(Here’s the link for the match on the WWE Network: http://network.wwe.com/video/v638884283/?contentId=&contextType=wwe-show&contextId=the_wargames_collection )
The first WarGames match on the Best 100…List (at #83, the WrestleWar ’91 War Games) was a spectacle of non-stop manic and bloody violence. A few botches actually added to the intensity of it. It also had a dud competitor in the guise of Sid Vicious. This War Games, at WrestleWar ’92, has a full retinue of good to great wrestlers. They pour their heart and soul into the match. It’s also non-stop, bloody action, but manages to better its predecessor thanks in no small part to Paul E. Dangerously and the stacked talent.
For those not familiar with the War Games concept, it’s a match that involves not one, but two rings. Over those two rings is a cage structure (more mesh style cage than metal bar cage). It’s a team match and one person from each team starts the match. They have five minutes until the next person enters the cage. That person is decided by a coin flip. Whichever team wins the coin flip gets to enter their wrestler next. After that, every two minutes a wrestler enters until all wrestlers are in the ring. Only then can one team win the match by submission or surrender. All pretty straightforward!
The talent involved was just as great as the previous WrestleWar ’91 War Games. Sting’s Squadron had Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Barry Windham, Dustin Rhodes and Nikita Koloff. Paul E’s Dangerous Alliance had Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton and Larry Zbyszko. It’s strange seeing Dustin Rhodes outside of his WWF/E Goldust gimmick, but here he shows that he was a great brawler in WCW. While there’s more experienced talent in the ring than youngsters, the youngsters Steve Austin and Rhodes still shine brightly. It’s Steve Austin who starts the match against Barry Windham, and they engage in a brutal brawl straight away! It’s a little insight into the success that Austin would have by how great he is in this match, even with greats like Windham and Ricky Steamboat in the mix.
From those first five minutes where it’s just two people, there is barely pause for breath. Of course, it’s kind of inevitable which team will win the coin toss and thus have the numbers advantage. What good would it do the babyfaces to have the advantage?!?! But giving the heels the coin toss win means that when a babyface comes to even the odds, the crowd shake the stadium with their roars of approval. The heat is palpable through, almost burning your face through the screen. The wrestlers don’t let the crowd down either. Most wrestlers bleed (especially Austin!). Big move follows big move. The cage is utilised as a weapon frequently. There’s also the added intrigue of whether Nikita Koloff is truly on Sting’s side.
It only slightly falls apart at the end, when the heels try to unscrew the turnbuckle to eventually use as a weapon. It’s quite distracting as they seem to have difficulty doing it! But up until that point, it’s as fresh and thrilling today as it would have been in 1992. Of course, the basics are similar to the WarGames match in ’91. Both are all-out brawls, involving blood and liberal use of the cage structure. However, this one has the edge in terms of crowd reaction, pacing and violence. But I’ve only watched two WarGames matches, so I have little to compare them against (another one could be superior to the two in the Best 100…List!). However, because of their similarity, I would have changed #83 with the six man Hell In A Cell from Armageddon 2000. It’s an equally wild brawl involving multiple men, with five of the top stars of WWF…plus Rikishi, for some reason.
VERDICT: 9/10. This is the WarGames concept at its best. A intense brawl that only increases in chaos and ferocity as more wrestlers enter fray, it’s one of the best WCW matches I’ve ever seen.
Does this match belong in the WWE Network’s ‘ 100 Best Matches To See Before You Die’ List? Leave your thoughts/comments below!
Click here for my review of #33 Edge vs. John Cena (WWE Title, TLC Match. WWE Unforgiven 2006)