Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for Hell in a Cell 2021

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2021

Bleacher Report's WWE Staff Predictions for Hell in a Cell 2021

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Instead of airing in the fall as it usually does, WWE has shifted the schedule around this year to placed the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in the middle of June.

    The company has only announced five matches for Sunday's show to date. Here is a look at the card, according to WWE.com:

    • Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship, HIAC)
    • Bianca Belair vs. Bayley (SmackDown Women's Championship)
    • Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women's Championship)
    • Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler 

    Let's see how the Bleacher Report staff members think everything will go down. Here's our lineup of contributors:

                                

    Note: This was written before WWE moved Mysterio vs. Reigns from HIAC to SmackDown. 

Donald Wood

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    Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio

    Q: What role do you see The Usos playing in the outcome of this match?

    With Jey falling in line with Reigns and Jimmy focused on building up the tag team with his brother, they will undoubtedly play a role on Friday's SmackDown.

    There is no doubt The Tribal Chief will retain the Universal Championship, but expect Jimmy to come close to costing his cousin the title, creating even more tension among the family.

                                     

    Q: What is your opinion of events based around a specific stipulation? Do you like them or do you feel they devalue the stipulation? 

    While the stipulations WWE has developed over the years have been incredible—Hell in a Cell is still a great match type—pigeonholing them for one show limits how effective they can be from a storyline perspective.

    WWE Creative should be using stipulations to build and further angles, not basing programs around a specific match type.

Anthony Mango

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    Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair

    Q: How has WWE done when it comes to portraying Ripley as the champion?

    Unfortunately, Rhea Ripley is nowhere near the dominant champion she should have been.

    WWE killed her momentum when she originally lost to Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania 36 and spent over a year failing to rehab her credibility. She did nothing of value, was rushed into a title match at the eleventh hour this year to win the title from Asuka, and she still can't fully shake The Queen.

    Now, she's even struggling with Nikki Cross. What happened to the woman who led her teams to victory at WarGames and Survivor Series and took out Shayna Baszler? That version of Ripley needs to come back with a definitive, decisive win over Flair and then some.

                                       

    Q: What is your opinion of events based around a specific stipulation? Do you like them or do you feel they devalue the stipulation?

    In theory, they should be great as it gives fans a guaranteed selling point to look forward to.

    Royal Rumble, Elimination Chamber, Money in the Bank and Survivor Series work extremely well because they don't require personal feuds. Popping up at the same point every year is no hindrance. But Hell in a Cell and TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs fall short because they depend entirely on the individual storyline justifying that gimmick.

    Rarely does a feud feel worthy of Hell in a Cell these days, and TLC only tends to show up because someone randomly grabs those weapons to justify calling it a TLC match. It definitely devalues the matches, and WWE should reserve them for when the storyline calls for it.

Kevin Berge

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    Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

    Q: What is the best possible finish to this match? 

    Bayley is the opportunistic heel in this rivalry, while Bianca Belair is the hero on a mission to prove herself. The best way to solidify this would be for The Role Model's best plans to fail.

    The former champion knows The EST of WWE's hair is her greatest weapon and vulnerability, and she can use her braid to set up a Bayley to Belly or Rose Plant that should seal the win. Instead, Belair would kick out and then use her hair as a weapon to set up an emphatic KOD to win.

                                 

    Q: What is your opinion of events based around a specific stipulation? Do you like them or do you feel they devalue the stipulation?

    I enjoy certain stipulations as events over others. Money in the Bank, Elimination Chamber, and Extreme Rules work as themed events that build excitement. Others such as Hell in a Cell are fun enough events, but  they do diminish the stipulation.

    This is a match type that should not have to be forced each year. WWE generally does a good job creating matches for the stipulation, but it can feel contrived. It would be more impactful to bring out a stipulation once a year for the right feud.

Phil Lindsey

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    Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

    Q: If this feud ends after Sunday's match, who on the Raw roster would be the best option to challenge for the title next?

    If this feud ends at Hell in a Cell, Kofi Kingston should be the next challenger for the WWE Championship.

    He is overdue for another title shot, and his segments with MVP have been so compelling. Hopefully, the last few episodes of Raw are leading up to a match with Bobby Lashley.

                                

    Q: What is your opinion of events based around a specific stipulation? Do you like them or do you feel they devalue the stipulation?

    Hell in a Cell is a great stipulation, but it works best when a story necessitates its use. When the fans know there has to be a HIAC match for the annual pay-per-view, it makes the stipulation more of an inevitability as opposed to a rare special attraction like it used to be.

    As such, it doesn't have the same significance as a storytelling device even though there have been some great Hell in a Cell matches over the last few years.

Chris Mueller

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    Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler

    Q: What is your honest opinion of Bliss, Lilly and this whole storyline?

    Alexa Bliss has done a great job with everything she has been given, and Shayna Baszler did well with what she had to work with last week, but the storyline is almost unwatchable.

    WWE doesn't seem to know what it wants to do with Bliss, so it keeps coming up with random things for her. 

    Hopefully, Bray Wyatt returns soon and we get some kind of conclusion to this. Bliss should eventually return to her original persona. Her current gimmick isn't sustainable for long. 

                                     

    Q: What is your opinion of events based around a specific stipulation? Do you like them or do you feel they devalue the stipulation? 

    I don't think the event devalues the stipulation. I think WWE does that by not coming up with compelling stories for the event.

    McIntyre and Lashley fighting in the cell makes sense because they have been feuding for several months, but Reigns vs. Mysterio is not nearly big enough for this kind of stipulation yet.

    Some years, WWE does a great job, but those times are outnumbered by the ones that wasted the HIAC stipulation on a random title bout.

    Frankly, I would like to see WWE allow non-world title feuds to use the cell more often. The New Day and The Usos proved it can work for tag teams, and it would be great to see it employed for the occasional midcard storyline. 

Predictions

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    All respondents' predictions are represented by their initials next to their choices.

    • Lashley (DW, AM, KB, PL, CM) vs. McIntyre
    • Belair (DW, AM, KB, PL, CM) vs. Bayley
    • Ripley (AM, KB, PL, CM) vs. Charlotte (DW)
    • Bliss (DW, AM, KB, PL) vs. Baszler (CM)

                                      

    What are your predictions for Hell in a Cell? Drop them in the comment section. 

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