Hell in a Cell is one of WWE's most prolific matches.
In the past, it has been used as a capstone to end bitter rivalries.
But, in recent years, it's become a standalone pay-per-view, an annual tradition. This year, the cell won't be used to settle a long-standing score, but rather to test an up-and-coming star against the WWE Champion clamoring for respect and a modern-day record title reign.
Five of the six championships in WWE are scheduled to be defended, adding another layer of intrigue to Sunday's show, as it's rare that almost all the titles are defended on one pay-per-view.
Ring Posts' Adam Testa and Arda Ocal share their predictions for Sunday's Hell in a Cell.
Eve (c) vs. Layla vs. Kaitlyn
Arda: I am enjoying Eve as the conniving co-worker that steals ideas and makes them her own. You can relate to that; everyone has an "Eve" in their office, and they annoy everyone. It's a natural heat magnet. For this reason, Eve brings a certain level of interest to the divas division, and I'd like her to keep the Divas championship, perhaps engaging in a rivalry next against a returning AJ Lee. The "female Spike Dudley," as she likes to call herself, versus the MMA-trained Eve would make for a compelling story.
Adam: This is going to be my first risky pick of this PPV. Much hoopla has been made about who ordered the attack on Kaitlyn at Night of Champions. It's been alleged Aksana did the attacking, which she didn't deny, but the question remains of who hired her to do so. The obvious route is Eve, but I think WWE is going for something different here. My guess is that it was Layla herself who sent the mysterious email (at least she didn't text Kevin Nash) and had Kaitlyn taken out. A Layla heel turn would freshen things up, and while she fights Kaitlyn for the title, Eve and AJ could still have a rivalry based off their management run-ins, so Arda would still get his wish, too.
Kofi Kingston (c) vs. The Miz
Arda: Kofi Kingston really has an opportunity to shine bright as a singles competitor here. With The Miz locking in future movie roles, being featured in childrens books and other major media opportunities, he is ready to climb back into the main title picture. Kofi can anchor the Intercontinental title division with strong villain opponents. But I'm starting to sound like a broken record. Kofi wins here, and once again, I have my fingers crossed for steady, strong competition to keep my interest in this championship alive, as opposed to a title change simply to entice a new Ion TV WWE Main Event audience.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston
Adam: There's no need to play hot potato with the Intercontinental Championship. WWE has recently provided some great stability to the WWE and World Heavyweight championships, and it would be nice to see that trickle down. Like Arda said, Kingston is more than ready and capable to have a strong run with the belt. This is his fourth time holding the title, and hopefully it will be the one that catapults him to the next level. As for The Miz, he needs to be moving back up the card, as he's one of the most solid hands WWE has when preparing for the future.
Prediction: Kofi Kingston
Randy Orton vs. Alberto Del Rio
Arda: I have enjoyed Alberto Del Rio's fire lately in trying to gain interest in this match. I wonder about Randy Orton and whether he would be better suited as a villain. He seems to conduct his best work in that mode. I think a loss for Orton doesn't necessarily hurt his image, but Del Rio has been beaten down a lot lately, so a win would benefit him. Give me ADR by extracurricular antics.
Prediction: Alberto Del Rio
Adam: To some, this is the most polarizing match on this show (and for an event that also has Big Show and Ryback in world title matches, that says a lot). Orton and Del Rio, especially the former, are two of the Internet wrestling community's favorite targets, and putting them together is surely going to get some people fired up. I personally think both tend to be overlooked for the little things they specialize in, and they've done a good job building to this match. In the end, though, I've learned that you never bet against Orton.
Prediction: Randy Orton
Tag Team Championship
Team Hell No (c) vs. Rhodes Scholars
Arda: Kane and Daniel Bryan are entertaining, and I am glad they are champions. For the first time in a long time, a tag team is helping elevate the championships, as opposed to the championships elevating a tag team. Now, Kane and Daniel Bryan have the opportunity to really make a tag team, like Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow. I see Matt Striker having a hand in the festivities, perhaps being revealed as the manager for the scholarly duo (since he himself is a former teacher, after all). Give me Rhodes Scholars as new tag team champs.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars
Adam: A victory for Rhodes Scholars would make the number-one contendership tournament more meaningful. It's also the right call. Kane and Bryan have been tremendous in their roles, but it's time for something to change. I'd love to see new champs crowned, leading to Kane and Bryan refocusing and beginning to work together to regain the titles. It seems obvious that Kane and Bryan would split, but I think it would be more compelling to see them put personal pride aside and learned to be a team. That might be too in-depth for WWE's standard fare, though.
Prediction: Rhodes Scholars
World Heavyweight Championship
Sheamus (c) vs. Big Show
Arda: Dolph Ziggler is in the mix in this match by virtue of holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. I think, more than ever, mostly because so many people want him to win the gold, it is assumed that when he cashes in, he will win the World Heavyweight championship. Wouldn't it be interesting if Sheamus won the match, Dolph cashed in but somehow lost? We all know eventually Dolph will be champion anyway, whether its because of the MITB briefcase or not. Give me Sheamus retaining. But if Show wins the gold, he loses it somehow in less than 45 seconds.
Adam: The whole story of the build to this match has been whether Sheamus is even capable of hitting the Brogue Kick on a giant like Big Show. Logically, that would mean the match ends with Sheamus hitting the move and beating Big Show with it. I don't see Ziggler cashing in, simply because he's been saying he will. I think he'll try and get close again, but not actually cash it in. Sheamus' reign will continue.
Hell in a Cell
CM Punk (c) vs. Ryback
Arda: A lot of people are predicting Brock Lesnar interferes in this match, costing Ryback the victory. I like the idea of interference, but not Brock Lesnar. I like the idea of someone new joining Paul Heyman's fold -- whether it's a guy like Seth Rollins or Colt Cabana or someone tied to CM Punk in some way -- and showing they are also a "Paul Heyman guy." I do believe Brock Lesnar will one day interfere in a CM Punk title match, but I see that day coming at the Royal Rumble, costing The Rock the title against Punk and setting up Rock vs. Brock at WrestleMania. In the meantime, Ryback looks strong, having beaten up CM Punk every which way in the cell, but loses cheaply due to interference. Ryback then has a palpable rivalry with the man who cost him the gold. I still look for CM Punk to hold the championship until WrestleMania, where he will have held it for 505 days.
Prediction: CM Punk
Adam: WWE has seemingly backed itself into a corner with this match. It's unconceivable they would want to end Punk's major run or Ryback's undefeated streak. There have been a number of theories thrown out there, from interference to a time-limit draw. I don't know which route WWE will go, but I don't see this having a clean ending, and I see Punk walking out with the gold still around his waist -- or at least in Paul Heyman's arms.
Prediction: CM PunkCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun