125. Team Russo (Kevin Nash (c), Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Vince Russo & The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris)) defeat Sting, Goldberg, Booker T & KroniK (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) (War Games Match for the WCW Championship, WCW Nitro 4/9/2000)

This Saturday night, it’s WWE Survivor Series: War Games! Yes, with Papa H in charge, War Games have been taken from NXT and been promoted to the big leagues! The WWE Network has a few War Games specials on, even a ‘Best Of War Games.’ But I ignored that and went for the last War Games on WCW programming: in the dying days of WCW in 2000 on an episode of WCW Nitro! Subtitled ‘Russo’s Revenge’ (yes, really), this was emblematic of the people problems WCW was facing towards its ends. Overbooked, over-stuffed, over-complicated, and plain ridiculous at times, this War Games match sullies the very gimmick!

So, this was for the WCW Championship…but wasn’t a traditional War Games match. It only took place with one ring for a start. Rather than a large cage surrounding two rings, this centred around a three-tiered cage structure. The WCW title was in the top cage…and to win the title, a wrestler would have to grab the title from the top cage and take it out of the bottom cage. Why so needlessly complicated? What was so wrong with the original War Games gimmick? So, even before the match started, the shenanigans had begun. Oh, and it was still split into two teams…yet only one person could walk out with the title. Why even have teams?!?

Jeff Jarrett and Sting kick things off with what you’d expect from a War Games match: a wild brawl around and in the ring. Scott Steiner enters next, and things start to slow down (just as Sting was climbling a ladder to reach the second cage). Then all logic flies out of the window as Kronik enter as ‘one unit,’ rather than ‘one wrestler.’ And, as any one who witnessed Kronik in any way, shape or form, they tended to stink the joint up.

Vince Russo wanted to be the next Vince Mcmahon in terms of a corporate mega-heel, so of course he puts himself in the match…and if Kronik didn’t stink the joint up enough, Russo comes in like a maggot-ridden bin. Just…why? By this point anyway, there’s too much happening on too many different levels (literally). Yes, the point of War Games is chaos, but when you can’t follow who’s in whose team, and people enter who aren’t even part of the match, proceedings become too confusing. Kevin Nash, the WCW Champion at the time, enters the match, and teases turning on his team…only to laugh and attack the opposing team. What was the point?

Of course, being a late WCW match, the ending is overbooked and overstuffed. There’s even a late injecion of excitement as Goldberg is the last man to enter. He even has the best moment of the match, breaking free of handcuffs to batter everyone in sight. But it’s too little, too late..and it’s soon ruined by outside interference (and the fact that anyone could take the WCW Championship once it has been retrieved from the top cage. And that brings me to something I didn’t think about before: once a wrestler had retrieved the belt from the top cage, why couldn’t they just climb down the sides of the other cages, rather than climb down the insides and fight off the other wrestlers?).

The few positive features of this match are not enough to redeem it in any sense. It’s overly confusing in almost every way. Rather than a raucous, chaotic brawl, the wrestlers weakly smack each other woth kendo sticks and trash cans. Every time there’s a flash of excitement, something happens to sully it. It tells you that WCW were getting desperate when they had an ostensible War Games match take place on a regular Nitro (for the World title, no less). But surely this is the worst ever War Games match…if you can refer to it with that gimmick. Absolute garbage.

Hammy’s Rating: * (out of 5)

(Click here for more of ‘A Wrestling Match A Day‘)


3 thoughts on “125. Team Russo (Kevin Nash (c), Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner, Vince Russo & The Harris Brothers (Ron & Don Harris)) defeat Sting, Goldberg, Booker T & KroniK (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) (War Games Match for the WCW Championship, WCW Nitro 4/9/2000)

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