Match 83 comes courtesy of WCW and War Games. War Games was a successful match gimmick, for a time, before WCW over-egged the pudding. Before that, War Games meant manic, bloody, non-stop violence inside a double ringed steel cage. And this War Games, from WrestleWar 1991, is possibly the greatest War Games of them all. It’s an all-out bloody and vicious brawl. There’s a few rough patches, a few botches here and there, but that’s partly because of the low-roofed cage (see, for example, Vicious’ botched powerbomb on Brian Pillman). Apart from that, there’s so much going on at any time that there’s pure entertainment to be had!
This ‘Match Beyond,’ as it was nicknamed, included the cream of the crop from WCW at the time. Flair (in the list again!), Barry Windham, The Steiner Brothers, Sting…and Sid Vicious, who’s competent enough in the match. He does his big man stuff, which is fine. All of the stars have their moments in the match. Sting enters and leaps from one ring to another to clotheslines Flair. The Steiner Brothers hurl wrestlers about like they’re dolls. The babyfaces doing simultaneous figure four leglocks on the heels is a particularly memorable moment. There’s so much great talent involved in the ring that it’s bursting to the seams with quality.
However, the real star of the show is Brian Pillman. One of the first two in the match, along with Barry Windham, he impressed right from the start, throwing a flurry of offensive moves at Windham, hitting him with a hurricanrana and causing Windham to bleed from the head. “The littlest man with the biggest heart,” says one of the commentators. And it’s true! One of the great wrestlers of the 90s, Pillman proves that he belonged with the big boys without a shadow of a doubt. He rises above the great talent involved in the match to leave a lasting impression on the viewer.
It’s rough, bloody and action-packed, but at times there is almost too much going on that it’s hard to focus on any one thing! That’s no bad thing as such, but it’s distracting trying to choose what fight to focus on! But as an example of how far ahead, in terms of violence and wrestling, WCW was in front of WWF in the early 1990s, this is brilliant. Fists fly, blood flows, and Pillman shines.
VERDICT: 8/10. Hectic and violent, like watching an organized pub brawl, it’s never less than thrilling. But sometimes there’s almost too much going on!
(Click here for my review of #84 Yoshihiro Tajiri vs Super Crazy, ECW Guilty As Charged 1999)
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