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411’s WWE Hell in a Cell 2021 Preview

June 20, 2021 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Hell in a Cell

Hello 411 guys, gals, enbies, and everyone else! Welcome to 411’s WWE Hell In a Cell preview! I’m Jeremy Thomas as always, and Sunday sees the biggest company in the game leap inside its most infamous structure outside of the catering tables. We have six matches on the card so far, with another quite possibly added for the pre-show, and…well, this isn’t the WWE PPV I’ve had the least anticipation for over the last couple of years but it’s probably in the bottom five. It seems as if the company is mostly spinning its wheels while it gets ready to build to SummerSlam. And while that hopefully means good things for August, it’s of little solace right now in June. Still, I didn’t have any anticipation for Payback last year and that show was great, so maybe they’ll surprise me. Either way, let’s get into it!

Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro

This is going to be a running theme through most of these matches, but it feels like Seth Rollins and Cesaro have been feuding since time began at this point. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, to be clear. Long-term feuds are a lost art in wrestling, and as long as they can keep the story compelling I’m all for feuds lasting forever. Thus far, WWE has done a solid job of not making this rivalry feel particularly stale. Part of that is Rollins doing a great job delivering in his heel gimmick, but another part is simply that fans so want to see Cesaro go over and get to the next level that we’re invested in this. All that said, I don’t see any reason for this to continue, which means that it’s probably time for the feud to come to an end. WWE has been clearly building Cesaro up, and he delivered big-time in his match against Roman Reigns last month at WrestleMania Backlash. I feel like WWE may be behind our Swiss Superman to some degree at last, and Rollins doesn’t lose anything by losing this feud. Cesaro wins here and goes onto another rivalry, perhaps being positioned for another show at Roman Reigns sooner or later.

WINNER: Cesaro

Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Now in this case, Owens and Zayn really HAVE been feuding since time began (or at least as far back as WWE Creative can remember). But again, not a bad thing. Owens vs. Zayn is the rare kind of feud that is so storied, WWE can go back to it at any time for any real reason and it feels appropriate. Put that in Owens and Zayn’s corners for making it compelling, of course. Even though I barely remember why they’re at it again (hint: they both wanted the IC Title), I’m not going to complain about seeing these guys run it back for the umpteen thousandth time. The match will of course be great, and while I think Zayn could stand to pick up a win in this feud, he also is playing a character who just gets stronger the more he loses. So I imagine that Owens wins in the latest battle of their eternal war.

WINNER: Kevin Owens

Alexa Bliss vs. Shayna Baszler

Here is the new feud on this card, and be careful what you wish for because it also happens to be tied to the most hated storyline in WWE right now. I’ve been on record as Alexa Bliss’ biggest defender around these parts for this whole evil Alexa thing, though I acknowledge that the story’s strength has waned in the days of Lilly the doll. That’s not Lilly’s fault; it’s just that the company is trying to transition the character and the steps to do so have been…let’s just call then “not the best executed.” I wasn’t a huge fan of the Shayna Baszler ends up locked in a room with Lilly segment either, though I still think there’s a lot to like in this narrative even as I get why people don’t like it. The big question from here regarding this feud is what WWE’s plans for Alexa are. Will she start transitioning to something less cinematic now that they’re leaving the ThunderDome? You have to figure that will be the case, but they can continue this without the need for the level of production they’re at now. I don’t feel like WWE is ready to have Bliss change characters, and Baszler’s feud here seems like a brief stop into singles territory while she’s still tagging with Nia Jax. The end may be in sight for the Fiendess, but I don’t think it stops here.

WINNER: Alexa Bliss

RAW Women’s Championship Match
Rhea Ripley vs. Charlotte Flair

I feel like this is a match that many WWE fans are dreading. Not because it’ll be bad; far from it, I have pretty high expectations for the in-ring work here. Say what you want about Charlotte but she is absolutely a ring general, and Ripley is a great performer who has only gotten better in the ring since coming to Raw. No, the reason people are dreading this match is that it seems almost telegraphed that Flair is primed to win her 13-time champion here, the latest road on her step to break Ric’s record. And that will be a shame, because I think that Ripley has done a great job with the feuds she’s been given so far and could use more time to permanently establish herself as champion. However, the way that this story has been going, it does feel to me like this ends with Flair picking up the win to claim her fifth Raw Women’s Championship. It’s my least confident pick and I could well be wrong, but this is where it seems to be going right now.

WINNER: Charlotte Flair (NEW Raw Women’s Champion)

Smackdown Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match
Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

One thing that I can appreciate about this PPV is that our two Hell in a Cell matches actually feel appropriate to Hell in a Cell. Too often since it became a PPV, the Cell has been not a place where feuds end, but a place where they continue. That’s never sat right with me and so I’m both pleased to see and confident that both of these feuds are done after Sunday. First up we have Bianca Belair and Bayley, a feud that has been Belair’s first rivalry as champion and has been going on for a couple of months now. It feels like it’s been going on longer though, in part because the two were at each other’s throats just before Belair booked her spot to WrestleMania. This leg of their feud hasn’t been as compelling as the build to WrestleMania Backlash has been, but we can expect them to deliver inside the Cell. We know they can both turn it on in the ring, and they should find a lot of opportunities to use the structure to their advantage. Still, there is no way Belair is losing here. She’s still early in her reign and WWE has a lot invested in her, while Bayley can take the loss and move onto something else without a sweat. Easy pick, the champ retains.

WINNER: Bianca Belair (STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion)

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match
Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre

Speaking of feuds that must end…this one must. No, really, please, it must. I love Drew, I’ve enjoyed Bobby’s title reign, and their rivalry hasn’t been bad for the most part, but they’re not Owens and Zayn and this story between them has run entirely out of gas. It’s time for them to move onto other opponents after five months, and if that doesn’t telegraph who wins than I don’t know what does. McIntyre losing doesn’t permanently demote him, he can move right back up into the title picture once someone beats Lashley. And WWE has more potential opponents for Lashley than they do for McIntyre, particularly as they build to SummerSlam. These guys should do a fine job murdering each other in the Cell, but I so no reason that McIntyre walks away with the title here. The All Mighty Era lives on to reign another day.

WINNER: Bobby Lashley (STILL WWE Champion)

And that’s all we have for WWE Hell in a Cell! Hopefully the show will deliver more than I’m expecting it to and we’ll have some great matches to talk about by the time the night is done. Thanks once again for reading, and remember that we will have live coverage of the show courtesy of the one and only Thomas Hall right here on 411mania.com. I gotta go, but before I do, I just have to say: Happy Pride Month!

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Jeremy Thomas