by Nicholas Halavanja - October 23, 2013
With the fifth annual Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View coming up this Sunday, I would like to take this time to reflect on the concept of the match itself. Hell in a Cell started in 1997 and has gone through some changes since then.
When fans watched Badd Blood In Your House in October of 1997, they witnessed history. The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels squared of in the initial encounter, and it was one of the most unbelievable matches in wrestling history. Perhaps the most memorable moment took place the following summer at King of the Ring 1998 with Mankind and The Undertaker. The spots in that match are still replayed and talked about today, and will be for years to come. The year 2000 saw the end of Mick Foley’s career at the hands of Triple H inside the Cell, as well as the first, and only to date, 6-Man Hell in a Cell match. Brock Lesnar had one of the biggest wins of his career inside the Cell in 2002 against The Undertaker. Triple H and Shawn Michaels ended their two year long feud in 2004 in the longest Hell in a Cell match to date. The Undertaker and Randy Orton’s nearly year-long feud ended inside the Cell in 2005. In 2006, the Hell in a Cell was made bigger and taller, advertised as even more dangerous because of this. The first match inside the new and improved Hell in a Cell was between D-Generation X and the McMahons and The Big Show. 2007 saw the Cell end the rivalry between Batista and The Undertaker, same thing for 2008 with The Undertaker and Edge. What makes all of these moments unique is that the Cell meant something in each of those matches.
In 2009, things changed. WWE decided to start doing gimmick Pay-Per-View, and in October of that year, they had the first Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View. On that show were three Hell in a Cell matches, The Undertaker vs. CM Punk for the World Heavyweight Championship, John Cena vs. Randy Orton for the WWE Championship, and D-Generation X vs. The Legacy. This was significant because it marked the first time both titles changed hands inside the Cell, as the end of a feud, however, three Cell matches in one night is overkill and hurts the importance of the match in general. The next three years saw the WWE Championship defended three times, and the World Heavyweight Championship defended twice at the annual Pay-Per-View. It seemed this once special match, turned into an overused gimmick.
The Hell in a Cell gained significance again in 2012 with the End of an Era match between The Undertaker and Triple H, the superstars who competed in the most Hell in a Cell matches. It was the 2012 match of the year and a defining moment for two legends at the tail end of their careers, three included special guests referee Shawn Michaels. This year’s Hell in a Cell will crown a new WWE Champion in what should be the feud ending match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. It’s interesting to see what will happen, Shawn Michaels in the special guest referee and the Hell in a Cell gimmick guarantees a winner. That’s important to give this feud a proper ending. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Until next time, unleash hell inside a cell
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