Tuesday, December 2, 2008

War Games

The concept is simple: Two Teams- two Rings- I massive steel cage- submit or surrender.

1) The Road Warriors (Hawk/Animal)- Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton/ Stan Lane)- "Dr. Death" Steve Williams v. The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes-Terry Gordy- Jimmy Garvin)- The Samoan Swat Team (Fatu/ Samu)- Great American Bash, July 23, 1989 (5)

I have no recollection of a tag team War Games, but the participants intrigue me. This has a street fight type feel, like a giant brawl which really works for this sort of match. Eaton and Garvin start out and are probably the right guys to do it. Both men are throwing slick uppercuts and just pummeling each other's faces. Doc comes in next followed by Gordy and it's really funny to see these two target each other and just wail the hell out of the other one for most of the match. Jim Ross says several times "Doc and Gordy have found each other again!" Hayes played chickenshit heel well but the DDT spree he came in on looked like his ex-wife: ugly and sloppy. The Road Warriors were, (surprise!surprise!) dominant and took no mercy on anyone with brutal clotheslines and biels into the cage wall, which was used very little. I don't even think anyone bled in this, but it still wasn't insulting. Hawk came in as clean up batter and lit everyone up and got the win with a sick neck hang on Garvin that looked pretty damn Mideval.

2) Sting/ Davey Boy Smith/ Dustin Rhodes/ Shockmaster v. Vader/ Sid Vicious/ Harlem Heat (Fall Brawl Sept 19, 1993)- 4

We start with taped up ribs Dustin and mean, pissy Vader and it works. These two have some good stuff together because Vader can make the right guy look really credible when he sells for them. Dustin opened up really good, enter Stevie Ray (sorry, Kane) with some sloppy kicks. Dustin loses his boot in the first period and it becomes a staple of this match with everyone using it at some point. Sting evens up sides and whips everybody's ass, including plancha over both rings! Sid comes in and was a useless piece of shit in this, as useless as Sarah Palin. He and Bulldog both looked like garbage in this, Davey with his extremely telegraphed strikes and Sid being scared to get hit and dodging several boot shots. Booker T, (pardon, Kole) comes in and gets beat up on as the Heat were not featured in this very well. Shockmaster is last to enter as Jesse Ventura says "Let's see if he can make it into the ring without tripping over himself!" in a funny line. Much to his credit, he came in and pounded the shit out of some people, but that was all the work he needed to do. The finish was downright insulting- Shocky picks up Booker, the freshest guy and puts him in a tame bearhug for the win. This whole match was basically a tool to get this overweight fool over and it loses points for it.

3) Dusty Rhodes/ Dustin Rhodes/ Nasty Boys v. Terry Funk/ Arn Anderson/ Bunkhouse Buck/ Col. Robert Parker (Fall Brawl Setp 18, 1994)- 5

This match took the formula of the first one and improved upon it, making this an even more out of control brawl and hinging on the return of Dusty (one of many to come later), it's almost recommendable. Dustin and Arn start out and AA is the best guy to have in there at this point. His stamina is superb, he can work circles around most everyone else, plus he loves getting bumpy into the cage and get gore. Bunkhouse can get roughneck too, and has a great overhand swipe. The Nastys are as mean as ever, taking liberties with everyone throwing them into the cage. And then there's middleaged and crazy Terry Funk, one of my favorites. He comes in with his finger in his boot loop and starts throwing that thing around and catches Sags in the face with it, legit. So, Sags takes him to the middle of the rings where there's a gap about a foot wide between them and piledrives Funk right through it in one of the crazier spots of the match. Then, everyone gets the notion to take their belts off and start swinging wildly, which many guys get caught errantly in the face. Parker wants no part of anyone and then Dusty comes in to a massive pop. The finish actually makes a lot of sense, they all 4 get Parker in the last ring and as Dusty hooks in the figure four everyone else stomps and drops elbows on the old fart. Pretty decent stuff.

4) Hulk Hogan/ Randy Savage/ Sting/ Lex Luger v. Kamala/ The Zodiac/ The Shark/ Meng (Fall Brawl Sept 17, 1995)- 3

Hogan and squad were all in army fatigues and face paint but they may as well have been wearing mailman uniforms because this one was mailed in big time. Even Sting who usually shows a lot of fire fizzled after the first five minutes and relegated himself to simply throwing sloppy strikes at any one of the freaks that opposed him. Shark was first in, surprisingly and showed some stamina. Zodiac's sells were beyond ludicrous here, and showed how far down the ladder he'd come. Meng was stiff, briefly, and put a kick in Luger's jaw at one point. Speaking of horseface, he did some shitty elbows and hit the double clothesline spot that's in every War Games. Savage got a little crazy in his entrance but even after that he was pretty forgettable. And Kamala, god was he worthless. He's a less than stellar worker anyways and given this environment he was even more pitiful than usual. Hogan came into a pop, but didn't sell one move and why? Because he never got hit. He came in throwing bags of powder (Linda's nose candy) at everyone then doleing out some of the saddest excuses for chops I've seen in some time. He got the win with a camel clutch that made the Shiek turn over in his burnt out grave. Then Hogan gets 5 mins. alone with Taskmaster but the Giant, back-ne and all comes in for more Hogan hilarity......except no one was laughing.

5) Sting/ Lex Luger/ Ric Flair/ Arn Anderson v. Hollywood Hogan/ Kevin Nash/ Scott Hall/ NWO Sting (Fall Brawl Sept 15, 1996)- 4

This started out good- Arn and Hall both bringing the wares in the punching dept and the WCW guys just had so much heat whenever they got the advantage it was phenomenal. Arn was looking really crisp too, had good ring movement and sold Hall's stuff as well as ever. Nash and Luger were next in, lots of heat on both, Luger looked really wooden though and the cage was barely used throughout. Hogan comes in with some cheap shots as usual, Flair enters and takes over one ring and the fans are going nuts. He's strutting all over as Hogan dares to come after him and gets eaten alive with chops, punches and low blows. Then, the fake Sting. it kills me how these announcers that have worked with him for years can't tell it's really him or not. He steals all of Sting's shit, doing it poorly until the real deal comes in and the freakin building explodes with excitement. He comes in and wrecks shop on all NWO guys, who get Stinger splashes like crazy. You can't convince me NWO was automatic babyfaces when guys like Sting & Flair were in the ring stealing all the heat, sorry as much as some of these shitbirds want to rewrite history. Stinger leaves and begins his year long solitude and heels go right to finish, which sucks Mean Gene's dong. Scorpion by the faker Sting while Hogan straps that overused weight belt around Luger's neck. Decent match, shortest War Games ever though, no blood, just a ton of crowd heat carried this up past some others.

6) Diamond Dalls Page/ "Rowdy" Roddy Piper/ The Warrior v. Hollywood Hogan/ Bret Hart/ Stevie Ray v. Kevin Nash/ Sting/ Lex Luger (Fall Brawl Sept 13, 1998)- 3
Here's where this yearly tradition takes a turn for the worse. New concept, 3 teams of 3, random draw, have to get a pinfall. Bret and Page start, working some non-descript spots. Bret's offense he knows well, but you can tell it's not as crisp as it used to be. Tons of guys come in, all lacking any real fire, especially guys like Luger who simply plod to the ring as if he's simply out for a stroll (wearing jeans and a tank top, thanks for caring enough to put on your ring gear) and brawl aimlessly. Even Sting looks bored, looking off towards the crowd while issuing 3 stinger splashes. Piper comes in and is the only m'fer showing life, which is amazing considering he probably doesn't have much left. Why did I say that? Great short jabs, going to everyone, giving everybody a little taste. He gets sloppily jacknifed by Nash for his effort. Hogan comes in with that silly slapjack and everyone has to sell it like it kills them, except for Sting who is hit from behind and acts as if someone tapped him on the shoulder. Couple more shots and he goes down. Now, the Warrior who enters with a smoke cloud behind him, like some slaphappy kid at a magic shop. He throws some of the ugliest haymakers ever at Hogan and Stevie Ray, who sell them like a skunk is in front of them. Hogan leaves, Warrior stares for a good 2 minutes while other guys who have gotten up ignore him, then he kicks a whole in the cage and slices his bicep in the process. Sting clumsily pulls Bret's trunks causing him to fall haphazardly and DDP hits the Diamond cutter on Stevie ray. Really stupid visual seeing all of WCW's main eventers laying around the ring like they're in a high school drunken car crash re-enactment.

7) Sting/ Booker T/ Goldberg/ Kronik v. Kevin Nash/ Jeff Jarrett/ Scott Steiner/ Vince Russo (WCW Monday Nitro- Sept 4, 2000)- 2

Oh, jesus the Russo one. They used the 3 tier cage from that David Arquette vehicle "Ready to Rumble" and again, didn't do a damn thing with it. If WWE or even ROH had this thing, they could make it worthwhile. Entrants entered nearly every minute and the ring filled up quickly. Some of the more mind blowing entries in were Kronik, wearing really tight vinyl shirts as if they were going to try and get into a teen dance club; Russo wearing a hockey helmet but looking like a mentally handicap kid looking for his caretaker. He brought the Harris boys out who immediately from the outside climbed up to the 2nd level. Well, hell why do the participants even have to go through all of the levels then? And Kevin Nash, who states to the camera, " I"m not moving" and he doesn't, he stays on the bottom level the whole match and waits for them to bring the title to him. There's a lot of sloppy garbage spots with ladders and guitars and stuff. All the faces get handcuffed which competely kills the match when half of the guys can't move. This is basically a big cock tease of Goldberg winning the belt back, which he goes on an impressive run of killing all these guys, but as soon as he's about to leave, Bret Hart wearing some wretched gear slams the cage door in his face. Nash and the boys all count to 3 (?) then walk out together, trying to act as cool as they can muster, but that novely wore off 3 years prior. This was a big shitty production of a match where little to no wrestling took place. It's the pro wrestling world equivalent to Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor except without the vomit-inducing, plot holed love story.

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