‘Hell In A Cell Phone Store’ And Other Forgotten Cell-Themed Matches
WWE’s Hell in a Cell is one of the organization’s most exciting (and controversial) events. Not just a typical match in a regular ring, Hell in a Cell forces WWE superstars to grapple in a 20-foot-tall enclosure—with no way out. However, there have been a number of other cell-themed wrestling events over the years that, for whatever reason, have been largely forgotten by even the most devoted of wrestling fans. In anticipation of Hell in a Cell 2019 (coming your way October 6th!), we’re taking a look back at some of these moments.
Hell in The Cell
New Line Cinema gave the WWE a ton of money to promote its surreal 2000 horror film, The Cell. It resulted in a Cell-themed private match for Hollywood executive types who were mostly just hoping to meet J-Lo. Kane and Kurt Angle dressed up as characters from the movie (specifically in Jennifer Lopez’s semi-sheer dress and creepy face-mask, and serial killer Vincent D’Onofrio’s weird dragon cape, respectively). They then wrestled as the cell filled with water. It was both dangerous and provocative.
Hell in a “Cell Block Tango”
The 2002 movie-musical sensation Chicago, starring Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta Jones, was so big that the WWE opted to devote an entire Hell in a Cell performance to the number “Cell Block Tango.” Six of the most popular wrestlers of the day practiced the nuanced Fosse routine for weeks beforehand and performed the vocals live (Triple H has since called the night “the most challenging—and rewarding—of my career.”) The Undertaker was so believable as murderess Velma Kelly that he won a Special Class Tony Award that year.
Hell in a Cell Phone Store
Vince McMahon once had such a bad experience at a Verizon retail outlet that he dedicated part of 2004’s Hell in a Cell to smearing the company’s name. He decorated the inside of the cell to look just like a Verizon store and brought out WWE’s entire roster to beat up some poor actor in a Verizon polo shirt. It was brutal.
The Play “Helen: A Cell”
In 2010, playwright Eve Ensler staged her follow-up to The Vagina Monologues, a one-woman, semi-autobiographical show about female empowerment called Helen: A Cell. Vince McMahon attended the show’s first performance in a tiny Greenwich Village theater, initially assuming it had something to do with wrestling. Ready to sue for trademark infringement, he instead found himself “forever changed.” He commissioned a production of Helen: A Cell during Hell in a Cell that same year. It was performed by WWE Hall of Famer and internet sensation Tammy “Sunny” Sytch.