Jim Cornette Shares What He Suggested To Vince McMahon During The Creation Of Hell In A Cell

Jim Cornette drew on history when making suggestions for Hell In A Cell.

On the latest episode of Cornette's Drive-Thru, Cornette commented on the creation of the Hell In A Cell match and the creative input that he offered ahead of Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker's match at Badd Blood: In Your House in October 1997.

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“Once again, another one of my brilliant ideas," Jim began. "Actually, it wasn’t even my idea, it was just my suggestion for the first Hell In A Cell. I said, ‘Make the cage around the ring like Lawler did in Memphis. Where Savage could come off the top with the double-sledge out to the floor and still do his sh*t.' You had some room to fight around the ring on a limited basis."

Cornette also shared that he was not a fan of the old-school WWF cages because of their weight, cost, and how hard they were on the talents. Here is what he said:

"Yes, and they sucked. That blue cage that weighed 100,000 pounds and was expensive as f**k and would bust you open in a heartbeat if you looked at it sideways.”

While the original idea was for Michaels and Undertaker to have a cage match, Cornette offered his opinion to Vince McMahon and suggested they go in a different direction.

“We were discussing, and again, it's Undertaker and Michaels, it's going to be in a cage. That was the original thought was a cage. But it’s a big PPV and we're trying to do things differently. You know; Attitude Era, Monday Night Wars, WCW. Especially since it was going to be the debut of Kane and that was going to be Glenn Jacobs' big chance and I like Glenn. I said, 'Why don't we make it a bigger -- Instead of just a cage match -- I even mentioned to Vince, I said, 'I don't know whether you know this or not, but a large segment of wrestling fans believe that a cage match should be no way in and no way out. That’s what they grew up on," Cornette said.

"I said, 'Two things.' I said, 'Put the roof on it like the WarGames because that way people would know that there was no way to get in and no way to get out.' Because to make the finish work where Kane appears, you have to have sold a situation where nobody can get in and nobody can get out," Cornette continued. "So it couldn’t work for a standard WWF-style cage match. 'Put the roof on like the WarGames and make the cage wider around the ring so they have room because it's Michaels, right. So they have room to do their stuff like Lawler used to use in Memphis. That way it’s a bigger structure, and there’s more sizzle to it than just the same old cage they have already seen. Of course I'm thinking about the WarGames spots, 'They're building a dome of steel in Atlanta.' So you’re going to see a structure like you have never seen before.”

Finally, Cornette said that he researched the ending that saw Kane rip the door off of the Cell. He even shared where he got the inspiration from. He said the following:

“Say it’s the ultimate score settler and there is literally no way in and no way out for anybody unless the match comes to a conclusion. Because then, the whole idea of Kane coming out, well how’s he going to get in? When he rips the door off the impenetrable cage, that gets over. If he had opened the door off a regular WWF-style cage match, the referees did that in every match multiple times. It wouldn’t make a big f**king deal. So we changed the presentation, in part, specifically to make the finish more impactful. But then you also had a gimmick match you can use ongoing and then of course you could overuse it and prostitute. The first time that I saw them where they had the f**king guy with the lever that lifts the cage and drops it from the ceiling and lifts it up on the payroll, I’m like, 'Well they’ve f**ked this one now too.' But originally that was the idea for Hell in a Cell and that’s where all those things came from.

As I've mentioned, I researched Kane ripping the door off the cage, which Vince liked. He liked these ideas because of the way I just explained it to you. It made sense. Kane ripping the door off the cage was a reverse of the Doug Furnace as a babyface doing that in Knoxville in Continental Wrestling when Kevin Sullivan was booking down there and introduced him as a hometown hero. He was the big babyface who came to the other babyfaces rescue because the World's Strongest Man pulled the door off."

During his time with WWE, Jim Cornette served as a manager, commentator, and as part of the creative team.

Hell In A Cell has become a yearly event for WWE. The most recent edition happened this month and featured Cell matches between Bianca Belair and Bayley and Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. Lashley had a second Hell In A Cell match the very next night against Xavier Woods on Monday Night Raw.

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