Power-Ranking All 12 WWE PPVs From 2022
Survivor Series was a big success for WWE to close a tumultuous year for the company. Hopefully, its last major pay-per-view event of 2022 is a positive sign for what’s to come as WrestleMania season begins in January.
Some early shows this year illustrated why it’s so easy to criticize WWE sometimes. However, the company can still produce incredible moments and top-notch matches at its best. So, there’s still plenty for its avid viewers and casual fans to be excited about.
More importantly, Triple H’s promotion to head of creative has sparked an undeniable shift in quality. All of the events under his regime have shown a marked improvement. That may not be enough to convince some of the biggest detractors to give it a chance, but it has been refreshing.
So, let’s take a look at how the company fared this year after Saturday's show. This is our power ranking of every WWE pay-per-view of 2022.
12. Elimination Chamber
WWE’s partnership with the General Sports Authority to produce shows in Saudi Arabia is still an uncomfortable situation given the allegations of sportswashing made against the Saudi regime. Nevertheless, there wasn’t much to write home about at Elimination Chamber.
Lita had a much better farewell match with Becky Lynch compared to the sour note her career ended on in 2006. The show also kicked off Bianca Belair’s stretch of impressive pay-per-view performances this year.
The rest of the show was fairly forgettable. The main event served as a way to write Bobby Lashley off after he sustained a shoulder injury and essentially undo his title win from Royal Rumble as the rest of the field acted as cannon fodder for Brock Lesnar.
11. Royal Rumble
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns kicked off Royal Rumble with an excellent opening match. One could argue it was one of The Tribal Chief’s best title defenses of the year.
Unfortunately, that was the highlight of the show, and it proceeded to roll downhill from there. Both of the titular Battle Royal matches were underwhelming, and Lesnar was an uninspiring men’s Royal Rumble winner.
Ronda Rousey’s return was noteworthy on a night devoid of any other real surprises. Nevertheless, Mickie James’ entry as the Impact knockouts champion was still a feel-good moment after her controversial exit last year.
10. Money in the Bank
Money in the Bank suffered because Cody Rhodes wasn’t able to appear at the event. The American Nightmare was on the early promotional material for the event. So, most of us expected him to obtain the briefcase en route to his first WWE title win.
Instead, Austin Theory won the men’s ladder match in his absence. The Atlanta native's failed cash-in became a hot topic this month.
Liv Morgan’s long-awaited title win was a better moment at least. The Usos vs. The Street Profits stole the show in an incredible Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship match.
9. Day 1
Day 1 also took a hit because the superstar on its poster was unable to compete. Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID-19, forcing WWE to take him off a show name after his stable’s catchphrase.
Nevertheless, The Usos and The New Day contributed another fantastic entry in their storied rivalry. RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits was also a fun match with a cameo from The Migos.
WWE added Lesnar to the main event, making it a Fatal 5-Way for the WWE Championship. Although The Beast Incarnate unceremoniously dethroned Big E, this match also started his yearlong feud with Lashley.
8. Crown Jewel
Crown Jewel wasn’t as good as last year’s iteration, but it was still a solid show. If nothing else, it helped to advance Lashley’s feud with Lesnar and give us reason to expect a rematch.
Bayley vs. Bianca Belair for the SmackDown Women’s Championship delivered an entertaining Last Woman Standing match. The two have great chemistry together, and this was a nice addition to their series of encounters.
Still, Logan Paul vs. Roman Reigns was easily the match of the night. Paul has improved so much, and he’s quickly becoming one of the best stars to cross over to pro wrestling.
7. WrestleMania Backlash
WrestleMania Backlash is such a tedious concept for a “B-show” pay-per-view. Giving fans rematches from a show billed as The Granddaddy of Them All seems so impractical, but it’s also a transparent way to entice curious casual viewers on Peacock.
At any rate, most of the rematches on this card were better this time around. Rhodes vs. Rollins is a prime example as the second encounter in their trilogy exceeded expectations.
Charlotte Flair and Rousey also surpassed their lukewarm showing at WrestleMania with a dramatic I Quit match. Lastly, The Bloodline excelled in an entertaining six-man tag match as the main event.
6. Extreme Rules
Extreme Rules started with a fantastic Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook match. The Brawling Brutes have been a pleasant surprise this year, and their feud with Imperius was phenomenal.
Bayley and Belair faced off in a tremendous ladder match that cemented The EST of WWE as a strong champion. The brutal finish made this one of her better title defenses in a defining reign with the Raw women’s title.
Finn Balor vs. Edge was a bit too long, but it offered the story-driven stipulation that WWE does so well. Needless to say, Bray Wyatt’s return was the biggest selling point of this event, and he created one of the highlights of the year.
5. Hell in a Cell
Hell in a Cell wasn’t as strong as some of the other shows this year, but its opener and the main event made up for some of its failings.
Mustafa Ali garnered a warm welcome in his hometown of Chicago as he unsuccessfully challenged Theory for the United States Championship. Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin also had a solid No Holds Barred match.
The Triple Threat for the Raw women’s title was worth the price of admission as Belair, Asuka and Becky Lynch tore the house down. Still, the most significant story came later as Rhodes wrestled in the titular bout with a grisly looking torn pectoral muscle.
The American Nightmare and Rollins produced a candidate for match of the year and one of the best Hell in a Cell encounters of all time.
The first pay-per-view with Triple H at the helm was a morale boost. It was definitive proof that the company was in good hands after Vince McMahon’s highly publicized retirement.
Belair and Lynch capped off their yearlong rivalry with an outstanding opening match. The aftermath laid the groundwork for the next three months of WWE programming as Bayley returned to form Damage CTRL with Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky.
Big Time Becks also effectively turned face to align with her longtime opponent. Paul had another awe-inspiring showing against The Miz as Pat McAfee and Corbin wrapped up their feud later.
Still, Reigns and Lesnar’s Last Man Standing match was the centerpiece of the show. This last chapter in their ongoing feud offered all the spectacle we come to expect from WWE, and it sent the crowd home happy.
3. WrestleMania 38
WrestleMania was a bit uneven. Night 1 lived up to the hype, even though the second day fell short at times.
Belair vs. Lynch was one of the best women’s matches in the history of the event. Meanwhile, Rhodes made his surprise return on The Grandest Stage of Them All and produced a memorable moment with Rollins.
In the main event, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin wrestled for the first time since 2003 in a surreal No Holds Barred match with Kevin Owens. Then, he gave his famous nemesis, Mr. McMahon, one of the worst stunners ever on Night 2.
On Sunday, the RK-Bro successfully defended the tag titles in an underrated Triple Threat match. The rest of the card underdelivered as AJ Styles and Edge’s first-time matchup didn’t quite hit the mark, and the Winner Take All for the company's main titles felt listless.
2. Survivor Series WarGames
Survivor Series was relatively short, but it was one of the best overall shows of the year. Outside of the SmackDown Women’s Championship bout, the rest of the event provided some exceptional storytelling.
The women’s WarGames match gave fans a splendid conclusion to Belair’s conflict with Damage CTRL. The outcome was such a perfect way to pay off their staredown from SummerSlam and complete Lynch’s character arc.
The United States title match was an action-packed contest with an inventive finish. It also worked as a vehicle to continue to reset Theory following his failed Money in the Bank cash-in.
Styles and Balor had a great one-on-one match that could rival their surprise matchup from TLC 2017.
However, The Bloodline’s current storyline took center stage. All of the backstage segments leading up to the main event added tension to the men’s WarGames match, making the ending even more satisfying.
In the end, it was exactly what Triple H promoted it as: a story-driven event as opposed to the usual brand warfare. It was a welcomed change of pace.
1. Clash at the Castle
Clash at the Castle was far and away the best WWE pay-per-view of 2022. This was the home run the company needed to prove it was back on track.
The first UK-based event in 19 years gave us an electric atmosphere that enhanced the entire viewing experience. The six-woman tag match exceeded expectations and offered a hot start. Then, Gunther and Sheamus thrived in front of the crowd in Cardiff, Wales, as they produced an amazing match-of-the-year contender.
Liv Morgan even had her best title defense to date on this card. Edge and Rey Mysterio fell to The Judgment Day, which allowed Dominik to finally turn heel and align with Rhea Ripley.
Rollins and Matt Riddle were initially set to face each other at SummerSlam, but they had a much better build ahead of Clash at the Castle. As a result, their match garnered a louder reaction. The Visionary’s entrance and the chorus of fans singing his theme song will go down as a career highlight.
The outcome of Reigns vs. Drew McIntrye was divisive, but the match was a little overwrought. However, it wasn’t enough to put a damper on a superb show that will end up on many year-end lists.