Hell in a Cell
Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling cage-based match which originated in 1997 in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). It features a large cell structure, a five-sided cuboid made from open-weave steel mesh chain-link fencing which encloses the ring and ringside area. Unlike the steel cage match, only an in-ring pinfall or submission will ordinarily result in a win (although Triple H pinned Chris Jericho atop the cell to win the Hell in a Cell match at Judgment Day in May 2002) and there are no disqualifications.
The original Cell was 16 ft (4.9 m) high and weighed over two tons, but has since been replaced by a more robust version of 20 ft (6.1 m) and five tons. The first match took place at Badd Blood: In Your House in October 1997 and a total of 40 Hell in a Cell matches have occurred ever since. The match type spawned its own pay-per-view event in 2009, WWE Hell in a Cell, since which the event has been held annually in October and occasionally September. This event generally features one to three Hell in a Cell matches on the same card.
The Hell in a Cell match was first introduced at Badd Blood on October 5, 1997 at the Kiel Center, now known as Enterprise Center, in St. Louis, Missouri. The background to the inaugural match was built on The Undertaker's loss to Bret Hart two months prior at SummerSlam in a WWF Championship match which Shawn Michaels was assigned to referee. Michaels had deliberately interjected himself in the match and cost The Undertaker a win which resulted in a match between the two at In Your House: Ground Zero. That match was ruled a no contest due to the two bypassing and attacking the officials. As a climatic end to the feud, their following bout was originally scheduled to be held as a steel cage match. However, a larger roofed structure was constructed instead of a normal cage enclosing only the ring, enclosing not only the ring but also the surrounding ringside area. The wider space between the ring apron and the cell walls allowed for entering and exiting the ring and for cameras to be situated at ringside. At Badd Blood, Michaels defeated The Undertaker (with interference from The Undertaker's debuting half-brother Kane), becoming the number-one contender to the WWF Championship. The original concept for the Hell in a Cell structure was created by Jim Cornette. He described his concept as a combination of a cage surrounding the majority of the ringside area (the design, he stated, was popular in Memphis wrestling promotions) and the cage used in both the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship Wrestling for their WarGames matches (which had a top on the cage). On an October 2015 video podcast, Vince Russo said Cornette probably did come up with the concept, but the name Hell in a Cell came from him. WWE credits the match as being based on the Last Battle of Atlanta.
The first title defense in Hell in a Cell was at No Way Out in February 2000 with Triple H defending the WWF Championship against Cactus Jack. The first title change inside Hell in a Cell was in October 2009, when The Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship from CM Punk. The longest Hell in a Cell match was held at Bad Blood in June 2004 between Triple H and Shawn Michaels at over 47 minutes. The Undertaker has been involved in the most Hell in a Cell matches, having competed in fourteen and having the most victories at eight. All Hell in a Cell matches have been broadcast live on pay-per-view with the exception of three matches, two of which were televised on Raw Is War in 1998. The Hell in a Cell match on the June 15 episode of Raw Is War showcasing Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Undertaker against Kane and Mankind, ended with Austin and Undertaker winning after Raw Is War went off the air. On the August 24 episode of Raw Is War, Mankind fought Kane (his tag team partner at the time) in a Hell in a Cell match. This match went to a no contest after Austin interfered and assaulted Kane. Only one Hell in a Cell match was not televised, the match took place on the September 26 episode of Raw in 2011 as a dark match and lasted only 5 minutes, making it the shortest Hell in a Cell match. Hell in a Cell matches have appeared at WWF/WWE's flagship event WrestleMania three times (XV, XXVIII and 32). In 2009, WWE debuted its first pay-per-view event to be named Hell in a Cell.
In 2016, Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks became the first women to step inside the Hell in a Cell match at Hell in a Cell in October 2016 when Banks defended the Raw Women's Championship against Flair. To date, this has been the only women's Hell in a Cell match.
Ahead of Hell in a Cell in September 2018, the structure went through a significant overhaul. The fully crimson-red structure is smaller, with the wires being less pliable, making the structure stronger, yet lighter.
Other appearances and variationsEdit
The structure itself has made four additional appearances, although WWE does not consider them to be Hell in a Cell matches. During the first-ever First Blood match which was between Kane and Stone Cold Steve Austin at King of the Ring in May 1998, the cell used earlier in the night was lowered. The second featured Big Boss Man challenging Al Snow for the WWF Hardcore Championship in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven in September 1999. The match consisted of a standard steel cage with the cell placed atop it and the object was to escape from both the cage and cell while trying to avoid guard dogs that were placed between the ring and cell door. Snow, the first competitor to escape the steel cage and the cell, was declared the winner. The third time was on the September 28, 2009 episode of Raw during a gauntlet match with John Cena against Chris Jericho, Big Show and Randy Orton. The cell was lowered after Cena defeated Jericho and Big Show by disqualification when Orton's turn came. Cena ordered the cell to be lowered and then brawled Orton on top of the structure. The match was declared a no contest. The fourth time was on the October 20, 2014 episode of Raw when the Hell in a Cell structure was lowered on orders from Kane during a handicap street fight involving Kane, Orton and Seth Rollins against Cena and Dean Ambrose which Kane, Orton and Rollins won. At Hell in a Cell in October 2017, Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens competed in the first Hell in a Cell match contested under a Falls Count Anywhere stipulation.
In the World Championship Wrestling (WCW), the Hell in a Cell match is seen as the structural successor to the Thundercage (originally called the Caged Heat match) match type seen in WCW which was virtually identical in basic construction. However, the Thundercage was rarely used by WCW and thus fans had little to no knowledge of its existence. The Thundercage actually precedes Hell in a Cell by roughly two and a half years as the Thundercage was used in the match between Ric Flair and Big Van Vader for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship at SuperBrawl IV in February 1994. It was also used in matches between Sting and The Great Muta.
List of Hell in a Cell matchesEdit
Dallas holds the record for hosting the most Hell in a Cell matches with five (four were held in Dallas proper and one in the western suburb of Arlington). Miami is in second place with four Hell in a Cell matches (three were in Miami proper and one in the suburb of Miami Gardens). Newark, Boston and San Antonio are in third place as all three of which have hosted three Hell in a Cell matches.
|1||Shawn Michaels defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell to determine the number one contender for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series||Badd Blood: In Your House||October 5, 1997||St. Louis, Missouri||29:55|
|2||The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Mankind and Kane||Tornado Tag Team Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||June 15, 1998||San Antonio, Texas||10:38|
|3||The Undertaker defeated Mankind||Singles Hell in a Cell||King of the Ring||June 28, 1998||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||17:10|
|4||Mankind vs. Kane ended in a no contest||Singles Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||August 24, 1998||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||7:41|
|5||The Undertaker defeated Big Boss Man||Singles Hell in a Cell||WrestleMania XV||March 28, 1999||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||9:48|
|6||Triple H (c) defeated Cactus Jack||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWF Championship
Since Cactus Jack lost, he had to retire as an active wrestler in the WWF
|No Way Out||February 27, 2000||Hartford, Connecticut||23:57|
|7||Kurt Angle (c) defeated The Undertaker, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Rikishi and The Rock||Six-man Hell in a Cell for the WWF Championship||Armageddon||December 10, 2000||Birmingham, Alabama||32:12|
|8||Triple H defeated Chris Jericho||Singles Hell in a Cell||Judgment Day||May 19, 2002||Nashville, Tennessee||24:06|
|9||Brock Lesnar (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||No Mercy||October 20, 2002||North Little Rock, Arkansas||27:18|
|10||Triple H (c) defeated Kevin Nash||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship with special guest referee Mick Foley||Bad Blood||June 15, 2003||Houston, Texas||21:01|
|11||Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels||Singles Hell in a Cell||Bad Blood||June 13, 2004||Columbus, Ohio||47:26|
|12||Batista (c) defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Vengeance||June 26, 2005||Las Vegas, Nevada||26:54|
|13||The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell||Armageddon||December 18, 2005||Providence, Rhode Island||30:31|
|14||D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Mr. McMahon, Shane McMahon and Big Show||Two-on-three handicap Hell in a Cell
This also marked the debut of the amplified version of the cell
|Unforgiven||September 17, 2006||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||25:04|
|15||Batista (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Survivor Series||November 18, 2007||Miami, Florida||21:24|
|16||The Undertaker defeated Edge||Singles Hell in a Cell||SummerSlam||August 17, 2008||Indianapolis, Indiana||26:43|
|17||The Undertaker defeated CM Punk (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 4, 2009||Newark, New Jersey||10:24|
|18||Randy Orton defeated John Cena (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||21:24|
|19||D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Legacy (Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase)||Tornado tag team Hell in a Cell||17:48|
|20||Randy Orton (c) defeated Sheamus||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 3, 2010||Dallas, Texas||22:51|
|21||Kane (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||21:38|
|22||John Cena (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger||Five-man Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Raw
|September 26, 2011||Kansas City, Missouri||5:01|
|23||Mark Henry (c) defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 2, 2011||New Orleans, Louisiana||15:54|
|24||Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena (c) and CM Punk||Triple threat Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||24:07|
|25||The Undertaker defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||WrestleMania XXVIII||April 1, 2012||Miami Gardens, Florida||30:52|
|26||CM Punk (c) defeated Ryback||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 28, 2012||Atlanta, Georgia||11:22|
|27||CM Punk defeated Ryback and Paul Heyman||Two-on-one handicap Hell in a Cell||Hell in a Cell||October 27, 2013||Miami, Florida||13:48|
|28||Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan||Singles Hell in a Cell for the vacant WWE Championship with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||22:07|
|29||John Cena defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell to determine the number one contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 26, 2014||Dallas, Texas||25:52|
|30||Seth Rollins defeated Dean Ambrose||Singles Hell in a Cell||14:00|
|31||Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt||Singles Hell in a Cell||Hell in a Cell||October 25, 2015||Los Angeles, California||23:08|
|32||Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell||18:10|
|33||The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon||Singles Hell in a Cell
Had Shane McMahon won, he would have gained control of Raw and Undertaker would have been barred from competing at WrestleMania again
|WrestleMania 32||April 3, 2016||Arlington, Texas||30:08|
|34||Roman Reigns (c) defeated Rusev||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE United States Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 30, 2016||Boston, Massachusetts||24:35|
|35||Kevin Owens (c) defeated Seth Rollins||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Universal Championship||23:15|
|36||Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Raw Women's Championship||22:25|
|37||The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated The New Day (Big E and Xavier Woods) (c)||Tornado tag team Hell in a Cell for the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 8, 2017||Detroit, Michigan||22:00|
|38||Kevin Owens defeated Shane McMahon||Falls Count Anywhere Hell in a Cell||39:00|
|39||Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy||Singles Hell in a Cell||Hell in a Cell||September 16, 2018||San Antonio, Texas||24:50|
|40||Roman Reigns (c) vs. Braun Strowman ended in a no contest||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Universal Championship with special guest referee Mick Foley||24:10|
|Stone Cold Steve Austin||1||2|
|Alberto Del Rio||1||2|
|Big Boss Man||0||1|
- "Timeline History of WWE 1997". Kayfabe Commentaries. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
- "Vince Russo's Nuclear Heat #4: WWE Hell In A Cell Origins, Kane's History, More - Oct 23, 2015". YouTube. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
- "Exclusive: How the rarest match in wrestling history was discovered". WWE. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
- "Hell in a Cell structure gets a fiery red makeover". WWE. Retrieved September 17, 2018.