The WWE will present Hell In A Cell, the second exclusive pay-per-view to the RAW brand of the new era, on October 30 from Boston, Massachusetts. It will be the final brand-exclusive event before the highly-anticipated Survivor Series, featuring superstars from both RAW and SmackDown, including three cross-promotional matches that Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon laid the groundwork for last week.
Next Sunday’s pay-per-view will play host to not one, not two, but three Hell in a Cell matches, marking the first time in WWE history the company will have booked such a spectacle. There has been a growing sentiment that by not subscribing to the “less is more” theory, the WWE may be over-saturating the Hell in a Cell concept, and decreasing the attraction that it was once thought to be.
Not only are they making history by booking three of those matches, but they’ll make history when Charlotte and Sasha Banks step inside Hell in a Cell, becoming the first women ever to do so. The one program that fans seem to be able to go either way on, as it pertains to culminating inside the Cell, is the feud between Roman Reigns and Rusev. But their rivalry is arguably the most intense on RAW, so putting them inside Hell in a Cell is a natural progression in what many hope will be their final encounter.
And that leads us to the Hell In A Cell main event. There were two other original plans on the table for the WWE Universal Championship match as of two weeks ago. Originally, the match was not going to be held inside Hell in a Cell, but WWE officials were concerned that the main event would lose some luster by not being inside the structure while two undercard matches were.
And because there were original plans to have the Universal Title match uninhibited by the Cell, there were also discussions of including Chris Jericho, and making the main event a triple threat match. It’s unclear why adding the Hell in a Cell stipulation removed Jericho from the equation, but there are ongoing talks of adding him to the bout, possibly as a referee.
If you recall, RAW alluded to that wrinkle two weeks ago, and certainly have the ammunition to revisit it if they choose to go in that direction. The WWE hasn’t shied away from quick, short storyline builds with Jericho in the past, so it’s still entirely possible they come up with someone else to wrestle him at the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view. But for now, his only potential involvement would be as the special guest referee in the match between Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins.
The storyline between Jericho and Owens has arguably been the most compelling television on WWE programming over the last month, with Y2J offering up some of his finest work in recent memory. In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Jericho revealed that he believes things with Owens haven’t even scratched the surface, as transcribed by Cageside Seats.
“I think the storyline with Kevin Owens and Jericho is just beginning. I think there’s a lot of legs to this storyline and it’s one of the rarest of things. It’s a storyline that basically built organically that was never supposed to be a storyline. I had that with Shawn Michaels in 2008 and Rey Mysterio in 2009. We just end up with this present, this great chemistry between KO and I. A lot of intrigue and mystery. A lot of interest from the people watching from the WWE Universe. I am really looking forward to seeing what’s going to happen at Survivor Series, Hell in a Cell and continuing forward. I think there’s a lot in the tank for Jericho and Owens. Especially from what’s transpired so far.”
That has to be encouraging to fans of their current program, and there was an unmistakable pop that emanated from the crowd last week when Stephanie McMahon hinted that Jericho might deserve a shot at Owens’ Universal Championship. The seeds have certainly been planted for a breakup, but WWE may be wise to see it play out, assuming Jericho is committed to paying it off either before or after he goes on his hiatus.
If you recall, before Finn Balor went down with his injury at SummerSlam, the plan was for him to defend his title against Owens in a singles match at Clash Of Champions, followed by, ironically, a three-way with Owens and Jericho at Hell In A Cell. The WWE tried to stick with some semblance of those plans as best they could, but obviously, the Hell in a Cell stipulation changed that somewhat.
In any event, we should expect Jericho to continue to meander around the periphery of this Owens-Rollins feud, eventually inserting himself even further. It just depends on his schedule.
[Featured Image by WWE]