The Hell in a Cell match is one of the most gruesome match stipulations in the WWE, and professional wrestling in general. There’ve been about forty cell matches in the past twenty years, making a top 5 list sort of difficult and somewhat controversial.
That being said, we pretty much got this one right. It’s undeniable. Undisputable. Here are our top 5 Hell in a Cell matches of All Time!
- Roman Reigns vs Bray Wyatt, Hell in a Cell 2015
- Charlotte Flair vs Sasha Banks, Hell in a Cell 2016
- Undertaker vs Edge, SummerSlam 2008
- Ambrose vs Rollins, Hell in a Cell 2014
- Batista vs Triple H, Vengeance 2005
- Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar, No Mercy 2002
5) 6-Man Hell in a Cell, Armageddon 2000
It’s hard to talk about some of the greatest Hell in a Cell matches without mentioning this star-studded (minus Rikishi) 6-man bout from Armageddon 2000. This brutal, bloody mess of a match featured The Rock, Kurt Angle, Triple H, The Undertaker, and Stone Cold Steve Austin…again, along with Rikishi, in an epic brawl that left everyone bloody with shortened careers.
Hell, even HIAC legend Mick Foley appeared as the WWF Commissioner, preventing Mr. McMahon from ruining the bout, and enabling The Undertaker to chokeslam Rikishi from the top of the cell to a truck bed below the structure. Blood drenched the entire arena, with all six men battling and breaking each other’s bodies and spirit between the ring and the entrance ramp. Bodies were launched through used, broken vehicles, leaving bits of flesh eviscerated by torn metal and broken glass.
It was disgusting. It was intense. It was the Armageddon Hell in a Cell match, and it was fantastic.
4) The New Day vs The Usos, Hell in a Cell 2017
The New Day and the Usos had one of the greatest tag team rivalries of all time last year, battling for the dominance of the Blue Brand throughout 2017. Every Smackdown Live PPV was always stolen by these two teams, with the rest of the roster struggling to place for second in the night.
This PPV was no different, as the Usos dethroned the New Day after a Hell of a match, putting their rivalry to bed for the time being. Eventually, they would reignite their feud in 2018, but this was a match that earned a Hell in a Cell stipulation. This was what felt like a rivalry ending bout, and it left the audience in Detroit, Michigan standing on their feet, begging for more.
Multiple times in the match, the Usos beat down a nearly unconscious Xavier Woods while verbally harassing Kofi Kingston who could do nothing but watch the punishment dished out to his New Day brethren. Kendo sticks, tables, and the cell itself were used to dish out some unbelievable punishment between these four men.
This was an iconic match in the Hell in a Cell PPVs and should be remembered as the classic it was.
3) The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels, Badd Blood 1997
The first Hell in a Cell match took place between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at In Your House: Bad Blood 1997. HBK and the Deadman were facing off in a chance to take on Bret Hart for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series that year. Michaels, accompanied by D-X, looked to do whatever he could to cheat Taker out of a title opportunity. However, D-X were not allowed inside the cell and were forced to leave the ringside area.
Taker had the advantage early, brutalizing Michaels before the door was unlocked thanks to a cameraman being knocked out. The two then brawled outside, where Taker would draw blood, slamming Michaels headfirst into the cage. The Deadman completely decimated Michaels throughout this match, but he would ultimately lose the match and the title opportunity thanks to his brother Kane. The Big Red Machine debuted on this night, tearing off the cell door and planting The Undertaker with a Tombstone Piledriver, allowing a battered and bloody Shawn Michaels to pick up the pieces.
2) Triple H vs Cactus Jack, No Way Out 2000
No one knew how to take punishment quite like Mick Foley. Whether he was Dude Love, Mankind, or Cactus Jack, the Hardcore Icon was a glutton for punishment.
Triple H defended his WWF Championship against Mick Foley in a Title vs Career match at No Way Out 2000. If Foley failed to put away the game, he’d have to put away his boots and walk away from the ring forever. Foley had a plan heading into the match, looking to ascend to the top of the cell as soon as he could. However, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon had padlocked the door to the cell before the event, preventing Foley from escaping.
Foley and Triple H brutalized each other inside the ring until some tossed steel stairs would break open the cell, allowing Foley the opportunity he was looking for. Eventually, the fight would move to the top of the cell, where Triple H countered a Foley Piledriver into a back body drop, forcing Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy through the structure, landing in the ring below. A Pedigree from The Game would put the final nail in the coffin of Foley’s career…until he’d eventually return.
Foley’s fall was iconic, but this time around he landed on a crash pad, softening the blow. However, his first two falls from the cell weren’t as easy to deal with…
1) The Undertaker vs Mankind, King of the Ring 1998
Was it a technical masterpiece? No, that’s not why you watch a Hell in a Cell match. Was it the most logical, well thought out match? No, but it gave us one of the greatest stories in wrestling history.
Mankind began the match at the top of the cell, with the Deadman in pursuit. After brawling around a bit, The Undertaker would launch Foley off the top, sending him crashing into the table below. Many in the arena and around the world assumed the match was over at that point, including JR and The Undertaker, who assumed Foley had been seriously injured.
However, Foley’s toughness was put on display on this night. While he was being taken to the back, Foley got off of the stretcher and climbed right back to the top of the cage. A stunned Phenom could only stare in awe as a battered Mankind continued to fight back, and the two legends continued to beat each other down atop the steel structure.
What happened next left everyone in stunned silence, as Foley was sent crashing through the cage by a chokeslam, landing on the hard mat below with a steel chair following him on the way down, leaving him concussed in the middle of the ring. “That’s it, he’s dead,” said Jerry Lawler, and backstage officials and the ring crew scurried to the ring to check on Foley.
The Undertaker didn’t allow Foley any time to recover, following him down to the ring to punish him more. However, Mankind didn’t stay down and managed to dish out some damage to the Deadman. Some chair shots lost teeth, and a bag of thumbtacks later, The Undertaker finally defeated Mankind.
Mankind and The Undertaker cemented their legacy all the way back in 1998, and the spots we saw on that night have been forever burned into our brains. No list of Hell in a Cell matches is complete without this legendary match in the #1 spot.