Ranking every WWE premium live event in 2022 from worst to best
2022 has been a tale of two halves for WWE. Vince McMahon's retirement in July led to many changes to the product, with Triple H leading the way. The same could, more or less, be said for premium live events.
WWE adopted the name at the start of the year, no longer calling them pay-per-views. From brand-new concepts to more stadium shows, 2022 was an interesting year for premium live events. Not all of them were good, though.
Let's look back at all 12 such shows and rank them from worst to best. Let us know your favorite WWE premium live event of 2022 in the comments section below.
#12. WWE Royal Rumble
Usually the most exciting WWE event every year, the Royal Rumble was possibly the worst one of 2022. This is mainly because of the two titular matches.
While it had its moments, the 30-woman Rumble was uninspiring right until Ronda Rousey won by last eliminating Charlotte Flair. Meanwhile, the Men's Royal Rumble Match was poorly booked from start to finish, as Brock Lesnar dominated the field upon entering at number 30.
The one saving grace of Royal Rumble 2022 was the opener between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. However, even their match ended underwhelmingly as The Tribal Chief lost by disqualification.
#11. WWE Elimination Chamber
The road to WrestleMania 38 wasn't quite WWE's finest work in 2022, as their first Saudi Arabia show this year was inconsistent.
Brock Lesnar was dominant yet again, as his victory inside the Elimination Chamber set up an ill-advised world title unification match against Roman Reigns at The Show of Shows. Meanwhile, The Tribal Chief defeated Goldberg in a decent encounter.
While most of the card was filled with average matches, Lita had a great showing against Becky Lynch for the RAW Women's Championship. Bianca Belair also performed strongly in the women's Chamber match to set up a 'Mania match against Big Time Becks.
#10. WWE Day 1
WWE held a premium live event on New Year's Day 2022, calling it Day 1. It started the year in the most chaotic way possible, as Roman Reigns was ruled out after testing positive for COVID-19.
His match with Brock Lesnar was canceled, but The Beast Incarnate did win the WWE Championship in an explosive fatal five-way. This was the beginning of the end for Big E as a main event star in the company.
The rest of Day 1 was solid if a bit unspectacular. The Usos and The New Day had their customary banger, while Liv Morgan took RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch to the wire.
#9. WWE Money in the Bank
This was the final premium live event of the Vince McMahon era, and it showed.
Austin Theory won the men's briefcase as a last-minute addition in a move perceived too soon for him. His failed cash-in on Seth Rollins proved that Triple H felt the same way.
Meanwhile, Liv Morgan won the women's briefcase and cashed it in that night itself. The crowd went wild as she pinned Ronda Rousey to win the SmackDown Women's Championship following a great match between The Baddest Woman on the Planet and Natalya.
However, the best match at Money in the Bank 2022 was The Usos' Tag Team Championship defense against The Street Profits.
#8. WWE Crown Jewel
Crown Jewel in November was a perfectly solid show. Every match delivered, even if a couple of big ones fell short of expectations. Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley's opener was an entertaining brawl, but it only lasted six minutes.
The Judgment Day and The Usos enjoyed solid wins, while Bianca Belair and Bayley had a wild Last Woman Standing Match. However, the main event of Crown Jewel 2022 was the talk of the town.
Logan Paul had a spectacular showing as he challenged Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. The Tribal Chief may have won, but fans were stunned at how good Paul looked opposite him.
#7. WWE WrestleMania Backlash
While it featured several WrestleMania rematches, the 2022 edition of WrestleMania Backlash delivered pretty well. Most of the card improved from their respective matches at The Show of Shows.
The biggest example may have been Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair, with their 'I Quit' Match being among the highlights of a solid card. AJ Styles and Edge also did better here than at 'Mania, while Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins is always great.
Meanwhile, the main event of WrestleMania Backlash was completely fresh, as The Bloodline defeated RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre in a chaotic six-man tag team match. It was a fun way to end a fun night of wrestling.
#6. WWE Hell in a Cell
While Hell in a Cell 2022 was hardly the strongest overall show, it was book-ended by two fantastic matches. Bianca Belair defeated Asuka and Becky Lynch in an enthralling triple threat to retain the RAW Women's Championship.
However, the Hell in a Cell Match between Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins was by far the most memorable bout from the show. The American Nightmare wrestled with a torn pectoral muscle and put on a heroic performance, defeating The Visionary in a classic. That match alone makes this show a good one.
The undercard of Hell in a Cell wasn't the greatest. However, it did feature fun match-ups like Austin Theory vs. Mustafa Ali and The Judgment Day defeating AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan one night before Edge was removed from the group.
#5. WWE Survivor Series
The final WWE premium live event of 2022, Survivor Series, was pretty great. The entire card delivered perfectly. Well, except for the SmackDown Women's Championship match between Ronda Rousey and Shotzi.
The women of RAW did much better as Becky Lynch marked her return by helping Team Bianca beat Team Bayley inside WarGames. Meanwhile, Austin Theory defeated Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley to regain the United States Championship.
However, the main event of Survivor Series 2022 delivered the most. The Bloodline's WarGames Match against Team Brawling Brutes was rich in storytelling and brutality.
Sami Zayn betrayed his longtime best friend, Kevin Owens, to prove his loyalty to Roman Reigns' group after months of tension between him and Jey Uso. The Honorary Uce has been one of WWE's brightest stars in 2022.
#4. WWE Extreme Rules
Triple H made Extreme Rules feel extreme again. Every match on the card had a stipulation instead of just the main event, like in 2021. We got a variety of violence, including a Ladder Match, a Strap Match, and even a Donnybrook Match.
The Brawling Brutes' six-man tag win over Imperium was pretty memorable, while Finn Balor defeated Edge in a long and dramatic 'I Quit' Match. Beth Phoenix and Rhea Ripley got involved too. While Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan wasn't the greatest match, the main event more than made up for it.
First, Matt Riddle earned a big win over Seth Rollins in the Fight Pit. And then, the moment of a lifetime. WWE ended the show with Bray Wyatt's magnificent return, making Extreme Rules 2022 even more memorable.
Fans witnessed a great night of extreme action before the most-anticipated return of 2022.
#3. WWE SummerSlam
The Triple H Era in WWE kicked off with a bang as SummerSlam 2022 delivered on multiple fronts. From surprise returns to an epic main event, this was excellent. The outdoor setting of Nissan Stadium in Nashville also helped the vibe.
Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch ended their feud with another great match before Bayley made her return. She brought Dakota Kai and Io Shirai (aka IYO SKY) with her, foreshadowing the many comebacks of The Game's favorites from NXT.
Logan Paul shocked everyone with how good he was against The Miz, while Edge's return to attack The Judgment Day was quite fun. However, nothing could top the Last Man Standing Match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar.
The Beast Incarnate started the match by jumping off a tractor. He then used it to lift one side of the ring and send Reigns tumbling out of it. Lesnar also F5'ed Paul Heyman through the announce table before The Tribal Chief and The Usos overwhelmed him for the win.
#2. WWE WrestleMania 38
WrestleMania 38 was a tale of two halves. If ranked individually, Night Two would be in the middle of the list. However, Night One would have been first. It was an incredible night of action and memories.
Bianca Belair won the RAW Women's Championship in a fantastic match against Becky Lynch, while Cody Rhodes returned to WWE and defeated Seth Rollins in an incredible outing. However, this was Stone Cold's night.
Steve Austin returned to the ring 19 years after he retired, defeating Kevin Owens in a No Holds Barred Match. The subsequent beer bash was the perfect ending to WrestleMania Saturday. While the following night wasn't as great, it did have its moments.
RK-Bro defeated Alpha Academy and The Street Profits in a fun opener to Night Two. Meanwhile, Pat McAfee received a massive ovation as he defeated Austin Theory before Vince McMahon returned to the ring and beat him. Stone Cold's appearance after the match lit up AT&T Stadium as he stunned all three men.
Unfortunately, though, the world title unification match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar was just okay. Much more was expected, especially after WWE billed it as the "biggest WrestleMania match of all time."
Nevertheless, the 2022 edition of The Show of Shows was great overall. WrestleMania 38, indeed, was stupendous.
#1. WWE Clash at the Castle
WWE's best show of 2022 came from the United Kingdom, as Clash at the Castle ended decades of waiting with a bang. This was a near-perfect show from top to bottom. Unlike WrestleMania, there was zero filler here.
Damage CTRL won their first match as a trio as Bayley pinned Bianca Belair. Meanwhile, Gunther and Sheamus waged war in a fantastic Intercontinental Championship match that exceeded the already high expectations.
Liv Morgan defended her SmackDown Women's Championship against Shayna Baszler in a solid outing, while Dominik Mysterio's heel turn shocked the fans. Seth Rollins defeated Matt Riddle in a top-class encounter before the big-time main event.
Drew McIntyre challenged Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. It was a memorable affair, with the crowd fully behind The Scottish Warrior. He came within inches of dethroning The Tribal Chief before Solo Sikoa helped Reigns win on his main roster debut.
The one negative aspect of Clash at the Castle was the weird ending of McIntyre singing songs with Tyson Fury in the ring. However, that was likely intended just for the UK fans in attendance. Everything else was pretty spot on.