Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on WWE Hell in a Cell 2019.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, Richard Staple, Robert DeFelice and Ethan Absler.
* Note: These questions were sent out Tuesday evening when there were only 3 matches on the card. Some answers may reflect a different event lineup. *
1) “WWE has clearly spent more time focused on promoting Raw, Total Divas, NXT and SmackDown this week than Hell in a Cell. Has their gamble of hoping a 3-match card is a good enough sell bothered you or made no difference to your perception of this pay-per-view?”
MANGO: It’s annoying the living hell out of me. I don’t like it at all that they’re waiting so late into this weekend to announce the majority of the card. I think that shows a lack of organizational structure that has to be fixed within WWE that has been exemplified in a lot of ways over the past few years. For instance, they know ahead of time what they’re going to do, yet they still sometimes take hours to put matches on WWE.com even though they should have had those graphics well in advance. There’s no reason why they couldn’t have announced Tuesday or Wednesday that Rusev is facing Bobby Lashley, for instance. It could have happened on social media. Yet here we are, Wednesday night while I’m answering this, and we still have not one more match announced. If they wait until post-205 Live just to announce things like that, why didn’t they just say it days beforehand?? You couldn’t announce it on The Bump? Twitter? Facebook? Dot com? YouTube? After Raw, or on Tuesday, or on Wednesday? Ridiculous.
STAPLE: WWE can be ridiculous at times, but I don’t think they are seriously going to have only three matches. With the way RAW turned out, I’m suspecting Bobby Lashley vs. Rusev might be added, and I’m predicting Rey Mysterio will cost Brock Lesnar the WWE Championship. Even so, it’s still a short card, and I believe WWE has booked themselves into a corner on this one.
DEFELICE: My view of pay-per-view has been very skewed ever since the advent of the network. Sometimes with shows like this, it is very clear that they feel a lack of an obligation to deliver a quality product because there’s just so much content that they think it all balances out. That being said, I think this show will be fun for what it has been built to be. The three matches have a lot of character to them and some history as well.
ABSLER: WWE has a lot going on right now between Smackdown’s Fox premiere, Hell in a Cell, AEW, and more. Although WWE hasn’t done much promoting for Hell in a Cell, The Fiend vs Rollins alone has been enough to sell me. I know this isn’t the case for everybody, but I still have faith that Hell in a Cell will be a solid show and the lack of build hasn’t done too much to effect my opinions.
2) “If Kofi Kingston retains the WWE Championship on SmackDown, who should he face at Hell in a Cell? If Brock Lesnar wins the title, should there be a rematch between the two, a new challenger or should Lesnar take the event off?”
MANGO: In the astronomically impossible scenario Kingston keeps the title, the only person he could realistically face would be Randy Orton if they wanted to announce something in advance. Otherwise, he would have to fight someone totally random, and I feel like much of this card is going to feel like a last minute open-challenge rush job sort of thing, so they shouldn’t do that with every match. When Lesnar wins the title, I don’t think they’ll bother. I fully expect them to not pay Lesnar to wrestle again two nights afterward at Hell in a Cell. Instead, they’ll just put pointless filler on the card and maybe Kingston will get a rematch at Crown Jewel. He should defend the title, but WWE also should have had plenty of other matches advertised in advance for this to where we shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not that is the case.
STAPLE: If Kofi retains, then I don’t thunk there will be enough time to build up a serious challenger for his title in time for Sunday. If Lesnar wins the title, I don’t even think they will have a WWE Championship match at Hell In a Cell. That’s two title matches within three days for Brock. Based on his history, that’s asking too much.
DEFELICE: I’ll keep this one short and sweet. Brock Lesnar will win and I think there will be a rematch at the Pay-Per-View.
ABSLER: Regardless of who wins the match, I don’t think Kofi or especially Lesnar should be wrestling Sunday. One could make the argument that Kofi should wrestle at Hell in a Cell, and I wouldn’t mind seeing Mysterio challenge for the title as his Universal championship match was cancelled after the vicious attack at the hands of Brock Lesnar. Regardless, Lesnar shouldn’t wrestle two matches this close together and must be more built up and spread out by the WWE. If Lesnar wins, I would like to see a rematch between the two maybe in a month or so.
3) “Since WWE doesn’t want to fill out this card, the ball is in your court. Go for it! What other matches should be on this lineup?”
MANGO: I’m not working with much, but here we go: Bayley against Charlotte Flair is a given. Rusev against Bobby Lashley makes sense. Chad Gable against Elias, if he’s healthy. If not, they announce Gable for Team Hogan and he faces Randy Orton and loses the match due to outside interference from King Corbin with a tease that Gable will get a tag team partner the next night on Raw who will also be on Team Hogan. I would have said Finn Balor against Shinsuke Nakamura, but that’s out the window with NXT now, so instead, I’ll have Nakamura defend the Intercontinental Championship in an open challenge that is answered by Kevin Owens (who wins by disqualification due to Sami Zayn interfering). The Usos should come back on SmackDown and start a feud with The Revival, so the tag titles could be on the line. And the kickoff could be, I don’t know, let’s just waste another repeat six-man tag between The O.C. vs. The Viking Raiders and Cedric Alexander or something because there’s no room to do something with any build other than that.