Some of the greatest rivalries end with brutal cage matches matches that keep the combatants in the ring and interference out. For decades, steel-cage matches have been one of the most popular matches in every wrestling company, including WWE, WCW, ECW, Smokey Mountain, AWA, WCCW, and more. This 3-disc set collects the greatest steel cage matches in history.

Studio: Vivendi Entertainment
Year: 2011
Release Date: June 28, 2011
Run time: 180 minutes
Rating: PG-13

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 mix
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Disc Spec: 3 DVD
Region: 1

Disc 1

We begin with a brief video package showing various clips of steel cgae matches throughout the years, which is a pretty cool but has an obvious ominious tone to it.

Josh Matthews welcomes us and talks about how the steel cage match was introduced and added a new element to matches and provided a way to end a rivalry once and for all.

-9/24/79, MSG, WWE Championship Match: Bob Backlund (Champion) vs. Pat Patteron (Intercontinental Champion): This is a good early one here as Patterson was looking to become a duel champion and he almost succeeded on several occasions. Backlund was much more aggressive than usual as he bashed Patterson’s head into the cage on numerous occasions. Patterson at one point even busts open Backlund by bashing him in the head with part of the turnbuckle and then he just continues to pound away at Backlund’s head. Blacklund manages to escape out the door to retain his title. 7/10. While tame when compared to later cage matches this was a pretty heated exchange that really showcased both men very well.

-5/19/80, MSG, WWE Championship Match: Bob Backlund (Champion) vs. “Superfly” Jimmy Snuka: Due to Snuka’s leaping ability, the special stipulation here is the only way to win this one is to go through the door. Backlund take it to Snuka early on beating him down, before Snuka comes back chopping and head butting the champion. Backlund stops Snuka from escaping on a few occasions then launches him into the cage busting the superfly open. Snuka does his famous splash from the top of the cage but misses and Backlund escapes to retain. 9/10. Much better than the previous match.

-8/9/80, Shea Stadium: Larry Zbyszko vs. Bruno Sammartino: We get alternate commentary from Josh Matthews and Matt Striker here. This rivalry was intense and this match was no different, as it was student vs. teacher. Bruno takes it to Larry early on throwing him into the cage quite a few times. Larry does come back taking the fight to Bruno even working on Bruno’s shoulder with punches and knees in the corner. Bruno busted shoulder and all walks out of the cage for the win. 8/10.

-12/25/82, WCCW Christmas Star Wars, NWA Championship Match, Special Referee: Michael P.S. Hayes: Ric Flair (Champion) vs. Kerry Von Erich: On a side note, seems like the entrance wasn’t very well thought out as the wrestlers namely Kerry get kinda mauled by the fans on the way to the ring. Hayes gets physically involved quite a bit for a referee, getting in the face of both men numerous times. Flair makes Kerry look like a million bucks, while getting in his usual wear down offense. Terry Gordy slams the cage door into Kerry’s head and Hayes turns on Kerry counting him down, even though his shoulder was up. The Freebirds leave the ring and Flair continues to pound on Kerry. The referree calls for the bell when Kerry couldn’t continue. 9/10.

-11/28/85, Starrcade ’85, NWA Tag Team Championship Match: Rock N’ Roll Express vs. Nikita and Ivan Koloff (Champions): Nikita uses his power very well, while the Express use plenty of good sound tag team wrestling and double team moves. Both Robert Gibson and Ivan bleed quite a bit and the Koloffs keep cutting off the ring and wear down Gibson. The tag is made and Ricky Morton quickly rolls up Ivan for the 3 count and we have new tag team champions. 7/10. Nice post match where the russians beat up Gibson and fight their way out of the cage to a chorus of boos.

-4/20/86, AWA Wrestlerock: Road Warriors vs. Michael P.S. Hayes and “Gorgeous” Jimmy Garvin: Hayes hits a piledriver on Hawk early, but Hawk comes back slamming Hayes to the cage and the mat and Hayes is busted open. Garvin is reluctant to accept the tag and he too gets thrown around by Hawk and then by Animal. Both Hayes and Garvin get in some shots, Hayes even locks on the figure four on Hawk, but this is mainly domination by the Road Warriors. Hayes accidentaly hits Garvin with some brass knuckles and Animal makes the cover for the 3. 7/10.

-10/12/86, WCCW Cotton Bowl Extravanganza: Bruiser Brody vs. Abdullah The Butcher, Special Referee Fritz Von Erich: With these two a cage is the only place where they would feel at home. While most cage matches aren’t technical masterpieces this is the very definition of a slugfest. Abdullah brings out the trademark fork and uses it on both Fritz and Brody, Fritz returns the favor to Abdullah and Brody makes the cover for the win. 5/10. The post match segment is nice as Fritz uses the fork on Abdullah and even his manager Gary Hart.

-12/25/86, AWA Brawl In St. Paul, AWA Tag Team Championship Match: Midnight Rockers vs. Buddy Rose and Doug Summers: Both Jannetty and Michaels take it to Rose and Summers from the get go, busting open both men. Despite some offense from Rose and Summers, The Rockers mainly dominate the first half of this match. There’s a good amount of blood in this match especially from Shawn. At one point some fan comes to ringside and throws a drink on Sherri Martel drenching her. Marty hits a top rope splash for the win as the Rockers become the new tag team champions. 7/10. Summers and Rose beat down Marty post match before Shawn makes the save.

-7/31/88, WWE Wrestlefest: Andre The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan: Playing off their famous Wrestlemania III match, this rivalry continues in the cage, which does help mask the fact that Andre was clearly on the downside of his career and Hogan as entertaining as he was, was no doubt limited in the ring. Hogan does his best to prevent Andre from escaping, even using a sleeper hold to wear him down. Andre drives Hogan’s head into the exposed turnbuckle busting him open and beats him down with punches and slams into the cage. Bobby Heenan interferes and gets thrown into the cage. Andre is tied up in the ropes and Hogan climbs over the top to the floor for the win. 6/10.

Disc 2

-5/19/90, WCW Capital Combat, WCW Heavyweight Championship Match: Ric Flair (Champion) vs. Lex Luger (U.S. Champion): The wrestler of the 80’s in Flair vs. what was hyped as the wrestler of the 90’s in Luger. I’ve personally never been a fan of Lex, I just feel he coasted too often in his matches and was never a great worker. Apparently in the weeks prior to this match he had a massive staph infection in his knee and had a high fever which if true it was amazing he even bothered to work this match. Flair does make Luger look good in this match though, and Luger does use his obvious power edge to his advantage. Flair does bleed quite a bit, but does take advantage of Luger’s bad knee setting it up for the figure four. Luger had Flair in the Torture Rack but Barry Windham interferes, causing a DQ which is unusual for a cage match. 8/10.

-8/27/90, Summerslam, WWE Championship Match: Rick Rude vs. Ultimate Warrior (Champion): Besides Randy Savage I always felt Rick Rude was his best rival, Rude just had the charisma and ability to help mask the Warriors lack of in ring ability. Both men bleed here and Rude gives it his best shot, even has Warrior beat one a few occasions but the Warrior proves too much. Warrior hits the press slam and climbs out of the cage to retain his title. 8/10.

-1/24/91, MSG: Macho King Randy Savage vs. Ultimate Warrior: This was the night after Savage cost Warrior the title at the Royal Rumble and Warrior took it to Savage early on the outside. After being dominated for the early portion of the match, Savage targets Warriors head that Savage smashed his scepter into the previous night. Warrior makes is comeback, Sherri interferes and Savage drops down to win the match. 7/10. Nice post match with Warrior basically disrobing Sherri, Savage comes down the from top of the cage but Warrior counters and beats down Savage.

-8/17/93, White Plains, NY. I.C. Title Match: Shawn Michaels (Champion) vs. Marty Jannetty: After a year plus and a few matches but nothing really settled we have a face off between the two former Rockers. These two always worked well together, too bad Marty couldn’t control his demons and issues long enough to keep a good set of matches going. Both men do go all out and Shawn tries wearing down Marty, as both battle on top of the cage Marty throws Shawn off the top into the ring. As Diesel and Marty fight on one side Shawn escapes through the door to retain his title. 7/10.

-8/3/97, Summerslam: Triple H vs. Mankind: Pretty brutal one here, both men take shots against the steel, Chyna makes her presense felt as she tries to help Triple H win the match. Triple H hits the superplex from the top of the cage, Mankind suplex Triple H into the cage hanging him feet first from the top of the cage and hits a running double axe handle. Mankind is about to win when he goes back up to the top of the cage hitting a huge diving elbow onto Triple H. Mankind wins by dropping down to the floor moments before Chyna pulled Triple H through the door. Post match stuff with Mankind going to his Dude Love persona as he exited the ring side area. 8/10.

-2/14/99, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre: Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vince McMahon: This was a long time coming and Austin’s title shot at Wrestlemania was on the line here. After some stalling on the outside by Vince, it was basically domination by Austin as every time he went to escape Vince would antagonize him enough to make him come back. Vince does take a nasty bump off the cage through the announce table, though Vince clearly hurt his tailbone when he didn’t quite make the table. Paul Wight (aka Big Show) makes his debut and throws Austin into the cage wall, which gives way and Austin drops to the floor to keep his shot at Wrestlemania. 9/10.

-10/2/99, Rebellion, WWE Championship Match: Triple H (Champion) vs. The Rock: This is from a U.K. PPV they did and these two rarely had a bad match and this is no exception. There’s a good classic Rock promo before where he runs down Triple H and even brings a fan into it. After some early brawling between both men, Triple H slams Rock into the cage a few times. Both men make good use of the cage and just wear each other down. Rock escapes but the ref is down and the action spills into the crowd, Triple H gets busted open from a chair. Rock almost wins but the British Bulldog interferes, Chyna then slams the door into Rock’s head. Bulldog pulls the Rock into the ring and Triple H drops down to the floor to retain his title. 9/10.

Disc 3

-11/18/01, Survivor Series, Tag Team Championship Unification Match: The Dudley Boyz (WCW Tag Team Champions) vs. The Hardy Boyz (WWE Tag Team Champions): Both these teams know each other very well having competed in table and TLC matches, but this was their first ever meeting inside the steel cage. Both teams go all out here and Matt does end up escaping and Jeff goes to the top to escape but decides to do a swanton onto D’Von through a table but misses. Buh Buh Ray pins Jeff to win the match. 8/10.

-7/25/02, Smackdown: Edge vs. Chris Jericho: Edge was coming off of having a shoulder injury he suffered a couple of months before and Edge takes it early on to Jericho trying to get revenge. Jericho does come back targeting Edge’s shoulder and raking his head along the cage. There’s some great back and forth action, with Jericho even kicking out of Edge’s spear then Jericho hits a huge bulldog from the top rope. Edge hits a huge electric chair drop from the top rope. Edge ends up dropping down to the floor just before Jericho escapes out the door to win. 8/10. Nice post match with Test (R.I.P.), Christian and Lance Storm attacking Edge, John Cena comes in for the save, then Rey Mysterio climbs up the cage and hits a huge dive off the top onto Storm and Christian.

-5/10/04, Raw: Chris Jericho vs. Christian: This match is playing off their Wrestlemania XX encounter that saw Trish turn heel on Jericho and join Christian. These two know each other very well and it shows as the action keeps going back and forth between both men. Jericho does hit a nice crossbody from the top of the cage. After Tyson Tomko gets sent to the back the action continues and Christian gets busted open badly. Jericho gets Christian in the Walls of Jericho and Christian tries escaping but gets dragged back in and taps out, Jericho wins. 8/10.

-10/19/04, Taboo Tuesday: Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton: We get to see the former Evolution member in Orton vs. current member Flair and its a good contest as Flair really helps establish Orton even more as a major league player in wrestling. Orton gets busted open early and Flair continues to chop and slam Orton into the cage. Randy comes back busting Flair open against the cage. Flair tries to use a chair but Orton hits a sudden RKO for the win, in what was a bit of a short match. 8/10.

-9/18/05, Unforgiven: Edge vs.Matt Hardy: This was playing off the real life tension between these two and Lita as Edge and Lita got involved with each other while Lita was still dating Matt. Even though I’m sure there was plenty of actual frustration and anger both men had for each other, this was a good, solid encounter that told a great story. The punches and other moves seem a lot stiffer than in a normal match. Edge bleeds quite a bit, Lita tries interfering but pays for it. Matt gets a measure of revenge hitting an absolutely sick leg drop on Edge from the top of the cage and makes the pin to win the match. 10/10.

-10/2/06, Raw, WWE Championship Match: John Cena (Champion) vs. Edge: Easily one of Cena’s top 3 rivalries in his career came in ’06 in the form of Edge. In this match Edge targeted Cena’s bad arm while Cena did his usual limited number of moves to inflict damage on Edge. Very few could bring the best out of Cena and Edge was one of those that could as he made him look a lot better in the ring than he really is. Cena does hit a nice bulldog like move from the top rope. Lita gets ejected but not before bringing a steel chair into the ring to help Edge but it backfires as Cena wacks Edge over the head but the referee is down. Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch enter the cage and help Edge try to escape. DX come in and fight of Cade & Murdoch, the door gets slammed into Edge’s head, Cena hits the FU for the win to retain his title. 9/10.

-11/3/08, Raw, World Heavyweight Championship Match: Chris Jericho vs. Batista (Champion): This was Jericho’s rematch for the title after he lost it at Cyber Sunday, since Batista obviously was the stronger of the two so Jericho had to outquick the animal. This was a good encounter that saw Jericho use part of the cage cable and escaped over the top and dropped down to win the World Title. 7/10.

-8/28/09, Smackdown, World Heavyweight Championship Match: CM Punk (Champion) vs. Jeff Hardy: Besides the title this was also a Loser Leaves WWE Match, so Punk jumped Hardy during his entrance to gain the early advantage. Both men showed the effects of the TLC match they had 5 days earlier at Summerslam but still pulled off some high impact moves. There was a nasty superplex by Punk from the top of the cage. Hardy does almost win a few times, but in the end Punk kicks Hardy off the top of the cage and drops to the floor to retain the title and thus Jeff Hardy is gone from WWE. 9/10. Side note: Good thing too cause that idiot Hardy got busted for massive drug possession in his home a few weeks later. Punk was right to call him out on it during this storyline like he did, even accurately calling him “The Charismatic Enabler”.

There were a few omissions a couple for obvious reasons. I would’ve loved to see the classi Raw encounter between Angle and Benoit but no someone had to abuse drugs, take too many head shots and go haywire a few years back. Not to name names of course. This was a very good collection of matches, not a ton of repeats, cept the Mankind/Triple H match while good, couldve been replaced by oh say the Magnum T.A./Tully Blanchard I Quit Match from Starrcade ’85, or even the Bret/Owen match from Summerslam ’94. Buy it for sure as its worth owning.

Overall Rating: 9/10