It’s Hell Week here at With Spandex, and we’re bringing you caged content every day as a build to the pay-per-view event named after a match that’s just like a cage match, but with more cage. We plan on surrounding you with Hell in a Cell-themed content, much like the 25-foot-tall structure that surrounds the ring and ringside area. Enjoy!
Out of 36 Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history (not counting this Sunday), only six have seen more than two Superstars involved. For today’s Hell Week post, we’re looking back at the times we got tag team, triple threat, and multi-man matches in the demonic structure, and are making a case for their return.
The 6-Man Match at Armageddon 2000
The clip on WWE Network kicks off with Kevin Kelly asking The Rock “Now, we know you are ready … but are you prepared?” The People’s Champ cuts off the redundant question. This seems relevant this year, because perhaps Hell in a Cell has become a tad redundant, at least in terms of match structure?
This preceded the first-ever 6-man match in Cell history. According to the WWE Network listing, this match featured The Rock, HHH, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and more. The and more was The Undertaker (who was probably and more’d because it’s Sturgis Motorcycle Daddy Undertaker) and Rikishi (who is just happy to be here) at the height of his heel run.
Total combined value of these main eventers is “probably a billion dollars” according to Jerry Lawler, referencing Vince McMahon’s discomfort with so much talent competing in such a brutal match, a layer to the storyline that I’m buying and wouldn’t mind seeing again. He’s so uncomfortable that he orchestrated a pickup truck filled with hay to rip the door off of the Cell. The same hay that Rikishi would get choke-shoved on from the top of Hell in a Cell, the distant cousin to Foley’s famous fall.
That SummerSlam main event from this year? The one with Lesnar, Strowman, Reigns, and Joe? Imagine those four Mack trucks in the Cell. If you want to go in the other direction, imagine a high-stakes cruiserweight 6-pack challenge in the Cell. The formula works, though it only happened one more time, in 2011 with John Cena, Dolph Ziggler, Alberto Del Rio, Jack Swagger, and CM Punk.
Watch this match on WWE Network here or if you’ve got things to do, peep this:
The Triple Threat Match at Hell in a Cell 2011
The first time Hell in a Cell went with a triple threat lineup was also the last time we saw anything but a traditional one-on-one match in the Cell (not counting the handicap match featuring Ryback and Paul Heyman vs. CM Punk in 2013). Meltzer gave it a 3.75-star rating (if you’re into that kind of thing), and Ricardo Rodriguez influenced the ending. (Of course, that’s the kind of thing that I’m definitely into, and involved a manager character that I miss).
What came to mind as I re-watched this one was how competitive it was. Any of these three could have walked out with the strap — which is the point, I know — but unfortunately isn’t always the case in matches like this. After the Shield reunites and breaks up again, it would be nice to see them in a Cell. Or a mashup of styles like Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn, and Neville. Sure, that’s a far-fetched fantasy, but that’s the brand of optimism I’m bringing to the table here.
(Off-chance that I’m listing this here just because how badass the post-match assault by Hoodie Miz and Hoodie R-Truth was.)
Watch this match on the WWE Network here.
The Tag Team Match at Hell in a Cell 2009
The second-ever tornado tag team bout in the Cell was billed as a legendary team vs. an up-and-coming team. It was the third time in three months (after SummerSlam and Breaking Point) that the squads faced off against each other, with Hell in a Cell being billed as the rubber match.
Chaos ensued immediately, when the upstarts attacked the legends from behind as they were walking down the aisle. The bell didn’t actually ring until about 10 minutes in after Rhodes and Dibiase managed to lock HHH outside of the cage while they “turned the Cell into a torture chamber,” according to Michael Cole.
The angle was Legacy trying to erase the … legacy of DX and though the two-on-one situation resulted in a lot of offense from the young guys ( … Legacy), they never really capitalized on the advantage. Like, say, both guys pinning HBK at the same time? I’m sorry for trying to logic this one out. Maybe this is why Legacy doesn’t exist anymore, I dunno.
It was probably the least exciting of any of HHH or HBK’s matches in the Cell, though the sledgehammer/sweet chin music combo at the end was pleasant. But it’s a reminder that tag team matches can work in this format. Hopefully The New Day and Usos come through in a way that keeps tag team matches in the Cell a thing. Also let’s all use the power of positivity to get The Revival against literally anyone inside Hell in a Cell one day.
Watch this match on the WWE Network right here.