Updated: Nov 21, 2020
It’s been a few weeks (finally) since the one-two punch of WWE Clash of (the) Champions and NXT Takeover 31 and now we here at the Quixotronic offices are ready for WWE Halloween Havoc!
What? They’re bringing it back but only as a special episode of NXT? It’s not even a Takeover, it’s just a normal Wednesday episode? Okay fine, we’ll take it. It’s 19 years too late but we’ll take it.
The card of Hell in a Cell is looking pretty slim, and at present 60% of the matches will be taking place in the titular Hell in a Cell. Is that too many? Yes, yes it is. The three matches currently scheduled for the Cell-treatment are Roman Reigns/Jey Uso, Drew McIntyre/Randy Orton,and Bayley/Sasha.
Now unless we go full TNA Lockdown and have literally every match on the card be Hell-in-a-Celled, I think we can really only go for two matches at most. Of the three, I’d eliminate Drew McInytre/Randy Orton purely based on the fact that the feud should be over - McIntyre beat Orton at both SummerSlam and Clash of (the) Champions, both matches sandwiching another Orton loss to McIntyre-friend Keith Lee. For a Fanboy Fantasy (™) match up, I’d throw in a friend vs friend challenge match between Lee and McIntyre (McIntyre retains and they shake hands afterwards). There’s no reason to start a new feud before the two brands start fighting over what color t-shirt they have to wear at Survivor Series, but Lee’s been on the periphery of the Orton/McIntyre feud so it still works.
But I digress.
The brand draft ripped its way through the Raw and Smackdown rosters so we have only 5 matches (so far) on the card - it's hard to set stuff up when you shuffle the deck this much but they literally moved over entire storylines (Rollins/Mysterio from Raw to Smackdown, Fiend/Bliss/Cross from Smackdown to Raw) so it really isn’t that hard. Plus, to toot my own horn, I booked an 18-match 2-night WrestleMania 37 card and I’m just a lowly Quixotronic beat reporter who watches too much wrestling. They work in the wrestling!
Before we get to the card, let’s check in on the ongoing battle that is the Quixotronic Wrestling Shame Challenge (™) along with the results of NXT Takeover 31.
Previously on Fanboy Wrestletronic…
Standings going into NXT Takeover 31:
First Place: Kyle, 59% (54-37)
Second Place: Ryan, 54% (19-16)
Third Place: Tim, 52% (28-26)
NXT Takeover 31 results & scores:
NXT North American Title Match: Johnny Gargano vs Damian Priest ©
Your Winner: Damian Priest
Kyle: Damian Priest (1-0 / 55-37)
Ryan: forfeit (0-1 / 19-17)
Tim: Johnny Gargano (0-1 / 28-27)
KUSHIDA vs Velveteen Dream
Your Winner: KUSHIDA
Kyle: KUSHIDA (2-0 / 56-37)
Ryan: forfeit (0-2 / 19-18)
Tim: KUSHIDA (1-1 / 29-27)
NXT Cruiserweight Title Match: Isaiah Scott vs Santos Escobar ©
Your Winner: Santos Escobar
Kyle: Santos Escobar (3-0 / 57-37)
Ryan: forfeit (0-3 / 19-19)
Tim: Santos Escobar (2-1 / 30-27)
NXT Women’s Title Match: Candice LeRae vs Io Shirai ©
Your Winner: Io Shirai
Kyle: Candice LeRae (3-1 / 57-38)
Ryan: forfeit (0-4 / 19-20)
Tim: Io Shirai (3-1 / 31-27)
NXT Title Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs Finn Balor ©
Your Winner: Finn Balor
Kyle: Finn Balor (4-1 / 58-38)
Ryan: forfeit (0-5 / 19-21)
Tim: Finn Balor (4-1 / 32-27)
And now the conclusion…
New standings going into WWE Hell in a Cell 2020:
First Place: Kyle, 60% (58-38)
Second Place: Tim, 54% (32-27)
Third Place: Ryan, 48% (19-21)
Cub reporter Ryan has dug himself deeper into a hole by not sending me picks for the last two shows. We’ll see if he can right that ship at all with this show. If not, he will be the recipient of the Quixotronic shame-based punishment to be streamed live (?) on Twitch (??) if we can figure that out. More details if we actually pull it off.
Who will survive!?
If you want to watch WWE Hell in a Cell live on Sunday, you’ll want to subscribe to the WWE Network. Until then, here’s your Quixotronic preview of the show.
WWE Hell in a Cell 2020
Elias vs Jeff Hardy
The Background: Elias and Jeff Hardy were both recently drafted from Smackdown to Raw allowing them to carry over their storyline from the summer - to refresh us, both were in the Intercontinental Title tournament that didn’t need to be held since Sami Zayn was still champion though staying at home because he’s fucking smart. Elias was supposed to face AJ Styles while Jeff Hardy was supposed to face Daniel Bryan - however on the May 29th Smackdown it appeared as if Jeff Hardy, drunk, had hit Elias with his car. Elias was taken away to a Local Medical Facility and Hardy was taken to a Local Police Station. Sheamus, using this to his advantage to sneak back into the tournament (only to lose to Daniel Bryan) was revealed by Hardy as being the one that framed him - they look so similar. Now it’s months (and a piss-filled Hardy/Sheamus feud) later and Elias attacked Jeff Hardy on the October 12th Raw for hitting him with his car way back when. Remember - if we don’t see them on television, they don’t exist so there’s no way for Elias to know that the Hardy/Sheamus feud ever happened. And Sheamus, now also on Raw, has no reason to remind everyone of his golden shower either. On the go-home October 19th Raw Elias did the logical thing held a concert to promote his new album “Universal Truth” for a bunch of fans on television screens in the THUNDERDOME only for a mysterious member of his backup band to upstage him with a sweet guitar solo. Hardy quickly attacked Elias with the guitar and the challenge was issued: they have to fight about it.
Fanboy Fantasy: The two start the match the normal way of circling each other but before either one goes for a hold they both slide out to opposing sides of the ring. Elias reaches under the ring first and pulls out his acoustic guitar. Hardy, not phased at all, reaches under and pulls out an electric guitar. They slide back in, circle a little more, and then both slowly pull picks out of their pockets. Elias hits a solo, Hardy counters with a solo. Elias with another solo, Hardy with another solo. They both ease into Dueling Banjos because of course they do until Elias pulls back and takes a swing at Hardy, but Hardy deflects and both guitars are destroyed because I don’t want a DQ finished. They finally start wrestling and Elias gets a big win.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Elias - Jeff got the upper hand on Raw by attack Elias post-concert (wrestling!) but I think Elias needs a big win far more than Jeff needs one. Even if Elias is wrong, he needs a big win to properly promote his new album. Also I checked - his new album comes out the night after on October 26th!
Tim: Elias - As I have stated numerous times, Jeff Hardy is surely dead or in jail so Elias is going to win because you can't win a wrestling match when you are dead or in jail.*
*In the case of the latter, this is almost certainly false now that I think about it.
Money in the Bank Contract Match: The Miz vs Otis Dozovic
The Background: Otis lucked into catching the Money in the Bank briefcase at WWE Money in the Bank earlier this year. Since then Otis has done relatively little with the briefcase beyond occasionally carrying the contract in a little lunchbox instead. The Miz (and to a lesser extent John Morrison) has taken it upon himself to call out Otis for not using the contact and has made it his mission to win it. All that matters it that this lead to “Law and Otis”, a mock trial between Otis and Miz. Just watch it, it’s lovely: Part 1, Part 2. The only drawback is that this beautiful segment came the same week as AEW dropping Chris Jericho and MJF’s Dinner Debonair. Sometimes the best parts about wrestling have nothing to do with wrestling at all. Watch all of it.
Seriously - stop reading and watch these segments, we’ll wait.
Fanboy Fantasy: Otis (and Tucky) dance their way to the ring and when Miz (with John Morrison) comes down and demands that Tucky be removed from the arena. The ref agrees, and Tucky is sent to the back. Of course then the ref forces Morrison to leave as well and Miz and Morrison are shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that Morrison has to leave. Otis and Miz fight in an evenly paced match until Morrison sneaks back in behind the ref’s back, hits a Starship Pain, and Miz follows it with a Skull Crushing Finale for the win and the contract. We follow up with Miz teasing to cash in for a couple weeks. When he finally does it turns out that the briefcase has been empty time - Miz playfully tries to shake McIntyre’s hand and politely leave when this is the case but of course gets Claymored for his trouble. At TLC,Miz attacks Otis and Tucky and demands the contact but they tell him they already gave it to him. We then get several segments of Miz looking for the contract around the arena while Morrison his hanging out and following him but not actually helping. McIntyre defends his title and retains against Big Win Elias and afterwards Morrison pops up, attacks McIntyre, and pulls the contract out of his back pocket and gives it to the ref. The bell rings and Morrison hits Starship Pain for the win and the title, all while Miz is trying to run out to figure out what the hell is happening. However, on the next night on Raw, Miz cons Morrison into a rematch with McIntyre and costs Morrison the title. Morrison officially gets to put the WWE World title on his resume, even if it's for a day - hey, we’ve done short reigns like this before (see Kane in 1998, Jericho in 2000) and it eventually leads to a better reign later.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: The Miz - I love Otis, I really do, but please make this stop. Also Otis will easily fail against Roman Reigns and everyone will be sad. If Miz gets it he can still lose but to Drew McIntyre and everyone will be happy!
Tim: The Miz - Ungh, The Miz. I hate it.
WWE World Title Hell in a Cell Match: Randy Orton vs Drew McIntyre ©
The Background: Drew McIntyre defeated Randy Orton to retain his WWE World title at WWE Clash of Champions in an ambulance match when the spirits of Randy’s RKO Past came back to haunt him - namely Big Show, Shawn Michaels, Christian, and Ric Flair. McIntyre retained his title the next night against a returning Robert Roode while Orton used ninja-tricks to attack Show, Flair, Christian, and Michaels in the dark - he definitely has a future as one of Akira Tozawa’s goons. Based on his ability to attack retired workers, Orton challenged McIntyre on the October 5th Raw to yet another match at Hell in a Cell in a Hell in a Cell because Hell in a Cell. Later that night Orton was able to pin McIntyre in a 6-man match pitting Orton, Roode, and Dolph Ziggler against McIntyre and the Street Profits.
Fanboy Fantasy: Honestly, I got nothing for this one. They fight, they bleed, and then McIntyre hits hopefully the last Claymore on Orton that he has to and the feud ends. We spend the next month with brand against brand fighting and then set up a new challenge for December and January for the Road to the Royal Rumble. My suggestions? Big Win Elias and Money in the Bank-holder Miz. Continuity!
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Drew McIntyre - I screwed myself last month by thinking Orton was only getting another shot so they could put the title on him. Now he’s losing his way into a third match and it makes no sense to me but I’m not making the same mistake twice. Unless I just did.
Ryan: Drew McIntyre
Tim: Drew McIntyre - McIntyre keeps winning.
WWE Universal Title Hell in a Cell I Quit Match: Jey Uso vs Roman Reigns ©
The Background: After winning a title shot in a fatal four way against Baron Corbin, Matt Riddle, and Shemus, Jey Uso was defeated by Roman Reigns at WWE Clash of Champions after Jimmy Uso threw in the towel to protect him - and no, this wasn’t an evil plot like when Owen Hart threw in the towel to protect his brother Bret Hart from the evil that is Bob Backlund. Jimmy gave in and called Roman his Tribal Chief (™) - but Jey didn’t (to be fair, he was slightly unconscious at the time). Jey Uso rebuilt his World-title momentum with a win over AJ Styles on the October 2nd Smackdown and but was beaten down again by Reigns on the October 16th Smackdown after a failed attack on Roman. On the go-home October 23rd Smackdown Reigns laid out his stipulation for their Hell in a Cell I Quit match - if Uso quits, he falls in line and does what the Tribal Chief says, and if he refuses, the Usos and Naomi and their children are all excommunicated from The Family.
Fanboy Fantasy: If you read my Wrestletronic Fantasy WrestleMania 37 then I will briefly repeat myself - Roman wins. The Usos fall in line (begrudgingly) and the three make The Family, a new Samoan super group. We keep Paul Heyman as Roman’s advocate, bring in the Usos’ dad Rikishi as Roman’s advisor, bring in Tamina as an enforcer (and Nia Jax as an enforcer on Raw when necessary) and eventually Seth Rollins as his hitman and you got yourself a delightful Samoan mafia with female enforcers a la Black Panther. The Usos remain the only ones in The Family who clearly don’t want to be there but do what Roman says until the time is right. If it ever will be?
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Roman Reigns - Jey Uso has been on fire but I don’t see him winning the big one. Depending on how much longer Jimmy Uso is out I could see Jey potentially winning the Intercontinental title - actually an IC title feud between Jey Uso and Big E would be really fun....
Ryan: Jey Uso
Tim: Roman Reigns - Reigns retains mainly on the plains.
WWE Smackdown Women’s Title Hell in a Cell Match: Sasha Banks vs Bayley ©
The Background: After Bayley finally attacked and disposed of Sasha Banks on Smackdown after they lost their rematch for the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles, Banks returned at WWE Clash of Champions after a randomly-generated title defense against Raw Women’s Champion Asuka because the women’s title scene revolves around only three women between the two shows: Bayley, Sasha Banks, and Asuka.
Fanboy Fantasy: Again, if you read my Wrestletronic Fantasy WrestleMania 37 article which I will plug here again, then you already know what I want here - Bayley (surprisingly?) wins here and injures Banks further so Banks goes away for a month or two - does she need to do the press junket for what may be one scene in The Mandalorian? Either way, Bayley has a little feud with Natalya for a minute before moving on to Bianca Belair. Now, much like we got Big E on a Thunderdome screen watching his boys on Raw we start to get Banks’s face on a screen during Bayley matches. Bayley of course reacts… poorly. Finally on the Christmas episode of Smackdown Bayley defends her title against Belair and keeps trying to look over to the screens mid-match to see if Banks’s face is there watching her. Banks does not show up onscreen and Belair is able to pin Bayley for the win. Only after Bayley has officially lost does Banks run out from the back and attack the living shit out of Bayley to the point where Bayley has to be stretchered out of the ring. This gives us a little more time to separate them and prolong the feud until WrestleMania.
Quixotronic Bullpen Predictions:
Kyle: Sasha Banks - I think it’s too early in their feud (that took far too long to start) for Banks to take the title from Bayley so that is exactly why I think she will.
Ryan: Sasha Banks
Tim: Sasha Banks - Sasha Banks takes the title in advance of The Mandalorian premiere. THIS IS THE WAY.
That’s it for our WWE Hell in a Cell 2020 preview. We’ll be back next month for previews of AEW Full Gear (Nov. 7) and WWE Survivor Series (Nov. 22).