The Hell in a Cell match is one of the most intense matches ever introduced to World Wrestling Entertainment. When it's announced that a Hell in a Cell match is coming in the near future, WWE fans know that they're in for one brutal match that could become an instant classic.
In the early stages of the Hell in a Cell match, the results were good. Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker had the first Hell in a Cell match in October of 1997. Since then, many feuds have used the signature match as a climatic ending for the storyline.
In it's prime, The Undertaker threw Mankind off the cell not once, but twice during their bout at the 1998 King of the Ring. Plus, Mick Foley took another massive bump (a back body drop through the cell at the hands of Triple H) at No Way Out in 2000.
Yes, Hell in a Cell has been great to the WWE. However, the usage of the match has seemed to be tapped out, thanks to the introduction of the Hell in A Cell pay-per-view.
The first Hell in a Cell pay-per-view was held in October of 2009, and fans didn't know how to feel about the program.
With a pay-per-view taking the name of the match, fans expected to be treated to that during the course of the pay-per-view. This is the problem because half of the edge of the match was that nobody knew when it was coming.
To have Hell in a Cell dropped into a feud meant that things were going to get real awfully quickly, and that just doesn't happen anymore thanks to the pay-per-view.
In addition, the people being placed into these matches don't have the same qualifications that their predecessors had.
With the retirements (and aging) of guys like Michaels, the Undertaker, Foley, Triple H and others, the WWE has been forced to use talent whose skill sets don't mesh with the Hell in a Cell match.
The biggest example of this was last year's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view in which both the WWE Championship match between Alberto Del Rio, CM Punk and John Cena and the World Heavyweight Championship between Randy Orton and Mark Henry were solid matches that didn't need the cell.
In other words, the use of Hell in a Cell seemed forced and unnecessary. This year, it seems like the WWE may run into that same problem.
While the World Heavyweight Championship (which will involve Sheamus and the Big Show) seems to mercifully be steering away from Hell in a Cell, the WWE championship will likely involve Punk defending against a 50-percent version of Cena (who is recovering from elbow surgery).
Add in that the WWE seems to be gun shy in their recent programming with Linda McMahon running for a seat in the United States senate, and the company could throw on two matches that could have fans thinking "I should just save my 60 bucks this time."
It's a troubling trend for a match that could be so entertaining if the WWE used it correctly. Until they can find a way to fix it, the Hell in a Cell match could be a shell of it's former self.