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Predicting the match order at Day 1

WWE.com

It’s one thing to predict the winners and losers at Day 1, but how about taking a guess at the match order for the event?

Day 1 takes place tonight (Jan. 1) from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, with the main card beginning at 8 pm ET on Peacock.

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

  1. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
  2. Big E vs. Rollins vs. Owens vs. Lashley
  3. Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan
  4. Edge vs. The Miz
  5. The Usos vs. New Day
  6. RK-Bro vs. Street Profits
  7. Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss

Main event

The choice for the main event match is obvious. Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar is perhaps the biggest match WWE can book given who is on the roster, and it could also be the main event of WrestleMania 38. It would be shocking if any other match was the main event of Day 1, unless COVID forces WWE to change plans.

Opening match

The rumor is that WWE wants this card to be a really big deal, to establish the Day 1 concept as an annual event. In that case, I can see WWE starting the show with either Edge or Becky Lynch in the first match. However, The Usos vs. New Day is pretty much the perfect opening match on PPV, and Big E is in the building to give Kofi Kingston and King Woods a proper introduction. The main factor working against it is that we’ve seen the match so many times that it might not be fresh enough for the first match. Regardless, that’s the match I’m selecting to open the show.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: The Usos vs. New Day
Segment 2:
Segment 3:
Segment 4:
Segment 5:
Segment 6:
Segment 7: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar

The important matches

Three of the remaining matches are clearly more important than the rest: Big E, Becky, and Edge. I’m going to scatter them across the rest of the card, closing the night with the top two matches.

Becky’s match is the only women’s match on the card, so it shouldn’t go too early in the night.

If the Usos are the opener, then I think one of these three important matches should follow it up in Segment 2. That’s because opening the show with tag titles that WWE doesn’t really care about and then Madcap Moss doesn’t exactly set the proper tone for how big WWE wants Day 1 to be. One of the top matches of the night will probably be booked towards the beginning of the card.

The end result is that Edge ends up in Segment 2, Lynch in Segment 4, and Big E in segment 6.

That gives me the following card:

Segment 1: The Usos vs. New Day
Segment 2: Edge vs. The Miz
Segment 3:
Segment 4: Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan
Segment 5:
Segment 6: Big E vs. Rollins vs. Owens vs. Lashley
Segment 7: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar

Everything else

The two matches left to fill out the card are RK-Bro and Madcap Moss. Considering the SmackDown tag titles are running early in the night, I’ll place the Raw tag titles later on the card. That puts Moss in Segment 3 and Matt Riddle in segment 5.

Finalized card

So here is my final prediction for the match order at Day 1, along with guesses on the bell-to-bell match times:

Segment 1: The Usos vs. New Day (15 minutes)
Segment 2: Edge vs. The Miz (16)
Segment 3: Drew McIntyre vs. Madcap Moss (1)
Segment 4: Becky Lynch vs. Liv Morgan (15)
Segment 5: RK-Bro vs. Street Profits (14)
Segment 6: Big E vs. Rollins vs. Owens vs. Lashley (21)
Segment 7: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (13)

These times add up to 95 minutes. That’s about right for a three hour main card WWE PPV. If WWE wants this card to run closer to 3.5 or 4 hours, then more matches will need to be added.

That’s my prediction for the match order at Day 1. What’s yours?