WWE Hell in a Cell: Ranking Every Match Ever in Satan's Structure

Michael Guadalupe@The_GuadaFeatured ColumnistOctober 5, 2012

WWE Hell in a Cell: Ranking Every Match Ever in Satan's Structure

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    There have been 25 Hell in a Cell matches since the structure debuted in 1997. Satan’s Structure has helped in making careers and also ending them.

    With the Hell in a Cell Pay-Per-View only weeks away, it's time to take a look at all the previous Hell in a Cell matches, and see just where they rank.

    Were there any crazy bumps?  Did the cell get used like a weapon?  What about actual weapons like chairs and thumbtacks?  Did they fight outside of the cell, or mostly stick to the inside, and how did that affect the match?

    All of these questions played a role in selecting the ranks of each match.  Bigger than the questions though, was the importance each match had to the history of Hell in a Cell.  Did it change the way we view the match?  Or was it forgettable?

    The era of wrestling clearly plays a role in how much blood or what type of weapons are used in this type of match, but did the competitors let that get in their way?

    Some of these Hell in a Cell matches could be pretty brutal, and the videos that go along with most of these slides are the actual matches themselves.  Watch every match for yourself, and see if you agree or disagree with this listing.

    At the very least, make sure to watch the top five, as they are some of the greatest matches in WWE history.

    And of course, don't forget to comment and share what you agreed or disagreed with!

25. John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Jack Swagger vs. CM Punk

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    Where: RAW Dark Match, Kansas City, MO

    When: September 26, 2011

    We start the list with the only Hell in a Cell to be a dark match.  This match isn’t this low because it’s bad, but how can it fairly be judged with such limited footage of it?

    This is one of the only YouTube videos of the match, and it's pretty hard to see what was actually going on.

    It sounds like it could be a decent brawl, but because it was a dark match, it can't be ranked like the other Hell in a Cell matches.

24. The Undertaker vs Kane

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, Dallas, TX

    When: October 3, 2010

    Welcome to the PG era of Hell in a Cell matches.

    It's hard to imagine that two of the more dominating figures from the attitude era could have a bad Hell in a Cell match with all of their experience in Satan's Structure.

    The problem could be blamed on the PG-era, but the real problem here is that this was simply a poor match.  When compared to other Hell in a Cell bouts, this one is forgettable and lacks what put Hell in a Cell on the map in the first place:


    There doesn't need to be blood, but the least that these competitors need to do is make it look like they are pushing each other to the limit.

    Kane and Undertaker fail in putting on a convincing Hell in a Cell type of match, and compared to the other matches, it really shows.

23. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, Dallas, TX

    When: October 3, 2010

    When Hell in a Cell first became a Pay-Per-View, some of the cell matches couldn’t even be compared to their predecessor's.

    This match is one of them.

    The one thing I will give this match though is the use of a chair and the steel steps at the end of it.  A lot of matches in the PG era seem to avoid using a chair or steel steps as part of the finisher, but Orton hitting his RKO on the steel steps to get the win was at least something different.

    Even if Orton probably hurt himself more than he hurt Sheamus.

    Other than that, though, this match turned out to be nothing special, and was like so many of the newer Hell in a Cell matches:

    Just a normal match with a metal fence around it.

22. John Cena vs. Randy Orton

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, Newark, NJ

    When: October 4, 2009

    John Cena's first Hell in a Cell match would be one that he would lose.

    It would also be one of the more forgettable ones.  Like so many others that took place when Hell in a Cell became an actual Pay-Per-View, this one lacks a lot of the elements which made the format such a popular match in the first place.

    Placing a metal cage around the ring simply isn't enough.

    Orton would get the win in this average-at-best match with a kick to Cena's head.

    At one point in the match, it looks like someone dropped a razor blade, as the referee can be seen picking something up off the mat and putting it in his pocket.

21. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, New Orleans, LA

    When: October 2, 2011

    While this match turned out better than some of the earlier Hell in a Cell matches, it still left a lot to be desired.

    Mark Henry showed his strength throughout the match, treating Orton like a rag doll and even throwing the steel steps at him like he was throwing a baseball.

    Orton managed to build some offense by the end of the match, but he still couldn’t put Henry down.

    When the match finally ended, Orton would go on the assault, attacking Henry with a steel chair.  No matter what he did though, it wouldn't be enough to erase this loss from the Viper's record book.

20. CM Punk vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, Newark, NJ

    When: October 4, 2009

    This could be considered the start of the PG-era Hell in a Cell matches.

    Yes, a chair was used for one chair shot, but other than that, the Undertaker and CM Punk could have had a normal match.

    It was decent, but not a Hell in a Cell-type match that had been done in the past.

    The Edge vs. Undertaker match the previous year, for example, went without major bloodshed and they still put on a fantastic performance.

    Punk vs. Undertaker though, left something to be desired.  The match itself was rather short, and really failed to display the utter brutality of a Hell in a Cell match.

    This mainly took place in the ring, something uncommon with previous Hell in a Cell matches.

19. DX vs. Legacy

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, Newark, NJ

    When: October 4, 2009

    The Hell in a Cell match between DX and Legacy turned out to be a decent one.  They fought inside and outside of the cell as well.

    This feud Rhodes and DiBiase had with DX helped push them up the roster (at least Rhodes).  For being in the middle of the PG-era Hell in a Cell matches, DX and Legacy were able to capture some of what made the format unique.

    A lack of blood didn't stop this match from seeming brutal, as both Legacy and DX would use not only the cell, but chairs and even a sledge hammer toward the end of this match.

    It still wouldn't compare to some of the earlier Hell in a Cell matches that both Triple H and Shawn Michaels were in, but this still ended up being a solid brawl.

18. Randy Orton vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: Armageddon, Providence, RI

    When: December 18, 2005

    The Legend Killer Randy Orton bit off more than he could chew when he got tangled with the Undertaker.  Going against the Deadman in a match he made famous, turned out to be something Orton couldn't handle.

    As for their Hell in a Cell match, it was decent at best.  Sure, both the Undertaker and Orton ended up a bloody mess, but did the young Randy Orton really stand a chance against the Undertaker?

    Orton may have had his father to try and help him, but it ended up not being enough to help him end the legend of the Undertaker.

    Both competitors put on a decent performance, but the only thing really to stand out was Orton Tombstoning the Undertaker.

17. The Undertaker and Stone Cold vs Mankind and Kane

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    Where: RAW, San Antonio, TX

    When: June 15, 1998

    Stone Cold and the Undertaker teaming up to take on Mankind and Kane seems like a great idea for a Hell in a Cell match.

    Unfortunately this wasn't really a match.  Instead, when Paul Bearer challenged Stone Cold and The Undertaker to a match against Kane and Mankind, he would end up a bloody mess.

    As Bearer locked himself in the ring to get away from Stone Cold, the Undertaker would emerge from the ring and beat Bearer to a pulp.

    Meanwhile Kane would climb onto the top of the cell, trying to get in, while Stone Cold took care of Mankind and eventually climbed up to the top of the cell and stomped out Kane as well.

    This turned into more of a beat down than a match, but was still pretty entertaining to watch.

16. DX vs Vince Mcmahon, Shane Mcmahon, and the Big Show

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    Where: Unforgiven, Toronto, ON, Canada

    When: September 17, 2006

    This match between DX, Shane, Vince and the Big Show, also was the debut the new Hell in a Cell structure.  Bigger than the original, the height alone seemed to be enough to discourage wrestlers from trying to climb it.

    As for the match itself, did anyone really expect DX to lose? It ended up being a bloody mess of a match, and had some decent bumps, especially at the end when Triple H breaks a sledge hammer over the back of Vince's head.

    Vince really seemed to be in the way most of the time during this match.  While it's always fun to see him get beat up, he really couldn't sell any of the moves.

    Shane McMahon though, is a fantastic athlete.  From his Coast to Coast move, to being able to pick up Triple H, put him over his shoulders, and slam him to the mat, Shane proved just how much of an athlete he really is.

    Big Show came in handy when DX needed to stick Vince's face somewhere.  Other than that, though, he did his typical big man style of wrestling, and was a little added muscle to try and give the McMahon's a fighting chance.

    This was a decent Hell in a Cell match, and it’s always fun to see Vince get beat up.  It’s hard to take Vince seriously in this match, but Shane more than made up for it.

15. John Cena vs. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    Where: Hell in a Cell, New Orleans, LA

    When: October 2, 2011

    This Hell in a Cell match is a great example of why using the PG-era as an excuse for watering down matches doesn't work.

    Sure, no blood was spilt in this match and they stayed in the cell (until Cena got locked out), but this is still a good match.

    Chairs, a table and even a pipe were used at different points during the brawl.  The athleticism of all three wrestlers was really shown in this match up, too.

    From Punk getting knocked off and flying into the side of the cell, or Del Rio diving through the ropes and meeting the cell face first, this match had solid action, something that seems to be lacking in most of the PG-era Hell in a Cell matches.

    R-Truth and the Miz coming out and attacking all three competitors at the end, with what looks like the entire locker room trying to break into the cell, and eventually getting handcuffed and escorted out only to be met with an enraged Triple H, was a unique way to end this match.

    And it makes me long for the days of the heel R-Truth and Miz tag team.

14. Big Boss Man vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: WrestleMania XV, Philadelphia, PA

    When: March 28, 1999

    This was the first Hell in a Cell match to stay completely in the cell.

    The Undertaker was in his prime during this match, and put on a solid performance. The match itself, though, has some controversy around it because of the ending.

    Both men would end up bloody in the end.  Boss Man did use his night stick, but outside of that there were no other weapons really used.

    Compared to previous Hell in a Cell matches, this one was weak.  The Undertaker showed off his wrestling ability and continued his streak, but other than demonstrating how good Taker really was, this match offered nothing new for a Hell in a Cell match—save the controversial ending.

    Still, getting to watch Undertaker in his prime battle the Big Boss Man makes for a good match.

13. Triple H vs Kevin Nash

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    Where: Bad Blood, Houston, TX

    When: June 15, 2003

    It seems like Triple H likes to beat up his friends.

    Nash and Triple H would duke it out in 2003, in a Hell in a Cell match that really didn't bring anything new to the table, but was still a good match nonetheless.

    Mick Foley would play the role of the referee, and would watch as Nash and Triple H tried to destroy each other.

    Both men would end up bloody, and at one point Triple H would take out a toolbox from underneath the ring and begin to use a hammer as a weapon.

    Besides tools, the typical steel chair and steps would be used to cause pain in this match.  Both competitors would remain inside the cell as they tried to decimate one another.

    If you're a fan of Triple H or Kevin Nash, this match should be one you enjoy. It would be Triple H's third Hell in a Cell match, and Nash's first and only.

    The Game would get the win in the end, and continue his Hell in a Cell streak.

12. Kane vs. Mankind

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    Where: RAW, Philadelphia, PA

    When: August 24, 1998

    How many times can Mick Foley fall off the cell structure in this type of match?

    Kane and Mankind brawled on Monday night RAW in a Hell in a Cell match.  The match started out as a double-team of the Undertaker and Kane beating up on Mankind, until eventually Kane and Mankind ended up locked in the cell together.

    Chairs would be used, along with thumbtacks, as both wrestlers tried to destroy each other.  It looked like Kane was going to win this match, until Stone Cold came out of nowhere and began to pummel him.

    This match would go to a no contest, and was one of the weaker of the Hell in a Cell matches during the attitude era.

    Still, overall, this was a solid Hell in a Cell match and on Monday night RAW, something you don't really see today.

11. Brock Lesnar vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: No Mercy, North Little Rock, AR

    When: October 20, 2002

    Lesnar vs. The Undertaker was the second Hell in a Cell match that actually stayed in the cell.  With that being said, it shouldn't take away from how good this match up was.

    Lesnar is known as The Beast for a reason, and being able to stand up to the Undertaker in his type of match is no short feat.

    Taker, Lesnar, and even Paul Heyman would end up bloody messes by the time this match had finished.  Compared to previous Hell in a Cell matches, weapons weren't a main focus.  Sure, chairs and even the steel steps were used in this brawl, but this match was more about Taker and Lesnar beating each other to a bloody pulp.

    Lesnar would be victorious in the end, reversing Undertaker's tombstone pile driver and hitting Taker with his F-5.

    This was a solid match overall, but what could the Undertaker and Lesnar have done if they had went outside of the cell?

    This would start the trend of keeping the cell battles inside the cell, until Taker and Edge went at it several years later.

    Undertaker vs. Lesnar ended up being a solid brawl, but so much more could have been done if these two had taken the battle to the outside of the cell.

10. Rock vs. HHH vs. Kurt Angle vs. Stone Cold vs. Rikishi vs. Undertaker

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    Where: Armageddon, Birmingham, AL

    When: December 10, 2000

    Putting The Rock, Kurt Angle, Triple H, Stone Cold and the Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match together might seem like the stuff of legends.  Add Rikishi just to take a big bump off the top of cell and this seems like a possible dream match.

    This match was pretty solid, and even Mick Foley and Vince McMahon would get involved at one point.

    There is a reason why, though, this many competitors in one Hell in a Cell has only been seen once.  There was so much going on that it was hard to keep track of everything.

    The match itself turned out to be more like several one on one matches all bunched up in a Hell in a Cell, and eventually the chaos would spread outside of the ring and the competitors would use the cars from the Armageddon themed Pay-Per-View as weapons.

    Rikishi would eventually go flying off the top of the cell and land in the back of a truck filled with hay.  Rikishi’s plummet didn't look as rough as the fall Foley would take in his legendary match against Taker, it was still a pretty rough fall none the less.

    While this ended up being a solid Hell in a cell, it was more about the individual brawls.  The Rock and Stone Cold for example, would eventually go one on one in the middle of the ring.  Triple H and Kurt Angle would eventually get involved, and Angle would swoop in to get the win.

    Watching all of these top stars go at it in a Hell in a Cell match was great, but with so much going on, it became hard to focus on all the action at once.

9. Triple H vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: WrestleMania XXVII, Miami Gardens, FL

    When: April 1, 2012

    Take two of the greatest Hell in a Cell competitors and put them together in a match and what do you get?

    One of the better matches seen in a while.  Mix in Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee, and you have the show stealer of WrestleMania 28.

    This match is different from most of the other Hell in a Cell matches.  It had its brutal moments, but nowhere near that of some of the previous ones.

    Whether it was Triple H screaming at Michaels as he repeatedly hit the Undertaker with a chair to end it, or the Undertaker gaining an advantage and doing the same thing, this match had two legends pushing themselves to the extreme.

    These three can be considered the last of an era, and putting them in a Hell in a Cell match, the match that arguably helped in making their legendary careers, was a great way to end their era.

    This match might not have had all of the brutality and violence normally associated Hell in a Cell, but that doesn’t take away from how good of a match it turned out to be.

8. Batista vs. Triple H

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    Where: Vengeance, Las Vegas, NV

    When: June 26, 2005

    Batista and Triple H had one of the most brutal Hell in a Cell matches ever. Both competitors would leave this match bloodied and scarred.

    One of the biggest weapons used was the steel chair wrapped in barbed wire.  Undoubtedly one of the deadliest weapons ever used in a WWE match, both Triple H and Batista would take nasty shots from the deadly weapon.

    Throw in steel steps and a sledge hammer, and you have two wrestlers who were ready to put on a fantastic match.

    This match was about both wrestlers using their brute strength to win, and in the end Batista would be the stronger of the two competitors.

    Even the finish of this match had the potential to be brutal.  As Batista picked up Triple H for his Batista Bomb finisher, Triple H would pick up a sledgehammer.  Batista managed to get his finisher off before being hit with the hammer, and Triple H would lose his first Hell in a Cell match.

    The brutality remained in the cell, and while this ended up being a great performance, the biggest thing to stand out was the steel chair wrapped in barbed wire.

7. Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H

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    Where: Bad Blood, Columbus, OH

    When: June 13, 2004

    Shawn Michaels and Triple H might be best friends now, but that doesn't mean they always got along.

    These two friends would clash at Bad Blood in 2004 in a Hell in a Cell match for the ages.  By the time this match finished, both men would be bloody and lying in the middle of the mat.

    The match itself would last over 40 minutes.

    Triple H would be victorious in the end, but both of these competitors put on a match to be remembered. 

    Both had fantastic Hell in a Cell matches under their belts, so when they combined to clash in their own, only good things were bound to happen.

    Michaels and Triple H would beat each other to bloody pulps, using steel chairs, steel steps, tables, ladders and the cage itself.

    After the earlier years of Hell in a Cell matches, where a lot of the action took place outside of the cell itself, this brawl proved that these matches could be brutal while remaining inside of the cell.

    Triple H and Shawn Michaels put on a fantastic match, and took each other to the limit.

    This match ended up being more than just about friends fighting though.  Both Michaels and Triple H tried prove who was better. 

    Would the Show Stopper beat the Game?  Or would Triple H be too much for Michaels?

    In the end, Triple H would win this match, but needed the help of his evolution friends to leave the ring.

    Is Triple H better than Michaels?  That's something that could be debated, but on this night, he was.

6. Jericho vs. Triple H

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    Where: Judgement Day, Nashville, TN

    When: May 19, 2002

    Triple H and Chris Jericho are two of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history.  Of course, when these two battled in a Hell in a Cell match, it would only turn out to be fantastic.

    By the time this match ended, both men would be wearing the famous crimson mask that is so often associated with this type of match.

    Jericho and Triple H would go all out, using the cell, ladders, chairs and a 2 x 4 wrapped in barbed wire.

    This was the only Hell in a Cell match to end on top of the cell, with the referee even climbing the walls to get to the top.

    Triple H would deliver the pedigree to Jericho on top of the cell, and get the three count to win this brutal match.

    Triple H vs. Jericho really added nothing we hadn't already seen in a Hell in a Cell (besides for ending on the roof), but still made the careers of both competitors even greater.

    This was a great match-up between two fantastic wrestlers who used everything a Hell in a Cell match is famous for, and delivered an amazing match.

5. Batista vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: Survivor Series, Miami, FL

    When: November 18, 2007

    Batista vs. The Undertaker was the last of the bloody Hell in a Cell matches.  By the time the cell began to raise, both men were beaten, broken and wearing crimson masks of blood.

    The match itself was fantastic.  From Batista ramming the Undertaker with the steel steps, to Taker trying to finish Batista off by Tombstoning him on the same steps, both competitors did their best to destroy each other.

    All while remaining in the cell.

    Tables and chairs would also be used.  Undertaker would receive a Batista Bomb through a table, and still manage to kick out.

    Add in the return of Edge and you have one of the most memorable Hell in a Cell matches.

    Edge would return to attack the Undertaker at first with a camera, and then with a steel chair to the Deadman's head.  He would help Batista get the win, and send a message to Taker.

    Even though Edge helped Batista win, nothing should be taken away from the Animal.  It took a lot for Batista to finally go down, and in the end he would give Undertaker one of the most hard-fought matches the Deadman has ever been in.

    Batista vs. The Undertaker might not have been the last great Hell in a Cell match, but it could be considered a true send off to the last of the attitude-era cell matches.

4. Edge vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: SummerSlam, Indianapolis, IN

    When: August 17, 2008

    The Hell in a Cell match between the Undertaker and Edge could be considered the last of the great cell matches.

    Their match would take place during an era where the WWE seemed to be shifting more toward a PG audience.  Even with that, Edge and the Undertaker took each other to the limit, and put on one of the best matches seen in years.

    Edge and the Undertaker would use everything in their match.  From tables and ladders, to a TV camera, these two threw everything at each other and delivered.

    They even managed to break down a part of the cell wall and took the fighting to the outside of the cell, something that hadn't been seen in years.

    When the Undertaker kicked out of a pin, after being hit with the TV Camera, and Edge kicked out after being choke slammed, these two made it clear they were going to take each other to the limit.

    Even the ending of this match was great, with Edge getting thrown through the ring, and the fire coming up from the ring afterwards.

    The Undertaker and Edge put on a fantastic match and showed that regardless of the era WWE is in, two performers could still put on a fantastic match.

3. Mankind vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: King of the Ring, Pittsburgh, PA

    When: June 28, 1998

    One of the most memorable moments in the WWE comes from this Hell in a Cell match. 

    At one point, when the Undertaker throws Mankind off of the top of the cell, and he goes flying down and crashes through an announcer's table, WWE fans knew they were watching something spectacular.

    They also had no idea what type of shape Mankind was in.

    And while being tossed down 15 feet would be enough to stop anyone in their tracks, Mankind would eventually get up, and continue his match with the Undertaker.

    Mankind would climb up the cell once again, only this time to be thrown through the cell, and land on the mat below.

    He would again get up and continue to wrestle the match.  He had enough in him still to deliver a pile driver to the Undertaker on a steel chair.

    If falling from the top of the cell twice wasn't enough punishment for Mankind, he would also be thrown on a pile of thumbtacks twice toward the end of the match.

    Mankind clearly took nasty falls in this match, but came back from both and still took the Undertaker to the limit in this Hell in a Cell.

    Undertaker would get the win in the end, but both of these men would add to their legendary careers with their performance in this amazing match.

2. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack

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    Where: No Way Out, Hartford, CT

    When: February 27, 2000

    Triple H vs. Cactus had it all, and then some. 

    Everything was on the line in this match.  Triple H and his title going up against Mick Foley and his career.

    This match had some of the nastiest bumps of any Hell in a Cell match, specifically when Cactus Jack would crash through the ceiling of the cell, only to land on, and break through, the ring below.

    Clearly Mick Foley isn't afraid to take a few bumps in Hell in a Cell matches.  The fall wasn't the only brutal part of this match though.

    Add the destruction these two caused to one another inside the cell, with chairs and steel steps, and then add the 2 x 4 wrapped in barbed wire they would use on each other—which would eventually be set on fire—and you have a truly brutal match.

    The only thing missing were the thumbtacks.

    And while Triple H seems to have something against Foley now, this match, without a doubt, helped make Triple H the star he would eventually become.

    It's hard to rank matches of this caliber, as the list climbs higher, but this match, without a doubt, should be in everyone's top five Hell in a Cell brawls.

    After this match finally finished, Foley would retire, and Triple H would become a star.

1. Shawn Michaels vs. the Undertaker

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    Where: Badd Blood: In Your House, St. Louis, MO

    When: October 5, 1997

    The first Hell in a Cell match is easily the greatest of the bunch.  Not only do we get to watch a young Shawn Michaels and a young Undertaker battle it out, but we also would see the debut of Kane.

    This match went everywhere.  From inside the ring to the outside area, and even on the roof of the cell, these two battled it out and set the standard for a Hell in a Cell match.

    The success of this match, though, was important for the future of the concept. If this failed, and ended up bombing, the WWE would have more than likely given up on the idea.

    Michael's and Taker delivered, though, and in doing so, filled this match with some pretty nasty bumps.  Without a doubt, Foley getting thrown off the top of the cell is something a lot of wrestling fans have ingrained in their heads.

    But what about the nasty fall Michaels takes in this match?  He's hanging on at the top of the cell when he takes his plunge, and it's one of the nastier falls from a Hell in a Cell match.

    Not only did this match have fantastic wrestling and some pretty nasty bumps, but we would see the debut of Kane that night as well.

    Kane would rip off the cell door just to get to the Undertaker, and put him down with a Tombstone pile driver, giving Michaels the chance he needed to pin Taker for the win.

    Besides being the greatest Hell in a Cell match, this legendary clash between Michaels and the Undertaker is one of the best matches in WWE history.