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WWE Hell in a Cell 2018 predictions

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WWE returns to pay-per-view (PPV) -- if your cable provider is carrying the event, of course -- tomorrow night (Sun., Sept. 16, 2018) live from the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas with its Hell in a Cell event starting at 6:00 p.m. ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network.

Set for the card: Braun Strowman cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal championship, Alexa Bliss gets her rematch for the Raw women’s title, and much more!

Luckily for you Cagesiders, our staff of learned wrestling blowhards is here to help figure out just how the event is going to play out with predictions for each match on the card.

Let’s get to it.

Hell in a Cell predictions

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Geno Mrosko: There’s just no chance they actually go through with this. For me, the only real curiosity here is whether or not Braun’s stated reason for waiting for a Hell in a Cell match will be ignored by the two either escaping the cage or Drew McIntyre, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose somehow getting into it. Pick: Roman Reigns

Sean Rueter: Very short Bálor reign, long Owens reign. Short Goldberg reign, looong Lesnar one. I think the pattern breaks with several short reigns in a row, but it starts with a short Reigns reign. Pick: Braun Strowman

Kyle Decker: I’m going to say that they don’t take the belt off Roman right after “coronating” him at SummerSlam when he finally slayed the Beast. It’s tough for Braun given he just turned heel and his introduction to that will be a title loss to Roman. But I think that’s how they go. Maybe they overbook it with the Dogs of War and Shield to protect Strowman a bit. Pick: Roman Reigns

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Okay, so Roman climbed the mountain at SummerSlam, great, I love it! Finally! But... they love making Roman chase the title for some unholy reason, and I really don’t see Braun joining the likes of Damien Sandow and Baron Corbin in the failed cash-in lane. Plus, honestly, I’m just kinda sick of long title reigns for now. Let’s get some movement around here! Pick: Braun Strowman

Cain A. Knight: I could see a scenario where Roman wins but then Corbin comes out and announces that wasn’t actually the cash-in match, and then somehow screws Roman out of the title with another match against Braun. Even if that doesn’t happen, they’ve established that Stephanie McMahon wants Strowman to win, and Stephanie also chose Foley as the ref. That’s a bit suspicious, and makes it seem like Roman Reigns is probably in for a screw job of some kind. After Brock Lesnar sat on the title for 500 days, I could see Roman and Strowman playing hot potato for the rest of the year. Pick: Braun Strowman

Stella Cheeks: This is the worst excuse for a Money in the Bank cash in. Don’t get me wrong, I think this will be a really fun match. Carnage in wrestling is always fun, but Braun was a lackluster briefcase holder. But frankly, I’m tired of being mad at things. I genuinely want Roman to win. Pick: Roman Reigns

AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe

Geno Mrosko: I can find reasons to take the title off Styles but they aren’t compelling enough to actually go ahead with it and take the title off him. I’d much rather they go with a longer run to give it more meaning when the change comes. We’re not quite there yet. Pick: AJ Styles

Sean Rueter: Definitely don’t see a title change coming - not in San Antonio, and maybe not at any point in the feud. But we just got Joe winning by DQ, so the champ picking up a win without a clean pinfall or submission would keep things rolling until the eventual “I Quit” match, or whatever they decide to use to blow this off down the road. Pick: AJ Styles

Kyle Decker: They could do a hotshot here and then have them change it again in Australia. But I’m guessing they go with the very long title reign for Styles for now. They didn’t do any hotshots with Nakamura. I doubt they do with Joe. Pick: AJ Styles

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I still get goosebumps just off the fact that this is a WWE Championship match here in the year of our lord 2018. But really, this is heated enough that it should be in the Cell. And since it’s not in the Cell... something is rotten in the state of Denmark, friends. I would not be surprised by a no-contest here, honestly, followed by an upgrade for the Australia match to some kind of “there must be a winner” type stipulation. We’ll see. For now, I’m playing the odds and going with the Samoan Submission Machine just because I feel like if there’s a DQ or a countout, it’ll be in his favor. Pick: Samoa Joe

Cain A. Knight: In order for this story to really hit its stride, Wendy needs to get involved in a major way. That could be in the form of betraying AJ, or it could be in the form of attacking Joe. But I don’t think WWE will choose either of those routes. Instead this sort of feels like the Nakamura feud where WWE just wants to prolong it as much as possible without a title switch. That this match is not taking place inside the cell could mean we are in for another screwy ending. Ultimately I think Vince will choose Randy Orton as the heel to dethrone Styles, not Joe. Pick: AJ Styles

Stella Cheeks: AJ has been a great champ. Being a compelling babyface champ is a hard task and AJ has killed it. His reign has never felt stale but it’s been real loooong. It’s time for some new blood in the title picture and who better than Joe? He’s the perfect foil for AJ. Pick: Samoa Joe

Ronda Rousey vs. Alexa Bliss

Geno Mrosko: You know what? If there’s one person you might consider WWE going against its clear mandate to push Rousey as hard as possible as an unstoppable killer, wouldn’t it be Bliss? Her booking is rivaled only by Roman Reigns, at least as far as sustained push to the top, and actually could be argued to be even worse because she’s been champion for so long/so many times. Let’s get crazy. Pick: Alexa Bliss

Sean Rueter: It seems like every time I want to BWAH-HA-HA about a pick like this, WWE swerves me. But... BWAH-HA-HA... Pick: Ronda Rousey

Kyle Decker: The only question is how they book this match given they already did the squash at SummerSlam. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Please just let Alexa stay away from the title for one calendar year. I love her, she’s great, especially when she wrestles like she’s eight foot tall, doing Nodowa Otoshis and giant steps and whatnot, but I am good on title reigns for a good long while. Let Ronda move onward and upward. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Cain A. Knight: Rousey’s ribs are hurting, so maybe it will take her one or two extra minutes to beat Alexa this time. Pick: Ronda Rousey

Stella Cheeks: (Insert eye roll) Pick: Ronda Rousey

Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch

Geno Mrosko: It’s the first of what should be a long series, so there’s reason to expect we’ll get some kind of screwy finish. I can’t imagine Becky wins clean here, or even that she wins dirty. This feels ripe for a non-finish of some sort. Pick: No contest

Sean Rueter: A change absolutely could happen here. A change quite probably should happen here. But I won’t let myself believe it until I see it. Plus, I kind of want Becky’s anger to get the better of her and allow her to get caught via something like a roll-up so she snaps and beats up Flair, a referee, Byron Saxton, Shane McMahon and anyone else who makes the mistake of telling her to calm down. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Kyle Decker: For some reason, when I think of this match, I think it’s inside the Cell. Probably because it should be. The fact it’s not makes me wonder if we get some type of non finish to extend this feud without having one of these women take the loss. What I don’t think will happen is Becky winning the title. Even though she’s doing some of her best character work right now, I find it tough to bet against Charlotte when she’s champ, whether it’s the right move or not. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: Maybe I’m picking with my mark hat on, maybe I’m overthinking things, but just from the way they seem to have been willing to steer away from hard heel/face roles and into shades of grey, I can’t help but disregard the old rule that Charlotte Flair doesn’t lose on pay-per-view. Call it a hunch. Pick: Becky Lynch

Cain A. Knight: Becky is a tremendous heel and should absolutely win the title to keep that momentum going. But this is their first match, it’s not inside the cell, and they have a rematch coming up at Super Show-Down. Add it all up and there’s a pretty good chance for a disqualification ending. Pick: Charlotte Flair

Stella Cheeks: I don’t care if Becky’s a heel, I don’t care if Becky’s a face, as long as Becky is the champ. Calling this now as match of the night. Pick: Becky Lynch

Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler vs. Dean Ambrose & Seth Rollins

Geno Mrosko: If we’re not close to the inevitable McIntyre-Ziggler split, they should probably be keeping the titles. It seems like we’re not, so they will. Pick: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler

Sean Rueter: The Dogs should win by dubious means, giving The Shield a reason to be looking for justice. Pick: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler

Kyle Decker: Since Rollins is still IC champion, I don’t think they put the tag straps on him as well. Drew & Dolph can keep the titles until they eventually break up and Drew breaks out on his own. Really, I’m just waiting for that. Pick: Drew McIntyre & Dolph Ziggler

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Dogs of War and the Shield trade the tag titles back and forth a few times, but I don’t think it’s gonna happen at Hell in a Cell. Interference, a dirty win, and the tag titles will be held high along with the Universal at the end of the night. Pick: Dogs of War (Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre)

Cain A. Knight: McIntyre and Ziggler just won the belts, so they’ll probably retain the titles in their first PPV defense. Maybe all those lower card heels like Drew Gulak, Mike Kanellis, and Kevin Owens will get involved and provide a distraction. Pick: Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre

Stella Cheeks: Never going to bet against the love of my life. Drew McIntyre should have a belt at all times. Pick: Drew McIntyre (and Dolph, I guess)

Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse

Geno Mrosko: This doesn’t feel as, how should I put it, big as it should but it’s been a fun ride to get here. The fact that it’s a mixed tag means they won’t have to rely too much on Brie and Maryse, who can be used more strategically for heat while Bryan and Miz can do most of the heavy lifting for the match. As for a winner, I could see it going both ways. Going to assume they want to keep it going, so the heels go over via some trickery. Pick: Miz & Mrs.

Sean Rueter: The Survivor Series match pitting Bryan, Brie, Kathy and Johnny Ace against Miz, Maryse, Marjo and Georger is gonna rule. Whatever gets us there is okay by me. Pick: The Mizanins

Kyle Decker: Bryan lost the first one so I think his team gets the win here. They’ll probably do it where Brie pins or submits Maryse so Miz avoids the loss and can still lord that over Daniel Bryan’s head. A team Bella-Bryan win would set up their Show-Down match as a sort of a rubber match, though I’m assuming the feud goes on from there. Given the closing segment of SmackDown this week, I’m looking forward to this match. Pick: Daniel Bryan & Brie Bella

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: The American Dragon is very, very good at punching, as is Brie Bella, and it’s a lot harder for Maryse to pass Miz the brass knucks when she’s standing on the apron. This, like this entire feud has been, is gonna be Memphis-tastic and at least two solid hoots. Pick: Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan

Cain A. Knight: WWE is aggressively push the Bella twins right now, and this is a good way for Bryan to get a win in the feud without pinning Miz. It’s pretty interesting that Bryan has yet to have a great match on PPV since returning. This one is definitely better suited to be a short chaotic brawl rather than a superbly crafted masterpiece. Pick: Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan

Stella Cheeks: This feels like a match made for Stella. It’s what I’d like to call a win/win! I absolutely loved the chaotic, messy ending on SmackDown Live this week and hope that continues on Sunday. I think ultimately Brie pins Maryse so they can continue the feud with Bryan and Miz. Pick: Brie Bella & Daniel Bryan

Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton

Geno Mrosko: It’s not hard to imagine this was done because the story leading up to it hasn’t been all that captivating and putting Hardy in a Hell in a Cell match is enticing due to his history. That same history is what makes this difficult to get excited for. I don’t want to see anyone actually get hurt. Pick: Randy Orton

Sean Rueter: Not only am I not interested in this feud, I’m also not interested in the Orton/Styles WWE title program I think it leads to. Pick: Randy Orton

Kyle Decker: Ah, yes. The Cell match I keep forgetting about. And I’ll probably keep forgetting that this is a Cell match until it’s over. It’s not that it’s been a bad story or they haven’t shown us why it needs the Cell. It’s just not that exciting. Orton probably wins here since he’s a heel now and being brutal in the cage would keep him going. I wouldn’t be surprised if a heel Orton faces Styles for the title sooner than later. Fingers cross Jeff doesn’t do anything too stupid. Pick: Randy Orton

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: This is Schroedinger’s Hell in a Cell match, because from the outside it both feels totally worthy of the cell (Orton did try to RIP JEFF HARDY’S EAR OFF, after all) and yet somehow... not, and I suspect we won’t really know until after we open the proverbial box. So, it’s hard to pick, but I’m hoping for more crazy ear violence than anything, so I’ll give the Viper the nod. Pick: Randy Orton

Cain A. Knight: The way this one has been built up screams out a win on PPV for Randy Orton. Orton has promised to erase our heroes. He has to follow through on those words with his first potential victim, otherwise he can’t be taken seriously as a threat going forward. Jeff Hardy is going to do something insane like a Swanton Bomb off the cell, and just like Shane McMahon, it will lead to his downfall. Pick: Randy Orton

Stella Cheeks: I could not think of a more bland match-up to put in a Cell. I know Jeff deserves to be in the Cell — I mean he was made for it — but Orton is beyond boring to me. On a positive note, we’ll probably get to watch Jeff do something absolutely insane...wait, is that a even good thing?! Pick: Jeff Hardy

The New Day vs. Rusev Day

Geno Mrosko: It’s almost like they knew we would assume The Bar would be in this match because of the Super Show-Down card announcement so they went with Rusev Day for a swerve that doesn’t really matter because they aren’t winning the titles anyway and we already know this. That’s probably why they’re on the pre-show. Pick: New Day

Sean Rueter: Maybe Cesaro and Sheamus show up and wreck everybody after 10 - 15 hot minutes of everybody looking good, setting up two future feuds? I’m trying to stay positive. I definitely don’t see a title change. Pick: New Day

Kyle Decker: Sorry, Rusev Day. Cards are subject to change and all, but you’re not currently on the Super Show-Down advertisement. Pick: New Day

Rev. Claire Elizabeth: If I believed this one was going to play out as a straight face/face tag encounter as it should, I’d put even odds on Rusev Day, but like they always have since the crowd got behind them, they’ll play heels against New Day, slip on the banana peel, and... Pick: New Day

Cain A. Knight: Both teams are awesome, and I’d love to finally see a tag title reign for Rusev Day. But Rusev hasn’t won on pay-per-view since 2016. Pick: New Day

Stella Cheeks: I am a huge New Day fan. Like, I used to get into Internet fights with people back when they were generic preachers (or whatever). Not trying to be the cool kid (I am) — just saying that it takes a lot for me to root against the New Day. But...I want Rusev Day to win this with all of my heart. Aiden English deserves all the respect in the world. How fitting would it be if they won the titles on Rusev Day? I, for one, would be elated. Pick: Rusev Day

That’s how we see the card playing out.

How about you?