By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Hell in a Cell
Aired live on June 5, 2022 on Peacock and pay-per-view
Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
The event opened with a video package that focused on the show’s top matches (there were no matches on the Kickoff Show)…
Pyro shot off on the stage. Jimmy Smith, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in from ringside. Graves spoke briefly about Cody Rhodes’ injury, and they set up a video package for the Raw Women’s Championship match…
Ring announcer Mike Rome stood in the ring and explained the rules of the Triple Threat. Entrances for the match took place.
1. Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship. Rome delivered in-ring introductions once all three wrestlers were in the ring. The match started 15 minutes after the start of the show. Lynch shoved Belair, then tried to push Asuka into Belair, but she didn’t budge. The champion and Asuka took shots at Lynch, who rolled to the floor.
Belair and Asuka locked up and there were dueling chants for them. Asuka knocked Belair down with a clothesline. Asuka ran the ropes and was tripped by Lynch, who pulled her to the floor and kicked her. Lynch hopped onto the apron and caught Belair with a kick. Lynch went up top and was cut off by Belair, who slammed her from the ropes into the ring and covered her for a two count.
Asuka returned and kicked Lynch, then bulldogged her while simultaneously clotheslining Belair. Asuka threw kicks at both opponents and then hit Lynch with a Hip Attack in the corner. Moments later, Asuka caught Belair in an armbar, but Belair powered her up and slammed her onto the top turnbuckle.
Lynch returned and ended up tossing Asuka onto Belair, then covering Belair for a two count. Lynch scrambled and covered Asuka for another two count. Lynch performed a Natural Selection on Belair.
A short time later, Lynch leg dropped Belair, who was dangling over the middle rope, which led to another two count. Lynch remained on the offensive and put Belair down with an exploder suplex. Belair rolled to the floor. Lynch kept Asuka at ringside and then tossed Belair back inside the ring. Lynch performed a top rope leg drop and went for the cover, but Asuka returned to break it up.
Asuka hit Lynch with a series of strikes and ended up dropping her. When Lynch stood up, Asuka caught her with the Hip Attack for a near fall while Belair was down at ringside. Lynch rolled Asuka into a pin for a two count. Lynch set up for her finisher, but Belair returned to break it up.
Belair hoisted up Lynch for her finisher. Lynch slipped away. Belair hoisted up Lynch for a vertical suplex and marched in place before executing the move. Belair threw punches at Asuka in the corner. When Lynch charged, Belair back flipped from the second rope over her, then threw punches at Lynch.
Lynch grabbed Belair’s braid, but Belair used it to whip Lynch into the corner. Belair slammed Asuka onto Lynch. Belair performed a handspring into a standing moonsault onto both women and got a near fall. All three women remained down for a moment.
Belair shoved Asuka to the floor and then pointed at Lynch. Belair drove a shoulder in the gut of Lynch and then placed her on the top rope. Belair went for a superplex. Asuka returned and tried to turn it into a tower of doom spot, but Belair kicked her away. Asuka ended up hitting a Codebreaker on Belair. Lynch leapt from the ropes into a Codebreaker from Asuka.
Asuka put both women down with a double Hip Attack and then tried and failed to pin both opponents. Asuka caught them both in a double ankle lock. Belair and Lynch both rolled out of the hold, sending Asuka to ringside. Belair and Lynch hopped on one foot to sell the ankle lock and then took shots at one another.
Lynch set up Belair for a Disarmer. Belair powered Lynch up. Lynch grabbed the top rope to avoid her KOD finisher. Lynch performed a cross body block that Belair rolled through. Lynch shoved Belair into a missile dropkick from Asuka. Lynch dumped Asuka to ringside and covered Belair for a two count.
Lynch put Belair down with a Manhandle Slam and had her pinned, but Asuka returned to break it up at the last moment. Belair rolled to the floor, leaving Lynch and Asuka to trade strikes. Asuka hit Lynch with a knee to the head. Belair returned and held up Lynch for a move, but Asuka broke it up with a kick. Lynch covered Belair and it was once again broken up by Asuka.
Later, Asuka caught Lynch in the Asuka Lock while Belair was down at ringside. Lynch got to her feet and kicked off the ropes to end up on top of Asuka for a two count. Asuka adjusted and put Lynch back in her finisher. Lynch rolled to the ropes. Belair went for a move from the top rope and flew over both women.
Belair caught Asuka going for a Hop Attack and then powered her up and slammed her face into a turnbuckle. Lynch threw Belair to the floor and then put Asuka down with a Manhandle Slam. Belair returned and tossed Lynch to ringside and then covered and pinned Asuka.
Bianca Belair defeated Asuka and Becky Lynch in 18:55 in a Triple Threat to retain the Raw Women’s Championship.
Belair celebrated on the ropes while Lynch was shown looking surprised, disappointed, and then angry at ringside…
Powell’s POV: A helluva match to start the show. As someone who typically enjoys when the biggest matches are saved for later in the show, I was a little disappointed to see this match go on first. Of course, it got the show off to a great start. I just hope that the overall card doesn’t suffer from this match order decision. Either way, this was a really good match that’s totally worth going out of your way to see if you’re not watching the show.
A Roman Reigns video aired while Peacock was showing ads to their ad-based subscribers…
MVP was talking intensely to Omos when Cedric Alexander showed up. MVP told Alexander that The Hurt Business is done and will never come back. “It’s time for you to go,” Omos told Alexander…
A video package, which included MVP rapping, set up the handicap match. Entrances for the match followed…
2. Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP in a handicap match. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. MVP teased starting the match and then tagged in Omos. The giant got the better of Lashley, who came up bleeding a bit from the mouth at one point.
MVP checked in and hit Lashley with a running boot to the head, which sent him to ringside. Omos ran around the ring and shoulder blocked Lashley through the timekeepers barricade. The heels continued to work over Lashley in the ring until he came back with a spear on MVP.
Moments later, Cedric Alexander ran in and was clotheslined over the top rope by Omos. When Omos turned around, Lashley speared him. Lashley avoided a running kick from MVP and then put him in the Hurt Lock until he gave up.
Bobby Lashley defeated Omos and MVP in 8:25 in a handicap match.
After the match, Lashley went to ringside and grabbed a replica championship belt from a fan and held it up while the broadcast team said he was sending a message that he will be champion again…
Powell’s POV: This was fine for what it was and it did not overstay its welcome. The live crowd was really behind Lashley and popped big for him going over. Omos was protected via Alexander getting involved, and Lashley looked good for beating two men. I wonder if the post match belt moment was improvisation or if it’s a sign that Lashley will be getting back in the title picture soon. I could definitely see that happening now that Cody Rhodes is expected to miss time with his injury.
The broadcast team recapped the Cody Rhodes injury news. Graves said Seth Rollins had to be salivating over the idea of facing a wounded Rhodes… Kevin Owens made his entrance and then footage of his issues with Ezekiel aired. “Send Elias out here,” Owens barked while standing in the ring. Ezekiel made his entrance…
3. Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. The bell rang to start the match. Owens told Ezekiel that he’s a damn liar. Owens charged Ezekiel, who hit him with a leaping knee to the head. Ezekiel went up top and performed an elbow drop for a near fall in the opening minute.
The fight spilled over to ringside. Ezekiel shoved Owens into the broadcast table. They traded chops. Ezekiel tried to whip Owens into the ring post casing, but Owens reversed it. Back in the ring, Owens DDT’d Ezekiel and got a two count. “That was three,” Owens barked at the referee.
Ezekiel bled from a cut on the left side of his forehead. Later, Owens performed a tornado DDT for a two count. Owens went up top and went for a Swanton, but Ezekiel put his knees up. Ezekiel threw kicks at Owens and performed a pair of corner splashes. Ezekiel went for a third that Owens avoided, but Ezekiel put him down with a spinebuster for a near fall.
Owens came back with a Popup Powerbomb for a near fall of his own. “You’re Elias, admit it,” Owens said before pie-facing Ezekiel multiple times. Ezekiel fired up and put Owens down with a knee strike.
Ezekiel went up top again, but Owens shot up and crotched him on the ropes. Owens threw a couple of kicks at Ezekiel to knock him off the ropes and then cannonballed him in the corner. Owens put Ezekiel down with a Stunner and then pinned him…
Kevin Owens defeated Ezekiel in 9:20.
After the match, Owens went to the stage and said it’s his show and he’s the best in the world…
Powell’s POV: A decent match with the right guy going over. Owens has carried this about as far as it can go, so hopefully he gets to move on to something bigger. I don’t know where Ezekiel goes from here, but it’s a one joke gimmick that shouldn’t be a big priority for the creative team.
A Seth Rollins video package aired while Peacock aired ads for some viewers… A video package recapped the Judgment Day faction’s feud with AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan…
4. “Judgment Day” Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles, Liv Morgan and Finn Balor in a six-person mixed tag match. The Raw team called the match. Ripley debuted new gear that exposed her tattooed legs (her partners had new black and purple gear). All six wrestlers met in the ring and threw punches to start. The babyfaces got the better of it. Edge and Priest ended up at ringside.
Morgan was launched into the air by Styles and performed a huracanrana on Ripley on the way down. Ripley shut down Morgan with a headbutt. Ripley held up Morgan before suplexing her and covered her for an early two count. Morgan rallied with a missile dropkick.
Styles tagged into the match and then Priest checked in for his team. Balor checked in moments later and targeted the left knee of Priest. Edge distracted Balor, allowing Priest to take offensive control. Priest tossed Balor to the floor and then tagged in Edge for the first time.
Edge dropped to the floor and worked over Balor at ringside before throwing him back inside the ring. Balor was isolated by Edge and Priest for a stretch. Balor eventually hit Priest with an overhead kick and then made the tag to Styles at the same time that Priest tagged in Edge.
Morgan and Ripley tagged in. Morgan performed a crucifix bomb for a two count. Ripley came back with a half and half suplex. Ripley powered up Morgan and suplexed her before covering her for a two count. Morgan tagged out and then DDT’d Ripley.
All six wrestlers fought in the ring again. The babyfaces cleared Judgment Day from the ring. Styles and Balor dove onto Edge and Priest, and then Morgan capped off the sequence with a dive onto Ripley. Balor put Priest down and went up top for his finisher, but Ripley shook the ropes to knock him down.
Edge tagged in. Balor caught Edge with a kick, but then Priest chokeslammed him. Styles checked in and was taken out. Balor hit some of his signature offense on Edge and then went up top for his finisher, but this time Ripley stood between him and Edge. Morgan climbed onto the back of Ripley and they tumbled to the floor. Balor went for the Coup De Grace, but Edge moved. Edge speared Balor and pinned him…
“Judgment Day” Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest defeated AJ Styles, Liv Morgan and Finn Balor in 16:00.
Powell’s POV: A fun match. Morgan and Ripley had a good outing, and I liked the way that Ripley saved her partners from taking big moves a couple of times. I missed whatever caused it, but Styles ended up bleeding heavily from the forehead.
Bobby Lashley was shown walking backstage when he came across Cedric Alexander. Lashley asked him what happened. Alexander said it wasn’t for Lashley, it was for him because he was tired of the way he was being treated. Alexander spoke of becoming his own man. Lashley told him that he has to stand up for himself and said he’s proud of him. Lashley told him not to interfere in one of his matches ever again. They bumped fists…
A video package recapped the Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss feud… Smackdown ring announcer Samantha Irvin handled the introductions for the match…
5. Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss in a No Holds Barred match. Michael Cole and Corey Graves called the match. Cole said Pat McAfee had the night off (perhaps because there’s only one Smackdown match on the card).
The match quickly spilled over to ringside and then to the stage area. Corbin ran Moss into the video wall. Moss came right back and ran Coring into the barricade twice before throwing him back inside the ring.
Moss clotheslined Corbin over the top rope to the floor. Moss picked up a chair, but Corbin cut him off before he could use it. Corbin ended up tossing Moss over the broadcast table. Moss picked up one of the broadcast team’s chairs and tossed it at Corbin.
Moss took the ring steps apart and picked up a piece, but Corbin hopped the barricade. Moss tried to follow him. Corbin clotheslined him and then returned to ringside where he dropped Moss onto the barricade. Corbin drove knees into the back of Moss. Corbin teased pulling a table out from under the ring, but stopped once the crowd cheered and then smirked at them.
Corbin tossed Moss back in the ring and then climbed onto the apron. Moss threw punches at Corbin, who responded by chokeslamming Moss. Corbin grabbed a chair and then worked over Moss with it, including delivering a shot to the back of his neck while the broadcast team recalled the neck injury that Corbin caused recently.
Moss rallied with a drop toe hold that sent Corbin’s face onto the chair. Corbin came right back with the Deep Six for a near fall. Corbin tossed the chair to ringside and then taunted the crowd by pulling another one out from under the ring rather than go for the table. Corbin wedged the chair in a corner of the ring.
Moss ended up avoiding Corbin and sending him crashing into the chair wedged in the corner. Moss went to ringside and picked up a chair while the crowd chanted for tables. Moss worked over Corbin with the chair. Moss let out an awkward primal scream and eventually DDT’d Corbin onto the chair.
Moss sent Corbin to ringside and followed, but Corbin chop-blocked him. Corbin threw Moss into the timekeepers area. Corbin asked Moss if he thought he was better than him, then threw punches at him. Corbin wrapped a chair around Moss’s neck and ran him into the broadcast table.
Corbin threw a chair and the Moss into the ring. Corbin grabbed the bottom piece of the ring steps and brought it inside the ring. Corbin leaned the steps in the corner. Moss stuffed whatever move Corbin was going to perform and then gave him a fallaway slam onto the steps.
Moss performed his Punchline neckbreaker. Moss wrapped a chair around the neck of Corbin and then slammed the ring steps onto him before pinning him. EMTs tended to Corbin afterward while Moss celebrated his win…
Madcap Moss defeated Happy Corbin in 12:05 in a No Hold Barred match.
Powell’s POV: The idea is that Moss avenged the stretcher job that he took from Corbin. They worked hard, but this match went longer than it needed to. This felt like an opportunity to have Moss plow through Corbin to establish that he’s a player in the singles division. Then again, he’s still using the shitty Madcap name, so perhaps now isn’t the right time to make him a dominant powerhouse anyway. As much as I liked Corbin taunting the crowd by teasing them with the table, it was actually a bad idea because the match plan didn’t call for Moss to please them with a table spot later.
An ad aired for WWE Money in the Bank on July 2 along with additional ads…
6. Theory vs. Mustafa Ali for the U.S. Championship. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. Hometown boy Ali wore tight with the Chicago flat on his right leg. There were some Ali chants early on. Theory performed an early fallaway slam for a two count.
Ali sold a left knee injury, then threw a superkick at Theory, who also clutched his left knee. Later, Ali caught Theory in a submission hold that woke up the crowd, but Theory reached the ropes to break it. Ali performed a wild tilt-a-whirl DDT on Theory and then went up top.
Ali went for a 450 splash, but Theory rolled out of the way. Theory chop blocked the bad knee. Theory hoisted up Ali and gave him the ATL and then pinned him clean…
Theory defeated Mustafa Ali in 10:25 to retain the U.S. Championship.
Powell’s POV: A well worked match. The Chicago crowd didn’t seem fully invested in the match despite Ali being from there. There were some Ali chants, but there were times when the crowd was as quiet as they had been all night. The crowd did get up for his late flurry before Theory pulled the rug out and pinned him clean.
An ad aired for twelve live events that will be going on sale starting Friday… Additional advertising aired and then a Money in the Bank ad aired for the July 2 event… Smith, Graves, and Saxton hyped MITB…
The HIAC structure lowered around the ring and then a video package set up the main event…
Entrances for the main event took place with Seth Rollins coming out first. Seth removed his robe to show that he was wearing black with yellow polkadots, just as Dusty Rhodes wore during his WWE run.
Cody Rhodes made his entrance to a big ovation. Rhodes said the venue was an integral part of Cody’s time away from WWE. Cody entered the cell and the door was locked behind him by a referee. Mike Rome delivered introductions from ringside. Cody kept his jacket on. Rollins removed his shirt once he was introduced. Cody removed his jacket for the first time and had substantial bruising on his right pectoral muscle and his right bicep. Damn…
7. Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match. Smith, Graves, and Saxton called the match. Graves said Cody’s injury was as gruesome as he’s ever seen from an active competitor. Cody performed an early Cody Cutter. He sold(?) his injury. Cody put Rollins in a figure four.
Rollins leaned over the apron and pulled a kendo stick out from underneath the ring while Cody had him in the figure four. Rollins hit Cody’s injured side with a kendo stick to break the hold. Rollins drove the end of the kendo stick into the injured pec muscle.
Cody blocked a kendo stick shot and then threw punches with his left hand. Rollins sent Cody over the top rope to the apron and then knocked him into the side of the cage. Rollins kicked Cody through the ropes and drove him into the cage again. Rollins joined Cody on the floor and slammed him into the cage. Rollins jabbed Cody’s injury with the kendo stick again.
Rollins ran Cody into the side of the cage and then raked his face against it. Cody came back and put Rollins down with a clothesline. Saxton said it was hard to watch. Graves said Cody was jeopardizing his own physical well-being by competing in the match. Cody followed Rollins to ringside. Rollins grabbed the top half of the ring steps and slammed them into Cody. Rollins raked the eyes of Cody and threw him back inside the ring.
Rollins put Cody’s jacket on at ringside and the crowd booed him. Rollins reached under the ring and pulled out a polkadot weight belt and whipped Cody with it. Rollins covered him for a two count.
Rollins went to ringside and the crowd popped big when he pulled out a table and slid it inside the ring. Rollins stomped away at Cody’s injury. A “Thank you, Rollins” chant broke out from the table obsessed crowd. Rollins set up the table and then he and Cody traded punches over it. Rollins raked Cody’s eyes.
Rollins set Cody on the top turnbuckle and then joined him on the middle rope. Cody stuffed a superplex attempt and then went for a powerbomb, but Rollins blocked it. Rollins placed Cody face down on top of the table. Rollins went for a frog splash and Cody moved, causing Rollins to crash through the table.
Cody went to ringside and pulled out a bag. He unzipped the bag and pulled out a bull rope, which Graves said is almost a rite of passage in the Rhodes family. Cody strapped the bull rope to his left arm and told Rollins to do the same. Rollins obliged.
Cody pulled the rope between Rollins’ legs. He followed up with a superkick, then slammed the bell on the bull rope onto the head of Rollins and covered him for a two count. A short time later, Rollins powerbombed Cody through a table that was leaning in a corner of the ring and covered him for a near fall.
Rollins went to ringside and pulled out a sledgehammer. Graves said they needed to stop the match because Cody couldn’t defend himself and Rollins had a lethal weapon. Cody kicked Rollins, who went for a Pedigree that Cody stuffed. Cody put Rollins down with a Pedigree for a good near fall.
Cody picked up the sledgehammer. Rollins went to ringside and Cody followed. Rollins returned to the ring and when Cody joined him, Rollins put him down with a Stomp. Rollins covered Cody for a good near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Rollins went for another Stomp when Cody stood up, but Cody avoided it. Cody went for CrossRhodes, but Seth countered out of it and hit the move himself. Cody came right back with CrossRhodes and then both men stayed down. Graves said Cody was showing us what no other WWE wrestler ever has. He called it next level.
Cody won a race to the sledgehammer, but his arm gave out. Rollins picked up the sledgehammer, but Cody kicked him. Cody hit CrossRhodes two more times. He teased going for a third and instead opted to pick up the sledgehammer, which he hit Rollins with before pinning him…
Cody Rhodes defeated Seth Rollins in 24:20 in a Hell in a Cell match.
Cody celebrated his win. He looked emotional as kissed the mat and looked to the sky. Cody stood up and raised his good arm while letting out a primal scream as the show went off the air…
Powell’s POV: A very god match, all things considered. Cody going over was a surprise. It closed the night on a high note, but it was surprising if only because he’s going to miss a lot of time after undergoing surgery. But I like the call because Cody going over makes the story of his character working through the injury even more legendary. And who knows, maybe this will lead to some type of character shift for Rollins?
Overall, a good show that did indeed suffer a bit from the match order, at least in my opinion. I wonder how different it would have felt had the Raw Women’s Championship match and the U.S. Title match had swapped spots. Anyway, let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below and by voting for the best match. Jake Barnett and I will team up shortly for our same night WWE HIAC audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).