Relive WWE's most devastating moments with the 7 greatest Hell in a Cell matches ever
"Hell in a Cell is like church. Many attend, few understand." - Jim Ross.
More than just a big steel cage, the Hell in a Cell is wrestling's final chapter. A brutal, career-shortening match type, the cell has been responsible for some of wrestling's most savage moments, and is best saved for ending feuds that have reached boiling point.
Now a RAW-exclusive pay-per-view, this Sunday's Hell in a Cell is boasting not one, but three "main event" matches set in that diabolical steel structure.
First up, the US title will be contested in the cell as Roman Reigns and Rusev resume their blood feud. Considering Roman Reigns nearly got shish kebabed on a kendo stick in his last Hell in a Cell bout, this will most likely be the most hardcore of the trio.
Then, everyone's favourite anti-hero Kevin Owens will do battle with CrossFit Jesus Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Title. Triple H still hasn't been seen since he helped Owen nick the Universal belt, so expect a lot of #Shenanigans in this bout.
But the big match, and the TRUE Hell in a Cell main event this year, is the fight between Sasha Banks and Charlotte. For the first time ever, women will do battle in the Hell in a Cell enclosure - "historical" doesn't do enough to describe how much of a big deal this will be.
We're rather excited about Hell in a Cell this year, so much so we've had a look at some of the greatest matches using the format and ranked them arbitrarily as a means to start discussion between fans.
All of these matches are available to watch via the WWE Network. Take a look at some of the most hard-hitting matches in WWE history.
7. Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker - No Mercy 2002
Last year's dick punching battle wasn't the first time Brock Lesnar faced The Undertaker in Hell in a Cell. In 2002, Brock Lesnar was WWE's Mike Tyson, destroying the opposition with reckless abandon as he climbed through the ranks. He ruined The Rock, he won King of the Ring, he (kinda) caused Stone Cold to retire early. Come No Mercy, Brock Lesnar was the WWE Title holder... but he had the small problem of The Undertaker in his way.
Gatekeeper vs. The Next Big Thing - The Undertaker hounded Brock Lesnar throughout the match, never giving him a moment's rest.
6. The Undertaker vs. Edge - Hell in a Cell - SummerSlam 2008
Undertaker vs. Edge was *the* feud of 2008. The lead up to this match drew Edge as the Macbeth of the tale - he had the crown, he had the... unusual wife (hi Vicki Guerrero), but he knew the end was coming. The Undertaker was coming for Edge. And he was going to send him to hell.
The match itself was brutal. Edge knew he was doomed, but wasn't going down without a fight. Every WWE weapon under the sun was used here. Tables, ladders, chairs, even WWE cameras. Edge was always best when working as a underhanded baddie, and here he was trying every trick in the book to stay alive.
Did it work? Well....
5. Six Pack Challenge for the WWE Title - Armageddon 2000
2016 isn't the first time Mick Foley organised madcap matches in the Hell in a Cell structure. Back in 2000, Foley was working as SmackDown commissioner and forced Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, Rikishi and The Undertaker into the steel structure for a six-man match.
Let's look at that roster again: Kurt Angle, The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, Rikishi and The Undertaker. That is six Hall of Famers all fighting for the title at the same time.
This was wrestling at it's most OTT in the early 2000s. With an excess of talent, sometimes the WWE would just throw them all together and watch the sparks fly. At one point, Rikishi falls from the top of a cage into the back of a pickup truck full of hay. That is exactly as wonderful and ridiculous as it sounds.
4. The Undertaker vs Triple H (with guest referee Shawn Michaels) - WrestleMania 28 2012
By now you would have noticed a trend with The Undertaker and Hell in a Cell matches. The Phenom has appeared in 14 of 33 Hell in a Cell matches to date - this is his signature match. The Undertaker also has a fun habit of winning at Wrestlemania, so put him in his match at 'Mania and this 2012 bout should have been a mere formality.
Not quite. For if The Undertaker was the Master at Hell in Cell, Triple H was surely the prodigy. In 2012, Triple H had only lost one out of eight bouts in the Cell, and with best friend Shawn Michaels as guest referee (only two years out of being "retired" by The Undertaker at Wrestlemania), many thought this would be the end of The Undertaker's streak.
What we got here was a love letter to the days of the Attitude Era. This was Hell in a Cell's "Unforgiven" movement. Closing the chapter, while reminding you of the heroes and villains of the past.
In one night The Undertaker defeated two of the most storied wrestlers in WWE history. The final shot of the trio in an embrace, looking on, will live long in wrestling folklore.
3. Triple H vs Cactus Jack - No Way Out 2000
Despite having the handicap of not featuring The Undertaker, Triple H's match with Cactus Jack at No Way Out is an all time Hell in a Cell classic.
Triple H was in the midst of his third title reign, running roughshod over the entire locker room and bullying the life out of poor Mick Foley. Life was sweet. He'd married Stephanie McMahon, he'd got the belt - the McMahon-Hemsley era was well and truly rolling.
And then he pushed Mick Foley too far, and instead of the nice(er) cuddly gentleman who liked to dress up as Santa, we got the Hardcore Legend Cactus Jack.
With Cactus Jack's career on the line, this Hell in a Cell match saw both men tear chunks out of each other in desperation. At one point in this match, a 2x4 piece of wood, wrapped in barbed wire, was set on fire and then used as a weapon.
2. Mankind vs The Undertaker - King of the Ring 1998
It's a WWE quote that lives long into memedom, but Mankind vs Undertaker was more than just JR's apoplectic call. This was the match that put Hell in a Cell on the map. Famously, the bout begins with Foley climbing the Cell with a chair in hand. No squared circle nonsense, no rest holds - these two men were going to welly each other for our entertainment.
Then, the first fall. JR's call may seem funny, but he insists he broke character with his call. Think about it: "they've killed him"; for a brief half second, Jim Ross believed Mankind was dead.
Then, the next fall, where Mankind goes through the cage roof (which was not planned) where Jerry Lawler screams "that's it, he's dead". Again, a commentator breaks character to remark that Mankind should be dead. Talk to The Undertaker about it and he truly believed he had killed Mankind.
Miraculously, Mankind did not die. Somehow the force of his concussion shoved one of his teeth through his nostril, but he did not die.
The match continues for another 15 minutes before eventually The Undertaker puts Mankind through some thumbtacks (!!) to score the win.
"These two men gave you everything in their bodies! They gave you their souls here tonight!", remarked Jim Ross by the match end. Mankind still walks with a limp because of some of the stuff that occurred here. Wrestling in its most over the top and violent pomp.
1. Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker - Badd Blood 1997
The one, the original and the best.
The first ever Hell in a Cell match is one of only five WWE matches given a full rating by noted wrestling writer and critic Dave Meltzer.
Both Mankind and The Undertaker have called it the superior Hell in a Cell match. The Undertaker named the Badd Blood contest as his favourite match, while Foley called it the greatest Hell in a Cell bout ever.
It is that good.
This was the true originator of the Hell in a Cell format: once again The Undertaker was in the cell with another Macbeth-style anti-hero. Once again, the champion was someone who would do nearly anything in their power to retain the belt.
And then there was the swerve. A 7ft demon man called Kane turned everything upside down.
The greatest Hell in a Cell match of all time, and one of the greatest WWE bouts ever - if you want only one Hell in a Cell match before Sunday, make it this one.
All other images via WWE.
Hell in a Cell airs this Sunday, October 30 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT, live on Pay-Per-View and from Midnight in the UK on Sky Sports Box Office and on the WWE Network at 1am on 31 October.