might have been a reaction to the meds. Take your pick. I suppose the only saving grace was Kurt Angle declining his induction. Scripted or not, TNA could ask ME into their Hall of Fame and I would decline, because I have some degree of self-respect.

I read about how every storyline is nothing but a mash-up of current and past WWE storylines, which worries the nursing staff because my blood pressure climbs with each moment. It gets me that angry. You want to compare TNA to the dark era of WCW, well, you would be wrong, because this is WORSE than any dark period in WCW history.

TNA is done. I have decreed it. It is OVER.

Now, onto WWE. You know, a GOOD program. Do I sound angry with all the CAPS? Maybe. As I am discharged form the hospital, I find out John Cena is making YET ANOTHER GODDAMN MIRACULOUS RECOVERY and somehow, by pinning an orderly in the hospital, earned himself a World Title match against Alberto del Rio. At this point they are ready to readmit me, but this time for mental distress. One has to wonder if this is to keep Cena away from the greatest storyline since Punk ran away with the WWE Championship. This Sunday is the Hell in the Cell pay-per-view. What will the main event be folks? What will the show-closer be? Will it be Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton, because this feud has been running for months and has been the focus of Bryan challenging The Authority (new Corporation), or will it be John Cena versus anyone, because he is John “The Juggernaut” Cena because he somehow makes shocking returns every single time he gets injured so WWE has to play that shit up whenever they can, because he is more alien than Superman…

Did I just swear?

Calming down now, but think clearly folks. If John Cena vs. Del Rio is the show-closer of Hell in the Cell, this will show WWE is instantly returning to the bland and predictable nature of their programming, and whatever main event draw Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Big Show, Triple H and the rest of the gang is all over. I pray, and I only do it once a week, but I pray Cena vs. Del Rio is the show-opener. For good reason, you want the get the crowd going for this one? Have the World Championship match open the PPV. Get the hype over with, get it out of the way.

Are there any other matches on this show? I had to look at WWE.com to find out, because only the main events seemed to be showcased.

Curtis Axel defends the Intercontinental Championship against Big E. Langston
This could be very interesting. The face turn from Langston was largely forced, but at times a sudden turn of personality yields positive results. Axel has been sitting on the IC title for a long time, and his push has been utterly decimated. He is nothing. He has talent, but he is not getting the right exposure to show it. I hate saying it, but without the title, he goes to jobber status, and Langston is in prime position for a major push. Axel has major talent, but perhaps now is not the right time for him.

Why on Earth is R-Truth on a Hell in the Cell poster?

Back to reality, CM Punk squares off against Ryback and Paul Heyman. Unless your memory is dulled more than my antibiotic induced stupor, you would remember Ryback and Punk faced each other LAST YEAR at Hell in the Cell, and the roles, yes, were reversed. Punk the heel WWE Champion, and Ryback the struggling rookie who valiantly tried time after time to take the title from him. Last year Ryback dominated Punk who kept the belt thanks to a crooked ref, who later turned out to be Brad “I need some Maalox” Maddox. This year do not expect Ryback to dominate anything, this will be an even contest with Heyman and the wild card. Heyman’s recently gorgeous ballet of a promo has everyone wondering what he might do to defend himself against Punk. This one will be interesting.

Goldust and Cody Rhodes defend the WWE World Tag Team Championships against The Usos and The Shield in a Triple Threat
Color me gold. The Rhodes Boys have earned themselves quite the push in recent days, in part to Cody being a target of The Authority. I am glad Dustin remained as Goldust, as it represents a significant part of his history with the company. The Usos have been the team to always come up short on title matches, but maybe this might the one where they finally win it. Either that, or are fodder and to be used for the Shield to pin and regain the straps, leaving the Rhodes brothers clean and untarnished with a loss. In either case, this match I expect to be incredible. Possible show stealer right here.

Diva Title – AJ Lee defends against Brie Bella
Yay, Brie learned how to be a better wrestler. I still do not care.

You have the big one. The match which is more than just about the yin and yang of WWE, but months of culmination featuring The Authority, outside players like Big Show and Shawn Michaels, but this will dictate the pace heading towards Survivor Series and ultimately the Royal Rumble, which everyone knows will be the set up for the ultimate main event at WrestleMania 30. Daniel Bryan will go one-on-one with Randy Orton for the vacant WWE Championship. Orton represents the “corporate image” which Triple H and Stephanie want. Daniel Bryan represents the image which the WWE Universe wants. Pick a past story arc which is has roots in. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon? Mick Foley vs. The Rock? Wonder why WWE goes back to the underdog vs. big corporate angle so often? Because it WORKS. Daniel Bryan tops all previous angles. Bryan has a story of working in the indys for over 10 years before even getting a chance to work for WWE. Even when he made it to WWE, he still struggled to break out. With a lucky break and an unforgettable loss at WrestleMania 28, his “YES-chanting” gimmick became an instant hit. His ability to be serious wrestler in the ring and comedy act outside showed his flexibility to adapt to any gimmick. His gimmick now is simply being himself. He tells it like it is, he defends the “sport” of wrestling and criticizes the element of “entertainment” as many old-time wrestling fans do. He represents more fans than John Cena ever could. Randy Orton, stuck in gimmick limbo found a fresh reboot by aligning himself with The Authority and becoming a heel once again. WWE gave the more critical fans what they wanted. If WWE would turn John Cena heel, then it would be similar to the Two-Man Power-Trip tandem of Triple H and Steve Austin. Anyway, this match will also accomplish the drawn-out angle of there being no WWE Champion. When was the last time the belt was vacated for this long? If Bryan wins, expect Triple H to try again to strip him of the belt. I said it before, but do not be surprised if Bryan has a dozen title reigns leading up to WrestleMania 30.

Speaking of which, one has to wonder who will be given the honor of taking the WWE Championship. At WrestleMania 20, it was not even the WWE Championship on the line in the main event, but the World Heavyweight Championship. It was not about the title, but about the people in the match. Chris Benoit defeated Triple H and Shawn Michaels to win it. At 30, I expect the focus to be on the WWE Title, but will it be John Cena? Daniel Bryan? Randy Orton? Time will tell.

With the preview out of the way, let me get to some other superstars who have been completely buried at this time. Dolph Ziggler and Damien Sandow. They get to compete, against each other, on WWE Main Event. The C-show. How far have these two once-upon-a-time main eventers. Great Khali and Santino get more exposure! 3MB get more airtime as jobbers! You know what, here is what we’re going to do. We going to have Bray Wyatt abduct The Miz, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Damien Sandow, William Regal (because why not William Regal), and Christian convert them all to his Family. It would be Raven’s Flock all over again!

I love the tag teams right now. The Real Americans are dominating. While Prime Time Players have been losing a bit recently, I see no cause for concern. Overall, every team has shared its number of wins and losses. Here something confusing… We all KNOW the team of Los Matadores is really Primo and Epico under masks. But yet, all four of their profiles are on WWE.com. Then again, they still have Hunico and Camacho up there, so maybe the WWE.com folks are not so fast to update that section.

I loved Bill’s coverage of NXT lst week. Frankly it is a great show and I kick myself for not dedicating more time to watch it. Many of these guys are the future of WWE. We already got the likes of the Wyatts, Wade Barrett, Darren Young, Titus O’Neal, Curtis Axel and Big E. Langston who all have been prominently featured on both Raw and SmackDown television. Many more of these guys will soon grace those shows as well. Playing devil’s advocate, I worry the main roster will get overcrowded, and depending how focused WWE creative becomes on certain storylines, many highly talented individuals may get lost in the shuffle. Right now WWE is treading a thin wire balancing all the talent they have right now, but again, when guys like Ziggler and Sandow get buried on C-rate shows while wastes like Khali are featured on Raw, you wonder how things can go wrong so fast.

Overall, WWE programming is at its best, and it has been for months. CM Punk led the charge, and now it is Daniel Bryan who is really carrying the company. As long as WWE can keep this momentum running strong, I anticipate the build for WrestleMania 30 has the potential to be incredibly epic on an awesome scale.