Where Does Hell in a Cell Rank Among WWE’s Cage-Style Gimmick Matches? | Bleacher Report

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Once upon a time, Hell in a Cell was one of WWE’s top gimmick matches. The Undertaker vs. Mankind from King of the Ring 1998 alone proved it was one of the most awe-inspiring, violent matches imaginable.

    Its name alone struck terror in the hearts of its competitors. These days, though, it’s not the same.

    As Arn Anderson said on his podcast, it lacks the punch it once had and is no longer as big of a selling point.

    In fact, Hell in a Cell isn’t even at the top of the list when comparing it only to other cage-style matches.

    Just how far down is it, though? Let’s rank all the gimmick matches that are similar in nature and see where HIAC lands.

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    Obviously, Inferno and Ring of Fire matches don’t involve cages, but the concept is still to put wrestlers inside an enclosure. This just happens to be fire instead of a cage.

    WWE’s four Inferno contests have ended with someone set on fire, while the Ring of Fire match from SummerSlam 2013 was a regular pinfall finish.

    Given the two, it might be considered more entertaining to see the losing wrestler set ablaze, but it’s not a gimmick that can happen often. Not only is it extremely dangerous, but it’s also not a theme most competitors would fit with.

    Fire is one of Kane’s signature motifs, but it would be strange to see a feud like Bayley vs. Sasha Banks culminate in this type of contest.

    Inferno matches may sound sensational in theory, but the combatants have to stay so close to the center to avoid harm, which renders bouts boring up until the conclusion.

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    Again, this isn’t an actual cage made out of steel, but it’s the human equivalent.

    Lumberjack matches are one of the most common types of gimmicks because they’re so easy to pull off. You can technically have one of these matches with just four people covering each side of the ring.

    Typically, though, it’s closer to 10 so that it feels like a bigger deal. The more Superstars surrounding the ring, the more chaos can ensue.

    However, lumberjack matches can fall victim to repetition. A wrestler is hurled outside the ring, gets beaten up and is thrown back in. Then, a fight ensues between the lumberjacks, which turns into a full-on brawl.

    Eventually, there are enough distractions that someone is able to take advantage and get the win while all the lumberjacks are incapacitated.

    When done well, these can be a lot of fun, but they’re normally too formulaic to be anything spectacular.

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    As the Punjabi Prison is the first actual cage on this list, it earns bonus points. Unfortunately, it also happens to be a mess.

    By far the ugliest structure WWE has created, this cage is made out of one mile of reinforced steel bamboo and is nearly impossible to see through.

    The concept is also