Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Hell in a Cell 2018 coming this Sunday night.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Universal Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman = Lukewarm
This should be a blistering Hot, as it’s clearly WWE’s biggest priority at the moment…but it isn’t, for me, as I’m completely against this Braun Strowman heel turn.
I’ll give credit where it’s due in pointing out that the fans have cheered Reigns more than I thought they would, and it seems like WWE at least has more ammo to their “we know what you want more than you do” argument, but it isn’t working the same for me.
Instead, I’m just kind of annoyed that Strowman isn’t as fun for me as he used to be as a babyface, and I don’t like Reigns any more than I did before (as I’ve liked him from the start, but this doesn’t change the misdirection in his character, in my mind) and most of the Lukewarm for me is wondering how Mick Foley will work into the mix.
I don’t think Strowman will win. I don’t really even want him to necessarily win if he’s a heel going forward, but at least that would be better than the alternative I’m assuming will happen, which is that we’ll see a lot of chaos and Reigns will retain and just keep this story going into the Super Show-Down event, and afterward, Strowman will be in a feud with someone like Balor or Lashley. The end of this match will basically hinder what I think will be an otherwise potentially fun segment, and I just can’t get super into it because of what surrounds it.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe = Hot
I’m going into this event with the assumption that Samoa Joe is going to win the title, which may be entirely foolish of me, but I’m still holding onto that hope, as I feel like he needs it.
If that doesn’t happen, I’m sure my outlook on this will be much more negative than what I’ve got myself hyped up for, but Heat Index is all about excitement and anticipation, not retrospective reviews.
Styles and Joe can definitely have one of the better matches of the evening, and I’m a bit peeved that this isn’t a Hell in a Cell match, as I think that could have been good for them, but there’s also a chance they don’t need it.
In any fashion, I’m excited to see these two work each other again, and for the possible title change.
Mixed Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella vs. The Miz and Maryse = Lukewarm
When it comes to the Daniel Bryan and Miz part of this, I’m totally in.
When it comes to the booking of a mixed tag team match, I’m 100% sold, too. It’s the most logical way to progress this feud, and it’s just smart writing.
After seeing Brie Bella in the ring on Raw, though…ouch. She just killed my anticipation for this being a fully good match, as I have to assume anything she and Maryse do will be more in line with the 2006 Divas era of women’s wrestling, rather than anything worth really getting invested in.
I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t think I will be, and I imagine that by the end of this match, we’ll be kind of saying a collective “eehhh…well…” in an attempt not to be too mean.
Raw Women’s Championship Match: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Alexa Bliss = Lukewarm
Credit where it’s due, Ronda Rousey has impressed me in the ring far more than I ever was willing to bet, beforehand.
By now, I know that she’ll put on the best performance she can, and her match against Alexa Bliss will probably be a pretty solid part of the card, even if it’ll be somewhat of a “meh” segment that doesn’t last too long in my consciousness.
What’s working against these two talented women who I’m a fan of (particularly Bliss) is that this is just a rematch. Rousey already won the title, and Bliss isn’t going to win it back, so it’s just a matter of stretching things out and trying to squeeze a little bit more out of something that was more interesting the first time around, rather than bringing any new elements into the fold to make me more excited than I was at SummerSlam.
Hell in a Cell Match: Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton = Hot / Lukewarm
This would be a full Hot if Jeff Hardy wasn’t going into this injured, if this was 2007, if the United States Championship wasn’t a random thing in the background of this feud, but was actually on the line, and if this feud didn’t already have a segment where Randy Orton didn’t attack Hardy.
Basically, I like these two guys, and I’m excited to see what stunt Hardy does to get him written off television, but I have a feeling this is going to get lost in the shuffle, for sure.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler (c) vs. Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins = Cold
Wow, a Cold? Really, Mango? Yeah, I know, but I’m just not feeling it as much as I’m supposed to, and that kind of makes me go in the opposite direction entirely.
I don’t think we’ll see new titles crowned, and if we do, I think it’ll be a mistake, so it’s kind of a lose/lose situation. Rather, this feels to me like WWE didn’t think ahead too far in the future, and it’s a shame this match is happening to further this feud and the Intercontinental Championship is just being pushed aside.