Open main menu
The Hell in a Cell structure at the Hell in a Cell event in October 2017

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, except for when Seth Rollins lost to "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt via disqualification, which completely goes against WWE's own rules.

The original Cell was 16 ft (4.9 m) high and weighed over two tons, but has since been replaced by a more robust version of 20 ft (6.1 m) and five tons.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.

HistoryEdit

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).[1] 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.[2] WWE credits the match as being based on the Last Battle of Atlanta.[3]

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, Flair won the 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. Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy faced off against each other in the first crimson cell, a match which Orton won.[4]

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.

Number Match Stipulations Event Date Location Length
1 Shawn Michaels defeated The Undertaker Singles match 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 match Raw Is War June 15, 1998 San Antonio, Texas 10:38
3 The Undertaker defeated Mankind Singles match King of the Ring June 28, 1998 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 17:10
4 Mankind vs. Kane ended in a no contest Singles match Raw Is War August 24, 1998 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 7:41
5 The Undertaker defeated Big Boss Man Singles match WrestleMania XV March 28, 1999 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 9:48
6 Triple H (c) defeated Cactus Jack Singles match 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 tag team match for the WWF Championship Armageddon December 10, 2000 Birmingham, Alabama 32:12
8 Triple H defeated Chris Jericho Singles match Judgment Day May 19, 2002 Nashville, Tennessee 24:06
9 Brock Lesnar (c) defeated The Undertaker Singles match for the WWE Championship No Mercy October 20, 2002 North Little Rock, Arkansas 27:18
10 Triple H (c) defeated Kevin Nash Singles match 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 match Bad Blood June 13, 2004 Columbus, Ohio 47:26
12 Batista (c) defeated Triple H Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship Vengeance June 26, 2005 Las Vegas, Nevada 26:54
13 The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton Singles match 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 match
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 match for the World Heavyweight Championship Survivor Series November 18, 2007 Miami, Florida 21:24
16 The Undertaker defeated Edge Singles match SummerSlam August 17, 2008 Indianapolis, Indiana 26:43
17 The Undertaker defeated CM Punk (c) Singles match 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 match 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 match 17:48
20 Randy Orton (c) defeated Sheamus Singles match for the WWE Championship Hell in a Cell October 3, 2010 Dallas, Texas 22:51
21 Kane (c) defeated The Undertaker Singles match for the World Heavyweight Championship 21:38
22 John Cena (c) defeated Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger Five-man match for the WWE Championship Raw
(dark match)
September 26, 2011 Kansas City, Missouri 5:01
23 Mark Henry (c) defeated Randy Orton Singles match 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 match for the WWE Championship 24:07
25 The Undertaker defeated Triple H Singles match with special guest referee Shawn Michaels WrestleMania XXVIII April 1, 2012 Miami Gardens, Florida 30:52
26 CM Punk (c) defeated Ryback Singles match 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 match Hell in a Cell October 27, 2013 Miami, Florida 13:48
28 Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan Singles match for the vacant WWE Championship with special guest referee Shawn Michaels 22:07
29 John Cena defeated Randy Orton Singles match 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 match 14:00
31 Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt Singles match Hell in a Cell October 25, 2015 Los Angeles, California 23:08
32 Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker Singles match 18:10
33 The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon Singles match
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 match 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 match for the WWE Universal Championship 23:15
36 Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks (c) Singles match 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 match 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 match 39:00
39 Randy Orton defeated Jeff Hardy Singles match 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 match for the WWE Universal Championship with special guest referee Mick Foley 24:10
41 Becky Lynch (c) defeated Sasha Banks by submission Singles match for the WWE Raw Women's Championship Hell in a Cell October 6, 2019 Sacramento, California 21:50
42 Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bray Wyatt ended in a match stoppage Singles match for the WWE Universal Championship 17:30

Participant listEdit

MalesEdit

 
Shawn Michaels was the inaugural winner in October 1997
 
The Undertaker holds the record for both the most wins at 8 and the most Hell in a Cell matches with 14, most recently at WrestleMania 32
Wrestler Victories Losses Appearances PCT
The Undertaker 8 6 14 .571
Triple H 6 3 9 .666
Randy Orton 4 3 7 .571
Shawn Michaels 3 1 4 .750
Batista 2 0 2 1.000
Brock Lesnar 2 0 2 1.000
Kevin Owens 2 0 2 1.000
Roman Reigns 2 1 3 .666
John Cena 2 2 4 .500
CM Punk 2 3 5 .400
Kurt Angle 1 0 1 1.000
Mark Henry 1 0 1 1.000
Jey Uso 1 0 1 1.000
Jimmy Uso 1 0 1 1.000
Stone Cold Steve Austin 1 1 2 .500
Alberto Del Rio 1 1 2 .500
Seth Rollins 1 2 3 .333
Kane 1 2 3 .333
Big Boss Man 0 1 1 .000
Rikishi 0 1 1 .000
The Rock 0 1 1 .000
Chris Jericho 0 1 1 .000
Kevin Nash 0 1 1 .000
Mr. McMahon 0 1 1 .000
Big Show 0 1 1 .000
Edge 0 1 1 .000
Cody Rhodes 0 1 1 .000
Ted DiBiase 0 1 1 .000
Sheamus 0 1 1 .000
Dolph Ziggler 0 1 1 .000
Jack Swagger 0 1 1 .000
Paul Heyman 0 1 1 .000
Daniel Bryan 0 1 1 .000
Dean Ambrose 0 1 1 .000
Rusev 0 1 1 .000
Big E 0 1 1 .000
Xavier Woods 0 1 1 .000
Jeff Hardy 0 1 1 .000
Braun Strowman 0 1 1 .000
Ryback 0 2 2 .000
Bray Wyatt 0 2 2 .000
Shane McMahon 0 3 3 .000
Mankind/Cactus Jack 0 4 4 .000

FemalesEdit

Wrestler Victories Losses Appearances PCT
Charlotte Flair 1 0 1 1.000
Becky Lynch 1 0 1 1.000
Sasha Banks 0 2 2 .000

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Timeline History of WWE 1997". Kayfabe Commentaries. Retrieved June 24, 2018.
  2. ^ "Vince Russo's Nuclear Heat #4: WWE Hell In A Cell Origins, Kane's History, More - Oct 23, 2015". YouTube. Retrieved October 23, 2015.
  3. ^ "Exclusive: How the rarest match in wrestling history was discovered". WWE. Retrieved 2019-05-22.
  4. ^ "Hell in a Cell structure gets a fiery red makeover". WWE. Retrieved September 17, 2018.

External linksEdit