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Go to "Hell"
What makes WWE.com's No. 1 Most Extreme Match the embodiment of bloody brutality and tumultuous torture? Some believe it's the oversized steel cage that encloses the ring and surrounding outside floor, and estimates at an acrophobic 20 feet off the ground. Others suggest how the cage's confines, despite its large dimensions, leave opposing Superstars with a claustrophobic feeling of desperation. And there are those who have witnessed the carnage previously would tell you that escaping the cage, however difficult, might actually be the worst thing one can do.
We just happen to think that it all starts with the name: Hell in a Cell.
Ask yourself this: Would you really want to enter a structure that's named after a Hadean place of punishment? We didn't think so, and we most certainly couldn't blame you. WWE's Superstar roster consists of the world's greatest athletes, and most of them don't want to make that trip into Hell. The match's history alone offers reason enough why.
Since its inception, this hellacious cage match has been (chain-)linked with crimson faces, broken bones and torn flesh. Undertaker and Shawn Michaels put their careers on the line to properly introduce the gruesome anything-goes contest to our fans at Badd Blood in October 1997, catapulting each other face-first into steel mesh and plummeting through announcers' tables -- and all before Kane made his WWE debut to help secure the victory for HBK.
It wouldn't be the first time The Phenom made history in "Hell"; in fact, at King of the Ring less than a year later, his cage clash with Mankind proved to be a battle that our fans consider to be a staple in WWE lore. Unfortunately for Mankind, it also provided reasons why one shouldn't look for a match advantage atop the cell -- shortly after hurling him off the steel roof and through the Spanish announcers' table, Undertaker chokeslammed him through the cage top itself and onto a thumbtack-covered mat. To make matters worse, a chair accompanied Mankind on the very hard way down, momentarily knocking him out, dislocating his jaw and sending one of his teeth through his nose. (In case you're wondering, he also lost the match.)
The painful memories go on and on when it comes to Hell in a Cell, both for our fans and WWE Superstars. There's no way that anyone -- especially Mick Foley and Triple H -- will ever forget February 2000's brutal No Way Out, its barbwire two-by-fours and bed of thumbtacks, or the hole in the canvas created by Foley's 20-foot drop through the cell roof. For that matter, none of the six Superstars in Armageddon's "Hell" 10 months later can ever disregard the frightening mental picture of Undertaker chokeslamming Rikishi off the cell and onto the back of a pickup truck.
It's safe to assume that the scars felt most are probably emotional in nature. After all, the stink of losing to D-Generation X in September 2006 -- not to mention the Chairman's face being buried in Big Show's bare posterior -- will remain forever Unforgiven in the minds of Mr. McMahon and Shane. Although victorious in his two Cell appearances, even a powerhouse like Batista will feel at least a little humbled by his trials in "Hell" against Triple H at Vengeance in June 2005 and Undertaker at Survivor Series 2008. And Edge, a man who has appeared in some of the most harrowing specialty contests on this List, must still feel the pain of Undertaker's chokeslam from the top of a ladder and through the ring at SummerSlam in August 2008.
Perhaps former ring official Tim White, who in June 2002 suffered a serious shoulder injury at Judgment Day's Hell in a Cell Match between Triple H and Chris Jericho, said it best with regards to the specialty contest: "There's no winner; only a survivor. And if you survive, your life will never be the same, anyway."