This week we have Jordan Chaffiotte, Cayden Parkhurst, and Ben Guest will be giving their opinions on some of the topics popping up in a preview for the 2016 Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
Question 1: Should Hell in a Cell continue to be a brand-exclusive event, be co-branded, or go away in favor of a new event to allow for HIAC matches to happen randomly throughout the year?
Jordan Chaffiotte: If WWE is going to stick to the brand-exclusive model, then co-branded pay-per-views should be reserved for when stakes are highest. Reevaluating which shows truly deserve that stamp is something that should happen. Survivor Series hasn't managed to maintain its importance while events like Money in the Bank have skipped to the front of the line by becoming a show of opportunity. However, HIAC is not one of them. Aside from the inherent danger of the structure and a level of freshness that comes along with any extreme stipulation, there's nothing that earns it that spot. Stakes aren't higher like they are at the Royal Rumble, and it's not a spectacle like WrestleMania or SummerSlam. It is, however, something different, and I don't have the Attitude Era nostalgia that leaves it underwhelming to some fans.
Cayden Parkhurst: I think the event should be scrapped completely. Take a year or two off from Hell in a Cell matches and bring back the mystique and excitement that used to come along with them. Hell in a Cell matches during the PG Era haven't been anything overly special anyway. Just like Elimination Chamber matches, Hell in a Cell needs to go away for a while, much less have its own PPV. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, so if you let them disappear for a little bit, people will be more excited than ever to see them return.
Ben Guest: I think Hell in a Cell matches should go back to being extremely rare and only used to end feuds that NEED such a match. Having to put 1 or 2 matches every October is very forced and rarely do they even try to build a feud with the pay-per-view in mind. I would say that in recent years, only Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker and perhaps Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker have been worth having inside the cell. Although, I do think that Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte is big enough.
Question 2: Which Hell in a Cell match should main event the card?
Jordan Chaffiotte: "Main event" is a funny phrase, as GM Mick Foley found out last week when he used it to mean that Charlotte and Sasha Banks would headline or marquee the show. Everyone else took it to mean literally going on last. Make no mistake, Charlotte and Sasha Banks are indeed headlining—just look at the poster, this is the match people are paying to see. By that logic, it should close the show. Oddly enough, that's not my position.
It's not that I don't want to see a female main event. I very much do. At the same time, when I saw that post by Foley, I worried that WWE had its foot too hard on the gas without thinking about the sustainability of the division. It felt like we have these two great competitors and they're red hot so let's just knock out everything all at once. While it sounds great in the moment, the reality is that's a recipe to burn out. They first need to build a foundation for the women's division to be treated equally to their male counterparts. Without that, female main event of a pay-per-view might be barely more than lip service. Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins should have the official last spot, with Sasha and Charlotte second to last. I'd rather see them steal the show than to see WWE pull back on it later (like the Diva's Revolution). But hey, prove me wrong WWE.
Cayden Parkhurst: I think Sasha vs. Charlotte has to be the main event. I'm usually the guy that says the main title match needs to be last, but they're making history with the first ever women's Hell in a Cell match. They've put so much behind this feud and this match that they need to put it on last to prove they have faith in not only Sasha & Charlotte, but also in the women's division. They've already main evented Raw, so why not a pay-per-view?
Ben Guest Sasha Banks vs Charlotte definitely deserves to go on last. The way they have built it as such a momentous occasion would make them look stupid if they then said, 'it's a huge moment, but still not as important as this other thing'. I can understand why the Universal Championship might go on last, but if you want this first step in women being legitimately as important as men, then you need to say that the women's title is as important as the World or Universal title.
Question 3: What next milestone would you like to see the women's division conquer?
Jordan Chaffiotte: There's an obvious answer here, a women's main event of a major pay-per-view event on the main roster. Again, that's not my answer. I have no doubt that we are well within a year of this happening. First, however, we have to handle some less exciting milestones. Consistency is the top priority. It's what will allow for the division to continue to grow and prosper no matter what.
So my next milestone is a boring one, but it's important. For every hour of programming, there should be at least one women's match. There's about to be an influx with call-ups, returns from injury or suspension, and the possibility to bring in legendary talent like Mickie James. This is a good time to work on depth on both shows. Once WWE has done that, having Sasha Banks and Bayley (or any other feud) main event a pay-per-view is well within reach, and this time, WWE will have earned it.
Cayden Parkhurst: I feel like this has to be a ladder match. Hell in a Cell and ladder matches are neck and neck for some of the best matches of all time, and people still pop for ladder matches every time one is announced. It's also something totally doable for Sasha & Charlotte. You can probably throw Bayley in there too, but I'd rather see it with Sasha & Charlotte considering they are the new faces of women's wrestling. It won't be for awhile, but one day we will see the first ever Women's Championship ladder match.
Ben Guest: I have several ideas for this. One thing I would like to see again would be for a woman to win either the United States or Intercontinental Championship legitimately and have a decent run with it. That could even eventually lead to a female World Champion, but in that case, the Women's Championship gets devalued. Another option could be to have a woman win the Royal Rumble, but this creates issues with whether she gets a World Title shot or Women's title shot.
A woman's Money in the Bank match is a must in my opinion and I think that is very possible in the near future. The most important step right now though is to have women main event a pay-per-view, which will hopefully happen this Sunday. Then main eventing one of the big four and particularly WrestleMania is definitely possible down the line.
Those are our thoughts on the issue, but where do you stand?
Let us know your answers to these questions in the comments below!