The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of WrestlingInc or its staff.
* FloSports working with WWN Live to broadcast their events, which include promotions like EVOLVE, Shine, FIP, and other promotions, is a sign of the continued development in making wrestling more affordable to the average fan. Since the WWE Network changed PPV and all PPV events (as well as a host of other programming) were suddenly available for just $9.99 a month, independent wrestling has looked quite pricey in comparison. If you are like me and you want to watch a lot of indie wrestling; it can get really expensive. Usually individual events, either on iPPV, digital download or DVDs, cost between $15 - $25which is a lot considering that could get you a two month subscription for the WWE Network. However, with FloSports now charging just $20 a month for upwards of 60 live iPPV events per year as well as the video libraries for top promotions, things are going to get a lot easier for hardcore fans. With other promotions, like CHIKARA (which has it's own streaming service) CZW, or some international promotions like PROGRESS Wrestling in the UK or DDT in Japan potentially joining, they will gain even more PPV events per year than just the WWN Live shows. In addition to saving the fans money, FloSports streaming service will also allow inquiring fans to check out the product, especially if they include a free trial period. If you might be interested in watching an EVOLVE event, chances are you don't want to pay $20+ to see one event that you have no expectations for. But now fans can watch indie promotions risk-free if there is a free trial.
* Braun Strowman's weekly squash matches have become great unintentional comedy and help break up the monotony of RAW. First you have the Strowman scream that hits before his music, which signals to everybody that a crappy match is about to take place. Then you have Michael Cole, who is in rare form when Strowman is on, who says the phrase "Mountain of a Man" every five seconds, which has to be Vince's favorite phrase ever. The grand finale is when Strowman performs some feat of middling athleticism, like barely jumping a foot off the ground to deliver a dropkick or running around the ring once, and the announcers react as if he just won a gold medal in the decathlon. I hope Strowman never gets involved in any real storylines or anything, just keeping having this series of events each week and I'll keep watching.
Hell in a Cell Preview:
Kevin Owens vs Seth Rollins: They were originally not going to have this match inside the Cell, but because they are doing the United States Championship and Women's Championship matches inside the Cell, it would make the Universal Championship look second-rate if it was just a normal match. I think the guys have been pretty good in their roles, and Owens is really a good bully heel, but there are some things that have kept it from reaching its potential. First, they built the feud on RAW Monday about Rollins stealing a list from Chris Jericho, which died a terrible death. They also have to deal with Stephanie McMahon and eventually Triple H shoehorning themselves into the feud. I think at best the feud should be a personal battle between Rollins vs Owens, but in reality the feud is Rollins vs The McMahons, with Owens just being a figurehead for Stephanie and Triple H. It is the same problem that has plagued the babyface vs The Authority storyline since day one, but they never learn. I think Owens wins because that is what makes the most sense; but if Seth won would anybody be truly surprised?
Sasha Banks vs Charlotte: There is a lot of talk about this match potentially closing the show, but I think that is a mistake. The women are certainly capable of having a really good match; but I think it would be best for them to go on second to last before the Universal Championship match. The issue is that WWE being PG, while a grossly exaggerated issue among some fans, does hinder Hell in a Cell matches because there is only so much they can do inside the Cell without getting too violent, and having a whopping three Hell in a Cell matches on one show means that by the last match on the show they are going to be really reaching the bottom of the barrel when it comes to exciting ideas. I think Owens and Rollins can afford to have a so-so match inside the Cell because it will not be the last match they have together and everyone knows they are great workers. With Charlotte and Sasha I think it is important that they have a great match—because it is likely a blow-off match and since it is the first women's Hell in a Cell match it has a reputation to create. One thing that does worry me is that Sasha has struggled with injuries lately and putting her in such a physically taxing match doesn't seem like the best strategy for her long-term health.
Rusev vs Roman Reigns: Apparently the new strategy to get Reigns over is make him a heel, but still label him as a babyface. Since the heels, like Chris Jericho and AJ Styles are getting the biggest pops in the company, naturally they would want Reigns to get those reactions. So they made him do terrible things like ruin Rusev's wedding without provocation as well as make fun of his extended family and beat him up. Then Rusev cut a total babyface promo on RAW saying he was going to make Roman pay. Of course the crowd still hates Roman Reigns and at this point WWE's inability to give up on Reigns being a top babyface is just getting sad.
The New Day vs Sheamus and Cesaro: WWE abandoned Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson as the main foils to the tag team champions in favor of the designated odd couple, pairing Sheamus and Cesaro while they openly loathe each other. I would favor Cesaro and Sheamus in this match mainly because the storyline makes the most sense if they are dysfunctional AND the RAW Tag Team Champions. But everyone also thought that Gallows and Anderson had to be the winners at the last PPV; but WWE didn't pull the trigger there so I assume anything is possible at Hell in a Cell.
Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson vs Enzo and Cass: I don't like what they are doing to Enzo and Cass. I think their act has a certain shelf life and WWE is better off capitalizing on it sooner rather than later. That means they should do the big feud between The New Day and Enzo and Cass before both acts get stale (some would argue that they are already stale) and stop keeping them from interacting, which is what the crowd wants anyway.
Bayley vs Dana Brooke: Similar to Enzo and Cass; I think WWE is not helping Bayley at all right now by keeping her out of the title picture. To the casual fan, Bayley comes across as kind of a generic babyface that might not be very exciting. But fans who watched her in NXT know that she is capable of having really good matches that showcase a lot of storytelling, which is why she is as popular as she is. The issue is Bayley really can't have that match with Dana Brooke, and the build-up to their match has been atrocious. The sooner Bayley begins working with either Charlotte or Sasha Banks the better.
T.J Perkins vs Brian Kendrick: This is a weird storyline for a couple reasons. On RAW Kendrick asked Perkins to lay down in the ring for him; which means that heading into Hell in a Cell I guess fans are supposed to be wondering if Perkins will lay down for Kendrick. Secondly, WWE loves pushing the storyline that this is Kendrick's last chance; that he is a veteran at the end of his rope and for all we know if he doesn't win on Sunday he may retire. Of course, they used that same angle during the Cruiserweight Classic when if Kendrick didn't win the tournament his career would essentially be over; which it wasn't because he got a WWE contract and showed up on RAW next Monday despite losing the tournament. So why should anyone believe this is Kendrick's last shot? Lastly, they are pushing the fact that Kendrick is this super-old wrestler on his last legs, when at 37 he is younger than John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Triple H, The Undertaker, AJ Styles, Goldberg, Shane McMahon etc. nearly every guy they push as a top guy is older than Kendrick—but Kendrick is on his last legs.