Perhaps one of professional wrestling’s most celebrated stipulation matches is the showdown that gets booked to take place inside the confines of the steel cage. The setting for the match itself -- locking the competitors in to ensure no outside interference, and also ensuring no count outs or disqualifications -- means for the fans that the battle will play out until a winner is ultimately crowned. The elevated suspense with the dangers that occur when flesh meets steel come into play, and the heart-stopping anticipation as the wrestlers battle to scale and escape the cage contribute to the excitement as well.
But in the spirit of one-upmanship, one thing that we have come to know for sure about a cage match is that we can never fully anticipate what might happen. Perhaps, as Roddy Piper declared in the 1980s, just when we think we have all the answers, someone changes the questions. From the increased risks taken by the wrestlers involved in the match to the unpredictability of the action itself, cage matches seem to spawn the incredible moments that will be remembered for decades.
Among all that we’ve ever seen, here are 15 of the craziest moments ever to occur in a cage match.
15 Superfly Splash From The Top Of The Cage
14 The Ladies Get Locked Up
13 Tower Of Doom Match
There was something about heights in Jim Crockett promotions, the precursor to WCW, that seemed to factor into some of the most unusual stipulation matches. That was the case with the scaffold match between the Midnight Express and the Road Warriors and factored in again on July 10, 1988, when the “Tower of Doom” match was introduced at the Great American Bash. The showdown was a five-on-five tag team match that started with two wrestlers battling it out in a secondary cage atop the main enclosure for two minutes before trap doors opened to allow other members of the teams to join the action.
12 Inter-Gender Cage Match To The Extreme
11 Samoa Joe Runs The Gauntlet
10 Arn Anderson Finds Himself In A Sticky Situation
Launched in 1987, War Games “The Match Beyond” was a showdown between ten of the company’s top stars and was such a hit as a headline attraction for the Great American Bash that it became a series of cage matches around the country for the NWA. Invariably featuring the Four Horsemen in various configurations against their top rivals, the two-ring cage match captivated audiences with the added unpredictability of who would start the match, which team would win the coin toss for a member advantage throughout the match and what climactic conclusion may result.
At the first Halloween Havoc pay-per-view in 1989, the Thunderdome cage match was a concept like no other. This was intended to be a final showdown between Ric Flair and Sting and their antagonists Terry Funk and the Great Muta. For this match, there would be no escaping the cage, as the top of the cage was to be electrified to prevent escape. Instead, the only way that the match would be settled is when the corner man for one team or the other elected to throw in the towel.
8 Vince Puts His Own Neck On The Line
Vince McMahon takes a lot of criticism from the media and even people outside the wrestling business who point a scornful finger and accuse him of creating a poor working environment for his wrestlers. However, even Vince’s staunchest critics had to sit back and take note of the fact that the Chairman of the Board was willing to do himself in order to sell tickets and give fans their money’s worth. At the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre pay-per-view, Vince would enter the ring as a competitor against Steve Austin inside the cage.
7 Mark Henry – World’s Strongest Man
6 The “Cage of Death”
5 The King Of The Road Match
4 “That's Gotta Be Kane!”
3 Abdullah Gets Electrocuted
If the “Tower of Doom” and “Thunderdome” were busts, surely the Dusty Rhodes creation of the “Chamber of Horrors” cage match would be a stipulation that would be a success. Dusty later described waking up in a cold sweat, the vision for the match coming to him in his sleep. The premise of the match was that the conclusion of the five-on-five tag team cage match would come when one of the teams was able to successfully subdue their opponent in an electric chair and flip the switch, essentially frying him alive before a capacity crowd.
2 Rising From The Grave
1 Mick Foley Plummets From Hell In The Cell
The image of Mick Foley careening from the top of the 16-foot Hell in a Cell through the announcement table below is an image that we are re-acquainted with regularly and it may rate as the top "OMG" moment in WWE history for years to come. How Mick Foley has survived the physical abuse from this match alone is a mystery. While fans discuss Foley’s descent from the cage, then later through the cage, we almost forget about the ominous and stoic figure that contributed to those insane moments as well. There were moments in the match where the image of The Undertaker’s towering frame in the background of the shot have us wondering what he must have been thinking as this carnage unfolded directly before him. The insanity of that match as a whole has ensured that whenever a Hell in the Cell stipulation is announced, fans will be tuned in to see what could possibly top Foley-Undertaker. Perhaps only death could eclipse that craziness.
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