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CM Punk is my hero. He has been since I started watching wrestling and I’ve stuck with him even after he returned to his heel-ish ways.

Ryback is my man crush. Anybody who can lift the Japanese terror Tensai over his head is worthy of my attention and I’ve followed him avidly from when he was smashing nobody’s around the ring like so many insects.

But this Hell In A Cell scares me.

Not in the way that the original Shawn Michaels v Undertaker Hell In A Cell scared me and certainly not in the way the Mankind v Undertaker scared me; those matches were terrifying because it seemed like somebody could actually die. 2012’s Hell In A Cell pay-per-view scares me because I’m left wondering where do we go from here?

Steve and I have different skills when it comes to watching WWE, he can tell (Through many years of experience) how a match will end, who will win it, with which move and even how the move will be set up. I on the other hand have the canny ability to predict almost exactly how a storyline will play out and even the next logical step, case in point: At the end of July, beginning of August 2012 I said to Steve “CM Punk’s sudden need for respect is a massive change in his character, they should have some evil Emperor style character whispering in his ear and poisoning him so that when he does turn face again we can actually relate to him; it’s not all his fault.” Two weeks later, they reveal Paul Heyman as Punk’s new manager and I dance around my kitchen singing ‘Dom is the Champion’ to a certain song by Queen and this is why I am just left so baffled by this sudden turn with Ryback.

The Punk/Cena feud has been going on for months now and it is clear that Ryback is merely a replacement for John while he recovers from his injury. But now the leader of the Cenation is back off the bench, claims to have fully recovered and is bigging up his new ally like all of the Dallas Cowboys’ cheerleaders combined and sure the chants of Feed! Me! More! have noticeably increased over the last few weeks but this is an artificial boost for a wrestler whose greatest opponent (As of pre- WWE Main Event 24/10/2012) has been the Miz. The Miz for god sake! For over two months they fed Ryback amateurs that Booker T bigged up, then they fed him half the tag-team division, then they fed them the Intercontinental champion and now he is going for the WWE Championship? I like Ryback and I really believe in the myth that he is a force to be reckoned with but if the WWE Champion loses to a man whose most challenging opponent so far has been a walking mic stand then its insulting to the whole system.

On the other hand, although they haven’t given Ryback time to organically develop his own fan base, if he loses to Punk in the Devil’s playground then it cripples his current undefeated run and flat-lines six months of development. The WWE have locked themselves in a lose/lose pay-per-view because no matter who wins someone is going to be pissed. On top of that Ryback is yet to be in a live match that lasts over ten minutes, can he even handle an elongated main event against a technical wrestler as good as Punk?

As such my predictions are this:

  1. Ryback wins; but as John Cena has pointed out, Ryback doesn’t care about the Championship, only about eating Punk’s face and as such gives the belt to the person who ‘deserves’ it- John Cena.
  2. Punk wins through some kind of disqualification or cheat. It may be that the WWE doesn’t want to end this rivalry just yet and especially not until Cena can get back in the ring; as such Punk wins in a way that satisfies his need to keep the belt and Ryback’s need to remain a monster.
  3. We have a repeat of Night of Champions. Ryback pins Punk as we know he has too but the pin doesn’t count for one reason or another. More controversy for RAW the next night, Cena can win it later.

This may seem like it covers all the bases but what I really think is that this isn’t going to end in typical fashion (though normal pin wins seem to be becoming rarer these days) which is usually the point of Hell In A Cell.

The Aftermath? Well that depends completely on how the match ends but the one I’d like to see is when Punk is given his respect. Punk wins, Cena admits he is The Best In The World and the next storyline we move on to is the now GM-less RAW being dominated by Heyman and Punk, maybe even reigniting a war with Smackdown. Most likely? Cena comes out looking like a saint, the poorly named Team Hell No do something funny and Dolph Ziggler once again gets punched as he tries to cash in his Money In The Bank.

Everything is ripe for change in the WWE and the Devil’s playground is just a good a place as any to make it happen.

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