Mini List: Five Best Hell in a Cell Matches
Hell in a Cell 2012 is coming up in just a couple weeks, so I thought it would be a good time to have a look at some of the best matches in its history. There have been over 20 matches since its inception in 1997, meaning there was a lot to wade through. Luckily, there were a lot of great matches that immediately came to mind, so putting this article together wasn’t difficult. These matches are in no particular order, but I believe these to be the Five Best Hell in a Cell Matches.
Edge vs. The Undertaker – Summerslam 2008
This feud may have been sparked in 2007 after Edge cashed in the Money in the Bank Briefcase to capture a slain Undertaker’s title, but it would gain steam in 2008. Edge and Taker would battle at Wrestlemania 24, Judgement Day 2008, in a TLC match at One Night Stand 2008, and one last time in Hell in a Cell.
Both wrestlers tried to destroy each other inside the massive Hell in a Cell cage with nothing off limits. Lots of brutal chair shots would ring Undertakers bell and Edge would even leap from a ladder driving that same chair through Undertaker and the table underneath him. Taker gave out just as much punishment as he took by delivering a huge chokeslam to Edge from the top turnbuckle to the outside and through a table. Edge would continue to throw his body at the dead man by delivering two devastating spears; one through the cage and the other through an announce table. Undertaker would even surprise the Rated R Superstar with a spear of his own.
In what many consider being the last great Hell in a Cell match, Undertaker would end up defeating Edge with his patented Tombstone Piledriver. Undertaker would put an exclamation point on the feud by chokeslamming Edge through the mat and straight to hell as pyro emerged from underneath the ring.
Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels – Badd Blood 2004
Shawn Michaels’ return to wrestling in the early 2000 period was met with a lot of excitement. Upon his return, it was immediately evident that Triple H and Shawn Michaels would have to brawl it out over personal differences which ultimately concluded with their battle in Hell in a Cell.
This was one of the longer Hell in a Cell matches at forty minutes plus and the most personal as well. You can feel the tension between these two elevate as the match progresses while Triple H and Shawn Michaels trade punishment including chair shots, ladder spots, and a huge elbow from the ladder through a table. Both wrestlers wore the proverbial crimson mask and even kicked out of each other’s finishing maneuvers.
One could argue that this is also the best worked Hell in a Cell match because each man threw everything they had at each other to put an end to their differences.
Mankind vs. The Undertaker – King of the Ring 1998
Ask a wrestling fan to name any moment from a Hell in a Cell match and you will likely be referred to this bout. By the time 1998 rolled around, Mankind and The Undertaker had already battled in a variety of matches, including the first ever Boiler Room Brawl, but they would meet once again in Hell in a Cell.
This match isn’t known for amazing wrestling moves, rather it’s known for its brutality and crazy spots that nearly killed Mick Foley. These stunts would become synonymous with the Hell in a Cell match and are still mentioned even to this day. Of course, I’m talking about The Undertaker tossing Mankind off the top of the 16 foot high steel skeleton. This was an absolutely mind blowing moment in the first Hell in a Cell match, but the violence doesn’t stop there. Both wrestlers would go back to the top and Mankind would be chokeslammed through the cell structure and to the mat. Again, more violence would ensue with thumbtacks even making an appearance.
The Undertaker would go on to win the match, and how could he not; Mick Foley was tossed around like a ragdoll. Mick Foley would walk up the ramp moments after the match ended and refused to be taken out on a stretcher. Terry Funk also gets chokeslammed out of his shoes, which is quite possibly the funniest moment in Hell in a Cell history.
Triple H vs. Cactus Jack – No Way Out 2000
During the early part of 2000, Triple H would consistently try to end Mick Foleys career. After a classic Street Fight match at the Royal Rumble, Triple H would look to finally end not only Mick Foley’s career, but his legacy as well. To do this, Triple H would have to step inside Hell in a Cell with one of the most dangerous men in the wrestling business, Cactus Jack.
This match would feature tons of violence and yet another crazy bump through the cell. Mick Foley would get a bit more offense in on Triple H than he did on Undertaker, but it wasn’t enough to stop the cerebral assassin. This match may have featured Mick Foley getting back body dropped through the cell, but it’s the introduction of a flaming barbed wire laden 2×4 and the overall story that makes it a classic.
Mick Foley would lose to the Pedigree, but despite this being a retirement match, he would return later in the year to compete in the first ever four way main event at Wrestlemania 2000.
Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – Badd Blood: In Your House 1997
My all-time favourite Hell in a Cell match is Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at Bad Blood ’97. Until Hell in a Cell was devised, cage matches were the best way for rivals to settle their differences. Shawn Michaels was a big pain in the ass and only a match like Hell in a Cell could ensure that The Undertaker could have his way with HBK.
Hell in a Cell was a brand new concept and for that alone it was a truly special match. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker would put on one of the best matches of all time in the new cell structure. There was a ton of drama, lots of innovative uses of the cage, and a lot of great wrestling. I still get chills when both competitors climb to the top and it’s a real shame that it doesn’t happen anymore.
Outside the brutal performance from both wrestlers, Badd Blood would also mark the debut of The Undertaker’s kayfabe brother, Kane. With Kane’s interference, Shawn Michaels would pick up the win and a title shot against Bret Hart at Survivor Series 1997, and we all know what happened there.
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