Hell in a Cell is one of the most interesting match concepts WWE has created and, its origin story also is an interesting one.
A step above the steel cage match, Hell in a Cell usually carries significant weight as a sort of end to a several months long feud at the top of the card.
Shawn Michaels, along other wrestlers and wrestling historians spoke to WWE.com on the origin of this structure as well as the match that gave birth to the idea of it, which was a match between “Wildfire” Tommy Rich and “Mad dog” Buzz Sawyer on October 23, 1983.
“Undertaker and I had done a Lumberjack Match the month before [the first Hell in a Cell Match],” Michaels said. “The next logical step is a cage. I can remember saying, ‘We’ve done cage matches.’ We had that big blue steel cage that was brutal. It hurt so bad. It was tight up against the ring. I remembered years ago, Buzz Sawyer and Tommy Rich in The Omni, they had a top on the cage. I remember suggesting that. I had no idea the cage itself would turn into what it turned into.”
The first Hell in a Cell match was between Michaels and The Undertaker at Badd Blood in 1997. The popularity of this match stipulation has created various great matches over the years and its own pay-per-view, usually done around October.
This year’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view is scheduled for October 30 in Boston, Massachusetts. Because No Mercy is slated to be SmackDown’s PPV for the month, it is likely that Hell in a Cell is a RAW-exclusive show.