Hell in a Cell is one of WWE's most memorable match types. The barbaric bout is now a yearly tradition and is usually featured in the namesake premium live event. This year's show will witness bitter rivals Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins square off inside the Devil's Playground on June 5.
For almost 25 years, the ghoulish structure has played host to several excellent matches and memorable moments. Unfortunately, not everyone who enters Hell in a Cell is an Undertaker or Mick Foley. Although a legendary match type, it does not always make a legend out of its competitors, and here are five such examples.
In this list, we will look at five forgotten Hell in a Cell competitors:
#6. Rikishi: Armageddon Hell in a Cell Match 2000
Rikishi is an absolute legend and is a deserving Hall of Famer. He just had the unfortunate responsibility of being forced to turn heel at a bad time. Usos' father was a popular fan favorite who won over the crowd with his fun-loving character, dancing skills, and in-ring expertise.
WWE could tell that they had a star on their hands, but it felt like the only way for him to reach the pinnacle of success was to turn him heel. However, the turn did not work in his favor. Initially identified as the man who ran over Steve Austin because "he did it for The Rock," the creative backtracked on that storyline and instead made Triple H the true mastermind of the attack.
Now lost in the shuffle and without the tools that made him a star in the first place, Rikishi was put in the iconic Armageddon Hell in a Cell Match. This did not help him all that much as the match's other competitors overshadowed him. While people remember the bout, they often forget that Rikishi was part of it, and it's a shame considering the fantastic bump he took from the top of the cell.
#5. Ted DiBiase: Hell in a Cell 2009
The 2009 Hell in a Cell pay-per-view was headlined by D-Generation X and Legacy members Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase. It was a chance for the two young up-and-comers to perform on a big stage against the WWE's very best.
Although Legacy lost, they did put on a great showing and could afford to come up short at the time as the match revolved around Shawn Michaels' return to the WWE. At the time, the son of the Million Dollar Man was seen as the future breakout star of Legacy, and the match helped him gain some much-needed exposure.
However, fast forward 13 years, and Cody Rhodes has changed the face of wrestling while DiBiase has been retired following a long period of inactivity. As early as 2010, it became clear that Rhodes was a bigger star than DiBiase, and the latter eventually disappeared from most WWE fans' minds.
It is unfortunate because at the time, Legacy was one of the hottest heels in WWE, and the company had two excellent prospects to work with. Looking at that Hell in a Cell match in hindsight, one cannot help but feel that Ted seemed somewhat overshadowed by everyone else.
#4. Mark Henry: Hell in a Cell 2011
By the time Hell in a Cell 2011 came around, Mark Henry was having the run of his life. The World's Strongest Man was finally receiving the push that was due to him and was the reigning World Heavyweight Champion.
Competing in his first title defense, Henry squared off against former champion and veteran of the Devil's Playground, Randy Orton. It was just the first step in Henry's late-career resurgence, and he made quick work of the Viper.
Although Henry was booked as one of WWE's top heels at the time, the reason he is on this list was because of the match itself. While it did take place inside Hell in a Cell, nothing about the match set it apart from a non-cell encounter between the two adversaries.
While it was by no means a poor match, it did fail to deliver on what fans would expect from such a brutal match stipulation. This bout would also be overshadowed by various other memorable moments in Mark Henry's Hall of Pain run.
#3 and #2. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger: Untelevised Hell in a Cell Match on September 26, 2011
Throughout its nearly 25-year history, only one notable Hell in a Cell match was not held for a TV or premium live event audience. The contest took place after the RAW broadcast on September 26, 2011.
WWE Champion John Cena defended his title inside the cell against CM Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Jack Swagger. It was just a five-minute match that was meant to send the crowd home happy, but interestingly it was the first time Del Rio, Swagger, and Ziggler stepped into the Devil's Playground.
While Punk and Cena had previously competed inside the cell, Del Rio was set to enter the Satanic structure later that week. This untelevised match was the first and to date only Hell in a Cell appearances for both The Show Off and The Real American.
Had this match been televised, it would have been highly likely that neither man would have made this list. That being said, this match was only for the live audience, and for that reason, the rest of us will find it harder to recall the fact that both Dolph and Swagger once competed inside the infamous structure.
#1. Paul Heyman: Hell in a Cell 2013
Although Paul Heyman has managed icons such as Brock Lesnar during their own Hell in a Cell matches, few people remember that the veteran once competed in the legendary match himself. That being said, his involvement was somewhat minimal.
Booked in a 2-on-1 Handicap match, Heyman teamed up with Ryback to take on CM Punk. As expected of the crafty manager, Heyman used a forklift to wait on top of the cell while his new client and former friend battled below. As he was on the roof of the structure, Heyman could not do much to aid Ryback.
However, when The Big Guy lost, Punk would set his sights on his former manager. Climbing up the cell, Punk would mercilessly batter the former ECW promoter with a kendo stick and celebrate the fact that he had finally avenged Heyman's betrayal.
Heyman's lack of involvement in the match and inability to take any major bumps essentially made the Handicap match feel more like a one-on-one encounter with a post-match beatdown. However, as Heyman was listed as an official competitor, he was indeed part of the match regardless of how often that fact slips our minds.
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Q. Should WWE have another non-televised Hell In A Cell match?
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