This is the Q&A column I've been doing for several months now. The Canton's Corner column name is likely retired forever because most weekends I just don't have time for it, but I always make time for this one and PPV reviews. Some weekends I may not write, but
Next weekend WWE will air their PPV known as Hell in a Cell in Miami. This is the 5th WWE HIAC PPV and it could be the last. There have been reports that they may dump the name for a PPV and instead just use a Hell in a Cell match when a feud warrants it. I like that idea. I don't think they need to use that name on a PPV. Just use it on a big match or two in the year.
The show is taking place just three weeks after Battleground, which most people feel (myself included) was the worst WWE PPV this year. At this point there are only three matches announced.
Hell in a Cell match for the Vacant WWE Championship: Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan (Shawn Michaels is the special guest referee)
World Heavyweight Championship: Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena
Hell in a Cell match: CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman
That's it as far as official matches go. Should they have more announced by now? Yes. I say it for every PPV. I don't think they care. I'll touch on some of the other possibilities in the ten questions below. Let's get to it.
1. Will we finally see a winner in this Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton feud?
To borrow a phrase from Daniel Bryan, it's a yes from me. I think WWE made the wrong move in vacating the WWE Title for six weeks. They should have just kept it on Orton during all this time because it would have been better than not having it around. I think fans are discouraged by where this angle has gone and if they don't have a satisfying ending with Bryan winning then it could hurt.
I think the show will end with Bryan leaving with the WWE Title. It's the right kind of babyface story with his mentor Shawn Michaels as the referee that will raise his hand as the victor in the match. The story works. The only concern I have is that they really don't have that many heels worthy of being a title contender. If they put it on Orton then they could at least put him against somebody like Big Show or CM Punk although they may want to save that one.
Of course that prediction can change based on what happens on Raw. For right now I pick Daniel Bryan to win the WWE Title.
2. Will CM Punk win his match and put an end to this feud with Paul Heyman?
I know. Technically that's a two part question, but I can bend the rules a bit! I think Punk should win the match. I know that he won against Ryback with a low blow at Battleground. This match is more important. Heyman already pinned Punk at Night of Champions (he likes to brag about it every time he speaks), so there's no need to do that again. This time Punk will beat Ryback, get his hands on Heyman and knock him out with a GTS. If Ryback wins then the feud will likely continue until Survivor Series.
I'm ready to see Punk move on. I'm actually ready for Punk to go heel again, but that's not likely at this point. I enjoy him immensely as a heel. That doesn't mean he's bad as a face. He's good as a face. I just think he's an all time great as a heel.
3. What can we expect to see out of the returning John Cena in the World Title match?
Five moves of doom and the win. Next question! Okay so I won't leave it at that. I don't think he'll be that rusty. Yes, he came back from the torn triceps surgery faster than most of us expected, but this is Cena we're talking about. He's a freak athlete. I think he'll definitely be 100% and has likely been getting work in a ring to prepare for it.
By the way, I think it's smart to keep him off TV until Hell in a Cell. The video packages are a good idea. If his diehard fans really want to see him back in action they need to pay for the PPV. Smart business move. Some would even say that it's...wait for it...best for business.
4. If Cena wins the World Title will it help make the World Title feel like a bigger deal?
I believe so. I think he'll win it. That's why they put him in the match. They hear the crowds dying when Del Rio is out there delivering his promos or having his matches, so if they put that title on Cena it's a way make it seem like a bigger deal. It's not like Del Rio's going to win clean. I will likely be a match where Del Rio works on the injured left arm of Cena, which leads to huge Cena comeback followed by the win. The only way Cena doesn't leave with the gold is if somebody else costs him the win as a way to start a new feud. Not sure who it would be, though.
It's worth noting that if Damien Sandow stays heel (he might go face), he would be a bigger star if he successfully cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase on somebody at the level of Cena. I would love to see it, but Sandow has been booked so poorly in the last three months that I won't get my hopes up.
5. Now that Cody Rhodes & Goldust are tag team champions, will they defend the titles against The Shield or will the Usos be added to it to make it a triple threat?
I'm leaning towards the triple threat idea. It's a rumor that is out there. The reason for it is because The Usos actually became the #1 contenders to the tag titles about a month ago, yet they never got their title shot. At least WWE has mentioned it on their broadcasts the last couple of weeks. Since the former champions always get a rematch, The Shield team of Reigns & Rollins are likely getting a title shot in the near future. Since there isn't a triple threat singles match on the card they might as well do it in this tag match. It works for me.
I think Cody and Goldust are likely to retain the titles no matter who they face. It's just the beginning for them.
6. Raw had a tag team title change in the main event and there are more teams in WWE than in recent years. Are you excited about the tag team division right now?
Yes I am. I love it. I'm a huge fan of tag team wrestling and always will be. The tag division in WWE is getting stronger every week. With the three teams mentioned up above plus the Real Americans (Cesaro may turn face soon), Prime Time Players, Los Matadores, Tons of Funk (babyface jobbers), 3MB (heel jobbers) and perhaps a return of the Kidd/Gabriel team they have a lot of talent mixing to produce great matches. While I do want Cody to have a prosperous singles career, I hope his team with his brother Goldust lasts into the new year. The chemistry is obviously there for them, but they're also having really good matches too.
I've always said that tag team wrestling is an easy story to tell. The hot tag sequence in the match usually works. Then when you look at the team in the long term, chances are good you can always get a lengthy feud due to the two guys feuding with each other. The more teams there are the better. The more air time they get the better. I hope the tag division continues to grow.
7. What's the plan for the Divas Title?
It looks like another AJ Lee vs. Brie Bella match for the Divas Title just like we saw at Battleground. Lee won that match clean, but Brie ended up beating her clean on Smackdown this past week. That makes me think Brie gets another shot. The booking has been weird because they had Brie lose clean to Tamina Snuka on Raw only for her to get that win over AJ. By that logic, Tamina should get a title shot right? Not necessarily. Brie getting the clean win on Smackdown will likely lead to another title shot even though she lost the last one she had. Confusing? A little bit.
I think there's a chance that Brie wins the Divas Title at Hell in a Cell because if her fiancé Daniel Bryan also wins the WWE Title at the same show then it makes for a nice little story for them. My preference is that AJ Lee holds the title all the way until WrestleMania before dropping it to whoever is the right opponent. I just think it makes sense to give her a long run.
8. Big E Langston turned babyface on Smackdown. Will he be the next Intercontinental Champion?
I think so. It might be as soon as Hell in a Cell, but I could see it being pushed back to Survivor Series so there's more build to it. If you missed Smackdown, Paul Heyman and his "guys" went to the ring to confront CM Punk. Earlier in his promo, Heyman congratulated Punk by insulting Langston saying that he was barely above NXT. That's why Langston stood up for Punk when it was time to brawl.
Regarding the IC Title, I think it's floundering on Curtis Axel. They can talk him up like he's a big deal, but do the fans really see him that way? I don't think so. Langston is a guy that WWE officials likely want to invest in because he's a muscular guy that is pretty agile for a guy his size. I've seen his work in NXT where he was mostly a babyface. The fans loved him. I think he's better in that role. I would pencil in Langston as the next IC Champ. It's going to happen. He might be a WWE or World Champion one day too.
Here's the Langston babyface turn if you missed it.
9. What will be the best match on the show?
I've mentioned Bryan vs. Orton at the last two PPVs as being the best match and while both of their recent matches were pretty good, I have expected greater. Perhaps they were saving it for Hell in a Cell. I'm not sure. I think whatever the tag title match could be excellent too. Whether it's a regular tag or a triple threat there's definitely something good brewing in the tag division.
10. On a 1-10 scale with 10 being high and 1 being low, how excited are you for Hell in a Cell?
I think it's about a 6.5 right now. It's better than Battleground and Night of Champions at least, so that's a plus.
I feel like this show will be about babyface success. The last two PPVs had mostly heel wins, so it's time for some babyfaces to get that revenge. As of right now I'm expecting wins from Bryan, Cena and Punk. That opinion can change based on what happens on Raw and Smackdown because of the all important "gain the advantage on TV, lose on PPV" theory that we're all familiar with.
It's not the strongest card of the year, but like I said it's an improvement over the last two shows. I wonder if it's going to do well in terms of PPV buys. After the last two shows were disappointing I think some fans are going to be angry and avoid spending money on this.
It turned to be over 2,000 words long so that works. When I would do these with 20 questions it was hard to come up with the questions. I like it better this way.
Here's my interview with Inside The Ropes from Thursday that you can listen to at this link. I joined the show at the 41 minute mark. They also interviewed WWE Hall of Famer Sunny in the second half the show, so make sure you give it a listen and support their great work.
If you're a NFL fan, check out my weekly NFL picks column on TJRSports.com. I'll see ya again on Tuesday with the Raw Deal.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
John Canton - firstname.lastname@example.org