The nineties brought about a huge evolution in the wrestling industry, as the fan base changed dramatically. Therefore, the WWE needed to transform the content of its television show and produce a more contemporary product. While change is scary, it did provide WWE with an opportunity to introduce different concepts for their matches and storylines. On the 5th of October 1997, a new stipulation was created, which over twenty years later is still highly anticipated by WWE fans worldwide.
The Undertaker was embroiled in a heated rivalry with Shawn Michaels who had been a thorn in the dead mans’ side. With the help of Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude, Michaels had continuously gotten the upper hand on Undertaker during their past confrontations. Every time Undertaker had Michaels in his grasp, Shawn would be saved by his group of degenerates, which would lead to a beat down on Undertaker.
As a result, it was decided that Undertaker would face Shawn Michaels again but this time, the battle would take place inside what would be called Hell In A Cell. Both combatants would be locked in a cage with a roof on top of it. The door would be locked shut, meaning that Triple H, Chyna and Rick Rude would not be able to be involved in the match at all. Finally, Undertaker was going to have the opportunity to punish Shawn for the many attacks in the week’s prior.
Undertaker controlled the beginning of the match, unleashing a systematic assault on Michaels. After a piledriver and Sweet Chin Music to the Undertaker, it appeared that Michaels was closing in on a victory. However, the Undertaker sat up and forced Michaels to run out of the Cell door, which had been opened to assist an injured cameraman. With both men now out of the cage, Michaels climbed on top of the cage in an effort to escape Undertaker.
After hanging off the edge of the cage, Undertaker stepped on Shawn’s hands causing him to fall through the announcers’ table. With Undertaker seconds away from victory, the lights went out, followed by a huge explosion of fire. Kane had appeared and was coming after his older brother. For months before this match, Paul Bearer had said that Undertaker’s younger brother Kane was still alive following a fire that occurred when Kane and Undertaker were children. While everyone including Undertaker believed Paul was lying, he was actually telling the truth as Kane ripped the door of the cage and hit a tombstone on Undertaker. Therefore, Undertaker lost the match to Shawn and spent the next few months feuding with Kane in what I believe to be one of the greatest storylines in WWE history.