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 The original Cell was 16 ft (4.9 m) high and weighed over two tons but has since been replaced by an amplified version of 20 ft (6.1 m) and five tons. Thirty-six 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 (National Wrestling Aliance) and WCW (World Championship Wrestling) for their WarGames matches (which had a top on the cage). 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.
The Hell in a Cell match was first introduced at WWF Badd Blood on October 5, 1997 at the Kiel Center, now known as Scottrade 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 World Heavyweight 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, 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, (with interference from The Undertaker's debuting brother Kane) and won the number-one contendership to the WWF World Heavyweight 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 thirty six such matches in WWE, 33 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 longest Hell in a Cell match was held at Bad Blood 2004 between Triple H and Shawn Michaels at over 47 minutes. 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 fourteen and has the record for most victories at eight. Only two matches have been broadcast on television, both in 1998 on Raw is War. The Hell in a Cell match on the June 15th edition of Raw is War between Stone Cold and Undertaker vs. Kane and Mankind ended with Stone Cold and Undertaker beating Kane and Mankind after Raw is War went off the air. On the August 24th edition of Raw is War, Mankind fought his tag team partner at the time, Kane in a Hell in a Cell match. This match went to a no contest after Stone Cold Steve Austin interfered and assaulted Kane. Then when Undertaker tried to break inside the cell to help his brother, Mr. McMahon raised the cell and made Undertaker and Stone Cold wait to get their hands on each other until Summerslam. The match has appeared at WWE's flagship event, WrestleMania, three times (WrestleMania XV, XXVIII and 32).
Other appearances and variations
The structure itself has made four additional appearances, although WWE does not consider them to be Hell in a Cell matches. The first was when the Cell lowered over the ring while Kane fought Stone Cold Steve Austin in a first-ever First Blood match for the WWF Championship at King of the Ring '98. The second featured Big Boss Man challenging Al Snow for the WWF Hardcore Championship in a Kennel from Hell match at Unforgiven '99. 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, The 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 Cena 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, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins and John Cena and Dean Ambrose, which Kane, Orton and Rollins won.
In 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, thundercage was rarely used by World Championship Wrestling (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. It was also used in matches between Sting and The Great Muta.
List of Hell in a Cell matches
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. In second place is Miami, which has hosted four Hell in a Cell matches with three in Miami proper and one in the suburb of Miami Gardens. In third place is Newark and Boston, both of which have hosted three Hell in a Cell matches.
|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, Missouri||29:55|
|2||The Undertaker and Stone Cold Steve Austin defeated Mankind and Kane||Tornado Tag Team Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||June 15, 1998||San Antonio, Texas||10:38|
|3||The Undertaker defeated Mankind||Singles Hell in a Cell||King of the Ring||June 28, 1998||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||17:10|
|4||Mankind vs. Kane went to a no contest||Singles Hell in a Cell||Raw Is War||August 24, 1998||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||7:41|
|5||The Undertaker defeated Big Boss Man||Singles Hell in a Cell||WrestleMania XV||March 28, 1999||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||9:48|
|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||Hartford, Connecticut||23:57|
|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||Birmingham, Alabama||32:12|
|8||Triple H defeated Chris Jericho||Singles Hell in a Cell||Judgment Day||May 19, 2002||Nashville, Tennessee||24:31|
|9||Brock Lesnar (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||No Mercy||October 20, 2002||North Little Rock, Arkansas||27:18|
|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||Houston, Texas||21:01|
|11||Triple H defeated Shawn Michaels||Singles Hell in a Cell||Bad Blood||June 13, 2004||Columbus, Ohio||47:26|
|12||Batista (c) defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Vengeance||June 26, 2005||Las Vegas, Nevada||26:54|
|13||The Undertaker defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell||Armageddon||December 18, 2005||Providence, Rhode Island||30:31|
|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, Ontario, Canada||25:04|
|15||Batista (c) defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell for the World Heavyweight Championship||Survivor Series||November 18, 2007||Miami, Florida||21:24|
|16||The Undertaker defeated Edge||Singles Hell in a Cell||SummerSlam||August 17, 2008||Indianapolis, Indiana||26:43|
|17||The Undertaker defeated CM Punk (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell 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 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)||Tornado Tag Team Hell in a Cell||17:48|
|20||Randy Orton (c) defeated Sheamus||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 3, 2010||Dallas, Texas||22:51|
|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 (Dark Match)||September 26, 2011||Kansas City, Missouri||5:01|
|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, Louisiana||15:54|
|24||Alberto Del Rio defeated John Cena (c) and CM Punk||Triple Threat Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||24:07|
|25||The Undertaker defeated Triple H||Singles Hell in a Cell with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||WrestleMania XXVIII||April 1, 2012||Miami Gardens, Florida||30:52|
|26||CM Punk (c) defeated Ryback||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Championship||Hell in a Cell||October 28, 2012||Atlanta, Georgia||11:22|
|27||CM Punk defeated Ryback and Paul Heyman||2-on-1 Handicap Hell in a Cell||Hell in a Cell||October 27, 2013||Miami, Florida||13:48|
|28||Randy Orton defeated Daniel Bryan||Singles Hell in a Cell for the vacant WWE Championship with special guest referee Shawn Michaels||22:07|
|29||John Cena defeated Randy Orton||Singles Hell in a Cell to determine the #1 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 Hell in a Cell||14:00|
|31||Roman Reigns defeated Bray Wyatt||Singles Hell in a Cell||Hell in a Cell||October 25, 2015||Los Angeles, California||23:08|
|32||Brock Lesnar defeated The Undertaker||Singles Hell in a Cell||22:10|
|33||The Undertaker defeated Shane McMahon||Singles Hell in a Cell. If Shane McMahon wins, he gains control of Raw and Undertaker will be barred from competing at WrestleMania again||WrestleMania 32||April 3, 2016||Arlington, Texas||30:08|
|34||Roman Reigns (c) defeated Rusev||Singles Hell in a Cell 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 Hell in a Cell for the WWE Universal Championship||23:15|
|36||Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks (c)||Singles Hell in a Cell for the WWE Raw Women's Championship||22:25|
|Alberto Del Rio||1||2|
|Big Boss Man||0||1|