Busted Open‘s Doug Mortman and Mike Riker break down each of the matches heading into Sunday’s WWE Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event.

Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship with HBK as referee

For the third installment of the Bryan-Orton series, the WWE brought in the big guns. Shawn Michaels was chosen as guest referee, and we know anytime HBK is involved, it adds intrigue. Will he side with his star pupil, Daniel Bryan? Will he side with his best friend, Triple H? Or will he just call it down the middle? The addition of Michaels, combined with the Hell in a Cell structure, ought to make this match the best of the three. The question is who will be champion? We still think the title will remain vacant until Survivor Series. Expect Big Show and Triple H to get involved on Sunday.


Alberto Del Rio (c) vs. John Cena for the World Championship

John Cena nation rejoice! The champ is here! The problem is the champ is title-less, and not in a match for the WWE title. And that’s what makes this match the most intriguing on the pay-per-view. There are so many questions heading in: Is Cena coming back too soon? Why is he pursuing the World title? Will Damien Sandow be lurking with his MITB briefcase? Say what you want about Cena, but even after missing a couple of months, he adds excitement and has made this B-level pay-per-view a must-watch. Cena will bring prestige back to the strap if he wins. We think he does capture gold.


CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman

This match should be the end of this feud. The question that remains: Will CM Punk finally get his hands on Paul Heyman, with Heyman’s “big beautiful monster” standing in the way? Either way, it’s time for Punk to move on after this. After the magic of Punk and Brock Lesnar at Summerslam, the feud with Heyman has taken a few steps back – though no fault of either Punk or Heyman. Let’s see Punk finish off Heyman, and move on to the WWE title chase.


Cody Rhodes and Goldust (c) vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins) vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) for the WWE Tag Team Championship

This will be the most action-packed match of the night. The Shield brought prestige to the tag titles, and the Rhodes has maintained it since their win on Raw a couple of weeks ago. Adding the Usos makes sense, since they recently won a No. 1 contenders match. We’ll probably eventually see Cody vs. Goldust down the road – maybe at Wrestlemania? – but for now, the brothers hold on to the belts.


AJ Lee (c) vs. Brie Bella for the WWE Divas Title

So we get a rematch of the title match at Battleground. This is what we wrote three weeks ago:

Total Divas has brought notoriety to the Divas division, but it’s been someone who isn’t part of the show, AJ Lee, that is making the Divas division interesting. The champ has shown she doesn’t need reality television to become a star. She has been the only relevant thing in women’s wrestling for over a year now, and probably the only reason to watch this match. But with Brie now heavily involved in the main story line, odds are in favor of a new Divas champ come Monday.

Nothing has changed with our thinking. We were just three weeks early.


Curtis Axel (c) (with Paul Heyman) vs. Big E Langston for the Intercontinental Title

An Intercontinental Championship match with two young superstars headed in opposite directions will kickoff Hell in a Cell. Although Axel is the champ, he hasn’t taken off like we thought he would under Paul Heyman. Ever since he won the title in an emotional moment on Father’s Day, his shortcomings have shown in a big way. Meanwhile, we’re very intrigued by Big E’s face turn. He’s on his way to the upper-mid card – or possibly the main event – and his ascent continues Sunday.


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