This October marks twenty-five years since WWE's first-ever Hell in a Cell match at In Your House: Badd Blood. The event from 1997 was one of the final pay-per-views under the In Your House banner and featured a plethora of stars who had been or would go on to become world champions while also providing a snapshot of that period.
The then WWF were starting to build momentum in terms of business but were still lagging behind WCW in television ratings. While the show featured multiple former and future world champions, there were also Lucha minis, battling factions, hog farmers, The Patriot, and Headbangers in action. The company was still trying to find its footing, true, but one could see the future of WWE beginning to look brighter.
While this list focuses on the world champions who competed on the show, other former and future world champions who appeared at Badd Blood include Rick Rude, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Mr. McMahon and the debuting Kane.
#6. Badd Blood featured a young Rock
Long before he dominated television, a young Rocky Maivia was enjoying his formative years in the World Wrestling Federation. After debuting as a smiling babyface, the man who'd become The Rock had begun to change his attitude and join the Nation of Domination.
At this special event, Rocky teamed up with fellow Nation of Domination members Kama Mustafa and D'Lo Brown to take on the legendary Legion of Doom in a handicap match. While Hawk and Animal weren't the stars of their heyday by this point, the popular tag team legends were still willing to fight on their own when their partner Ken Shamrock was pulled from the match due to injury.
The numbers game got to them, though, and with added interference from Faarooq, the Nation of Domination won the match. The Rock would go on to win ten world titles, with the first coming in November 1998 when he defeated Mankind.
#5. Former WCW Champion Ron Simmons competed at Badd Blood
When Stone Cold Steve Austin suffered a broken neck at Summerslam 1997, he had to forfeit the Intercontinental Championship. Owen Hart took on Faarooq for that vacant belt at In Your House. The Texas Rattlesnake was ringside for the match and would end up smashing Ron Simmons with the title to ensure Owen Hart would remain champion - just so Austin himself could dethrone him in the future.
While the man then known as Farooq was unable to capture the Intercontinental Championship, just a few years prior, he was the WCW World Heavyweight Champion and the first black world champion in the company's history. The historic and memorable win came over Vader in 1992.
#4. Bret Hart represented Canada at Badd Blood
During the height of the USA vs. Canada rivalry in the World Wrestling Federation, The Hart Foundation took on all of the top stars in the company. At In Your House, Bret Hart teamed up with his brother-in-law, the British Bulldog, to take on the unlikely pair of Vader and The Patriot in a Flag match. While the bout did last for over twenty minutes, ultimately, the end didn't see anyone capturing the flag to win. But instead, Bret rolled up The Patriot for the victory.
Bret Hart's resume speaks for itself. Not only was he the World Wrestling Federation Champion at this very event, but in total, he had seven world title wins between his time in the WWE and World Championship Wrestling. Hart's first championship reign came in 1992 when he defeated Ric Flair.
#3. In Your House: Badd Blood saw Vader in action
As described above, Vader was part of a Flag match at the pay-per-view. Teaming with The Patriot, the unusual pair lost to the tag team of the British Bulldog and Bret Hart. And while Vader never quite reached the top of WWE, he had elsewhere.
The Mastodon had been a world champion almost everywhere else he went. He dominated Japan with numerous big wins and earned several titles. He may be best remembered for his run in World Championship Wrestling, though, where he held the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on three separate occasions.
#2. The Undertaker was out for revenge at In Your House: Badd Blood
The legendary Undertaker competed at Badd Blood against Shawn Michaels in the first-ever Hell in a Cell match. Their rivalry was personal - but winning offered more than pride as whoever was victorious would go on to challenge Bret Hart for the WWF Championship at Survivor Series 1997.
Battling in an incredible match, these two men put the Hell in a Cell on the map in one of the best bouts of all time. After leaving Shawn Michaels a bloody pulp, Kane made his debut. Kane's appearance shocked The Undertaker after the latter thought that the Big Red Machine had been dead for years. The Devil's Favorite Demon would lay out The Undertaker with a Tombstone, allowing Shawn Michaels to win.
Despite the loss, The Deadman captured seven world titles in his career - including one earlier in 1997. His first WWE Championship reign came in 1991 when he defeated Hulk Hogan.
#1. Badd Blood had mixed results for Shawn Michaels
Shawn Michaels was beaten, bloodied, and battered by the Undertaker in the Hell in a Cell match, but thanks to the interference from Kane, the former walked away victorious. Despite winning here by dubious means, The Heartbreak Kid had a legendary career with four world title reigns. The first came at WrestleMania XII in 1996 when he defeated Bret Hart - the very same man he'd face at Survivor Series.
In Your House: Badd Blood may be best remembered for the Hell in a Cell main event match, or perhaps sadly, Brian Pillman's passing before the show. However, the pay-per-view absolutely represented the connective tissue between the New Generation and the Attitude Era.
We got the AEW Women's World Champion to run down the Forbidden Door Card with us here.