As fans we've seen wrestling go to some extreme measures that led to some epic encounters over the years. From Hell in a Cell to Last Man Standing, there have been many stipulations over the years that push the boundaries of brutality and the human anatomy. But there was only one match that went beyond The War Games. No matter where it was placed in schedule, the signature two cage spectacular was always the big draw for WCW. Strange alliances would be made and WrestleWars along with fall brawls would be forged in a team battleground of steel and blood . No Pinfalls. No Disqualifications. It's just Submission or Surrender. In the latest WWE DVD release: "War Games: WCW's Most Notorious Matches" they look back at what happens when there are no other options and wrestling has go to war. I have to admit I was very excited for this release War Games was always my favorite WCW event of all time. I loved the gritty brutality and the spectacle. It felt so different than any other thing in wrestling at that time. This match compilation features the signature bouts of the series from its inception in 1987 to its final incarnation in 2000. Alongside these classic matches, we hear comments from the match creator WWE Hall of Famer "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes explaining the historical significance of the events that year. Don't expect anything to in-depth as Dusty seems to have rose-colored glasses when comes to certain matches. I can't blame him for that . Any proud papa would for his creative baby. But it is cool to hear of the match and its inception, stemming from a visit to Mad Max Beyond ThunderDome. Interesting to note, WCW actually created a ThunderDome cage in the style of the Mel Gibson film. Those matches are not included. However, what is included is the Tower of Doom match from Great American Bash 1988. Not one of Dusty's greatest moments. I think it was included to explain War Games 2000 later on in the triple cage and give Dusty credit. Here's the match listing for the set:
DISC 1Creating The War Games War Games Match The Super Powers (Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering) vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon) Great American Bash Atlanta, GA July 4, 1987 Great American Bash On Tour War Games Match Dusty Rhodes, The Road Warriors, Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard) & The War Machine Great American Bash Miami, FL July 31, 1987 A Different Type of Animal Tower of Doom Match The Road Warriors, Dr. Death Steve Williams, Ron Garvin & Jimmy Garvin vs. Kevin Sullivan, Mike Rotunda, Al Perez, Russian Assassin & Ivan Koloff Great American Bash July 10, 1988 Brutality War Games Match Dusty Rhodes, Lex Luger, Nikita Koloff, Dr. Death Steve Williams & Paul Ellering vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard & J.J. Dillon) Great American Bash Tour Greensboro, NC July 16, 1988 Live Events War Games Match The Road Warriors, The Midnight Express & Dr. Death Steve Williams vs. The Fabulous Freebirds & The Samoan Swat Team Great American Bash July 23, 1989
DISC 2Getting Replaced War Games Match The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Sid Vicious, Barry Windham & Larry Zbyszko) vs. Sting, Brian Pillman, & The Steiner Brothers WCW WrestleWar February 24, 1991 Talent Change War Games Match Stings Squadron (Sting, Nikita Koloff, Dustin Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat & Barry Windham) vs. The Dangerous Alliance (Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Steve Austin, Larry Zbyszko & Rick Rude) WCW WrestleWar May 17, 1992 The Almighty Dollar War Games Match Sting, Davey Boy Smith, Dustin Rhodes & The Shockmaster vs. Sid Vicious, Vader & Harlem Heat WCW Fall Brawl September 19, 1993 A Really Special Night War Games Match Dusty Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes & The Nasty Boys vs. Terry Funk, Arn Anderson, Bunkhouse Buck & Colonel Robert Parker WCW Fall Brawl September 18, 1994
DISC 3Pride in Their Product War Games Match The Hulkamaniacs (Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Lex Luger & Sting) vs. The Dungeon of Doom (Kamala the Ugandan Giant, The Zodiac, The Shark & Meng) WCW Fall Brawl September 17, 1995 Glimmer Of A Fire War Games Match Team nWo (Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, Kevin Nash & A Mystery Partner) vs. Team WCW (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Lex Luger & Sting) WCW Fall Brawl September 15, 1996 Pulling Out Every Stop War Games Match Team nWo (Kevin Nash, Buff Bagwell, Syxx & Konnan) vs. The Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Steve McMichael, Chris Benoit & Curt Hennig) WCW Fall Brawl September 14, 1997 The Talent Made The War Games War Games Match Team WCW (Diamond Dallas Page, Roddy Piper & The Warrior) vs. Team Hollywood (Hollywood Hulk Hogan, Stevie Ray & Bret Hart) vs. Team Wolfpac (Kevin Nash, Sting & Lex Luger) WCW Fall Brawl September 13, 1998 The End of the War Games War Games 2000 Match Sting, Booker T, Goldberg & KroniK vs. Kevin Nash, Jeff Jarrett, Scott Steiner & The Harris Brothers WCW Monday Nitro September 4, 2000
The Main EventIf you get the Blu-ray edition of the set also included are the War Games inspired Double Jeopardy matches from the original ECW and the rare Rage in the Cage from Smoky Mountain Wrestling. Too bad MLW War Games footage isn't included. But you can't have everything. Overall, I like the fact they paid homage to the influence the War Games had on the business. From Hell in a Cell to the Elimination Chamber, the blueprint traces back to all those years ago. (Fun fact, before the Elimination Chamber was created in 2002 Triple H pushed for the War Games to return. However, executive producer Kevin Dunn thought the double cage would look terrible on television.) Overall, another great produced DVD by the WWE. Whether you're an old school fan looking to relive the old days or a new fan to learn some history. It's well worth a look.