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WWE DVD Review: Hell in a Cell

I know there is already a WWE Hell In A Cell DVD Review on Cult of Whatever by Draven Cage, but I thought I would offer my thoughts on the DVD also…

The Package: Looks sharp. Has a slip-on case. Inside there’s a two-page pamphlet that has the match listing, as well as various pictures. Same goes for the DVD package itself. It’s a tri-fold, and we get photos from the various wars throughout the years.

Non-Match Segments: The little interludes with Mick are great. He offers little facts here and there as well as his two cents whenever possible. Another great aspect is that they give you the video packages that explain why this match is taking place, which is awesome because then you have more investment in the match itself.  Unfortunately, there are no easter-eggs, which is odd because the ‘E usually drops one here and there.

The Matches:

Shawn Michaels (C) vs. The Undertaker – Bad Blood – October 5th, 1997

The Review: It’s the one that started it all. As DX was in full swing and made it impossible for either Shawn or HHH’s opponents to get a leg up because someone was bound to interfere. They had the cage at SummerSlam to keep Chyna out of HHH and Mankind’s match, but the big, blue cage proved to be useless in that facet.  So with Taker still hot on Shawn’s tail, they came up with Hell in a Cell. Which was basically the Omni-Cage from an NWA event in the mid-80’s, if I recall. I remember watching this match live on PPV and being pissed at Kane appearing. Not as pissed as the next night on Raw when everyone had signs that read ‘Cain’ when it was obvious it was spelt Kane. Anyways, the match rules all, but doesn’t get the full monty because of the ridiculous ending. Like the Undertaker wouldn’t have broken out of the Tombstone when it took Kane that long to execute it.
The Rating: * * * * 3/4th

Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Undertaker vs. Mankind & Kane – Raw – June 15th, 1998

The Review: This is nothing more than a segment, really. As nothing note worthy happens here. Undertaker doesn’t come out when he is supposed to. Paul locks himself in the cage. Wonder what will happen next? Yup.
The Rating: No Rating

Mankind vs. The Undertaker – June 28th, 1998

The Review: I saw this one on PPV, and the spots obviously blew me away. As they should anyone. But you only need to see this match once, and that’s it. Other than the spots, it sucks. As Foley is clearly on dream street, but get’s uber-man credits for continuing. I always thought he was truly the toughest SOB in the WWE.
The Rating: * * * * * for what it is to history, but truly, it’s a ** star match

Mankind vs. Kane – Raw – August 24th, 1998

The Review: Almost too short to review. Although they started with a nice base, and this could have really been something.
The Rating: * * 1/2th

Triple H (C) vs. Cactus Jack – Title vs. Career – No Way Out – February 27th, 2000

The Review: Goddamn, it took them FOREVER to put this on DVD while I had to sit and watch collection after collection have the street fight from the Rumble on it. Sure, the street fight was great, but this was better. I never really looked at this as Mick’s retirement, just a long hiatus for him so he can heel up and come back to deliver the best matches of his career. As for this one, just total awesomeness. They took the street fight it and amplified, I thought. The fact that Jack gets up and still fights after falling through the cage is a great way to end anyone’s tenure.
The Rating: * * * * *

Kurt Angle (C) vs. Rikishi vs. The Rock vs. Undertaker vs. Triple H vs. Stone Cold – Armageddon – December 10th, 2000

The Review: Jesus. Would you look at that line-up? Besides Rikishi, it’s like you made the most impossible dream match or something. So you’d think something like that, in my favourite style of match would have created something of greatness. You’d be wrong. There was just too much going on, and it was all punching and kicking, and some brawling onto cars. Other than Rikishi’s fall, there’s nothing note worthy. While it isn’t a horrible match, it doesn’t live up to what the marquee says.
The Rating: * * * 3/4th

Triple H vs. Chris Jericho – Judgment Day – May 19th, 2002

The Review: For some reason, this match doesn’t get put on people’s shoulders, and I don’t know why. Jericho has always been great, and this was just before Triple H got fat, wore different colour wrestling trunks, and f’ning sucked. So it’s all goodies here. It’s not just an all out brawl, but a great wrestling match with some great brawling. Not to mention the ending is the first, and last time we’ve seen that, so hoorah I say.
The Rating: * * * * 1/2th

Brock Lesnar (C) vs. The Undertaker – No Mercy – October 20th, 2002

The Review: Ugh. This is probably the only actually HIAC match that two guys can have and not break the 4 star rating. Lesnar is great, but Biker-Taker was SO crappy. All he did was sit around and punch, and talk about his yard, and refuse to do shit. I didn’t like the broken-hand thing, as I thought it made Brock look less tough because he felt he needed to break the Taker’s hand to get a leg-up. No odd pun intended. The match was at least bloody and carried enough by Brock for me to enjoy it. Pissed I still hunted down the No Mercy DVD a couple years back just to see it.
The Rating: * * * 3/4th

Triple H (C) vs. Kevin Nash – Guest Ref: Mick Foley – Bad Blood – June 15th, 2003

The Review: This match is famous for 2 reasons; 1. People thought it was going to suck so bad. 2. Mick Foley came back after 18 months. I for one, never thought it was going to suck, because that’s the beauty of HIAC. It’s damn hard, unless you’re Biker-Taker, to have a bad match. Sure, Nash is broken down at this point, and Triple H was at the laziest he’d ever been, but this match kicked ass. Nash was in rare form, not being sluggish the least-bit, and Triple H rocked it too. Hell, I felt Foley wasn’t even needed. This is a true underdog.
The Rating: * * * *

Triple H (C)  vs. Shawn Michaels – Bad Blood – June 13th, 2004

The Review: Wow. This match goes deep. I often crave matches with an ‘epic’ feel, and this one does just that. Triple H and Shawn have their 1 millionth match together, and don’t disappoint. This bad-boy goes 40 minutes plus, and really only tends to drag come the last 10 minutes or so. But it’s an impressive sight to see just how tired two humans can get. It’s also crazy to see how long it takes HBK to get up after the match is over.
The Rating: * * * * 1/4th

Batista (C) vs. Triple H – Vengeance – June 26th, 2005

The Review: Boy howdy. Although the most recent HIAC with Edge and Taker is my all time fav, this one can often make a case for being number 1. Goddamn, does it own. From barb-wire chairs that leave puncture wounds all over Batista’s back, to Triple H spraying blood when caught in the chin with the sledge-hammer, this match doesn’t let up for one second. The first time I watched it, I was alone and still said out loud “I f**king LOVE this match!”. A true classic.
The Rating: * * * * *

The Undertaker vs. Randy Orton – Armageddon – December 18th, 2005

The Review: Ah The Legend Killer…he came to fight the legend to beat all legends, The Undertaker. And where else do you prove your worth to the Deadman? But in HIAC. This is one is very underrated, as I rarely hear people talk about it. It takes another approach that is one of the many that HIAC can offer. Where as most tend to do the weapons and such, this one actually uses the space, and the cage as the weapon. It’s a truly well fought match-up. They go all over the damn thing, and Randy Orton really proves his worth here. It’s an awesome bout.
The Rating: * * * * 1/4th

D-Generation X vs. Shane McMahon / Vince McMahon / The Big Show – Unforgiven – September 17th, 2006

The Review: I dunno. There was just something missing from this. I think what it is, is that when it comes to a match with Vince, you’ve got to use a lot of weapons, a lot of gimmicks, and make up for the fact it’s a senior citizen in there. Had it been Big Show and Shane, it’d be a different story. As Big Show is ok in a hardcore setting, and Shane, well, he’s Shane. There were hardly any weapons used here, and it was just a bit of a boring, bloody affair. Although in the end, when Shawn looks at what took place, and you can see the look in his eye that says he’s truly disgusted it went this far, it gives the match a quarter of a point or two.
The Rating: * * *

Batista (C) vs. The Undertaker – Survivor Series – November 18th, 2007

The Review: Ah, the blow-off from what will probably go down as my favourite feud as far as match quality goes. I was giddy when I found out that Taker and Batista would settle their hash in a HIAC. My favourite feud from that year, my favourite match, how could it go wrong? Surely it did not. They did everything right, and hit on all cylinders. Hell, Batista even rocked the powerbomb through the table, when 99% of the time it just turns into a back-drop. Cripes all Friday! I would have liked a pinch more brutality, and a clean ending. Those are the only two things hindering this from a full monty.
The Rating: * * * * 3/4th

The Diagnosis: 10/10 – Str8 Gangster, No Chaser. If my house was burning, this would most definitely be the DVD set I grab. With 8 matches ranking at 4 stars or more, and 7 matches ranking HIGHER than that, you can’t go wrong. Damn near every match is epic, and would be a high-spot on anyone’s Ten Best of That Year.

Caliber Winfield