Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kick-Out!! Classic: Top 5 Hell in a Cell Matches

This is a repost from last year before the first Hell in a Cell PPV, my pick for the top five HIAC matches in WWE history. The list is unchanged from 2009, primarily because none of the matches at last year's PPV came close to these classics.

5. The Undertaker vs. Mankind - King of the Ring 1998
You can't have a list about the Hell in a Cell and not mention this match. For some people, this is the greatest match of all-time, others have turned on it, some even saying it's not even a "match" at all. Even Mick Foley distances himself from it, despite it being the defining moment of his career. While the actual wrestling in this match was mostly absent, you cannot deny the impact it had on professional wrestling. Undertaker throwing Foley off the top of the Cell, then thrown through the cell into the ring, then onto a pile of thumbtacks are still three of the craziest moments I've ever seen in WWE. The fact that Mick Foley even survived this match, much less continued wrestling over a decade later, is proof that the guy is one of the toughest men to ever put on a pair of boots.

4. Kurt Angle vs. Steve Austin vs. Triple H vs. The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Rikishi - Armageddon 2000
What do you get when you combine the five biggest Superstars of the last ten years (and Rikishi) and put them in the most popular gimmick match in recent history? You get one wild and fun main event. Really, the only problem with this match is that Rikishi was in it, which made sense at the time, but looking back you just think "how the hell did that happen?" If only Mick Foley had been an active competitor at this time, he could've made this match the only time (that I can remember) where all of the Attitude Era's biggest names were in the ring and competing against each other at the same time.

3. Undertaker vs. Edge - SummerSlam 2008
The most recent Hell in a Cell match is also one of the best. I just re-watched this match a couple days ago and it's even better than I remember. Everything was just perfect here and considering that these two could go out and put on an absolutely unforgettable match after feuding (off and on) for almost a year at that point, is a testament to how great both of these guys are. They had THE main event match at WrestleMania 24, arguably the greatest TLC match in history at One Night Stand 2008 and then just two months later, this amazing Hell in a Cell match. Brutal bumps, nasty weapons shots, and the first HIAC match in years to actually go outside the cell (with Edge hitting the running spear on the announce tables), combine to get this one at #3 on the list.

2. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H - Bad Blood 2004
47 Minutes. Let me repeat that: forty-seven minutes. Shawn Michaels and Triple H have a storied history and when they're on opposite corners of the ring, magic happens. They've had a lot of matches since HBK returned at SummerSlam 2002, but I think it's safe to say that this is their definitive contest. The story, the emotion, the brutality, the fact that it went for 47 minutes, what more can you ask for in a match? The only thing keeping this from the #1 spot is the fact that it drags a bit towards the end (and that's a very minor gripe and understandable since they wrestled for FORTY-SEVEN MINUTES!) and that there's one other match that possibly cannot be topped.

1. The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels - Bad Blood 1997
You always remember your first and the first Hell in a Cell match isn't just the best HIAC match of all-time, you could argue that it's the greatest match of all-time. Taker and Shawn had only wrestled each other once before with a no-contest finish due to mass-interference, and thus the Hell in a Cell was born. Of course, that didn't stop all interference, because on that night almost exactly 13 years ago, Kane made his WWE debut, ripping the Cell door off its hinges and Tombstoned his brother, which allowed Shawn Michaels to get the win. This match is as close as you're going to get to perfection inside a wrestling ring, and when you put two of the greatest of all-time in the ring together and everything just clicks, you know you have something special. You could also say this match is so great because both HBK and Taker were in their prime, but considering the match these two had at WrestleMania this year, it looks like they still are.

Let me know your picks for the best HIAC matches in history, and make sure to check back this weekend for my full review of Hell in a Cell 2010!

Countdown to Lockdown: A Hardcore JournalWWE: Hell in a CellWWE: Shawn Michaels - My JourneyTriple H: King of Kings - There is Only One


  1. I like Taker/Lesnar a lot. I'd probably even put it at #5, but for cultural impact, I couldn't leave Foley/Taker off the list.

  2. Any list is fine with me aslong as it doesn't include Taker vs. Bossman at WM15. HHH vs. Kevin Nash at Bad Blood was terrible too.

    Sadly i can't see any of sunday's PPV matches making the list but i'd love to be proven wrong.