Weighing nearly five tons and at a height of 20 feet, the Hell in a Cell structure has captivated wrestling fans for years. Hell in a Cell matches have always left fans on the edge of their seats, while the structure itself creates possibilities for “OMG” (insert JR’s voice) moments that wrestling fans remember and cherish. Hell in a Cell matches are rare in the WWE, as there have only been 28, and 25 of them have been part of pay per views. The reason for this rarity is they are often used as the climax for certain feuds. The first Hell in a Cell match was introduced at Bad Blood in 1997, and since then there have been many incredible matches. This paved the way for WWE to make Hell in a Cell part of its annual pay per views in 2009, with its marquee matches taking place in Hell in a Cell. This move has backfired a little bit, as many WWE fans feel that the Hell in a Cell matches has lost their luster.
This list looks at the top 10 Hell in the Cell matches of all time. All the entries on this list happened before WWE decided to move towards a "PG" viewership. This concept of a match isn’t intended for this type of viewer hip, it is for the fans who are dying to hear the excitement in JR’s voice, believing every word that comes out of his mouth. It is for the extreme wrestling fans who love to see their heroes put their bodies on the line in Hell in a Cell.
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10 Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels - Bad Blood 2004
This match was set up perfectly, as the former best friends created a lot of hype and excitement from their feud going into Bad Blood. This match was anticipated to be a great one, and it was even the main event instead of the usual championship match. Shawn and Triple H brought everything in this match. We mean literally everything, as there were tables, ladders, chairs and steel steps. The climax to this match was Shawn jumping from a ladder to hit Triple H (who was lying on a table) with his signature flying elbow drop. In all, Triple H landed 3 Pedigrees on Shawn, with the final one ending it. The fans showed their appreciation and gave Shawn Michaels a standing ovation after the match. It was well deserved as both competitors put forth a great match.
9 Triple H vs. Chris Jericho - Judgment Day 2002
This tilt between Y2J and The Game is underrated and many people often forget about this match when the topic of best Hell in a Cell matches comes up. It’s a shame because this match was a really good one. This was Y2J's first, and only, Hell in a Cell match and he was going against the experienced “Cerebral Assassin.” The match was fought for a good portion inside of the cage and both competitors used the cage as a weapon, along with using a ladder and a 2x4 wrapped with barbed wire (not the first time you will hear this be used). Though the best part of this match was when the fight was taken outside the cell and the major bump of the match was Triple H performing a DDT on Jericho on the announcers table. The climax of the match had both competitors hitting their specials on the top of the cell, with Jericho performing the Walls of Jericho and Triple H ending the match with a Pedigree.
8 The Undertaker vs. Brock Lesnar - No Mercy 2002
This match is considered one of Brock Lesnar’s best matches in his career. This was a classic brawl between two big men, with Taker using his cast to land violent shots to Lesnar’s head, and Lesnar continually sliding Taker's face against the cold steel cage, causing him to bleed profusely throughout the match. The climax of the match was Taker trying to perform the tombstone and Lesnar countering it with an F5 and winning the match. This shocked many WWE fans as Undertaker was the favorite to win the match. In celebration, Lesnar climbed the cell and showed the wrestling world that he was now the top guy in the industry
7 Triple H vs. Batista - Vengeance 2005
Heading into this match, fans knew they were in store for an all out brawl between these two competitors, as the feud was coming to a heated end. So the perfect place to put these guys two was in a Hell in a Cell match. Triple H, who's always ruthless in the ring, used a chain to try and tame the animal. Batista though would rise up to the occasion in this match and countered with an equally thrilling steel chair wrapped with barbed wire. Batista ended the match with a spinebuster on the steel steps and a Batista Bomb. We must give credit where credit is due, as Batista held his own with the "Cerebral Assassin" (not many people can) and handed Triple H his first loss in a Hell in a Cell singles match. The fans loved it and Triple H left the ring to a standing ovation.
6 Triple H vs. Cactus Jack - No Way Out 2000
This match proved to wrestling fans that the “King of Kings” could hold his own with a hardcore legend like Mick Foley. This match was for the hardcore wrestling lovers as Cactus Jack brought many elements to the match from his days in ECW, like a 2x4 wrapped with barbed wire. If that’s not hardcore enough for you, he also lit it on fire. There were a few quality bumps in the match, with Triple H getting piledrived onto the announcers table and Cactus Jack clinging onto to the edge of cell before falling and crashing through the announcers table. However, the most memorable bump was Triple H countering a piledriver and backdroping Cactus Jack on the roof of the cell, which resulted in the roof breaking and Cactus Jack crashing through the ring. Triple H then finished off Cactus Jack with a pedigree. The fans were incredibly appreciative and gave a standing ovation once it was done.
5 Kurt Angle vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Stone Cold vs. The Rock vs, Rikishi - Armageddon 2000
This was the first, and only, time six men would compete in a Hell in a Cell match and with a star-studded line up, fans were in store for a great match. This had many of the competitors using there signature moves, resulting in close counts being interrupted by other competitors (predictable, however still fun to watch). The match also had many memorable moments taking place outside the cell, with the combatants throwing and slamming each other on cars (Triple H hitting a pedigree on The Rock on top of a car). Though, the most remarkable moment in this match was The Undertaker choke slamming Rikishi from the top of the cell onto a pinechip-filled truck bed. Kurt Angle would emerge victorious after a frantic finish.
4 The Undertaker vs. Edge - SummerSlam 2008
During 2008, The Undertaker and Edge were part of a great feud in which they had four pay per view matches. Many thought this feud ended with Edge winning the title at One Night Stand and having Undertaker banished from WWE (part of a stipulation match). However, luckily for fans, this feud was far from over and, in the main event at SummerSlam 2008, Taker and Edge would put on a show for the ages. There was no shortage of weapons in this match as Edge used a variety of tables, ladders, and chairs (his specialty). Both men preformed top moves that brought the crowd to their feet, with Edge spearing Taker on top of the announcers table and Taker chokeslamming Edge from the top rope onto two tables. Undertaker finished the match off in style with his classic Tombstone. The fans were ecstatic, but they didn't know that The Undertaker wasn’t finished with Edge yet, as he went back to the ring and chokeslammed him from a ladder, resulting in Edge falling through the ring. JR’s final words put a fitting end to this match: “Edge has been sent to hell.”
3 The Undertaker vs. Triple H - Wrestlemania XXVIII
Whenever a match gets billed as the “end of an era,” you know its going to be an epic one. The Undertaker and Triple H would go at it for the second straight year on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania, only this time Shawn Michaels would be part of it as a special guest referee. This match might not have had memorable bumps like others on this list, however, it did have a lot of passion as these two legends told a brilliant story in the ring. With one desperately trying to end the streak and the other trying to preserve his legacy, fans were on the edge of their seats for every pin count, anticipating an end. Each competitor dominated a portion of the match, with The Game using his signature sledgehammer to give Taker violent shots before Shawn Michaels interfered to put at end to the destruction, making fans believe The Undertaker would have to quit to end the match. The Deadman bounced back in his usual fashion and put a beating on The Game before ending him with a tombstone. What most will remember from this match was at the end when all three legends were arm in arm together at the entrance embracing the crowd.
2 The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - Badd Blood 1997
This match has to be on the list, as it was the inaugural Hell in a Cell match. Wrestling fans weren’t sure what to expect with this new concept, and there was no better way to showcase Hell in a Cell then by pitting two legends against each other. Both men showed how devastating this match can be by utilizing the cage to injure their opponent. The most shocking moment in this match was Shawn Michaels helplessly hanging on from the top of the cell and The Undertaker stomping on his hands, which caused Michaels to fall and crash onto the announcers table. This match also gave us the debut of Kane (who interfered and Tombstoned The Undertaker). This match is the reason Hell in a Cell still exists today, as it was viewed in the eyes of WWE hierarchy as very successful.
1 The Undertaker vs. Mankind - King of the Ring 1998
There's no surprise that this match is number one on the list. Whenever someone mentions Hell in a Cell, most people immediately think of this match and relive one of the best bumps in wrestling history, when Mankind was thrown from the top of the cell onto the announcers table. This resulted in Jim Ross exclaiming one of the most memorable lines in wrestling history: “Good God almighty! That killed him! As God as my witness, he is broken in half!” This match also provided the remarkable moment when The Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind through the top of the cell, causing him to brutally land in the ring. All this would’ve been enough to satisfy any wrestling fanatic. However, these two legends had more in store for the fans, as Mankind brought out the thumbtacks resulting in him getting chokeslammed on them. The match was so good that it was voted Pro Wrestling Illustrated match of the year in 1998. This match was everything the attitude era was about (warning, do not watch if you’re a PG wrestling fan).
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