Yes, this is the second Heel Turns in just a few days. That’s because Eric Fisher took so long to post my last edition of Heel Turns.
On the positive side, you’re lucky enough to receive a double dose of the Greek God of Wrestling this week. Who could complain about that?
Achilles Heel is back on short notice to preview Hell in a Cell, which takes place Sunday (8 p.m.) at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Regular readers of Heel Turns know that I don’t like themed pay-per-views in which the stipulation match doesn’t make sense. But both Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker and Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt are feuds worthy of being contested inside Hell in a Cell.
The Lesnar-Undertaker feud has been well-documented. Lesnar ended Undertaker’s 21-match WrestleMania winning streak at WrestleMania XXX. Undertaker, angry over Lesnar and advocate Paul Heyman’s ongoing boasting about ending his streak, challenged Lesnar to a match at SummerSlam.
Undertaker won the SummerSlam match, but the ending was engulfed in controversy. Undertaker used a low blow to win the match. Even more contentious, however, was that Undertaker tapped out, undetected by the referee but seen by the timekeeper, who prematurely rang the bell. While the cause for the ringing of the bell was being sorted out, Undertaker delivered the low blow and, after the match restarted, applied his Hell’s gate submission move, causing a defiant Lesnar to pass out.
Everyone assumed that Lesnar vs. Undertaker III would headline WrestleMania 32 in Texas, but the match will take place Sunday inside Hell in a Cell. That has set off speculation about the main event for WrestleMania 32 (Lesnar vs. Steve Austin?; a triple threat match involving Austin, Lesnar and Undertaker; Undertaker vs. John Cena?). Whether this is the end of the Undertaker-Lesnar saga or if there is one more chapter, it makes sense for Lesnar to win Sunday – unless someone such as Austin costs Lesnar the victory.
Reigns and Wyatt have been feuding since Wyatt cost Reigns the Money in the Bank ladder match. With Reigns still apparently slated for the big push, he should win Sunday. This feud, however, might carry over to Survivor Series on Nov. 22.
There are also five championship matches at Hell in a Cell. Seth Rollins defends the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Kane – or Demon Kane, as he’s called to distinguish himself from Corporate Kane. It’s difficult to imagine Rollins losing the championship to Kane, but Corporate Kane loses his job as WWE director of operations if Demon Kane can’t defeat Rollins.
John Cena is slated to defend the United States Championship in a U.S. Open challenge. Mystery surrounds the identity of Cena’s opponent. Big Show isn’t on the card, but that wouldn’t seem to make sense. The same could be said of Chris Jericho. The Greek God of Wrestling could see someone from the preshow six-man tag team match, probably Sheamus or Dolph Ziggler getting the title match. Rusev, who lost the title to Cena, is another possibility.
A wild card – if he’s cleared by doctors – would be Daniel Bryan. Another wild card would be newcomer Tyler Breeze, although it would be more likely that he would cost Ziggler the championship. A final unlikely darkhorse could be Dean Ambrose (whose match was canceled). The challenger should win the title. If Cena wins, expect WWE to create a U.S. Championship tournament.
Kevin Owens should successfully defend his title against Ryback, the former champion. A title change is more likely in the Divas Championship and Tag Team Championship matches. Charlotte defends the Divas Championship against Nikki Bella, the former champion. Paige will likely become involved in this match, which could allow Nikki to regain the title. The New Day defends the tag team titles against the Dudley Boyz, which could result in a title change.
The preshow features a six-man tag team match pitting Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro and Neville and against Sheamus, King Barrett and Rusev.
Originally, Ambrose and Randy Orton were scheduled to face the Wyatt Family’s Luke Harper and Braun Strowman, but Orton dislocated his shoulder. WWE could have done a mystery partner angle, but, with Cena’s U.S. Open challenge already using that plot line, the tag team match was scrapped.
Even without that tag team match, Hell in a Cell appears to be a good card with the potential for title changes and surprises.
Eagles fans would be wise to switch over to Hell in a Cell once the Birds fall hopelessly behind or Sam Bradford throws his third interception, whichever comes first.
STRONG PERFORMANCE: The main event for Ring of Honor’s Glory By Honor XIV on Saturday (tonight) in Dayton, Ohio, received a bit of a shakeup. The main event is Champions vs. All-Stars, but the All-Stars now have a champion. Roderick Strong defeated Jay Lethal for the Ring of Honor Television Championship on Friday in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Strong and Lethal, who remains the Ring of Honor World champion, have had a series of tremendous matches during the past few months, including a 60-minute draw. Friday’s defeat is Lethal’s first in singles competition in nearly a year.
Lethal teams up with tag team champions Michael Bennett and Matt Taven to form the Champions squad. Strong teams up with A.J. Styles and ACH to form the Ring of Honor All-Stars.
Other matches include Mark and Jay Briscoe battling War Machine (Ray Rowe and Hanson), Donovan Dijak vs. Michael Elgin, Adam Cole vs. Will Ferrara, and a four-corner survival match between Adam Page, Cedric Alexander, Dalton Castle and Cliff Compton.
COOL BREEZE: Tyler Breeze made an excellent debut on Smackdown. He was brought in during an episode of Miz TV as the new boyfriend of Summer Rae. After a terrific start to his interview, Breeze beat down Dolph Ziggler, allegedly for his mistreatment of Summer Rae.
The former NXT star then took a selfie of himself and Summer. In a cool touch that Achilles Heel hopes will continue, Breeze’s selfie immediately shows up on the Titantron.
INDIAN INVASION: TNA has announced a tour of India on Dec. 2-4, culminating in One Night Only. This tour apparently will coincide with recruitment. WWE then announced that WWE Network will be available in India, second only to China in population, on Nov. 2.
COMINGS AND GOINGS: As if TNA’s World Title Series wasn’t confusing enough, there are participants who aren’t even in TNA any longer. Because TNA shoots its television programs so far in advance, James Storm appeared on both Impact Wrestling and NXT on Wednesday. Kenny King, who has returned to Ring of Honor, is also in the World Title Series.
STORM BREWING: As mentioned in the previous item, James Storm made his NXT debut on Wednesday, defeating Danny Burch. NXT continues to bring in veterans with name recognition from the independent circuit and smaller promotions.