WarGames: WCW’s Most Notorious Matches
Released: June 24, 2013
Your host is the legendary, funky like a monkey, son of a plumber, wined and dined with kings and queens, slept in allies and ate pork and beans, Ole Anderson couldn’t take him out with the steel-toed boot, three-time NWA world champion, inventor of the WarGames concept if you will, none other than the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes.
- The Road Warriors, Paul Ellering, Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger & JJ Dillon (w/Dark Journey) – WarGames Cage Match (NWA Great American Bash Tour, Atlanta, GA – 7/4/87)
Possibly Dusty’s best idea yet, this is the first ever WarGames match. The intensity shown in this match will BLOW your mind. As far as the back-story goes, telling that could take a very long time. Let’s just say that the Four Horsemen HATE Dusty’s team and vice versa. There are so many champions in this match as well. Ric Flair is the NWA World Champion, Tully Blanchard is the NWA World TV Champion, Nikita Koloff is the NWA United States Champion, and the Super Powers (Dusty, Hawk and Animal) are the NWA World Six-Man Tag Champions. By the way, Dark Journey was Tully’s black valet for like a month and then she left wrestling forever. She’s not really all that important, but I feel she should be mentioned. Dusty starts off for the first five minutes with Arn. Dusty nails Arn with an elbow and heads over into the other ring, daring Arn to join him. Dusty gives Arn a dropkick of sorts from the top rope and then throws Arn back into the other ring. Dusty gets nailed, but he comes back with left jabs and a low blow and flicks off the Horsemen! He gives Arn a DDT and then sits back in the corner. The cage comes into play as Arn gets his face grated on the CEILING of the cage. Arn knows he’s in trouble so he goes after Dusty’s bad leg. Dusty FEARS what Arn is thinking and slides out over to the other ring to regroup. Dusty nails Arn and takes him face-first into the cage. Yep, the blood has already been spilled in this thing. Now Arn goes low on Dusty and attempts a knee drop, but the American Dream rolls out of the way and applies the Figure-Four! Dusty releases the hold, but continues stomping on Arn’s knee as the Horsemen win the coin toss at the end of the first five-minute period. Tully comes in for the double-team beatdown, but Dusty fights back with STEREO ELBOWS! His offensive flurry doesn’t last long, as the numbers game gets to him and they take advantage of Dusty’s bum knee. In the meantime, Dusty gets busted open without the Horsemen even needing to use the cage! The first two minute period is over and Animal runs in to save his friend. He completely DESTROYS the heels, including an awesome catapulting Tully into the cage multiple times! He doesn’t even stop to take a breather after that and follows up by giving Tully a running shoulder tackle. Meanwhile in the other ring, Dusty is just beating the crap out of Arn. Uh oh, Tully is now busted open! He gets hung out to dry on the ropes while being demolished by Dusty and Animal!
Arn tries to save, but he gets dropped with a clothesline from Animal. In comes Ric Flair, who sneak-attacks Animal! He no-sells some chops from the Champ, but then Arn comes up and clips Animal from behind. Flair and Arn then toss Animal face-first into the cage a bunch of times, while Tully chokes Dusty down on the mat. Then out of nowhere, Dusty comes back and clotheslines all three heels to save Animal from getting beat up! Flair attacks Animal again while Arn keeps Dusty in the corner. Then, Flair leaves Animal alone and starts chopping Dusty and grinding his face up against the cage! Here comes Nikita! Flair is all over the place! He’s now over at the door to meet Nikita and pokes him in the eyes to keep control of what’s happening in the match. Flair gets in a little offense, but then Koloff explodes out of the corner with a DOUBLE RUSSIAN SICKLE for Arn & Flair! The Russian is loose! He doesn’t stop and runs over and makes Tully taste the steel! RUSSIAN SICKLE to Tully! Meanwhile, Animal is pressing Flair up into the ceiling and then slams him down to the canvas. The crowd goes insane for this whole match, by the way. Koloff has some fun playing a little ping-pong with Tully between the ropes. That’s cool. Flair tries to save with Tully by chopping on Nikita, but he no-sells and Flair freaks out and escapes to the other ring. He gets tossed into the cage as Lex Luger comes in to make it 4-on-3. Luger goes right after Nikita! Luger, Blanchard and Flair all triple-team Nikita while they try and keep Animal from getting to Nikita. In the other ring, Arn is getting worn down by Dusty until Luger decides to help him out. Meanwhile, Tully and Flair deliver a SPIKE PILEDRIVER on Nikita! Animal saves Dusty while Nikita receives ANOTHER SPIKE PILEDRIVER! Dusty rolls over to the other ring to shield Nikita with his body, but I think that does more harm than good because Flair and Blanchard decide to beat the crap out of him as well. Arn leaves Luger alone with Animal and continues the beatdown of Nikita. Here comes Hawk and none of the Horsemen are there to meet him at the door, allowing him to beat the crap out of everything that moves. Man, this is a match where it is obvious that JR is satisfied calling it. I miss those kinds of matches. While Hawk is on the rampage, he seems to have forgotten about Flair who’s got Dusty in the FIGURE-FOUR! In comes JJ Dillon as the last member of the Horsemen team to enter WarGames. He stupidly goes right after Hawk, who no-sells an elbow and starts destroying him. Due to the quality of my video, it’s hard to tell if Flair has just now been busted open or what, but he is definitely bleeding now. The final bell sounds as Paul Ellering enters WarGames, which means only one thing; THE MATCH BEYOND HAS BEGUN! SUBMISSION OR SURRENDER! YEA! There is just so much action, it’s impossible to get it all down here, so I’ll try and give you the most important details. Dusty delivers a double noggin knocker on Luger and Arn while Ellering is ripping at JJ Dillon’s face! RUSSIAN SICKLE to Luger! DOOMSDAY DEVICE to JJ Dillon! The Road Warriors stay on JJ Dillon until he finally surrenders to give the Super Powers the win in the first-ever WarGames! (21:14 shown) It’s one of my personal all-time favorite matches. It’s brutally intense and filled with some of the best wrestlers ever in the biz. *****
- The Road Warriors, Paul Ellering, Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff vs. Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger & The War Machine (w/Dark Journey & JJ Dillon) – WarGames Cage Match (NWA Great American Bash Tour, Miami, FL – 7/31/87)
Wow, the Orange Bowl is PACKED! In case you didn’t know, the War Machine is Big Bubba Rogers. This is practically the same match as the first WarGames, except the order of entry is a little different. It’s Dusty vs. Arn, then War Machine, Hawk, Flair, Nikita, Tully, Animal, Luger, and then Ellering. Seriously, most all the same spots are done that were done in the first match. There’s nothing wrong with it though, because it is a different crowd. The end comes when the War Machine gets triple-teamed by the Super Powers until he can’t continue any longer to give the Dream Team the win again. (21:24 shown) I wasn’t feeling the hatred in this one like I did in the first match, but it was still a very awesome affair. ****½
- The Road Warriors, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ronnie & Jimmy Garvin (w/Paul Ellering) vs. Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, The Russian Assassin & Ivan Koloff (w/Gary Hart & Paul Jones) – Tower of Doom Match (NWA Great American Bash 1988)
The Tower of Doom cage match is the same type of match used at an infamous WCW event called, UnCeNSoReD 1996, where Hogan and Savage beat SIX other top WCW heels by themselves. Don’t worry though, because this doesn’t get quite that bad. The Tower of Doom is three separate cages placed on top of one another. Two wrestlers start out on top of the cage for a two-minute period. After a two minute period, a trap door in both the top-tier cages open for fifteen seconds which allows you to get down into the cage below with all the other wrestlers. If you’re one of those already in the middle-tier cage, you can use the fifteen second to drop down into the bottom cage, which surrounds the ring. Once you get down to the ring, you can unlock the door and escape out to the floor. That’s the basic point of the match, to get from the top all the way to the floor. Seems kind of ridiculous, (to be honest, it really is) but this is what we have in order to try and settle this Precious thing once and for all. She’s the key holder, which adds to the drama of the match. The Russian Assassin is Jack Victory from World Class and was involved with “The Network” stable over in ECW, in case you weren’t aware. He’s wearing a mask here, so I thought it was worth mentioning. Here though, he’s just one of Paul Jones’ thugs. Ron Garvin and Ivan Koloff start things off here. All they can really do in that small cage is trade blows or slam each other’s face into the steel mesh for two minutes. The trap door opens after two minutes and Garvin starts climbing down into the second-tier while Dr. Death fights off Koloff and Rotunda. Once Garvin is through the trapdoor, the door is closed and Garvin has some time to chill. Williams gets double-teamed by Koloff and Rotunda until the next period ends for Animal to come help. Williams and Koloff go through the door down to the second-tier while Garvin is already down in the ring. Precious unlocks the door for him and lets him escape the cage. Perez and Rotunda are in the top-tier working on Animal while Williams is in control over Koloff in the second-tier. The horn blows for the third period to end, allowing the trap doors to open back up. Animal follows Perez down into the second-tier, leaving Hawk alone with the Assassin and Rotunda. Williams and Koloff remain in the second-tier along with Animal and Perez. The only two to not enter this match still is Kevin Sullivan and Jimmy Garvin. Fourth period ends, and Perez is the second man to reach the canvas.
Animal follows him down and gives him a dropkick. Hawk is down in the second-tier now; along with the Assassin, Koloff, and Williams. Animal and Perez escape to give their respective team a point, making it 2-1 in favor of the Garvin team. Sullivan and Rotunda stick with Jimmy Garvin on the top-tier. Believe it or not, Jimmy is in control up there! Meanwhile In the middle-tier, Williams puts Koloff in a freaking’ figure-four! The horn blows and Rotunda finally makes it to the middle-tier, leaving Jimmy alone with Sullivan. Koloff and the Russian Assassin make it down to the ring, but they don’t seem to be in a big hurry to leave. Oh, because Hawk is dropping down to give them a two on one advantage. Gotcha. Hawk ducks a double-clothesline and comes back with the same on the Russians. Hawk is still putting the hurting on those two, but the camera looks up to Jimmy and Sullivan instead. The Russians try another double-team clothesline, but Hawk avoids that and puts them down again before he walks out the cage for good. Up in the middle-tier, Williams mounts Rotunda for a whole bunch of punching while the Russians escape to make it even 3-3. Another period ends, so Williams comes down into the ring and out the cage to make it 4-3. Rotunda stays up in the middle-tier while Jimmy and Sullivan come down to meet him. Stupid Dr. Death, now Jimmy is all by himself. I’m starting to believe that Ph. D. you have is a FAKE! I bet you’re not even a real doctor, because doctors are supposed to be SMART. Wow, Garvin actually gets a DOUBLE NOGGIN KNOCKER on the heels. The horn blows for possibly the last time in this match. Rotunda climbs down to the ring while Sullivan has Garvin held down. Once Rotunda is in the ring, Sullivan tries to come down but Garvin grabs hold of his leg. The door shuts again while Rotunda makes it out to the door. Garvin tries to incapacitate Sullivan in the middle-tier with a spinning toe hold while the rest of the guys get into a brawl down on the floor! The horn blows again and both Sullivan and Garvin make it down to the ring this time. OH MAN, what’s going to happen here? Sullivan grabs Precious, but Garvin saves and starts working on Sullivan’s knee some more. Garvin hits the BRAINBUSTER, but he doesn’t connect too well with it. Precious unlocks the door, but then Sullivan shoves Garvin out of the cage for the win! (18:18 shown of 19:55) Uh oh! Sullivan locks the cage door to be all alone with Precious! Precious tries to kick him away, but there’s only so much she can do. Jimmy Garvin climbs up to the second-tier and opens the trap door to come down and save his wife! Hawk heads up to the cage with him. Meanwhile in the ring, Sullivan is choking Precious out with his wrist tape! Hawk gets through the door and comes off the top rope with a FLYING CLOTHESLINE to Sullivan! Man, poor Jimmy can’t even save his own wife without some other guy stealing all his glory. Once Garvin finally does get down in the ring, all there is left for him to do is lead his lady out of the cage. I really don’t think this match is possible to be rated. It’s just the kind of match that needs the right angle and the right individuals to make it seem interesting, and this was that angle.
- Dusty Rhodes, Lex Luger, Nikita Koloff, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Paul Ellering vs. Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon – WarGames Cage Match (NWA Great American Bash Tour, Greensboro, NC – 7/16/88)
I have a couple of tidbits before we start. Just so there’s no confusion because I’ve seen that there has been on some different forums and message boards, the Great American Bash Tour is separate from the PPV. If you find the Great American Bash 1988 tape, this match will not be included. This is not the first WarGames match of the ’88 Bash tour, but possibly the only one of the bunch that was filmed. Although Tony Schiavone is the ring announcer, no commentary is provided. It also doesn’t take place in the Greensboro Coliseum – the traditional arena for wrestling in Greensboro. It takes place in the War Memorial Stadium where our minor league baseball team used to play. Back in the ’90s, the then-called Greensboro Bats were a farm team for the New York Yankees. So yeah, we saw your Jeters, your Canos, your Rivieras long before they came to Gotham. Since the Greensboro Grasshoppers played a huge part in revitalizing downtown Greensboro and built a stadium there that opened in 2005, the War Memorial Stadium became the home for the NC A&T Aggies.
Okay, enough about baseball. Just like in the first WarGames, Dusty starts with Arn for the first five minutes. You can probably guess how this went. Dusty hits a bunch of Bionic Elbows and lands a DDT. Arn gets busted open as he’s thrown into the cage. He kicks at Dusty’s bad knee and goes to town on it. It looks like Arn has a horseshoe in there grinding on Dusty’s forehead to bust him open, but I can’t quite tell what it is. Arn tries to fly and of course gets nailed on the way down. Dusty applies a Figure-Four as the coin toss occurs. The Four Horsemen win the coin toss! Would you believe it? Dusty meets Barry Windham at the door. Remember, this is right after the Great American Bash and their feud is still hot and heavy. Dusty goes crazy with the Bionic Elbows, but Arn sneaks up behind him with a knee to stop him. Barry applies the dreaded IRON CLAW until Dusty is laid out on the mat. The blood is just pouring. Doc comes in to even the playing field. He’s all football tackles on the heels. Meanwhile, Dusty heaves Windham from one ring into the next. Arn tries to bash Doc’s head into the cage, but he’s just too strong. Arn eats the steel instead, but comes back with a low blow. Ric Flair joins his crew next. He looks to save Arn from Doc, but Doc NO-SELLS everything he tries. Flair catches him with a low blow though and tosses him into the cage. Over in the other ring, Arn and Barry beat down Dusty. Williams is busted open now. Arn comes over and makes matters worse with a DDT. Flair takes a moment to spit at Luger through the cage. Probably not the smartest move from Flair, because Lex is our next entrant. He hits clotheslines and slams Flair and Windham to a massive uproar. He even puts Flair in the TORTURE RACK. Unfortunately, you can’t win the match before everyone is in the ring and Windham is there to low blow him. Lots of ball busters in this match. Elsewhere, Dusty makes a comeback on Arn and Windham with more Bionic Elbows. Nothing can touch Luger at this point. Tully Blanchard makes his way into WarGames. He somehow brings a chair into the mix. I didn’t see him bring it into the ring with him or anything. He helps Flair stop Lex with that chair, but Doc stops Tully with a low blow. It’s as legal as a headlock, folks. I believe now everyone is bleeding but Lex and Tully. In comes flat-top Nikita Koloff where he NO-SELLS and drills Windham and Flair with RUSSINA SICKLES. He applies the single fastest Figure-Four I’ve ever seen on Flair. Once that gets broken up, both Nikita and Arn low blow each other. It’s one of those nights. JJ Dillon in his infinite paleness is the last man from the Horsemen team. Since everyone is so beaten down, his confidence is rather high. Eventually, he gets put in his place once he grabs hold of Nikita. Paul Ellering enters as the MATCH BEYOND begins. He is met right at the door by the Four Horsemen and quickly met with a DDT from Windham. JJ Dillon takes Ellering over into one ring. He whiffs on a dropkick though and takes an atomic drop. In comes Dusty to clamp on a Figure-Four while Ellering stops Windham from saving his manager. Soon after, Dusty gets JJ to submit to give the face team the win. (21:07) This had the feel of a house show WarGames. It never strayed from the formula and lacked a lot of the intensity that you come to expect from a WarGames match. Still fun to watch, bloody, and violent, but not quite up to par with the previous matches. ***½
- The Freebirds (Michael PS Hayes, Jimmy Garvin & Terry Gordy) & The Samoan Swat Team (w/Paul E. Dangerously) vs. The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams (w/Paul Ellering & Jim Cornette) – WarGames Cage Match (NWA Great American Bash 1989)
If this WarGames match seems completely random, well you would ALMOST be right. But hey, it’s tradition to have an oversized cage match at the Bash, and I LOVE WarGames matches. The Midnight Express had defeated the SST at the Clash VII to advance to the finals in the NWA World tag titles tourney with some help from the Road Warriors, but lost to the Freebirds in the finals to give them their first NWA World tag titles reign. A month later, the Freebirds and the SST handcuffed the Road Warriors during a cage match on national television and beat the ever living crap out of them. Hawk even did a STRETCHER JOB. We’re talking about the almighty God-like Road Warriors being decimated by the Samoans and the Freebirds. As far as Gordy and Dr. Death (the future MIRACLE VIOLENCE CONNECTION~!) goes, I can’t remember exactly why but they are feuding. Steve Williams dumped the Varsity Club shortly after Wrestle War, so he’s cool now. Garvin and Eaton kick this one off for the first five-minute period. They do some cool back-and-forth stuff. Naturally, the heels win the coin toss and Terry Gordy comes in to make it 2-on-1. The Freebirds freaking’ DOMINATE Eaton, as he gets virtually no offense for the first two-minute period. Obviously the face team figured Bobby Eaton needed a doctor, so they send Dr. Death in next. He kills the Freebirds with clotheslines and then pairs off with Gordy in the other ring to debut the multiple military presses into the cage ceiling. I’m talking EIGHT TIMES! Gordy is OVER 300 pounds here! Garvin remains in control of Eaton as Samu comes in for the heel advantage of 3-on-2. He saves Gordy from the Doc because let’s face it; Garvin is doing a-okay with Eaton right now. Samu decides to help out Garvin anyway, which allows Doc to come back against Gordy. Samu stops that and together, he and Gordy give Dr. Death a suplex. But then out of nowhere, Eaton comes over and starts wailing away on Samu and Gordy! The faces are FIGHTING BACK against these massive three as Animal enters the cage to even the sides. The crowd ERUPTS. Animal goes insane on everybody. He even delivers a DIVING SHOULDERBLOCK over both ropes on Samu! The heels continue to be brutalized as Fatu comes in to make it 4-on-3.
The SST corner Animal for some stereo headbutts while the Freebirds control Williams and Eaton. Here comes Stan Lane! He sends EVERYBODY into the cage! I think he seriously wants to see some blood! The SST goes back to pounding on Animal until Michael Hayes enters the cage. He gives everybody DDTs and then goes over to the other ring and taunts Hawk who’s down on the floor. He’s a former US Champion, ya know. The heels are choking away on our heroes until it’s time for Hawk to enter in for the MATCH BEYOND to begin! Top-rope double clothesline to the SST! Clothesline to Hayes! He hammers away on Gordy and then he and the Doc give him a double clothesline! Garvin gets tossed into the corner like he was a lawn dart! Haha, now Eaton starts giving out DDTs! Hawk now tries what Animal did earlier by delivering the diving shoulderblock over the ropes into Samu! Dangerously attempts to get his phone in the cage, but it won’t fit. Everyone just pounds on each other until Garvin saves Gordy from a DOOMSDAY DEVICE. Since Hawk can’t nail Gordy, he nails Garvin with the TOP-ROPE CLOTHESLINE instead. Animal drops Gordy with a clothesline while Hawk delivers a reverse neckbreaker to Garvin and then follows up with the Hangman’s Neckbreaker submission! Will he give up? Yes he does! (22:18) The faces celebrate, but Animal is the last to leave and gets stuck in the cage with the Freebirds and the SST for an extended beatdown. Hawk, Doc and the Midnights finally break in the cage and make the save. It is SO not over. Fun brawl, but where’s the blood? ***¾
- Sid Vicious, Barry Windham, Ric Flair & Larry Zbyszko (w/Arn Anderson) vs. Brian Pillman, Sting, Rick & Scott Steiner - WarGames Cage Match (WCW Wrestle War 1991)
Pillman’s shoulder is all taped up due to a Horsemen attack from the previous WCW Saturday Night episode. Larry Zbyszko is subbing for Arn due to injury, I believe. Pillman, full of emotion and revenge in mind, starts out against Windham. Will that prove unwise? Let’s watch and see! Pillman takes Windham down with a clothesline using his good arm, and uses the cage to take Windham down with a hurracanrana. Pillman leaps onto the second turnbuckle off of a whip, fakes a jump, and then connects with a missile dropkick. Pillman takes one high-risk move too many, and whiffs a crossbody while landing on his injured shoulder. Since there’s no disqualification, Pillman takes advantage of that and jimmy-taps the CRAP out of Windham. Pillman makes sure Windham meets the steel and busts him open. That’s crazy! This match has only been going on for two minutes and Windham is already busted open. Pillman is totally fired up here and in complete control of Windham. Windham meets the steel again, and then turns around and gets nailed with a top-rope clothesline from Pillman! Pillman picks him up and heaves him into the other ring! He picks Windham up and makes sure he eats plenty of steel. Pillman starts to work on the knee. Windham fires back and tries a piledriver, but Pillman backdrops out of it. The first period is over and the Horsemen win the coin toss. Flair is in, and he and Pillman trade tons of chops until Windham comes up behind and saves Flair. Together, they toss Pillman shoulder first into the cage several times. Flair tosses Pillman back into the other ring, landing him on his injured shoulder. Now Sting comes in and he destroys both Horsemen with kicks and clotheslines. Sting tosses Flair over to Pillman and works on Windham, and then they trade Horsemen. Windham takes over on Pillman, while Sting pounds on Flair. Pillman drops his whole body in between Windham’s legs! Not once, but twice! Zbyszko comes in, and Sting LEAPS over into the other ring and NAILS Zbyszko! Pillman has the figure-four on Windham! Sting goes after Flair, but gets nailed from behind by Zbyszko. Flair breaks up Pillman’s figure-four and stomps away at him. Rick Steiner is in next and he is met at the door by Flair & Windham. Steiner-line to Flair! Steiner-line to Windham! Flair goes into the other ring and Rick Steiner follows right after him and gets a belly-to-belly. Pillman is busy choking on Zbyszko, while Sting pounds away on Windham. Now Rick makes Flair taste the steel and now HE is busted open! Zbyszko now has Pillman in the other ring tied up in the tree of woe, kicking away at his injured shoulder.
Sid Vicious is the last man in for the Horsemen. He goes right after Rick and takes him head-first into the cage, but that has ZERO effect! So instead, Sid holds Rick for Flair to kick him square in the balls! Now THAT DID have effect. Pillman goes after Flair, blocks being sent into the cage, and then sends Flair face first into the steel at LEAST a half dozen times. Zbyszko sends Rick into the steel, but he doesn’t seem to know that Rick has a very hard head. Rick just levels him with a Steiner-line and sends him into the cage. Rick now takes Flair’s head and sends it back into the cage, until Zbyszko comes up behind and saves Flair from further damage. Zbyszko is SO dumb! He tries to toss Rick into the cage again, but of course, THAT DOESN’T HURT HIM! Zbyszko takes a Steiner-line again like an idiot! Flair takes over on Sting in the corner, but not for long as Sting makes him taste the steel again for what seems like the 20th time in this match. Scott Steiner comes in as the final guy to enter on the face team. THE MATCH BEYOND BEGINS! SUBMISSION OR SURRENDER! Windham & Flair meet the other Steiner at the door again and you guessed it, Steiner-lines for both of them. Zbyszko comes in after him and he gets ROCKED with a double-underhook powerbomb. Rick reverses a whip on Sid from the corner and out of nowhere, Scott shoots off the middle turnbuckle and clotheslines the CRAP out of Sid to a HUGE pop! Scott picks him up and rams him shoulder-first into the corner. In the other ring, Sting hits a Stinger Splash on Flair! SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Zbyszko breaks it up. We now see Sid working on Pillman’s injured shoulder. However, Pillman goes low and ALL the faces lock in a figure-four on the Horsemen at the same time! They all escape, followed by Sting pressing Flair into the cage a bunch of times. Meanwhile, Sid gets a huge clothesline on Rick Steiner, while Pillman chokes on Zbyszko. Rick comes back with a Steiner-line on Sid! Windham comes in to help Sid double-team Rick. Sid saves Zbyszko and grabs Pillman. Flair takes over on Pillman, but he will just not die! Pillman chokes away at Flair, but only until Sid makes a save. Sid sends Pillman into the ropes, presses him up and just drops him face-first onto the canvas. Sid goes for a powerbomb, and completely messes it up by catching Pillman’s feet on the cage ceiling, and then he drops Pillman right on his neck! OH MY GOSH THAT WAS SICK! It should be over right there, but Sid picks him up and does it AGAIN! Arn says, “That’s it!” This brings out El Gigante who rips open the door and goes to check on his little buddy. He tells the ref to stop the match because Brian Pillman cannot continue. (22:01) Way to go, Sid! You almost KILLED someone. I really don’t believe that was the actual finish of the match. Nevertheless, this was one of the BEST WCW matches of the ’90s. Total blood count – Barry Windham, Ric Flair. ****½
- Sting’s Squadron (Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Nikita Koloff) vs. The Dangerous Alliance (Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko) (w/Paul E. Dangerously & Madusa) – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Wrestle War 1992)
The feud that has been keeping WCW alive (or had brought WCW back to life; both are valid points) in ’92 has come to a fever pitch and has to be settled in the most violent structure ever devised – WARGAMES! I personally LOVE this match. There’s tons of blood, tons of action, and there’s not one weak worker involved. If you’ve never seen a WarGames match, I’ll fill you in on what’s it all about. First off, it’s two rings put together side-by-side with a roofed cage long enough to fit over both rings. It comes from the mind of Dusty Rhodes, but it’s one of those rare good Dusty ideas. Two guys from each team start for five minutes. There’s a coin toss to decide who comes in next. The winning team picks another guy to enter WarGames for a two-minute period. After those two minutes are up, a guy from the other team enters and then the teams alternate bringing new people in every two minutes. Once all team members from both sides are inside the cage, it’s submission or surrender. There’s no other way to win. It’s that serious. If you’re wondering about Nikita, he returned back in April to save Sting from yet another Dangerous Alliance attack and was turned face instantly. Not only that, but when Sting was out with his hurt ribs thanks to Vader, Nikita basically subbed for the Stinger and now he’s here to be a part of Sting’s team. He would hang around WCW for the rest of 1992, which ended up being his final year in WCW. As for the Dangerous Alliance, they are at a point where it’s put up or shut up for them, as their power over WCW began dwindling away after losing both the WCW World Tag Team titles and the WCW World Television title. Austin and Windham kick things off for the first five minutes. This was interesting because Windham had just defeated Austin for the TV belt not too long before this match, and would lose it right back to Austin not too long after this match. They get into a huge slugfest. Windham runs the ropes and Austin tries to sidestep and send Windham into the cage, but NAH UH. He puts on the brakes and attempts a piledriver, but Austin backdrops out. Windham still has his hand taped up from when Larry Zbyszko slammed it in the car door back at the end of October! Windham brings Austin into the other ring for a DDT. He wants to grind Austin’s face into the steel, but Austin punches back and clotheslines Windham into the other ring. Austin tries to swing off the cage, but Windham avoids that and brings Austin down all awkward on the mat. Windham finally takes Austin to the steel for our first sight of blood. I mean, our first sight of BLOOD! YESSS! The Dangerous Alliance wins the coin toss (rule #9 for WarGames –the heels ALWAYS win the coin toss) and they send Rick Rude in to make it 2-on-1. Austin rests while Rude goes insane with shoulder blocks in the corner. Windham looks to come back on Rude, so Austin walks over and nails him to put a stop to it. They take Windham to the steel as Ricky Steamboat enters WarGames.
The crowd is going mental as Steamboat destroys Rude and Austin with DDT’s. He kicks away Austin using the roof of the cage and then ranas Rude and mounts him for some punches. Windham throws Austin into the other ring and follows after him as Arn Anderson enters the cage. DDT to Windham! Spinebuster to Steamboat! Just like that, the DA regain control. Rude joins AA in a double-Boston crab on Steamboat! OUCH! Windham makes the save, but he’s outnumbered and can’t do a whole lot to help. Rude delivers a piledriver to Steamboat and then throws him clear over into the other ring. They KO each other as Dustin Rhodes enters the cage. Bionic elbow to Arn! Bionic elbow to Austin! Clotheslines too! Austin tries to flip out of the corner, but he’s caught and takes an electric chair drop instead. Meanwhile, Windham is trying to get Arn’s head stuck in between the two rings! HOLY CRAP! In the other ring, Steamboat has a figure-four on Rude and there’s nothing that can stop him. Larry Zbyszko makes it 4-on-3 now. Rhodes meets him at the door for some pounding. Uh oh, Madusa has climbed up on top of the cage and slips Paul E’s phone inside the cage to Arn. On the other side of the cage, Sting climbs up to make sure Madusa gets the F down from there. Steamboat takes the phone to the face and that’s about all we see of the phone. Windham’s busted open now as Austin fires away on him. Rude has a sleeper on Steamboat as Sting enters the cage! He presses Rude into the cage a bunch and then slams him down. Sting makes sure Arn eats the steel and then backdrops Austin into the cage ala Benoit at WarGames ’97. Sting grinds Arn’s face into the cage and busts him open. Zbyszko and Windham punch each other down and Steamboat and Sting make-a-wish on Rude who’s stuck in between the rings. Awesome. Here comes Bobby Eaton! He’s the last Dangerous Alliance member to enter WarGames. Bobby just kind of kicks away at what’s left of Sting’s Squadron. Dustin Rhodes does his father proud with that blade job, by the way. Crimson mask is an understatement. These guys are just brutalizing each other as the last man enters WarGames. The Match Beyond begins! Submission or surrender! Koloff immediately saves Sting to show loyalty to his team. Such a key point in the match since there was some speculation as to what Nikita would do when he’s in the cage because of their past. Boy, this crowd is going ballistic for everything! Sting hits Arn with the Stinger Splash and puts him in the SCORPION DEATHLOCK, but Eaton is there for the save. The DA twists off the steel connector that connects the turnbuckle to the ringpost to use as a weapon. The other guys continue seriously hurting one another in the other ring. Meanwhile, Zbyszko grabs the steel rod and swings at Sting while Eaton holds him, but Sting moves and Zbyszko hits Bobby in the arm instead. Sting beats down Zbyszko and violently cranks on an armbar on Eaton for the submission! (23:22) The good guys win in the end, and the DA are PISSED at Zbyszko for screwing everything up. Things don’t look good for the Dangerous Alliance. The match, however, was just as good and intense as the original in ’87. WarGames in WCW would never reach this level of intensity ever again. Nope, not even the one from ’96. *****
- Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes & The Shockmaster (w/Road Warrior Animal) vs. Big Van Vader, Sid Vicious & Harlem Heat (w/Harley Race & Col. Robert Parker) – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1993)
Dustin Rhodes has his ribs taped from a beating of some kind the night before on Saturday Night. Animal wants to send Shockmaster in first, but thank God Dustin’s stupid. He runs right inside the cage to take on Vader. For some reason, I always enjoyed when Rhodes and Vader hooked up. I wish they had really feuded at some point. Rhodes beats Vader down in the corner. He takes his boot off and charges at Vader, but runs into one of Vader’s boots instead. Irony! Rhodes punches Vader back and hits a lariat, but a shot to the ribs puts Dustin back down. Oh no! Vader hits a Pump Splash. Rhodes battles back again and hits a DDT. Rhodes grabs the boot and nails Vader in the face. Meanwhile, the heels win the coin toss of course. They are so good when it comes to coin tosses, but somehow they still end up losing more times than they win. Quite the conundrum. Rhodes slams Vader as he comes off the middle rope just as Kane, better known as Stevie Ray, enters the match. Just for the sake of confusion, I’m calling them Booker T and Stevie Ray. The heels double-team for the two-minute period. Vader and Stevie Ray meet Sting at the door as he enters the match. He clotheslines both guys and sends Stevie Ray into the cage. Well, finally somebody meets the steel! Sting concentrates on Vader in one ring while Dustin controls Stevie Ray in the other. Rhodes is busted open now, by the way. Another period ends and Sid Vicious comes into the cage. Whatever you do guys, DON’T LET HIM POWERBOMB YOU! Sting gets whipped into Vader and turns around into a Chokeslam. Sid and Vader continue to dominate Sting while Dustin and Stevie Ray exchange blows. Davey Boy Smith is in next to even the teams 3-on-3. He clotheslines Sid and slams Vader off the middle rope. Rhodes is beat down in the corner while Vader, Sid and Stevie Ray pound away on Sting and DBS. Booker T’s the last guy to come in for his team. He slams DBS off the top and before you know it, the Shockmaster enters WarGames for the Match Beyond to begin! That means it’s come down to submission or surrender. Almost immediately, he grabs a bearhug on Booker T while everyone else on his team just kind of watches him get squeezed to death. He gives up and Shockmaster wins the match for his team. (16:39) Of ALL the people to win the match, it’s fn Tugboat. This was WarGames when you put it on auto-pilot and forget to add any semblance of intensity that a match like this is supposed to have. I’m a huge fan of WarGames, so to see it at this level was just completely unacceptable. Only one guy was busted open and who actually seemed to give a crap, and that was the WarGames inventor’s own son. Thank you, Dustin. You made this match not completely suck. **
- The Nasty Boys, Dusty & Dustin Rhodes vs. Terry Funk, Bunkhouse Buck, Arn Anderson & Col. Robert Parker (w/Meng) – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1994)
Dustin Rhodes and Arn Anderson start the match, which makes sense. After Dustin sends AA into the cage, Arn takes Rhodes into the other ring. He thinks he’s about to get the advantage, but Dustin smashes his face in the cage again. They repeat the same spot from WarGames ’92 where AA gets his head stuck in between the rings. Dustin LEAPS over both ring ropes and kills Anderson with a Lariat. That’s just awesome. The heels win the coin toss. Shocker, I know. Right before Bunkhouse Buck enters the cage for the 2-on-1 heel advantage, Arn drills Dustin with the DDT and beats him to a pulp. Notice how I didn’t say bloody pulp. Yeah, no blood in these WarGames matches. Buck and Arn continue what they tried to do back at Bash at the Beach and that’s break Dustin’s arm. Jerry Sags enters next and takes over on the heels, including Buck being slammed into the cage. Buck receives a piledriver from Sags as Rhodes pounds away on AA in the corner. Dustin wears AA down in a sleeper as Terry Funk comes in with a boot in hand. He beats Sags and Rhodes with the cowboy boot and the mauling continues. Sags takes Funk in between the rings and gives Funk a piledriver THROUGH the gap! Don’t worry. Funk crawls back out and continues the match. Brian Knobbs is the fresh man in and counters a toss into the cage by sending both Funk and AA into the steel instead. Sags helps out Knobbs and together they toss AA into the cage. Afterwards, Sags goes over and beats Funk in the face with his own boot until the wobbly old man falls on his back. Now it’s Colonel Parker’s turn to enter the cage. He’s hesitant, but he enters once he sees Buck has Rhodes held for him. Parker starts punching Rhodes and hurts his hand. Who is he, MacGyver? Parker starts kicking all the faces in the cage instead while Buck goes around and holds them all down for him. Belts come off and people start getting whipped. The “Dusty” chants are getting LOUD. Rhodes has a leather belt and whips everybody in sight. Meng is getting angry and begins to SHAKE the cage wall. And here comes Dusty. Everybody eats Bionic Elbows except for Parker. He’s splashed by the Nasties and put in the Figure-Four by Dusty. Dustin holds off Funk, AA, and Buck until Parker surrenders. (19:05) A real formulaic WarGames, but harmless old school fun all the same. No blood though. That easily knocks off a full star from these later WarGames matches. ***¼
- Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Sting & Lex Luger (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Zodiac, Shark, Kamala & Meng (w/Kevin Sullivan) – WarGames Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1995)
If Hogan’s team wins, then Hogan gets five minutes with Kevin Sullivan in the cage. Hogan doesn’t have to put up anything? Well, I guess what sucks for the Hogan team is that Hogan and Savage don’t trust Lex Luger while Sting will stick with his buddy Lex no matter what so it seems. You gullible babyface, you. Hogan’s team is all wearing matching green fatigues and camouflage face paint. Sting and Shark start the match. I would have started with Sting and Meng since they have go one-on-one for five minutes, but hey what do I know. Why would putting two wrestlers together who have proven on the last two PPVs that they can compete on a decent level. Are we supposed to forget the fact that those two matches happened simply because Meng isn’t with the Stud Stable anymore? Oh well. So yeah, Sting and Shark kick things off. As you might expect, Shark uses his fat (or is it blubber? No, that’s whale fat) and his deadly shark teeth to chomp up Sting. He makes a comeback and wants a Stinger Splash, but Shark heads into the ring where Sting SLAMS Shark on the first try and hurts his back. If he had just failed on the first try, his back might not be so sore! Well he fails on the second slam as Shark falls on top of him. A bearhug from Shark (shark hug?) knocks off another minute or so. Shark tries to splash Sting from side of the ring to the other as though he WAS Sting and gets stuck on top of the ropes for some gut kicking. Sting tries to splash Shark in between the rings, but gets caught and tossed back into the ring. Sting goes after the legs though and clamps on a SCORPION DEATHLOCK as the first period ends. Thank God. The Dungeon of Dummies win the coin toss, which shouldn’t surprise anyone who has seen a WarGames match and is probably the ONLY advantage they have. In comes Zodiac to save Shark. They double-team Sting with chokes and splashes. Savage enters in for the third period and goes INSANE on Shark and Zodiac. Sting’s arms and Savage’s legs get stuck underneath the cage for Meng and Kamala to play with every now and then. There’s biting and punching. Nothing real interesting. Kamala comes in for the heels. It’s your typical segment of disadvantage for the babyfaces. Lex Luger makes the save and wipes everybody out. Zodiac gets sent into the cage, but there’s no bloodshed here. Right before Meng takes his turn to enter WarGames, Savage and Luger start fighting one another when Lex misses a clothesline on Zodiac and nails Savage by mistake. Sting has to separate them, but he’s stopped by a fresh Meng. He tears the good guys apart as all four Dungeon of Doom members have entered the cage. As the heels are conquering Hogan’s crew, Schiavone appears to have all but given up on them! ALL HOPE IS LOST! Hogan comes in and cheats like a muthatrucker by throwing powder in everybody’s eyes. Heenan ~ “It’s kind of like Bosnia in a cage!” Schiavone ~ “Well, I don’t know about that.” There was a time when Tony Schiavone would deny ridiculous hyperbole? No way! More mindless brawling continues with the camera focused on what Hogan’s doing like throwing the Dungeon guys into the cage a bunch. Of course, no blood is spilled. Hogan finally takes us home by making Zodiac submit to a camel clutch. (18:48) It’s all for you, Sheiky baby. Security brings Kevin Sullivan back to the ring and inside the cage with Hogan. The fight goes in and out of the ring until The Giant walks down the aisleway. He picks up referee Randy “Pee Wee” Anderson with one hand and steps inside the cage to face Hogan. He leaps over both sets of ring ropes and grabs Hogan from behind by the neck. Hogan breaks loose and fires away, but there’s no effect whatsoever. Giant grabs him by the throat and wrings Hogan’s neck! Now Sting, Luger and Savage run in for the save, but the Giant and Sullivan are long gone. Easily the worst WarGames match to date. *½
- Hollywood Hogan, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & ??? (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson & Sting – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1996)
On the Nitro prior to Fall Brawl, the nWo had everyone thinking that Sting had joined their crew by having what we thought was him join in on a backstage Lex Luger beatdown. Wild stuff and this was quite the intriguing scenario leading into Fall Brawl where Sting is supposed to be on WCW’s team to compete in WarGames. Onto the match, Scott Hall and perennial WarGames starter Arn Anderson begins the match. If I know anything about WarGames and I’ve seen a good chunk of them, it should have been Arn ripping into Hall like a monkey on a cupcake for five minutes, but instead the action goes back and forth. More Hall than Arn though. When Arn was in control, Bobby Heenan channels the spirit of David Crockett. WHIP HIM! WHIP LIKE A DOG! I love it. Arn hits the Spinebuster and my hometown of Winston-Salem erupts. Arn grabs a half crab and makes a big mistake by turning his back away from the entrance. The nWo naturally wins the coin toss since they’re the heels. Here comes Kevin Nash. Arn decks him real good, but Hall grabs hold of Arn as Nash catches him with a Big Boot. After two minutes of roughhousing, Lex Luger runs down ahead of the two-minute period and starts kicking butt with clotheslines while Arn regroups. Luger doesn’t need the steel cage – he’s got steel-plated forearms! Once the odds overwhelm Lex, Arn makes the save and hits a DDT on Nash! Hollywood Hogan joins the match. While Hall and Nash are down, Luger and AA enjoy a few moments of double-teaming Hogan in the corner. With the odds against Luger and Arn, it’s only a matter of time before the nWo start dishing out the beating again. Ric Flair evens the teams and dares Hogan to join him alone in the other ring! Hogan gets a shot in, but Flair ducks a big right hand and fires back. Out comes the taped knux! Down goes Hogan! Hall and Nash try to save their leader and both receive low blows. YES. Flair grabs a FIGURE-FOUR on Hogan, Hall takes a bunch of atomic drops from Luger, and AA has Nash being choked down in the corner. AWESOME. Well, I believe Cobra is a little off cue here. The Fake Sting finally arrives and he looks like Sting if you don’t, umm, look at him in the face. But then you watch him WRESTLE and it’s clearly not Sting at all. The crowd starts chanting “We want Sting!” Haha, oh WCW. The nWo foursome continue to destroy Arn, Lex, and Flair until the REAL Sting sprints down the aisle and into the ring. Tony, Bobby, and Dusty all admit they were wrong as Sting lays the smackdown on the entire nWo while Lex, Arn, and Flair stand back in disbelief. Once Sting is done dishing out the Stinger Splashes to everyone, he gives them the universal “up yours” sign to his team and leaves. Well, it’s over now. The Fake Sting and Hogan concentrate on Luger in one ring while Hall and Nash keep Flair and AA in the other ring. Fake Sting grabs a SCORPION DEATHLOCK while Hogan pulls up on Luger’s chin until he passes out to give the nWo the victory. (18:15) After the cage is lifted up, the nWo continue to destroy Luger in the aisleway as he tries to crawl to find Sting. Quite the dramatic moment for a wrestling match. Flair and AA try to save, but it’s Randy Savage who shows up and takes Hogan back into the ring. As Hogan cowers into the corner, the Giant grabs Savage from behind and turns him around for a CHOKESLAM. Not sure what happened to AA and Flair, but Hall, Nash, and DiBiase join Hogan and Giant in the ring to humiliate Savage some more. Elizabeth, who I don’t believe was really on good terms with Savage in storyline terms, comes down to try and stop the nWo. They’re all unimpressed, so while Liz lays on top of Savage, she gets the nWo letters sprayed on the back of her dress. Hogan gets on the mic and berates both of them for not being able to commit to their wedding vows. OUCH. Giant grabs the spray can and does the honors all over Savage’s back. While the booking was a tad off, the final WarGames match that anyone could call *great* in WCW. And because of the booking, I’m going to have to knock this down a peg from **** to ***½.
- Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konnan & Buff Bagwell vs. Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve McMichael & Curt Hennig – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1997)
Curt is SUPPOSED to be here, but the nWo beat him up in the middle of the show. They always got to keep WCW at a disadvantage at these things during the nWo feud. With that said, Hennig doesn’t come out with the Horsemen crew. Buff starts off with Benoit for the first five-minute period. Immediately, this is a problem because as pissed and intense Benoit should be, he lets Bagwell pose and talk just a little too much. Even Tony says they go ahead and fight already. Benoit chops and throws Bagwell into the cage a little bit. He wants a Flying Headbutt, but the cage is too low for such things. On top of that, Bagwell moves out of harm’s way. This is a case where a guy like Benoit – who is a world renown workhorse in the ring – can’t adapt his style to the match at hand. We will see him do that in ladder matches and a few other cage matches throughout his career, but WarGames is supposed to be a different kind of concept. You don’t really wrestle in these matches as much as you are just fighting your opponent. Bagwell chokes Benoit on the mat and picks him up to toss him into the cage. Benoit takes a NASTY backdrop over the ropes into the cage that could have easily caused some neck damage. By the way, the heels win the coin toss for the tenth year in a row. More choking from Bagwell for the last two minutes until Konnan joins the match. Benoit takes care of business here until the numbers game catches up to him and Konnan drills him with a DDT. No one in Winston-Salem cares for Konnan. Being the hams they are, Bagwell and Konnan talk to the cameraman like this match is no big deal.
Mongo enters to even the score. He actually does it right with clotheslines and slams on the heels. The Horsemen control the ring until Syxx enters WarGames. He seems to be one of the few guys who “gets” WarGames with wearing the jeans and t-shirt like he’s come to FIGHT. I like it. He’s of little help to the nWo though as he gets bounced on and off the cage. That’s okay though because this match is designed for the FACES to get their revenge. See, Syxx gets it. With under a minute to go until Flair can join his team, here comes Curt Hennig with his arm in a sling. Looks like Flair is loading it up. In comes Flair to chop and low blow the three nWo guys. Kevin Nash is the final entrant for the nWo. He walks in and gives Flair a Side Slam. Benoit chops away at Nash, but gets slammed into the cage. With no one else on the Horsemen side standing, Nash boots Mongo down while once again Bagwell hams it up to the camera. Ugh. Even in this match, the W-S crowd wants Sting. Now Hennig makes his way into WarGames. As it turns out, his arm isn’t hurt at all! He pulls two pairs of handcuffs from his sling and NAILS MONGO! He tosses one pair to Nash, and hands the other pair to Konnan as they handcuff Mongo and Benoit to opposite sides of the cage. Curt Hennig rips up his Four Horsemen t-shirt – clearly joining the nWo. With the other two unable to help, Flair has no chance as he is QUINTUPLE-TEAMED. As the Horsemen are being ravaged, none of the three men choose to surrender. That is until the nWo threaten to slam Flair’s head with the cage door. When it gets to that level of insanity and the Horsemen clearly have no chance, Mongo chooses to surrender. (19:40) Just like in action movies and the bad guys get what they want, they still end up shooting the bait. Hennig slams Flair’s head with the cage door. Some say this match killed Winston-Salem, but the 1998 WarGames didn’t draw significantly less. Greensboro, which is only about 20 miles away and attracts a ton of the same wrestling fans, drew much more for the WWF in 1998 and 1999 during the hot Attitude years, so I wouldn’t say wrestling died because of what happened to Flair. It’s safer to say that it was a major blow to Ric Flair and the end of a complicated year for the Four Horsemen, but that’s where I would stop. The match is completely avoidable unless you want to see the ending. Much like the 1993 WarGames, only one man managed to make this not suck entirely. Then it was Dustin Rhodes, but here it was Syxx for bumping his heart out there. **
- Diamond Dallas Page, Roddy Piper & The Warrior vs. Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart & Stevie Ray vs. Sting, Kevin Nash & Lex Luger – WarGames Cage Match (WCW Fall Brawl 1998)
As a fan of the old WarGames matches, this one disgusts me. Winner gets a WCW world title shot at Halloween Havoc, which negates the whole reason for teams. This is the first WarGames match where that is a stipulation, the first one where pinfalls are allowed, and the first one where the match can end at any time. In other words, you don’t have to wait until everyone is in the ring to officially start WarGames like every other one. It’s first pinfall wins, which is STUPID. Team include Team WCW (DDP, Roddy Piper, and WOYAH), nWo Hollywood (Hollywood Hogan, Bret Hart, and since no one else will job: Stevie Ray), and the nWo Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Sting, and Lex Luger). DDP and Bret start the match. Since there is three teams, shouldn’t a member from the Wolfpac start too? I don’t know why I’m trying to make since of WCW at this point. DDP controls for the first half of the initial five minute period while Bret gets a few of his Five Moves of Doom during the second half. Stevie Ray enters the match now. Forget about being fair, how does that even make sense?! Two minute periods from here on out. Bret rests a little while Stevie Ray puts a hurting on Page in the corner. In comes Sting. Stevie Ray is there to meet him at the door. He beats Stevie Ray back and leaps from one ring into the other on him. With Stevie Ray in between the ropes and the cage, Sting gives him a couple splashes. Of course he tries one too many times as Stevie Ray ducks and Sting eats the cage. Roddy Piper joins the match now. He beats up on everybody. Sting tries to stomp Stevie Ray between the rings reminding us of the WarGames of old. Lex Luger is next. Piper tries to put away Stevie Ray with the SLEEPER. Kevin Nash joins us now, but Hollywood Hogan sneaks down into the cage about a minute too soon and knocks out EVERYBODY but Bret and Stevie Ray with a slap jack. Stevie Ray is just there to help out. Next thing you know, even Bret Hart gets clipped from behind by Stevie Ray. Imagine Michael Scott doing improv and shooting everybody with a gun. That’s what this feels like now. Hogan starts dishing out LEGDROPS to Nash. Meanwhile, smoke fills the ring and it’s WOYAH. Hogan is ready for him though and beats him down to the mat. Next thing you know, Hogan is left holding his jacket, but NO WOYAH! Oh wait, here he comes running down the aisle. Warrior beats up Hogan who escapes out the door thanks to the Disciple, leaving Stevie Ray to take the punishment. Now Warrior spots Hogan and tears through the cage to go after him! However, security manages to hold off WOYAH while Hogan and Disciple exit to the back. Meanwhile, Stevie Ray misses DDP with the Slap Jack and whacks Bret instead. Now he’s done. Everybody else is still knocked out cold. DDP leaps at Stevie Ray and drops him with the DIAMOND CUTTER for the 1-2-3. (20:06) At least Sting tried to cheer me up doing the old spots, but otherwise this was just ridiculous. ½*
- Sting, Booker T, Goldberg & KroniK vs. Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner & The Harris Brothers – WarGames Triple Cage Match (WCW Monday Nitro, 9/4/00)
This is from Nitro’s fifth anniversary show. Regular WarGames rules, but you have they have to climb up to the top level to reach the WCW world title and then escape the cage to win, which makes teams seem irrelevant. Apparently you can win at any time too. Holy crap, wrestling’s biggest metrosexual Jeremy Borash joins Tony and Mark for commentary. Sting and Jarrett start us off here. There are ladders everywhere in this Hell in a Cell type cage where it encompasses the mats around ringside. Sting takes Jarrett around ringside and throws him into all sides of the cage. He does more of the same with a ladder leaned up against the corner inside the ring. Two minutes elapse, and Scott Steiner enters WarGames. Hey, at least they stuck to the heels always win the coin toss tradition. Steiner comes out wearing a nose guard. Since we get no context to what’s happening, I have no idea why he’s wearing a nose guard. Sting tries to climb up to the second tier, but Jarrett and Steiner jab him with a ladder as he falls and crotches himself on the top rope. They beat the crap out of Sting until KroniK enters the match together. Somehow since they won a match together to be in this match, they get to come into WarGames at the same time. Oddly, that makes sense. Scott Steiner climbs up to the second tier and finds bolt cutters to try and get out so he can climb up to the top tier. Meanwhile, KroniK deliver HIGH TIMES to Jarrett and then head up to try and stop Steiner from winning. Next up, here comes Vince Russo wearing a hockey helmet, a NJ Devils jersey, and a baseball bat in hand. Oh wait, and also the Harris brothers are with him. Meanwhile, Sting is setting up Jarrett for the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Not sure why. The Harris brothers climb up the cage up to the second tier to possibly help Scott Steiner. They end up just getting in a kendo stick brawl with KroniK as Steiner returns back down to the ring. Now Sting gives Russo the Stinger Splash and puts him in the SCORPION DEATHLOCK. Just for fun. The world champ Kevin Nash is out next. He saves Steiner from a Stinger Splash and drops Sting with a Chokeslam.
Russo wants a high five from Big Sexy. Wait a minute, Nash GOOZLES Russo and just chokes him for a good while. Jarrett and Steiner try to stop him, but they just can’t seem to come up with the right words. Somehow, the Harris Brothers and KroniK have all brawled from the second tier of the cage down into the crowd. Now Nash takes turns individually choking Jarrett and Steiner. I’m so confused! Here comes Booker T as he enters WarGames. AXE KICK to Jarrett! AXE KICK to Steiner! Even Russo takes an AXE KICK. There’s the Spinaroonie, but he stands back up into a Big Boot from Nash. Just as Sting and Booker seemingly have no choice, Goldberg enters the match. He destroys everybody until Russo knocks him out with his baseball bat. Meanwhile, Booker T finds himself on the second tier. After Goldberg gets handcuffed to the ropes, Steiner goes after Booker. Sting and Jarrett follow after them. While Sting tries to fight off Jarrett and Steiner, Booker climbs up to the top level and retrieves the belt. Now he has to climb back down and make it out the door. Booker nails both Jarrett and Steiner in the face with the title while now Sting gets handcuffed to the second cage. Steiner gets the belt away from Booker and then cleans his clock. Over comes Jarrett with a guitar and KABONGS Booker. As Steiner tries to climb down into the ring, he drops the belt down to Russo. The Cat, who I believe was the commissioner of WCW, comes out and kicks Russo in the face! He picks up the world title and acts like he’s going to win, but Nash who has been standing by the door ever since Goldberg came into the match, won’t allow this to happen. He JACKKNIFES Ernest Miller and poses with his belt. GOLDBERG MAD! He breaks the handcuffs and starts unloading on Nash, Steiner, and Jarrett. Russo goes to whack Goldberg again with the bat, but he blocks and decks Russo. As Goldberg starts to walk out the door with the world title, Bret Hart of all people hops the railing and slams the door in his face. Jarrett tosses the belt over to Russo as he and Steiner take care of Goldberg. Nash looks like he’s going to violently stop him, but then they share a big hug. Nash takes his belt back and walks out the cage together with the rest of his team for the win. (18:45) The one thing you can say here is the WarGames certainly got worse as the years went by, and I didn’t think it could get worse than the one from 1998. I’m sorry, but WarGames matches are designed for the faces to win and this just mostly felt ridiculous. Like most of WCW 2000 that I’ve seen which carries over into the TNA of today, it appears they are merely imitating what a wrestling company is supposed to be doing. I’ll be real kind with the rating though as some of the early Sting-Jarrett exchanges and Goldberg’s comeback at the end was somewhat entertaining. Of course that was before Bret Hart appeared in a moment that I have absolutely no clue as to why he was there. And I’ve read Bret’s book! If WCW was smart, they would have just let Goldberg win this one. *½
Final Thoughts: If you’re a total mark for WarGames matches like I am, definitely pick this one up. You’re at least getting the best video quality possible even if you’re not getting Jesse Ventura’s commentary for the 1992 and 1993 matches. Be sure to support the WCW-themed DVDs so that WWE will keep putting them out to keep WCW alive. Thumbs up for WarGames: WCW’s Most Notorious Matches.