Courtesy of WWE Home Video, Matthew Roberts takes a look at their latest DVD release of the Premium Live Event Hell in a Cell 2022.
I will always have my issues with Hell in a Cell as an event. It normally means that we get a “Cell” match because it’s the time of year, rather than a feud necessitating it. Which is even more bizarre when you consider that the WWE can quite easily ensure that they build-up a feud sufficiently for such an event. You know, as they are in control of the schedule and all.
For once though 2022 bucked that trend. The Seth Rollins / Cody Rhodes feud, for the most part, had gone to such a level that a Hell in a Cell match at least made some form of sense. Contrived, admittedly, but at least making some kind of logic. Which made it all the more frustrating from a fan’s point of view when an apparent injury just days before the event meant that we couldn’t even be sure if Rhodes would be able to wrestle. As it turned out he could.
That moment before the main event when Rhodes took off his jacket to reveal the bruising around his pec injury is one that simply can’t be forgotten. Should he have been wrestling? Perhaps not. But at the same time the old school mentality of “the show goes on” was at least backed up by an injury that couldn’t have got much worse by carrying on. When the muscle is off the bone, it’s off the bone!
Did that add to the drama or detract from the match? It was certainly more of the former. It was one, ahem, hell of an effort (from both men when you think about it) and probably one that secured Rhodes’ WWE Main Event status for life with Vince. But that’s leading off into another story now isn’t it? Regardless it was a very good match and up there towards the best we’ve seen in the Cell (although a notch or two down from the very best).
And a great main event capped off what was actually, despite thoughts leading in, a very solid and strong show.
The opener for the Raw Women’s Championship between Bianca Belair, Asuka and Becky Lynch was a cracker. With a hot crowd and with all three women bringing the requisite intensity to start the show with a bang. The six-person match that pitted AJ Styles, Finn Balor & Liv Morgan against Judgment Day was another top-notch effort and it’s not really their fault that within a day or so it was largely rendered pointless by Edge’s buddies turning heel on their leader to align with Balor.
The United States Championship match between Theory and Mustafa Ali was entertaining, albeit predictable in the sense that home-town guy Ali was never going to win (even more so with the Chicago themed ring gear). Bobby Lashley taking on MVP and Omos in a handicap match was at least better than the Lashley/Omos singles matches and whilst Ezekial against Kevin Owens didn’t really solve any of the storyline issues re Elias etc it was another fun bout. Even the No DQ match between Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss that most people were down on before it had even began was a decent, solid effort.
So a solid show book-ended by two great matches. For all the knocks sent in WWE’s direction, they tend to get more right than wrong when it comes to most Premium Live Events.
7 out of 10.
Photographs courtesy of Fetch and WWE. Thank you to WWE Home Video for our review copy of WWE Hell In A Cell which is out Monday 25 July on DVD. You can buy your copy from WWEDVD.co.uk by clicking here.