This is the story of two "seasons" of WWE in 2022. How does Triple H-dominated pay-per-view compare to the last of the Vince McMahon era?
2022 will be a memorable year for WWE, both because of the high concentration of high-quality pay-per-view viewing and because of the high turnover backstage. In 365 days, Vince McMahon retired, causing Triple H to take over bookings ahead of SummerSlam. The wrestling shows these two men have booked are very different, and how fans perceive premium live events in 2022 will likely have a lot to do with whose idea they prefer. The style of the game leans towards the physics of professional wrestling, while also being overhanded in terms of storytelling. At the same time, McMahon rarely trusts his audience to find anything subtle, preferring bombastic matches and spectacle.
As Triple H said earlier this year, it's like two different flavors of ice cream. These "flavors" will certainly come into play when looking back at WWE's premium live events starting in 2022. Overall, most of these shows have provided WWE fans with high-end matches and many memorable moments. Here, an attempt will be made to rank them from worst to best. Lists like this are almost entirely subjective. Will try to reach a consensus based on the comments that come out after each individual show, but these are also Immerse yourself in the author's opinion. It is natural to disagree in some places and agree in others. Diversity of opinion is part of what makes pro wrestling so interesting and entertaining. Without further ado, let's get into our ranking of every WWE pay-per-view in 2022.
12/12 12. Royal Rumble - January 28 (The Dome at America's Center in St. Louis)
If one WWE show could make up for McMahon's shortcomings as a bookie in 2022, it would be Royal Rumble. Two of Vince's favorite former UFC stars, Brock Lesnar and Ronda Rousey, won the men's and women's fights, respectively. Beast Incarnate is McMahon's number one star breaking glass in an emergency, so his random entry into the Royal Rumble isn't as shocking as expected. Ronda Rousey returns to WWE tonight, but the women's Royal Rumble match isn't much better than the men's. Both matches had some remarkable moments, but all in all, it was an easily forgotten event for WWE fans.
What WWE fans will remember about the 2022 Royal Rumble: It's hard to pick the most memorable moment, but Mitch James was a surprise when he popped up during the Women's Royal Rumble and won the Impact Women's Championship. WWE used her Impact entry theme and even acknowledged the company on air — a rarity in the Vince McMahon era.
Royal Rumble match of the night: Royal Rumble kicks off with Roman Reigns Vs. Seth Rollins, but the show went downhill from there. rule with. Rollins had the best fight of the night, while Doudrop did his best to go head-to-head with Becky Lynch, even though WWE didn't set up well.
11/12 11. Elimination Chamber - February 19 (Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
The Elimination Chamber's placement so low in the rankings shows just how much premium live events WWE has in store for 2022. This is the first time this pay-per-view approach has been taken overseas, with a drop in Saudi Arabia. By most accounts, this is an average or slightly above-average outing, but it shares many of the same issues that plagued the Royal Rumble. Under McMahon, WWE focused on developing Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar while making everyone else look like a B-tier player. That trend picked up steam in the knockout rounds, where Lesnar unsurprisingly won the men's event. Unfortunately, with two old cars on the cards, Rita was one step behind in her race with Becky Lynch, and the men's knockout race was a bit of a mess. It's hard to show too much love for a show when the two top billing games fall short.
What WWE Fans Will Remember About Elimination Chamber 2022: Bianca Belair's victory in the Women's Chamber Elimination Championship sets the stage for her big moment at WrestleMania 38. Her feud with Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship continued into SummerSlam, and the roots of that lengthy bout were scheduled to be sown in February.
Elimination Chamber's Match Of the Night: There are no true five-star match contenders on this card. That is, Roman rule with. Goldberg did exactly what it needed to do. Goldberg's refusal to tap Roman's guillotine choke was dazzling, but that was the kind of spectacle WWE was trying to present in Saudi Arabia.
10/12 10. Money In The Bank - July 2 (MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas)
This list has gotten tricky because Money In The Bank was a great show for WWE. Elimination Chamber and Royal Rumble were panned by some critics, but they were average at worst. The remaining 10 pay-per-view shows, including Money In The Bank, are the absolute worst B-rated shows. Money In The Bank will be remembered as the final premium live event of Vince McMahon's career as he retires in a few weeks' time on July 22. People try to promote Liv Morgan and Austin Theory. to what extent Success will take a year or two to discern, but in the short term, Money In The Bank will deliver where it's needed.
What WWE fans with 2022 in the bank will remember: The show had a few big moments, but Liv Morgan cashed in on Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women's Championship. Theory being shoehorned into the men's MITB competition and winning is a close second, if only because Triple H is in trouble after taking over creative at the end of July.
Money In the Bank's Match Of the Night: Street Profits vs. The Usos absolutely steal the bank show. This game is going to be on many of the best game of the year lists in 2022, and for good reason. Two of the top tag team teams in WWE battle it out in a match that current fans will urge old WWE fans to watch. Tag team wrestling doesn't get better than this. It was an instant classic that audiences will still be watching years later.
9/12 9. Extreme Rules - October 8 (Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia)
Extreme rules do not reach the highest point note, but it's pretty close. This pay-per-view might have been in the top five or six in years past, but again, 2022 is a stellar year for WWE. By early October, Triple H's fingerprints were on all of the company's shows, with several matches standing the test of time. There are a few fights to skip in the rewatch, including Drew McIntyre's sling match with Karyn Cross and Ronda Rousey's showdown with Liv Morgan to end their feud. Still, when Extreme Rules is good, it's great. Empire vs. Brawling Brutes performed better than expected, and the overlooked I Quit match between Finn Balor and Edge showed an excellent in-ring story in the final minutes.
What WWE Fans Will Remember About Extreme Rules: The Return of Bray Wyatt, Not Even Far. The WWE audience has been mesmerized by White Rabbit teasing for weeks, and it all paid off at the end of this premium live event. It's not often that entry is the most memorable aspect of an entire pay-per-view, but that was the case tonight with Bray Wyatt.
Extreme Rules' Match Of the Night: This is a match in The Brawling Brutes and Imperium's old-fashioned Donnybrook match and Seth Rollins against Matt Riddle in the Fight Pit. Fans slept through the I Quit game because it ran so long, but those three games, plus Wyatt's much-anticipated debut, make the card interesting overall.
8/12 8. WrestleMania Backlash - May 8 (Amica Mutual Pavilion in Rhode Island)
This is an odd ranking of shows, as Backlash showed some great matches and, at the time, it felt like they hadn't wavered in terms of WWE's storytelling. Considering how long this pay-per-view has been around, fans have benefited from a great deal of hindsight, and this initial criticism proved inaccurate. The addition of Rhea Ripley to Judgment Day and The Bloodline's emergence as a real force are both highlight moments that will shape the rest of the year, and possibly well into 2023. Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair also returned from a difficult outing at WrestleMania 38 and had a great I Quit match. Seven months later, Queen has still not returned to WWE television.
What WWE fans remember about Backlash: If Rhea Ripley wins WWE Gold in 2023, her appearance at Backlash will be very notable. this is Her shady role debuted and she's been popular since May. Cody Rhodes cheating to win his rematch with Seth Rollins could have meant a lot more if American Nightmare hadn't been injured before cell hell. More on that later.
Backlash's Match Of The Night: There's only one really bad match on Backlash, so it's hard to pick a top match. Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins was the best men's matchup of the night, while Rousey and Flair had arguably the best matchup of their long feud, and pay-per-view fans weren't expecting much.
7/12 7. Day 1 - January 1 (State Farm Arena in Atlanta)
Day 1 was a show that went through immediate changes due to COVID, but for the most part, WWE scrambled to cobble together a solid pay-per-view 2022 opening. It sits right in the middle of these rankings, largely because of the stellar premium live events over the past 12 months. Some fans may wish the Big E had a chance to do more as WWE Champion, but as long as Brock Lesnar is involved, championship reigns usually end. Liv Morgan's big 2022 also kicked off on a high note on day one, with a storyline of She wasn't ready to challenge a wrestler like Becky Lynch. Nearly 12 months later, that feeling will be different, as Liv Morgan is one of SmackDown's most frequent performers.
WWE fans will remember Day 1: Let's hope this isn't the last time WWE viewers see Big E defending the WWE Championship. Two months later, he fractured his C1 and C6 vertebrae, and it's unclear if he'll be able to wrestle again. Other than that, the deadly 5-way match for the WWE Championship was great, especially considering it was thrown together at the last minute after Roman Reigns tested positive for COVID.
Day 1 night race: Usos Vs with almost no built-in heat. A new day of play, but two of the best doubles teams of this generation are still doing well. It's a testament to how unbelievable these two units are, though Kingston and Woods are currently in an interesting matchup as NXT's Tag Team Champions.
6/12 6. Hell In A Cell - June 5 (Allstate Arena in Chicago)
The last six games on this list are filled with explosions and subtitle moments. Hell In A Cell is huge from top to bottom, and everyone involved went out of their way to make the pay-per-view show as top-notch as possible. becky lynch Compare. Asuka VS. Bianca Bel Air kicked off the show with a great match, and WWE has been in good shape for the Main Event. Seth Rollins uses his 'Hell In A Cell' demon against Cody Rhodes, who tears his pectoral muscle off the bone during training Then I fell down for some reason. Even Bobby Lashley's fights with Omos and MVP are funnier than they should be, illustrating from top to bottom just how solid Hell's Cell is.
WWE fans will remember hell in the cell: the moment Cody Rhodes took off his jacket, revealing the rough discoloration from a torn pectoral muscle. This shocking image can be recalled as the "Austin 3:16 said I just yelled" you a** moment, a definitive example of creating a generation of stars for WWE.
Hell In A Cell's Match Of the Night: Impossible not to do a double here with Cody Rhodes vs. Rollins. Hell In A Cell is the third match in their trilogy, and it's not only their best match yet, it's also one of WWE's top matches in 2022. Maybe Cody shouldn't have been allowed to work in the first place, but he did. with The result was a career-defining game for the 37-year-old.
5/12 5. Crown Jewel - November 5 (Mrsool Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)
The 4th Crown Jewel event takes place in Saudi Arabia in 2022, the best version of the show to date. The first three shows were brilliant but informative, and the premium live events of the 2022 edition combine the two perfectly. It's impossible to summarize everything that happened in shorthand, but no one called during Crown Jewel. Logan Paul took Roman Reigns to the extreme. The final women's stand-up match between Bayley and Bianca Belair was brilliant, while Asuka and Alexa Bliss put on a good show against Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. The low point was the opener between Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley, and even that match was a solid B- or B-loss.
Things WWE fans will remember about Crown Jewel: It must have been Logan Paul's frog splash onto Roman Reigns, a move the YouTube star recorded on his phone and later shared on social media. It's WWE's hottest moment in 2022, and a bright spot in a match that overdelivered in major ways.
Crown Jewel's Match Of The Night: A Clumsy Ending Belair and Bayley prevented the last women's standup from earning MOTN honors. Given how much attention this pay-per-view viewing garners, Paul stealing the Crown Jewel spotlight says something.
4/12 4. SummerSlam - July 30 (Nissan Stadium in Nashville)
SummerSlam, the first pay-per-view show with Triple H in charge of a WWE creative, took place eight days after McMahon's shocking retirement. Some pundits felt that The Game might choose to slowly make its mark on the company's direction, but that feeling quickly faded in SummerSlam. This pay-per-view approach gave fans a glimpse into how Triple H was booked, as it was a show full of "events" and high-quality wrestling. Bayley's appearance alongside Dakota Kai and IYO SKY proved that Triple H will be bringing some of his favorite NXT stars back to the stage. The final fight between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns went better than anyone could reasonably have expected. Celebrity performances from Logan Paul and Pat McAfee to SummerSlam are entertaining and refreshing.
WWE fans remember SummerSlam: Fans of pure sports entertainment would choose Roman Reigns vs. Lesnar because that match was a pure spectacle. WWE doesn't need to go back That ended so quickly at WrestleMania 38, but the match had already begun when McMahon retired. After Lesnar stood on top of a tractor and threw the mic at him, Raines snatched it from mid-air, summing up the fight perfectly.
SummerSlam's game of the night: Let's show some love to Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch as they wrap up their year-long rivalry at SummerSlam. At SummerSlam 2021, The Man came back and beat Belair in 26 seconds, Belair got his redemption, and Lynch was brave by wrestling through a separated shoulder.
3/12 3. WrestleMania 38 - April 2 & 3 (AT&T Stadium in Arlington)
WWE calls WrestleMania the Immortals showcase for a reason. WrestleMania 38 is once again split into two nights. The first day took some time to start, with Belair vs. Lynch being the first fight that felt worthy of a big stage. Stone Cold Steve Austin and Kevin Owens' night one main event was an absolute blast, and the Texas Diamondbacks got the hero's welcome he deserved from the Texas crowd. Nobody expected him to do a 30-minute segment with KO, but that's exactly what fans got. Cody Rhodes also returns on April 2, ending weeks of speculation He finished AEW. The main event on night two was Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, and the unified championship perspective gave the match a big fight feel. Judgment Day was also formed when Damian Priest helped Edge defeat AJ Styles, and the faction now led by Finn Balor is a constant force in SmackDown.
What WWE Fans Will Remember About WrestleMania 38: Trying to pick just one moment that all fans will remember from any WrestleMania is a fool's errand. The return of Stone Cold Steve Austin was one for eternity, while Reigns unified the WWE Championship and Universal Championship, leading to one of the most dominant reigns in the company's history. Take your pick.
Match tonight at WrestleMania 38: Rumor has it that WWE wants Stone Cold to have another match at WrestleMania 39. If that doesn't happen, his match against Owens turns out to be his swan song, and he has to walk away with MOTN honors. From a strictly professional wrestling standpoint, Belair and Lynch once again proved capable of stealing any card they were involved in.
2/12 2. Clash At The Castle - September 3 (Principality Stadium in Cardiff)
From top to bottom, Clash At The Castle meets and exceeds expectations on every level. The main event between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre was fantastic. Dominik Mysterio finally betrayed his father by joining Judgment Day. Damage Control established itself as a heel faction to watch, and Riddle vs Rollins kept rolling. There weren't any obvious failures on the card, with Cardiff's fiery crowd putting exclamation points on all the legendary moments. WWE will have to seriously consider a return to the UK, and it all depends on Clash At The Castle ticket sales and critical response to this premium live event. Thirty years between British events is too long for WWE.
WWE fans will remember something about Clash of the Citadel: Picking anything but Reigns retaining his unifying title against McIntyre will do. The two have woven an incredible story in the ring, with Roman Reigns needing Solo Sikoa's help to protect his long title reign. It's a legitimate candidate for the year race, and one that stands out as one of the top races in 2022.
Clash in the Castle: Reigns vs McIntyre is a masterclass, so it's easy to forget What a job Gunther did to Sheamus. The former is MOTN, but Gunther and Sheamus are not far behind, to their credit. Clash At The Castle has a phenomenal card, barely missing the top spot on this list.
1/12 1. Survivor Series - November 26 (TD Garden in Boston)
Placing Survivor Series at the top of the list might invite charges of recency bias, but this pay-per-view program packs some of the best field stories of the year. The two WarGames are a great sports and entertainment extravaganza. Sammy Zahn's stop of Kevin Owens pinning Roman Reigns will push everyone involved to WrestleMania 39 in April 2023, while Becky Lynch's triumphant return in the Women's WarGames is also very exciting. outstanding. An incredible match between AJ Styles and Finn Balor, Austin Theory stole the US title in an entertaining triple threat match, and Survivor has been great.
What WWE fans will remember about Survivor Series: It was a close series, with Lynch's leg falling from the top of the WarGames cage and Zayn's betrayal of Owens standing out as memorable moments. If Theory is as successful as WWE hopes, his post-Survivor personality change could be seen as a major event More benefits of hindsight.
Survivor Series' Match Of The Night: Aside from Ronda Rousey vs Shotzi, the latter of which received unfairly negative attention, WWE fans can't go wrong with anything on the Survivor Seriescard. The women's WarGames are intense, while the men weave a dynamic and multi-layered story in WWE's main event.