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WWE needs four Hell in a Cell matches on this year’s PPV

WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) is coming up on Sun., Sept. 16, 2018, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Right now there are two matches that will definitely take place inside the titular structure: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman, and Randy Orton vs. Jeff Hardy.

It’s very possible that WWE will stop right there as far as the Hell in a Cell gimmick is concerned. A quick look back on the history of this PPV indicates that two cell matches is the most common result.

Here are the matches that took place inside Hell in a Cell ever since this PPV debuted in 2009:

  • 2009 - Punk vs. Undertaker, Cena vs. Orton, D-Generation X vs. Legacy (3 matches)
  • 2010 - Orton vs. Sheamus, Kane vs. Undertaker (2 matches)
  • 2011 - Henry vs. Orton, Cena vs. Punk vs. Del Rio (2 matches)
  • 2012 - Punk vs. Ryback (1 match)
  • 2013 - Punk vs. Ryback & Heyman, Bryan vs. Orton (2 matches)
  • 2014 - Cena vs. Orton, Ambrose vs. Rollins (2 matches)
  • 2015 - Reigns vs. Wyatt, Lesnar vs. Undertaker (2 matches)
  • 2016 - Reigns vs. Rusev, Owens vs. Rollins, Banks vs. Flair (3 matches)
  • 2017 - Usos vs. New Day, Owens vs. McMahon (2 matches)

(Did you notice that Randy Orton has wrestled in five cell matches out of these nine events?)

Six of these nine events featured exactly two cell matches. So maybe WWE will just stop right here and book no additional cell matches for the 2018 iteration of this event.

There were a couple years where WWE did book three cell matches, including a Raw-only PPV in 2016. But you know what? Even three cell matches this year would feel like a missed opportunity.

Styles versus Joe belongs inside Hell in a Cell. Samoa Joe has crossed the line by messing around with AJ’s family and it looks like The Destroyer is going to up the ante by paying the Styles’ household a visit next week. Do you remember back in 2009 when Triple H invaded Randy Orton’s house and the ensuing brawl that occurred where Triple H just beat the piss out of The Viper on his front lawn? The payoff for that incredibly personal segment was a pretty basic match at WrestleMania 25 that brought none of that intensity and instead served as a cure for insomnia.

If Samoa Joe is going to cause havoc at the Styles’ household next week, there’s a pretty good chance that a standard wrestling match between these two on September 16 just isn’t going to cut it. This war needs to go down inside Hell in a Cell. And I mean come on, AJ Styles has been in WWE for nearly three years now but has never wrestled inside the cell. That needs to change, and this is the right story for it.

Then there is Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch, which isn’t even an official match for the PPV yet. But after Becky’s promo on this week’s (Aug. 28) episode of SmackDown, this match pretty much has to happen at the PPV, right? Conventional wisdom says the first match of a feud doesn’t belong inside the Hell in a Cell. Well if I could even muster up one-tenth of the charisma of The Rock, this is the part where I’d say something really cool about wiping a monkey’s ass with conventional wisdom.

Becky and Charlotte were best friends. Becky worked her ass off for months to get a shot at that damn SmackDown women’s title, only for Charlotte Flair to walk right back through the door and take it all away from her. Listen to that audience react every time Becky fires up and beats the crap out of Charlotte. This feud is the best thing going in WWE today, and it needs to be decided inside the cell.

An argument could also be made that the story behind the mixed tag team match of Bryan & Brie vs. Miz & Maryse warrants a Hell in a Cell match. But I remember the WrestleMania 33 mixed tag team match of Cena & Nikki vs. Miz & Maryse, and it’s probably not a good idea to throw Maryse into a cell match at this point.

Finally, there is the Raw feud of...oh nevermind, Raw’s stories just don’t measure up to SmackDown right now.

Does four Hell in a Cell matches sound like a bit much? Sure. But this PPV is probably going to be four hours long. One cell match per hour sounds reasonable to me, and I think they can pull it off without taking anything away from each other. Every single one of these four feuds is extremely personal, particularly if you recall the history between Reigns and Strowman from 2017 where they basically tried to murder each other.

My best guess is that the cell gimmick will be added to Styles versus Joe but not Lynch versus Flair. How do you see this playing out, Cagesiders?

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