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Posted in: The Eternal Optimist
The Eternal Optimist Presents - The Good, The Good and the Good - The Shield Reunion, The Resurrection of Braun, War Games, and Hell in a Cell Predictions
By Dave Fenichel
Oct 7, 2017 - 1:47:09 PM

The Good, The Good & The Good – The Shield Reunion, The Resurrection of Braun, Wargames & No Mercy

Hi kids. The action of the past week and what I consider to be a fantastic show tomorrow night has me excited. Here’s what has me in such a good mood:

The Shield Reunion.

People have been clamoring for a reunion of the Shield since the day they broke up. It’s finally upon us, and it couldn’t come at a better time. Brock Lesnar has worked a ton of dates this year already. It is difficult to think that he will be around much between now and the Royal Rumble. Because the WWE kept the Universal Title on him, they are desperately in need of a headlining act in his absence.

Reuniting The Shield will accomplish just that. You can argue both sides of the coin regarding the drawing power of Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose individually, but there is no debating whether or not they draw together. Their first match and/or matches back together will draw tremendous interest. With The Miz gaining new allies in “The Bar”, a six man tag match at Tables Ladders & Chairs looks like the no-brainer main event. Not only will that TLC match be a barnburner, but it will keep the fan’s interest while Lesnar is off farming, hunting and being the general redneck that he is.

The Resurrection of Braun.

I think that we can safely pump the brakes on the “Braun Strowmann is ruined forever” line of thinking. Sure, having him lose decisively to Brock Lesnar wasn’t the absolute best move the WWE could have done for his credibility, but one match doesn’t ruin a career. Instead, what the WWE did after such a loss is just as important if not MORE important than the loss itself.

Braun has destroyed both Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins in back to back weeks on Raw. By handling the second and third baby-faces on the brand in such convincing fashion, the WWE has already positioned Braun back to exactly what he was prior to the Lesnar match – an unstoppable monster.

I think anyone who had worries coming out of No Mercy can relax. The WWE clearly has big plans for Braun. They simply weren’t ready to sacrifice what they believe to be the best direction for the company in order to attract casual fans in order to do so. I fully expect Braun to continue to be booked like the monster that he is, and I fully expect that the WWE will pull the trigger on him once the Reigns/Lesnar Wrestlemania 34 story runs its course. Take a deep breath and chill. It will be ok.

War Games is Back!

I’m beyond excited to see the return of War Games. Unlike a lot of you guys, I’m old as dirt. I watched every War Games match on PPV live. I have fond memories of The Road Warriors beating JJ Dillon to a bloody pulp. I have fond memories of Sid Vicious power-bombing Brian Pillman headfirst into the top of the cage. I have fond memories of Sting’s Squadron defeating the Dangerous Alliance in one of the best gimmick matches of all time. The gimmick lends itself to absolute classic matches, and I can’t wait to see it again.

NXT is the perfect venue to bring War Games back. Wrestlers in NXT have a tremendous amount of in-ring freedom compared to their counterparts on the main roster. I have complete faith that the wrestlers involved will be allowed to do what needs to be done in order for this version to live up to past renditions. On top of that, the presence of the War Games match will be fantastic for the remainder of the show. War Games requires two rings back to back. Can you imagine the creativity that the other wrestlers will be able to show with two rings at their disposal? I think we’ll see some crazy stuff, and I can’t wait.

Hell in a Cell Predictions – The Best Pay Per View of the Year?

I think I’m more excited for tomorrow night’s Hell in a Cell than I’ve been for any show this year other than Wrestlemania. I’m into every match on the card:

A.J. Styles v Baron Corbin:

A.J. is the best in-ring performer in the WWE today, and Corbin usually brings the goods when he has the right dance partner to work with. You’ll get a solid match out of these two, but that’s not what has me interested.

For me, it’s all about the outcome. The winner of this match will tell us everything we need to know about the brand going forward. There are plenty of heels to work with Shinsuke Nakamura should he win the title. Jinder has worked with every face in any type of position to main event on Smackdown other than Styles. If Styles keeps his title, don’t be surprised if Nakamura takes the belt off Mahal. If Styles drops the title to Corbin, it’s because he’s the only logical next opponent for Jinder.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction – Corbin wins the title. It’s time.

Jinder Mahal v Shinsuke Nakamura:

Even as The Eternal Optimist, I can’t sit here and pretend like these two didn’t lay an egg at Summerslam. They did. They didn’t click at all in the ring and that’s ok. This feud has been moved into more of a secondary storyline, and it has benefitted as a result. The lack of pressure to be the focus of Smackdown has allowed this feud to develop, both from a physical and promo perspective. I think this will be Jinder’s best match of his career.

Additionally, there is legitimate doubt as to the winner. Jinder has been rolling along, but there are an awful lot of reasons why this could be the end of the line for him. 1) The India Tour is over. 2) He’s dominated the feud. 3) The WWE is unlikely to job Nakamura two PPVs in a row if they have any desire to keep him around as a main event player. 4) Even if they aren’t sold on him as champion, Nakamura makes a perfect bridge to get the title on Kevin Owens. I don’t think it happens, but there’s legitimate uncertainty in my mind. That’s always a good sign.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction – Mahal retains. I don’t see him losing the belt on a match that won’t be the focal point of the show.

Dolph Ziggler v Bobby Roode:

Dolph is right. He’s stlll a great in-ring performer. Bobby Roode is great too. Together, they should be able to create magic. I’ve hated on Dolph for years, but I’m really enjoying his current gimmick. As a result, I’m fair more interested in seeing a Pay Per View match involving him than I have been in a long time.

I’m also on board with what this means for Bobby Roode. Smackdown is devoid of main event level faces, and he’s just the guy for the job. Dolph Ziggler has become the guy that the WWE puts in the ring with people when they want that person to be viewed as a big deal. It worked for Nakamura, and it will certainly work for Roode. This could easily be the hot opener of the show, and I am expecting a strong outing.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction – Roode wins. He’s onto bigger and better things. This is the perfect step one.

Randy Orton v Rusev:

I love me some Rusev. He’s so underrated. He’s great in the ring. He’s great on the mic. He can do serious. He can do comedy. He can do it all. Rusev should just Machka everyone every night.

I’m looking forward to this match because we’re finally going to get to see the 15 minute match between these two that we’ve been waiting for. Each one has squashed the other, and this is the tiebreaker. For all of his personality flaws, Orton can still go in the ring. There’s too much quality on the rest of this card to expect this to be the best match on the show, but I am expecting a show stealing caliber performance.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction: MACHKAMANIA!

Natalya v Charlotte:

Natalya v Charlotte is the right match in the right place at the right time. Natalya is obviously a short term champion. She’s paid her dues and deserved a run with the strap, but she isn’t qualified to be the flag bearer for the division. Charlotte is someone that she can have a great match with in a losing effort.

The outcome is as obvious as obvious can be, and it doesn’t better. Charlotte is riding a wave of face-sympathy because of Ric’s illness. She will win and everyone will feel good about it. That is….everyone will feel good about it for about three minutes. It’s Carmella’s night. She’s been jobbed out for the past few weeks, and it’s to mask her cash-in. The Staten Island Era begins tomorrow night. Put that one in pen.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction: Charlotte wins the title – Carmella cashes in.

The New Day v The Usos – Hell in a Cell:

Make no mistake about it – this is the best tag team feud since The Smackdown Six. Not only are these the unquestioned top two tag teams of the past decade, but the feud itself has been nothing short of amazing. Each and every match that they’ve had together has been absolutely captivating. They’ve had the best match of the night over and over again. I expect tomorrow to be no different.

I’m beyond ecstatic that this was the match chosen for the coveted second Hell in a Cell spot. The video package is amazing. It really says it all. The feud ends tomorrow night and it will be spectacular. I’m going to make a prediction, but they’ve had me guessing wrong every step of the way. I wouldn’t hang my hat on the validity of my thought process here.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction: The Uso’s regain the titles. This is the end of the feud and there are more face tag teams for the Usos to feud with than there are heel tag teams for The New Day.

Kevin Owens v Shane McMahon:

The WWE has done such a good job making Kevin Owens look like a big deal throughout this feud. Additionally, they’ve given this feud a personal feel that not many have these days. As a result, it is the perfect match to put inside of Hell in a Cell. I love the added stipulation of Falls Count Anywhere. I expect this to be an all-out brawl, and the stipulation will allow much of the action to take place outside of the ring (and potentially the cell) without giving off the feeling that the match can’t end at any moment.

On top of the match itself being great, Sami Zayn’s inclusion in the storyline has me interested. Sure, he has plenty of history with KO. However, it’s hard for me to believe that someone who has barely been used at all has suddenly been inserted in the main event storyline. I think something is up. Don’t be surprised if Sami Zayn turns heel and joins KO tomorrow night.

The storyline writes itself. Shane McMahon is the boss. Sami hasn’t been given opportunities. He’s tired of it and is ready to do something about it. What bigger impact could he have than taking out Shane himself? I love the idea of a two man power trip between KO and Zayn. I am not usually one for conspiracy theory type storylines, but I think this one happens.

The Eternal Optimist’s Prediction – KO wins after Sami turns on Shane. This is the type of impactful storyline that will get some of the disgruntled fans excited again.

That’s a wrap kids. Thank you for reading. Sound off below!

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