Hell in a Cell
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Hell in a Cell is a professional wrestling cage-based match held in WWE (formerly World Wrestling Federation). It features a large roofed steel cage structure or "cell" which encloses the ring and ringside area. While similar to the steel cage match in profile and structure, unlike the steel cage match wherein exiting over the cage results in a win, only executing a pinfall or submission will result in a win. As in a steel cage match, disqualifications do not apply. The original Cell was 16 ft (4.9 m) high and weighed over two tons but has since been replaced by an amplified version of 20 ft (6.1 m) and five tons. Twenty-eight Hell in a Cell matches have taken place in WWE since its inception in October 1997.
The original concept for the Hell in a Cell structure was created by Jim Cornette. As detailed in the Kayfabe Commentaries release "Timeline of WWE: 1997", Cornette described this concept as a combination of a cage which surrounded the majority of the ringside area (this was a cage design which was popular in Memphis wrestling promotions), and the cage used in both the NWA and WCW for their WarGames matches (which had a top on the cage).
The Hell in a Cell match was first introduced at WWF Badd Blood on October 5, 1997 at the Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The background to the inaugural match was built on Undertaker's loss to Bret Hart two months prior at the 1997 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 climactic end to the feud, their following bout was originally scheduled to be held as a steel cage match. However, instead of a normal cage enclosing only the ring, a larger roofed structure was constructed, 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. At Badd Blood, Michaels defeated The Undertaker and won the number-one contendership to the WWF Championship. The cage's size also makes the use of weapons possible as well. Wrestlers usually use weapons in Hell in a Cell by taking them from under the ring.
Hell in a Cell matches are rare in WWE as it is designed to be the climax to certain feuds. There have only been 28 such matches in WWE, 25 of which have been broadcast on pay-per-view events due to the logistical difficulty in setting them up and its perception as a special attraction due to the nature of the match. In 2009, WWE presented its first pay-per-view event to specifically feature the Hell in a Cell for its marquee matches. Despite the match's profile, prior to the first self-titled Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event, championships were defended six times out of sixteen of the Hell in a Cell matches. The first time a title was defended in the match was at the 2000 No Way Out with Triple H retaining the WWF Championship in the sixth Hell in a Cell match. The first time a title changed hands in a Hell in a Cell match was in 2009, when The Undertaker won the World Heavyweight Championship from CM Punk. The Undertaker has been involved in the most Hell in a Cell matches having competed in twelve and shares the record for most wins at six with Triple H. Only two matches have been broadcast on television, both in 1998 on Raw is War. Both of those matches went to a no contest.
Two variations of the match have happened, though neither of them are considered Hell in a Cell matches by WWE. The first was Kane winning the WWE Championship from Stone Cold Steve Austin in a First Blood match at King of the Ring; the match was not intended to take place inside the cell but the edifice was lowered over the ring as the match progressed. The second featured Big Boss Man challenging Al Snow for the WWE Hardcore Championship in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven. 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.
In World Championship Wrestling, the Hell in a Cell match is seen as the structural successor to the Thundercage originally created their own version called the Caged Heat; match type seen in WCW, which was virtually identical in basic Hell in a Cell construction; however, 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 in February 1994 at SuperBrawl IV, as well as a six-man tag match earlier that same night. It was also used in matches between Sting and The Great Muta.
In the television show Fairly OddParents, The Fairy Rage in a Cage is an obvious spoof of the WWE's Hell in a Cell, in which people wrestle in said cell. The cage match on here even looks like a wrestling ring.
Hell in a Cell is also seen as the "older brother" in terms of cage style bouts, to the Elimination Chamber and the Punjabi Prison Matches.
List of Hell in a Cell matches
|Number||Match||Stipulations||Event||Date and Location||Length|
|1||Shawn Michaels defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell to determine the #1 contender for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series||Badd Blood||October 5, 1997
St. Louis, MO
|2||The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Mankind and Kane went to a no contest||Tag Team Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||June 15, 1998
San Antonio, TX
|3||The Undertaker defeated Mankind||Singles Hell in a Cell||King of the Ring||June 28, 1998
|4||Mankind vs. Kane went to a no contest||Singles Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||August 24, 1998
|5||The Undertaker defeated The Big Boss Man||Singles Hell in a Cell||WrestleMania XV||March 28, 1999
|6||Triple H (c) defeated Cactus Jack||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWF Championship. If Cactus Jack lost, he would have to retire as an active wrestler in the WWF.||No Way Out||February 27, 2000
|7||Kurt Angle (c) defeated The Undertaker, Triple H, Steve Austin, Rikishi, and The Rock||Six-man Hell in a Cell for the WWF Championship||Armageddon||December 10, 2000
|8||Triple H defeated Chris Jericho||Singles Hell in a Cell||Judgment Day||May 19, 2002
|9||Brock Lesnar (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||No Mercy||October 20, 2002
North Little Rock, AR
|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
|11||Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels||Singles Hell in a Cell||Bad Blood||June 13, 2004
|12||Batista (c) defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Vengeance||June 26, 2005
Las Vegas, NV
|13||The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell||Armageddon||December 18, 2005
|14||D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) defeated Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and Big Show||2-on-3 Handicap Hell in a Cell. This also marked the debut of the "amplified" version of the cell.||Unforgiven||September 17, 2006
Toronto, ON, Canada
|15||Batista (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Survivor Series||November 18, 2007
|16||The Undertaker defeated Edge||Singles Hell in a Cell||SummerSlam||August 17, 2008
|17||The Undertaker defeated CM Punk (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship; first time a championship has changed hands in a Hell in a Cell match||Hell in a Cell||October 4, 2009
|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)||Tag Team Hell in a Cell||18:02|
|20||Randy Orton (c) defeated Sheamus||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 3, 2010
|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 SuperShow (Dark Match)||September 26, 2011
Kansas City, MO
|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, LA
|24||Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena (c) and CM Punk||Triple Threat Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||23:58|
|25||The Undertaker defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||WrestleMania XXVIII||April 1, 2012
Miami Gardens, FL
|26||CM Punk (c) defeated Ryback||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 28, 2012
|27||CM Punk defeated Ryback and Paul Heyman||2-on-1 Handicap Hell in a Cell; first ever Hell in a Cell rematch||Hell in a Cell||October 27, 2013
|28||Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan||Singles Hell in a Cell for the vacant WWE Championship with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||21:44|
|Alberto Del Rio||2||1|
|Big Boss Man||1||0|