The Hot Topic: Hell in a Cell
By Scott Reid
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome once again to The Hot Topic, where we take a look at the big news in wrestling which is splitting the opinions of fans, and ask you, the readers, what you think. This week, we take at the Hell in a Cell match, once the most infamous match type in professional wrestling, and ask, Does the Hell in a Cell match work in modern day WWE?
Since its introduction at Badd Blood in 1997, the Hell in a Cell match has been a fan favourite match, often used as a means to finally end the most personal and violent of wrestling feuds. Legends such as The Undertaker, Triple H, Mick Foley and Shawn Michaels have competed in classic matches inside “Satan’s Structure” which were bloody, violent, and often death-defying, and as a result, have helped to cement a legacy for Hell in a Cell, as being the most brutal match type in all of wrestling history. However, in recent years, due to WWEs “No-Blood Policy” and PG rated television, as well as a yearly Hell in a Cell PPV, many feel that the match has started to become a watered-down version of what of it once was, which is leaving the fans wondering; should the HIAC match go back to being used rarely, or should it continue to be used once a year at the Hell in a Cell PPV? Let’s take a look.
Many fans believe that the Hell in a Cell match should go back to be being used rarely within WWE, and not be a PPV exclusive match. Part of the mystique that fans remember about the Hell in a Cell match is that no-one knew when it would take place. Audiences would watch for weeks, or even months, as rivalries between superstars turned nasty, and each man was pushed to their tipping point, and then, when things got to be too wild, a HIAC match would suddenly be booked to end the feud once and for all. Fans would then wait in anticipation to see how far each man would go inside the cell to finally lay their opponent to rest. The most famous example of how far superstars would go is undoubtedly Undertaker and Mankind’s match at King of The Ring 1998, in which Mankind was thrown from the top of the cell, and later chokeslammed threw the roof. This, along with many other HIAC matches, showcases how violent these matches often became, and it was for this reason that fans grew to love them. However nowadays, with a change in programming and an annual PPV, many fans feel that that mystique is gone. HIAC matches simply become just another necessary match in the Championship stories, and with a limit on how violent the matches can be for a PG audience, they often never live up to the reputation that precedes this infamous match type. It is for these reasons that many fans feel that the Hell in a Cell match should go back to being a rare, special match that only takes place when it is absolutely necessary.
However, some fans believe that the Hell in a Cell, due to the legacy that it carries, works just as well as it ever has in modern day WWE. At the annual HIAC PPV each year, the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships are always defended in HIAC matches, and in a time where WWE is looking to build as many new stars as possible, what better way build a champion up that to have them go into, and survive in, the fabled “Devils Playground”. While the matches themselves may not reach the levels of violence and brutality that the classic HIAC matches did, they can still be gruelling and intense, and can really be used to show a superstars perseverance and will. In 2011, Alberto Del Rio managed to defeat both CM Punk and John Cena to win the WWE championship in a HIAC match, and while he may not currently hold the title, Del Rio has the bragging rights of being able to say he defeated two of WWEs top stars to win the company’s biggest championship, in, arguably, the most physical match type in all of WWE. Wins like this, in a match as famous as HIAC, can only be beneficial to the careers of up and coming superstars like Del Rio, and with the annual PPV, the opportunity is there once a year for someone to step up and show how tough they can really be, in one of the toughest matches of them all.
So what do you think? Should the Hell in a Cell match go back to being used as a one-off, special occasion match? Or should it remain in its current place, at an annual PPV, where fans get the opportunity to see it every year?
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