Following SummerSlam 2018, WWE will be setting its sights on the next pay-per-view: Hell in a Cell 2018, scheduled for September 16, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be seeing the build to set up the matches which will make up the card for the show, and tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw kicked things off with the first indication of what we might get for that event.
What is the current state of the feuds on the red brand and what directions could these storylines end up for Hell in a Cell 2018? That’s up to us to speculate about, so feel free to join me in this extended projections breakdown for the Raw programs heading into Hell in a Cell 2018.
Let’s take a look at what we’re working with here with what we know, what we think we know, and what we’re just flat out going to guess at.
The Interconnected Web of the Universal Championship Feuds
Lots of people are caught up in the same tornado, revolving around each other, so let’s dissect this one part at a time.
Heading into SummerSlam, Bobby Lashley and Elias were paired up in various segments that were pretty awful. It didn’t lead to a match on the card, nor did Lashley interrupt Elias’s musical performance.
That feud appears to be over and done with, as Elias wrestled Curt Hawkins and had no interaction with Lashley whatsoever. Whether Elias and Hawkins continue together remains to be seen.
Instead, Lashley was booked against and defeated Constable Baron Corbin, who had started off the night complaining about Finn Balor, who, in turn, was thrust into a title shot against Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship.
Later on in the night, Kurt Angle was forced to take a “vacation” while Corbin was promoted by Stephanie McMahon to be the new acting general manager for Raw—a move that will surely lead to major consequences going forward.
Balor was unsuccessful in his bid to win the title, leading to Braun Strowman attempting to cash in the Money in the Bank contract. However, he was interrupted by a triple-team from The Shield, who put a stop to that before it could happen.
Conspicuous by his absence was Kevin Owens, who didn’t appear on Raw at all, which may mean that his feud against Strowman is over, but could also just mean they had nothing for him to do on this particular night.
Also absent was Brock Lesnar, although Paul Heyman did make an appearance to request The Beast’s obligatory rematch for Hell in a Cell, which Angle denied.
What the sum of all this means is still up in the air. Obviously, Strowman and Reigns are being put together in some fashion here and there, just by the sheer logic of one being the champion and the other holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. That might come into play with a match between the two at Hell in a Cell, or we might see Corbin or Owens somehow ruin those plans, or Lashley or Balor might be keeping Corbin too busy to do something like that
Maybe we see some kind of multi-man match between Reigns, Strowman, Owens, Corbin, Lashley and Balor. I doubt it, as it would make more sense to me to have a Triple Threat between Reigns, Strowman and Lesnar, but at this point, only WWE knows where they’ll go and they’ve purposely made it convoluted enough to keep us in the dark.
Intercontinental Championship Match
Dolph Ziggler lost to Dean Ambrose, but he’s entitled to a rematch for the Intercontinental Championship just because he was the champion going into SummerSlam.
The easy thing to do is for WWE to just schedule Rollins vs. Ziggler at Hell in a Cell again.
In the meantime, there are only three weeks left before that event, which allows WWE to be lazy and go with some pairings between those 4 like McIntyre vs. Rollins next week, McIntyre vs. Ambrose the week after, and McIntyre and Ziggler vs. Rollins and Ambrose on the go-home show. Simple and done.
That is, of course, unless they want to incorporate Strowman into the mix with some sort of vengeance for Ambrose and Rollins screwing him out of the title match, but I’m not anticipating that.
Raw Women’s Championship Match
All of the women on the Monday Night Raw roster were ringside for a special “ceremony” in honor of Ronda Rousey, hosted by Stephanie McMahon, who took the opportunity to pat herself on the back and try to take credit for Rousey’s success.
For some reason, again, the narrative of this segment became “this is about all of the women” even though it had nothing to do with anybody but Rousey herself and wasn’t some kind of announcement like the Evolution pay-per-view or something along those lines, but that’s WWE’s mentality at the moment: everything every woman does is something that all of them should celebrate even if it goes against kayfabe. This means nothing in the sense of saying Rousey will be fighting all of the women on the roster or anything like that.
Rather, Alexa Bliss was still kept in the limelight to a certain extent with Stephanie pointing out her arm being in a sling and then having their backstage segment together.
Obviously, there’s the automatic rematch clause in play, which would seem to point to Rousey defending the title against Bliss at Hell in a Cell more than anything else.
Get ready for the commentary team to really try to hype up that this is going to be Rousey’s first-ever title defense!!!!!! because realistically, the rematch doesn’t have the same pizazz as the original title win, but they need to latch onto something as a promotional tool instead of just saying the honest truth of “it’s easy to do a rematch, tune in to the Super Show-Down for the next real step.”
Raw Tag Team Championship Match
The Revival lost a Triple Threat match to The B-Team on the Raw leading up to SummerSlam, then lost the pre-show match against The B-Team at that event itself, but because they won two singles matches against Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel on this week’s Raw, it seems like the most logical conclusion is that this feud isn’t over yet.
The Authors of Pain seem to have put away Titus Worldwide, though, possibly for good, and there’s a chance we might see more of a push for them to get a title shot at Hell in a Cell while the issue between The B-Team and The Revival plays out primarily on Raw itself.
The Riott Squad / Sasha Banks, Bayley and Ember Moon
These six women are still being paired up, but I don’t think their feud will have any influence on Hell in a Cell’s card whatsoever.