Final Picks for Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre and WWE Hell in Cell 2021 Card
Hell in a Cell 2021 comes four months ahead of its normal spot in October, with the torturous red cage rearing its ugly head once again Sunday.
This time around, Drew McIntyre has one last chance to win back the WWE Championship or he will be unable to challenge Bobby Lashley again. Meanwhile, the women's title matches are also repeats, with Bianca Belair challenging Bayley to a rematch and Rhea Ripley unable to shake Charlotte Flair from gunning for her title.
Who is most likely to win these matches and more?
Before the event kicks off at 7 p.m. ET, let's break down the card with one last round of predictions for WWE Hell in a Cell 2021.
Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn
It's amazing how these two have had nearly 20 matches against each other in some fashion since their "one last time" match at Battleground 2016. It's even more baffling WWE didn't put this match inside the cell.
They are fantastic performers and reliable for a great match any time they step in the ring, but this feud has gone on long enough that there's no justifiable reason why this is not a Hell in a Cell match.
It's one of many lazy decisions WWE has made and proves this event is not a priority and the matches don't matter. Nothing is on the line, and such little effort was put into crafting the card that you might as well flip a coin.
If Owens wins, it will likely lead nowhere other than maybe yet another rematch against Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Championship. If Zayn wins, it's doubtful anything will come out of that, either.
Just for the sake of variety, since Owens won their past two meetings, let's give this one to Zayn.
Prediction: Zayn wins.
Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins
This match is yet another repeat that would have made much more sense and been more interesting if it were inside the cell.
Just like Owens vs. Zayn, Cesaro and Seth Rollins are great in the ring and will undoubtedly put on a good show. The unfortunate part of it is that this is nowhere near as hot of a feud as it was for WrestleMania, and it falls victim to the same problem that the outcome doesn't matter because nothing is on the line.
If this were a No. 1 contender's match, for a championship or even had any sense of finality to it, it would be a lot easier to predict a logical outcome. Knowing full well WWE will have no problem doing another match between these two, though, anything can happen.
However, despite WWE's consistent lack of attention to logic, the most reasonable outcome—if the game plan is to have a rubber match to finish this feud—would dictate The Messiah needs to win to even the score.
Prediction: Rollins wins.
Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler
Fans might have been able to suggest a dozen or so other matches that could have taken this spot on the card, but WWE made the call to go in this direction.
It would be interesting to find out whether there is more to this than there is at face value, which appears to be that WWE just wants to play around with the ThunderDome effects one last time before having fans in attendance, at which point they will be unable to film things ahead of time and get away with such goofiness.
With that possibility in mind, as well as how Alexa Bliss has been a featured player while not even wrestling much for months, she is more of a priority than Shayna Baszler.
There is almost no way The Queen of Spades wins this. She's there to be the victim—a role almost anyone could have played.
Prediction: Bliss wins.
Hell in a Cell Match: SmackDown Women's Champion Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
After having seen these two fight numerous times, there isn't much to this. Basically, WWE kept the feud going because it took the least amount of effort and was the easiest way to kill time. Then everything pivoted to putting it inside the cell in a last-ditch effort to make it seem more interesting.
Hell in a Cell is a shell of its former self, so there are no guarantees this will be anything but a regular match with an obstructed view. That wouldn't be as bad if there were any doubts as to the finish.
Bayley's already lost. No amount of sporadic laughing will suddenly give her the edge over Bianca Belair.
The EST of WWE hasn't held the title long enough to drop it, least of all to someone who held it for a year and a half.
Bayley in a rematch is just a stopgap before Belair either rekindles her feud with Sasha Banks or moves on to someone new. They will have a good match, but they will be going through the motions and filling time.
Prediction: Belair wins.
Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair
When WWE defies logic in a feud and goes in other directions rather than the simplest path, it opens up speculation that something is afoot.
Curiously, why is Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair yet another match not inside Hell in a Cell? Their feud has enough about it that it could have used the stipulation well.
Is that because WWE wants to keep this going and is trying to avoid any sense of finality? If that's the case, does that mean Ripley is dropping the title so she can once more be the one chasing The Opportunity?
Second, why has most of this story lately revolved around Nikki Cross outlasting Beat the Clock scenarios? She isn't even factored in to make this a Triple Threat match!
All too often, odd scenarios like this are a product of WWE having no idea what to do and just going with random things for the sake of getting through a particular day, not worrying how any of it will play out in the long run, or it's because this is setting up something else.
With fans coming back, it wouldn't be shocking to find out that Flair will win the title here just so she can drop it to a returning Becky Lynch at Money in the Bank or SummerSlam.
Then again, who's to say Ripley doesn't fill that role and Flair doesn't just make her own opportunity by winning the Money in the Bank briefcase?
This is the hardest match to predict, but when in doubt, the champion has the technical advantage.
Prediction: Ripley wins.
WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre
If WWE wanted to put the title back on Drew McIntyre, surely he would have won it at WrestleMania 37 or would regain it in front of a crowd at Money in the Bank, right?
However, that can't happen because of the stipulation that if The Scottish Warrior loses this, he will no longer get any more chances at Bobby Lashley's belt.
It's now or never. This is the last chance until The All Mighty loses it.
Sadly, it doesn't look like that is going to happen. McIntyre made the fateful mistake of requesting this match specifically to avoid any outside interference. Even the first Hell in a Cell match proved that wasn't impossible to get around, as Kane debuted to cost The Undertaker his match against Shawn Michaels.
By hook or by crook, Lashley is retaining his title, and McIntyre will have to find a new goal for the next two months until he can be drafted to SmackDown and become one of the biggest threats to the universal champion.
Prediction: Lashley wins.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.