The Way Too Long Review for WWE: Hell in a Cell

Given the pay-per-view this weekend, this seemed like a good idea to post.  I actually wonder how many people will just click the link, thinking that we have TV taping results for the show.

And you can check out my preview of Hell in a Cell, the Pay Per View, Wednesday on the TWP Pass, which you can find at or off the i-Tunes store.

Mick Foley hosts the bumpers and says nothing of note.


Match #1: Hell in a Cell
Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker
10/5/97 Bad Blood

Before the match, Michaels flips and begs for mercy, but Sgt. Slaughter is there to tell him to suck it up and take it like a man.  Undertaker starts stalking Michaels, this time (as opposed to Ground Zero) less like the Terminator and more like Michael Myers.  In the ring, the match starts and Michaels tries to get a quick start, but Taker big boots him down.  A couple rams on the turnbuckle, followed by a chokeslam attempt, but Michaels fights out and starts to gain advantage.  No use, Taker fights off.  Clothesline down and Taker gets a halfhearted cover.  Arm ringer and shoulderblocks, followed by the ropewalk.  Taker starts to choke Shawn, and the ref can’t break it up.  Duh, it’s no DQ.  Scoopslam and legdrop gets two.  Backdrop and Shawn’s feet him the roof of the cell.  Taker tries to fight out, but Taker dumps him outside and into the cage.  Shawn climbs the cage, trying to find anyplace to escape, but there is no way out.  Taker flings Shawn off the cage, then into the cage, then clotheslines him down.  He repeats the cage-clothesline spot.  Undertaker tries to powerbomb Michaels into the ringpost, but HBK fights out with punches.  Taker counters that by slamming Michaels into the cage.  Then into the stairs, where Taker lays some punches in.  Ram into the post, then into the corner of the cage, then into the post, then in the corner again.  Fans loved that spot.  Taker tries to use Shawn’s head as a battering ram, but Michaels gets out.  Clothesline by Taker stops any comeback.  They reverse a quick sequence and Michaels ends up mounting Taker for some punches.  Shawn then rolls back into the ring.  Undertaker ends up hitting a hangman on the ropes.  Undertaker tries to get back in, but Michaels knocks Taker HARD into the cage.  Suicida through the ropes, into Undertaker.  He climbs the cage and drops an elbow.  Flying forearm off the apron, and now Shawn picks of the stairs and starts pounding.  Shawn then PILEDRIVES Undertaker on the stairs, and Taker hits with a very audible THUNK!  This match is amazing.  Shawn starts to stomps away, then hits a sledge off top to the outside.  Shawn’s getting cocky, and you know what that means.  He grabs a chair, which is how the feud started, first at Summerslam then on Raw.  Shawn whacks the Undertaker in the back a few times, then disposes of the chair.  He covers for two, but Taker powers out.  Undertaker fights back, but Shawn ties him up in the ropes, and now he’s getting really cocky.  Taker fights off a clothesline with a boot to the face, then backdrops him out of the ring onto a cameraman.  Shawn’s pissed that the cameraman broke his fall or something like that, she he kicks the crap out of him on the outside, thus giving them an excuse to open the cage and get the injured plant… er… worker… er… cameraman out.  Inside the ring, TWO AND A HALF MOVES OF DOOM time as Shawn hits the flying forearm, nips up, then hits the flying elbowdrop.  The cage door gets opened while Shawn tunes up the band.  Sweet Chin music completes the sequence, but Undertaker ZOMBIES UP right away, and now he’s really pissed.  Shawn’s scared now, and he bails and escapes the cage.  He tries to knock out Undertaker, but gets catapulted into the cage, and now Shawn’s bleeding.  Undertaker uses Shawn as a battering ram on the cell, giving him two brutal bumps into the cage, but Shawn fights out a third one with a low blow.  Now Shawn wants to get away from Taker, so he climbs the cage, kicking at the Undertaker.  Undertaker keeps coming after him like a horror movie monster.  On top of the cage, and Shawn gets backdropped.  Man, if he was 100lbs heavier, that cage would have broken.  Thank god they would never let anything like that happen.  Press slam on top of the cage, and now Shawn’s trying to climb down, but Undertaker fights him off and Shawn crashes through the table.  Undertaker then climbs down and throws HBK into the other table.  He then throws Shawn off the top of that table into the broken one.  Man, this is just crazy stuff, and more meaningful ultimately then Foley’s bumps during the second Hell in the Cell at King of the Ring.  Shawn’s a bloody mess, and now they’re back inside the ring.  Clothesline by Undertaker, while Earl Hebner padlocks the door shut.  Undertaker chokeslams Shawn off the top rope, then grabs a chair, just to complete the revenge.  Shawn feeds Taker a brutal shot to the head.  Undertaker calls for the Tombstone, BUT WAIT~!! because the lights go out and Kane makes his WWE debut.  They have a stare off, and Undertaker is stunned.  Kane sets off his ring pyro, then Tombstones Taker down, knocking him out.  Shawn covers for the three.
***** People think the finish ruined the match.  Well sorry, but Shawn was a month away from being WWE Champion again, Undertaker was moving on to the Kane feud, and neither guy really should have jobbed clean.  The ending debuted Kane, who’s been in the WWE for over ten years now.  Everything before the finish was as perfect as you can get in a grudge match where no titles are on the line between two guys who are supposed to HATE each other.  This was the match of the year of 1997 and is still the best Hell in a Cell match there has been.

Match #2: Hell in a Cell
Mankind & Kane vs. Steve Austin & The Undertaker
6/15/98 Raw

Kind of forgot about this one.  If I recall correctly, this isn’t really a match, just a very elaborate angle.  Undertaker no-shows, so Mankind and Kane charge Austin.  He wipes out Mankind but ends up in a brawl with Kane.  They slug it out wildly on the ramp while Paul Bearer locks himself in the cell.  Kane backdrops Austin on the ramp in a pathetic looking spot.  Mankind joins him for a 2 on 1 brawl.  Meanwhile, Undertaker cuts a hole in the ring and jumps Paul Bearer.  Mankind and Kane try to save but Bearer locked himself in.  Mankind gets jumped by Austin while Kane tries to break into the cell.  Undertaker beats the crap out of Bearer for the better part of five minutes, busting him open, while Austin KOs Mankind with the title belt.  Austin keeps slugging away on Mankind and chairs him in the back.  He hasn’t even taken off his vest yet.  Another chair shot, this one to the face, and it’s lights out for Mankind.  Austin stomps him around some more and this segment is really dragging.  Undertaker hits Bearer with the steps while Kane stands on the roof and watches.  Austin climbs the cage and slugs away at Kane, and that’s it.  Fade to black.
No Rating This should not have been included on the DVD.

Match #3: Hell in a Cell
Mankind vs. Undertaker
6/28/98 King of the Ring

Nothing special happened during this match, if I recall correctly.  They start on top of the cage, and Mankind hits Taker with a chair a couple times.  The cage nearly breaks as they walk around.  Mankind tries to suplex Taker, but Taker throws him off the top of the cage through the SAT, in what is the second most famous moment in the history of the WWE, behind Hulk Hogan body-slamming Andre the Giant.  The match looks like it’s over, as Terry Funk and a few doctors come out to check on him.  Vince McMahon breaks character to check on Foley.  The cage gets raised to make room for a stretcher.  Taker looks almost super-heroish, standing on top of the cage as it’s raised several feet.  After over five minutes of stalling for recovery time, Mankind gets off the stretcher and wants to continue.  He climbs back up the cage, with a dislocated shoulder for fucks sake.  Taker then gives him what might have been the worst chokeslam of all time, except for the fact that the cage broke accidentally and Mankind falls all the way down to the canvas.  As if that isn’t bad enough, a chair flying down after him and breaks injures his jaw, and knocks out a few teeth just to make things better.  The Undertaker later revealed that he thought Mick Foley had died in the fall.  Mick was actually knocked out cold on his feet.  Taker drops into the cage, breaking his ankle in two places just to make things better.  He chokeslams Terry Funk out of his shoes to buy some more time.  Mick fights to his feet, but Taker knocks him down into a pile.  Ropewalk is stopped by Mick, and he’s on his feet somehow.  A close-up shows that a tooth in inside Mick’s nose.  He looks like he’s smiling.  Actually he’s trying to show that he can press his tongue completely through his lip.  He tries to pick up steel stairs, but he can’t, and Taker starts to beat him with the stairs.  Taker gives Mick a couple quick punches against the cage, but misses a suicida through the ropes and knocks himself out on the cage.  Mick grinds Taker into the cage, and now Taker is bleeding.  In the ring, Mick hits Taker hard with a stump pulling piledriver on a chair for two.  Sick looking.  Leg drop on a chair on Taker’s face for two.  Double-Arm DDT, and he goes under the ring to get a bag of thumbtacks.  He tries to knock Taker down onto the Tacks.  Taker fights out, but Foley grabs the claw.  Mankind ends up taking a cave in splash on the tacks.  Chokeslam on the tacks, good lord.  Tombstone finishes the match.
**** I can’t believe anyone would give this match 1/2*.  Some people want to hate this match for hate’s sake.  The bottom line is this is one of the most memorable matches in the history of pro wrestling.  Not only were their two HUGE bumps, but the match kept going and it told a story.

Match #4: Hell in a Cell
Kane vs. Mankind
8/24/98 Raw

I completely forgot about this one.  This was the kick off of Mankind’s babyface turn.  Undertaker and Kane had a conspiracy thing going here where they wanted to work together to win the WWE Championship from Steve Austin and they solidified it by having Kane turn on Mankind while they were still tag champions.  This would be the last time I was actually interested it a Kane angle until the Snitsky feud over six years later.

Undertaker comes out with Kane.  Mankind tries to climb the cell before the match starts, but the referees pull him down.  He wipes a few of them out, slams the door into Kane’s head, then runs to the other side of the cell.  There, he botches throwing a chair onto the roof of the cell twice.  The second time is especially hilarious as the chair lands on Jerry Lawler, who gets up for a second looking pissed, then remembers that it’s still wrestling and he should be selling it, so he falls down.  In 2000 at No Way Out, Foley would again botch the ‘throw the chair on the roof’ spot in what was the last match of his run as a full time wrestler.  He should have known better to try it after this match.  Mankind gives up and climbs, so Undertaker climbs the cage and yanks him down and through a table, where Foley’s head bounces against the guardrail with a sickening thud.  Christ Almighty, nasty bump.  It’s amazing that ten years later he’s still standing.  Foley seems like he’s legit knocked out on his feet… again… and stumbles around while Kane and Taker smack him around.  Kane slams the door onto him, then hits him with stairs in a move horribly telegraphed by Foley.  Chair shot by Kane and then a plancha to Foley on the floor.  Mankind bails under the ring.  Kane doesn’t know it and tries to kill him by throwing stairs at him.  He acts all shocked when Foley is gone.  The Rock might have been on to something calling him a big red retard.  Where else could he have gone but under the ring?  Foley sneaks up behind him with thumbtacks and a chair.  Another horribly telegraphed chair shot, this one to Kane.  To his credit, he takes an unprotected shot to the head with gusto.  Foley goes to pull out thumbtacks, but Kane hits him in the back of the head, and in what is a botched spot, Foley slips and lands face first into the thumbtacks.  Foley is up and he catches Kane in the stump-pulling piledriver.  Kane bounces on the bump for it and lands in the tacks, popping the crowd.  Zombie sit-up by Kane while Foley climbs the top rope.  Kane chairs Foley off the top and chokeslams him.  Tombstone piledriver hits for Kane but he chooses not to cover.  Instead, Kane loads up a chair and hits two unprotected shots to the head (called three by Jim Ross), then another Tombstone, this one on a chair… for two after Austin saves.  And the ref calls for the bell… in a Hell in a Cell match?  The fuck?  And did they really need to protect Mankind?  After eating two chair shots and two Tombstones, I think it’s safe to say eating a pinfall isn’t going to make his jobbing any better or worse.  Taker climbs the cell trying to save Kane while Austin chairs him.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~! Undertaker breaks through the cage and gets one foot through, but the cell starts to raise up.  It’s done by Vince McMahon to protect his Summerslam investment.  Austin is pissed, so Kane eats another KICK WHAM STUNNER~!
** A couple nice spots but lots of botches.  DQ ending was a brain fart and a half.

Match #5: WWE Championship, Hell in a Cell
(c) Triple H vs. Cactus Jack
2/27/00 No Way Out

Foley has said many times that he wishes he had retired following the Royal Rumble, so he’s obviously not that big a fan of this match. I haven’t watched it since it aired in 2000, so I’m going into it fresh here.  There are dozens of chains on the door, so there should be no escape for Mick.  He had promised to fall off the cage here, but doing an elbow onto Trips while he did so.  Good booking gimmick, actually.  Big brawl to start.  Mick looks like he’s in great shape here.  Ground and pound by Foley, then more punches.  Shoot to the corner and a forearm shot.  Foley tries to kick the door open, then stops Trips coming off the apron with an axehandle.  Brawl around the ring.  Trips gets advantage in the ring and fires off a dozen punches or so.  Mick fights out of that with a clothesline.  He lowers his head and eats a facebuster.  Trips misses a charge and gets backdropped to the floor.  A better spot would have been Trips getting backdropped out of the ring and into the cage.  Ugh.  Why have the cage if they’re not going to go full board with it?  Mick grabs a chair but Trips knees him off the apron and into the cage.  To the floor, Trips whips Mick into the stairs for Mick’s trademark sick bump off the stairs.  Mick gets sent into the ringpost, then Trips grabs the stairs.  Lawler notes on commentary that Mick must have magnets in his head, because it’s attracted to metal objects.  SICK ASS looking spot where Triple H throws the stairs into Mick.  He then puts the stairs on top of Cactus and smacks the stairs with a chair a few times.  In the ring, chair shot to the back and then the face gets two.  DDT by Trips for two, two, and two.  Trips is getting mad so he grabs a chair.  Cactus says to bring it, so Trips charges.  Mick counters with a punch to the gut, and then a chair to the balls.  Double arm DDT to the chair gets two.  Russian legsweep into the chair gets two for Cactus.  Mick opens the chair and places it in the corner, but Trips fights back.  He brawls Trips into taking a seat in the corner, then tries to hit the running knee-smash in the corner but Trips gets a drop-toehold, with Mick’s head spattering on the chair.  It gets two.  Trips brawls him out the ring, throwing him into the cage a few times. Trips loads up a pedigree on the stairs but Mick counters and slingshots him into the cage.  Trips is bleeding now, so Mick throws him into the cage a few times.  Mick perches on the stairs like a vulture to see the damage he’s done, then grates Trips on the cage.  Mick slings Trips by the hair into the cage, then brawls some more.  Mick drops the Big Elbow, only he uses a chair, off the second rope and to the floor.  Nice spot, huge FOLEY! chant for that.  Cactus grabs the stairs and throws them at Trips, but misses and it knocks one of the panels off the cage.  Mick does a running Cactus Smash to the cage, busting a full hole in the cell.  Mick tosses Trips through the steel and to the ringside area, where Mick puts him on the announce table.  Piledriver on the table, which doesn’t break.  Fans are going crazy as Mick looks up at the cage.  He starts to climb, and the fans go completely nuts.  Stephanie McMahon grabs his leg, so Mick climbs down.  He takes out Triple H again and then grabs a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire.  Mick’s arm is bleeding badly from cutting it on the hole in the cage.  Barbed wire shot to the face by Cactus to Trips.  Trips climbs the cage, so Mick gives chase.  Cactus tosses the 2×4 onto the top of the cage, but Trips stops him and saws at his face with the barbed wire.  A kick sends Mick off the side of the cage and through the table in the same spot that Shawn Michaels took in the original Hell in the Cell.  Trips stays on top of the cell while Foley recovers and grabs a chair. He tries to toss the chair on top of the cage, but he throws like a girl and fails three times.  Well, that was awkward and killed the crowd.  Mick climbs anyway and so Trips meets him with a shot with some barbed wire on top of the cell.  Another shot and the wire, ripping apart his flannel.  A few more shots with it and the wire is all messed up on it.  Trips goes in for the kill shot, but Mick low blows him.  Mick brawls him around the cage, into the corner where the cage almost gives away.  If that had happened, Trips would have been really fucked up.  Mick gives Trips a snap suplex on top of the cage.  Double arm DDT on top of the cell, and then Mick gets that crazy gleam in his eye again.  He grabs the 2×4 and lights it on fire.  Lawler tells Triple H to just jump.  Shot to the face with the burning 2×4 by Mick.  He loads up Trips for a piledriver on the burning 2×4, but Trips backdrops him through the roof of the cage and into the mat, which is gimmicked to break.  Another awesome looking spot, drawing a huge “Holy shit!” chant from the crowd.  Trips is all crazy looking on the roof.  He climbs down, then looks over the damage.  Mick looks dead, and Triple H lightly kicks at him as if to check for signs of life.  Mick actually starts to move, and Trips freaks out.  Triple H punches him, but Mick is still crawling at him like the Terminator.  Trips picks him up and Foley is terminated, mother fucker.
***** An awesome match, one of the better Hell in a Cells.  The high spots were really good, and the brawling was top notch too. Can’t really figure out why Foley disliked this match so much, other then the beating he took.  But artistically there’s nothing be ashamed of here.

Match #6: WWE Championship, Six-Man Hell in a Cell
(c) Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi vs. The Rock vs. The Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Steve Austin
12/10/00 Armageddon

The storyline here was that Vince McMahon was having a nervous breakdown because of Mick Foley’s actions as WWE Commissioner and was trying to talk everyone involved out of not going through with this match.  That comes into play later.  Austin was feuding with Trips, Rocky with Rikishi, Taker was kind of between feuds, and everyone hated Kurt Angle for reasons he just plain didn’t understand.  Funny enough, I’ve never seen this match properly.  I ordered the show but the good people at Charter Communications botched it, as always.

Censorship Note: Undertaker’s “Rollin” theme is replaced by a WWE owned version.  More logo blurring then usual as well.

Austin jumps Angle (who entered third) on the outside and a huge brawl breaks out.  Austin ends up with Trips, Rocky with Rikishi, and Angle with Taker.  Random brawling while the refs chain them into the cage.  Taker punches Angle down and covers for two.  More random brawling.  I hate these kind of matches.  Rock and Rikishi alone in the ring, where Rikishi gets the upper hand, then Rocky fights back and they brawl randomly some more outside the ring.  Austin and Trips in and they run the exact same fucking sequence, only with their signature moves.  In this case, a face-buster by Trips followed by the Thesz Press and FU Elbow from Austin.  Head of steam from Austin gets two.  Flying knee by Trips and they bail from the ring to give Angle and Rocky a turn in the ring.  Belly to Belly by Rocky gets two.  Back elbow by Angle knocks Rocky out of the ring.  Taker low-bridges Angle out of the ring, tosses him in the ring, then tosses him out of the ring again.  Weird.  Trips suplexes Austin on the floor.  Random brawling again.  After a minute or so of nothing, Austin starts to grate Triple H’s face against the cage.  A little more grating and Trips is bleeding.  more grating, and then in a cool spot Austin drags Triple H’s face across the entire length of the cage.  Awesome awesome awesome!  Austin tosses Trips in but then eats a sick legdrop across his neck from Rikishi that looked like death.  Austin is out of it and Rikishi turns around into the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! for two as Rocky saves.  KICK WHAM DDT~! by Rocky gets two.  Angle saves and hits the Angle Slam for two.  Austin saves, KICK WHAM STUNNER~! for two.  Taker saves, chokeslam for two as Trips saves, despite what looks like a missing cue.  Taker is pissed and slams Trips around a bit.  In the ring, Austin and Rikishi go at it.  Thesz Press on Rikishi but he doesn’t hit the FU elbow for some reason.  BUT WAIT~!  Vince McMahon drives a pickup truck full of hay down to the ring and pulls off the cell door with it.  McMahon actually blows out his knee jumping off the back of the truck and had to be held up by Pat Patterson.  You can’t help but laugh.  Four years later, at the Royal Rumble, Vince blew out both his knees coming down to the ring to restart the Rumble match.  The lesson learned is when Vince McMahon is making a cameo on a show, get ready to watch him destroy his knees in hilarious fashion.

Anyway, there’s now a truck with hay in the back of it next to the ring, in an example of extreme telegraphing.  He brings a crew down with him in an attempt to tear down the entire cell, but Foley puts a stop to it and  McMahon limps around but gets pulled away by security screaming.  Not kicking.  Oh no, he wouldn’t be doing much of that over the next couple months.  Anyway, the door is now off the cell and so the action spills out onto the set, a series of demolition derby cars.  Trips gets slammed onto a car, then has a boom mic thrown into him.  More brawling, and Trips throws Austin through the truck’s window in a nice spot.  Rikishi and Angle brawl in the cars, and Angle gets thrown through a window as well, but the camera misses it.  This is why having six guys brawl without tagging is not a good idea.  They just can’t follow the action.  Austin is bleeding now.  Kurt is bleeding from his back and arm.  Rocky tries to hit the Rock Bottom on Trips on top of a car but it doesn’t work.  Low blow by Trips leads to a pedigree on top of a car.  Nice spot.  Rocky is bleeding now too.  And Rikishi.  This leaves only Undertaker.  More brawling around the cars.  Austin catapults Trips into one.  I have got to give Trips credit here, he has his flying shoes on for this match.  Austin tries to kill Trips with an oil drum but misses.  Taker is brawling with Angle on the time keeper’s table.  Shots with a microphone by Taker but Angle fights back and chairs him in the head in a sick bump.  Taker is bleeding too.  Trips climbs on top of the cell.  Austin gives chase and climbs up the other side.  Trips is apparently an idiot and doesn’t notice this.  Big slugout on top of the cell, where Austin actually bumps like a mad man.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~! to Trips on top of the cell.  Fans… and sadly the cameraman, barely notice because Angle and Undertaker are climbing too.  Ugh.  Angle is on top of the cell and gets beat up by Austin.  Austin goes back to Trips, while Taker fights with Angle, who’s face gets busted open.  Six bladders in one match.  Rikishi and Rocky start climbing but Rikishi kicks Rocky off.  Austin and Trips have climbed down.  Taker threatens the time keeper into tossing him up a chair.  He kills Angle with it.  Rikishi up and he chairs Angle and Undertaker.  Angle starts to climb down while Taker and Rikishi brawl on the roof.  Taker grabs a chokehold and pushes Rikishi off the top of the cell and into the back of the pickup truck.  Austin and Rocky get nose to nose and the fans go nuts.  They start to brawl and the Wrestlemania 17 main event is confirmed.  Spinebuster by Rocky to Austin and he calls for the People’s Elbow.  Triple H saves Austin by clotheslining Rocky.  Rocky dumps Trips and hits the Rock Bottom on Kurt Angle out of nowhere for two as Austin saves.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~! to Rocky for one as Trips saves.  KICK WHAM STUNNER~! is turned into a neckbreaker by Triple H in a brilliant counter, but Angle drapes an arm over Rocky and gets the pin out of nowhere.
*** Way too much random brawling and some bad production values overshadow what was otherwise a pretty entertaining brawl.


Match #7: Hell in a Cell
Triple H vs. Chris Jericho
5/19/02 Judgment Day

This was the end of Triple H’s disastrous run as a babyface after returning from his first torn quad.  Having lost all his heat and wrestling in one of the biggest snooze fests a Wrestlemania main event had ever seen, the WWE decided to pull the plug and turn him heel.  BUT WAIT~!  Because as bad as Triple H’s 28 days as Undisputed Champion were, they were nothing compared to Jericho’s run with the belt(s).  Jericho’s reign was so bad and Triple H so colorless as  that they had to try and heat the feud up by having Jericho run over Triple H’s dog.  That didn’t work either.  Naturally, having blown the entire big angle for Wrestlemania, the WWE figured out what they were doing wrong a couple months later and suddenly the Jericho/Triple H feud was red hot.  Jericho got super aggressive and Trips stopped acting like a pussy in every skit.  Throw in the Hell in the Cell and suddenly people actually gave a shit, even though the ending was never in doubt.

I have to say, the set for this show is pretty cool with the titantron right there at ground level on the center of the entrance ramp.  Creates a cool visual.  Fans still aren’t super hot for Triple H, who is incredibly puffy here.  A lot of people chalked it up to steroids, but I don’t think so.  I look at a guy like Triple H and I see someone who is very much into working out.  When he tore his quad, he still wanted to work out so he focused entirely on his upper body.  He got more ripped, and he also lost a lot of mobility.  After the second quad injury, he came back looking more lean then he had since 1998, and likely added another decade to his career as a result.  I guess he learned his lesson.

To the match.  Despite bombing as the Wrestlemania main event that year, expectations were still high because both guys really do have good chemistry together.  The dynamic with Jericho as the heel and Trips as the babyface just plain doesn’t work with these two.  Big slugoff starts the match, to no heat.  Jericho chops away, reversal shoot off by Trips and the flying knee.  Backdrop by Trips and ton of punches in the corner.  He dumps Jericho.  Fans are just completely sitting on their hands.  Trips gives chase but nothing happens on the outside.  Return to the ring where Jericho hits an elbow and mounts some punches.  Kicks to the gut in the corner, reversed by Trips for some punches.  Shoot off by Jericho into the corner but he misses a charge and smashes his shoulder into the ringpost.  On the outside, Trips throws Jericho into the cage a couple times.  The referee is Tim White, and he would receive a legit career ending injury at some point in this match.  I’ll look out for it.  In the ring, Jericho gets slammed into the ringpost and clotheslined down.  Another clothesline and the fans die again.  Suplex gets two for Triple H.  More slamming into the turnbuckle, but Jericho reverses a whip and sends Trips up and over to the floor.  To the outside where Jericho beats Trips a bit and whips him into the cage.  Jericho is bleeding from the arm.  Trips reverses a whip and Chris eats the stairs.  Trips teases a piledriver on the stairs but Jericho gets a double-leg takedown on a Trips, a sick bump that goes unappreciated by the crowd, then catapults him into the cage.  Jericho grabs a ladder and takes Triple H’s head off with it.  The Game has his flying shoes on for this one.  Truth be told, he always does a good human pinball act when he’s in the cell.  Jericho grates Trips on the cage, drawing blood.  In the ring, he hits Trips in the head again.  Whip to the corner on the ladder by Jericho sends Trips flying out of the ring.  Jericho throws the ladder on top of him.  Slam onto the stairs on the outside.  Trips tries to come back but Jericho whips him into the cage.  Back in the ring, Jericho teases the killing blow with the ladder, but Trips has a chair and smashes the ladder into Jericho.  Straight shot with the chair, which Jericho basically no-sells and retains control of the match with a bulldog on the ladder.  Well, that was kind of weird, and not at all like Jericho.  What the hell were they thinking with that sequence?  Jericho grabs the steel steps but has to pause to reposition them in a way where he can take a bump on them.  Wow, this is getting downright amateur like.  Indeed, Jericho charges with the stairs and gets drop toe-holded onto them.  Trips picks up the stairs and throws them at Jericho in a nice spot that fired up the crowd a bit.  On the outside, Trips lifts up Jericho and uses him as a battering ram against the cage.  Jericho does the whacky ‘double bump’ spot where he bounces off the cage and walks into the ring post.  Save that shit for outside of a cell match.  And now it’s time to say goodbye to Tim White.  This is the career-ending spot.  In the ring, Jericho charges at Triple H, but gets sidestepped and thrown into Tim White’s shoulder, fracturing it.  White does a superhero bump off the apron and into the cell, bounces off of it, and lands on the already broken shoulder, tearing his rotator cuff.  He would not referee another match until Wrestlemania 20, and blew out his shoulder during his first match back (Jericho vs. Christian), ending his career proper.  I must say, the visual was spectacular.  They should show it everytime they’re pimping a new cell match.  Don’t get me wrong, it sucks that his career ended, but man, at least he looked cool doing it.  The spot was planned ahead of time and it wasn’t until the referees came out to help him sell it that anyone had an idea how bad off he was. Anyway, the spot designed as a way for Jericho to try and retrieve the key from Timmy.  Jericho, oblivious that White his injured, picks him up and tosses him (uninjured) shoulder first into the cell.  White, even with his shoulder completely busted, manages to do a decent bladejob.  That’s a dedicated referee there.  Jericho gets into the ring and runs into a spinebuster, while more referees use bolt cutters on the lock to get White out of the cage.  Door’s open now.  Wonder if that will come into play?  Perhaps the sun will rise in the morning as well.  Trips bails out of the ring to look for a weapon.  He has trouble locating it.  Someone put it in the wrong side of the ring.  Sledge to the face knocks Jericho out cold but there’s no referee because Tim White is messed up and all the other referees are tending to him.  Jericho is bleeding now and bails out of the cell.  Trips stumbles out of the cell only to get the door slammed in his face.  They fight over by the announce tables.  Jericho gets the best of Trips and starts to throw pieces of the tables at him.  He misses completely of course.  This match is one of the most entertaining disasters I’ve ever seen.  Jericho loads up a suplex on the table but Trips turns it into a DDT through it.  Trips gets up and grabs a 2×4 wrapped in barbed wire.  Jericho starts to climb the cell to get away from that.  Trips gives chase and they fight on the roof.  Jericho gets the 2×4 and hits a pretty good shot with it.  Look close and you can see it’s wrapped inside.  Jericho gets the Walls on the roof.  Another ref climbs to the roof to ask Trips if he wants to quit.  Trips fights off and Jericho almost rolls off the cell.  Jericho grabs the 2×4 and goes for the kill, but Trips hits a low blow.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! but Jericho backdrops out of it.  Everyone in the audience held their breath on that one, expecting Trips to crash through the roof.  It doesn’t give.  Jericho stalks Trips only to eat an unprotected shot to the head with the 2×4.  It gets two.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! hits for real and Trips pins Jericho on the roof of the cell.
***1/4 Entertaining to be sure but also somewhat sloppy and with lots of head-scratching moments.  There are great cell matches and there are bad cell matches.  This one is somewhere in the middle.

Match #8: WWE Championship, Hell in a Cell
(c) Brock Lesnar vs. The Undertaker
10/20/02 No Mercy

The build to this was actually pretty good.  Brock and Taker fought to a (shitty) no contest at Unforgiven.  Brock got revenge on his post match beating by destroying the Undertaker backstage and breaking his arm with a propane tank.  Thus, Undertaker has a cast on for this match.  Not shown on the DVD is Taker having someone inject him with a heavy dose of pain killers shortly before the match starts.  So the storyline is great before the match even starts, and because they kept it simple… work the arm like a bastard… it makes the match better.  So they start out and Taker tries to hit a big haymaker with the cast a few times.  Brock grabs him in a amateur takedown, but Taker fights off with some brawling.  Brock hits a HUGE powerslam for two.  Brawl in the corner, and Taker works in a big punch to the gut with the cast, and Brock nearly breaks his neck selling it.  Whip into the ropes and Taker tries to kill Brock with the cast, so Brock bails and tries to get out, but there is no way out.  Brock gets back in and starts to work the arm, brawling and trying to rip the cast off.  Taker fights off and ends up getting a huge clothesline with the cast on Brock’s head, but it hurt him just as bad.  Brock is bleeding now.  Taker starts to punch and kick Brock, and his cast has already turned a copper yellow/red.  Nasty.  Brock gets rammed into the corner of the cell, and Taker starts to climb the cage and drop legs.  Taker grinds Brock into the cage, then whips him into the cell clotheslines him down for two outside the ring.  Falls count anywhere apparently.  Taker keeps grating Brock, then throws him BIGTIME into the cell.  Brock’s doing pretty good as a ping-pong ball.  Whodofthunkit?  Legdrop on the ring apron.  Then Taker climbs the ropes and sort of hits a knee off the top, but it looked bad.  It gets two anyway.  Brock gets rammed into the cage a little more, while Paul Heyman freaks out outside the cage.  Taker big boots him through the cell, and now Heyman’s bleeding, because HE’S HARDCORE HE’S HARDCORE!  Brock gets rammed huge into the stairs, then Undertaker grabs Heyman’s tie and starts to beat on him.  Then Brock misses a charge and ends up KOing Paul.  Brock takes advantage and bearhugs Taker into the ringpost and the corner of the cage.  Paul hands Brock his belt and they tie his broken hand to the cell.  Brock grabs a chair and knocks out Taker with it, then starts to smash his broken arm with the steel chair.  Fucking awesome!  Brock starts to rip the cast off, but Taker fights back, and now the painkillers seem to be taking over because he’s flying.  Brock keeps throwing the hand into the cage, then goes to rip the cast off again.  Really, the cast is mangled already to the point where it’s not helping keep his hand healthy, but it can still be a weapon.  Back in, Lesnar stomps the hand and finally rips the cast off.  Taker has nothing protecting it now, and Brock gets on the hand like a pitbull.  He gets a wrist lock on the ropes, trying to mangle Taker’s hand.  Brock sets Taker on the top turnbuckle, then uses the roof for leverage to kick Taker in the face.  Taker fights off and throws Brock off the top, but can’t get any offense in because he’s out of it.  Taker drops an elbow off the top, using the bad elbow, which further hurts him.  Some think the selling is too spotty.  Maybe a little, but I don’t think it’s hurting the match.  Brock gives Taker a hangman, but Taker fights off and big boots Lesnar off the apron and into the cage.  Suicida through the ropes misses and he eats cage, but apparently it hit Brock somewhat too.  Taker tries to pick up stairs, but the arm is injured just like Foley’s was in their Hell in a Cell.  Continuity!  Brock PLASTERS Taker with the steel stairs, and Undertaker blades WAY too deep.  Blood is all over.  One more huge stair shot that looked vicious and Taker is blades AGAIN!  Brock’s cocky now.  Undertaker’s entire face is just covered in the blood.  In the ring, Brock hits a spinebuster for two, then another two.  Blood is noticeably spouting out of Taker’s head, as he just tapped an artery.  Taker starts to punch away with the broken arm, because fuck it, it’s not like he has any blood left in it.  The fucking CAMERA has blood on the lens, obscuring the shot.  Undertaker decides to start working Brock’s arm, and Brock does a manic sell job that’s so brilliant it defies description.  Taker goes for the Ropewalk, but Lesnar armdrags him off.  Thick ass gobs of bloods are just dripping off Taker’s face, as his bladejob was at the time the most violent one ever done in the WWE.  Eddie Guerrero topped it at Judgment Day ’04 against JBL, but this is a mighty blood flow none the less.  Brock goes for the F5, but Taker grabs a chokeslam, his arm limp.  Taker throws him into the corners.  Brock goes for a powerbomb, but Taker backdrops him out of it.  Swinging DDT gets two.  Taker covers and blood drips off his face into Brock’s mouth.  DISGUSTING, and yet I like it.  Taker goes for the wedgie bomb, but Brock fights off with the shoulderblocks in the corner, and ten punches.  Taker uses this chance to get the wedgie bomb for two.  Brock is now covered in UNDERTAKER’S blood.  Taker calls for the Tombstone, but Brock wiggles out, acts like he’s going to Tombstone Taker, but instead throws him up in the air, catches him on his shoulders, F5, good bye.
***** What a great match.  Undertaker’s spotty sell job of the arm was covered up by the HUGE amount of drugs he was shot up with before the match, and the story of Lesnar still working to destroy Taker’s arm was flawless.  A match that told a story in the ring?  Check.  A match that was hard-hitting with no bullshit?  Check.  Gore?  Check.  This was IMO Brock’s best match, and *almost* as good as the Hell in the Cell with Shawn Michaels.  It’s hard to compare one to the other, when they were both so very different.  Regardless of how you feel on that debate, both guys were feeling it this night, just kicking the crap out of each other but keeping things fresh and fast-paced.  Nobody talks about this match anymore, and that’s a shame, because it was a major lost classic.

Match #9: World Heavyweight Championship, Hell in a Cell, Guest Referee Mick Foley
(c) Triple H vs. Kevin Nash
6/15/03 Bad Blood

I have no memory of anything relating to this match, which is usually a bad sign.  Nash’s entire return run with the WWE was a bust.  He blew out his knee his first match back, took off nearly an entire year, came back and ended up being stuck in three PPV world title matches due to contractual obligation by WWE despite the fact that he had done nothing to actually justify pushing him like that.  I don’t even remember how or why he left the WWE.  I’m pretty good at keeping track of this type of stuff, so that should give you an idea how bad it was.  These days he wrestles like TNA and looks like a very tall, muscular wizard not unlike someone you would see at a Warcraft cosplay event.  I think the WWE’s biggest mistake was not making Nash into Diesel once again.  Why not?  At the time he came aboard, retro was in!  Hulk Hogan was so instantly over upon his return at the exact same time that he was given the title before the ink was dry on the contract.  Well, Nash is 50 now and that chance is long past.

To the match, which starts with Nash shrugging off some punches and big booting Trips.  They fight to the outside where nothing happens.  In the ring for some brawling.  Trips gets a hangman and fights back in the corner.  Nash pushes out of it, wiping out Trips and Foley.  Shoot off and a back elbow, then a clothesline over the top and to the floor by Nash.  On the outside, Nash brawls Trips around a bit, then whips him into the cage.  Fans are bored.  Another whip off the cage and a backdrop on the floor by Nash.  Back in, Nash throws a few forearms and elbows, then gets a sidewalk slam for two.  Elbowdrop, then another for two.  Nash grabs a chair and finally the fans start to stir a bit.  Chair to the gut and a SUPER STIFF shot to the back by Nash pops the crowd.  Nash actually seems to want a good match and is showing… gasp… effort?  Trips rolls out so Nash follows, rams him into the cage a few times, then slings him into the stairs.  Nash picks up the stairs and throws them full-force at Trips, who ducks.  If he had taken that shot he would have broken something.  Jim Ross agrees.  Nash loads up the Jackknife but as he picks Trips up, Triple H kicks the cage to force himself back down and brawl Nash down.  He goes under the ring and grabs a tool box.  In one of the dumbest spots I’ve seen, he ignores stuff like the claw hammer, screwdriver, and wrench and opts instead to use the lid to the box itself, which looks like it weighs a couple ounces.  Nash fights him down, so Trips actually does grab the hammer and hits Nash in the leg, then in the head.  Nash should be legally dead at this point.  In the ring, Foley pushes Trips down, while Nash struggles to his feet.  “How did that not fracture his skull?” asks Lawler.  Well, I’ve seen guys jab each other in the eyeballs with spikes in professional wrestling, so a hammer to the skull seems downright tame.  Nash is bleeding and Trips bails to continue the beating.  He punches him around a bit and slams him into the stairs.  Grating on the cage, then back in the ring where Trips grabs the screwdriver and tries to murder Nash with it.  He goes for a stab but Nash stops him.  Trips slips behind him and cuts his head with it.  Trips bails and grabs a 2×4 with barbed wire and smashes Nash in the gut with it.  Trips goes in for the kill but Nash gets a punch and hulks up a bit.  He grabs the 2×4 and hits Triple H in the head with it.  Not too bad looking a shot, either.  Trips is bleeding now.  Nash puts the 2×4 into the top turnbuckle, then rams Trips from pillar to post.  Snake eyes onto the barbed wire 2×4, and Trips takes it like a man.  That’s the only time that move has ever been cool.  Trips is bleeding a ton and Nash covers for two.  Nash bails and grabs the stairs.  Trips bails when he sees Nash slowly coming at him, then shatters a wooden crate over Nash’s face.  This match is so stupid… in a fun way.  Trips bails to grab his sledge hammer.  Foley grabs it from him, so Trips wipes him out.  Trips grabs the stairs for the kill shot, but Nash drop-toeholds him onto it, and Trips actually takes that bump like he’s got a death wish.  It gets two.  Nash with the chair, so Trips kicks him in the injured leg and KILLS HIM with a chair to the face, then chairs Foley in the face for no reason.  Foley is bleeding now too.  Foley is pissed and whips out Mr. Socko.  He slaps the Mandible Claw on Trips, who kicks low to escape it.  Nash grabs the stairs and wipes out both guys, although Foley was no done intentionally.  Foley crawls around looking for the action, so Nash grabs him by the hair to stand him up.  Trips bounces into Nash, who bounces into Foley, who then does the Tim White bump off the apron and into the cage.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! doesn’t work and Nash slingshots Trips into the barbed wire 2×4.  Jackknife powerbomb and Foley quickly slides in and counts… to two as Trips kicks out.  Double KO spot for some reason.  Never good to have one of those right before you go home.  Trips reaches for the sledge hammer while Nash stands him up.  Sledge to the head and KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! finishes the match.  Weak finish.
***1/2 As far as totally insane, unrealistic garbage brawls go, this was a pretty good one right up to the silly finishing sequence.  Likely Nash’s last good match.

Match #10: Hell in a Cell
Shawn Michaels vs. Triple H
6/13/04 Bad Blood

Kill me.  I know I usually reserve that term for Mark Henry or Boogeyman matches, but just wait and see.  A few previous matches had run short and thus these guys were given more time then originally planned.  Lockup to start, and they roll around the ring.  They trade punches in the corner, then Shawn fires off a few chops.  Shoot off and Trips gets Shawn with a stiff backelbow.  Takedown by Shawn and some mounted punches.  Trips dumps Shawn through the ropes, but Shawn lands on his feet and dives back in with a Thesz Press and some more mounted punches.  Shoot off and this time Shawn gets dumped over the top and to the floor.  To the floor, Shawn ducks a punches and tries to cage Trips, who blocks it.  Back in the ring, shoot off and Trips lowers his head into a neckbreaker for two.  Chops by Trips but Shawn gets tossed to the floor again.  Shawn blocks a caging and smashes Trips into the cell.  Trips does a small swipe with the blade off this.  Punches by Shawn and a snapmare into a some fist-drops.  Trips fights back from this by… dumping Shawn to the floor again.  Yeeeesh.  Shawn cages Trips some more.  Back in, Shawn with a snapmare and a stomp to the face.  Ten punch but Trips pushes off of it, only to get clotheslined down.  Shawn dumps Trips over the top with a clothesline, then loads up a suplex on the apron.  Trips blocks it, so Shawn punches him down.  Ugh.  Hardwhip into the corner by Trips, then a couple more.  Shawn’s back is hurting, so Trips drops some elbows on it and stomps away.  Backbreaker by Trips and a suplex for two.  Backbreaker for two.  Trips bails and grabs a chair to fire up the crowd.  Trips stands the chair up but Shawn fights out of taking a backbreaker on it.  They brawl for a little bit, and it’s the same shitty slow-motion brawling they did at the Royal Rumble.  Houston, we have a Wank Fest.  Shawn comes off the apron with a sledge but Trips catches him and rams him from the cage corner into the ringpost.  Trips tosses him into the cage, then punches him down, giving us a good shot at Michaels’ huge bald spot.  Trips tosses Shawn into the ring and then gives him a sidewalk slam on to the chair for two.  More brawling, and Trips hits the backbreaker on the chair for two, two, and two.  Trips gets pissed and chairs Shawn in the back for two.  Trips shoots Shawn off and tries to throw on an abdominal stretch, but Shawn reverses and hiptosses Trips over the top and too the floor.  Trips quickly fights back and smacks Shawn around.  Shawn lowers his head into a pedigree but low blows out of it.  A couple atomic drops and clotheslines by Shawn get two.  Flying knee by Shawn sends Trips to the outside, where Shawn slings him into the cell.  Whip into the stairs by Shawn.  Shawn loads up a piledriver on the stairs but Trips backdrops out of it in a nice bump by Shawn.  Trips grabs another chair and clobbers Shawn in the back with it.  He tosses the stairs into the ring and attempts to kill Shawn with them.  Shawn kicks to escape.  Flying forearm, nip-up, but Sweet Chin Music misses and Trips KOs him with the steel stairs.  Shawn is bleeding, and Jim Ross’ over the top, possibly sarcastic ‘oh my god’ had me laughing.  This is just way too slow paced.  Shawn up, and Shawn down as Triple H just destroys him with the stairs… for two.  Trips punches Shawn a bit and dumps him to the floor.  Trips cages him a bit then uses him as a battering ram.  Some grating by Trips, then back in the ring with a spinebuster for two.  Shoot off and a sleeper by Trips.  Shawn struggles a bit then uses momentum to drive Triple H’s face into the turnbuckle.  Knee to the gut and Trips loads up the pedigree, but Shawn turns it into a DDT and both guys are out.  After… forever… both guys are up and Shawn kills Trips with a chair shot to the face.  Trips blades again from it.  Another sick shot with the chair from Shawn and he crawls over and covers for two.  Face buster by Trips sends Shawn out of the ring, where he quickly grabs a ladder.  Shawn shoots off a Sycho Sid style manic laugh with it.  In the ring, Shawn KOs Trips with the ladder, then slams it into his gut a few times.  He preps the ladder in the corner, then slugs away at Trips, then whips him into the ladder.  I’m shocked that wasn’t reversed.  Shawn does it again, then one more time sending Trips up and over to the floor.  Shawn follows and grates Trips into the cage.  Shawn drops a sledge off the apron as the crowd goes really quiet.  Back in, Shawn preps the ladder into the corner again, but walks into a the KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!, but Shawn takes him down and catapults him into it for two.  Crowd is totally dead.  Scoopslam and Shawn climbs.  Flying elbow misses and we have another double KO spot.  It’s pin-drop silent in the arena.  Trips drapes an arm over for two.  Slugout on the knees, a spot I hate, and it would seem the crowd agrees with me.  Shawn wins out on it and covers for two.  This match sucks.

Pace is a crawl now as Trips falls out of the ring and grabs a chair.  He SLOWLY sets it up, leading to another slow motion brawl and jesus christ someone do something.  Shawn brawls Triple H onto the table and drops an elbow off the top of the ladder through the table.  That gets the crowd going with a HOLY SHIT chant.  Jim Ross calls it an “HBK” chant.  Maybe his real name is Holy Shit Hickenbottom or something.  Anyway, Shawn covers for two.  Shawn tunes up the band but Trips counters Sweet Chin Music with a low blow.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~!! but he’s too out of it to make the cover.  After what seems like a lifetime, Triple H drapes an arm over for two.  Fans pop.  I groan.  Both guys sllllloooooowwwwwllllllyyyy stand up, Trips pushes Shawn and Shawn hits the superkick for yet another double KO spot.  He takes forever to make the cover and gets two.  I’m nearly falling asleep here, no joke.  They’ve gone so long you can’t even see the blood on Shawn’s face anymore.  Another pedigree by Triple H and another double KO spot.  Seriously, kill me.  After over two minutes of lying in the middle of the ring, Trips stirs and Shawn starts to stand up.  Pedigree #3 hits and looks vicious.  Trips takes forever to drape one arm over in one of the most overly dramatic covers I’ve ever seen and finally ends this snooze fest after 47 minutes of pure pain for the viewer.
DUD This match was Nyquil in Spandex.  And I can’t stress enough, in wrestling it’s not what you do but how you do it.  I’ve seen bad matches where guys make a good effort but blow spots and have a bad storyline with a dead crowd.  This wasn’t really that.  Every move was hit crisply, every spot well executed… and yet the overall product was just soooooo boring, so lifeless, and at times actually obnoxious.  I really hope these two never match up again.  Between this piece of a shit and their Last Man Standing match from the ’04 Royal Rumble, I think these guys are just a little too fond of slow, overly dramatic stage fighting.  To make things worse, they barely used the Cell gimmick at all.  A couple caging, a couple gratings, and that was it.  It was boring at the Rumble, it was worse here, with both guys reaching new career lows in terms of being entertainers.  I have no idea what they were thinking when they planned out the match like this.  I’m sure they were trying to channel the old days of Ric Flair and Harley Race going sixty minutes in the cage.  And that would have been fine if they had actually wrestled.  Instead, they would do a move, pause for thirty seconds to a minute, do another spot, and so on.  I actually thought HBK would be done after this match.  He came across like a broken down race horse in desperate need of a visit from Dr. Shotgun.  Thankfully, he cut out the crap after this and went on to have more awesome matches.  I’ll just chalk this and the Rumble match disaster to Trips and Shawn having shot their collective wad at Summerslam 2002.

Match #11: World Heavyweight Championship, Hell in a Cell
(c) Batista vs. Triple H
6/26/05 Vengeance

The cell gets chain-locked.  Trips slugs it out to start.  Shoot off and Batista gets a nice clothesline and a side-slam.  Brawl on the outside where Trips gets rammed into the cage.  Back in, we have a standoff.  Lockup and Trips gets a headlock.  Shoot off and a shoulderblock by Batista.  Clothesline in the corner, then Batista dumps him to the floor.  Ram into the cage by Batista, then another.  Trips looks like his plaything at this point.  Hardwhip to the cage almost results in Trips breaking through the fence.  Trips reverses a whip, puts the breaks on, and rams Batista into the stairs and ringpost.  Batista on the apron, where Trips gives him a hangman.  Running backelbow sends Batista flying off the apron and into the cage, with Batista bouncing between the ring and the cage like a pinball.  Nice.  Batista is tossed into the cage a couple more times, and he’s taking every bump full on.  Clothesline on the floor with Batista noticeably thunking on the ground.  I’m loving this so far.  Trips grabs a toolbox and pulls a chain out of it.  Hard whip to the back with the chain by Trips, with Batista selling it perfectly.  Trips then wraps the chain around Batista’s neck and chokes him.  Batista gets a hangman out of it.  He grabs the chain and smacks the SHIT out of Triple H’s back with it.  I’m marking out here!  Another hard whip and damn, this is cool stuff.  Batista grabs Trips in a bearhug and rams Trips from pillar to post, and man this match is bad ass with a side of bad ass sauce.  Trips is bleeding, so Batista tosses him back into the ring.  Trips is freaking out as Batista pounds on him.  Shoot off reversal and Trips gets a nice spinebuster to save himself a bit.  Trips goes under the ring and grabs a steel chair wrapped in barbed wire.  I don’t even remember that spot.  A damn near full-force shot with the chair, and Batista has whole bunch of little blood droplets coming out of it.  Another shot, this time at full speed, and man, I’m marking out big time.  I did NOT remember how good this match was.  Batista runs into a face buster, but then explodes out of nowhere and clotheslines Trips on a charge.  Triple H’s whole face is red with blood, and now Batista has the chair.  He hits Trips in the FACE with the chair.  The fans are going fucking crazy, and Batista seems to be too, grating Trips in the face with it.  I mean damn, they’re not holding back at all.  And bless them for it, this match is fucking amazing.  Batista grates Triple H’s face on the cage, and man he’s just bleeding all over the place.  Batista picks up Trips and lawn-darts him into the cell.  By the way, the announcers note that Trips has never lost in the hell in a cell.  Unless of course you count that time he… you know… lost in the Hell in a Cell.  At Armageddon 2000.  In the ring, Batista shoulderblocks Trips in the corner.  He charges at Trips but gets sent into the ringpost in another nice looking spot.  Trips staggers about and then loads up a KICK WHAM PEDIGREE on the barbed wire chair, but Batista backdrops out of it.  Slugoff, but Batista catches a charge and POWERSLAMS TRIPS ONTO THE CHAIR WITH THE BARBED WIRE~! for two.  Fans were scared when the cover was made because they clearly want it to go on.  Batista loads up his hand with the steel chain, but Trips DDTs him onto the chair.  Goddamn!!  Batista is knocked out of the ring by this and so Trips bails to give chase.  Batista is bleeding now too.  A single idiot sitting close to the mic is chanting boring at this.  What a fucking idiot.  I hope the fans that are actually enjoying this kicked the shit out of him after the show.  Trips grates Batista on the cage, then tosses him into the ring.  He grabs the sledge hammer from under the ring.  Batista cuts him off from using it and they slug it out.  Batista loads up the powerbomb but Trips backdrops out of it.  Trips grabs the sledge and smashes him in the face with it for two.  Fans seem surprised.  Trips goes for the death shot but Batista kicks him in the balls and both guys are out.  Batista grabs the sledge hammer and the end is near.  Batista charges in for a finishing blow himself but Trips whacks him with a fist full of steel chain for two.  Trips tries to drop a fist off the second rope, but Batista gets the sledge hammer up and Triple H takes it right in the mouth, spitting blood like a fountain straight in the air.  Nice visual.  Batista smacks Triple H around, and Trips is clearly finished.  Batista brawls him down to his knee, and Trips collapses.  Hard whip to the corner sends Trips up and over.  On the floor Batista sends Trips into the stairs.  Batista picks the stairs up and destroys Trips with them, making a crazy little PING sound while doing it.  Batista places the base of the stairs into the ring and preps them in the corner.  Trips gets rammed HARD into them a couple times, making the fans groan with every shot.  Hardwhip into the stairs, and Batista gives the thumbs down.  Batista loads up the powerbomb but Trips low blows to escape.  KICK WHAM PEDIGREE~! and a quick cover… for two!  The fans go nuts as both guys are now out of it.  Trips loads up a pedigree on the steel stairs, but Batista counters and hits a somewhat wussy looking spinebuster on the stairs.  Considering that everything else has been full force, that sort of sucked.  Batista loads up the power bomb again, but Trips has the sledge hammer.  Batista outsmarts Trips by quickly firing off the bomb and then covers for the pin.  I expected a more stunning finish, but otherwise…
***** This is how you blow off a feud.  Like Brock/Undertaker from 2002, I expected nothing going into this match.  Instead, I was treated to high-impact spots and lots of gore.  I still think Brock/Undertaker was better, but otherwise this was a top-notch cell match and the best match of Batista’s career thus far.  Big props.  Even the semi-letdown finish was OK, because it was a nice twist on a finish they’ve done before.  Why hold Trips up long enough for him to use the sledge?  Just drop.  Nice booking.  Really, the only fault was the spinebuster on the stairs, and even it doesn’t take away anything from the match.  This was epic.

Match #12: Hell in a Cell
The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton
12/18/05 Armageddon

Randy has his daddy with him, who lost his job over this match.  It turns out, when you bleed all over someone and you have Hepatitis C, it doesn’t go over with them so well.  Lockup, shoot off, and Orton gets crushed with a shoulderblock.  He bails.  Back in, headlock, shoot off, shoulderblock by Taker.  Armdrag and dropkick by Orton gets two.  Backdrop by Randy but he runs into a big boot from Undertaker.  On the outside, Orton crawls away from Undertaker only to get caught and punched around.  Taker loads up Orton for a battering ram, but Randy escapes and dives back into the ring.  Orton catches Taker in the corner and slugs away, only to get reversed and punched down.  Taker pulls him down and into the ring post, then punches some more, then kicks him in the gut.  Orton crawls away and gets stomped, then slammed into the stairs.  Taker gets a chair, teases a shot for a while, then actually hits an unprotected shot to Orton’s skull.  We have a bleeder.  Chair to the gut and ANOTHER unprotected chairshot to the head.  Randy Orton must have been setting out to end his career in this thing.  Randy gets grated into the cage.  Randy is all out on his feet and tries to climb the cage but Taker drags him down and grates him some more.  Bob Orton’s facial expressions are priceless.  Taker grabs a chain and chokes Orton with it.  Total squash thus far.  Taker slings Orton over his shoulder and lawn-darts him into the cage.  Taker grabs the stairs, but Orton catches a second wind and slugs Taker around a bit.  Orton picks up the stairs and goes to hit Taker, but eats a big boot instead.  Orton’s blade job is pretty good.  Taker taunts Bob Orton a bit, then rolls Randy into the ring.  Taker slowly gets up the apron, only for Orton to spring up and give him an RKO/Hangman on the apron.  Orton is feeling it now and brawls Taker down.  Orton picks up the stairs and whacks Taker in the face with them.  Choke with the chain by Orton in the ring, with Taker standing on the floor.  Taker pushes his feet against the ropes for leverage.  Orton then kills Taker with a chair to the skull.  On the outside, Taker manages to toss Orton into the cell, then hits a flying knee off the stairs and into Orton against the cell.  In the ring, scoopslam by Taker but an elbow off the top misses.  Orton bails and grabs a table.  He preps it in the middle of the ring, then boots Taker in the face, knocking him to the floor.  Bob Orton reaches through the cage and grabs Taker by the hair, giving Randy some free shots.  Taker boots Randy down, then beats slams Cowboy Bob into the cage a few times.  He’s bleeding contaminated blood now.  This was a major controversy, as apparently everyone BUT the Undertaker knew that Orton had hepatitis.  Considering that Brock Lesnar once bled into the Undertaker’s mouth during a match, this is the type of stuff Undertaker would want to know about ahead of time.

Taker charges at Orton and gets powerslammed into the cage in a weird looking spot that was barely shown anyway because they were busy showing a replay.  He covers on the floor for two.  Kicks from Orton, but Taker fights back with the rope walk and front-facelock driver that everyone and their dog uses today as a finisher.  It gets two.  Snake eyes, a big boot and a legdrop gets two.  Chokeslam gets two as Orton gets a foot on the rope.  That’s wrestling logic for you… in a match where one could presumably hijack a space shuttle leading to the match spilling out onto the surface of the fucking moon and pinfalls would still be legal, getting a foot on the rope somehow stops the count.  Taker charges at Orton but gets punched in the balls with a steel chain.  Mounted punches by Randy, not using the chain which would make sense in this type of match.  Orton gets the table ready, then punches Undertaker onto it.  He climbs and hits a splash on the table, which doesn’t break properly and both guys slide off of it.  D’oh!  It gets two.  Orton disposes of the table, then slugs away in the corner.  Orton goes for a 10 punch, which is one of those moves you should never, ever do to the Undertaker.  He sets up for the wedgie bomb, but Orton flips out of it and the ref gets wiped out.  Taker goes for a chokeslam but it gets turned into a horrible looking RKO for… nothing.  Charles Robinson runs down to make the cover for two.  Bob Orton is in the cage now.  Rake of the eyes by Taker, kick to the gut and a wedgie bomb gets two as Bob Orton pulls the ref out and knocks him out.  Taker slugs away at the bloody Cowboy.  He goes for the Tombstone on Randy, but Randy reverses and actually hits the Tombstone on Taker… for two.  That just served to make him pissed.  A series of zombie sit-ups by Taker and man, Randy won’t learn a lesson.  Randy mounts some punches and finally Taker seems like he’s staying down.  Randy smiles, only to get nearly chokeslammed.  Cowboy Bob runs in with the urn only to get big-booted.  Randy goes for the RKO and gets thrown off in a huge wipeout that pops the crowd.  Urn shot to Bob, urn shot to Randy, tombstone to Bob, Tombstone to Randy and a vicious one to finish the match.
*** Not a bad brawl, but not really great either.  I don’t think these guys really needed a Hell in a Cell match to blow off their feud, which wasn’t too interesting to begin with.

Match #13: Hell in a Cell
Shawn Michaels & Triple H vs. Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, & The Big Show
9/17/06 Unforgiven

They used a brand-new Hell in a Cell for this one.  It’s much taller and it’s basic point is that the roof is useless and it’s just a huge cage that surrounds the ring.  Don’t expect anyone to take a bump off the top of this one.  DX starts with a double low blow to on Big Show to start and knock him out for a while.  Toronto fans can’t get over Shawn screwing Bret, and that’s what they lock on too.  Why even chant “You Screwed Bret?”  To remind him?  It’s one of the crowning achievements of his life!  Even after finding Jesus, Shawn Michaels is still proud of the fact that he screwed Bret and as a result Bret’s life fell apart.  If you think for one second that Shawn Michaels is offended or hurt by the chant, then you’re really ignorant.  That’s why people make fun of Canadians.   Because they are total knuckle-dragging morons.  Shawn and Trips split up and kill the McMahons and dump them to the outside, then they run up and kick Show in the nuts again.  Both McMahons get sent into the cage, with Shawn busting Shane open.  Trips opens up Vince too.  Trips grabs a screwdriver and stabs Vince in the head with it.  Scoopslam on McMahon, but Show is up and wipes out Trips, then catches a crossbody of Shawn’s and slams him down.  Show overpowers Trips and dumps him to the outside.  Shawn goes for a plancha but Show catches him.  Shawn reverses that and Show eats Cell, then stairs.  Shawn and Trips split up on the McMahons, but Show fights back and Shane ends up dumping Shawn to the outside.  Show hits a chokeslam on Trips.  Show on the outside does a half-powerbomb on Shawn, simply lifting him up into the side of the cell, then dropping him.  Shane does some wussy dance punches on Trips that I can’t believe HHH would sell with a straight face, while Big Show does the old “Shawn is a lawn dart” spot.  Show grabs a Garbage Can and Shane climbs the ropes and hits a Van Terminator.  Trips is bleeding from the ear now.  Sick stuff.  Clothesline on the outside by Shane and Vince.  They set up some stairs and Shane hits a slingshot off the stairs, sending Trips into the cell.  Vince has a hilarious look on his face that draws huge laughs from the crowd.  Show climbs the second rope and hits a pump splash.  Arrogant cover by McMahon, with a pull-up at the two count.  They’re going to teach him a lesson.  Cobra backbreaker and the ringing legdrop by Show for another arrogant two.  Show gets low-bridged by Trips and the faces are back.  Facebuster, KICK WHAM PEDIGREE is blocked and Shane grabs what looks like a torture rack.  He can barely hold up Trips, so he goes for what looks like a spider web, but Trips ‘counters’ it.  Honestly, the fans don’t know who hit the move.  Enziguri by Shawn on Shane, but Vince clothesline HBK down.  Show is up and Vince calls for the Kiss My Ass club spot.  Trips is in though and catches Vince with his pants down.  I can’t believe I just typed that.  Show shrugs off Trips and slams Shawn down.  Vince sets up a splash, but Show hits McMahon instead.  His ‘oops’ look is priceless.  DX catches show and crotches him on the ringpost.  Lawler thinks Show will need to grow another pair of balls after tonight.  Heh.  Shane shoots Shawn off the ropes, but HBK hits the flying forearm.  Nip-up, atomic drop into a spinebuster by Trips.  Trips wraps Shane’s neck in a steel chair and Shawn hits a flying forearm to the chair, Pillmanizing Shane’s throat.  Shane’s bleeding from the mouth now as Shawn tunes up the band, but Show pulls Shawn out of the ring and hangs Trips on the rope.  Show throws the stairs into the ring.  Show tries to kill Trips, but HHH hits Show in the belly with the chair, pinning Show’s head between the grooves on the stairs.  Trips whacks Show on the head with the chair, Sweet Chin Music to Show, and he’s out on the ropes.  Vince is up and looking pissed, but there’s no way out of it for him now.  Trips and Shawn expose Show’s big fat ass, and McMahon tries to plead for his life and sense of smell.  No dice.  Shawn and Trips stick Vince McMahon’s face in that large man’s ass.  Sweet Chin Music from Shawn, then Trips breaks the sledge hammer over Vince’s head, and that’s all she wrote.  You know, that move really should have killed him.
**** Very entertaining garbage brawl with some neat spots and a memorable finish.  I think the WWE totally missed out on having Vince suffer brain damage and becoming a retard.  Come on, think of all the funny McMahon-Eugene buddy moments we missed out on.

Match #14: World Heavyweight Championship, Hell in a Cell
(c) Batista vs. The Undertaker
11/18/07 Survivor Series

Undertaker puts up his dukes to start, but Batista grabs a headlock.  Shoot off by Taker leads to a shoulderblock by Batista, followed by a clothesline by Undertaker.  Taker loads up the chokeslam but Batista fights off.  Clothesline by Taker gets two.  Punches in the corner, snake eyes and a running big boot gets two.  Taker grabs a chair but Batista spears him down.  He charges with the chair only to get booted in the face and clotheslined down for an Undertaker two.  Taker tries to hook in a triangle choke but it doesn’t work.  To the floor, Taker smacks Batista around.  Taker grates Batista’s face around and drops a leg on the apron.  Taker places the chair under Batista’s throat and then slams it on the stairs.  Batista spits up prop blood for added effect.  Usually they save those spots for the end of the match.  In the ring, Taker covers for two and two.  Shoulderblocks and Taker goes for the rope walk.  He gets caught and hit with a spinebuster.  Fans boo.  They’re clearly in favor of Undertaker for this one.  Both guys up for a slugoff.  Shoot off and a clothesline by Batista for two.  Clothesline in the corner and a running powerslam for two.  On the outside, Batista whips Taker into the cage and clotheslines him.  It’s more important to show a replay of that then show the action, where Taker reverses a whip sends Batista into the stairs.  Taker then lifts Batista up and uses him as a battering ram into the cage.  Just awesome.  Batista took the bump like a man too.  Taker grabs a chair and smacks Batista in the head with it.  He’s bleeding now.  In the ring, Taker goes for the rope walk and again Batista stops him, crotching in the corner.  Superplex and Batista goes for the pin but Taker hooks in the triangle choke.  Batista makes the ropes.  Why on earth would he have to break the hold?  Why would he have to break?  It’s no DQ!  Even the announcers point out how stupid that is.  On the outside, Taker preps Batista in the corner and tries to kill him with the stairs.  Batista gets a foot up and smashes the crap out of Taker with the stairs.  Say what you will about Batista’s wrestling ability, but he’s damn good in these cell matches.  In the ring, Batista does a 10 punch in the corner and you can see where this is going.  Sure enough, it gets turned into a wedgie bomb for two.  Batista is tapping an artery here and Undertaker has a decent blade job going too.  Chokeslam by Taker gets two.  Taker calls for the tombstone but Batista gets out of it and hits a spinebuster for two.  Another spinebuster and Batista bails to get a table.  He powerbombs Taker jackknife style through the table… for two.  Bullshit.  Batista brings stairs into the ring and loads up for another powerbomb, but Taker backdrops him onto the stairs for two.  Tombstone piledriver… gets two.  Yipes.  Taker loads Batista up and tombstones him on the stairs… for two as Edge makes his return and pulls the ref out of the ring.  Edge KOs Undertaker with a camera to the face.  I guess he was hiding under the ring this whole time.  He places Taker’s head on the stairs, gives him the conchairto on it, and drags Batista on top of him for the pin.  After the match, Edge chairs Taker in the face some more.
**** Good match, ending set up the main event of Wrestlemania so I’ll go easy on it.  Lots of stiff brawling and a couple nice blade jobs.

BOTTOM LINE: In the fourteen matches you get with this set, four of them are ***** and another three make the **** or better range.  Only a couple real stinkers here (the stuff from Raw and Michaels/Triple H) makes this an easy thumbs up if you don’t already have most of the matches here on disc.

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