Powell’s WWE Hell in a Cell Hit List: Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins in a HIAC match, Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women’s Title, Theory vs. Mustafa Ali for the U.S. Title, Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP in a handicap match, Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel, Judgment Day vs. AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Hell in a Cell Hits

Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins in a HIAC match: Cody Rhodes is a made man in WWE. How could he not be after gutting his way through this match with a torn pectoral tendon? Cody was a combination of sympathetic and badass. Any fans who were hung up on Cody being the pretty boy who did the “Dashing” routine back in the day have to be seeing him in a new light. The timing of the injury is awful, and yet Cody’s performance in this match leads me to believe that his push is merely on hold rather than being potentially derailed. Cody winning the match was a great call. Cody’s character putting in a gutty performance and losing is memorable. Cody’s character putting in a gutty performance and actually winning is legendary. Rollins, who deserves a ton of credit for helping Cody get through this match, isn’t going to be damaged by one more loss. If anything, I would love to see this lead to a Rollins character shift with the logic being that he’s lost three straight matches to Cody and something needs to change. In an era where great matches occur so frequently that many are largely forgotten only days later, this was an unforgettable match that people will be talking about for years to come.

Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch in a Triple Threat for the Raw Women’s Championship: A highly entertaining three-way. Everyone involved shined and this was Asuka’s best outing since she returned from a long layoff. The steal the pin finish is overdone in Triple Threat matches, but I get the idea of making sure that Lynch looked strong even though Belair won the match. With the build being rushed due to the Sasha Banks and Naomi walkout, Belair took a bit of a backseat in recent weeks. Belair needed and delivered a strong performance that reminded viewers why she’s the Raw Women’s Champion.

Edge, Rhea Ripley, and Damian Priest vs. AJ Styles, Liv Morgan and Finn Balor in a six-person mixed tag match: Good action from start to finish. While it feels like this feud is supposed to be about Edge and Styles, Morgan and Ripley actually shined the brightest during this match. The overall feud still feels mid-card and I have a bad feeling that we’re going to get an endless series of matches involving these six wrestlers until the feud is completely run into the ground (see New Day vs. The Brawling Brutes on Smackdown). We’re not there yet, and hopefully the creative forces will recognize when it’s time for both sides to move on.

Bobby Lashley vs. Omos and MVP in a handicap match: The match didn’t do much for me, but they kept it fairly short and the live crowd was fully invested in Lashley. The post match scene with Lashley holding up a fan’s replica title belt seemed to suggest that he’s going back into the world title mix again soon, which is encouraging. Cedric Alexander is a severely damaged character and the creative forces face a real challenge if they want to build him up for something beyond feeding him to Omos.

Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel: Hats off to Owens for making the Ezekiel gag better than it had any right to be. Here’s hoping that Owens going over clean means that he will be moving on to something bigger. The company may be tempted to extend this program because it’s hard to imagine where they go next with Ezekiel if Owens isn’t carrying things, but I’d be far more concerned with placing Owens in a more meaningful position than using him to prop up the one joke mid-card act.

WWE Hell in a Cell Misses

Theory vs. Mustafa Ali for the U.S. Championship: The most disappointing match of the night. It fell shy of my admittedly high expectations for match quality, and even Ali’s hometown fans never seemed convinced that he had a chance to win the title. Theory still needs to become a smarter character. The cocky goofball antics screams mid-card, as you just don’t see simpleton characters playing major roles at the top of the card for extended lengths of time.

Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss in a No Holds Barred match: WWE got it half right when Moss returned on Smackdown with new gear, but the decision to keep the dreadful Madcap name is baffling. The match was decent and simply went on longer than it needed to. Corbin is a good heel, but he made a big mistake when he taunted the crowd by teasing that he was going to pull a table out from underneath the ring. It got him booed and would have been a great idea had Corbin known that Moss was going to pull out a table later in the match, but that wasn’t the plan. Worse yet, this even carried over to the main event when the crowd popped for heel Seth Rollins pulling out a table. WWE had a similar issue with a crowd obsessing over tables at their last premium live event. As silly as it is, the company really needs to start planning ahead for this. They should either plan to build to a big table spot late in the show or simply give the fans what they want early on to avoid having the table chants linger throughout the show.


Readers Comments (5)

  1. Pretty sure no one knew the fans we get a boo not pulling out a table… As you said it wasn’t planned. To your point though after it happened I thought Corbin was going to make a call in the ring for Miss to get a table. That would’ve definitely been the smart thing to do but can’t blame them for not reacting to something that they didn’t know was going to happen.

  2. With Becky looking strong, it’s time for her to go after A.J. Styles and take revenge for what he did to her cousin Clair.

  3. Nice TNA callback.

  4. I’d like to see Styles vs Ripley seeing as she has thwarted AJ’s attempts at a potential match finishing move. I would think she would be up for the challenge and with her size and strength, I think it would be a compelling match. I don’t understand why WWE refuses to have inter-gender matches now and then.

  5. TheGreatestOne June 7, 2022 @ 5:19 pm

    You don’t understand why a publicly traded company that has a PG product won’t have man on woman violence on TV?

    It’s really not that difficult to understand. WWE isn’t a garbage indy fed with a dipshit trust fund loser just doing whatever he wants.

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