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Points by Ben Simmons during Game 3 victory over Nets

Heel Turns: At Hell in a Cell, less is more

Posted by Achilles Heel On September 15

Sometimes less is more. One reason that The Greek God of Wrestling is excited about Hell in a Cell on Sunday is that there are only eight matches, including the preshow. That allows for longer matches, although part of the time will be spent setting up or lowering the Hell in a Cell cage.

On some recent shows, WWE has tried to squeeze too many matches into one card. Even with WWE Network creating flexibility regarding the end time of events, some of the matches don’t seem to have time to develop (SummerSlam, with 13 matches, had several near-squash matches). Hell in a Cell (WWE Network, 7 p.m.) features two Hell in a Cell matches and six championship matches (one match falls into both categories). With the Smackdown tag team championship match moved to the preshow, the seven remaining matches should have plenty of time to develop.

The main event features Roman Reigns defending the WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman. This match will take place in Hell in a Cell. And we found out on Raw that Mick Foley will serve as guest referee, which certainly adds a twist to this match. A little more than 20 years ago, Foley made Hell in a Cell famous a little more than 20 years ago when Undertaker threw him off the top of the cell and threw a ringside table. Achilles Heel envisions Foley being involved in the finish, allowing Reigns to retain his title. (And don’t be surprised if Strowman destroys Foley after the match to cement his status as a monster heel.)

The WWE Championship will also be on the line, with AJ Styles defending against Samoa Joe in a feud that has become increasingly heated. A Samoa Joe victory would be a nice surprise, but Styles should retain in a physical match.

Overlooked a bit is the second Hell in a Cell match, which features Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy. The buildup for this match hasn’t been in the main event place on Smackdown., yet Achilles Heel has a feeling this could be a special match. It’s difficult to believe that Hardy has never been in a Hell in a Cell match. Expect to see the innovative Hardy use the cage, possibly by doing moves while hanging off the top of the cage. Orton can be at his vicious best inside a cage, creating sympathy for Hardy. Hardy may shine, but Orton will emerge victorious, perhaps with a unique RKO.

The women’s championship matches are highly anticipated. Charlotte Flair defends the Smackdown Women’s Championship against former friend Becky Lynch. Although an inconclusive ending is possible, with a rematch likely at the all-women’s “Evolution” next month, this should be an outstanding match if given 15-20 minutes to develop. The Raw Women’s Championship match between Rhonda Rousey and former champion Alexa Bliss probably won’t be as technically sound as Lynch vs. Flair, but expect it to be more competitive than the SummerSlam match in which Rousey won the title.

There are also three tag team matches. Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler defend the Raw Tag Team Championship against Seth Rollins and Drew Ambrose in what should be an excellent match. Could we see a title change? With Rollins holding the Intercontinental Championship, that would give The Shield all of the major Raw titles. The Greek God of Wrestling acknowledges the possibility of a Shield domination, but expects McIntyre and Ziggler to retain their titles.

The mixed tag team match pitting Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella against The Miz and Maryse in a battle of husband-and-wife teams has received a lot of hype. The match should have plenty of heat. Although Brie and Maryse are far from the most technically sound women on the roster, their interactions should be brief, allowing Bryan and Miz to carry the match. It would make sense for Bryan and Bella to win, but Achilles Heel has the sneaking suspicion that Miz and Maryse will cheat their way to victory.

The Smackdown Tag Team Championship is on the line during the preshow, with The New Day defending against Rusev and Aiden English. A title change would be a surprise, but the fans would pop for it.

It’s a shame that the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match has been moved to the preshow; however, if it allows more time for the other matches at Hell in a Cell to build into terrific confrontations, the move will be well worth it.

*****

SUCCESS STORY: Regardless of how you measure it, All In, the huge independent card put together by Cody Rhodes and Matt and Nick Jackson (The Young Bucks) was a huge success. In addition to selling out far in advance, All In was a success in the ring. The only remaining barometer of the show’s success is the pay-per-view purchases.

Cody Rhodes captured the NWA World Championship from Nick Aldis. The blood pouring out of Rhodes was reminiscent of his father, Dusty Rhodes, bleeding during many of his matches as NWA champion. The fans loved seeing Rhodes win the world title that his father once held.

In another major match from All In, Kenny Omega beat Pentagon in an excellent match. After the match, with Pentagon holding his injured arm, the lights went out. When the lights came back on, Pentagon quickly got up and attacked Omega. Pentagon then unmasked, revealing himself to be Chris Jericho (replacing the original Pentagon when the lights went out). This promoted Jericho’s Rock N’ Wrestling Rager at Sea, a wrestling-themed cruise at the end of October.

The show ended with The Young Bucks and Kota Ibushi defeating Rey Mysterio, Bandido and Fenix in a match that was cut short due to time limitations for the satellite time for the pay-per-view. Seeing a marquee match cut short was a bit disappointing, the “lights out” gimmick was overused and Achilles Heel finds the Joey Ryan-penis angle embarrassing, but those are minor criticisms of an otherwise terrific show.

*****

DISHONORABLE LINEUP: Ring of Honor will present “Death Before Dishonor” on Sun., Sept. 28. The main event is a 10-man tag team match pitting The Bullet Club (Cody Rhodes, Hangman Adam Page, Marty Scurll and The Young Bucks) against Chaos (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Beretta and Chuckie T.).

There are several title matches on the card. Mark and Jay Briscoe will defend the Ring of Honor Tag Team Championship against The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels). Punishment Martinez will defend the Ring of Honor Television Championship against Chris Sabin. Sumie Sakai will defend the Women of Honor World Championship against Tenille Dashwood. In a non-title match, Kenny King will battle Jushin “Thunder” Liger.

*****

TOP TRIO: Congratulations to the team of Fire Ant, Green Ant and Thief Ant, labeled as Raiders of the Beyond, for winning the 11th annual King of Trios, which is CHIKARA’s marquee event. The Ant team defeated Mick Moretti, Adam Hoffman and Jack Bonza in the final.

*****

BAD BREAK: The Greek God of Wrestling expected the team of Mr. Touchdown Mark Angelosetti, Dasher Hatfield and Boomer Hatfield to advance far at CHIKARA’s King of Trios, possibly even winning the event. Unfortunately, Angelosetti was injured during a first round match against Chris Dickinson, Brian Milonas and Cameron Zagami.

Angelosetti, who became Grand Champion by defeating Juan Francisco de Coronado at Chikarasaurus Rex, tweeted that he fractured his fibula. That’s literally a bad break for a wrestler who finally won his organization’s top title.

Dasher Hatfield, Angelosetti’s long-time tag team partner, has been named interim champion. Hatfield will defend the Title against Travis Huckabee on Sat., Sept. 22 at It Came from Beneath the Sink!” at The Wrestle Factory. Among the other announced matches are Mick Moretti vs. Rory Gulak, an eight-person tag team match featuring the team of Mike Quackenbush, Solo Darling, Officer Warren Barksdale and Green Ant facing Hallowicked Frantik, Sonny Defarge and Merlok, and a six-man tag team match pitting the team of Hyupe Rockwell, The Proletariat Boar of Moldova and Oleg the Usurper against The Regime (Rick Roland, Sloan Caprice and de Coronado).

*****

SEE THE BELLAS: If you read this in time Saturday, you can see Nikki and Brie Bellas at the Keystone Comic Con at the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Saturday from 3-6:30 p.m. Tickets are required for autograph and photo opportunities.

*****

TITLE CHANGE: BLKOUT defeated The Rep at “Down with the Sickness” last Saturday to capture the Combat Zone Wrestling Tag Team Championship. In another title match, Eddy Blackwater emerged victorious in a four-way match with Ace Austin, Jordan Oliver and KC Navarro to determine the CZW Wired champion. In a non-title match, John Silver beat Alex Reynolds in the Chri$ Ca$h Memorial ladder match.

For the main event at “Better Than Our Best,” CZW’s event on Oct. 13 at Colossal Sports Academy in Voorhees, Maxwell Jacob Friedman returns from a knee injury to defend the CZW World Heavyweight Championship against David Starr. In another match, Rickey Shane Page meets Mance Warner in the final match of the tournament to get a title shot against Friedman.

                              *****                               

STORY TIME: People love to rip “creative” in WWE, so let’s give credit to whomever came up with the idea of Samoa Joe reading a book (“Night, Night AJ”), with images making it look like a graphic novel, on Smackdown. This was a unique promo, and Joe executed it beautifully.

 

*****

OUT OF ORDER: With AJ Styles battling Samoa Joe for the WWE Championship and Randy Orton facing Jeff Hardy in a Hell in a Cell match on Sunday, the Greek God of Wrestling questions having a match between Maryse and Brie Bella in the main event slot on Smackdown. The match quickly became a brawl that involved Daniel Bryan and Miz, pumping up their mixed tag team match at Hell in a Cell.

*****

THIRD MAN IN: Achilles Heel wonders how Paul Ellering, the legendary manager of the Road Warriors, feels about Drake Maverick managing the Authors of Pain. Ellering was dismissed as manager of Authors of Pain on Raw after guiding them in NXT.

*****

IMPACT SELLS OUT: Bound for Glory, which will take place on Sun., Oct. 14 at the Melrose Ballroom in Queens, N.Y., has sold out. The main event features Austin Aries will defend the Impact Wrestling World Championship against Johnny Impact in the main event. Achilles Heel doesn’t want to give away the other matches set up during Impact Wrestling’s recent television tapings in Mexico City. By the way, the next set of television tapings will take place at the Melrose Ballroom the night after Bound for Glory.

*****

RAW IN PHILLY: Don’t forget that Raw will be at Wells Fargo Center on Mon., Oct. 15.

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