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Predicting the match order at Hell in a Cell 2021

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It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Hell in a Cell, but how about taking a guess at the match order for the event?

Hell in a Cell takes place tomorrow night (June 20) in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida, with the main card beginning at 8 pm ET on Peacock.

WWE has announced six different segments for the main card of this event. Here is my subjective view of how important each of these six segments rank, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
  2. Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
  3. Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
  4. Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro
  5. Shayna Baszler vs. Alexa Bliss
  6. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Main event

Lashley vs. McIntyre was always the favorite to headline this event due to the long-term nature of their feud, combined with the lack of a credible challenger for Universal champion Roman Reigns. Once WWE officially moved Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio off of this card and onto SmackDown television, the main event of Hell in a Cell became even more apparent.

But that doesn’t change the fact that WWE missed the mark with their choice for the Hell in a Cell main event. Instead of trying to wring any more juice out of this exhausting Lashley vs. McIntyre feud, WWE could have instead booked a rematch of the bout that stole the show on last year’s Hell in a Cell card: Bobby Lashley vs. SLAPJACK. It’s undeniably the greatest match in the history of our sport, and certainly has my vote for the most important wrestling match ever. We could have gotten the epic rematch between Lashley and SLAPJACK inside Hell in a Cell this year, but alas, WWE remains hopelessly out of touch with its fan base.

Opening match

The opening match of the night is usually one of the mid-level attractions with good work rate that doesn’t require a dedicated video package ahead of time to hype it up.

That guideline might not apply on a six match show that includes two Hell in a Cell cage matches. WWE could very well open the card with a cell match, and I do believe that’s what will happen. Therefore I’m putting Bianca Belair and Bayley in the opening match.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

Everything else

WWE doesn’t typically run consecutive women’s matches on their pay-per-view cards. Given this is a six match show with three women’s matches, I will need to alternate men’s and women’s matches in order to abide by that guideline. That’s how I will fill out the rest of this card.

That means Segment 2 is a men’s match. Owens vs. Zayn is the least important men’s match of the night, so that’s where I’m putting it.

I think the supernatural Alexa Bliss stuff is a better fit just before the very long main event match, so I’m putting that one in Segment 5.

Sticking with my decision to alternate the men’s and women’s matches, that means Ripley must go in Segment 3, and Rollins goes in Segment 4.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Hell in a Cell, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times:

Segment 1: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley (17 minutes)
Segment 2: Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn (13)
Segment 3: Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (15)
Segment 4: Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins (15)
Segment 5: Shayna Baszler vs. Alexa Bliss (7)
Segment 6: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (23)

There is no need to add another match to the main card of Hell in a Cell. These predicted times add up to 90 minutes, which is about right for a typical 3 hour WWE pay-per-view event. The Bliss match is really the only one that can’t be extended to fill out however much time WWE has in mind for this event.

That’s my prediction for the match order at Hell in a Cell. What’s yours?