For decades, WWE Superstars have sworn allegiances at Survivor Series, confronted the chaos of the Royal Rumble and braved the harsh steel cage of Hell in a Cell. But before all this, there was only one match designed to wreak the ultimate havoc on all who dared to enter: WCW’s most infamous innovation – WAR GAMES! Now, for the first time, own all the greatest battles from inside this multi-caged combat zone.
The mind behind the mayhem, WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes, takes you inside his most famous creation, presenting punishing matches featuring Rick Flair and The Four Horsemen, Sting, The n.W.o., Chris Benoit, Lex Luger, The Road Warriors and many more!
Running Time: 369mins (6hrs 9mins)
Chapters – Disc 1
- Creating the War Games
- Great American Bash 4th July, 1987 – War Games Match: Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering v Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon
- Great American Bash On Tour
- Great American Bash 31st July, 1987 – War Games Match: Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering v Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & The War Machine
- A Different Type of Animal
- Great American Bash 10th July, 1988 – Tower of Doom Match: The Road Warriors, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams, Ron Garvin & Jimmy Garvin v Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, Russian Assassin & Ivan Koloff
- Great American Bash 16th July, 1988 – War Games Match: Dusty Rhodes, Lex Luger, Nikita Koloff, “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Paul Ellering v Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon
- Live Events
- Great American Bash 23rd July, 1989 – War Games Match: The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express & “Dr. Death” Steve Williams v The Fabulous Freebirds & The Samoan Swat Team
Chapters – Disc 2
- Getting Replaced
- WrestleWar 24th February, 1991 – War Games Match: Ric Flair, Sid Vicious, Barry Windham & Larry Zbyszko v Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers
- Talent Change
- WrestleWar 17th May, 1992 – War Games Match: Sting’s Squadron (Sting, Nikita Koloff, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat & Barry Windham) v The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin, Larry Zbyszko & Rick Rude)
- The Almighty Dollar
- Fall Brawl 19th September, 1993 – War Games Match: Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes & The Shockmaster v Sid Vicious, Vader & Harlem Heat
- A Really Special Night
- Fall Brawl 18th September, 1994 – War Games Match: Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes & The Nasty Boys v Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck & Colonel Robert Parker
Chapters – Disc 3
- Pride in Their Product
- Fall Brawl 17th September, 1995 – War Games Match: Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger & Sting v Kamala the Ugandan Giant, The Zodiac, The Shark & Meng
- Glimmer of a Fire
- Fall Brawl 15th September, 1996 – War Games Match: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & A Mystery Partner v Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger & Sting
- Pulling Out Every Stop
- Fall Brawl 14th September, 1997 – War Games Match: Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell, Syxx & Konnan v Ric Flair, Steve McMichael, Chris Benoit & Curt Hennig
- The Talent Made The War Games
- Fall Brawl 13th September, 1998 – War Games Match: Diamond Dallas Page, Roddy Piper & The Warrior v “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan, Stevie Ray & Bret Hart v Kevin Nash, Sting & Lex Luger
- The End of the War Games
- Monday Nitro 4th September, 2000 – War Games 2000 Match: Sting, Booker T, Goldberg & KroniK v Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner & The Harris Brothers
- The Main Event
For many, the War Games Match is the greatest gimmick match in wrestling history. For a lot of younger fans, they may have no idea what a War Games Match actually is, while for a lot of older fans, it’s a shame that WWE has not brought the gimmick back.
This set is a chronicled history, linked by “The Dweem” Dusty Rhodes, of all the War Games bouts that took place in the NWA and WCW from 1987 until 2000. The players may change, but the ominous steel structure did not and the name of the game was simple; inflict pain on your opponents until all members of the teams were officially in the match… and then inflict pain until someone gave up.
As a concept for blowing off a feud, it’s nothing but pure, unadulterated genius. Especially when it revolved around a faction (such as The Four Horsemen) having a group of guys they’ve been targeting team up to take them out. Another common factor in most of the War Games matches is blood. These fights (and they were never booked as wrestling matches, they were booked as fights) were nasty, violent and bloody affairs. Most of the men involved would bleed heavily and really earned respect for their efforts.
As I said during my review of the Elimination Chamber collection, it doesn’t matter how much of a fan you are of the subject (be it match stipulation or performer), you struggle to sit through the entire thing as the action tends to get a bit samey. And as I said during my review of the Elimination Chamber set, with this collection, that doesn’t really happen.
There are similar spots (it’s a cage match. People are going to get thrown into the cage head-first; what are you going to do?) and some wrestlers make multiple appearances (Arn Anderson, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and Sting are prime culprits), but the action is frenetic, violent and the fans are so into it, especially in the older ones, that you can watch them back-to-back with no issues at all.
Some of the video quality in the first few matches is shoddy at best, but there’s not really much anyone can do about it and in a way it adds to the charm. Another negative is that you don’t hear from any of the guys involved except Dusty Rhodes and a chance to catch up with the men who elevated the match to mythical status deserve to be heard.
With there being no extras on the DVD set, this could easily have been filled with a few talking-head segments from wrestlers involved, wrestlers who missed out first time (such as Triple H) who would love to bring it back and it would be awesome to get Vince McMahon’s true feelings on the match too.
Despite the lack of extras, this is a great collection of matches that deserve to be seen by those who were too young to witness them the first time around or only found wrestling after the demise of WCW. Each match offers something, even if it is unintentional comedy to go along with the violence, and in the PG-era we find ourselves in now, the blood and carnage really stand out as a bygone era we may never see again.
Blu-Ray owners also get -:
- Smoky Mountain Wrestling May 1993 – Rage in the Cage Match: Brian Lee, Jimmy Golden, Ricky Morton, Robert Fuller & Robert Gibson v Kevin Sullivan, Killer Kyle, The Tazmaniac , Stan Lane & Tom Prichard
- ECW December to Dismember 9th December, 1995 – Ultimate Jeopardy Steel Cage Match: Tommy Dreamer, Public Enemy & The Pitbulls v Raven, Stevie Richards, The Eliminators & The Heavenly Bodies
- ECW Cyberslam 3rd April, 1999 – Ultimate Jeopardy Steel Cage Match: Buh Buh Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley & Mustafa Saed v New Jack, Axl Rotten & Balls MahoneyWar Games Fantasy Booking with Dusty Rhodes
Points: 9/10 (this would have scored a full 10/10 if there was more input from other wrestlers)