WrestleMania 28: Ranking Triple H's Hell in a Cell Matches
The Cerebral Assassin has been through his fair share of torturous matches, including eight appearances inside the Hell in a Cell structure.
Although the match was originally designed for the Undertaker, Triple H has made a home inside the Hell in a Cell, winning six of his eight appearances in the match. The stipulation has helped establish him as ruthless and aggressive, and it is a big part of the reason why he is simply known today as "The Game."
Here is my take on the rankings of Triple H's Hell in a Cell matches.
8) DX vs. Legacy (Hell in a Cell 2009)
Although the feud with Ted DiBiase and Cody Rhodes was decent in building up the young stars, their placement at the 2009 Hell in a Cell PPV was a bit out of place.
In a show with CM Punk vs. The Undertaker and John Cena vs. Randy Orton for championships, this was the match that ended the night. It was a solid contest, but Michaels was the one who really had to work that night.
In the PG version of the Hell in a Cell match, Legacy locked Trips out of the cage and took down HBK for about 15 minutes. Eventually, Triple H came to his senses, found some pliers and proceeded to decimate the two youngsters.
It was a good contest, but its placement as main event in a PG environment knocks this one down to the bottom of the list.
7) DX vs. the McMahons and Big Show
D-Generation X will go down as one of the best stables in history, but they will probably not be remembered for their Hell in a Cell matches.
In 2006, Triple H and Shawn Michaels spent months dealing with the McMahons and the Spirit Squad. Eventually, it boiled down to a Hell in a Cell match, and the McMahons brought Big Show with them for some backup.
What occurred was definitely brutal, but there was no doubt about who would win the match. The Big Show was a nice addition, but the 3-on-2 advantage would still not do the trick for the bad guys.
Plenty of blood was spilled, which is the nature of the Hell in a Cell match. But it was still one of the weaker contests in the structure because of the lack of a real challenge for Trips and HBK.
6) Triple H vs. Kevin Nash (Bad Blood 2003)
Triple H brought out a rare sighting of the blue tights for his match against Kevin Nash in 2003.
One of the main selling points of the contest was the presence of HIAC legend Mick Foley as the special guest referee. Given the history between Foley and Trips, it was very possible that Mick would screw the Game out of the title (sound familiar?).
Nash only spent a short time in the WWE in his second stint, and this was probably his best match during that time. For Triple H, however, it was one of his weaker performances compared to the pain and punishment handed out in some of his other matches.
In the end, the Game would prevail, and the show went off the air almost a half hour before 11 p.m.
5) Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (Judgment Day 2002)
The top five of this list can all be considered in the upper echelon of Hell in a Cell matches, and we get things kicked off with an intense rivalry between Triple H and Chris Jericho.
It is also the only Hell in a Cell match to end with a pinfall on top of the structure. Trips and Jericho were able to take a match known for high spots and turn it into a brutal and vicious environment.
Although Jericho lost the match, the ultimate loser was referee Tim White, who took a big bump off the side of the cage and had to be taken out of the match. He would never be able to fully recover from the injury to get back in the ring on a full-time basis.
This was the conclusion of a great series of matches between the two, dating back two years to their Last Man Standing match at Fully Loaded 2000.
4) 6-Man Armageddon Hell in a Cell Match (Armageddon 2000)
Just like the Undertaker's list, this six-man Armageddon Hell in a Cell match comes in at No. 4. The star-studded cast delivered a 40-minute brawl that went all over the arena.
Although Trips and Taker would have their first WrestleMania match four months after this match, they would not get involved with each other too much. Their feud was thrown together because of a lack of opponents, so the hatred had not begun just yet.
Instead, Triple H would focus his energy on The Rock and Stone Cold, two guys he has had many great matches against. It's not surprising that the Cerebral Assassin was one of the first men bleeding, as it is obvious that he is willing to sacrifice his body for the business.
Kurt Angle would retain his title, and Trips helped to make it that much bigger by displaying sheer brutality throughout the contest.
3) Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (Bad Blood 2004)
Triple H and Shawn Michaels might be best friends outside of the ring, but they built one hell of a rivalry when HBK returned from his back injury.
Although they would fight a few more times later in the year, this was technically the culmination of a two-year long feud. It also stands as the longest Hell in a Cell match ever, clocking in at around 45 minutes.
It wasn't about championships. It was simply about being the better man. Both men were so spent by the end of the night that they could barely stand. One would think that these men actually hated each other by the actions they performed in the ring.
Three pedigrees are what it took to keep Shawn Michaels down for good, and Triple H cemented his impressive record inside Hell in a Cell. To this day, he has only lost one singles match inside the structure, and it was in the following bout.
2) Triple H vs. Batista (Vengeance 2005)
Who thought up the barbed wire steel chair? Because that is one awesome weapon. They should definitely bring it back on Sunday.
The camera was nice enough to zoom in on Batista's back the first time he got hit with the chair. The marks it left behind were enough to get some groans going.
Triple H did wonders for Batista, putting him over on three different pay-per-views. People complain about Trips hogging the main event, but when he believes in a guy, he will do what it takes for them to make it big time.
Guess what? Triple H bled like a stuck pig again. It seems like he did that every month during the Attitude Era, and he definitely cut deep in this 2005 Hell in a Cell match. Batista was made to be a monster, and Triple H is the man who got him there.
Batista would never lose the World Heavyweight Championship since he was forced to relinquish it in early 2006 due to injury. But thanks to his rise in 2005 and a worthy adversary in Triple H, he was established as a main event star.
1) Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (No Way Out 2000)
Triple H did for Batista what Mick Foley did for him.
At the end of 1999, Triple H was on the cusp of being a full-time main event star. He would win the title in the beginning of 2000 from the Big Show, but he still was not an established superstar as he is today.
Enter Mick Foley. Cactus Jack made his return to pro wrestling and delivered two brutal matches with The Game. The first was the Royal Rumble street fight in Madison Square Garden, and the second was this apparent retirement match inside Hell in a Cell.
The Game brutalized Foley, putting him through an announce table and through the roof of the cell. This time, however, the ring was rigged to ease the fall. Still, it was a ridiculous spot, and it took another pedigree to win the match.
Because of this match, and its predecessor at the Rumble, people took Triple H very seriously, and he developed into one of the most hated heels in history. This is one of the best Hell in a Cell matches of all time because of the story it told and the brutality that ensued.
Foley would return soon after, but it was still an emotional night for the veteran. Just like he helped the Rock the previous year, Mick helped to make another star.
Because of this feud, the Cerebral Assassin was born.
Check out Mani's WrestleMania Dream Card at this link.