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WWE Hell In A Cell 2022 Reaction: 5 Thoughts

cody rhodes wwe hell in a cell sledgehammer

Last night was the annual WWE Hell in a Cell show from the Allstate Arena in Chicago and what a great show it was. This show, much like WrestleMania Backlash, over-delivered based on my expectations.

The Premium Live Events with the least hype usually overdeliver for WWE. If they can just properly build these shows, they’ll be firing on all cylinders. Obviously, the news of Cody Rhodes’ injury hours before the show put a heavy cloud over the night’s events (John Canton’s detailed review is here) because we wanted to see how he would go through with this match. Let’s get into it.

#5: BIANCA BELAIR RETAINS THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

I’ll say it right now and my Twitter handle is at the bottom if you disagree. I’ll be happy to shut down any debates. Bianca Belair is the hottest star, male or female, in the business right now. I know an argument can be made for Cody and probably MJF or Wardlow in AEW, but nobody has overcome the adversity to become a top star the way Bianca has. Everybody thought she was buried after her 26-second loss at SummerSlam and here we are, 10 months later, and she’s the Raw Women’s Champion and just put on a banger of a Women’s Title match. Give credit to Becky Lynch and Asuka as well. They brought their A-game. Becky is doing the best work of her career and I won’t hear any different. I know some don’t like her in the heel role, but her mic work and in-ring work has been nothing but stellar since returning.

I imagine the rivalry between Bianca and Becky will continue since Bianca pinned Asuka. However, I can also see them getting Bianca another opponent at Money in the Bank or giving her the event off entirely. Ronda already has a date with Natalya, and they need six women for the Money in the Bank match, so I can see them having Ronda and Natalya at that show. I do enjoy the potential story that is there of doing Bianca vs Becky II at SummerSlam. Back where it all started. Avenging the 26-second loss. This time Bianca knows she’s coming. There’s a story to be told there. We’ll see if they do it.

 

#4: BOBBY LASHLEY DEFEATS OMOS AND MVP

This was another result I wasn’t really surprised about. Bobby Lashley defeated Omos and MVP. I wasn’t really looking forward to a third match in this series, but it was surprisingly entertaining. I thought the Cedric Alexander spot was well done. It seems to be a face turn for him based on the backstage segment after the match. Bobby Lashley took out Omos and then locked MVP in the Hurt Lock for the win. I don’t know what’s next for Omos and MVP. The mystique with Omos died the first time Bobby took him off his feet. I hope they find something else for MVP to do. He is too good not to utilize.

As for Bobby, you can probably guess what is next for him based on his post-match celebration. Bobby grabbed a fan’s replica WWE Title and raised it high in the air, signaling that he wants the title back. It’s an easy story to tell. Bobby Lashley never officially lost the WWE Championship since he was taken out of that Elimination Chamber match by Seth Rollins. So, heating up Bobby Lashley as Roman Reigns’ next Undisputed WWE Universal Championship opponent seems like a good idea.

 

#3: THEORY RETAINS HIS UNITED STATES CHAMPIONSHIP

I’ll admit this result disappointed me. Deep down, I knew Theory was probably winning, but I still had hope that Mustafa Ali would win the title in his hometown. The match was what it was. I thought it could’ve been better. Theory wins with his A-Town down finish. I’m not really that upset with the loss as some people are. People online have this fascination that wrestlers need to win because it is their hometowns. I don’t know where this obsession came from. Theory just won the United States Title, it’s his first defense on a PLE, but let’s just abandon all of that so Ali can win the title in his hometown? Would you feel better if he won it and lost it back to Theory on Raw tonight? I know I wouldn’t. I’m all for wrestlers getting big wins in their hometowns. Kurt Angle winning the WWE Title in Pittsburgh was a special moment. I’m just not a fan of it happening at the expense of somebody else who has been receiving a decent-sized push.

Theory is probably on a collision course to face John Cena soon. How are we supposed to believe he is a threat to John Cena if he couldn’t even beat Mustafa Ali? I like Ali. I think he deserves better. Let’s just be honest about the situation here. There was no logical reason for him to beat Theory. The only reason people have is “It was his hometown.” I’m sorry, that alone isn’t a good enough reason to halt a guy’s push and possibly ruin future plans.

 

#2: THE JUDGMENT DAY DEFEATS BULLIV CLUB

The Judgment Day has been hit and miss most weeks. I love the pairing and all were the right choices. Some of the promo dialogue is a little off, but Rhea Ripley and Damian Priest have benefitted greatly from being paired with Edge. Just like Liv Morgan has benefitted greatly from being paired with Finn Balor and AJ Styles. The match was pretty good. There were moments you thought the babyface team might win but in the end, The Judgment Day was too much. It was probably the right call. Judgment Day is the fresher act. I wish Balor and Morgan won more PLE’s. Styles is bulletproof. Three wins in a row for Edge. Do I think this continues? Possibly. I also think somebody else may join Judgment Day. Have them run Raw the way The Bloodline runs Smackdown until there is a babyface that can stop them.

 

#1: CODY RHODES PUTS ON A LEGENDARY PERFORMANCE TO DEFEAT SETH “FREAKIN” ROLLINS INSIDE HELL IN A CELL

First, let me just say, Seth Rollins coming out in polka dots popped me so hard. I was laughing literally the whole time he came to the ring. He’s such a troll and I love every minute of it. Now, for the task at hand. Cody Freaking Rhodes. I was skeptical all day whether he was actually going to do this match. I tore my pec back in 2013 and buddy, I couldn’t even move right for about six weeks. This guy went out there and wrestled a Hell in a Cell match for 20+ minutes with his pec torn completely off the bone. The silence that came over that crowd when Cody took off his jacket is something I will remember for a long time. Every bump Cody took, I cringed. Every hit to the chest, I turned away. It was legitimately one of the most uncomfortable matches I’ve watched in years, possibly ever. That said, kudos to Seth for protecting Cody here. Anybody who doesn’t have Seth Rollins in their best in the world discussion doesn’t deserve my time honestly.

They pulled out all the stops. The sledgehammer shot and Pedigree were nice touches and callbacks. Cody had teased the Pedigree in his first two matches with Seth. Finally, they paid it off here. You could see how much pain he was in when he hit those Cross Rhodes. I thought this was one of the greatest Hell in a Cell matches ever and that’s crazy considering Cody wrestled the whole match with one arm. Cody already had my respect but nobody can deny he is one of the greatest of this generation after that performance. He will get a hero’s welcome when he returns as he should. He deserves it. We don’t deserve him but we are damn glad and blessed to have him. This performance will be talked about with Cody the same way people talk about “Hard Times” with Dusty.

It was a legendary performance that will be remembered for years to come. Here’s to a speedy recovery and we will miss you greatly, Cody Rhodes.

 

Quick Hits

Madcap Moss defeats Happy Corbin

A much-improved presentation for Moss. I think he is going to be a guy they lean on heavily from here on out as they should.

Kevin Owens defeats Ezekiel

I was surprised. I thought they would give Ezekiel the win here, but I am glad Owens won. He needs more decisive victories and this was perfect for him.

 

Final Thoughts

Those are my thoughts for WWE Hell In A Cell. Cody Rhodes put himself in the history books. The women stole the show and there were a lot of decisive, clean finishes, which is something you always want at a Pay Per View (or Premium Live Event). Money in the Bank is less than a month away. We will see how WWE pushes forward without The American Nightmare.

Thanks for reading. Check out my TJRWrestling writing archive here. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments.