Hey everyone! It's The Wrestling Classic here with another list for ONE37PM. The Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is around the corner on June 20th, 2021. Therefore, I figured it was the perfect time to countdown my favorite Hell in a Cell matches. There have been a plethora of Hell in a Cell matches since the cage-based match's inception in 1997. There have even been two to three of them on a single card since the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view event became an annual show. However, I'll be counting down the 15 greatest Hell in a Cell matches according to me. These are the encounters in the devil's structure that I found the most memorable, must watch and overall enjoyable. That being said, if you're looking to check out some classic Hell in a Cell matches, use this list as a catalog. Enjoy!
Ranking the 15 Best Hell in a Cell Matches of All Time
The best of the best, according to The Wrestling Classic
Raw - 06/15/98
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin & The Undertaker vs. Mankind & Kane w/ Paul Bearer
Bad Blood - 06/15/03
Special Referee - Mick Foley
Triple H (C) vs. Kevin Nash
Bad Blood - 06/13/04
Triple H (C) vs. Shawn Michaels
Survivor Series - 11/18/07
Batista (C) vs. Undertaker
Hell in a Cell - 10/04/09
Tornado Tag Match
D-Generation X vs. Legacy
Hell in a Cell - 10/28/12
CM Punk (C) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Ryback
Hell in a Cell - 10/25/15
Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker
Wrestlemania 32 - 04/03/16
Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker
Hell in a Cell - 10/30/16
Kevin Owens (C) vs. Seth Rollins
Hell in a Cell - 10/25/20
Universal Championship - I Quit
Roman Reigns (C) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Jey Uso
Hell in a Cell - 10/25/20
Drew McIntyre (C) vs. Randy Orton
The 15 Best Hell in a Cell Matches:
15. Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins w/ J&J Security
Hell in a Cell - 10/26/14
This was one of those Hell in a Cell matches from the modern era that tried to live up to the lore of the cell. Ambrose climbed up the cell before the match even started; it's always exciting when the fight goes to the top of the cage. At one point there were four men on top of the cell fighting as Rollins sent J&J Security to the top of the cage before he made his way up there. The two men also created a memorable moment when they both fell off the side of the cell through the tables at ringside. It seemed as if the match ended before it could even start, but eventually both men got back into the ring, giving us a great match that saw them use tables, cinder blocks and fire extinguishers. Ambrose fought against all the odds set against him by the Authority, but it would be Bray Wyatt's surprise appearance that cost Dean the match.
14. Sasha Banks (C) vs. Charlotte Flair
WWE Raw Women's Championship / Hell in a Cell - 10/30/16
I know I have talked about just how significant this match was on both my Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair greatest matches lists I have written for this site. However, I'm going to go over it again. This is one of the most historic Hell in a Cell matches because it was the first time the women entered the cell, the first time they were the main event of a PPV and the first time the Women's Championship was defended inside the cell.
Rightfully so, Charlotte and Sasha Banks were in a year long rivalry that led to the cell match and even continued after. These women went all out to make the match memorable. They even kicked things off by fighting on the side of the cell, only for Charlotte to powerbomb Sasha off it through a table. They used weapons and things got really physical. In the end, the Queen stood tall winning the title.
13. Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
Judgement Day - 05/19/02
Chris Jericho and Triple re-ignited their rivalry from earlier in the year in early Summer on Smackdown. Neither one of them was the Undisputed Champion anymore, but they had unfinished business so it was only right they would settle their differences in the cell.
It was a brutal and violent Hell in a Cell match as the blow-off to their feud. These two went all out and even the referee Tim White suffered a legitimate injury, taking a bump in this match. The fight went to the top of the cell where Triple H brought a 2x4 wrapped with barbed wire up there with him, which played a huge role in the finish. There was a really cool shot of Jericho locking the Walls of Jericho on Triple H on top of the cell. In the end, The Game won the match after a pedigree. This was the first time an individual won the match on top of the devil's structure.
12. Undertaker vs. Randy Orton w/ "Cowboy" Bob Orton
Armageddon - 12/18/05
The Undertaker and Randy Orton started their feud around Wrestlemania 21 and continued when Randy Orton got drafted to Smackdown in the Summer. When it came time to end their feud, they had their final battle in Hell in a Cell. This was a bloody affair where even Randy Orton's dad "Cowboy" Bob Orton and referee Nick Patrick got busted open during the violent encounter. Randy Orton hit a splash on Undertaker through a table, nearly winning him the match, but it wasn't enough. Undertaker would have to take care of both Randy Orton and Bob Orton to pick up the victory. Regardless, The Phenom seemed to be too much for the young Legend Killer inside of the cell.
11. Becky Lynch (C) vs. Sasha Banks
WWE Raw Women's Championship / Hell in a Cell - 10/06/19
Becky Lynch became the biggest thing in women's wrestling and in the WWE generally in the Summer of 2018. "The Man" went to main event Wrestlemania to defeat Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair to become a double Women's Champion. Although Becky lost one of the belts, she continued her dominance. This didn't sit well with Sasha Banks, and when she returned after a four month break, she had her sights set on "The Man". After a “Clash of Champions” match ending in the brawl that went around the arena, it was only the Hell in a Cell that could contain these two.
These two women got innovative with the cell and beat the crap out of each other, but in the end Lynch was able to retain it with a disarmer. This was the second time women entered the cell and they found a way to surpass the first one.
10. The New Day (C) vs. The Usos
Smackdown Tag Team Championship / Hell in a Cell - 10/08/17
It was one of the four tag team Hell in a Cell matches, the first one when the tag titles were defended and the last one to have taken place up until this point. The New Day and Usos were embroiled in an unforgettable yet heated feud in 2017. They even had a street fight in one of their matches for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles prior to this match. They played hot potato with the tag belts for most of the year and they agreed that the final match between the two teams should be inside the cell. Big E and Xavier Woods represented the New Day for this match.
The two teams tore the house down in the best tag team Hell in a Cell match of all time. They were innovative, violent and really made you think either team could win. In the end, the Usos regained the tag titles for the third time, but most of us just remember the match exceeding expectations, even though the expectations were already high considering the teams involved.
9. Batista (C) vs. Triple H
World Championship / Vengeance - 06/26/05
It was the official end of Evolution. The faction ran dominantly from 2002 to 2005. Batista defeated his former mentor Triple H for the World Championship at Wrestlemania and then again at Backlash. Triple H wanted one more opportunity to try to beat The Animal he created and he wanted to do it in Hell in a Cell. Batista wanted to prove that he was the man now and he did just that in this hard-hitting cell match. Triple H pulled out all the stops to try to defeat Batista, whether it was using a chain or a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire. In the end though, Batista dropped Triple H with a spine buster on the steel steps after hitting him with a sledgehammer, and followed that with a Batista Bomb for the win. This would conclude their feud as Batista had earned Triple H's unconditional respect. Triple H would never defeat Batista until their Wrestlemania match 14 years later.
8. Bayley (C) vs. Sasha Banks
WWE Smackdown Women's Championship / Hell in a Cell - 10/25/20
It was the payoff to the five year Sasha Banks and Bayley friendship. They became the best of friends following a feud in NXT. They were a staple duo on the main roster and were the first ever Women's Tag Team Champions. Although they achieved so much success as friends, they always showed signs of having a major falling out due to their massive egos. After achieving the ultimate level of success in 2020 winning all the belts, Bayley turned on Sasha when she lost both of hers. The long awaited rivalry could only be contained by the cell, thus leading Sasha Banks to a third Hell in a Cell match and Bayley to her first.
Both women utilized several weapons during the match, including chairs, kendo sticks, a table, and a ladder. Sasha Banks would force Bayley to tap out to a unique variation of the Bank Statement, involving Bayley's head wrapped in the chair. Sasha Banks not only won the title, but finally won her first Hell in a Cell match.
7. Undertaker vs. Edge
Summerslam - 08/17/08
Edge would always find ways to stack the odds against and overcome the Phenom in the late 2000s. When Edge defeated Undertaker in a TLC match at One Night Stand in 2008, The Undertaker was banished from the WWE as per a stipulation made by then Smackdown General Manager and Edge's fiancé Vickie Guerrero. When Vickie found out about Edge's affair, the heartbroken Guerrero reinstated The Undertaker and booked Edge into a Hell in a Cell match against him at Summerslam.
These two had callbacks to their previous matches—such as weapons from a TLC match and the Undertaker attacking Edge the same way he was attacked at Survivor Series 2007. At one point, the Ultimate Opportunist speared Undertaker through a cell panel, giving them access to the area outside of the cell too. The Deadman picked up the victory after a tombstone, but that wasn't it. Undertaker chokeslammed Edge off the top of a ladder through the canvas, and the area where Edge fell through then burst into flames. It was quite the visual to end the show.
6. Undertaker vs. Triple H
Special Referee - Shawn Michaels / Wrestlemania 28 - 04/01/12
It was dubbed the "End of an Era." In a story that spanned over four years and four consecutive Wrestlemanias, it all came to an end at Wrestlemania 28 inside of a Hell in a Cell match. Undertaker had retired Shawn Michaels when he put his career on the line to get another chance to end the streak. HBK's best friend then went to avenge his friend the following year, but failed to defeat The Undertaker. However, coming so close to defeat the year prior, the Undertaker wanted to face Triple H again. When Triple H accepted, he suggested they go all the way, which meant Hell in a Cell. Shawn Michaels was announced soon after as the special referee.
It was a story of beating the streak and redemption for all three men involved. The storytelling and drama in this match is what made this cell encounter memorable. The violence was there with chair and sledgehammer shots. The Undertaker would end up picking up the victory, but all three men showed high levels of mutual respect for each other following the match.
5. Brock Lesnar (C) w/ Paul Heyman vs. Undertaker
WWE Championship / No Mercy - 10/20/02
Brock Lesnar might have been the WWE Champion, but he was still in his rookie year for the company. The Next Big Thing still had a lot to prove, so it made sense that his first feud after winning the championship from The Rock would be against another veteran in The Undertaker. When their first match at Unforgiven ended in a no contest due to the two brawling all over the arena, it was logical that these two should be locked in the devil's structure for their following encounter. In the time between the two events, Lesnar had broken the Undertaker's hand, which led to him having to wear a cast in the match.
This was a bloody war where even Paul Heyman—who was at ringside, but outside of the cell—managed to get busted open by Big Evil. The Undertaker used his cast to his advantage, but Lesnar was able to avoid the tombstone and hit an F5 for the victory. Lesnar celebrated on top of the cell following the match and further solidified himself as the champion.
4. Triple H (C) w/ Stephanie McMahon vs. Cactus Jack
WWE Championship vs Career / No Way Out - 02/27/00
If one thing was for sure, it was that if Mick Foley entered the cell, he was going to go above and beyond. The year 2000 began with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on a full on power trip after getting married and running off Mr. McMahon. One of their main targets of their newfound power was Mankind, who was fired and reinstated in a matter of weeks. When this led to Mankind getting a street fight match against Triple H at Royal Rumble, he reintroduced his Cactus Jack persona. Cactus was a more hardcore version of Foley that The Game was first introduced to in 1997. Triple H defeated Cactus Jack at the Royal Rumble but offered him one more opportunity at the title inside the cell if Mick put his career on the line, which he agreed to.
This was a hardcore brawl that eventually ended up on the top of the structure. While fighting on top of the cell, Foley would light a 2x4 wrapped in barbwire on fire to attack Triple H before being backdropped through the cell and directly through the ring. Triple H would pedigree Jack to secure the victory after that dangerous bump. This match definitely lived up to the Hell in the Cell name.
3. Kurt Angle (C) vs. "Stone Cold" Steve Austin vs. The Rock vs. Triple H vs. Undertaker vs. Rikishi
WWE Championship / Armageddon - 12/10/00
It only happened once, but it happened with six of the biggest names in the company at the time. What is now dubbed as the Armageddon Hell in a Cell match, it was the first ever cell match to involve six participants. The odds were stacked against WWE Champion Kurt Angle when then commissioner Mick Foley booked this match. All of these guys had crossed paths with each other at some point in the year 2000 and it only made sense to Foley that they settle all their differences inside of the cell, even thought Mr. McMahon was against the idea.
It was an absolute brawl with a ton of great moments and spots considering the characters involved. The cage door was open when Vince McMahon brought a demolition crew out to ringside to tear down the structure mid-match in order to protect his investments (the talent), allowing the wrestlers to brawl outside and on-top of the cell. Rikishi was even chokeslammed off the cell by the Undertaker into a truck bed of saw dust. There were moments it looked like Triple H, The Rock or Steve Austin could have won this match, but Kurt Angle managed to pin The Rock after Stone Cold hit him with stunner to sneak away with the championship in this historic match.
2. Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker
In Your House: Badd Blood - 10/05/97
There is a first time for everything. That being said, at In Your House: Badd Blood, we had our very first Hell in a Cell match between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels to crown the number one contender for the WWE Championship. The feud started when Shawn Michaels cost The Undertaker the WWE Championship against Bret Hart at Summerslam while acting as the special referee. In their first encounter at Ground Zero, the match spilled all over the arena, which led to the Hell in a Cell concept to be conceived so Michaels couldn't run from the Deadman and DX couldn't help Michaels. Due to a cameraman getting knocked out, the cage door was opened, allowing the two to fight outside of the ring and on top of the cell. Michaels fell off the side of the cell, crashing through the Spanish announcer's table when Undertaker stomped on his hands. When the two got back into the ring, Undertaker eventually had the match in the bag, but then the lights went out as Kane made his debut alongside Paul Bearer. Kane tore the door off the cell to confront his brother. Kane tombstoned the Undertaker allowing HBK to pick up the win after getting bloodied and beat up throughout the entire match. The "THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE" call by Vince McMahon and the debut of the Big Red Monster will always be the cherries on top of this already incredible match.
1. Undertaker vs. Mankind
King of the Ring - 06/28/98
This is THAT match. The Hell in a Cell match that set the bar and could never be topped by all the cell matches that followed it. This is the match that even casual, lapsed or even non-wrestling fans know about or have seen. The combination of Mick Foley risking his body to make sure the fans got the bang for their buck, the Undertaker looking ominous as he continued to destroy Mankind and the commentary of Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross was the perfect storm.
It was King of the Ring 1998 and this was technically the second big Hell in a Cell match, if you don't count the time the cell was used in a segment to end Raw. The match started on top of the cage when Mankind climbed to the top to kick things off. This would end with Undertaker throwing Foley off the top of the cell crashing through the announcer tables as Jim Ross belted that Mick had been broken in half. Most of us thought this was it for the match as Undertaker stood proudly on top of the raised cell as medical professionals and backstage personnel helped Mankind out of the arena on a stretcher. However, Foley got up and climbed back up the cell only to be dropped through the cell, crashing to the mat. A chair fell through with Mankind hitting his face on the way down. This was the reason that Foley ended up with a single tooth in his nose, which we saw later as the match went on.
This unplanned bump through the cage roof led to the match getting back inside the ring, and although we thought this was it for the match again... the match continued. Undertaker claimed that Mankind was adamant on getting his thumbtack spot in and that's exactly what they did. The Undertaker chokeslammed Mankind on a pile of spilled thumbtacks before hitting the tombstone for the victory. I also want to mention that Undertaker wrestled this match with a broken ankle and Foley returned later in the night to interfere in the main event. This is the most unforgettable and memorable Hell in a Cell match. It is a match that will never and should never be duplicated again. If you haven't seen this match or at least highlights from it, have you been living under a rock?