When it was announced that Cody Rhodes had suffered a serious injury – specifically, that his right pectoral muscle had torn off the bone on Saturday – there was question as to what this would mean for his Hell in a Cell match against Seth Rollins on Sunday night. That kind of injury could easily have meant that they wouldn’t put on a match with enough intensity and violence to befit the Hell in a Cell gimmick. Fortunately, those fears would prove to be unfounded.

Instead, the two of them fully embraced Cody’s injury and they used it to tell a fantastic story.

Even before the match started, Rollins was playing mind games, coming out to the ring in black gear with yellow polka-dots, mocking Cody’s father, the legendary Dusty Rhodes. He even threw in a couple of Dusty’s trademark dance moves to drive the point home even further. Cody’s face during the introductions, staring holes into Seth, was the perfect reaction.

Rhodes had a giant purple blotch on his right pec and upper arm as a result of his injury, and he was careful to keep that part of his body away from Rollins when he could. Rollins, of course, tried to target the injury whenever he could.

In the opening minute, Cody hit a Cody Cutter, but the landing on his injured side wouldn’t let him capitalize. Then he locked in a Figure-Four Leglock, but Seth escaped by pulling himself to the edge of the ring, reaching underneath, and grabbing a Singapore cane, which he used to batter Cody’s injury spot. He continued dealing the pain by smashing Cody off the apron and sending him flying into the cage. Rollins continued to target the injury, using the cane, the cage, and even the ring steps.

Rollins then continued the disrespect by donning Cody’s robe and then pulling a weight belt – again, black with yellow polka-dots – out from underneath the ring, and whipped Cody with it repeatedly.

Despite the crowd cheering for Cody throughout, they began a “Thank you, Rollins” chant when Seth finally gave them what they’d chanted for earlier in the night: a table, which he set up in the middle of the ring. After a Superplex attempt got thwarted, Rollins instead tried to Frog Splash Cody through the table, but Cody moved and Rollins crashed through the wood to the mat.

With Seth knocked loopy, Cody had time to go under the ring and get a weapon of his own: a bullrope with a cowbell tied to it, just like his father used to great effect so many times in the past. He tied one end to his wrist and challenged Rollins to tie the other one to his own. Rollins did it, and we got an impromptu Bullrope match.

Cody must have watched his dad’s tapes, because he easily dominated Rollins in this new environment, using the rope to good effect, and clocking him with the cowbell, leading to a very long 2-count. But Rollins then used the rope to pull Cody, injured shoulder first, into the ring-post.

Seth then set up another table in the ring, propping it up in the corner. Cody put the brakes on a whip attempt and hit Rollins with Cross Rhodes for a near fall. Cody tried to pick up Seth to drive him through the table, but he couldn’t lift him up because of his injury. Instead, Rollins did it to him instead.


Seth covered him, but Cody got his shoulder up at 2-and-7/8ths.

Seth, looking for the kill, went under the ring and pulled out a sledgehammer. Cody avoided it and after some jockeying, hit a Pedigree for a very close fall. Cody then picked up the sledgehammer and stalked Seth who darted in and out of the ring. As Cody chased him into the ring, Seth popped up and hit Cody with the Stomp, driving his face into the sledgehammer. But Cody kicked out!

Rollins went for another, but Cody avoided it. Seth grabbed him and hit Cody with Cross Rhodes, but Cody’s adrenaline was pumping and he immediately hit Seth with one of his own, putting them both down to the mat.

They both got up and raced for the sledgehammer. Cody got their first, but wasn’t able to lift it. Rollins tried to capitalize, but Rhodes grabbed him and hit a pair of Cross Rhodes. He then grabbed the sledgehammer and clocked Seth with it right in the head. That show was enough to keep Seth down for the triumphant 1-2-3.

After the match, an emotional Cody celebrated in the ring to end the show.


This was great. There may have been a few too many finishers for some peoples’ tastes, but there’s no denying that they really brought the drama in spades.

With Cody’s injury likely to take him out of action for some time, going out with a win is the right move, since he can come back and continue his hero’s journey when he’s back at 100%. What remains to be seen is what they do with Seth next and whether he’ll rebound from yet another high-profile loss to Cody. Either way, hope it will be good, because this match has set a pretty high bar.


WWE Hell in a Cell – Full Results


Hell in a Cell – Kickoff

Kayla Braxton hosted the Kickoff show with panelists Jerry “the King” Lawler, Booker T, Kevin Patrick, and Peter Rosenberg. Kayla reported that Cody’s pectoral muscle had torn off the bone this weekend, but was still going to compete in Hell in a Cell against Seth Rollins tonight.

The panel was pretty routine, though Booker T had more verbal botches than a typical Nia Jax match had physical botches.

There was no pre-show match.


Match 1: Asuka vs. Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair (c) – Triple Threat match for the RAW Women’s Championship

For a lot of this match, there were a few sequences where two competitors would go at one another after having sending the other one out of the ring. There were some good moves here, like Bianca escaping an Armbar attempt by hitting Asuka with a Buckle Bomb. Later, Becky whipped Asuka off the top rope and onto a fallen Bianca. At one point, Becky hit a Super Legdrop on Bianca and nearly got the pin, but Asuka ran across the ring to break it up. Another fiery sequence saw a frenzied Asuka blast Becky with a cyclone of strikes for a near fall.

In the latter stages, things picked up when all three women were in there, and each of them got an extended sequence where she got the chance to shine. Bianca hit a nice Backspring Moonsault and nearly pinned both challengers at the same time. Later, Asuka hit both opponents with a Double Hip Attack at the same time, and then locked on simultaneous Ankle Locks.


The pace really picked up in the latter stages of the match, with each of them getting very close calls, leading to “This is awesome!” chants from the Chicago crowd.

In the end, after throwing Bianca out of the ring, Becky put Asuka down with a Man-Handle Slam and went for the pin. But Bianca slid in, threw Becky out to the floor, and covered Asuka for the pin.

This was a great match and all three worked well together and looked really strong. Bianca stealing the pin was an interesting choice since that’s normally a heelish tactic. Too early to tell if that’s planting the seed for a turn, or if it’s just adding some nuance to her character. Either one would be welcome.

Winner, and still RAW Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

Match Rating: 9/10

Roman Reigns was acknowledged with a video package.

MVP and Omos were getting ready for their match when they were approached by Cedric Alexander. He volunteered to attack Bobby Lashley during their handicap match. They told Cedric to stop trying to make fetch happen, Gretchen, because the Hurt Business is over and he left.

They aired MVP’s rap video for the song “Fall Mighty.” This was tremendous – check if out.


Match 2: MVP and Omos vs. Bobby Lashley – 2-on-1 Handicap match

As fast-paced and exciting as the last match, this one swung the pendulum the other way. Lashley got some offense him, but much of this saw him falling to the numbers advantage, including getting hit by the Omos Express and plowed right through the ringside barrier.


Bobby fought back, though, even hitting MVP with a Spear, but Omos broke up the pin. But then Cedric Alexander ran in and tried to help MVP and Omos. Omos was having none of it and disposed of Cedric. This distraction left him vulnerable to a Spear that sent Omos rolling to the floor. This left MVP without backup and after Lashley locked him in the Hurt Lock, MVP had no choice but to tap out.

In terms of the action, this was a bit better than a RAW match. But the crowd reactions for Lashley made this seem much more important. They really loved Lashley and gave him a huge ovation for the win. After the match, Lashley grabbed a replica Universal Championship from a fan and posed with it, saying he would be champion again. Based on the crowd response to that, this may be the next move for Bobby.

Winner: Bobby Lashley

Match Rating: 7/10

Match 3: Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel

The aggression was high for this one. Right at the bell, Ezekiel hit a Jumping Knee and a Flying Elbow and it looked like that might be it, but Owens kicked out.


He went after Owens on the floor, but ate the ring-post for his troubles, and Ezekiel got busted open. Owens took over with some big moves, including a Moonsault that nearly ended things and a big Tornado DDT. Owens went for a Senton Splash off the top but Ezekiel got his knees up to buy himself some space. They exchanged some big power moves with Owens getting the edge after a Pop-up Powerbomb. Ezekiel hit another Flying Knee and went for another Flying Elbow Smash, but Owens caught him going up top and crotched Ezekiel on the top. He Superkicked Ezekiel to knock him down in the corner, hit a Cannonball, and then dropped Ezekiel for good with a Stunner.

For a feud built on the flimsiest presence, the match itself was pretty good. Though, it’s unclear what this win accomplishes. Will Ezekiel now reveal he was Elias all along? Will Owens stop obsessing over the question?

Winner: Kevin Owens

Match Rating: 8/10

A really good Seth Rollins hype video aired.


Match 4: AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan vs. The Judgment Day (Edge, Damian Priest, and Rhea Ripley)

After a 6-person brawl to start the ring, things slowed down when Ripley flattened Liv with a big headbutt and then methodically beat her up. Under the intergender rules, when a female tagged out, a male would necessarily have to come in for the other side as well. When Liv tagged out, Priest came in and he outmuscled both Styles and Balor, and then he and Edge isolated Balor and took turns beating him up. Balor finally broke free and tagged in AJ, who was on fire. He blasted both Priest and Edge, hitting the latter with a perfect Phenomenal Forearm. That should have been it, but Priest pulled him off Edge to break the cover. The women came back in, and Ripley’s strength turned the tables her way. When Liv rebounded, the brawl was on, with Judgment Day taking the worst of it when Balor, Styles, and Liv hit them with a trio of dives to the floor.


Things got more chaotic after that, with both teams battling in and out of the ring, oftentimes without tags. At some point, AJ got busted open, and that was even before he hit his head on the ring-post on his way to the floor.

Balor was in control and was going for the Coup de Grace on Edge, when Ripley stood in front of him and blocked his flight path. Liv took her out of play, but the distraction lasted long enough to allow Edge to roll out of the way. When Balor jumped down, he got blindsided with a huge Spear by Edge, and that was enough to keep him down for good.

This was another strong match. The intergender rules requiring tags didn’t bog it down, and actually were used well. The Judgment Day needed a win here in order to keep their gimmick strong, and this did the trick nicely. I will continue to beat the drum for Rhea Ripley and believe she has the potential to be one of the greats. No exception here, as everything she did was great, both in the ring and in terms of the persona. This faction could be exactly what she needs to reach the next level.

Winners: The Judgment Day

 Match Rating: 8/10

In the back, Bobby Lashley ran into Cedric Alexander. Lashley asked Cedric why he tried to insert himself in the match earlier. Cedric said that he was basically done with MVP and Omos and was going to do things on his own from now on. Lashley wished him well and friendidly told him to not interfere in any more of his matches. They parted on good terms.


Match 6: Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss – No Holds Barred (No DQ, No Count-outs) match

After some brawling around the ringside area and up and down the ramp, Corbin shoved Madcap over the commentary desk, but then ate one of the commentators’ chairs and the ring steps.


Corbin baited Madcop in the crowd and he used the ringside barrier to hurt Moss, and then hurt him some more with a Chokeslam and some shots with a steel chair, and a Deep Six that nearly got him the win.

The Chicago crowd kept chanting for tables, but Corbin kept denying them, instead, pulling chairs from under the ring. But that strategy ultimately backfired, as Moss reversed a Corner Whip and Corbin ate a chair that he’d wedged in the ropes. Moss kicked into fourth gear after that, blasting Corbin with a series of chair shots and a intense Shoulder Blocks, until Corbin dropped him with a Chop Block and took over. After some more shots, Corbin wedged Moss’ neck into a folding chair and then drove the chair into the announce table. Ouch!

Corbin then brought the ring steps into the ring, but he got the worst of it, when Moss threw him into them with a Fallaway Slam. Moss then used the ring steps to Pillmanize Corbin’s neck – that looked absolutely gross. And that was all she wrote.

After the match, the medical team tended to Corbin, put a neckbrace on him, and stretchered him out of the ring.

This was a fun one, though by no means a classic. The crowd was begging for tables, and they really should have called the audible and given them some. When the crowd didn’t get a table spot, they kind of faded – even though the actual finishing move looked much more violent. Presumably with this definitive conclusion, this feud will come to an end. They could also use this opportunity to take Corbin off TV for some time and come up with something new, as the whole Happy thing seems to have played out. To reinforce that, they should likely change Madcap’s name as well, but time will tell.

Winner: Madcap Moss

Match Rating: 7/10

They announced that Money in the Bank will take place on July 2nd in Las Vegas, Nevada.

A video package for Bianca Belair aired.


Match 6: Austin Theory (c) vs. Mustafa Ali – for the United States Championship

The crowd was heavily in favour of Chicago’s own Ali. The story early on was that Ali simply out-sped and out-wrestled Theory. A highlight of the early moments was a huge Flying Cross Body by Ali off the top and onto Theory on the floor. But Theory returned the favour, tripping Ali when he was going for another top rope move, sending Ali crashing to the floor. Theory put the boots to Ali, but Ali kept fighting back, so things were somewhat back-and-forth for a while. One big highlight was a Springboard Spanish Fly move by Austin that looked really nifty.


After hitting a cool-looking Cartwheel DDT, Ali went for a 450-Splash, but Theory moved and Ali splatted off the mat. Theory dropped him with a Chop Block and then hit A-Town Down to get the pin.

This was a good match and the crowd was really behind Ali throughout. This is Theory’s time, though, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be losing this one for some time.

Winner, and still United States Champion: Theory

Match Rating: 8/10

Match 7: Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes – Hell in a Cell match


Winner: Cody Rhodes

Match Rating: 10/10

WWE Hell in a Cell - June 5th, 2022

Allstate Arena - Chicago, IL

With strong matches top to bottom, and a definite Match of the Year candidate in the main event, Hell in a Cell was near-heavenly. Despite the poor builds for some of the matches – the Elias-Owens feud has to be one of the worst-booked angles in years – the in-ring action was still solid. Having only one Cell match on the show was also a good idea, since it actually helped maintain the gravitas of the gimmick. Check out this show if you haven’t.