Watch all the WWE action on SuperSport Wrestling (DStv 236)
Watch all the WWE action on SuperSport Wrestling (DStv 236)

Mick Foley reveals the truth about his WWE Hell In A Cell matches


If there’s one WWE Superstar who’s been there, done that and has the Hell In A Cell ripped T-Shirt, it’s Hall of Famer Mick Foley

When it comes to WWE tentpole events, Hell In A Cell is one of the most iconic. It’s a giant steel cage that locks Superstars in a fight to the bloody end. And more often than not, the Cell itself becomes a character in the matches.

Over the decades that the Hell In A Cell has been used on the WWE tours, one Superstar wrestler has become synonymous with the giant structure: Mick Foley.

Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013, Mick has wrestled in the Cell numerous times – as his various WWE personas: Mankind, Dude Love, Cactus Jack and Mick Foley. If anyone is qualified to talk about the Hell In A Cell, it’s Mick…

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Worldchanger

Because the Cell is made out of actual steel, WWE Superstars take a battering when they’re thrown into the structure. When it was first used in 1997, the Cell was 5m high and weighed over 2 tons. The third-ever match is probably the most memorable, because Mick wasn’t just thrown against the Cell by The Undertaker in 1998, he was thrown through it, and off it, onto the announcers’ table ringside.

Surely that must hurt? “It’s been said that the Hell In A Cell is a match that shortens careers. The Cell, I think, may have shortened my career. That match (against the Undertaker) is the point at which I believed in my own mortality. Everything was different following that Cell match. I’ve just paid for a bottom set of false teeth that were knocked out in that match. It didn’t go according to plan, certainly like being chokeslammed through the Cell. I don’t regret that match, or starting off on top of the Cell. I’m still aware of that match,” says Mick.

Storyteller Superstars

Mick says that while his Undertaker Cell match is his most memorable, there have been better fights inside the cage. “It would take a lot to top that match, but I think some of the work being done now is really fantastic. Each WWE Superstar that has stepped into the Cell has put a lot of work into trying to create a memory that fans can hold onto. You look at people like Randy Orton, he’s come back time and time again. I’m so very pleasantly surprised by how well he has managed to reinvent himself over the course of more than 16 years.”

In the US, the Hell In A Cell match is one of the WWE’s biggest pay-per-view events (in which viewers pay to tune in to a specific event) alongside SummerSlam and WrestleMania, and Mick says that it’s the Superstars who make that possible. “It’s been one of the drawcards since 1997, year in, year out. It’s popular because it’s not just a regular match - you have to prepare so meticulously for a Cell,” says Mick.

“The Cell in and of itself is the best stipulation in any match. There’s always pressure on the Superstars to come out big in a Cell match, for something of this magnitude. People like Bray Wyatt and Randy and Sasha Banks are really great at telling stories outside the ring, but they’re even better inside,” he continues.

Mick adds that his Cactus Jack match versus Triple H at No Way Out in 2000 was important for both stars. “I realised that my career was ending, and Triple H’s singles career was really taking off. It was important that I be able to go out with a great match, and that Triple H had a match to show that he could be a truly great star at the top of the card. So in that sense, it was a very successful Cell match, one of the best matches of my career, actually.”

Cell-mosphere

Taking part in a Hell In A Cell match is daunting to start with, but if there’s one element of the WWE matches that Mick says inspires the Superstars, it’s the fans watching and cheering ringside.“There was a lot on the line. The atmosphere was eerie. We (Mick and the Undertaker) wanted to make it memorable. The fan atmosphere was ominous, they knew my reputation for taking chances. People thought that anything could happen, but I don’t think that anyone expected the match to start on top of the cell, to go up there. I think we exceeded everyone’s expectations before we even got up there.”

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