WWE Hell in a Cell 2022 Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights | Bleacher Report

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    Credit: WWE

    Welcome to Bleacher Report’s coverage and recap of WWE Hell in a Cell 2022.

    The HIAC stipulation was used just once on Sunday’s show, but it was given to what could arguably considered the biggest feud: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins.

    Only two titles were up for grabs at the pay-per-view: Theory put the United States Championship on the line against Mustafa Ali, while Bianca Belair defended the Raw women’s title against Asuka and Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat.

    The feud between Ezekiel and Kevin Owens came to a head in their encounter, as did the program involving Happy Corbin and his former best friend, Madcap Moss.

    We also saw The Judgment Day take on Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Liv Morgan, and Bobby Lashley faced an uphill battle against Omos and MVP in a handicap match.

    Let’s take a look at what went down during Sunday’s show. 

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    The first match of the night was the Triple Threat with Bianca Belair defending the Raw women’s title against Asuka and Becky Lynch. Thanks to the intro and the hype video for this bout, the first bell didn’t ring until about 15 minutes into the show. 

    After sending Big Time Becks out of the ring together, The EST of WWE and The Empress of Tomorrow squared off and locked up respectfully. The first few minutes saw Belair have individual sequences with both opponents before we got to see all three women fighting at once.

    The most impressive part of this performance was how well-balanced it was. All three had ample opportunities to be the one in control, but it never felt like one was in the ring less than the other two. 

    The crowd was hot from start to finish because the Superstars never gave them a reason to look away. It’s hard to find anything to be critical about with this one because it felt like everything worked exactly as it was supposed to. Even the moments that seemed unplanned did not slow things down.

    After Lynch hit Asuka with the Manhandle Slam, Belair threw her out of the ring and covered The Empress for the win to retain the title. 

    Grade: A+


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • This match should have taken place inside the cell. It was already lowered around the ring during the pre-show, so it would have been perfect. Having only one contest in the cage feels like a bit of a waste when that is the name of the PPV. 
  • Even though Asuka got a good reaction, it felt like the crowd was firmly in Belair’s corner. “EST” chants broke out right after the first bell. 
  • Asuka is so smooth when she jumps on somebody to take them down for an armbar. 
  • At one point, The Empress hit a series of strikes and a German suplex on Lynch that looked incredible. Every hit looked like it connected. Big Time Becks sold everything perfectly. 
  • Asuka putting both opponents in the Ankle Lock at the same time was a fun spot. 

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    Bobby Lashley vs. MVP and Omos was up next.

    The Nigerian Giant went to the apron so his teammate could start against his former associate, but MVP tagged out before they could make contact. 

    Omos tried to take control, but The All Mighty did not make it easy for him. In fact, it took some help from MVP holding him in the corner to get Lashley on defense. 

    At one point, Omos sent Lashley through the barricade with a running tackle, but the former WWE champion managed to beat the count back to the ring. 

    Cedric Alexander tried to interfere on The All Mighty’s behalf after MVP brushed him off backstage, and that gave him the opportunity he was waiting for. He sent Omos out of the ring and put MVP in the Hurt Lock for the win. 

    Nobody really expected much from this match, but it ended up being decent. It wasn’t great or memorable by any means, but it wasn’t bad on any level. The crowd seemed pretty happy for Lashley as he celebrated with a fan’s WWE title replica at ringside. 

    Grade: C+


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • WWE played a music video before the match that was one long diss track from MVP to Lashley. It had some funny lines, especially when he compared the WWE version of ECW to New Coke. 
  • It’s kind of weird how some handicap matches use tags and others don’t. It seems like something WWE decides on a case-by-case basis. 
  • It will be interesting to see if Alexander actually tries to form another alliance with Lashley or this was a one-time thing to get back at MVP. 

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    The third match on the card was the showdown between an irate Kevin Owens and a calm and collected Ezekiel. KO looked like he was ready to tear somebody’s head off as he walked to the ring. 

    Ezekiel caught Owens with a jumping knee to the face and immediately followed up with a flying elbow drop for a close two-count. The Prizefighter rolled out of the ring to collect himself, but his rival followed to continue the fight. 

    Once KO had the upper hand, he began to taunt Ezekiel and the crowd while still dishing out as much damage as possible. The momentum changed from one competitor to the other several times, and it helped make this bout feel more competitive than some may have expected. 

    It was nice to see Ezekiel get a chance to have a proper match with a great performer like Owens. It feels like most of what he did as Elias was too gimmicky, and the same can be said about some of his matches as Ezekiel. This bout allowed him to show off what he can really do. 

    After nailing Zeke with a few superkicks, Owens finished him off with a Stunner to pick up the win. This might not have earned match-of-the-night honors, but it was still quite entertaining. 

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Ezekiel gave a great sit-down interview during the pre-show. It didn’t do much to add to the storyline, but it allowed him to shine without Owens for once. 
  • It’s always fun when KO pulls his moonsault from the second rope out of his bag of tricks. It looked perfect when he hit it on Zeke. 
  • The way Owens flipped when Ezekiel whipped him into the corner was wild. He crashed down onto the mat hard. 
  • The Popup Powerbomb KO hit was picture-perfect. 

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    Finn Balor, AJ Styles and Liv Morgan formed an alliance for this match to take on Edge, Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest. And the crowd gave the babyfaces a great reaction for each of their entrances. 

    A brawl broke out between all six competitors that led to the good guys sending Edge and Priest out of the ring. Balor and Styles launched Morgan at Ripley to hit a hurricanrana before The Eradicator took her former tag team partner down with a stiff headbutt.

    Ripley proceeded to dismantle Morgan for a while, but she couldn’t keep her down for the pin. The Judgment Day cemented their grip on the match as different members tagged in from both teams. 

    The crowd popped when Styles got the hot tag and started taking Edge and Priest down with his wide array of signature moves. Once Priest and Ripley helped him regain the upper hand, Edge drilled Balor with a Spear to get the win. 

    This was a solid match that had a good mix of storytelling and competitive action. We didn’t get a new member of The Judgment Day as some predicted, but the outcome was still the right call. 

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • All three members of The Judgment Day looked like they got some fancy new gear for this match. Ripley’s looked the coolest out of the three. 
  • Even though Morgan is not that heavy, Ripley holding her up for a vertical suplex as long as she did was still impressive. 
  • Balor spent slightly too much time on defense when he was in the ring. There is always somebody who fills that role in matches like this, but it seemed to last longer than it needed to in this case. 
  • WWE had a perfect camera angle for the sliding knee Styles hit to Priest from the apron. 
  • The Phenomenal One might go down in history as one of the most precise performers ever. 

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    Happy Corbin came out for this match looking a lot less happy than usual, but he still had on that stupid little hat. Madcap Moss wasn’t smiling, either, but he looked a lot more excited than his former friend.

    They circled each other a bit before they started throwing punches. There was no lock-up or exchange of submissions. This was a brawl from the moment the bell rang. 

    They used several chairs, the steps, the announce table, the barricade and anything else they could find to inflict damage on each other. 

    Since this was more about weapons and brawling than traditional wrestling, it’s a bit harder to judge than a regular bout. The stuff they did looked good and the crowd was having fun, but this was a relatively standard hardcore-style match for WWE until the end.

    Moss put a chair around Corbin’s neck and then slammed the bigger half of the steel steps onto it before pinning him for the win. It was a brutal spot for a babyface, but it worked. 

    This was easily the most impressive Moss has been allowed to look in a WWE ring, so this bout was a success in that regard. 

    Grade: B


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Moss looked more confident as he appeared to move away from the Madcap character. 
  • Corbin hit the chair he wedged into the corner hard, throwing everything he had into that spot, both figuratively and literally.
  • Some people will complain about the lack of blood in a match with this many weapons involved, but this bout didn’t really need it since most of the implements were used to hit the wrestlers on the back. 

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    Theory was out first for his United States Championship match against Mustafa Ali. Both men were wearing red, white and blue gear, but the latter’s had the Chicago flag as part of his in front of the fans at Allstate Arena in the city. 

    These are two guys who are known for their conditioning and athleticism, so it didn’t take long for them to start trading quick takedowns and counters. 

    Theory played up his heel persona by talking trash to the crowd. Ali would get short bursts of offense, but his opponent controlled the pace more often. 

    Once the Chicago native started to build up a head of steam, the crowd started to come alive for him. When he put Theory in the STF, the titleholder barely managed to reach the ropes to force a break. Once he regained his composure, Theory hit his finisher to get the win and retain his belt.

    This was a good, energetic performance from both men, but WWE missed out on the opportunity to give Ali a huge pop in his hometown by winning the title. That feels like a mistake. 

    Grade: B+


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • The crowd was really into Ali during his entrance. The hometown pop was very real.
  • The way Theory propelled Ali into the ring post when they were outside the squared circle was cool. 
  • Ali took a huge bump when Theory sent him flying from the top turnbuckle all the way down to the floor. 
  • Ali tried to superkick Theory when he jumped off the top rope, but their timing was off and Theory collided with his knee instead. 

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    The final match of the night was the one this whole event is named for. Rhodes and Rollins stepped inside Hell in a Cell in an attempt to finish their feud once and for all. 

    WWE announced during the pre-show that Rhodes had suffered a torn pectoral muscle while training, but he still decided to compete in this bout. To mess with his opponent’s head, Rollins decided to wear black gear with yellow polka dots, the ring attire made famous by his rival’s father, Dusty Rhodes.

    When The American Nightmare removed his jacket, it became apparent just how injured he really was. A massive bruise on his chest and arm stood out more than anything else in this match. 

    They made it into part of the story, so Rollins kept trying to hit him in the chest while Rhodes did his best to avoid it. The Visionary used a kendo stick to attack the arm and pec, but you could tell he was also trying to make sure he took care of his rival while he did it. 

    The Visionary slowed the match down quite a bit as he started inflicting more damage with a weight belt. He even brought a table into the ring, but he ended up going through it himself with a frog splash when Rhodes moved out of the way. 

    The American Nightmare found a bull rope under the ring, so both men put it on and used it on each other. After several near-falls, stolen finishers and painful spots, Rhodes used a sledgehammer to get the win and defeat Rollins for the third time in a row. 

    This was an outstanding yet completely unnecessary performance. If Rhodes is as injured as he looked, he might have significantly extended his recovery time. You have to applaud his guts for being willing to do this, but it’s hard not to think that it was a bad idea. 

    Grade: A


    Notable Moments and Observations

  • Whether it was a partial tear or not, it still felt inadvisable for Rhodes to work this match. 
  • Rollins wearing polka dots like Dusty Rhodes was a fantastic detail to include. 
  • It looked like The American Nightmare could barely lift his arm during his entrance. 
  • Every single spot that caused Rhodes to scream in pain looked so much more real because of his injury. 
  • Why was there a bull rope under the ring? It makes sense for Rhodes to use one, but it was still funny to think about Rhodes going out to hide it before the show as part of some plan. 

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