How many new champions do we crown Sunday?
Daniel DeMarco: I expect one out of five.
The cruiserweight title will change hands, but nothing else. After the ridiculous angle WWE set up with Brian Kendrick asking T.J. Perkins to take the dive, I don’t see any logical way around a title change. It’s not safe to take the side of logic when dealing with WWE, but I’ll maintain some faith here. Kendrick says he can’t lose or his career is over. And the dive request sets up a storyline where Perkins losing comes with that mystery of whether or not it was legitimate. If Perkins wins, nothing from the last couple weeks makes any sense and was a waste of time.
I don’t see the title going on Seth Rollins until after this dormant Triple H angle is closed (likely post-WrestleMania 33). New Day are not losing the titles just yet, especially if we stick to WWE’s 50/50 booking. Plus, Cesaro and Sheamus are not established enough as a team, as they have just started hitting their stride. Roman Reigns is not dropping the title back to Rusev. And I just cannot see WWE having heel Charlotte win in the “historic” match with Sasha Banks; it would kill the feel-good attitude we are supposed to have about the whole thing.
Joseph Nardone: Not a single one. With Survivor Series looming, and that Network Special needing “exciting” bouts, it is hard to imagine a title change at Hell in a Cell. The WWE is likely saving the fun stuff for the now four-hour show.
If I’m wrong, however, it can be with the Cruiserweight Championship. The T.J. Perkins-Brian Kendrick feud has been fun, and the company appears willing to book the division to make it seem like there’s a lot of parity.
Jason Hall: I say no title changes will occur. I don’t see Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, T.J. Perkins, or Sasha Banks losing this early in their respective title reigns or New Day dropping before breaking Demolition’s record. Yes, that’s very boring, but predictable is usually the WWE way to go. Besides, why would anything really big happen with Survivor Series right around the corner?
Travis Wakeman: I’m going to say one, and it’s the one title match that’s not being contested inside Hell in a Cell. I think Brian Kendrick becomes the new Cruiserweight Champion. It just seems like that is the route WWE is going in. They’ve made a nice story out of his “comeback” to pro wrestling and I think they could make an even better story out of T.J. Perkins fighting to get his belt back. For me, Perkins is easily the biggest star of the cruiserweight division and often, WWE likes to have their stars chase the title until a big event comes up. They could have Perkins regain it at WrestleMania, which would be an even bigger moment for him than winning the CWC.
Between the three HIAC matches, which one is most deserving of the HIAC?
DD: If I have to pick one, I guess I would go with Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte. Bear in mind, none of these matchups deserves the HIAC gimmick, but that’s just the old-school wrestling fan in me that liked when match stipulations had some actual significance to them. That said, Banks and Charlotte come the closest due to the length of their current rivalry and the fact that it has been such a back-and-forth feud. But the fact of the matter is the Banks-Charlotte rivalry is built off of competition rather than any sort of personal grudge aspect. The bad blood is not there. And the other option is where the cell itself has a purpose related to the feud, such as the original cell match between Undertaker and Shawn Michaels when Michaels was finally going to be forced to fight Undertaker with no room for interference, and no way for him to get out after months of Michaels using shenanigans to get wins.
JN: Roman Reigns vs Rusev is definitely not deserving.
After that process of elimination, I am going to go with the women’s HIAC match. Not only because it signifies an important moment for women in wrestling, but because Charlotte and Sasha Banks are two insanely gifted workers who can make the bloodless version of a HIAC match work.
Plus, Seth Rollins vs. Kevin Owens in a cage just seems weird. I don’t have any specific reason as to why that is, but that’s how I feel and no one is in charge of my emotions but me.
JH: I think the women’s match taking place in a Hell in a Cell is the most intriguing, but the Universal Championship match seems to be the most likely to have the HIAC spots. Plus, it’s the top belt on Raw, so in theory, it’s the true main event match of the three. The Women’s Championship match may prove otherwise, but I’d think Rollins and Owens would be the most likely to put on a true hardcore HIAC match.
TW: Most people are probably going to say the women, but I’m going to go with the least popular of the three between Roman Reigns and Rusev. For me, this has actually been the most violent feud of the three and historically, Hell in a Cell has always been an extra-violent way to blow off a feud. The other two matches will both probably be better, but the one between Reigns and Rusev is the one that makes the most sense to be in the cell.
What will the WWE Universe be talking about come Monday morning?
DD: I’m sure the talk will be the confirmation that three HIAC matches in one night was way too much, not helped by the idea that none of the matches called for the stipulation to begin with, further not helped by the reality of the PG era where “brutal” matches are no longer brutal. In that regard, I’m sure the Sasha Banks-Charlotte match will get the most flack given the sheer amount of buildup WWE has pumped into it. It just can’t live up to the hype created around it. Unfortunately, I do not expect much in the way of praise from wrestling fans about the event in general. This event does not seem prepped to deliver anything special or spectacular.
JN: Probably whatever huge move Charlotte and/or Sasha pull during their HIAC match. Ric Flair is on record saying that his daughter has a crazy spot planned and there’s no talking her out of it. Couple that with Sasha being the sort of talent who doesn’t want to be outdone, meaning she’s likely going to attempt something crazy of her own, it’s pretty safe to presume at least one crazy thing will happen during that match.
That said, I can easily envision multiple wild things coming out of it, too. It might not just be one huge moment, but two or three.
JH: I’m guessing a big spot in the Women’s HIAC match. I mean, there has to be something, right? It can’t just be another impressive technical match between Banks and Charlotte Flair. I think any major HIAC involvement will be magnified if it takes place in a Women’s match, so we’ll see how it stacks up to the big spots in the Universal and U.S. title matches. But I’d bet Banks and Flair warrant the most attention.
TW: I don’t think there’s any doubt that it will be the match between Charlotte and Sasha. I don’t think WWE is going to stop with this being the first ever women’s Hell in a Cell match. I don’t doubt that they have a big spot planned as well, just to prove that the women can do everything the men can do. Regardless of the outcome of the match, I feel this one will be the one that the gets the most “post-event publicity.”