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WWE Bad Blood 1997 – HELL IN A CELL Begins


WWE Bad Blood: In Your House 1997
Hell In A Cell Begins
By Joey Finnegan for Today’s Knockout

Badd Blood featured Hell in a Cell

The Original ‘Badd’ Blood promo.

Bad Blood was one of many In Your House Pay-per-views that Vince McMahon held from May 1995 to December 1997. This was in a time when there was no Payback or Battleground PPV. There was no Hell In A Cell or Elimination Chamber either. At the time, Vince had the big four: Survivor Series, Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and WrestleMania. The rest of the eight months of the year were void of any WWE PPV spectaculars, which is why the In Your House events came about. Vince used them to fill out the rest of the year and keep raking in money. I intend on covering every one, in time. This just felt like the perfect place to start.

Bad Blood was held on October 5th, 1997 at the Kiel Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It is a notable Pay-per-view for many reasons. For starters, it was held on the same day that Flyin’ Brian Pillman passed away. Vince got the call hours before the event was to begin, sending the Chairman scrambling to replace the match he had planned between Pillman and Dude Love. It was also the final PPV that Vince was lead commentator on, stepping away from the table permanently after the events of 1997’s Survivor Series, held a month after Bad Blood.

It was also the debut of the big red monster, Undertaker’s story-line brother, Kane. It was not the debut of the man behind the mask, however. Glen Jacobs debuted in WWE in 1995 as Issac Yankem, DDS, Jerry Lawler’s private dentist. After Yankem, Jacobs wound up as Fake Diesel after Kevin Nash and Scott Hall jumped ship to WCW. The solution for Hall and Nash’s defection was to prove how replaceable they were by repackaging Jacobs as the new Diesel and Rick Bognar as the new Razor Ramon. This backfired on Vince hugely, as not only did fake Diesel and fake Razor Ramon fail almost spectacularly, but Nash and Hall ended up with an increase in pay, due to WCW brass taking the promos leading up to the return of Diesel and Ramon as truth. They thought Nash and Hall were ditching them, so they threw more money at the two.


The First Hell in a Cell (wwe.com)

Back on topic though: The Hell In A Cell Match: The Heartbreak Kid Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker. It was the first of its kind, setting a standard that would only be raised by Mick Foley. Undertaker versus HBK was a highly physical affair, which saw the showstopper get brutalized by Taker, ending up a bloody mess. HBK was even the first man to go off of the cage. After climbing up the cage to escape him, HBK tried again to escape Taker’s wraith by climbing down the side. Undertaker caught him, stepping on Shawn’s hand and stomping out the grip he held on the top of the cage, sending him plummeting through the Spanish Announcer’s table.

Thanks to Kane’s intervention, HBK was able to pick up the victory over Undertaker. From here, HBK would go on to win the WWE Championship at Survivor Series, leading to his WrestleMania 14 Main Event versus Stone Cold Steve Austin. Undertaker and Kane would go through months upon months of buildup to their WrestleMania 14 match. Initially, Undertaker wanted nothing to do with his brother in the ring. How could he be expected to fight his brother?

Well that all changed at the 1998 Royal Rumble a few months after Bad Blood. HBK and Undertaker were in a casket match for HBK’s WWE Championship, when out came Kane to interfere. He put Taker in the casket, took an axe to it for good measure, and then poured gasoline all over it and set the pine box ablaze. This was supposed to have killed Undertaker. Instead, it led to one of my favorite moments in WWE: the return of the Undertaker. The lightning bolt striking Taker and then him sitting up was one of the coolest things my 8-year-old self had ever seen.

Also on the card at Bad Blood 1997 were legendary wrestlers such as Bret Hart, Rocky Maivia (The Rock), The Legion Of Doom (Hawk and Animal), The British Bulldog, and Owen Hart. This was a month after Stone Cold Steve Austin was forced to vacate his Inter-Continental Championship after Owen Hart broke his neck with a pile driver during their match at SummerSlam 1997. That is a horrific injury to watch The Rattlesnake to sustain, so to see him at ringside less than a month later, not just sitting around but getting involved, is absolutely crazy. There’s a reason they call him the world’s toughest SOB.

In Your House: Bad Blood is the biggest of the In Your House PPV’s, arguably leaving behind the biggest legacy. The Undertaker vs. HBK Hell In A Cell match received a five-star rating, which would be the last time a match in WWE received as high a rating until CM Punk and John Cena put on their classic title match in Chicago at Money In The Bank 2011.

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