#80 – Undertaker v Shawn Michaels, Hell in a Cell, October 5, 1997

Big week here at the Old School Wrestling Podcast. First things first, we announce the debut of our amazing new t-shirt by Box Brown, the “OSWP Mail Order Gimmick” t-shirt, now available at our store.  We also have several other new items, including a full color print of the mail order gimmick art by Box Brown and prints of the AMAZING Savage/Liz artwork done by Dean Stahl from our box set. Visit flairchop.com for more information. Getting down to business, we take a look at one of the greatest WWE matches of all time, the very first Hell in a Cell match with Undertaker and Shawn Michaels from Bad Blood in 1997 and read some great feedback from the Big Daddy/Giant Haystacks match.

This episode has been archived. It is available either by ordering the physical “OSWP Season 3 box set” with episodes 76-100 or it can be instantly downloaded in a digital version of the “OSWP Season 3 complete set” with episodes of 76-100. The physical box set will always be our favorite, as it comes with a full color booklet featuring art by our friend Dean Stahl and looks great on your bookshelf next to your coliseum home videos. The instant digital download version also comes with high resolution PDFs of the booklet that you can view on your computer. Both the physical box set and the digital download come with two bonus episodes featuring our reviews of the Clash of the Champions 9 and the Royal Rumble 1988. These episodes have never been available on flairchop.com. But if you only want to hear this one episode, we also offer the option of instantly downloading just the individual episode for a small price.

This episode has been archived in the Season 3 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. Frankito says:

    Happy Belated 3rd Anniversary Guys! I hope that Big Classic was delicious Black Cat.
    Two Questions. 1. How is J.R. Better than Gordon Solie “The Dean of Professional Wrestling” ?
    and 2. how come Deak Reconing’s Father has an English accent, but dead reconing sounds just like Dre?

    another great show guys, as soon as my birthday check from grandma clears im buying the shirt!!!

  2. John Funk says:

    Great review guys but with a slight mistake. It wasn’t this match that injured HBK’s back. It was actually their next match at Royal Rumble 1998 when Undertaker backdropped Michaels on top of the casket. However, HBK didn’t land flat on the casket, instead he landed on the corner of it. He herniated 3 dics in his back due to it. Shawn would only wrestle one more match after the Rumble and that was the match with Austin. Also, I am sorry to say, this match is leaps and bounds better than the Foley and Taker match. HBK and taker tell an actual story within the match unlike the two spots from the Foley and taker bout.

  3. JBLCENAFAN says:

    Angry I wasn’t able to get here fast enough to mention he go hurt at the Rumble first. I would like to say that this to me is the match that made Shawn Michaels. He was always kinda wimpy and that babyface stripper gimmick did him no favors as a tough guy. But that bloody spot of getting rammed in the cell was in the opening of Raw for years. Also, the cell match was made based off the ending of the Ground Zero ppv where Michaels and HBK beat up a bunch of refs and DX was involved. A non finish leading to a match where Michaels had no where to run. One more thing as far as current WWE storyline (which is subject to selective booker memory) Kane and Taker’ teamed together on Raws 1000th episode.

  4. JamGlad says:

    Man I love this match! I have it on the Hell in a Call DVD collection that I found at my local Wal-Mart discount shelf for $10.00. It has some other great matches on it like ‘Taker vs. Mankind and Batista vs. Triple H. You can also see that the hell in a cell match, which started out as the Undertakers match, trasitioned somewhat into Triple H’s match. If you can get your hands on this set for a cheap price it’s worth it. I was such a WCW loyalist that I didn’t get to see these matches until much later. I know that some people give WWE grief for putting EVERYTHING on dvd but for someone like me who loves old school stuff and also missed some of the great pre-attitude and attitude era stuff I’ll jump on the chance to own that stuff at the right price, but I’m cheap and I’ll never pay full price.

  5. Siskey says:

    Love the episode guys. I was a big fan of this match even though I have never been a big fan of either HBK or the Undertaker. You guys are just getting better and better. I ordered a shirt in a post listening moment of bliss so keep it up there is no telling what kind of shit I may purchase.

  6. Millennium Man says:

    Great episode guys, this is one of my favorite matches in WWF history. It set the bar so high for the Hell in a Cell matches. I would expect nothing less from these two superstars. Can you imagine what Shawn could have done in the years he missed due to this match? I agree, this is one of the only times when Kane worked, what a moment. How has he hung on for so long? Keep up the good work fellas, I really enjoy listening to the show.

  7. Bryan Pflanz says:

    Outstanding job this week, as per usual! My fave part of this week’s show was when you boys brought Gordon Solie, my personal wrestling broadcast icon, into the picture. I could just picture old “Garden Solie, if you will”, being thoroughly disgusted with what the sport has become, slamming his headphones down and going to the nearest gin joint and pounding down some belts of bourbon. He would have probably gotten hammered, telling anyone who will listen about the old days of Eddie Graham, the Brisco Brothers, Buddy Colt, Bobby Shane, and Big Dust, spraying spit onto the poor soul that was sitting in the stool next to him, until the bartender finally asked him to leave for the sake of his patrons. Stumbling out of the bar, into a cab, mumbling about “Pier 6 Brawls” and “Crimson Masks”, and throwing a 20 to the cab driver, slurring “So Long From The Sunshine State”, before he fell into the gutter. Just the thought of that had me laughing my fool head off for about 10 minutes as I drove down the Pennsylvania Turnpike! You guys are the shit!! Thanks for all that you do for us!

  8. Eric Miller says:

    Congrats on the new merchandise guys. I directly attribute this to my comment to Black Cat that I already had the box set, so please make more things for me to buy. Once I have money again, I will definitely be buying the gimmick poster. I love that the Arrogance Cologne was included. One of the more underrated storylines of my childhood, culminating in the only blindfold match that ever worked (unless you count the AMW blindfold match where their hoods kept falling off – that worked on a different, Botchamania type level).

    The one thing that I absolutely would have included on my personal gimmick poster is the “mysterious white powder”. More commonly referred to as salt, this great equalizer has been in use for decades. It rarely works in the favor of the thrower, but it is always a great addition to any match.

    Another item I would put on my gimmick poster is Gangrel’s “Viscous red liquid”. They could say bloodbath, but they couldn’t say that Gangrel was drinking blood. I loved The Brood, and Gangrel more specifically, and he was one of the innovators of having an entrance that was longer and greater than his actual match. Oh, how I loved the rivalry between Chest Protector D’Lo Brown and Gangrel over the European title.

    I would also include Vader’s giant horned smoking mask dealy.

    And just for the hell of it, Berzerker’s viking helmet.

  9. It’d be funny if they changed the height of the cell from 16′ to 20′ after the Undertaker-Mankind match from the King of the Ring. I can see them in the board room: “Hey, that was some serious stuff with Mick falling through the top of the cell like that. How do we make this thing safer for the wrestlers? I know, let’s make it taller!”

    I know personally that if there’s anyone who can complain about guys whose matches have a formula, it’s Dre. That would not be hippocritical in the least.

    Jook, if you’re going to speak for Pat Patterson, at least do it in a bad french canadian accent 🙂

  10. Dre says:


  11. DBrewer says:

    In my opinion this may be one of the most important matches in the WWE. The way the match went of was really smart neither HBK or Taker looked bad after the out come, you introduced a new character in a Impresive way. My favorite part of this matches is the way they got to the roof. You take a somewhat small part of the match with Michales landing on a camera man that led to such a big spot.
    Love the podcast

  12. Tough as Nails says:

    I was living with decidedly non-wrestling fans around this time. So I would do the fantastic “listen through scrambled signal” for PPV’s for most of these events. I remember the hyperbole of the announcers really hitting me hard the next night when I finally saw a clear shot of Kane. The PPV audio had him as a bigger/badder Andre the Giant in my head. Then Isaac Yankem comes out with a mask on! From then on I really heard all wrestling commentary with jaded ears.