Following the go-home edition of SmackDown Live, we can now look at the list of WWE superstars from the blue brand who will be missing from the 2018 Hell in a Cell show—at least, as far as what is currently being advertised.
There is always a chance more people are added to the mix or there is some kind of change to the card later this week or even at the last minute, but for now, this post will fill you in on the men and women who are either guaranteed to be left off the show or are at least in danger of that happening.
Some of these omissions make perfect sense and others are a bit more questionable, so let’s take a look at the list and see where these wrestlers fall as we breakdown the SmackDown Live talent missing from the pay-per-view lineup right now.
From the SmackDown Men’s Singles Division
— Andrade “Cien” Almas: Almas has been getting quite a bit of screentime lately by involving himself in the feud between The Miz and Daniel Bryan. However, that’s a supplemental role, rather than a starring position. That leads to SmackDown matches, but not pay-per-views, because it means he’s not involved in a true feud.
— R-Truth: Speaking of Almas, he faced R-Truth on this week’s SmackDown. R-Truth has been also getting more television time recently, which is a good thing, but he’s a comedic side character who is also involved in the Bryan/Miz feud, as well as setting up his partnership with Carmella. By now, the Hell in a Cell card is filled up enough that a match between Almas and R-Truth would be kind of pointless, rather than a necessity.
— Shelton Benjamin: To be perfectly honest, I can’t even remember the last time Shelton Benjamin was on SmackDown. Can you? That’s a shame. He deserves better than that, and if they can’t figure out something to do with him, they should have him work the NXT events so he can help the younger talent.
— Shinsuke Nakamura: Wow…if you thought Nakamura was an afterthought leading into SummerSlam, look at how he’s been used leading up to Hell in a Cell. Has he done anything at all, outside of this week’s match against Jeff Hardy? He has no feud going on. That’s a shame, as it means the United States Championship would have been better off going to someone like Almas.
— Sin Cara: Sin Cara underwent knee surgery in August, so he’ll be out of action for however long it takes for that situation to heal up.
— Tye Dillinger: For a while now, Dillinger has mostly been R-Truth’s buddy in backstage segments. That isn’t going to get him a spot on a pay-per-view, sadly, as R-Truth becomes the more prominent person in that kind of a partnership. The Perfect 10 deserves better, in my book, but I’m not surprised to see him sitting this out, based on what the past bunch of events have been like.
From the SmackDown Women’s Division
— Asuka / Naomi / The IIconics: These four will battle it out at Super Show-Down, and since that event is happening so close to Hell in a Cell, it would be pointless to involve them in a match at this event just to repeat it right after (even though WWE is already doing that with so many other matches).
— Carmella: The Princess of Staten Island’s next focus is going to be her Mixed Match Challenge partnership with R-Truth, as she’s now out of the title hunt after losing her rematch against Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch is the focal point, not Carmella anymore.
— Mandy Rose / Sonya Deville: Sometimes, people just don’t seem to be a priority for the writers. Rose and Deville have been on the sidelines for quite some time, actually, and it’s kind of surprising how little they’ve been used for the past few months.
— Tamina: Tamina Snuka is still out with her injury from earlier this year, and even if she were able to return, it’s doubtful Creative would have anything for her to do.
— Zelina Vega: Since there isn’t anything going on with Almas right now on the card, it makes sense why Vega is absent, too. It’s as simple as that.
From the SmackDown Tag Team Division
— The Colons / The Good Brothers: Both Primo and Epico, as well as Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows, lost their Triple Threat match against The Bar in their quest to earn a SmackDown tag title shot. At least that’s more than these two teams tend to do on a regular basis, though. In particular, The Colons have been out of action for so long that they basically weren’t even on the roster anymore, so that’s still a step up.
— SAnitY / The Usos: SAnitY and The Usos had their chance to make their way onto the card to fight for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship, but they lost their shot to Rusev Day. That explains their absence perfectly.
— The Bar: Sheamus and Cesaro had a solid chance at getting a title shot, but lost to Rusev Day this week on SmackDown.
— The Bludgeon Brothers: Rowan is currently out with an injury, so Harper has been on the sidelines just the same. It’s unknown at the moment when Rowan will be ready to go again or if WWE will decide to utilize Harper in some other fashion in the meantime.
Do you think these men and women or any others not on this list should have been booked on the card in some fashion? How would you have utilized them if given the opportunity? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!