It’s Spotlight time! I definitely am not so disinterested in WWE’s product right now that I nearly forgot there was a PPV tonight. Definitely not, 100% no. So here we are! And when it came to picking a match to write about, there was one obvious standout: Becky Lynch vs Charlotte. But I also felt like there wasn’t much to say about it that hasn’t already been said since SummerSlam, so I’m looking at Jeff Hardy vs Randy Orton instead.
This match is inside the Hell In A Cell structure, which I find interesting. Really, any match on the main card of the show could be argued worthy of taking place inside the four sides of steel.
If anything, Hardy vs Orton may be the match that’s story warrants the cage the least. AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe is probably the most personal feud on the main roster, Bryan vs The Miz is a story that has gone back eight years, Becky Lynch vs Carmella is probably the hottest rivalry on the main roster, and Rousey vs Bliss and the Raw Tag Team Championship match are both stories that have been going on just as long as this one, if not longer.
The one wildcard that Hardy vs Orton has is Jeff Hardy himself. You just know he’s going to do something crazy, because that’s what Jeff Hardy does. He has been saying in interviews for years that he wanted to have a Hell In A Cell match, so presumably he has been plotting a spectacular spot for just as long.
I love Jeff Hardy, he may be my all time favourite, but here’s the thing – there’s part of me that didn’t want this to happen.
There’s a selfish reason. I’ve never seen him in person, and I really don’t want him to get injured before WWE come back to the UK in November, especially after that exact scenario played out this time last year.
But there’s also the factor that Jeff has done so many crazy stunts over the years without any one of them going wrong and seriously hurting him is a miracle. He’s the definition of an adrenaline junkie. But he’s also getting older, and he’s said this year that he has been hurting. He’s stopped doing the Swanton Bomb at house shows, and that’s been helping him. But doing something off the top of the cell has to set him back a bit, it just has to.
We’ve already seen Matt Hardy seemingly retire this weekend because of injuries that are most likely caused by all the high risk moves he did in the early stages of his career. I don’t want to see Jeff’s career cut short because of a risk he doesn’t need to take.
But now that this match is inside the Cell, he does have to take the risk. His reputation preceeds him, and with Jeff’s history it would be a massive let down if he didn’t do something amazing.
WWE knew that. I’m not blaming them for it, Jeff probably asked for the match himself and they would gladly oblige knowing what’s going to be coming. WWE in 2018 are all about creating moments that they feel will get them mainstream attention, and a gif-able moment like Jeff will come up with is exactly the kind of thing that will get eyes on the product. Nobody else can do what Jeff will, so it had to be this match.
And just as much as I fear for his well-being, I’m intrigued to see what Jeff will come up with. We’ve seen dives off the top of the cell, but I feel like Jeff will want to one up that. So what does that mean? Is there any way it would be possible to get a ladder on top of the cell? Will we see someone go through the roof of the cell for the first time in years?
The way the card is set up, whoever wins this could end up being the next challenger for the WWE Championship. There is no US Title match on the show, and we know that Daniel Bryan and The Miz will continue their rivalry with their match already announced for Super Show-Down at the start of next month.
Another part of the reason I think that is that there could be a title change. AJ Styles is the longest reigning champion on the main roster, and Samoa Joe continues to put in stellar work whenever he gets a real story to sink his teeth into. If he does win, Jeff could be a solid foil for him as a title story. If AJ retains, it feels like a long time since we saw Styles vs Orton, and I’m not sure they’ve ever had a proper rivalry. Whichever way it goes, it would be a solid feud before the end of the year.
Hell In A Cell is traditionally a feud-ender. I think that will prove to be the case with Hardy vs Orton, because I’m not sure what good it would do for either man to keep this going, and I’m not sure where it would go from here. How can you top whatever we’re inevitably going to see tonight? It probably can’t be done.
So once again, here we are. Hey, maybe this show will surprise me. But whatever happens with the rest of the card, it feels like we are guaranteed something extraordinary with these two.