Early Predictions for WWE Hell in a Cell 2022 Match Card
The next premium live event on WWE's calendar is Hell in a Cell, set for June 5.
At the moment, no matches have been announced, with the only guarantee being that at least one fight will take place inside the titular red cage.
Seeing how WWE phoned in the lineup for WrestleMania Backlash, it can only be assumed the same level of apathy will be applied to crafting this match card, too.
It will likely consist of only six or so bouts, several rematches, many titles not on the line and a philosophy that the Hell in a Cell gimmick will sell itself, rather than for all the content to be engaging.
Based on the continuation of several feuds out of Backlash and some educated guesswork, let's try to predict what matches will make up the card next month.
Winners Take All Tag Team Championship Unification Match
Out of nowhere, The Usos pitched this idea of unifying the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championship. It was all set to go down, and the match was announced for WrestleMania Backlash, only to be changed to a meaningless six-man tag with nothing on the line.
That could have meant WWE scrapped those plans and wanted to move on. However, strangely, RK-Bro kicked off Raw by saying that was now their goal, and they would be working on getting that match reinstated.
At this point, it has to be assumed Riddle and Randy Orton will continue to feud with The Usos for the next few weeks on television with another contract signing, more singles matches and some other tag team setups until they actually combine the titles at Hell in a Cell.
That would likely be one of the biggest attractions to the show, but here's hoping WWE doesn't think that's good enough to justify ignoring some of the world titles.
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
There's a chance WWE is trying to ween fans off being used to the world title being defended on a regular basis. Even seeing Roman Reigns on Raw or SmackDown isn't a guarantee anymore, despite how he should be pulling double duty while he holds both belts.
WWE may well try to stretch out his title matches for only the biggest shows like SummerSlam and do more non-title matches like what happened at WrestleMania Backlash.
However, if that is just cynical paranoia speaking and things will go back to semi-normal at Hell in a Cell, the only justifiable opponent for The Tribal Chief is Drew McIntyre.
It would have made more sense if The Scottish Warrior had won at Backlash to help set up why he's the No. 1 contender, but WWE might have booked the loss to drag that out. If he has weeks of trying to earn becoming a challenger, that will fill up the rest of May, so Reigns doesn't have to do anything but react to this journey.
Ideally, this would be inside Hell in a Cell to spice things up, as they've fought numerous times, but that's probably just wishful thinking. It will most likely be a standard match, if it happens at all.
Raw Women's Championship Match: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka vs. Becky Lynch
Bianca Belair has moved on from Sonya Deville, who was quickly beaten by Alexa Bliss this week. Instead, it seems The EST of WWE has been put between Asuka and Becky Lynch.
Having the Raw women's champion against The Empress of Tomorrow, only for Big Time Becks to interfere so neither of them actually lost the match outside of a technicality, plants the seeds for a Triple Threat at Hell in a Cell.
In the coming weeks, Asuka and Belair will team up against Lynch and Deville, there may be a No. 1 contender's match between Asuka and Lynch that ends in a no-contest of sorts, and Belair may even fight Lynch one-on-one again, but the end result will remain the same.
This Triple Threat will be booked with a mindset that Asuka's inclusion keeps it from being a straight rematch from WrestleMania and allows her to take the pin so Belair can retain, but Lynch doesn't have to lose another time.
AJ Styles vs. Edge
Clearly, AJ Styles is not through with Edge by a long shot. Though The Judgment Day has Damian Priest and their new recruit, Rhea Ripley, The Phenomenal One has Liv Morgan and Finn Balor to back him up in a fight.
A mixed tag team match is absolutely on the horizon. Morgan and Balor against Priest and Ripley feels like a lock, whether Styles and Edge sit that out or get involved.
In all likelihood, this is the most reliable prediction for which match will take place inside Hell in a Cell. The storyline isn't as grandiose as it used to be when WWE would save this gimmick for the most bitter and epic rivalries. Now, it's just another stipulation, often suggested as a means to keep a heel's partners out of the ring.
Since there was interference in both their last matches, that's the probable angle. Styles will want one more fight inside the red cage to keep Priest and Ripley and any other minions away so he can settle the score once and for all.
Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins
WWE is milking the Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins feud for as long as can be, it seems. Instead of leaving it at WrestleMania as a surprise and moving on, the unneeded sequels keep coming.
Rhodes has two wins over Rollins, but that didn't stop The Messiah from deliberately interfering in The American Nightmare's United States Championship match.
Since Rhodes hasn't been feuding with Theory prior to this, it seems that was done just to spark interest in a possible title win, only to rip it away and tell fans the Rollins stuff isn't over. A third match will happen, be it on Raw or at Hell in a Cell.
Maybe the third time will be the charm and that will be the end of it, or both will just be inserted into the Money in the Bank ladder match the next month and keep fighting on the road to that event, too.
Honorable Mentions and Remaining Filler Options
- Kevin Owens vs. Ezekiel has a strong chance of taking place.
- Bobby Lashley vs. Omos is happening inside a steel cage on Raw next week. That should be the end of that feud, but there's a chance it still continues.
- This crossover between Mustafa Ali, Ciampa and The Miz is messy. It doesn't seem Theory is involved anymore, already, which may rule out a United States Championship defense there.
- It's extremely unlikely Ricochet will defend the Intercontinental Championship, as that belt has been ignored for a year.
- Sasha Banks and Naomi also likely won't defend the Women's Tag Team Championship, as a match against Natalya and Shayna Baszler is already taking place on SmackDown and they just dispatched of Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop. That is, of course, unless WWE decides none of that matters and just does one of those matches again.
- Happy Corbin vs. Madcap Moss could continue, though it's certainly not necessary.
- Technically, Gunther and/or Veer Mahaan could get squash matches, but WWE typically doesn't do those on pay-per-views.
- So much focus has been put on Lacey Evans lately that it wouldn't be surprising if she fought someone at this show.
- However, if the tag titles are unified, Belair defends her belt, there's a Hell in a Cell match and possibly even Reigns in a title match, don't be surprised if Ronda Rousey sits this out and the SmackDown Women's Championship is not on this card.
Those five matches—with the possible exception of Reigns vs. McIntyre—seem like locks. But the remaining content on this show can be made up of a number of options.
Picking is like flipping a coin. These days, WWE saves some bigger matches for television in the hopes of spiking a rating and puts lots of filler on pay-per-views in the hopes that a few important segments will be good enough. It isn't like it used to be, where all the important stuff was on the special event.
Here are some of the other feuds going on that could factor into Hell in a Cell in any arbitrary fashion no one could fully predict at this point:
There are still plenty of episodes to start new storylines and take some detours to set up other matches. WWE probably only has a few matches in mind and will try to think of the rest closer to June. Until then, this is at least what it's looking like right now prior to SmackDown's fallout from WrestleMania Backlash.