History of the War Games

The War Games match was a gimmick match used originally in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) and later held annually in World Championship Wrestling (WCW), usually at their Fall Brawl pay-per-view event in September. The match usually involved two teams of four wrestlers locked inside a steel cage that encompassed two rings, but other variations were made. [Courtesy of Wikipedia.com]

Date Event Winners Losers
07/04/87 Great American Bash
Dusty Rhodes
Nikita Koloff
Road Warrior Hawk
Road Warrior Animal
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Lex Luger
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
J.J. Dillon
07/31/87 GAB Tour House Show Dusty Rhodes
Nikita Koloff
Road Warrior Hawk
Road Warrior Animal
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Lex Luger
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
War Machine
08/16/87 House Show Ron Garvin
Nikita Koloff
Dusty Rhodes
Road Warrior Hawk
Road Warrior Animal
Ric Flair
Lex Luger
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
11/25/87 House Show Ron Garvin
Barry Windham
Dusty Rhodes
Ricky Morton
Robert Gibson
Bobby Eaton
Stan Lane
Big Bubba Rogers
Tully Blanchard
Arn Anderson
06/26/88 House Show Dusty Rhodes
Lex Luger
Road Warrior Hawk
Road Warrior Animal
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/02/88 House Show Dusty Rhodes
Lex Luger
Sting
Nikita Koloff
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/12/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Sting
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/14/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Sting
Steve Williams
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/15/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Sting
Nikita Koloff
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/16/88 House Show Dusty Rhodes
Nikita Koloff
Lex Luger
Steve Williams
Paul Ellering
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/21/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Sting
Nikita Koloff
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/23/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Dusty Rhodes
Nikita Koloff
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/24/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Lex Luger
Sting
Nikita Koloff
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/28/88 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Dusty Rhodes
Sting
Nikita Koloff
Ric Flair
Barry Windham
Arn Anderson
Tully Blanchard
James J. Dillon
07/23/89 Great American Bash Steve Williams
Road Warrior Hawk
Road Warrior Animal
Bobby Eaton
Stan Lane
Jimmy Garvin
Michael Hayes
Terry Gordy
Samoan Swat Team
(Fatu and Samu)
08/06/89 House Show Road Warrior Animal
Road Warrior Hawk
Bobby Eaton
Stan Lane
Steve Williams
Jimmy Garvin
Michael Hayes
Terry Gordy
Samoan Swat Team
(Fatu and Samu)
02/24/91 WrestleWar 91 Ric Flair
Larry Zbyszko
Barry Windham
Sid Vicious
Sting
Brian Pillman
Scott Steiner
Rick Steiner
07/03/91 House Show Sting
Lex Luger
The Yellow Dog
El Gigante
Barry Windham
Nikita Koloff
Kevin Sullivan
One Man Gang
07/06/91 House Show Sting
Lex Luger
The Yellow Dog
El Gigante
Barry Windham
Nikita Koloff
Kevin Sullivan
One Man Gang
07/07/91 House Show Sting
Lex Luger
The Yellow Dog
El Gigante
Barry Windham
Nikita Koloff
Kevin Sullivan
One Man Gang
08/10/91 House Show Sting
Ron Simmons
Tom Zenk
Robert Gibson
Richard Morton
Nikita Koloff
The Diamond Studd
One Man Gang
08/24/91 House Show Sting
Barry Windham
The Yellow Dog
El Gigante
Cactus Jack
Kevin Sullivan
Arn Anderson
One Man Gang
05/17/92 WrestleWar 92 Sting
Dustin Rhodes
Nikita Koloff
Barry Windham
Ricky Steamboat
Steve Austin
Bobby Eaton
Rick Rude
Larry Zbyszko
Arn Anderson
09/19/93 WCW Fall Brawl Sting
Davey Boy Smith
Dustin Rhodes
The Shockmaster
Sid Vicious
Big Van Vader
Harlem Heat
(Kane and Kole)
09/18/94 WCW Fall Brawl Dusty Rhodes
Dustin Rhodes
Jerry Sags
Brian Knobbs
Terry Funk
Arn Anderson
Bunkhouse Buck
Col. Robert Parker
09/17/95 WCW Fall Brawl Hulk Hogan
Randy Savage
Lex Luger
Sting
Kamala the Ugandan Giant
The Zodiac
Meng
The Shark
09/15/96 WCW Fall Brawl Hulk Hogan
nWo Sting
Scott Hall
Kevin Nash
Ric Flair
Arn Anderson
Lex Luger
Sting
09/14/97 WCW Fall Brawl Kevin Nash
Syxx
Buff Bagwell
Konnan
Ric Flair
Curt Hennig
Steve McMichael
Chris Benoit
09/13/98 WCW Fall Brawl Diamond Dallas Page Hulk Hogan
Bret Hart
Stevie Ray
Kevin Nash
Lex Luger
Sting
Roddy Piper
The Warrior
04/27/00 Xtreme Pro Wrestling The Enterprise The Black Army
09/03/03 Total Nonstop Action Jeff Jarrett
Raven
D-Lo Brown
Chris Harris
James Storm
Christopher Daniels
Shane Douglas
AJ Styles
Simon Diamond
Johnny Swinger
09/19/03 Major League Wrestling Terry Funk
Steve Williams
The Sandman
Sabu
Bill Alfonso
Steve Corino
Simon Diamond
C.W. Anderson
Justin Credible
Barry Windham
12/11/04 Combat Zone Wrestling Chri$ Ca$h
J.C. Bailey
Spyder Nate Webb
Sexxxy Eddy
Ruckus
Sabian
Eddie Kingston
Jack Evans

Modern versions of War Games matches:

Combat Zone Wrestling

Combat Zone Wrestling has used War Games stipulations for the Cage of Death 5, 6 and 7. For Cage of Death 5 there were eliminations that would happen when a wrestler would hit the arena floor however Cage of Death 5 also had rules that the wrestlers who were not tossed out of or off the cage, that the could travel a scaffold hanging above another ring filled with thumbtacks to safety, scoring points for the team. For Cage of Death 6 there were eliminations that would happen when a wrestler would hit the arena floor much like Cage of Death 5 the year before, the difference being that the tag team titles were hanging on a scaffold stretched across the length of the top of the cage overlooking the two rings.

Cage of Death 7 just had standard pinfall and submissions after all combatants entered the cage. For 2008′s Cage of Death the War Games rules returned with pinfalls and submissions that could be done throughout the match.

Xtreme Pro Wrestling:

Rob Black’s Xtreme Pro Wrestling promotion also capitalized on the popularity of the WarGames match by holding one of their own, called “Genocide,” with the same rules. However, the XPW version of the cage had a cover over only one of the rings, permitting wrestlers to (hypothetically) brawl atop the cage and do table spots off the top of the cage; the cage, however, was extremely poorly constructed, and started to fall apart during the match, preventing most of the promised action.

World Wrestling Entertainment:

In the past several years, WWE has held a match called the Elimination Chamber. When it was announced by Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, he claimed that it was partially inspired by WarGames. A new version of this match, dubbed the Extreme Elimination Chamber, was introduced at ECW December to Dismember 2006; the primary difference between the two is that the Extreme Elimination Chamber features weapons inside the pods and could be used after each participant entered the match.

WWE sent out a survey in October 2009 to WWE fans asking what they wanted to rename the pay-per-view Judgment Day. One of those choices was WWE War Games.

In recent years WWE has included an Elimination Chamber Tornado Tag Team Elimination Match similar to War Games in its yearly WWE video game franchise.

In June 2013, WWE released a DVD anthology set, War Games: WCW’s Most Notorious Matches.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling:

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) has their own variation of the WarGames match, entitled Lethal Lockdown and held at TNA’s annual Lockdown pay per view. The only differences are that one ring is used, the roof is lowered once everyone is in the ring, the roof has weapons, and pinfalls are allowed.

Ring of Honor:

In December 2005, Ring of Honor held the first Steel Cage Warfare match. It was used to settle the year long feud between Generation Next and their former leader Alex Shelley, who was now with The Embassy. The match consisted of only one ring but followed the War Games match in that two wrestlers from each team started the match, and after five minutes another wrestler would enter, then every two minutes after another wrestler would enter. The main difference, however, is that the match was an elimination match.

In July 2006, Ring of Honor held another War Games style match to settle their feud with Combat Zone Wrestling. ROH challenged them to a Steel Cage Warfare match, but CZW said they would only compete if it were their Cage of Death match.

In September 2008, Ring of Honor held a three ‘team’ Steel Cage Warfare match. This pitted the team of The Briscoe Brothers and Austin Aries, against the team of The Age of the Fall represented by Delirious, Jimmy Jacobs and Tyler Black, against Necro Butcher who fought alone with no partners. The match was held under the same rules, stating Butcher although alone could be drawn and enter the match at any time regardless of a man advantage held by the other teams.

In June 2013, another Steel Cage Warfare match was held, pitting an ROH team of BJ Whitmer, Michael Elgin, Jay Lethal and Kevin Steen against the S.C.U.M. team of Jimmy Jacobs, Rhino, Cliff Compton and Rhett Titus, where if the ROH team wins, S.C.U.M. must disband, but if the S.C.U.M. team wins, Steve Corino replaces Nigel McGuinness as match maker. Team ROH won the match on a taped episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling television.

Major League Wrestling:

On September 19, 2003 at the War Games TV Taping held at the Fort Lauderdale, FL War Memorial Auditorium, the Funkin’ Army (Terry Funk, The Sandman, Steve Williams, Sabu, and Bill Alfonso) defeated The Extreme Horsemen (Steve Corino, Simon Diamond, C. W. Anderson, PJ Walker, and Barry Windham) when Funk made Corino submit following a fireball to Corino’s face.

United Wrestling Federation:

On September 21, 2007 United Wrestling Federation held a War Game match in Richmond Va. Team Sgt. Slaughter (Rick and Scott Steiner; Dustin Rhodes and Kirby and TJ Mack) def. Team JBL (Homicide and Hernandez; Steve Corino; CW Anderson and Elix Skipper) in a double ring double cage War Games match when Scott Steiner submitted Corino with the Steiner Recliner as Slaughter simultaneously submitted JBL with the cobra clutch.

IWA Mid-South:

Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South presented “No Blood, No Guts, No Glory 2005″ at the National Guard Armory in Valparaiso, Indiana on Saturday night, 7/2/2005. The match pitted “Team Ian” Ian Rotten, Axl Rotten, Chris Hero, Corporal Robinson and Bull Pain against “Team Fannin” BJ Whitmer, Eddie Kingston, Mark Wolf, JC Bailey, and Steve Stone and “Team NWA” Eric Priest, Chandler McClure, Tank and Sal and Vito Thomaselli in a double-ring, double-cage, three-team War Games match, with the winning team taking full control of the IWA-MS. The match was won when JC Bailey caused his own team to be outnumbered, allowing Ian Rotten’s Team IWA to capitalize and win the match.

Women Superstars Uncensored:

Women Superstars Uncensored presented the first ever War Games match with female wrestlers on November 19, 2011 as part of their Breaking Barriers II iPPV. The match featured two trios – Team WSU of Mercedes Martinez, Alicia and Brittney Savage, and the Midwest Militia of Jessicka Havok, Allysin Kay and Sassy Stephie. The match was contested in a steel cage surrounding only one ring, but all other rules were the same as the original concept. The Midwest Militia won the match when Havok threatened to murder Martinez with a machete, and Savage surrendered on Martinez’s behalf.

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