Just two months after his WWE return, Cody Rhodes has already reached the top of the map.
The rivalry between Rhodes and Seth Rollins will reach its climax when the two go head-to-head hell in a cell On Sunday. Assuming their Hell in a Cell match continues last, it will be the first pay-per-view Rhodes has headlined since his return to WWE Wrestlemania 38 In April.
The timing of Rhodes’ return was a happy coincidence for both him and WWE. With undisputed WWE All-Time Champion Roman Reigns now operating on at least a slightly reduced schedule, the company needs another top star. Rhodes is the right person for this spot. After a six-year absence, the former Executive Vice President of AEW is a fresh face for WWE audiences. Fans have never seen this version of Rhodes in WWE before. He was allowed to be himself and maintain the presentation that made him a superstar outside of WWE. So far Rhodes’ return to the company has been as great a success as one could hope for. hell in a cell is an opportunity for Rhodes to show he is capable of carrying a WWE PPV as the main attraction.
Rhodes vs. Rollins is the only game Sunday that takes place in Hell in a Cell. It will be the third straight PPV they’ve faced each other – with Rhodes winning each of their first two meetings – but it doesn’t feel like the feud between Rhodes and Rollins lasted too long. They did a great job of increasing the intensity ahead of that final game. Rollins became more and more desperate to beat Rhodes with each loss. Rhodes was unable to continue and had to fend off attacks from Rollins. Hell in a Cell is a fitting place to end their feud.
Hell-in-a-Cell matches will never regain the magic they had when they were first introduced 25 years ago. You’re overdoing it now. But Rhodes vs. Rollins should be the best version of what a modern hell-in-a-cell match can be. Rhodes has always been successful in these types of gimmick matches and did everything possible to convey the seriousness of the condition and set it apart from an ordinary match. Rollins just had a great Hell in a Cell match against Edge crown jewel in October, and that has the potential to get even better.
The other top game at hell in a cell will see Bianca Belair defend her Raw Women’s Championship in a Triple Threat match against Asuka and Becky Lynch. It was originally going to be for the Belair vs. Naomi title, but WWE had to change plans when Naomi and Sasha Banks left the tournament Raw Last month.
Hell in a Cell will be broadcast live on Peacock/WWE Network Sunday at 8 p.m. ET. The PPV will be held at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Illinois.
Here’s a full overview of the map, along with predictions for each game:
Hell in a Cell Match: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
Although he has already beaten Rollins twice in a row, there is no other option here but to win Rhodes again. Rhodes definitely needs to win back his first feud in WWE. he loses hell in a cell, the first two wins are overshadowed by Rhodes. People will just remember that Rollins won the feud in the end.
Rhodes’ goal was to win the WWE Championship when he returned to the company. Sunday’s win over Rollins will help Rhodes gain momentum as he gets closer to that goal. With money in the bank Rhodes, taking place next month, should be the big favorite to win the briefcase and set up a future world title showdown against Reigns.
Prediction: Cody Rhodes wins
Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Championship
The originally planned match between Belair and Naomi hell in a cell was apparently intended as a stopgap to save both Belair vs. Asuka and Belair vs. Lynch for future PPVs. Instead, those two games were combined into a triple threat.
Belair vs. Lynch SummerSlam (the same PPV where Lynch beat Belair in 26 seconds a year ago) should still be the ultimate direction for WWE. It’s likely that Asuka and Lynch will end up costing each other the match hell in a cell, so that they can both claim that if it was a one-on-one match, they would have defeated Belair. Belair is then able to fight back against Asuka money in the bank.
Prognosis: Bianca Belair retains
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Mixed Tag Match: AJ Styles, Finn Bálor and Liv Morgan vs. The Judgment Day (Edge, Damian Priest and Rhea Ripley)
Judgment Day will team up as a trio for the first time on Sunday. The group began to form when Priest Edge helped defeat Styles Wrestlemania 38. Ripley was then inducted into the ranks of the faction WrestleMania backlashwho came to Edge’s aid when Priest was locked out of the ring for Edge’s rematch against Styles.
Bálor and Morgan helped Styles even the odds against The Judgment Day, but Edge, Priest and Ripley shouldn’t lose in their first match together. The biggest question is whether another new member will be added to their group. Tommaso Ciampa was once discussed as a potential member of The Judgment Day. Joining the faction would give direction to his main career.
Prediction: Doomsday wins
Kevin Owens vs Ezekiel
Owens vs. Ezekiel was one of the funniest WWE storylines in quite a while. Owens and Ezekiel deserve so much credit for how perfectly things went. On paper, the idea of Ezekiel pretending that he is not really Elijah, but Elijah’s younger brother, seems absurd. But he played the role so well that the fans go along with it. Although Owens is obviously right, Owens looks kind of crazy for insisting that Ezekiel and Elias are the same person.
Ezekiel’s ruse was not to be revealed so quickly. Owens will be driven further insane with a loss on Sunday.
Prediction: Ezekiel wins
Handicap Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP
The handicap rule could prolong things but this will hopefully be the end of the Lashley-Omos feud. Lashley should secure a crucial win by knocking out both Omos and MVP.
Lashley and Omos are tied 1-1 in PPV matches hell in a cell. Lashley defeated Omos at Wrestlemania 38, but MVP turned on Lashley the next night and became Omos’ new manager. MVP interference then resulted in Omos defeating Lashley at WrestleMania backlash.
Lashley also won a steel cage match against Omos Rawbut victory came only when Omos threw him through the side of the cage.
Whether it’s challenging Reigns or facing Brock Lesnar, when Lesnar returns it’s time for Lashley to move on to better things.
Prediction: Bobby Lashley wins
Theory against Mustafa Ali for the US Championship
Three months after publicly asking to be released from the company, Ali returned to WWE television in April. Things haven’t been going well for him since then, and Theory got the best out of Ali hell in a cell. It all hopefully leads to Ali winning the US title in his hometown of Chicago. Ali has the potential to be one of the best babyfaces in WWE if given the chance.
Prediction: Mustafa Ali wins
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