The History of WWE Hell in a Cell


This weekend, WWE will be putting on their thirteenth annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. What was once just an exciting match that only occurred in the wildest of storylines has now transitioned into a yearly spectacle.

The show will put on a mixture of matches, but always contains at least one Hell in a Cell match.


The cell is a twenty-foot tall, steel structure with a roof, designed to put the competitors through “hell”. This match is considered one of the more “extreme” matches that are put on by WWE.

Hell in a

Unlike a traditional cage match, the only way to win the match is via pinfall or submission.
Given that the Hell in a Cell match takes place in a cage and that it has no rules, it leaves fans with the idea that anything could happen.

Even though the product has undoubtedly changed since the creation of the Hell in the Cell match, it is still one of the most violent matches in the history of professional wrestling.

How It Started

The first-ever Hell in a Cell match took place at In Your House: Bad Blood on October 5th, 1997. It took place as the main event of the show and featured The Undertaker vs Shawn Michaels.

This match also saw the debut of The Undertaker’s brother “The Big Red Machine”, WWE Hall of Famer Kane.

The concept came from the legendary Jim Cornette, but the name of the match came from Vince Russo. Cornette stated that the match was supposed to be similar to a War Games match, but it would only contain one ring.

Since its inception, there have been close to fifty Hell in the Cell matches. Most of these matches have taken place on pay-per-view events.

In 2009, WWE decided to make Hell in a Cell an annual pay-per-view instead of just making it an occasional match.

Since WWE decided to make Hell in a Cell a full event, most of the Hell in a Cell matches have taken place on this card since 2009.

Memorable Matches

The Hell in a Cell structure has provided for some of the most memorable moments in WWE. As stated before, the first Hell in a Cell match gave the WWE Universe the debut of Kane.

Another example would be The Undertaker taking on Mick Foley as Mankind at King of The Ring in 1998. This comes just a few weeks after Stone Cold Steve Austin would team with The Undertaker in a Tornado Tag cell match against Kane and Mankind.

The Taker and Mankind match will be forever remembered as the time that Mankind was tossed off of the top of the cell and onto the announce table. He would then climb up the cell again, just to be choke slammed through the top of the cell and back onto the ring.

Foley would compete in a few more Hell in a Cell matches throughout his career but each of them was hazardous for him. For example, Triple H would also put him through the top of the cell in the year 2000 at No Way Out.

Later that year, fans would see the first-ever Armageddon Hell in a Cell match. This would be the only time that six men would compete against each other in the cell.

Kurt Angle would go on to win this match by defeating Triple H, Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, and Rikishi. This would mark the first time that Kurt Angle held the WWF Championship.

Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker have fought in the cell twice. The first time took place at No Mercy in 2002. This match is considered one of the bloodiest matches in wrestling history.

The second time would be at Hell in a Cell in 2015. Brock Lesnar would come out victorious both times.

Randy Orton and John Cena have also competed against each other twice in Hell in a Cell. The men are currently tied. With the rumor of John Cena’s return, maybe we will get a tiebreaker in the future.

Recent Memorable Matches (Last 5 Years)

A Hell in a Cell has only taken place twice at WrestleMania. It’s a weird thought given that Mania is the biggest show for WWE.

In 2016, the returning Shane McMahon fought as hard as he could to defeat The Undertaker but came up short. McMahon, who was known to be fearless when it came to heights, jumped off the top of the cell and landed on the announce table.
He would go on to do this same thing in a Hell in a Cell match against Kevin Owens a few years later.

The 2016 Hell in a Cell pay-per-view was the first time two women had competed in the match. Charlotte Flair defeated Sasha Banks for the Raw Women’s Championship

Last Year’s Hell in a Cell show was the first time the match had taken place in WWE’s ThunderDome. Randy Orton would end up defeating Drew McIntrye for the WWE Championship.

The show also featured Roman Reigns and Jey Uso in an “I Quit” match. This match would help lead into the “Head of the Table” storyline the two are currently in.

Notable Facts

The Undertaker has competed in 14 Hell in a Cell matches in total. Taker would end up winning 8 of those matches.

Triple H comes in second with 9 appearances in the cell. He would go on to win 6 matches and losing 3. One of those losses would be from The Undertaker.

Randy Orton has competed in the match 8 times. Only these three men have competed in the match more than 5 times.

Sasha Banks has competed in every single Women’s Hell in a Cell matches. She has appeared in all 3 matches but only came out victorious once.

Paul Heyman technically competed in the match as well. He was Ryback’s tag team partner when the two took on CM Punk in a Handicap Hell in a Cell match in 2013.

In 2018, WWE changed the trademark look of the cell from a normal steel structure by painting it red. This move was highly criticized at first but is now accepted as normal.

Even though WWE only had one Armageddon-style Hell in a Cell match, they kept the match as a playable option in almost every one of their video games.

That’s it for the facts and history lesson of WWE’s Hell in a Cell match. What is your favorite Hell in a Cell moment?

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