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Six Years Ago This Week..........


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Six years ago this week, on Oct. 5, 1997 in St. Louis, Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker battled in the first-ever Hell in a Cell.“It was our first time doing a match that nobody had seen, which is always exciting,” Michaels told WWE.com. “I knew as we were doing it that it was a really good match. And obviously when it was over, I knew it was really good. We’d done something that was groundbreaking and special. I like being part of a really good product, and we definitely created one.”Undertaker said, “I don’t think anyone really understood what a weapon it was going to be. And no one foresaw people getting out of it and going on top of it. I think even to this day, it sets the standard for when you’ve got a situation where there’s got to be a final close or a must-winner. I think it calls for a Hell in a Cell.”Indeed, Hell in a Cell has become just that for WWE. The ultimate, brutal culmination of a rivalry that otherwise cannot be settled. For Undertaker and the Heartbreak Kid, for example, the match was ordered after weeks of ‘Taker trying to get his hands on HBK, but Michaels somehow escaping. But there was no escaping the Hell in a Cell, or so it was thought.Their epic encounter, which lastly nearly one hour, featured Shawn Michaels falling off the side of the cage, one of the most memorable falls in WWE history at the time. (It also featured the debut of Kane.)But the match was more than just “bumps.” Although subsequent Hell in a Cells may have featured more memorable specific instances, Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels was the best Hell in a Cell overall, the participants said. It also ranks near the top of both Superstars’ lists of their all-time best matches.“That’s definitely one of my favorites,” HBK said. “The two of us in the ring, his presence and mine, the size difference, that huge structure -- it’s a match that, creatively, is set when you get in the ring. You don’t have to search for anything (and) you don’t have to struggle to get anybody to (get the crowd into it).”Subsequent Hell in a Cell competitors knew there was no way they could outdo HBK-‘Taker in terms of match quality. Mick Foley has discussed that fact many times, saying that it’s the main reason he opted to climb to the top of the structure right off the bat for his Hell in a Cell with Undertaker, the second one ever, at King of the Ring ’98.“When I saw Mick after that, he paid me a wonderful compliment,” Michaels said.“He said, ‘Shawn, I knew I couldn’t go out there and follow the match that you and ‘Taker had. So the only thing I could think of was to go to the top.’”Undertaker said that the first Hell in a Cell was the best “by far, although the one with Mankind in Pittsburgh was off the charts as far as the violence, the falls, throwing Mankind off the cage and chokeslamming him through it. Those were instances. But I think for overall match quality, the first one is by far the best. It’s going to be tough to top that one.”He added, “I would put that up there, probably, with my top five best matches of all, even though I lost the match due to Kane and all that. It was probably one of the finest hours for the Undertaker because of the sheer dominance that came across during the match.”In all, there have been nine Hell in a Cells in WWE, including the infamous Kennel in a Cell between Al Snow and Big Boss Man at Unforgiven ’99. Most recently, Triple H defeated Kevin Nash at Bad Blood in Houston.Undertaker has been in five of the matches, which he says is logical because the Hell in a Cell suits his style. “I’m the kind of guy that’s going to beat you until you can’t get up anymore,” he said.It’s been said that matches like the Hell in a Cell, as well as the Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match and the Elimination Chamber, are career-shorteners. “You’re trained and you’re conditioned to a lot of what happens in a normal wrestling ring,” Undertaker said. “But it’s virtually impossible to train or prepare yourself for the trauma that your body’s going to take inside the Cell. You’re going to run into things, and people are going to run you into things in that Cell that just don’t give. And now that the match itself is so famous, you lay a lot more of yourself on the line for that match because you know what people expect.”More than one Superstar, the day after a Cell match, once the adrenaline has worn off and the muscles have tightened, has compared the feeling to being “hit by a bus.”You might say Michaels paved the way six years ago during the first-ever Hell in a Cell. He was beat pillar to post and bled profusely.“Ideally, you don’t ever want to bleed that much,” he said with a chuckle. “The cut wouldn’t shut. It slowed down a little bit, but then when I went in the shower and the heat hit it, it just started (bleeding) all over the place.So I had to go to the emergency room that night and get 15 stitches on the inside and 15 stitches on the outside.”Undertaker says he probably lost more blood than at any time in his career when Triple H hit him with a sledgehammer leading up to their match at WrestleMania X-Seven, “but as far as a match itself, (the Hell in a Cell against Brock Lesnar at No Mercy ’02) was probably the most I’ve ever bled.”Both Michaels and Undertaker said that a competitor simply can’t think about how badly he’s going to be beat up after battling in a Cell.“It’s kind of a given that you’re going to step into the Cell and you’re going to lose blood and break bones,” ‘Taker said. “That’s just how it goes. You know the ramifications before you step into the Cell. You don’t really worry about what’s going to happen afterwards.”Michaels said, “Except for my (match at WrestleMania XIV against Stone Cold Steve Austin), I never once thought about coming out of a match and wondering how I was going to feel. You know getting into this line of work that it’s going to be hard, so that was never really an issue.”Unfortunately, Michaels was forced to retire (not for good, it would turn out) beginning less than six months after the first Hell in a Cell, although he says that’s just a coincidence and that his four-year-plus hiatus had more to do with overall wear and tear.“I never thought about the end of my career or getting hurt,” he said. “And that’s probably one of the reasons that, when it did happen, it was a little difficult for me to deal with.”By the time Michaels wrestled in what he thought would be his last match – in March 29, 1998 at WrestleMania XIV – he had already solidified his legacy as one of the best. One reason for that was his performance on Oct. 5, 1997 in the first-ever Hell in a Cell – a match that started a trend, a match for which the Undertaker has become somewhat synonymous, and a match that fans still tell Michaels six years later is one of their favorites.“Wrestling fans express that,” HBK said. “When people bring it up as being something they really enjoy … getting accolades and recognition from fans, I think anybody would be a liar if they said that’s not one of the reasons they do this job. That’s great to have. Nobody gets tired of hearing somebody say, ‘Hey, that was really great.’”Added the Undertaker, “You never know what’s going to transpire, what’s going to happen.It was definitely not my motivation to start a trend, but I think for now and the near future, when you think of Hell in a Cell, you have to think of the Undertaker. Hell in a Cell is something that sparks a fire in people. When you’re name is synonymous with something like that, it’s a cool feeling.”

My god, I remember sitting up watching this classic, it doesnt seem like 6 years ago. When wrestling was good........ :) I LOVE 1997!
not to burst your bubble or anything it was 6 years ago last weekend :D
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Gee's, That long ago? It just goes to show how much time flys. I wasn't even 10 years old at that time. I still remember coming home from school on the day after and watching it after my dad taped it. If Im honest I think I watched the Hell In a cell twice because it was so much of a different kind of match than others at that time.And ECWRulz, Your sig is over the limit. Thank you.

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Gee's, That long ago? It just goes to show how much time flys. I wasn't even 10 years old at that time. I still remember coming home from school on the day after and watching it after my dad taped it. If Im honest I think I watched the Hell In a cell twice because it was so much of a different kind of match than others at that time.And ECWRulz, Your sig is over the limit. Thank you.

better ??? Edited by ecwrulz
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Guest Terry Nutkins
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Their epic encounter, which lasted nearly one hour, featured Shawn Michaels falling off the side of the cage, one of the most memorable falls in WWE history at the time. (It also featured the debut of Kane.)
This is why we all have a great admiration for World Wrestling Entertainment. Honesty - though their clocks clearly go twice as fast as ours.
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Christ! it was 6 years ago?!? I can still remember watching that match in amazement, to this day I've never got that same feeling from wrestling. It's still one of my fave matches of all time. I remember the next day at school talking my mate (who was the only other wrestling fan I knew) about it loads and then watching it again and again on tape over the next week. I wish I hadn't recorded over it when I went off wrestling for a bit. I MUST buy a copy of Badd Blood 97 soon.

Edited by Defikon
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I remember a few weeks before the match, my Dad was dissing me because I watched wrestling and said that if it was so real, how come they don't bleed. Then the day after Bad Blood, I watched the match on tape with my Dad and he saw Shawn Michaels's face covered in blood and my Dad just shut up from there. I can't believe that it was six years ago, time just flies by.

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Love, hate, emotion, passion, fear and bravery; this match was Shawn Michaels at his absolute peak. A level 99% of wrestlers that have ever worked a match can only dream of reaching. For all the people who harp on about how great Bret Hart was as a storyteller, the fable of this encounter was as engrossing as any Hart produced in his career.For weeks, Michaels had enraged and riled up the Goliath. Come combat time, HBK was consumed by fear yet driven by an unrelenting will to win. Despite looking hopelessly outmatched against a well prepared and uttertly focused adversary, Michaels held on to the faint hope that something, anything, would help him turn the tables. That something turned out to be Kane, but not before Michaels had sucked the crowd in with the kind of performance only he could have mustered.An utter masterclass from an incredible performer.

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Gee's, That long ago? It just goes to show how much time flys. I wasn't even 10 years old at that time. I still remember coming home from school on the day after and watching it after my dad taped it. If Im honest I think I watched the Hell In a cell twice because it was so much of a different kind of match than others at that time.And ECWRulz, Your sig is over the limit. Thank you.

better ???
What the bejesus is that supposed to mean you oxymoron.
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this match was Shawn Michaels at his absolute peak. A level 99% of wrestlers that have ever worked a match can only dream of reaching.

That's a joke, right? Firstly, Shawn's peak was probably 95 and secondly, even at his very, very best there were much better wrestlers than him.

For all the people who harp on about how great Bret Hart was as a storyteller, the fable of this encounter was as engrossing as any Hart produced in his career.

I guess you missed the two Austin matches and the matches against Owen.

For weeks, Michaels had enraged and riled up the Goliath. Come combat time, HBK was consumed by fear

That's just the thing with Michaels. He looked scared of Taker when the bell rung, yet moments before he had been dancing, strutting, pointing to himself etc. It's a problem I have often found with Shawn. He is too busy being "Shawn Michaels" to put over the severity of situation. Look at his return match against HHH. He is supposed to hate, loath and destest this guy. A guy who put his head through a window, who was supposedly Shawn's best buddy, and what does Shawn do as he enters the ring? Dance around, do his little comedy strutting and sits on the top rope smiling.

but not before Michaels had sucked the crowd in with the kind of performance only he could have mustered.

Did you actually watch this thing? It goes like this: Taker beats Shawn badly, Shawn bumps so over the top it's hard to take it seriously, Taker no-sells, Shawn get's some offense, Taker no-sells, the gimmick is rendered useless (It's supposed to keep everybody in and everybody out. It did neither.), more bumps and finally the most ridiculous finish you will ever see. Good fun? maybe. Simple big man vs. little man psych? yep. "An utter masterclass from an incredible performer"? Not really. Hell, even Shawn has had much better matches than this.Just my opinion, anyway. Edited by BionicRedneck
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