With Hell in a Cell 2016 just three days away, this week’s Throwback Thursday takes us back to the scene of the first ever Hell in a Cell 19 years ago at Badd Blood: In Your House.
Two future legends Undertaker and Shawn Michaels squared off inside the first ever encounter inside the Devil’s Playground and despite suffering a jaw-dropping fall from the Cell, HBK would snatch victory from the Deadman with a little help from debutant Kane.
It was all Undertaker in the early goings as realisation began it sit in on Michaels of what exactly he was in store for and ran right into the Deadman’s big boot, who began to dominate his oppoenent.
Michaels suffered a hard fall when Undertaker back dropped him over the ropes and to the floor hitting the cage on the way down, before Undertaker used the cell as a weapon sending the European Champion back first into the cell multiple times.
Michaels even tried to climb the Cell to get away from the Deadman but Undertaker pulled him down by the tights and continued to wear HBK down targeting his back, exchanging blows between the ringpost and the corner of the Cell.
Michaels got the break he needed when the sent Undertaker off the apron into the cell and followed up with a suicide dive on the outside and a diving elbow off the cell. Michaels was now in control and went to work on Undertaker with the steel steps before nailing a piledriver on them.
After kicking out of two chair shots to the back, Undertaker began to fight back and after escaping from being tied up in the ropes, Undertaker back dropped HBK over the top rope and on top of a cameraman.
A frustrated Michaels would take it out on the cameraman and after Undertaker sat up immediately after Sweet Chin Music, the Showstopper headed for the door which had to be open to help the fallen cameraman, but the Phenom closely followed.
A toss into the Cell busted Michaels wide open and after a another two face first drives into the Cell, HBK began to climb the cell but once again Undertaker was not too far behind.
After suffering a back drop and a body slam on the roof, HBK tried to climb down but Undertaker grabbed hold of the bloodied Michaels before stamping on his hands to send him crashing through the announcers desk below.
They headed back into the ring with the door relocked and Undertaker continued to dominate his opponent with a chokeslam off the top rope, but as he signalled for the Tombstone, the lights went out and the WWE fans were introduced to Undertaker’s brother Kane.
The Big Red Machine ripped the door off the Cell before nailing his big brother with the Tombstone and somehow Michaels managed to get the arm over Undertaker for the win and book himself a WWE Championship match with Bret Hart at Survivor Series.
32 Hell in a Cell matches have followed 19 years since the bar was set high in St.Louis and the inaugural Hell in a Cell is still considered one of the best Hell in a Cell matches in WWE history.
Not only did we get a thrilling main event between the legend Undertaker and future Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, we also witnessed the beginning of one of the most gripping rivalries in WWE history when Kane came face to face with his brother for the first time in a WWE ring.
Unfortunately the rest of the show failed to match the heights of the main event with the opening match that saw Nation of Domaintion defeat Legion of Doom in a Handicap match coming in a distant second best in my estimations.
It was a slow burner as The Rock and co. failed to cope with an early onslaught by Legion of Doom despite the man advantage, but things would soon turn in the Nation’s favour when Rocky illegally entered the ring and nailed Animal with a DDT.
From here we got your typical heel tag team display as Rocky and D’Lo Brown doubled teamed Animal on the outside and wearing him down far away from his corner in an attempt to keep him away from tagging in partner Hawk.
Animal bought some time when he moved from Kama Mustafa’s corner splash but the referee did not see his tag to Hawk as The Rock tried to enter the ring and after D-lo hit the frog splash after a 3-on-1 attack, Animal managed to kick out at two.
Animal’s clothesline to The Rock allowed him to tag in Hawk who rallied with a fury of hits but as he set up Rock for the Doomsday Device, Faarooq caused a distraction and Rock hit Hawk with a Rock Bottom after Mustafa’s cheap shot for the win.
It was a solid opening match to start the show and after dominating Legion of Doom for most of the match with a brilliant displays of a heel faction at their best, Nation of Domination came out on top with a deserving victory.
WWE Champion Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart teamed with British Bulldog to take on Vader and The Patriot in a Tag Team Flag match in a battle of Canada vs USA, but this showdown was a hot mess.
The four men came to blows even before the match even began as Team USA gained early momentum but it shifted in the Hart Foundation’s favour when the action eventually got started in the ring with Hart taking down Vader with a Russian Leg Sweep.
However a constant theme throughout the match was the partner on the outside denying their opponent from retrieving their flag which meant for a lot of interference and never really allowed either team to build any real kind of momentum.
You could also win the match by pinfall or submission as with Hart locking in a sharpshooter on Vader only for The Patriot to break it up and British Bulldog broke The Patriot’s figure four leg lock on Hart and as a result of the interference, it was a frustrating match to watch.
The most interesting part of the match was when a fan tried to get in the ring with Bulldog and referee Mike Chioda getting a few kicks in before security escorted him away. Soon after this incident, Hart scored a leverage roll up on The Patriot to pick up the win.
The stipulation of a Tag Team Flag match did not work and it did not even conclude with any of the four men retrieving the flag. It comes to no surprise that there has never been another Tag Team Flag match since.
Two new champions were crowned at Badd Blood: In Your House with Stone Cold surprisingly handing Owen Hart the Intercontinental Championship with a victory over Faarooq in the tournament final to crown a new champion.
After suffering a neck injury in his match against Owen Hart at SummerSlam, Austin was forced to vacate the title and despite it being Hart v Faarooq in the final, the match still managed to be all about Stone Cold who distracted us from the match with his antics at ringside.
Despite Austin’s attempts at commentary, we did also get a short-lived Intercontinental title match with Hart gaining the upper hand on his opponent early on, until Faarooq reversed a sharpshooter to send Owen shoulder first into the ringpost.
After Faarooq missed a leg drop from the second turnbuckle, Hart went for the sharpshooter again but once again it was countered by Faarooq, who responded with a powerslam to Hart.
Jim Neidhart ran out to cause a distraction and as the referee dealt with The Anvil, Austin nailed Farrooq with the title to hand Owen the victory. It was all part of Austin’s plan to get his revenge on Owen at Survivor Series and regain the Intercontinental title.
The Godwinns walked out of the Sold Out Kiel Center as new WWE Tag Team Champions as they dethroned the eccentric duo of The Headbangers to become two-time Tag Team champions.
It all did not go The Godwinns way as Phineas survived an early onslaught by the champions who wore down their opponent with good tag team wrestling moves but an illegal clothesline by Henry turned the match in The Godwinns favour.
In the end, Phineas caught an in-flight Mosh with a powerbomb to score the pin as manager Uncle Cletus held back Thrasher. The Godwinns continued their attack after the match but when the referee threatened to reverse the decision, they backed down with their newly won titles.
The Disciples of Apocalypse overcame Los Boricuas in eight man tag team action as Crush hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker on Miguel to pick up the win in what was a very poor eight-man tag team match.
Dude Love was also scheducled to take on Brian Pillman but unfortunately. Pillman was found dead in his hotel room earlier in the afternoon so instead we got a special attraction of a little person Lucha Libre tag team match.
The crowd was so disinterested, it made me have no interest in the match with the highlight of the match coming when Tarantula tossed Mx Mini onto the announcers desk sending Jerry Lawler into a fit of hysterical laughter.
Max Mini and Nova scored the win over Tarantula and Mosaic when Mini rolled up Tarantula in a botched finish to thankfully bring this encounter to an end.
While Badd Blood: In Your House was not the greatest ever pay-per-view, it did give us one of the greatest main events in history as Shawn Michaels overcame Undertaker inside the first ever Hell in a Cell and the introduction fo Kane, in one of the greatest debuts ever.
Badd Blood: In Your House 1997
1. Nation of Domination df Legion of Doom in a 3-on-2 Handicap match
2. Max Mini and Nova df Tarantula and Mosaic
3. The Godwinns df The Headbangers to become new WWE Tag Team Champions
4. Owen Hart df Farrooq to win the vacant Intercontinental Championship
5. Disciples of Apocalypse df Los Boricuas in an Eight Man Tag Team match
6. Bret Hart and British Bulldog df Vader and The Patriot in a Tag Team Flag match
7. Shawn Michaels df Undertaker in a Hell in a Cell match