Tybo Talks… Five Best Hell in a Cell Matches

Welcome once again to Tybo Talks! I am Tybo, and I’m sure by now you know that I am the ‘Five Star General’ of this operation we call SLTD Wrestling. […]

Welcome once again to Tybo Talks! I am Tybo, and I’m sure by now you know that I am the ‘Five Star General’ of this operation we call SLTD Wrestling.

Hell in a Cell is easily one of my favourite matches. Somewhat interesting fact, the first WWF VHS I bought with my own money was King of the Ring 1998, and I have loved Cell matches ever since. Let me make it clear that I am a huge fan of the match on the PPV. The Hell in a Cell match used to be a spectacle, a match used to add excitement to a PPV when a feud has gotten so personal that there was no where else it could go. This would add to elevating the interest in the PPV and add to the stock of the superstars involved. To be in a Cell match used to be a badge of honor amongst legends in the business, not a match you had in October.

I am aware that the wrestling historians will tell me in the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras there was a Hell in a Cell match every year (except 2001) but I’m sure you can agree, its a lot more exciting when a feud hits boiling point and someone demands a Cell match, that the excitement Michael Cole brings when he says next mouths PPV is Hell in a Cell and we are having 3 of them.

So with that being said my (personal) Five Best Hell in a Cell matches all took place before it was a PPV… well except one.

Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker – Bad Blood 1997

You can’t really have top five Hell in a Cell matches and not mention the first ever Cell match. The Hell in a Cell (as far as I’m aware) was originally Shawn Michaels’ idea. He always liked the idea of a cage match but with more freedom and a roof, long story short the Hell in a Cell match was born. This match, considering it was the first of its kind was really great. Don’t get me wrong there was not a not of ‘wrestling’ but who watches a Cell match for grappling?

This match was ultra violent, and Michaels and Undertaker went (excuse the pun) through hell. There was even a somewhat forgotten bump from Michaels off the side of the cell through the announce table. The first Cell match has always been most remembered for the debut of Kane, and with good reason, but did you know that this was actually a number one contenders match? The winner would go onto Survivor Series to face Bret Hart for the WWE Championship, and we all know when happened there…

Mankind vs. The Undertaker – King of the Ring 1999

This is easily the most famous Hell in a Cell match, for the absolutely insane bump Mankind took off the top of the Cell. If you have not seen this and call yourself a wresting fan, you really shouldn’t. This is one of those moments that almost 20 years later is still incredible, what is maybe most shocking about the whole thing is that Mankind came back for more and ended up getting choke slammed through the middle of the Cell into the ring.

If this was not enough he then got up and poured 1000+ tacks in the ring and was choke-slammed on them. As I’m sure you can tell this match was an absolute car crash, but you just couldn’t look away. In my opinion this match still holds up as one of Mankind’s most brutal matches, and possibly one of the most brutal matches in the Attitude Era if not the history of WWE.

Kurt Angle vs. The Rock vs. Steve Austin vs. Rikishi vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H – Armageddon 2000

This match is a strange one as I don’t think it is one of the best Hell in a Cell matches there has been, but the idea to have six of the top guys of the attitude era in one Cell match was something that sounded amazing. This was always going to change the dynamic of a Cell match having more than two participants involved. The build up to this match was also when WWE was as its strongest, the fact that there was six top guys all legitimate enough to feud for the WWE Championship is something that is rarely seen.

With all of their individual story lines intertwined, with them all having some sort of connection to Steve Austin getting run-over making a six man Hell in a Cell was a great move. As mentioned this maybe isn’t the best Cell match, but it had everything there to make an awesome watch and a huge bump off the top from Rikishi.

Triple H vs. Cactus Jack – No Way Out – 2000

In this match we again see the lengths Mick Foley will go to in a Hell in a Cell match. The whole feud between Triple H and Mankind/Cactus Jack is one of the best in the attitude era. There were points where you honestly believed that both Triple H and Foley hated each other, the things they did to each other and to their own bodies is insane compared to the current standard of WWE programming. With the brutality of the Street Fight they had at Royal Rumble 2000, I honestly thought they couldn’t top it, but at No Way Out 2000 just one month later they were going to all out war with each other.

You would think that after going through the middle of the Cell a few years earlier Foley would not want to do it again, but he did, and this time he when through the ring too. This was after the 1000+ tacks were poured out again and not only a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire, but a flaming 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire. This match was WWE at its most brutal but still stands out as a great match.

Triple H vs. The Undertaker (Special Referee – Shawn Michaels) – Wrestlemania 28

This Hell in a Cell match is probably one of my favorite matches of all time, easily top ten maybe top five. This was a throwback to a old school Cell match. That’s the reason it was called ‘The End of an Era’. Triple H and The Undertaker were the last remaining superstars from a time that didn’t exist anymore. The ultra brutal, ultra bloody attitude era was dead and gone for a new family friendly era of sports entertainment, and both Undertaker and Triple H were going to give it the send off it deserved. Add to the mix Shawn Michaels as the referee, who has had a long standing history with both men made this match all that more spectacular.

This match was edge of your seat back and forth from start to finish, although in the back of your mind you always thought Undertaker was winning (back then anyway) there were may moments when you thought Triple H was going to get the victory. The thing for me that made this match so great was that Michaels looked like he felt every move. The conflict he had with himself with him not knowing if he wanted The Undertaker’s streak to stay intact because he couldn’t end it so no one should, or his best friend to get the pin and do what he couldn’t but know that he played some part in the final demise of The Deadman was absolutely amazing. Then when it was all over to have them all hug in the ring and Michaels and Triple H help Undertaker out, with them all on the top of the ramp together was a truly tear jerking moment.

So there are (in my opinion) the Five Best Hell in a Cell matches. What are yours? Let me know below, or tweet me @Tybo_SLTD

Talking of Hell in a Cell

Make sure you get your predictions in for the Hell in a Cell round of our Predictions League