You see the thumbnail? Yeah, well that’s pretty much what went wrong with the Hell in a Cell match in a nutshell.
Fine, I’ll explain a bit more, but remember, the thumbnail pretty much sums it up.
Remember the days when the Hell in a Cell match was the ultimate blow off to a feud, because the two wrestlers hated each other so much, there was only one possible setting for the final match.
Let your mind cycle through matches like Mankind vs. The Undertaker, Cactus Jack vs. Triple H, Michaels vs. The Undertaker (1997), The Undertaker vs. Triple H with Shawn Michaels as referee…and then let yourself hit the brick wall that is the last few years of cell matches.
The first issue, and this for me is the most important issue, is that Hell in a Cell is no longer a stipulation that ends feuds, it’s just an annual pay-per-view show.
The words “and we’ll do it in Hell in a Cell” no longer excites. Instead, it makes fans go “well yeah, that was obviously going to happen because it’s Hell in a Cell in a few weeks.”
You want to be shocked by the stipulation. It should be a once in a blue moon event which only takes place when there are no other options.
Take Hell in a Cell 2020. Do any of the matches actually need to be in Hell in a Cell? Does the fact there’s a big cell around them make the slightest bit of difference? Arguably not.
I’m not saying all the old Hell in a Cell matches were good, because they definitely weren’t, but there’s no denying that in general, modern Cell matches are little more than an excuse for Shane McMahon to jump off something tall.
Issue the second, and you just have to rewind the clock one year for this, or just look at the thumbnail (LOOK AT IT!).
Hell in a Cell matches are no disqualification. This means absolutely anything goes. You can throw someone off the top through an announce table or slam them through the top of the cell…but according to the last few years, you can’t have Brock Lesnar interfere, and you can’t get a bit carried away with a few weapons.
Two of the last three Hell in a Cell matches have ended in a no contest, with the more famous being last year’s, when the referee decided Seth Rollins had gone too far with his use of weapons against the Fiend. The Fiend then immediately stood up, proving Seth Rollins hadn’t gone too far. Cool.
The year before that, Brock Lesnar attacked everyone in the ring, and for some reason, this caused a non-finish, because Reigns and Strowman were too incapacitated to move apparently.
Both of these matches were met with some of the most genuine fan anger I have ever seen, and if sources are to be believed, there was talk of one of the matches this coming Sunday (October 25) also having a non-finish.
WHY WON’T YOU LEARN?!
My penultimate and very short point is that if you’re going to have a match in Hell in a Cell, actually use the cell. There have been so many matches which barely left the ring, which should be pretty much the whole point of the match. The idea is that the Cell is a weapon, and if you don’t use that weapon, then what the hell was the point of putting the match inside a cell in the first place?
Also, it’s now red.