The first ever WarGames match and the story behind it
With NXT TakeOver: WarGames on the way we take a look at what the match is all about.
Unless you've been living under a rock or you've managed to completely avoid the internet, you'll have definitely seen the news that NXT General Manager William Regal is bringing back the popular match stipulation WarGames, for the NXT TakeOver: Houston.
At the October 4th tapings of NXT, the animosity between The Undisputed Era and the rest of the roster on NXT reached a breaking point leading to Regal's shocking announcement. Joining Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish in the ring will be SAnitY and the thrown together team of The Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong.
But what is a WarGames match? How did it come about, and what happened in the first-ever match way back at the Great American Bash in 1987?
How did the first WarGames match come about?
Looking at the picture above of the two rings side-by-side with the large rectangular steel cage encompassing them both, you'd have to think that someone completely insane has come up with something as nuts as this and you'd be right. WarGames is the brainchild of the legendary Dusty Rhodes.
The story goes that Dusty got the idea after watching Mad Max: Beyond the Thunder Dome and devised the multiple ring steel cage idea as a speciality match in WCW for the Four Horsemen, who were engaged in a bitter rivalry with Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff and the Road Warriors with Paul Ellering.
What is a WarGames match?
We've already established that the WarGames match set-up is two rings side-by-side with a steel cage surrounding them.
Originally, it consisted of two teams of five people who would be at either end of the cage/ring structure, two of them would enter the structure and fight one-on-one for five minutes and then one person would enter, creating a 2-on-1 handicap situation depending on which team wins the coin toss.
Then every two minutes, the teams would take turns to add a wrestler to the match until everyone is in the ring. After that, the official 'match' would begin and all of the teams would brawl until someone submits, surrenders or is knocked unconscious. There are no count-outs and no disqualifications.
What happened at the first WarGames match
The first WarGames match was certainly eventful as teams of the Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Lex Luger and J.J. Dillon) and The Superpowers (Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, Road Warrior Animal, Road Warrior Hawk and Paul Ellering) clashed, as storyline-wise, the two teams absolutely hated each other.
Arn Anderson and Dusty Rhodes started the match-up and swiftly got themselves in several situations, when a pin-fall would have been sufficient to win the match. But obviously, this is WarGames, so they didn't end the match anytime soon. Anderson busted himself open early on, a reoccurring theme throughout the match.
Blanchard was next in the ring and the heels, who won the coin toss, swiftly used the numbers game to their advantage and demolished Dusty Rhodes. Animal made the save and slingshot Tully into the steel cage three times. Flair and Koloff are the next two competitors, and Animal was busted open in that time too.
Eventually, everyone is in the ring with Ellering and Dillon being the last two competitors and the tide swinging between heels when they have the numbers, and faces when the odds are evened up. Everyone's bleeding, Flair is hitting everyone in the groins and Ellering jams a spiked gauntlet into Dillon's eye. It's all pretty brutal stuff.
The match ended when the Road Warriors hit their finisher, the Doomsday Device, on J.J. Dillo,n and he surrendered after falling awkwardly on his arm. It was later revealed that he suffered a separated shoulder that he never really recovered from.
NXT Takeover: WarGames (Houston)
This will be an interesting WarGames because there will be three teams involved and in previous WarGames match-ups, it's usually been only the two teams. We could end up seeing weird situations where three of one team are facing off against only one of the other two teams, depending on how they're going to do the order of entry.
Another interesting facet is that Paul Ellering, who will be managing the Author's of Pain, was there in the first ever WarGames match and took part in quite a few more. His experience in the match will prove to be extremely useful and could turn the tide for the Authors of Pain and Roderick Strong.
Either way, judging from the past, including the very first War Games, we can expect this match to be long, brutal and vicious!