Pro Wrestling

Top 10 Hell In A Cell Matches

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When you absolutely, positively, have to decisively end a feud, look no further than the imposing structure known as Hell in a Cell. When steel cage matches started to lose their mystique in the late ’90s, the minds in WWE came up with this monstrosity, a gigantic, fully-enclosed cage that encircles both the ring and the ringside area, allowing access to the various weapons that can be found underneath your average wrestling ring while also (theoretically, at least) preventing anyone from interfering. While the concept has been watered down in recent years due to the creation of the yearly Hell in a Cell Pay Per View, combined with a PG rating and a moratorium on blood in matches, the gimmick itself is still used rarely enough that its presence adds a certain gravity to any match. Inside (and occasionally on top of) that structure, some of the best matches and biggest moments in WWE history have occurred, and here are ten Hell in a Cell matches that rose above the pack.

10. Edge vs The Undertaker – SummerSlam 2008

As punishment for her husband Edge fooling around with their wedding planner, Smackdown GM Vickie Guerrero brought The Undertaker back from a banishment he had received for losing a match to Edge at a previous Pay Per View, and set both men against each other inside Hell in a Cell. For his part, Undertaker promised to send Edge straight to hell as revenge for months of shenanigans perpetrated upon him by the Rated R Superstar and his gang of underlings (who mostly had abandoned Edge in the wake of his wedding fiasco). Edge and The Undertaker usually had good chemistry together, as also seen in their under-rated WrestleMania XXIV main event match, and they showed it off here as well. After emphatically winning the match, Undertaker fulfilled his promise, chokeslamming Edge off the top of a ladder and right through the ring below, from which a fiery explosion emerged. Edge disappeared for several months after being allegedly sent to Hell, but his condition was upgraded to “alive’ when he made a shocking return at Survivor Series.

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9. Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose – Hell in a Cell 2014

It’s become apparent during his WWE career that if you want to do a crazy brawl in this day and age, you call Dean Ambrose. And if it means getting revenge on former Shield brother Seth Rollins, so much the better. In an era where Hell in a Cell had become less and less interesting as wrestlers failed to make use of the cage to its full potential, Ambrose and Rollins went all out, using the Cell as a weapon, bringing all manner of foreign objects into play, even forcing Rollins’ J&J Security team to the top of the Cell in an attempt to force Ambrose back down onto safer ground. That last one didn’t go well for anybody, and at one point it seemed like both men might be wheeled out on stretchers. However, the match continued, and Ambrose would have likely defeated Rollins, had he not been distracted by a hologram sent from an interfering Bray Wyatt, followed shortly by Wyatt himself, leaving Ambrose vulnerable and allowing Rollins to pick up the win. This would not be the first or last time that Ambrose was defeated by something outside his control, but it was definitely one of the oddest ways to lose a match.

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8. Batista vs Triple H – Vengeance 2005

This under-appreciated classic took place after Batista’s first World title win at WrestleMania 21. In the months that followed, Triple H schemed to regain the title from his former Evolution stablemate, but he was thwarted at every turn by the younger, stronger Champion. As a last ditch attempt to win back what he saw as his, Triple H goaded Batista into facing him inside the structure that had been home to some of Triple H’s biggest victories. And in a truly star-making performance, Batista and Triple H tore the house down inside the Cell, securing the new Champion’s place in the main event for years to come, as he soundly defeated his former mentor for the third straight Pay Per View. In fact, for all Triple H’s dominance over his other opponents, he never did manage to even the score against Batista.

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7. Triple H vs The Undertaker – WrestleMania XXVIII

This was the re-match from WrestleMania XXVII (technically, it was their third Mania match together, they faced off at WrestleMania X-7 as well), billed as “The End of An Era”, with a special guest referee in the form of Shawn Michaels. Most of the story of the match actually focused on Michaels, as he was torn between his loyalty to his best friend and an unwillingness to see someone accomplish what he’d lost his career failing to do by breaking The Streak. Even with that small bit of over-booking nonsense, both Triple H and The Undertaker, despite their advancing ages, put on an excellent match, one far better than their previous meeting the year before. Obviously, because it was WrestleMania and Triple H is not Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker emerged with The Streak intact. It’s still unclear, however, what era ended during that match, since both men would go on to wrestle several more times afterwards, but the match itself was great.

http://www.wrestlingwithpopculture.com/2012/triple-h-the-undertaker-and-shawn-michaels-end-an-era-on-new-wrestlemania-xxviii-dvd/ Source: wrestlingwithpopculture.com

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6. The Rock vs Kurt Angle vs Steve Austin vs Triple H vs Rikishi vs The Undertaker – Armageddon 2000

In an effort to make Hell in a Cell even more complicated, WWE threw six of its top Superstars (well, five top Superstars and Rikishi, who was in the midst of his ill-fated “I ran over Stone Cold…for The Rock” heel turn) inside the cage and let them fight it out for the WWE Championship. The result was chaotic, to say the least, and adding to the insanity was the presence of Vince McMahon and his cronies, who were attempting to stop the Cell match from happening due its brutal history. It wasn’t the best plan, though, as it mostly revolved around driving a pickup truck full of hay out to ringside and using it to tear the door off the Cell (admittedly, they were trying to dismantle the whole thing, but got interrupted). Why hay, you might ask? Well, at that point you couldn’t have a Hell in a Cell match without someone falling off the top, and in this case, Rikishi made the drop, fortunately landing in the conveniently-located truck bed. Unfortunately, the bedlam of the match made Kurt Angle’s surprising victory, as he retained the title against all odds, almost anti-climactic compared to the rest of the action.

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http://www.wwe.fr/photos/2013/10/22/your-guide-to-every-hell-in-a-cell-match-ever-photos?r30_r1_r1:page=25 Source: WWE.fr

5. Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker – No Mercy 2002

Almost immediately after Brock Lesnar captured the WWE Championship at SummerSlam from The Rock, he was faced by another legendary challenge, in the form of The Undertaker. After the two fought to an inconclusive (and much-criticized) finish at Unforgiven, the pressure was on to deliver a better match and a decisive result. And both men did not disappoint, as they brawled around the Cell with brutal power moves, with Undertaker taking the worst of it, bleeding profusely in the process. Lesnar ended up dominating the veteran Undertaker, ultimately getting the victory, pinning him cleanly in the center of the ring, a feat accomplished by few over the Dead Man’s career. Lesnar would then ascend to the top of the Cell and pose with the title belt, creating a lasting image that would underline his rise as the Next Big Thing and cement his first reign as a truly dominant WWE champion.

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4. D-Generation X vs The Legacy – Hell in a Cell 2009

This was one of the most unique Cell matches, and not just because it was a tag team affair. Even though Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase were considered a decent tag team at the time, there were few who would give them a chance against a legendary pairing like Triple H and Shawn Michaels. With that in mind, the young duo used an impressive strategy in order to gain an advantage. Before the teams could enter the Cell, a brawl erupted, and in the confusion, Legacy separated the D-Generation X members from each other and managed to isolate Michaels inside the cage, locking Triple H outside. The story of the match continued, as DiBiase and Rhodes did everything in their power to wear down Michaels, while Triple H frantically attempted to find a way inside the Cell. Unfortunately for Legacy, Michaels’ resiliency kept him in the match until Triple H could procure wire cutters and force his way inside, at which point the tables turned and D-X emerged triumphant. As a match it was good, but the storytelling taking place raises the match quality a few more notches.

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3. Triple H vs Cactus Jack – No Way Out 2000

After Mankind transformed into his most violent alter-ego in order to face Triple H in a Street Fight at the Royal Rumble, many felt that Triple H barely escaped with his title. And Cactus Jack wanted a rematch, because winning the WWF Championship would guarantee him the one thing he’d never had in his entire career: a place in the main event of WrestleMania. Triple H was willing, but he did have one condition. In order to get his rematch, Mick Foley, the man behind all three personas, would be forced to retire if he lost. Foley agreed, but also named the gimmick, choosing the match which was responsible for some of him most memorable and brutal moments, Hell in a Cell. With everything on the line, Cactus Jack and Triple H tore into each other, fighting in, around, and even on top of the Cell. Ultimately, Triple H emerged victorious, and Foley’s legendary in-ring career came to an end (well, his full-time career, anyway, he’d make several returns over the years).

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2. Mankind vs The Undertaker – King of the Ring 1998

This is easily the most memorable Hell in a Cell match of all time, mostly because of the two truly insane falls that Mankind took from the very top of the Cell. According to Mick Foley’s autobiography, he was so worried about topping the first Hell in a Cell match that he decided to do something really crazy and start the match on the roof of the Cell. And while the first fall, where Undertaker throws Mankind through the announce table, was planned, Foley has maintained for years that the second fall, which saw Mankind chokeslammed on the roof of the Cell, which then gave way and dropped him all the way to the mat, was completely unexpected. And then they still had a match after that! Granted, Mankind had a serious concussion and was, by his own admission, out on his feet for a good portion of the match, but that didn’t stop him from taking another chokeslam, this time onto a pile of thumbtacks. The only reason not to put this match in the top spot is because, outside of two of the most memorable Cell spots in history, it wasn’t actually a very good match.

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http://galleryhip.com/hell-in-a-cell-mankind.html Source: galleryhip.com

1. Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker – Badd Blood 1997

The original match, and still the best after all these years. This match featured Shawn Michaels in his absolute prime as a wrestler, at a time when he could carry far worse wrestlers than The Undertaker to good matches. And since Undertaker is no slouch himself when he wants to be, if this were just a wrestling match it would have been great. But it’s their willingness to use the Cell to maximum effect that lifts this match to an instant classic. This is a match where there is a definite feel that both men are pulling out all the stops to try and survive inside one of the most brutal matches ever designed. Then, right at the climax of the match, we get the shocking debut of Kane, the long-rumored brother of The Undertaker, who rips his way into the Cell and absolutely destroys The Undertaker, setting off a (very) long-running feud between the two that would last for the rest of their respective careers, still occasionally cropping up to this day.

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