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Your Favourite Cage Match Ever


Liam O'Rourke

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So for this week's podcast, with Joe Vs. Balor in a cage on the horizon for Wednesday's NXT Takeover, we want to look at the history of the cage match, and are looking to ask - what is your favourite match to ever take place within a steel cage concept?

 

This can be any match from any promotion, whichever one you draw to the most, and can be one of the traditional cage match's siblings, such as Hell In A Cell, War Games, Elimination Chamber, etc. And of course, the major question is why? Why does your personal favourite stand out amongst the rest?

 

As always, the best contributions will be read on the air and you'll be credited accordingly. So what is it for you?

 

EDIT - Our show talking all about Favourite Cage Matches Ever, featuring many of your contributions, is now online and available to listen to at the following link: http://squaredcirclegazette.podbean.com/mf/web/eq2jp8/SCG_Radio_87_-_Favourite_Cage_Matches_Ever_.mp3

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The first Hell in a Cell. I love Bret/Owen in the old blue bars and the 1992 Wargames as much as the next guy but the Michaels/Taker Hell in a Cell was almost the perfect match. The build from the HBK SummerSlam turn through the beginnings of DX and the chaotic no-contest at Ground Zero was tremendous. The concept seemed barbaric going in and it lived up to it's billing with Shawn bleeding like a murder victim from being thrown into the cage and violently killing the cameraman. That was a fantastic setup for them to climb the cage and without the benefit of hindsight, Shawn's fall off the cell and through the table was mind-blowing. Just when you thought this thing couldn't get anymore dramatic, Kane made one of the most brilliant and memorable debuts in company history, sold perfectly by a dumbstruck Undertaker while Vinny Mac screamed "That's gotta be Kane" in one of the last great calls of his career. Michaels somehow escaped with the victory and the outcome created the infamous Survivor Series main event and the Kane/Undertaker feud until WrestleMania. There are barely any matches that top this full stop, let alone just cage matches.

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The Armageddon 2000 hell in a cell always sticks with me for some unknown reason.

 

It was packed full with top talent and was filled with everybody going crazy breaking out of the cage and creating a lot of mess for the cleaners in the morning.

However my favourite bit of this match is when a truck filled with hay (and crash mats) comes to the edge of the cell & the biggest lad in there in terms of weight rikishi takes a bum ass first off the cell....... Never in my 20 years watching wrestling have I seen someone take such a perfect ass bump before or since this match..... Want me to be honest I don't even remember the winner just that gigantic ass falling into some hay

 

WRESTLING!!!!!

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The first Hell in a Cell. I love Bret/Owen in the old blue bars and the 1992 Wargames as much as the next guy but the Michaels/Taker Hell in a Cell was almost the perfect match. The build from the HBK SummerSlam turn through the beginnings of DX and the chaotic no-contest at Ground Zero was tremendous. The concept seemed barbaric going in and it lived up to it's billing with Shawn bleeding like a murder victim from being thrown into the cage and violently killing the cameraman. That was a fantastic setup for them to climb the cage and without the benefit of hindsight, Shawn's fall off the cell and through the table was mind-blowing. Just when you thought this thing couldn't get anymore dramatic, Kane made one of the most brilliant and memorable debuts in company history, sold perfectly by a dumbstruck Undertaker while Vinny Mac screamed "That's gotta be Kane" in one of the last great calls of his career. Michaels somehow escaped with the victory and the outcome created the infamous Survivor Series main event and the Kane/Undertaker feud until WrestleMania. There are barely any matches that top this full stop, let alone just cage matches.

Great post. I couldn't have done it justice. But this match stands the test of time. Incredible storytelling. The crowd reaction to Kane is wonderful.

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"Hoginnnnnn, Yo running scared and yo lost your coooooooool"

 

Hulk Hogan vs Boss Man - Saturday Night's Main Event 1989. I watched this match so many times on VHS, I think it was on one of those Hulkamania compilation tapes. Anyway, Boss Man comes out looking like the fucking man, but before Hogan we have a surprise, it's Zeus, who bearing in mind I watched this when I was 6 or 7 scared me half to death, I didn't think he was human. Massive pop for Hogan, who does what Hogan does for a lot of the match, sells without dying, he's the best in the business.......

 

Unreal level of athleticism shown by Boss Man here, what an effort by the fat cop. At the mid way point Boss Man tries to escape, Hulk bites him and fucking SUPLEXES HIM. That's over 600 pounds of belly and steroid abuse falling to the mat from the top of the cage, as a kid I think I pissed myself with excitement. Crowd go nuts, both guys actually sell this for ages, there is no nipping up into a tornado DDT here, no chance. Hogan handcuffs Boss Man to the Ropes and makes his escape over the top, Slick comes in with the key as Hogan scrambles down, Boss Man is bleeding, the tension is almost unbearable, Hogan drops and wins. Bloody fanstastic, this feud was great and did very well at the box office, one of Hogan's best opponents and probably in my top 3 Hulk matches.

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War Games 1992.

 

An amazing collection of talent in one match and Nikita Koloff.

 

A match with some wonderful little subplots woven within it and amazingly for WCW the faces win, in a feud ending blow off after months of being made to look daft by a dominant group. If only this was how the nWo was ended.

 

Oh and the blood. The blood fits perfectly into the context of the match with all the hatred in it. Possibly one of the most perfect matches ever and the best WCW ever presented.

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"Hoginnnnnn, Yo running scared and yo lost your coooooooool"

 

Hulk Hogan vs Boss Man - Saturday Night's Main Event 1989. I watched this match so many times on VHS, I think it was on one of those Hulkamania compilation tapes. Anyway, Boss Man comes out looking like the fucking man, but before Hogan we have a surprise, it's Zeus, who bearing in mind I watched this when I was 6 or 7 scared me half to death, I didn't think he was human. Massive pop for Hogan, who does what Hogan does for a lot of the match, sells without dying, he's the best in the business.......

 

Unreal level of athleticism shown by Boss Man here, what an effort by the fat cop. At the mid way point Boss Man tries to escape, Hulk bites him and fucking SUPLEXES HIM. That's over 600 pounds of belly and steroid abuse falling to the mat from the top of the cage, as a kid I think I pissed myself with excitement. Crowd go nuts, both guys actually sell this for ages, there is no nipping up into a tornado DDT here, no chance. Hogan handcuffs Boss Man to the Ropes and makes his escape over the top, Slick comes in with the key as Hogan scrambles down, Boss Man is bleeding, the tension is almost unbearable, Hogan drops and wins. Bloody fanstastic, this feud was great and did very well at the box office, one of Hogan's best opponents and probably in my top 3 Hulk matches.

Great call that. It was unusual to see Hogan in gimmic matches and this one was special.

 

 

A fave for me woulf also have to be Rude vs Warrior at Summerslam 90. F me did Rude work his ass off there!

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The six man Hell In A Cell at Armageddon 2000 for me. I was 15 at the time and stayed up with my younger brother to watch it. I loved how they built the match up through the course of the PPV- the clips of previous Cell matches, the Taker interview where he's describing how much damage he did to Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood and Vince trying to get the whole thing called off. It created a genuine sense of danger that I totally bought in to.

The match is expectedly utter chaos of the finest variety with 3 separate scraps going on at any one time but there's some great wrestling going on in the ring while folk are having their faces scraped against the cage on the outside.

The crowd is suitably hot throughout but I remember being convinced that the match was definitely going to go outside of the cage and hoping someone would go off the top. When McMahon uses the truck to rip the cage door off and bedlam ensues, mid-teenage me was on the edge of his seat. The spots on the cars are a great touch and I still love the replay of Austin smacking Triple H with the camera. When they started climbing to the top I stood up in anticipation but I never expected it to be Rikishi taking the big bump off the top. There's plenty of tension leading up to the finish too with multiple near falls making it a great mix of madness and story telling. This one match encompasses my memories of the Attitude Era with blood, crazy brawls, mad spots and big bumps along with 5 of the greatest superstars of all time (and Rikishi) at their absolute peak. I bloody love it.

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One thing that sticks with me with Cage Matches was a show I went to almost 10 years ago I won free tickets for in the local paper. I was chuffed because that was the first time I ever won anything in a comp. but come show day, they reveal they couldn't do it because they couldn't fit it through the door. I know what you're thinking. Poor planning on their part. Just shows they didn't bother scouting the venue properly before booking it. The show was dire. They had a "Ladder, Chair & Table" match in its place in which a Tribute Undertaker in the purple gloves/boots look won via KO with a rubbish Chokeslam through a table. I know I can't complain for free tickets, but it stuck out like a sore thumb.

 

Anyway. For me, it has to be the Triple X v America's Most Wanted Losing Team Must Disband Six Sides Of Steel Match from TNA Turning Point 2004. Must've watched it tons of times. The match is most famous for some crazy spots including Elix Skipper's death defying tightrope routine on top of the cage which he normally did on the ropes into a Hurricanrana off the cage which was incredible. For a split second, he almost lost it. Probably didn't help Christopher Daniels doing the elbow drop off the cage a couple of minutes after because the previous move sucked all the energy out the crowd freaking out about it. It had everything you could want for a feud ending match. One of my all time favourites for sure.

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I still remember rumours of the 6-way Hell in a Cell going round school all through the week when it was announced. A fair number of people had the internet at home by that point, and a decent proportion of them knew where to read Raw spoilers from Tuesday morning onwards. This being wrestling and school though, you couldn't actually trust anything for definite until you saw it with your own eyes on Friday night when Raw was broadcast. I'd been stung too many times waiting for Austin to come back and start a new stable with The Rock and the Hardy Boyz to believe that they were actually doing a fucking 6-man Hell in a Cell. It just sounded like the kind of thing a school child would book.

 

Anyway I sit up to watch Raw and fuck me sideways, they're actually doing it. I was thirteen years old, and hadn't known excitement like it since Paul Rideout scored against Man United in the '95 cup final half a decade earlier. Wrestling was probably a year or so past its peak popularity with our age group, but I specifically remember all the lapsed fans losing their shit and swearing they were going to stay up and watch it live. I'm talking about scallies who played for the football team as well, not the normal wrestling gimps.

 

The match didn't quite live up to the impossible hype, and even at the time I thought Rikishi's sawdust bump was a cop out, but as said above - five of the Attitude era's greatest characters all within a year or two of their peak interacting inside Hell in a Cell was awesome. I need to go back and watch it again soon.

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Bad Blood 97 is my favorite WWE match of all time. The show is a desert island tape for me on the strength of the main event alone. I've talked to a lot of people who forget that it wasn't even a title match, which I take as a strong mark of quality. The belligerent 1997 HBK is of course the best HBK of all time. He's an absoloute tooth and nails scumbag, an arse, just a filthy scut of a human being that's still so good you hate the fucker for giving you the self realisation that you need him in the top matches. That you want to see him still more than anyone. You just hope somebody kicks his teeth out.

 

'Taker's the perfect man to do that from the audience perspective of course and character wise 1997 was also 'Taker's best phenom period. This is the point in his career where even if he's not the champion or on top of the card he's sort of moved out and above everyone to be the sort of psychological godhead of the company. The goth stuff is actually on point and cool for television and he's less dead magician more heartbroke avenger. Kind of a mythic being going around having wrestling matches and being really sad. Undertaker was sad at this point in his career because of the whole Kane stuff, and it worked great.

 

Kane's debut is the best debut ever. It is. It's so last minute, circus spooky, outlandish yet perfect for what it was meant to be. Total WWE theatre at it's absolute peak. The whole thing was until WrestleMania XIV. Kane looks genuinly terrifying coming out to that dodgy looking explosion pyro they'd just crack 10-15 times before he got to the ring during these big moments. He's the kind of wrestler that even smart kids still kind of felt unsafe being in the arena with. His character and stature back then just outgrew the staying in the guard rails doing the act bit and grew into something where he just felt like a volatile guy to have out in front of the curtain like that. Like maybe he shouldn't be there. Like maybe this isn't a laugh anymore, don't bring your kids.

 

The odd sign in the crowd you get that says "THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE" always makes me laugh like a lunatic for ages. It's my favorite trope or whatever in wrestling ever. Slightly ahead of "even my immediate family bought it". The whole match is just perfection as well. The psychology of it is off the page. Shawn's blade job is my favorite ever and beyond that I don't think of 'favorite blade jobs' because I don't care about blood. I care about the blood in this match, though. Shawn hanging halfway up the cell getting his hands kicked by 'Taker and falling all christ like into the announce tables below is religious iconography. It's one of my favorite slow mo replays ever.

 

That match rules.

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The first Hell in a Cell. I love Bret/Owen in the old blue bars and the 1992 Wargames as much as the next guy but the Michaels/Taker Hell in a Cell was almost the perfect match. The build from the HBK SummerSlam turn through the beginnings of DX and the chaotic no-contest at Ground Zero was tremendous. The concept seemed barbaric going in and it lived up to it's billing with Shawn bleeding like a murder victim from being thrown into the cage and violently killing the cameraman. That was a fantastic setup for them to climb the cage and without the benefit of hindsight, Shawn's fall off the cell and through the table was mind-blowing. Just when you thought this thing couldn't get anymore dramatic, Kane made one of the most brilliant and memorable debuts in company history, sold perfectly by a dumbstruck Undertaker while Vinny Mac screamed "That's gotta be Kane" in one of the last great calls of his career. Michaels somehow escaped with the victory and the outcome created the infamous Survivor Series main event and the Kane/Undertaker feud until WrestleMania. There are barely any matches that top this full stop, let alone just cage matches.

 

 

Bad Blood 97 is my favorite WWE match of all time. The show is a desert island tape for me on the strength of the main event alone. I've talked to a lot of people who forget that it wasn't even a title match, which I take as a strong mark of quality. The belligerent 1997 HBK is of course the best HBK of all time. He's an absoloute tooth and nails scumbag, an arse, just a filthy scut of a human being that's still so good you hate the fucker for giving you the self realisation that you need him in the top matches. That you want to see him still more than anyone. You just hope somebody kicks his teeth out.

 

'Taker's the perfect man to do that from the audience perspective of course and character wise 1997 was also 'Taker's best phenom period. This is the point in his career where even if he's not the champion or on top of the card he's sort of moved out and above everyone to be the sort of psychological godhead of the company. The goth stuff is actually on point and cool for television and he's less dead magician more heartbroke avenger. Kind of a mythic being going around having wrestling matches and being really sad. Undertaker was sad at this point in his career because of the whole Kane stuff, and it worked great.

 

Kane's debut is the best debut ever. It is. It's so last minute, circus spooky, outlandish yet perfect for what it was meant to be. Total WWE theatre at it's absolute peak. The whole thing was until WrestleMania XIV. Kane looks genuinly terrifying coming out to that dodgy looking explosion pyro they'd just crack 10-15 times before he got to the ring during these big moments. He's the kind of wrestler that even smart kids still kind of felt unsafe being in the arena with. His character and stature back then just outgrew the staying in the guard rails doing the act bit and grew into something where he just felt like a volatile guy to have out in front of the curtain like that. Like maybe he shouldn't be there. Like maybe this isn't a laugh anymore, don't bring your kids.

 

The odd sign in the crowd you get that says "THAT'S GOTTA BE KANE" always makes me laugh like a lunatic for ages. It's my favorite trope or whatever in wrestling ever. Slightly ahead of "even my immediate family bought it". The whole match is just perfection as well. The psychology of it is off the page. Shawn's blade job is my favorite ever and beyond that I don't think of 'favorite blade jobs' because I don't care about blood. I care about the blood in this match, though. Shawn hanging halfway up the cell getting his hands kicked by 'Taker and falling all christ like into the announce tables below is religious iconography. It's one of my favorite slow mo replays ever.

 

That match rules.

 

Well said both of you! This is my pick as well. Two of my all-time favourite wrestlers in an absolute classic match.

 

 

I'd also mention the Bret vs. Owen Cage match from Summerslam 1994 which is another of my favourite ever matches. I first saw it about ten years after the fact and it still completely drew me in, and did so again the last time I rewatched it last summer. It's as good as wrestling gets, I love that match.

 

 

Confessional sidenote: I've never actually seen the Armageddon HIAC match, but this thread's made me finally get round to doing so. All glory to the WWE Network!

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Apart from the moonsaults and headbutt off the cage I can't remember anything about that match.

 

Angle once told a funny story about that match where after hitting the moonsault off the cage one of the first things he saw was a disappointed Stone Cold Steve Austin at commentary shaking his head in disgust.

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