Top 5 Hell In A Cell Matches In WWE History
Photo Source: 411mania.com

Nowadays the stipulation that was once reserved for a 'desperate times call for desperate measures' type scenario has it's own branded pay-per-view, where wrestling fans are guaranteed to see some Hell in a Cell action take place, whether a feud warrants it or not.  

With the next annual Hell in a Cell event taking place next month, and the huge announcement that The Undertaker will meet Brock Lesnar inside the steel structure has certainly got everyone thinking about it. But whilst that match has the prospects and potential to be a great, let's take a look back at five Hell in a Cell matches, that were great. 

5- Shawn Michaels - The Undertaker (BadBlood, 1997)

The match where it all began, this bout saw the Hell in a Cell stipulation be introduced for the first ever time, in all it's steel glory, and the action itself lived up to the hype behind the wild stipulation. It can't be denied that this is one of the greatest incarnations of a Hell in a Cell match, regardless of the amount of them that have followed. it was a unique and truly breathtakingly awesome sight which took the whole steel cage idea to another level.  

Because it was the first of it's kind, the match presented was incredibly unique and with two of the very best being the test dummies for the idea, there was never really any doubt that the quality of wrestling would be up to standard.  

The two men brought the best out of each other, with the Deadman tossing the hall of famer from one side to the other, almost imprinting the steel to Michaels body he was hitting it that hard.  

Of course, there has never been a better seller than the Hearbreak Kid himself, and he made each move look a million bucks, even crashing through the announcers table from the side of the cage.  

Whilst the match itself was good, it is perhaps best remembered for the debut of a certain Big Red Monster, Kane. That's right, it was here that Taker's demented brother decided to introduce himself to the world, costing him the match.  

It's a debut that has gone down in history as one of the most iconic, and began a feud which would create some of the greatest storytelling in WWE history, but the debut of the Hell in a Cell can not be overlooked either, and for that, the match makes this list. 

4- Mankind vs The Undertaker ( King of the Ring, 1998) 

You might be thinking, how is this match ranking so low on the list? Whilst there is no doubt that this Hell in a Cell match was by far the most memorable of all time, it wasn't actually the best 'wrestling' match of all time.   

Sure, Mankind being thrown off the roof of the Cell is now one of the most iconic visuals in WWE history, it places with Hulk Hogan body slamming Andre or Jimmy Snuka diving off the cage, it's a moment people will never forget, and perfectly sums up the Attitude era.  

But in terms of actual wrestling there is very little to talk about, go back and watch it, see for yourself (after all, it's on the network for just £9.99).  

It makes it hard to rank the match too high as theoretically it was all over the moment Mankind's body went crashing through the announcer's table, within the first few moments of the match taking place.  

However, the sheer risk factor alone from Mick Foley can not be ignored (hence why it still ranks as my 4th greatest Cell match of all time), the hall of famer put his life on the line, in a match that he likely still feels the effects of to this day.  

There are few men who would willingly be thrown off the roof, and there are even fewer who would then go back up and continue to be put through physical torture to the extremes that Foley endured, but the risk certainly paid off. 

However, the horror upon the WWE Universe's faces and the despair in the face of another hard-core legend, Terry Funk tells a thousand words, this match broke boundaries that should never have been reached, and thankfully have never been emulated.  

On the other hand, this match is a prime example of what a Hell in a Cell optimises; pain, brutality, two foes who would literally go to their bodies limits to beat their opponent, and it is a match that will go down in WWE history.  

3- The Undertaker - Edge (Summerslam, 2008) 

Perhaps the last time that a Hell in a Cell match was truly violent and brutal, this bout took place just before the company decided to make the shift to become a PG product and you can certainly tell.  

This match was a train wreck right from the minute the bell rang, with tables and T.V. monitors being used as weapons, in what was well and truly a simple brawl between two of the all time greats.  

Several major spots took place in this match, most notably the Rated R Superstar spearing the Deadman through the cage itself, the duo had the crowd in the palm of their hands, and they made the most of it, putting on an incredible display.  

This feud had been one of the most intense and enjoyable in the company at the time, and was on of the main reasons why Smackdown was taken seriously by the fans, and not seen as a 'B' show (but that's a totally different article). 

Because of the history between them (Edge had previously banished Taker, by beating him in a TLC match) the fans bought into the fact that they needed to be placed into Satan's steel structure to settle their odds. 

It was an intense battle from the first bell right through to the last, making it one of the greatest Cell matches in the history of the company.   

And, of course, who can forget the ending of this match, where the Deadman choke slammed Edge through the ring before conjuring up a fire bolt from the depths of Hell itself to cement Edge's impending fate.  

2- Triple H vs Batista (Vengeance, 2005)  

If any rivalry needed a Hell in a Cell to settle it once and for all it was this one, with Evolution having come to it's end, the two superstars battled over the coveted (and now retired) World Heavyweight Championship, with the final battle taking place inside the Cell at the appropriately named event, Vengeance.  

The Game and The Animal would tear each other apart using an array of weaponry from a chain to a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire that a certain Cactus Jack would have been proud of.  

This match had plenty of blood for those desperately seeking for a fix of colour in their wrestling matches, as the pair raged an open war upon each other.  

Whilst the brutality of it all was clear to be seen, and is one of the reasons this match is so memorable, that is not the sole reason why it ranks so highly on this list.  

Hunter and Batista had excellent chemistry inside the squared ring, and the wrestling that was put on display in-between the carnage was fantastic, with several near falls and great moves.  

Ultimately it came down to a Batista Bomb onto the steel steps to gain the Animal the victory, a win that not only saw him retain his World title, but also solidified him as one of the companies major stars at the time.  

Honourable Mentions 

There are a few matches I had a hard time leaving off the list, so here they are to get the credit they deserve, my honourable mentions.. 

Triple H vs Cactus Jack- This match up was one true brawl, with Foley once again putting his body on the line for the sake of entertaining the WWE Universe, the match cemented the future CEO's status as a top guy who could hang with the very best in the company.  

The Undertaker - Triple H- The Wrestlemania match that featured the Heartbreak Kid as a special guest referee was a very different type of Hell in a Cell match. Sure it still had plenty of violence and felt a fitting way to end the rivalry between two future hall of famers, but it told a story perhaps better than any other has, and for that reason it goes down as one of the greatest.  

So back to the real list, what has made my number one spot, the greatest Hell in a Cell match in history...  

1- Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker (NoWayOut, 2002) 

That's right, the two men who will meet again inside the steel structure at the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, and it's not making the top spot just for convenience factor either, this match genuinely is phenomenal, and my personal favourite match up between the pair.  

These two athletes spared no expense in terms of handing out violence to one another, as both men brought their absolute A games to this match, and put on a true spectacle for the WWE Universe.  

Both superstars are huge figures in the business now, and even back in 2002 they were two of the companies biggest stars, with Brock deemed 'The Next Big Thing' showing his full potential against The Undertaker, who even at that time had years of experience behind him. 

They truly went to 'hell' and back in this particular match up, and even Paul Heyman got involved in the match up, ending up bust open in a unique spot involving his tie being pulled through the gaps in the steel, leading to Heyman repeatedly being smashed head first into the strurcture. 

The match itself was very well worked and had several major bumps, Lesnar targeted the injured hand of the future hall of famer, in what was a main angle throughout the match.  

The brutal match that both men went through saw Lesnar earn respect from The Phenom, who even told him live on the following Smackdown. 

Overall this is my favourite Hell in a Cell match as I truly believe this is the perfect example of what the stipulation should mean, chaos and insanity, big bumps and two men willing to do anything for the victory, whilst also having entertaining wrestling moments.

But can they do it again? 

Just looking back at these past great matches, it is clear to see (by how many times he features in my top 5 alone) that The Undertaker knows how to handle business inside the Cell stipulation and boundaries, hence the excitement to see him return next month.  

But in recent years, Hell in a Cell matches have been rather lacklustre and majorly disappointing, hence the lack of recent matches in the list. The main factor for this seems to have been that the matches are no longer between two superstars who's feud must be settled, locked inside a demonic structure, but simply whoever is main eventing the show because the pay-per-view is named after the stipulation.  

This has taken away some of the magic that once surrounded the Cell, but with the news of Lesnar heading into the Cell to take on The Phenom, this could all change. Finally we have a feud that needs to be resolved inside the devils structure again, two men who have had such fierce battles over the years, most recently at Summerslam.  

It makes sense for them to be thrown into the Cell to settle and finish this rivalry once and for all, it is what the stipulation should be all about, and that is why all of a sudden there is a buzz for the event, and people are already excited about seeing them tear each other apart.  

But with the excitement must come a little apprehension, for since the last time the pair met inside the Cell, all those years back, the 'Next big thing' may have evolved into a Beast, but the Phenom is certainly no longer the animal he once was. 

Given how the previous two encounters have left the Deadman (with a trip to the hospital and collapsing on the ramp), there has to be an element of doubt over his safety and health heading into a match of this magnitude, with this stipulation against someone as physical as Lesnar.  

But you can guarantee, knowing how The Undertaker has been one of the toughest wrestler's to ever lace up a pair of boots, he will be heading into the match ready to take the crazy bumps he feels necessary to make a strong showing.  

The sheer fact alone we are getting to see the Deadman so much is something no one expected only a few months ago, as we all sat and patiently waited his Wrestlemania return.  

Hell in a Cell looks like it could mean something again, and perhaps the two will put on another classic, that could even top their previous war inside the Cell. It's a tough task to do, but if anyone can do it, it's Brock and Taker, and you know from the moment that bell tolls, it will be all out war and carnage between them.  

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