With September coming to a close and October rapidly approaching, it can only mean one thing across the WWE landscape. In just 33 days the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia will play host to the fourth annual Hell in a Cell PPV event. That means in just under five weeks, certain superstars will enter Satan’s structure to fight and pay the ultimate price. Some careers have been made inside the cell while others have ended. With WWE’s next PPV still a month away, it’s time to take a look at who some potential challengers could be for Sheamus’ World Heavyweight Championship and CM Punk’s WWE Championship. Especially considering the fact that Punk’s original opponent John Cena, despite what he said on Raw two nights ago, will be sidelined for six weeks due to recent elbow surgery. Now with all of that being said, let’s talk about some guys who could pose a threat to Punk’s and Sheamus’ reigns.
When it comes to the reigning World Heavyweight Championship Sheamus, there haven’t been many people who have been able to stop him. He won the title back at Wrestlemania 28 in Miami from Daniel Bryan in a record setting 18 seconds. Since then, he hasn’t looked back as he’s overcome challenge after challenge. His reign is currently at 177 days and counting which is pretty impressive. But you have to wonder, who is going to be the one to put an end to the Great White’s winning streak? Or more importantly, who will try to dethrone him inside the Devil’s playground? Here’s who I think could be the potential challengers to step up and face Sheamus in Atlanta.
1. The first choice has to be Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler. He’s had the briefcase since July and one has to wonder when he’s going to pick his spot and cash in. Dolph and Sheamus are certainly no strangers to each other as the Show Off had previously tried to cash in his contract but the bell never rang, therefore retaining the contract. There’s no doubt in my mind Dolph is going to be a future World Heavyweight Champion, it’s just a matter of when. Could Hell in a Cell be the venue where he finally decides that his time is now? We shall see, and even if he isn’t Sheamus’ opponent, remember about the possibility of a post-match cash in. The Celtic Warrior will need to keep his eyes open come October 28.
2. From the scuttlebutt I’ve heard as of late, my next choice is supposedly scheduled to be Sheamus’ official opponent for Hell in a Cell. This man made an impact on Raw a couple nights ago after being noticeably absent the previous few weeks. That man is the Big Show. Yes, believe it or not the world’s largest athlete could be the champ’s next obstacle. A big one might I add. Show and Sheamus have never really squared off as far as I know, so it would be an intriguing matchup to say the least. Now obviously anytime you work with Show, the match quality isn’t going to be the greatest simply because of his size. But for once, it’d be nice to see Sheamus have a legitimate threat to his title, and really have to dig down deep to successfully retain it.
3. My last choice to face Sheamus at Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship would have to be Wade Barrett. The former bareknuckle boxer returned to WWE a few weeks ago after being out since February with a dislocated elbow. For those of you who read my first blog which was on Wade Barrett, you’ll recall me saying I’m a big fan of the guy. Well that fact remains true, I mean he’s got all the potential in the world and it’s only a matter of time before he showcases it all. A feud with Sheamus for Smackdown’s top strap would be the ideal way for Barrett to burst onto the main event scene and keep his barrage going. Plus who wouldn’t want to see a feud between an Englishman and an Irishman?
So as you can see, I feel as though Sheamus has a few worthy candidates to man up and face him in the cell. As for the reigning WWE Champion CM Punk, in my opinion his options are limited. Let’s be honest here, John Cena has been Punk’s challenger for the WWE Title for basically the last two months. Then of course you had his two or three week feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler. But that doesn’t really count in my book seeing as how King is an announcer. Now you factor in Cena’s recent elbow surgery and his pending in-ring absence, and you’ve got a giant question mark as to who Punk’s opponent for Hell in a Cell will be. After running down the Raw roster in all honesty guys, other than Cena I didn’t see one legitimate superstar that could be his next challenger. So unfortunately, I could only narrow it down to two choices.
1. The only reason I am picking this superstar is because he’s been in a program with CM Punk before and is a certified main eventer. That superstar is Randy Orton. Now before you guys start going nuts let me explain. The only and I mean only reason I picked Orton as a possible opponent for Punk inside the cell is because he’s got the credibility. Look at the other top superstars at the moment. You've got Kane and Daniel Bryan who are the current tag team champions. But they’re too busy dealing with their anger management issues. Alberto Del Rio is too busy trying to get another shot at Sheamus, Christian’s injured, Taker’s nowhere to be seen, Y2J's gone, Brock Lesnar "quit" and Triple H has gone corporate. Then you throw Cena’s injury in there and you’re left to wonder, who in the world do you have left? I would say The Rock because he really would be the perfect opponent for Punk right now, but I don’t think he’ll feud with him until the Royal Rumble. That leaves Randy Orton basically all by himself. I’m not saying I want to see this happen because I’m always the one who wants to see new programs develop. But with the brand separation not being as legit as it once was, it makes it incredibly easy for any superstar to start an angle with another superstar regardless of what roster they’re on. That’s why Randy Orton has the best chance to be Punk’s next challenger. For our sake, let’s hope that doesn’t happen.
2. Other than Randy Orton, the only other superstar I thought had the right to face CM Punk at Hell in a Cell for the title was Ryback. The funny thing is, I don’t even think he’s earned the right at all to be in the main event scene yet. But after Raw’s ending this past Monday it looks like that’s the way Vince is going, thus the reason for this absolute animal being my choice. We’ve all seen what Ryback is a capable of in the ring. For God’s sake he makes mince meat out of two grown men at once. You can’t deny that his power is scary. We all know Vinnie Mac is a huge fan of this monster cyborg, which is apparently why he was seen staring a hole through the WWE Champion at the conclusion of Raw. Which is why I am a little bit confused though. It seemed to me that Ryback was going to feud with The Miz for the Intercontinental Championship plus he had a match with him on Raw. That would be a much better feud for him to be in right now. I’m sorry but it’s just way too soon to thrust him into the main event spotlight. Granted I’ll take anyone over Cena but like I said before, Ryback hasn’t earned a word title shot yet. If you really think about it, the majority of his victories have come at the expense of countless jobbers. So it’s not exactly like he’s been beating quality opponents to raise his stock. But hey, like my opinion really matters right? Because according to Vince I guess his stock is already through the roof. Not to take anything away from the reaction Ryback gets, as he does seem to be getting more and more popular. It still doesn’t change the fact that he shouldn’t face CM Punk for the WWE Title. At least not yet, I say give him another month or two and he’ll be worthy of a main event championship match.
Well I think that about wraps it up guys! I’m sure there were some other names that I could’ve listed as challengers for Sheamus and CM Punk at Hell in a Cell but these were my personal choices. The home of Wrestlemania 27 is going to be in for a wild and unpredictable night on October 28. I’m very curious to watch Raw and Smackdown over the next few weeks in order to see who will step up and assert themselves into the main events. Who do you guys think will end up facing the World Heavyweight Champion and WWE Champion inside the business’s most demonic structure known as Hell in a Cell?