Hell in A Cell matches in the WWE have proven to be some of the most memorable and entertaining matches in the company’s history, with so many matches elevating the popularity of the superstars involved. The 20 ft monstrous structure of steel weighs almost five tons and the rough structure can scar those involved in it for life. Introduced by The Undertaker as his “playground”, not only did it elevate the dark, mystical nature of his character but the WWE created a structure which would end brutal rivalries in the company, having one superstar put another through hell in order to prevail.
The terrorizing cell is also the host to many weapons which lie beneath the ring and at the disposal of the superstars to punish each other with, and offers more pain to the participants if they’re creative enough to make it to the top of the cell. Although not many matches have seen the participants get to the top (mostly because it’s too dangerous), the crazy Mick Foley is infamous for taking drops off the cell and the impact in which he landed on each occasion is terrifying. Though The Undertaker is infamous for this match, being involved in some of the best Hell In A Cell matches in the history of the structure, other superstars have used it to put an end to their rivalry and have given us some amazing matches.
But as WWE gets more protective and “safer”, the Hell in a Cell match seems to get a bit drab by the standards of the first matches, and even though some of the earlier matches were disappointing, the Hell in a Cell Matches seems to be getting more pointless with each passing year because of the creative’s fear of taking some risks. Gone are the days where insane spots would be found in a variety inside the monstrous structure, as The Attitude Era and Ruthless Aggression Era gave us some of the best Hell In a Cell matches. Let’s have a look at 8 Hell In A Cell matches that were amazing and 7 that stank.
17 Amazing Hell In A Cell Matches
16 Alberto Del Rio vs John Cena vs CM Punk - Hell In A Cell 2011
The first ever Triple Threat in this demonic structure was set up as the main event of the Hell In A Cell pay-per-view in 2011 in which WWE Champion John Cena had to defend against Alberto Del Rio and CM Punk. The Triple Threat rules made it even more interesting, as the superstars tried to outwit each other at every step and were there to break up a pin-fall or submission at every opportunity. The match had a good pace to it and had some really amazing spots where all three would not be able to put each other away after executing their finishers. Punk was the stamina of the match and a workhorse who put in his all, while Del Rio and Cena both put in some really cool moves as well. The match involved all of them putting each other against the steel and later on weapons were introduced as Punk went through a table and Cena took repeated chair shots. A steel pipe was introduced by Ricardo Rodriguez, Albert Del Rio’s ring announcer, who opened the cell door and went in to give it to him, while Del Rio locked Cena out the structure. A wounded Punk made a valiant effort to defy the odds, but the pipe and Del Rio’s ruthlessness won him the match. What made the match more interesting was the aftermath, in which The Miz and R-Truth came in and continued to hammer all 3 of the competitors while ensuring the cell was lowered, therefore increasing the heat on their pair and making for a continued storyline as well.
15 Brock Lesnar vs The Undertaker - No Mercy 2002
Way before they had their Hell In A Cell matche at SummerSlam 2015, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker went at it inside the hellish monument in 2002. Brock was the hottest thing in the SmackDown brand and its WWE Champion, as the American Bad-Ass Undertaker challenged Lesnar for the title. Both the brawny superstars went at it to display some hard-hitting, ruthless action and Lesnar was the first one to be cut open in the match as the Undertaker used his environment to try to slay the beast. Paul Heyman tried to interfere from outside the cage and was soon busted open himself, as Lesnar took this chance to damage the broken right arm of the Deadman. This match not only had some strong moves to it, but also some athleticism to it as Undertaker jumped through the middle rope to try to take out Lesnar, who used the cell as leverage to try to beat the Deadman on the top rope. The way these two went at it in the match made it look very real, and the kick-ups at the absolute last moment made for some gasping moments for the viewer. In the end, Lesnar countered Taker’s Tombstone into an F-5 to end the match and climbed the Cell to show his dominance and stand tall.
14 John Cena vs Randy Orton - Hell In A Cell 2009
Okay, so the John Cena vs Randy Orton matches have often been ridiculed to have been extremely over-stretched by the WWE who seem to love to pit these two top guys against each other. In their 2009 feud, Randy Orton had just lost the title to John Cena in an amazing “I Quit Match” at Breaking Point and got his rematch in a Hell In a Cell Match at the event itself, as the two superstars who loathed each other were given the chance to go all out inside this devious structure. At this point, the chemistry between the two was amazing and that was on display in this match, where both got their time to shine. Orton and Cena both used the structure to their advantage to cause pain to one another, as well as using the weapons around and inside the ring to try to destroy each other. The intensity of the match was really good, and it seemed to get more unpredictable as both superstars kicked out of their devastating finishers and viewers were questioning how it would end. In the end, Orton would hit an RKO to Cena and then almost choke him out, after which he’d hit him with his vicious Punt kick to end the match and win the title. The title change was really good, as it made Orton look like a very strong competitor while keeping his heel persona, while Cena still remained as this Superman Vince likes him to be.
13 The Undertaker vs Edge - SummerSlam 2008
Throughout 2008, The Undertaker and Edge had an impressive feud for the World Heavyweight Championship in which Edge seemed to prevail after the Undertaker was “banished” for losing a match against him. But the tables were turned on Edge as his SummerSlam opponent was none other than The Deadman himself, this time in the devil’s favourite playground. A match worthy of headlining SummerSlam, it didn’t disappoint as both attempted to rip each other apart to put an end to this feud. Edge seemed to have turned maniacal due to his fear of the Deadman as he was absolutely ruthless in his attack. He put his all into this match, and introduced many weapons including chairs, a table on top of another table, ladders and steel steps to try to slay the Phenom. Both put each other through terrifying punishment, as Edge even at one point speared Undertaker through a part of the cell to the outside, after which he speared him AGAIN through the table. Edge seemed to get more desperate and lunatic as the match went on, as The Undertaker kicked out of everything and put him through those tables, hit him with a spear of his own and then Tombstoned him to put an end to this enthralling match. But that wasn’t the end of it, as he then chokeslammed Edge from the top of a ladder through the mat and then set fire to it, making for a horrifying end.
12 Triple H vs Cactus Jack - No Way Out 2000
If we’re to do a list on hardcore matches, it’s rather obvious that Mick Foley would end up somewhere soon enough. This time it’s his “extreme” character of Cactus Jack who would challenge WWE Champion Triple H for his championship in a Hell in A Cell match, with the stipulation being that if he would lose then he’d have to retire as a competitor from the WWE. The intensity of these two rivals could be felt in this match, as both tried to hurt each other badly as weapons were introduced. They beat each other apart with vicious chair shots and Jack used it to pull off some risky moves, and later they went outside the cell after Triple H broke through it. The fight would soon unravel to the top of the structure, as both wrestled on top of it. Jack also introduced the 2x4 barbed wire bat (setting it on fire) and hit Triple H with it. He was about to piledriver him but HHH countered it to send him through the cell as Cactus Jack buckled into the mat hard. Triple H went back in the ring and hit a Pedigree on a reeling Jack for the win. Surprisingly, Foley had the stamina to get up on his own and received quite the ovation from the crowd as he was making his way back to the locker room.
11 Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker - Badd Blood 1997
The first ever Hell In A Cell match in WWE history, Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker’s bout at the Badd Blood- In Your House pay-per-view still remains as one of the best Hell In A Cell Matches, not only because of the storyline development but also because of the standard it set for other future Hell In A Cell matches. A match to determine the no #1 contender for the WWE Championship, it had high stakes while The Undertaker looked to get his hands on HBK. The match started out in emphatic fashion, as both showed immense pace to their wrestling with Michaels going for more high-flying maneuvers to ground The Deadman and using his surroundings and weapons to his advantage. The Undertaker also put in some hard-hitting moves, resulting in a camera-man getting injured. HBK hit him with the Sweet Chin Music, but the Undertaker sat right back up resulting in Michaels trying to escape through the open door. The battle got outside where The Undertaker punished him and they went on top of the cell. HBK even fell from the top to the announce table, as The Deadman put more pain on the profusely bleeding Michaels after bringing him back to the ring. But then the lights went out and Paul Bearer came out with a debuting Kane. Undertaker’s eyes showed terror which was never seen before, as Kane hit the Tombstone Piledriver on his “brother” and let Michaels get the victory, which even got the 5-star rating from Dave Meltzer and set the bar very high for more Hell in a Cell matches.
10 Triple H vs Shawn Michaels - Bad Blood 2004
Triple H and Shawn Michaels are best of buddies in real life, but onscreen they also showcased one of the most intense feuds of all time. Their feud stretched over many years and in 2004 culminated in a match inside the hellacious structure after they were both constantly fighting each other on every show. At Bad Blood 2004 was the showcase of one of the most brutal Hell in a Cell Matches, as these two didn’t leave anything back in beating up each other. The match started with a good tempo but soon escalated to the outside, where both used the steel to tear each other apart and Triple H was soon busted open. Michaels was put through immense punishment later on and also was bleeding profusely, with the steel steps, ladders and tables all being introduced. The match never went outside which made it more special, and with all the bleeding and beating, it was turning out to be more gruesome for the wrestlers and thrilling for the viewer. Every finishing maneuver was being ousted by the other as they both kept on kicking out, prompting Michaels to hit a diving body from on top of the ladder to put HHH through the table set in the ring. Triple H hit the Pedigree and somehow reached for the pin, for Michaels to kick out and a case of déjà vu occurred when Michaels later hit him with the Sweet Chin Music. Towards the end they were both relying on themselves to get back to their feet, as two continuous Pedigrees were what it took for HHH to win the match, which ended with both lying in waste and unable to move as this war had come to a fitting end through this amazing match.
9 The Undertaker vs Mankind - King Of The Ring 1998
This Undertaker vs Mankind match at King of the Ring is probably the most talked about match in the history of the WWE, mostly because of how it shook the foundation of hardcore wrestling with Foley creating a new high for “extreme” wrestlers to replicate. The two were feuding for quite some time before deciding to end their rivalry inside the structure, but Foley had other plans. Mankind went on top of the structure after his entrance and taunted The Undertaker to meet him there, so the Deadman went in and the fight began. Both got in shots at first, but this all escalated to The Undertaker throwing Mankind from on top of the cell right onto the announcers table. Many thought he may have died as he was being stretchered out, but defied everyone as he went on with the match. This time he again climbed the cell to meet the Undertaker, who chokeslammed him and Mankind fell through the cell right through the ring almost 20 feet below. This one wasn’t scripted and many were terrified of what had happened to Foley, who yet again came back up and decided to fight the Deadman. Inside the ring, he would fight for quite some time and continue to take ridiculous bumps and shots, later being choke-slammed onto hundreds of thumbtacks, with The Undertaker hitting him with the Tombstone Piledriver to end the match. This is regarded as one of the best matches in WWE history, as it showed how real the wrestling was between them as both were bruised and scarred for life and became instant legends after this match.
8 Hell In A Cell Matches That Stank
7 Dean Ambrose vs Seth Rollins - Hell In A Cell 2014
The Dean Ambrose-Seth Rollins rivalry which has been ever-present after the destruction of The Shield has had its ups and downs, but the Hell in a Cell match which put an end to their rivalry for a while was really disappointing. A badly booked match in general, it started with Ambrose trying to replicate Mick Foley by climbing onto the cell as Rollins came out with J&J Security and instructed them to climb the structure, after which he’d do it too. Ambrose and Rollins also replicated Foley’s falling from the cell while trying to hang onto it, after which stretchers was brought out. This was absolutely no-sold by both of them who then proceeded to give for a hard-hitting match with chairs and tables, and it looked okay till Corporate Kane came and released a fire extinguisher on Ambrose. Ambrose fought back to kick out of Rollins’ beating and his curb stomp, and was about to hit his own curb stomp on a concrete brick when the lights went out. A lamp was uncovered in the middle of the ring, and Bray Wyatt came out and hit the Sister Abigail on Ambrose, letting Rollins get the win. A very shoddy ending to an interesting rivalry which could’ve become a classic if this match was booked better.
6 D-Generation X vs The McMahons And Big Show - Unforgiven 2006
After DX reunited in 2005, they decided to be a pain in the ass for Vince McMahon and his authority as they continuously defied their rule and pulled disgusting pranks on them. This resulted in Vince hiring many superstars to try to take them out and them humiliate Michaels and HHH. This culminated in a Hell in a Cell handicap match between DX being pit against Vince and Shane McMahon and ECW Champion The Big Show. The match itself would not be as entertaining as the feud itself, as the lack of wrestling skills on the McMahon’s and the limited moves on Show meant that Michaels and HHH would have to carry the match on their shoulders. They dominated the match for quite some-time, punishing the 3 by hitting them with weapons and sending them crashing onto the steel, before the McMahons(with the help of Show) got the upperhand. Show continued to destroy them, before HHH somehow found the wear and tear and took the big guy out. DX then went onto eliminate Shane from the match with HBK hitting an elbow drop on Shane, who’s neck was covered by a chair. They then tied the Big Show on the ropes on his back, with his buttocks being exposed as the rammped Vince’s head on Big Show’s ass. The match then ended with Michael’s superkicking McMahon and Triple H hitting him with a sledgehammer. The match was filled with antics than wrestling and lacked any intensity to it, making it quite a failure.
5 Mankind vs Kane - RAW 1998
Just after months of the epic Hell in a Cell match between the Undertaker and Mankind, WWE’s creative got greedy and made for another Hell in a Cell Match in the August 24th, 1998 episode of RAW. So Mankind wasn’t done with Undertaker, who was now being accompanied by his brother Kane and they made a Hell in a Cell match between the Big Red Monster and Mankind. Mankind tried to go to the top of steel again, but was held back by the referees and later by The Undertaker who put him through a table just as he was about to climb the cell. Kane dominated over Mankind after that, using the steel to damage him, but the match never really took off and felt very, very rushed. Foley brought out the thumbtacks but that didn’t really come into play, as Kane hit repeated Tombstone Piledriver’s on Mankind before Stone Cold Steve Austin came out of nowhere to beat up Kane and hit him with the stunner. The match was called off as “No Contest” which makes no sense for this sort off a match, as the Undertaker was left hanging from the Cell as it was being pulled back up to make for a hilarious scenario which really should’ve been avoided.
4 Mark Henry vs Randy Orton - Hell In A Cell 2011
The Mark Henry vs Randy Orton feud in 2011 for The World Heavyweight Championship felt to be quite imbalanced at times, as both didn’t really get that chemistry together because of the size difference. After Henry won his first ever World Championship at Night of Champions, Orton would get his rematch inside the monstrous structure against The World’s Strongest Man, having to wrestle with a bad leg. Henry would dominate Orton for most of the match and hit him with some powerful moves inside and outside the ring to show off his “Hall of Pain” gimmick and continued to pummel him until he rallied back. Orton got in some offence on Henry and even managed to hit the RKO, only for Henry to kick back at two. He would then go for the punt kick but Henry would counter it into a World’s Strongest Slam for the win. This match was very static and slow-paced, and the lack of any excitement to it and the imbalance made it a poor showing. Also Henry would continuous no-sell many of Orton’s main moves, which would make the match pretty predictable that he would win. After the match, Henry would hit Orton with another World’s Strongest Slam and try to break his ankle with a chair wrapped around it, but Orton found superhuman strength to plow back and shake him off, which would have many heads scratching at why we couldn’t see this in the actual match.
3 Shane McMahon vs The Undertaker - WrestleMania 32
The last Hell in a Cell match in WWE is one of the weakest of the bunch as it failed to live up to the hype which was set around it, making for a very mediocre match. Shane McMahon returned to the WWE months prior to WrestleMania to stake his claim to Vince McMahon’s throne, to which Vince agreed to give him the key only if he could beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania. In a Hell in a Cell match. The anticipation for it was sky-high and was built up nicely, but the match itself was pretty poor. Shane O’Mac hadn’t wrestled in almost a decade, and The Undertaker was very rusty in the ring due to not competing that much. They would go at it right from the word go, hitting their signatures and even introducing the steps. Shane went onto hit the coast-to-coast next on The Undertaker, after which The Undertaker ram him onto a part of the cell which broke. They went outside and hit themselves with monitors, with Shane getting the upperhand. The Daredevil that he is, Shane decided to jump from on top of the cell to the table when Undertaker moved away and then dragged him to the ring, hitting him with the Tombstone Piledriver and ending the match. The match will be remembered for that one spot, and for 30 minutes it was way too overstretched as these worn out guys provided for a very slow match. To makes things even more confusing, Shane got to run RAW inspite of losing the match which had everyone wandering why it was necessary in the first place, as this lackluster match never should’ve taken place in the first place.
2 Armageddon Hell In A Cell - Armageddon 2000
The Hell In A Cell is a structure which can make a one on one contest look like a stuffed match and can tire the audience because of the spots which occur in such a match. So many were intrigued and at the same time very excited at the prospect of a 6-man Hell in a Cell match which was set for Armageddon, where Kurt Angle would defend his WWE Championship against Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Triple H, The Undertaker and Rikishi. The Build-up for it hyped up the audience extremely, who couldn’t wait to see these 6 men caged in together. The match started with everyone going for the pin-fall and felt to be extremely stuffed, when Mr.McMahon came out with a truck to demolish the Cell. He was stopped by Commissionaire Mick Foley who had police(kayfabe) arrest him and fended off his assistants in Gerald Briscoe and Pat Patterson, as the competitors went outside when they saw the door open. The Cell match saw everyone exit the Cell itself, with some going to entrance romp while Undertaker, Rikishi and Angle went to the top of the cell. As the other men went at it, with HHH and Austin having a feud going on and The Rock and Angle fighting it out, The Undertaker choke-slammed Rikishi onto a pile of hay on the truck down. The other wrestlers were inside the ring by then and continued to hit their finishers, as the match ended in an abrupt manner when Angle pinned The Rock(who was hit by a Stone Cold Stunner) to retain his title. The match was nothing like it was built up, as it felt to be forced and with too many things going on at once and also had a meaningless ending, and is something which is better replicated in video games rather in the WWE again.
1 The Undertaker vs The Big Boss Man - WrestleMania XV
The Undertaker has been in so many Hell in a Cell Matches over the years, that he’s been in the best and worst of them in his long career in his playground. During his time as the leader of the “Ministry of Darkness”, The Undertaker would feud with the Corporation who then had The Big Boss Man as their security. The Undertaker would try to take it to the McMahons, but would be stopped by the Boss Man as a hell in a cell match would be set up between the two at WrestleMania. The match started out on a quite even contest, even though there was a mis-match in the quality of the competitors. The Boss Man soon showed his violent side by cuffing The Undertaker to the steel and pounding him using his nightstick, causing him to bust open. Taker fought back to hit him with many chair shots and soon took control of the match. This led to a fist-fight in the middle of the match, after which The Undertaker soon hit The Tombstone Piledriver to end the match in under 10 minutes. The match itself was pretty drab, noticeable for its antics and didn’t have much versatility towards it, also ending very quickly for a Hell in a Cell Match. What happened afterwards made it even more disgusting. The Undertaker summoned The Brood as he put a noose on The Boss Man’s neck and tied it to the cell. Paul Bearer called for the cell to be pulled back up, as The Boss Man was publicly hanged (kayfabe) to make for some disturbing sights which showed the ugly side of the Attitude Era. The match itself was pretty average, but the antics after it made it one of the worst uses of the monstrous structure in order to “darken” the character of Undertaker even more.