Sunday's WWE Hell in a Cell PPV and Network show has a buzz that the typical B-show PPVs don't have.
For starters, the WWE is offering three #HIAC matches, a first for the company. When I was a kid playing with my wrestling action figures, yes ACTION FIGURES, not dolls, in my room, I was booking all cage-match PPVs every weekend. Clearly, I set the trend for the WWE to follow. It took them 30 years, but, hey, they finally wised up to smart booking.
WWE Universal Champion #KevinOwens will defend the championship against Seth Rollins. WWE United States Champion Roman Reigns will defend the strap against Rusev. And, in perhaps the biggest match on the show, The Boss #SashaBanks will put the gold on the line against former champion Charlotte, inside a cell. Will there be blood?
We may have to wait until the actual event to find out, but it's possible that Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks will go on last, which would be the first time a women's match closed a WWE PPV.
The #RAW brand PPV is likely to make history, one way or another. The HIAC match has a history of delivering some of the sport's greatest matches. The original Cell match featured Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker, and the debut of the Undertaker's evil brother, Kane.
And, of course, the greatest Cell match in WWE history, featuring #Mankind vs. The Undertaker.
Will anything this Sunday, October 30 compare?
Let's hope so. Who wouldn't want to see Roman Reigns thrown off a cage and onto thousands of thumbtacks? I mean the guy has to try to get over somehow.
Let's look at the big matches on the card:
Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)
You can already hear the chants: "This is Awesome. This is Awesome. This is Awesome."
Owens and Rollins inside a cage can only go right. Rollins may be the second-best worker in the company behind AJ Styles, and Owens is certainly among the best and possibly the best talker. Owens, a veteran of Ring of Honor and #NXT, as is Rollins, is hungry (no pun intended) to put on a great match and show the world that even though he is Triple H's handpicked champion, he really does deserve it. This could be pro wrestling heaven. Let's just hope that Rollins doesn't botch anything and end up ending anyone's career or putting them on the shelf for several months. (Sting, Finn Balor, John Cena's nose). Redesign. Rebuild. Reclaim -- hopefully not re-injure.
Roman Reigns vs. Rusev (U.S. Championship)
Rusev has succeeded at something almost no one else has: Get the fans to cheer for the Vince McMahon's boy, Roman Reigns. Reigns is getting cheered the most since he was a member of the Shield, and it's all because of Rusev, who portrays one of the great classic heels of our time. Rusev is no "tweener." He isn't playing sly with the audience. He is "The Bulgarian Brute" and wants what we all want: Put a beat down on Reigns.
Rusev almost always has great matches. Reigns, if he can stop sleeping -- literally -- during most of the match, he might be okay. Seriously Reigns spends half of every match laying flat on his back, or on all fours, or worse, on all fours, flipping his greasy hair up to show of his blue eyes. We get it Roman -- you look good. Now try to wrestle good, or at least learn how to throw a Superman punch that looks moderately painful. Reigns needs a big match here to continue his momentum. A nice long run as U.S. champion will be good for him. And if that doesn't work, he needs to lose his hair in a hair vs. hair match with Mick Foley. That will put the asses in the seats.
Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (Women's Championship)
Ric Flair is the gift that keeps on giving. Flair gave us some of the greatest matches in the history of professional wrestling, and certainly its greatest promos, and now we can watch Flair 2.0 in the version of his Queen-like daughter Charlotte.
Charlotte is the future of the WWE women's division. She's as good of a female wrestler as anyone on the planet not named #Asuka. Charlotte is pure gold inside the ring and she's likely to carry her #NXT sister Sasha to an amazing match -- inside a cell. This match can either go down as revolutionary or a total bust. If they go in there and just wrestle a match, without figuring out a way to incorporate the cage into the match's storyline, it will be a mistake. But if these women can use the cage to add drama to their match, we're all winners. Will we get a lifetime memory and see Charlotte do a moonsault off the top of the cage onto Sasha? That would be glorious, #bobbyroode style. Banks and Charlotte know that everyone is watching and expecting something memorable, so these two wrestlers, don't call them Divas, aren't likely to disappoint.
New Day vs. Sheamus & Cesaro (Tag Team Championship)
Don't you dare be sour! Clap for your world famous two-time champs, and feel the power -- of a title change!
It's time. And I am not taking about Hammer Time or Vader Time or Bruce Buffer's catchphrase. It's time for the New Day to drop those titles. All good things must come to an end, and the WWE really needs to push the New Day out of its comfort zone. The New Day has held the title for 431 days, the longest in the history of the championship; in short, they're getting stale.
#Sheamus and #Cesaro are being forcibly put together, which usually means they will become friends and enjoy long reign as champs. There's nothing wrong with the New Day, but let's let them chase the title for awhile and give a belt to Cesaro, who is the WWE's biggest untapped talent -- maybe now he's finally getting a serious push. This match should have great crowd heat and title changes are always, always, special.
TJ Perkins vs. Bryan Kendrick (Cruiserweight Championship)
Cruiserweights rule. Creating the cruiserweight division is about the coolest thing the WWE has done since it moved Jerry "The King" Lawler to the PPV pre-show. Perkins is the perfect champion for the division. Kendrick is a blast from the past and hopefully Perkins goes over and moves on to a new challenger. These guys will probably go on early in the show and the set the bar for the work rate in the match. It's not exactly Ricochet vs. Will Ospreay, but we take what we can get, and these guys will have a solid match.
The rest of the card:
Enzo & Big Cass vs. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson
Enzo still has the greatest entrance in the WWE. I'd buy a ticket to see this guy walk out toward the ring, and then I'd go home. That's how entertaining Smacktalker Skywalker is.
Damn. You can't teach that. Enzo and Cass are the future and Gallows and Anderson are good wrestlers. Gallows and Anderson are WWE tag team championship-bound.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
Listen up, Sasha and Charlotte: One of you has a date with Bayley at #Wrestlemania. Bayley is the female John Cena and she will get her title run. Dana Brooke, well, she gets a nice match to show her kids one day: "Hey, I once wrestled Bayley on PPV!"