The following is is my ranking of every Hell in a Cell match that has occurred in WWE from worst to best which I shall try to keep every time another Hell in a Cell match happens.
As usual this all my opinion and is mainly based on my enjoyment of the matches, I also wouldn’t say it definitive and you could probably swap a few around, but here’s how I rank them currently,
-There was a HIAC dark match that happened after Raw in 2011 and while I have seen it, it’s not worth counting.
37. Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man (Wrestlemania XV) – **
One of the only Cell matches that I haven’t enjoyed, mainly just a dull brawl with the crowd not giving two shits and it’s hard to buy Bossman getting hurt being thrown into the cell with his massive protector vest on. The most memorable thing happens after the match when Bossman gets hung from the Cell.
36. Undertaker vs. Kane (Hell in a Cell 2010) – **1/4
I hated this match when I first saw and while I’m not so harsh on it now, it’s still not very good at all. Some of it is just a bit dull and the whole finish with Bearer shining light in ‘Taker’s face from the urn came off a little awkward.
35. Undertaker & Stone Cold vs. Kane & Mankind (15/6/98) – NR
More of an angle than an actual match, with ‘Taker spending his time beating up Paul Bearer in the cell, whilst Kane climbs on top to try and get in and Austin beats up Mankind on the outside before hitting a stunner inside and getting the win. Still alot more entertaining than the previous two matches though.
34. CM Punk vs. Undertaker (Hell in a Cell 2009) – ***
For a 10 minute match this is pretty good, but it felt completely throwaway for a cell match. I mean the whole Punk/Taker feud of 09 was very dissappointing and they might have well have not bothered putting it in the Cell. Still enjoyable but doesn’t feel right.
33. Mark Henry vs. Randy Orton (Hell In a Cell 2011) – ***
A decent match-up with it mainly being Henry beating around Orton. doesn’t have the quickest of paces and there’s a bearhug that happens which really drags but they do well enough despite Henry’s limitations and lack of big spots.
32. Mankind vs. Kane (Raw 24/8/98) – ***
Fun match considering its very short run time. Mankind gets thrown off the side beforehand and there’s lots of chair shots thrown about. The only issue is Stone Cold coming out from under the ring and attacking Kane making it a non-finish, which seems stupid in a cell match, but I guess that’s the Attitude Era for you.
31. CM Punk vs. Ryback & Paul Heyman (Hell In a Cell 2013) – ***
Pretty much Ryback/Punk II rather than an handicap match, since Heyman spends the entirety on top of the cell. It’s a pretty good match though, does have its slower moments and don’t think it’s as good as their first one, but they do add a nice table bump to the mix.
30. John Cena vs. Randy Orton (Hell In a Cell 2009) – ***1/4
A solid match, but one that feels a little too tame for a cell match. I remember not liking it all when I first saw and it made me fearful of future PG era cell matches because of it’s tameness. It should probably be lower down the list because of that, but my view of it has changed over time and I now quite enjoy it.
29. Ryback vs. CM Punk (Hell in a Cell 2012) – ***1/4
Another one of the shorter Cell matches that only runs around 12 minutes but they do well with their time and deliver a good match. Not so fussed on the screwjob finish which feels more underwhelming being in a cell match, I know Punk was a chickenshit heel at the time but it just doesn’t hold up on re-watch, where you are only getting a fragment not the whole ongoing story.
28. Triple H vs. The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. HHH vs. Stone Cold vs. Kurt Angle (Armageddon 2000) – ***1/2
Just one big fun chaotic brawl, loved this as a kid and it was the first cell match to happen when I started watching wrestling, not as big on it these days but it’s still solid.
27. Undertaker vs. Shane Mcmahon (Wrestlemania 32) – ***1/2
I know alot of people dismiss the match and just focus on Shane’s mental dive off the Cell, but I actually still enjoy the whole match overall. Yeah it maybe clunky and slow but I think they do some good stuff.
26. Randy Orton vs. The Undertaker (Armageddon 2005) – ***3/4
Really good cell match filled with good action and spots, feel like I should like it more than I do but I still really enjoy it nonetheless.
25. Kevin Nash vs. Triple H (Bad Blood 2003) – ***3/4
I think I also like this Cell match more than most, but I honestly think it’s really good with a nice variety of weapons like a toolbox and barbed wire 2×4. I’ll admit the finish isn’t great but I think it works.
24. Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell 2013) – ***3/4
Very good Cell match with some nice spots, but I feel like it lacks good climax as it kind of just goes into the finish with the whole HBK/HHH BS which I think lets the match down a little.
23. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho (Judgement Day 2002) – ***3/4
I feel like this match is nearly on the cusp of greatness but just seems to be lacking something, I mean the whole Y2j/HHH feud at the time was a little disappointing but I dunno I still think it’s a really good match and think the finish on top of the cell was an interesting touch, even though I think it may have hindered peoples expectations who at the time were used to seeing people thrown off.
22. Rusev vs. Roman Reigns (Hell in a Cell 2016) – ***3/4
Certainly a sleeper hit of a Cell match that exceeded expectations. No idea why Reigns gets table out and it never gets used but despite that it’s all very good.
21. Randy Orton vs. John Cena (Hell In a Cell 2014) – ***3/4
Big improvement over their previous Cell match with better spots, good nearfalls and one of the best ‘RKO out of nowhere’ that I’ve seen.
20. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton (Hell in a Cell 2010) – ****
Another Cell match that really exceed expectations, up until that point the matches in their feud had been solid, but here they really delivered a great one. Does take them a bit to really kick it up but I liked Sheamus’ work on Orton’s ribs and their use of steel steps(except the pointless Irish Curse done on top of them).
19. Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt (Hell in a Cell 2015) – ****
Another Cell sleeper hit, does have a bit of dead air at times but it has some nice spots and bumps and is just great overall.
18. DX vs. Shane & Vince Mcmahon/Big Show (Unforgiven 2006) – ****
This was just a ton of fun, the crowd were super into it and it’s just a joy to watch.
17. Kevin Owens vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell 2016) – ****
Almost forgot how good this one was has some great spots and a good use of the cell. Could argue that Y2J’s interference was a little too much but felt like it worked.
16. Triple H vs. Shawn Michaels (Bad Blood 2004) – ****
Now here’s one that has divided opinion, the longest Cell match of all time coming in at a whopping 47 minutes and I really like it alot. I will admit that it is a little too long and the finish does take too much time. I mean liked that they were going for them both being so fatigued that they were struggling to move but I don’t think it was totally successful. Other than that I love the buildup of the end and HBK having problems with his back being one of the main focuses of the match. They told a good story and it mostly worked.
15. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte (Hell in a Cell 2016) – ****
Here’s another match that has been divisive which I also like alot. sure it’s a little rough. there’s an awkward table bit and the finish is odd, but it had an intensity that alot of modern Cell matches sometimes lack and was full of some really good action. I also appreciate the finish more now, since it does play well into Sasha’s injured back and all in all I thought this was a great first effort for a women’s Hell in a Cell.
14. Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker (No Mercy 2002) – ****
While it may be minimal on weapons and big spots, this still has a certain level of brutality and intensity that makes it really work. It disappointed me as a kid but I’ve really grown to appreciate it as time has gone by.
13. Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker (Hell in a Cell 2015) – ****
A great second cell match and fitting end to their feud. They did exposed canvas stuff which I think was a first for a WWE ring and I loved the finish which was a great call back to their Summerslam and Wrestlemania match with Lesnar using a Low blow and then a third F-5 to finish off Undertaker. Just really good stuff all in all.
12. CM Punk vs. Alberto Del Rio vs. John Cena (Hell in a Cell 2011) – ****
Great triple threat cell match with lots of cool spots. ’nuff said.
11. Batista vs. Undertaker (Survivor Series 2007) – ****
A great concise 20 minute Cell match that was a perfect end to probably the best feud of 2007. Also marked the welcome return of Edge and the start of his great fued with the Undertaker.
10. DX vs. The Legacy (Hell in a Cell 2009) – ****1/4
This is one of the Cell matches that sticks out as being a little different to others. I love the story they told with them starting on the outside then Legacy isolating HBK from Triple H inside the cell. I will admit that it takes a little too long for Triple H to get back into the match-up, but overall I loved what they went for and enjoyed the hell out of it.
9. Shane Mcmahon vs. Kevin Owens (Hell in a cell 2017)
This one is nuts and totally awesome. Both guys were definitely out to end each other and there was a fair amount of risky moments, including Shane diving off the cell and Owens taking a fall off the side of it, they even have nice little exchange on top of the Cell that felt very tense. I loved the ending too with Sami Zayn making a surprise appearance and helping owens win, just a shame the follow on from it all was disappointing.
8. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell 2014) – ****1/4
Superb match with a fantastic start. The only thing that I think brings it down is the finish where Bray Wyatt gets involved. With the kind of feud Ambrose and Rollins were having, I feel like they should have settled it their own way. Wyatt’s involvement at the time, I thought was a cool little moment, but on re-watches it doesn’t hold-up and just feels underwhelming. I love the rest of it though.
7. The Usos vs. New Day (Hell in a Cell 2017) – ****1/2
The best Cell match on a HIAC PPV so far. This was awesome, they kept the action constant and some of it was brutal. They go absolutely wild with Kendo sticks and just give each other hell. Had the kind of intensity that works best in these matches and it was highly enjoyable.
6. Edge vs. Undertaker (Summerslam 2008) – ****1/2
A feud that started in a Cell fittingly ends in a cell and it’s plain awesome. Has some great callbacks and spots and the post-match stuff is cool too with ‘Taker chokeslamming Edge off a ladder straight to hell.
5. Triple H vs. Cactus Jack (No Way Out 2000) – ****3/4
Well what can I say it’s great end to a fantastic feud. The match escalates nicely and has some great memorable spots is just super enjoyable overall.
4. Batista vs. Triple H (Vengeance 2005) – ****3/4
Another awesome match that serves as a great end to a feud. It’s brutal, has some great weapon usage including a barbed wire wrapped chair and I love the finish with HHH grasping the sledgehammer has he gets Batista bombed.
3. Undertaker vs. Triple H w/Special guest ref HBK (Wrestlemania 28) – ****3/4
This is one of my favourite matches that i have watched during it’s live broadcast, I was surrounded by friends and we were on the edge of our seats, loving every second of it. It may not had many big cool spots but it does have tremendous storytelling that still holds up wonderfully in re-watch and I just love it overall.
2. Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels (IYH: Bad Blood ’97) – *****
Now these next two picks may seem like the ‘go to’ matches in terms of best HIAC’s. But honestly they both hold special places in my heart and are still awesome to re-watch. I loved this match as a kid and I still love it now. For a first Hell in a Cell manage, they manage to do so much and already set the bar high for future cell matches. Then finally of course there’s the debut of Kane, which I thought was perfectly done and makes the match all that more memorable.
1. Undertaker vs. Mankind (King of the Ring 1998) -*****
I always love watching this match and Mankind getting thrown of the cell is still incredible to watch even now, especially with the reactions from JR and everyone. As a kid I found it completely fascinating watching a batter Foley carry on fighting with his own tooth lodge up his nose. As I mentioned it holds a special place in my heart along with the previous one and has always been the pinnacle of Cell matches for me. It would have to take something truly special to top it. That may sound generic but it’s how I feel.
So that’s how I rank all the cell matches, as I mentioned some of it’s not definitive and may even change over time but that how it is for now.
Thanks for reading.
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