WrestleMania Barred: Steel Cage Stats from The Big Event

WrestleMania, ‘The Granddaddy of them All’, is an event famous not only for some of the biggest matches of all time but also for featuring a variety of gimmick matches on its shows. Over its 39 (nearly 40) year history, ‘Mania has played host to everything from Ladder and TLC matches to Triple Threats, Money in the Bank and boxing matches. Some of these matches have become definitive archetypes for the way such gimmick matches should be performed: classics such as the famous ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship between Razor Ramon and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania X, or TLC II’s stunning defiance of gravity at WrestleMania X-7.

But how do you think the humble steel cage match, one of the longest-running gimmick matches in professional wrestling history, has fared at the biggest show of the year? You’d expect surely that such a ubiquitous gimmick would have made many an appearance at WrestleMania? I was curious, so I did some research and this is what I found out about the steel cage match at WrestleMania…

The Matches

  • Over the (to-date) 39 previous WrestleMania events, only six steel cage matches have taken place on the show. Considering the familiarity of the steel cage match as a wrestling gimmick, this is a surprising, shockingly low number.
  • The six matches are: Hulk Hogan vs. King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania II, The Undertaker vs. Big Boss Man at WrestleMania XV, Triple H vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania XVIII, The Undertaker vs. Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32, Shane McMahon vs. Braun Strauman at WrestleMania 37 and Edge vs. Finn Balor at WrestleMania 39.
  • Out of the six steel cage matches that have taken place to date at ‘Mania, only two have been straight-up steel cage matches, with the four being Hell in a Cell matches.

King Kong Bundy looks down at a prone Hulk Hogan in the steel cage at WrestleMania II

  • The first ever steel cage match at ‘Mania took place at WrestleMania II, where then-WWF World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defeated King Kong Bundy.
  • The aforementioned Hogan-Bundy match was the only steel cage match to have ever main evented WrestleMania. It is also the only steel cage match at the event that took place in the classic WWF ‘blue barred’ cage.
  • The first Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania took place at WrestleMania XV between the Undertaker and Big Boss Man. It is the most consistently poorly rated of all the steel cage matches at ‘Mania.
  • The first ‘Mania Hell in a Cell is also only the second steel cage match to have taken place at the event. There is a thirteen-year gap between Hogan-Bundy at WrestleMania II and the Undertaker-Boss Man at WrestleMania XV. This is the joint-longest gap between cage matches and between Hell in a Cell matches at a WrestleMania event, as the gap between Undertaker-Boss Man at WrestleMania XV and Triple H-Undertaker at WrestleMania XVIII was also a gap of thirteen years. Ironically, Undertaker-Bossman is probably the most consistently poorly reviewed cage match in ‘Mania history and the Triple H-Undertaker one is the most consistently praised cage match.

The Undertaker assesses a 'hanging' Big Boss Man in their ridiculous Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania XV

  • The shortest gap between cage matches at WrestleMania is 2 years, with the gap between Shane-Braun at WrestleMania 37 and Edge-Balor at WrestleMania 39 being only two years.
  • The gap between the two cage matches at ‘Mania that were not Hell in a Cell matches is the biggest gap of all, with a massive 35 years elapsing between Hogan-Bundy at WrestleMania II and Shane-Braun at WrestleMania 37.
  • There has been at least one steel cage match in each decade that WrestleMania has occurred in. There was one cage match only in each of the event’s first three decades, but then three cage matches took place in its fourth decade, meaning half of all cage matches that have taken place at WrestleMania have occurred in the last decade.

The Wrestlers

  • Across all six steel cage matches at WrestleMania, there have only been a total of 9 different wrestlers who took part in them.
  • The Undertaker has appeared in the most cage matches at WrestleMania, having appeared in three. As all three matches were Hell in a Cell Matches, this means that The Undertaker has also appeared in the most Hell in a Cell Matches at WrestleMania as well.
  • The only other wrestler to have appeared in more than one cage match at WrestleMania is Shane McMahon, who appeared in two matches—one Hell in a Cell and one standard steel cage match.

Braun Strauman grabs a cowering Shane McMahon as the steel cage is torn at WrestleMania 37

  • The Undertaker has won the most cage matches (and Hell in a Cell matches) at WrestleMania, having won all three of the matches he appeared in. However, his last ‘Mania victory in a cage, against Shane McMahon at WrestleMania 32, was the only one of those three wins to have taken place after the Taker’s famous WrestleMania winning streak was ended by Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania XXX.
  • Shane McMahon has a 0-2 win/loss record in WrestleMania cage matches, having lost to both The Undertaker and Braun Strauman in their respective matches. He is the only wrestler to have lost more than one cage match at WrestleMania.
  • The only other wrestlers to have won cage matches at WrestleMania are Hulk Hogan, Braun Strauman and Edge. All three wrestlers have been WWE Champions. Only Hulk Hogan and Edge held the World Heavyweight Championship, whose lineage goes back to 1963. Braun is the only one of the three to hold the WWE Universal Championship, whose lineage goes back to 2016.

Edge has his arm raised in the plunder-filled Hell in a Cell at WrestleMania 39

  • King Kong Bundy, Big Boss Man, Triple H, Shane McMahon and Finn Balor have all competed in but have not won a cage match at WrestleMania.
  • As stated above, The Undertaker has appeared in both the best-reviewed and the worst-reviewed cage matches at WrestleMania; the best being against Triple H at WrestleMania XVIII; and the worst being against the Big Boss Man at WrestleMania XV.
  • Lastly, Big Boss Man is the only wrestler to have been ‘hung’ in a steel cage match at WrestleMania—or perhaps in any steel cage match ever! I can’t believe I’ve just written that…

What do you think about the history of the steel cage match at WrestleMania? Would you like to see more of them take place on ‘the granddaddy of them all?’ Let me know in the comments!

Written by Chris Flackett

Chris Flackett is a writer for 25YL who loves Twin Peaks, David Lynch, great absurdist literature and listens to music like he's breathing oxygen. He lives in Manchester, England with his beautiful wife, three kids and the ghosts of Manchester music history all around him.

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