WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 airs this Sunday, October 30, live on WWE Network. The Raw exclusive pay-per-view event features three matches inside the Hell in a Cell, including a Raw Women’s Championship match in the cell for the first time ever. The show also features matches for the Universal, Tag Team, United States and Cruiserweight Championships. And a Dana Brooke match!
Here’s your complete WWE Hell in a Cell card, as we know it:
WWE Hell in a Cell 2016 Card:
1. Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
2. Hell in a Cell Match for the United States Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rusev
3. Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins
4. Cruiserweight Championship Match; TJ Perkins (c) vs. Brian Kendrick
5. Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
6. Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Club
7. Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
– Kickoff Match: Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari
As always, we’re here with our full rundown of the card and our official staff predictions for the show. Be sure to drop down into our comments section and let us know what you think will happen at Hell in a Cell, and be back here on Sunday for our live open discussion thread and results.
Before we begin, here are Daniel Bryan’s thoughts on the show, in case you think we’re being pessimistic:
“Three Hell in a Cell matches. More is more? Is that the phrase? More is more? More is better? There’s more that’s better? Do you know what I think they should do, is they should make it four hours, maybe five hours. With six Hell in a Cell matches. Yeah, no, I- and, and the winner of all six Hell in a Cell matches gets to be champion of the galaxy! That’s what I want to happen.”
And now, our predictions.
Kickoff Match: Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara vs. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak and Ariya Daivari
What Should Happen: NXT has been stocking an entire Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic with teams of randomly-assembled Cruiserweight Classic guys, so why shouldn’t Raw pay-per-views be the same?
This could be a lot of fun if “a lot of fun” is the point. Instead of trying to build any drama whatsoever, WWE should pull these guys aside and say, “hey look, you know that shit you do? Get all your shit in. All of it.” The Hell in a Cell pre-show needs to be Cedric Alexander and Lince Dorado doing everything Pentagon Jr. and Fenix did in PWG. Nese needs to be cartwheeling three times for every one tumble. Daivari needs to be in comical heel mode and throw some sand in people’s eyes. Get Gulak throwing invisible grenades as a Chuck Taylor tribute or something. Let the referee hold Sin Cara’s hand so he doesn’t get hurt.
I’m talking full-on, crowd-burning-out nonsense for as long as they’ll let them before they cut to the pre-show panel. You’ve got Kendrick vs. TJP as the slow, story-based Cruiserweight Division match, right? Let’s see the opposite. Why do this like it’s a match between Smackdown tag teams?
Note: Me and Bill pretty much have the same predictions here.
What Will Happen: It’ll start slow, there’ll be some limp Face In Peril drama (probably with Cedric), everyone will do a bunch of dives to wake up the crowd, a few guys will exchange finishers and the heels will come out on top. If they have the faces win again, that cements Drew Gulak and Tony Nese as pretty much the worst tag team in the company.
Bill Hanstock: My dearest hope for this match is that all six men go balls to the wall and blow the arena’s mind with some dive train PWG-style craziness, helping to kickstart a new CWC version of the main-roster cruisers, rather than what we’ve seen. Since this is a match with the exact opposite of “stakes” or potential consequences, my guess is that the team with Cedric Alexander on it will win. Because he’s great and people like him.
Danielle Matheson: All the wrestlers in this match has a beard except for Sin Cara. He can’t even get that right. I mean, he doesn’t even have a face. Bruh. Everyone seems to be gunning for a fast-paced cruiserweight clusterfuck (also the summary of my ongoing fanfic series High-Spots and G-Spots), but I dunno. I think while they need to counterbalance the Kendrick-TJP match later in the show, the six-man needs to meet in the middle. Cedric Alexander is great, but he’s even better when he stays in control and doesn’t rush everything. Gulak is best when he can throw his fancy submissions against the fanciest lucha style, and I’d much rather see him use that part of his arsenal to slow it down a little and set the pace for the match. Or just be the wrestling version of Battle Seizure Robots, whatevs.
Bayley vs. Dana Brooke
What Should Happen: Dana Brooke’s had the edge for most of this feud. Two weeks ago, she pinned Bayley after what was supposed to be her feet on the ropes, but was just a bad lateral press and her kicking her little legs trying to reach them. This week, she orchestrated an evil heel arm wrestling contest and beat Bayley up again.
The only logical thing here is for Dana to get another unfair advantage at the beginning of the match — maybe a backstage attack, or jumping Bayley from behind before the bell — but eventually getting hit with all of Bayley’s signature moves in a row, then pinned. That’s it. That’s not even taking into consideration that one of these two women is Bayley, and the other one’s got the wrestling ability of a Dana Brooke.
What Will Happen: Unless there’s something seriously wrong with the brains of the people who put the show together (no, be quiet), Bayley will get a strong win here. Why would you do anything else? Dana can’t perform when she has to remember more than two things, and you seriously can’t run Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte on every show for the rest of history.
Bonus points if Nia Jax shows up and attacks them both.
Bill Hanstock: Since this is going to be the show whereafter Sasha Banks and Charlotte both move onto other things, I expect this to be the blowoff in the mini-feud betwixt these two wonderful (in completely opposite ways) women. Which means Bayley wins, because babyfaces always win feuds. Except on the WWE main rost– oh god no
Scott Heisel: I know a lot of folks hated the arm wrestling segment from Raw — the live crowd included — but I dunno, I kinda dug it. The “feats of strength” challenge is a trope that’s been used for decades with male wrestlers but very sparingly with their female counterparts, so even though the segment itself didn’t set the room on fire, it was nice to see women getting booed in the ring simply because it was so egalitarian. That’s what a women’s revolution should be all about, right? Anyway, Dana Brooke is from Cleveland and I’m a Cubs fan, so I am required by law to boo her until the conclusion of the World Series. Fly the W, Bayley.
Justin Donaldson: I’m going with Dana Brooke. It just seems like the way WWE would book this. They want to keep giving Dana momentum so they can put her against Charlotte, and sooner rather than later.
Danielle Matheson: If Dana Brooke doesn’t attack Bayley after camouflaging herself as one of her tube men (tassles, wavy arms, wooshy noises and all), then what even is the point. I guess Bayley wins in a strong showing, but seriously. Tube man Dana Brooke. Paint a picture with your mind, WWE. There’s still time to make it happen.
Enzo Amore and Big Cass vs. The Club
What Should Happen: The Club should walk out to no music and beat Enzo and Cass so bad you think you’re watching a Saw movie. That’s the only way to salvage the last several months of WWE calling The Club the “most dominant team in the tag team division” and having them lose every single match.
What Will Happen: The Club have looked like idiots for the past few weeks (read: every week after their debut), so I really want to pick them for the win. You can’t lose singles matches to Enzo and Cass just to lose a tag match to Enzo and Cass, can you? Enzo and Cass are bulletproof babyfaces made for losses, and if the Club loses here, they seriously need to sink their 401K into beefing up their Pro Wrestling Tees page and head to whatever’s left of TNA. Or like, learn how to wrestle in clown shoes.
Bill Hanstock: No one has ever needed a high-profile win more than Gallows and Anderson. So look for them to lose clean to the Badaboomshakalaka in under six minutes.
Scott Heisel: Either the Club gets the win or they get sent off to Smackdown. I’m fine with either scenario.
Justin Donaldson: The Club has needed a strong victory it seems like ever since they arrived. Enzo and Cass seems like a team that can give it to them. I’m going with The Club.
Danielle Matheson: The Club are supposed to be the most dominant tag team in WWE, but they just look like a couple of leather daddies who got lost on their way to Pride. Wait. Oh. Oh no. I think we’ve been misinterpreting the use of dominant this whole time. Boy, that’s embarrassing. If WWE wants to make them look like winners and not the stars of my latest work of fiction “The Club: You Can’t Steer It, But You CAN Steal My Heart,” Enzo and Big Cass lose. That said, Enzo and Big Cass is my pick because WWE has taught us that The Club are total losers who lose everything and we should hate losers who lose.
Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day (c) vs. Cesaro and Sheamus
What Should Happen: This should’ve happened without them giving away Cesaro and Sheamus pinning New Day for free on Raw in a non-title match six days before this championship pay-per-view match. Now I don’t know what to think.
Here’s where we are: Cesaro and Sheamus got put into a best-of-seven series to see who was the better man, even though Cesaro had just beaten Sheamus clean twice in a row. The winner of the series was supposed to get a title opportunity. So they wrestle six more times, and in the seventh they have a no contest. That means neither guy won. So Mick Foley put them in a tag team and gave them BOTH a title opportunity, for the Tag Team Championship. We got two weeks of jobber squashes and Cesaro and Sheamus bickering before going straight to the singles matches versus the champions. Then this damn week, they pin the tag champs.
So there are only two options now:
1. Cesaro and Sheamus pin the New Day and win the Tag Team Championship, which we’ve already seen them do, killing any of the good drama that could’ve been built in a “will they or won’t they work together for the greater good” story, or
2. They lose, they blame each other, and we’re seriously back to Cesaro vs. Sheamus again.
What Will Happen: I’m going to be blindly brave and pick Cesaro and Sheamus. Anything to avoid nine more goddamn matches between the same two guys. New Day needs something new and fun to do, anyway.
Bill Hanstock: I think the New Day is going to retain, even though Sheamus and Cesaro should truck them and then run roughshod over everyone for like a year as the War Machine of WWE. Bonus points if they both grow very long beards and start wearing utilikilts.
Scott Heisel: So every month since I’ve been asked to do these picks, I’ve picked New Day to drop the belts, and every month, they retain. Let’s try a different approach: I say New Day will retain! Hear that, WWE creative? I’m a big ol’ smark who knows exactly what you’re gonna do. Boy, I am 100 percent positive New Day is retaining. There’s no chance they’ll lose whatsoever. (Worst case scenario I’m right, best case scenario I’m wrong and something actually happens in the tag division.)
Justin Donaldson: It would be really weird after all this time for New Day to lose to a team that was thrown together and can’t function. I’m going with New Day to retain, because at this point it’s never a good idea to bet against them.
Danielle Matheson: Oh man, a real Sophie’s Choice but without all the Nazis and Emily Dickinson. I love The New Day so, so much, but I think now is a good time to have the belts go to Tango & Cash over here. It’ll pair nicely with my latest work “Danielle Pours Herself A Glass Of Wine And Watches Sheamus Document His Shoulder Workout On Snapchat.” …okay that one is actually a real thing. A real and GREAT thing.
Cruiserweight Championship Match; TJ Perkins (c) vs. Brian Kendrick
What Should Happen: We’ve seen Perkins successfully defend the championship against Kendrick, and we’ve seen the followup with Kendrick defeating Perkins in a non-title match to earn another shot. So now we’ve got the rubber match, following Monday’s weird happenstance of Kendrick losing a match to Rich Swann, getting down on himself and just straight-up asking Perkins to let him win the title.
I was going to pick Perkins to retain until that Swann match, and now I’m forced to accept that this is a Revival/DIY scenario where the title challengers lose right before a pay-per-view, become the new champs AT the pay-per-view, and then have to defend against whoever just beat them. So accepting that, Kendrick wins the Cruiserweight Championship here and begins a “career renaissance” that ends the next night on Monday. Then we’ve got Cruiserweight Champion Rich Swann, and the division finally gets some personality at the top.
What Will Happen: If I’m booking a finish based on the “let me win” Fingerpoke of Doom tease, here’s what I do. I have Kendrick and Perkins fight for a while, and when Perkins is about to win, Kendrick goes full desperate friend and begs him to reconsider. Perkins doesn’t let Kendrick win, but he CONSIDERS it, and Kendrick uses that moment of decent guy hesitation to like, low blow him and roll him up with a handful of tights. That way Perkins doesn’t look like a total fool, but Kendrick was able to manipulate him emotionally enough to take him off his game and capitalize on THAT.
And then Rich Swann still, just because.
Bill Hanstock: Boy, I really want Kendrick to win this, just so everyone will shut up and they hit the hard reset on the Cruiserweight division like Brandon suggested in this week’s Raw recap. Basically, I’m tired of all the feuds on this card and want them to end. If the Kendrick Perkins beef continues after Heck in a Box, I don’t even know.
Scott Heisel: It seems weird to take the belt off TJP so soon, but at the same point, there are no developed heels in the cruiser division at all. Flip the title to Kendrick and let him feud with Cedric and Swann (since those guys are at least getting some sort of crowd response) for a few months while TJP reboots. (Try blowing on the cartridge before putting it back in the system, I hear that helps.)
Justin Donaldson: Kendrick all the way. I don’t dislike TJ, but his reign will be forever synonymous with the bad start the Cruiserweight Division has had on Raw. We need to get the belt off of him to get a fresh start.
Danielle Matheson: “If Women Are Allowed To Hit Men, Why Am I Not Allowed To Hit TJP?” – a work of non-fiction by hopeful winner of this match Brian Kendrick.
Hell in a Cell Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Kevin Owens (c) vs. Seth Rollins
What Should Happen: Welcome to Hell in a Cell, where the Hell in a Cell match for the show’s top heavyweight championship is arguably the third most important part of a “triple main event!”
I’m not into Babyface Seth Rollins like I want to be — so far he’s just a skinnier, whiter, more nasally Roman Reigns — and I feel like Universal Champion Kevin Owens has gotten a bum deal being the third wheel in a feud between the top challenger and his best friend’s comedy clipboard. In a perfect world, Rollins and Owens would take exception to being such an afterthought and bust their ass to put on one of the best Hell in a Cell matches we’ve ever seen, whether it happens at the top of the card or in the middle, or what.
I’d also like to see Owens retain, because Owens vs. Jericho is the feud people seem like they want to see, so I’d keep the belt on Owens until the Rumble, change it over to Jericho and let Jericho formally end this leg of his career doing the best work of his life at the top of the damn card at WrestleMania. Which is main-evented by somebody else. Sorry, gotta be realistic.
What Will Happen: Jericho’s not on the card, so the smart money’s on him figuring out a way to interfere and either helping Owens keep the championship, COSTING Owens the championship, or causing some kind of “Dean Ambrose gets hypnotized by a ghost lantern” goober finish. If this doesn’t go on last, I’ll say he helps Owens retain, and then we build Owens/Jericho by having him not appreciate Jericho’s help and Making The List.
Or, if I’m truly being realistic, Triple H attacks Rollins with a Triple H statue and gives Owens the newly minted Triple H Championship for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Triple H.
Bill Hanstock: So far, Owens has been booked almost exactly like Rollins was during his WWE Championship run, only with less screen time, less microphone time and fewer Triples H. So I feel like he’s going to retain, but he’ll look anything but strong and dominant while doing so. Because why would you bother having a champion you can take seriously as a legitimate bully and badass when you can just have him use his friends and connections to help him keep his title for months on end without winning a match in any capacity? Owens retains due to Jericho and/or Triple H shenanigans, and we all sigh heavily.
Scott Heisel: I can’t believe I’ve gone from temporarily renaming my dog Kevin Owens in honor of his Universal Championship victory just two months ago to caring so little about this match. Is it because I’m not buying Rollins as a face after they wasted his goodwill from his initial return with a return to his old heel gimmick or because I expect so very little from Hell In A Cell matches these days? Owens wins, Rollins hopefully gets shuffled off into his feud with Triple H so we can run KO against someone — anyone — else for a month.
Justin Donaldson: It’s a real feat on the part of WWE Creative that I’m not excited for this match. I’m assuming Owens retains. They haven’t done enough to build up to a loss. And that’s about all I have to say about that. Unbelievable.
Danielle Matheson: Seth Rollins breaks up the friendship between these two jerk dads when he shows Owens damning secret footage of Jericho badmouthing zoos. “I just don’t get it, if you love animals so much why do you want them in cages, maaaaaaaan?” Zoo conservation programmes are actually really important, and so is Seth Rollins being champion again. Sadly, I don’t think this is where is happens. You can find out more in “Crossfit Jesus Of Montreal: A Cross-Border Love Story” (A sexy deep dive for all you Québécois cinephiles).
Hell in a Cell Match for the United States Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Rusev
What Should Happen: The only way I’m okay with a United States Championship match being included as part of a “triple main event” is if Reigns and Rusev have willingly entered into a secret backstage blood pact and are going to beat the ever-loving shit out of each other in that cage. Like, go full early 1980s NWA with it where both guys are wearing the crimson mask and children are screaming and crying. Give us a reason to fear the Hell in a Cell again. Make it so bad Mick Foley comes out on Monday like, “Jesus, I didn’t know it could be that violent, you guys okay? You need anything?”
What Will Happen: The match you’ve already seen several times before, but with a cage around it. Kick wham spear.
Bill Hanstock: I would love so much for Rusev to win here and there to be some sort of spectacular double-turn, but that clearly isn’t in the cards, because we can’t have nice things. Roman will win in dominant fashion and this feud will finally come to an end. Roman will move onto whatever’s next for him (I dunno, Jericho?) and Rusev will move onto whatever they forgot they already did. (I dunno, Mark Henry?)
Scott Heisel: oh my god i can’t believe i have to sit through ANOTHER match between these two. ffs y’all. I dunno, Reigns wins, probably?
Justin Donaldson: This is probably going to be the same exact match we saw last year with Reigns and Bray Wyatt. I don’t see any way that Roman loses this.
Danielle Matheson: Roman Reigns is such a butthead to Rusev. I want Rusev to win because I always want him to win. “From Russia With Love” would be the obvious title for this tale of two passionately clashing empires, but lol naw. We’ll call it “K-19: The Bonermaker.”
Hell in a Cell Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Sasha Banks (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
What Should Happen: The match so important it gave Charlotte a last name.
If this is going on last, is the true Hell in a Cell main event AND has been prefaced with a month of Charlotte and Sasha insisting how important and historic it is, they’ve got to do something big. I’m not going to say THEY need to rock the crimson mask — although Charlotte truly becoming a Flair by getting that giant orange spot in the front would be pretty appropriate — but there needs to be something here beyond “another good match” to make it as memorable as the other “historic” Hells in Cells. Most of those involved jumping or falling off the cell itself, so … let’s hope Charlotte and especially dangerous-ass and prone-to-injuring-herself Sasha Banks get through this in one piece.
What Will Happen: If the WWE Championship Cell goes on last, Sasha retains. If Rusev and Roman Reigns go on last somehow, Charlotte wins. If the women go on last like they should, because THIS is the main event, fuck that “triple main event” shit, it’s a toss-up. WWE seems like they’d want to give Charlotte a win if it’s historic, but Sasha just got around to getting the championship back after that weird aborted title run in the summer. So if they go on last, I’ll say Sasha Banks retains and makes history after doing something really, really, really dangerous.
(Please don’t die.)
Bill Hanstock: The biggest question in this match isn’t who’s going to win (Sasha), but how violent the match will actually be. Except for Bray vs. Roman and Undertaker vs. Lesnar, HIAC matches from the past few years have barely involved the cage, let alone any actual carnage. We know there won’t be any blood, but my guess is that Charlotte will moonsault from halfway up the Cell onto the floor. Sasha retains, but it’s time to find out if there will be any brutality at all after talking up how crazy the Cell is for weeks on end.
Scott Heisel: Given how much hype they’re putting on this match being the first of its kind, you have to assume there will be some gnarly spots, right? Like, after Sasha and Charlotte had to put up with Mick Foley having PTSD flashbacks right in front of them for 10 minutes on Raw, the only way the crowd is really going to get behind this match is if someone falls from an absurd height and/or bleeds and/or legitimately leaves on a stretcher, and I don’t see any of those three things happening. The real irony is had WWE just not made such a big deal out of this match being “THE FIRST-EVER HELL IN A CELL MATCH FOR TWO LADY COMBATANTS” or whatever, most people would be fine with a relatively normal HIAC match (which we get every year). But now the pressure is on, and I don’t see the women getting the green lights they probably want to elevate the whole thing, which is a bummer. I hope I’m wrong. Also, Sasha wins.
Justin Donaldson: I have a feeling Charlotte is winning the belt back. They’ve given her the Flair name and I think the belt’s coming back to her with it. Thank god they put these two in the Cell, or this would be a really boring card.
Danielle Matheson: Okay, first of all, you can’t call it a historic main event if there are two other main event matches. That’s just the second half of the pay-per-view. You don’t get a cookie covered in progressive feminist sprinkles for throwing a main event title on something that isn’t the actual singular main event. Anyways, you can find out how this all plays out in my newest piece, “Bank On Doing It With Flair.”