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Jim Ross on Who Came Up With the Hell in a Cell Match, Preferring It to WWE’s Cage Matches

October 9, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Untold Kane Hell in a Cell

– Jim Ross discussed the origins of the Hell in a Cell match during the latest episode of Grilling JR. The match made its debut at Badd Blood in October of 1997 in a match between Shawn Michaels and Undertaker that memorably saw Kane’s debut. Jim Cornette reportedly came up with the original idea.

Highlights from the discussion, and the full podcast, are below:

On when the match was first mentioned to him: “Vince told me that we were gonna do this new match, and we were gonna build a new cage. It didn’t have a name. It didn’t have Hell in a Cell. But then obviously, that evolved. But Vince told me about what he was gonna do, and I’m sure it came from Creative, the creative guys had an idea. And had it planned out, because the finish the month before — or the non-finish — necessitated the Hell in a Cell match. But Vince told me about it and like I said, I think he got it from the Creative guys. He signed off on it, they blessed it, they put a top on it so somebody can’t climb over the cage.”

On what he liked about the Cell: “The beautiful part for me was, it got rid of that stupid-ass stipulation that you can escape the cage and win. So you can run from your fight, you can avoid, you can evade, you can retreat, you can go over the top and win! I always thought that was a bulls**t finish. I think it was put into play to appease some talents who didn’t want to get pinned, thinking they would never be the same by dropping a fall in a cage because cages were historically used as a blow-off. The only time a heel would win, is if you had a big angle and the babyface got blatantly screwed. Most babyfaces are too fragile an ego to either lose by submission and/or to lose in a cage.”

On the look of the cell: “Putting the top, the roof on it was the real creative idea because it looks really good. And when that son of a bitch lowered, man, it was an impressive structure. I mean, it was kind of awe-inspiring how big this was and all that stuff. It was just a new cage match. The old blue cage was a cage that when Hogan was the top babyface there in the territory at 300 pounds, and a lot of the guys he wrestled were in that same size — Bundys and John Studds and other guys. The blue cage was easier to climb, and it was easier to work round for some of those bigger guys. The fence — daunting, but daunting in a good way. The guys had to figure it out.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Grilling JR with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.