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Predicting the match order at SummerSlam 2021

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

SummerSlam takes place tonight (Aug. 21) from Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the main card beginning at 8 pm ET on Peacock.

WWE has announced 10 different segments for the main card of this event. Here is my subjective view of how important each of these 10 segments rank, ordered from most important to least important.

  1. Roman Reigns vs. John Cena
  2. Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg
  3. Edge vs. Seth Rollins
  4. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
  5. A.S.H. vs Ripley vs. Flair
  6. Styles & Omos vs. RK-Bro
  7. The Usos vs. The Mysterios
  8. Sheamus vs. Damian Priest
  9. Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal
  10. Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie

Main event

This one is obvious. The final match of the night will be Roman Reigns versus John Cena. It’s difficult to make a case for any of the other nine matches getting that spot over Reigns and Cena.

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.

The Raw women’s championship match fits that description pretty well, but I think SummerSlam should open with a hotter story than that drivel. Therefore I’m going with RK-Bro winning the tag titles as the opening match of the night.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Styles & Omos vs. RK-Bro
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9:
Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. John Cena

Everything else

Here are a couple guidelines I will follow while filling out the rest of the card.

Edge is a marathon man, so I’m attaching Eva Marie’s match as a cool-down right after his, no matter where I place him on the card.

I will put the Raw women’s championship in the first half of the card, and the SmackDown women’s championship in the second half. Of course this whole thing could be thrown into disarray if Sasha Banks misses the card. WWE has yet to pull Sasha’s match from SummerSlam, but they have a penchant for shameless false advertising, so that might not mean much.

With that out of the way, I’ll go ahead and deal with Segment 2, which is usually one of the least important matches of the night. In this case that means either Sheamus or McIntyre will land there. I think McIntyre’s name alone could get his match in the back half of the card, so I’ll go with Sheamus for Segment 2.

I’ll follow that up in Segment 3 with a more important title match. I think it’s too soon for another tag title match, so I’ll go with Nikki A.S.H. here. The Usos can then go in Segment 4.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: Styles & Omos vs. RK-Bro
Segment 2: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest
Segment 3: A.S.H. vs Ripley vs. Flair
Segment 4: The Usos vs. The Mysterios
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7:
Segment 8:
Segment 9:
Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. John Cena

That leaves the four most important fights of the night to take place among the final six segments. including the main event.

We’ll start getting into those matches by going with Edge in Segment 5. His matches are ridiculously long and should probably have some distance from Belair and Reigns, which could also go long.

Segment 6 will be Bliss and Eva Marie, as a cool-down following Edge.

I’ll stick McIntyre in Segment 7. I can’t really find a good spot on the card for this one, but it would feel out of place as one of the final three matches of the night. Maybe Sheamus or Bliss will be bumped to the pre-show, making it easier to slot this one earlier on the main card.

Finally, I’ll put Banks in Segment 8, and Goldberg in Segment 9. Belair and Banks can have a very long match, so breaking that up from the main event with a very short Goldberg match makes sense. This once again hinges on Banks actually wrestling on the card, as WWE is currently advertising.

Finalized card

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

Segment 1: Styles & Omos vs. RK-Bro (9 minutes)
Segment 2: Sheamus vs. Damian Priest (8)
Segment 3: A.S.H. vs Ripley vs. Flair (12)
Segment 4: The Usos vs. The Mysterios (9)
Segment 5: Edge vs. Seth Rollins (20)
Segment 6: Alexa Bliss vs. Eva Marie (3)
Segment 7: Drew McIntyre vs. Jinder Mahal (7)
Segment 8: Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (15)
Segment 9: Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg (5)
Segment 10: Roman Reigns vs. John Cena (18)

There is a rumor that WWE wants to keep this main card to about three hours in length, so I have kept most of these times on the shorter side. The numbers above still add up to 106 minutes, though, which is probably too much for a three hour WWE PPV. Either the rumor will end up being wrong, one or more of these matches will get bumped to the pre-show, or my guesses on the match times will be inaccurate.

That’s my prediction for the match order at SummerSlam. What’s yours?