With the WWE presenting its annual Hell in a Cell pay-per-view later this month, I had been thinking about the progression of Hell in a Cell matches in recent history, and the great matches that took place within the structure in the Attitude Era and the Ruthless Aggression era.
And, it is quite obvious to me that Hell in a Cell has indeed, lost its sparkle. Apart from the Cell match at WrestleMania 28 between The Undertaker and Triple H, which will always go down as one of my favourite matches of all time, the birth of the gimmick's own pay-per-view has devalued the once great spectacle.
Let's look back at Hell in a Cell 2012, and the match between CM Punk and Ryback. Now, if the upcoming pay-per-view hadn't been Hell in a Cell, the match would not have taken part inside 'Satan's structure'. The feud lacked substance and wasn't worthy of taking place inside the cell. The match should only be used to settle a feud that is nearing its end, a legitimate finale to a prolonged grudge, not just thrown in because it is part of the upcoming pay-per-view.
Yes, I understand that WWE seem to like the idea of using gimmick pay-per-views, as they have done with Tables, Ladders and Chairs, and Money in the Bank; but it is this, combined with WWE's procession into the PG Era that has made my once favourite match a little less enjoyable. Part of what made Lesnar-Undertaker and Mankind-Undertaker so enthralling was the hyperbolic violence and use of blood.
I cannot argue with the WWE's decisions to make viewing more friendly, as they have done with the birth of the PG era - the WWE 'universe' is larger than it ever has been, with 14 million viewers tuning into its programming per week. However, I believe that it is these changes that have helped cheapen one of its most defining concepts.
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