WWE Judgement Day Balor Morgan Styles

WWE Hell In A Cell 2022 Review and Match Ratings

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Bianca Belair (C) def. Becky Lynch and Asuka – RAW Women’s Championship

Another outstanding performance Bianca and Becky, with Asuka adding in a fresh dynamic to the match. There are many things that I was thinking about, but for some reason, in this match, Bianca showed me why I think she has that superstar, alpha look that will put her on top of the women’s division for years to come. The strength, the athleticism, the timing of her moves…she just has “it”, if you know what I mean. And she showcased that plenty in this match with some of her moves on both Becky and Asuka.

As for the match itself, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Usually, in triple threat matches, WWE loves the trope of having two people fight at a time and having the third party get theirs every now and again. While we had portions of that, the majority of the match were all three women countering each other, trying to gain an advantage and be advantageous in pinning opportunities. That aspect was clearly shown with Becky in this match specifically.

Combining her heel mannerisms with Asuka’s technical prowess and Bianca’s ring presence, strength and athleticism, these three put on an absolutely beautiful match. It also appears that Bianca and Becky will probably have one last rubber match either at the next PPV or at Summerslam because of the finish. Bianca won in a way your typical heel wins, and Becky will more than likely claim that if it was one on one, she can’t beat her again. And if their WrestleMania bout was any indication, we should be in for more quality matches, although the time for Bianca to get fresh challengers should be on the horizon. All that said, a very high-intensity, hard-worked opener with great contributions from all involved. ****1/4

Bobby Lashley def. Omos and MVP – Handicap Match

I don’t know, I don’t think this match deviated much from Bobby and Omos’ prior matches. Don’t think MVP added too much that he wouldn’t have added just being ringside, honestly speaking. The interactions between Bobby and Omos were still solid, if not a bit slow paced. And obviously MVP came in for marginal ring work, which was passable. It was quite obvious MVP was only inserted in this match for the purposes of taking the pin in a a loss. And it was even more obvious that after their talk with Cedric Alexander that he would interfere in the match. Overall, passable, but nothing special. **1/4


Kevin Owens def. Ezekiel 

A passable match that honestly could have just been settled on an episode of RAW. I’m not the biggest fan of this whole Mr. America circa 2003 shtick that they’re doing with Ezekiel here, but he did need a re-inventing in the worst way, so we’ll take what we can get. Not too much to say about the match except it was very physical and they got to the point pretty quickly, which I appreciated. I also couldn’t help but notice the stiff shots that Ezekiel took from the superkick on the top rope to being Irish whipped into the ring post. I probably won’t remember what happened here tomorrow, but for about 10 minutes, it was solid. ***


The Judgement Day def. AJ Styles, Finn Balor and Liv Morgan – Mixed Tag Team Match

Not sure I can get used to Edge with that haircut, but I’m trying. And I’d be remiss to point out that all the men in this match are at least 40 (Priest is technically 39). We rarely see six person mixed tag matches these days, so this was technically new, even though it’s just an extension of the Edge/AJ feud. I liked the pacing of this match and it accomplished its purpose as establishing Judgement Day as a legit faction and threat on RAW. They didn’t use any nefarious tactics, but rather used their chemistry and connectedness to get the edge at each turn. I also like how they continued the story of AJ Styles not being able to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Edge, but he finally hit it tonight, only to get robbed of the pinfall. Oh, and fun fact. Apparently, Rhea Ripley’s gear didn’t arrive on time so what she actually had on was some kind of improvisation.

That was some nice, subtle continuity there. You have to think with how lacking in depth RAW is these days with top-tier talent that Judgement Day will feature a more prominent role on Monday nights, and this was a good way of establishing credibility on their end.  Meanwhile, can you guys remember the last time Finn Balor did anything that actually mattered? ***1/2


Madcap Moss def. Happy Corbin – No Holds Barred

Well that was certainly violent. Way surpassed my expectations considering I was expecting nothing more than a few outside shots and a few chairshots. I don’t remember the last time I saw someone trap their opponent’s head in a chair and smash it with the steel steps. That was pretty good. Honestly speaking, this is probably one of Corbin’s best efforts in singles competition in his career. His best singles match? I’d probably still say it’s his match against Chad Gable in the King of the Ring finals a few years ago, but this effort probably ranks up there. And if the plan is to make Madcap Moss one of the up and coming babyfaces, this was a great way to do it. Put over a more established star in a violent match and do so cleanly. While I believe there’s much to work on with moss, this is a good platform to work off of. Great effort, perfect balance of intensity and violence, and the right guy one. ***1/2


Austin Theory (C) def. Mustafa Ali – United States Championship

The ring announcer did Ali a disservice by mentioning he was Chicago’s own. Are we not aware of the hometown jinx in WWE at this point? Anyway, this was another solid match that I also think could have been settled on RAW. Theory has been one of WWE’s unsung heroes in the first half of this year, as he has put on a lot of bangers on RAW and has been a very productive US Champion. I was actually looking forward to this because Theory’s style mixed with Ali’s high flying style would make for a great combination. I believe we got a lot of that here in spades, although it probably could have used a couple more minutes. That being said, both men showed great energy and this was a solid US title match. If only the Intercontinental Championship got this kind of respect.

Cody Rhodes def. Seth Rollins – Hell In A Cell

Okay, there’s way too much to discuss here so I’ll tackle what I’ll can. First and foremost, the obvious. Rhodes’ chest looked like a damn grapefruit. Matter fact, it looked exactly like how Triple H’s pec looked after that disaster that was called Crown Jewel 2018. I saw some people speculate that there was maybe some special effects or makeup artists to make Cody’s chest look like that. If Cody’s pec tore completely off the bone, then that’s exactly how it would look, so I won’t entertain the theory that it was a work. And when the news comes that Rhodes will have to miss some time, it’ll only validate the reality of the injury.

Second, something that has come into question here is the allowance of Rhodes to even perform and be cleared for such a contest. I have seen people say WWE was negligent for allowing Rhodes to go out there and perform a damn near half hour Hell In a Cell match with his chest in that kind of condition. It was reported that apparently Cody vowed to be in the match and the onus was on him whether or not he wanted to perform. There was only one Hell In a Cell match on a PPV called Hell In a Cell. So having to find a replacement for him when that’s your main attraction for the night may have been tough, but you do also want to prioritize the health of your performers.

It’s controversial, and as of right now, I can’t say if it was right or if it was wrong until I hear more information as to how the decision to allow Cody to perform came about. As of right now, I can only say I believe it was a bit reckless. I’m sorry, but it looked like Cody’s internal organs were ready to pop out. Would I have allowed Cody to perform if I saw his chest was like that? Not sure I can say. There was also a theory that perhaps WWE had Cody perform to try and show up AEW since their World Champion, CM Punk, has to relinquish the gold for injury. Would it be the craziest thing I’ve heard from a company led by Vince McMahon? No. I’m also concerned at the kind of precedent it would set. If Cody can perform inside Hell In a Cell with his chest look as gaudy as it did, will other performers start to feel pressured to perform through any and all serious injury, no matter the severity?

Let’s analyze the match for a second, though. It was pretty damn spectacular as a story and the culmination of a heated feud that’s lasted for months. From Seth donning the iconic polka-dots of his advesary’s father, to the realism that Cody’s torn pec added to the match, it was an incredible battle of attrition and something that felt like a war. Seth’s Hell In a Cell match with Edge was one of the best HIAC matches I’ve seen, and he damn near topped himself again. I am not sure which one was better, so I’ll ask that question directly to you guys, because I think that would be a good debate. I am surprised that Cody defeated Seth so decisively, though. Usually, you don’t see one guy take three decisive defeats at the hand of the same foe on three straight PPV’s. I was thinking Seth may win to get some of this momentum back, and I especially thought he’d win with Cody having half a functioning chest. But he still lost.


Seth has one of the more accomplished resumes on the roster, so I don’t think the loss hurts him in a significant manner, but a superstar of his caliber losing to someone who suffered as bad an injury as Cody had doesn’t look good on the surface. If you think about it, the trilogy of Seth/Cody pretty much mirrored the HHH/Batista trilogy of 2005 in almost the exact same fashion. A match at WrestleMania, a match at Backlash, and then Hell In a Cell. Batista ran the table 17 years ago, and Cody did now. The difference of course was that Triple H was trying to put over one of WWE’s future top guys. Seth is essentially WWE’s present. I don’t think Cody losing here would have damaged him, especially with the condition he was in. If anything, though, his star rises even more in lieu of a gutsy performance. It will be a shame we probably won’t be able to enjoy it much considering he’ll probably be out at least through the summer, but if you’re going to go out. Might as well go out in style. I loved the match, I loved the Cross Rhodes series, the bullrope, the chest manipulation, everything. It was art. Very violent art. ****3/4

Conclusion:

On a card that didn’t feature Roman Reigns, The Usos, Randy Orton, Riddle, Drew McIntyre and Ronda Rousey, this card was looking very thin on the margins coming into the night. But the end result ended up blowing away and all expectations I had for the night. Believe me when I say I would have taken great pleasure in slandering the show if it warranted it, but I cannot do it in good faith without sounding like a bitter mark. The opener was fabulous. The main event was damn near perfect. And the rest of the card ended up being solid all around with nothing actively terrible, if unmemorable at worst.


Of course, the fallout from this show will likely have ripple effects for Monday Night RAW. With Roman Reigns working less dates and both shows being dearth of top tier talent for the time being, the loss of Cody Rhodes, likely for the summer if the diagnosis of a torn pectoral muscle holds, will be felt. You have to think he was going to have a major role to play at next month’s Money In the Bank PPV. You have to figure now that perhaps AJ Styles, Finn Balor and Judgement Day start to take more prominent roles to make up the difference. Overall, I have to give Hell In a Cell a thumbs up in WWE’s third straight solid showing on PPV. Not sure where your minds were at throughout the night, and I did consider turning the PPV off in lieu of the NBA Finals. But I’m happy to say that this wasn’t a waste of time and it was just a good solidly booked show that over-delivered, considering what was advertised.

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