Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We are fresh off Road Wild, which saw “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan defeat Lex Luger to win the WCW Heavyweight Title in the main event. It was odd booking because Luger won the title a mere week before, so the back and forth was head-scratching. The rest of the card was average, with nothing really standing out other than a few cruiserweight matches. You can read the detailed review of that show, and every other show we have covered here. It’s that time of the year in 1997. It’s War Games!
WCW Fall Brawl
September 14th, 1997
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
They start the show with a package about the main event which puts The Horsemen vs. The NWO. The NWO is almost like the B squad though because it’s Buff Bagwell, Konnan, Syxx, and Kevin Nash.
We are joined by the announce team of Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. No Dusty Rhodes on this show. They run down the War Games match for later on tonight before throwing it down to the ring for the first match of the night.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Eddie Guerrero
This is the first PPV where they have Jericho’s music overdubbed with the Break The Walls Down song. Weak.
Guerrero slides out of the ring because the fans are booing him out of the building. He climbs in the ring and they lock up in the center with Jericho hitting an arm drag. They exchange some athletic moves before Guerrero starts complaining to the referee. Jericho goes to the ropes and hits a shoulder block and it knocks Guerrero off his feet. Guerrero slides underneath and takes Jericho down by the legs. Jericho gets back to his feet and fights out with an arm drag. Guerrero works him into the corner and hits an uppercut followed by some chops. Jericho comes back with some chops of his own and takes Guerrero down with a hip toss. He works on the arm and keeps Guerrero grounded. Guerrero gets back to his feet, but is quickly taken down once again. Both men exchange roll-ups, with Jericho getting the last near fall. He keeps Guerrero grounded and continues working on the arm. Guerrero gets some elbows to the head, but the comeback is quickly snuffed out when Jericho drops him throat-first on the top rope. Jericho hits a Lionsault, correctly, and gets a near fall. Guerrero tries to escape a wrist lock and succeeds when he drops Jericho on the ropes. He hits a dropkick to the back of Jericho and continues stomping down on him. Guererro looks to the crowd who continues to boo him.
He slams Jericho’s head into the turnbuckle and hits a chop to the chest. He sends him hard into the other turnbuckle and locks Jericho in a backstretch. He picks Jericho up by the hair and drops him down with a belly to back suplex. He pulls him to the middle of the ring and locks on a surfboard stretch. Jericho is making ridiculous faces as he tries to fight out of the hold. He gets back to his feet and turns the move around on Guerrero. Guerrero takes him down with an uppercut before he can get a full head of steam and hits a senton from the outside. Guerrero picks him up in The Gory Special Submission. Jericho gets down to the feet and puts Guerrero in the same move before dropping him face first. Guerrero slides out of elbow attempts and both men exchange blows in the middle of the ring again. Guerrero grabs the hand of Jericho and walks across the top rope, but Jericho knocks him off. Jericho goes and hits The Springboard Dropkick which knocks Guerrero to the outside. Jericho goes for a Powerbomb on the apron, but Guerrero fights out and both men crash into the guardrail. That looked brutal. Guerrero trips him and goes for a Senton again, but Jericho rolls out of the way. Jericho hits a German Suplex, but Guerrero gets his foot on the rope before the three. Jericho tries a Powerbomb, but Guerrero reverses and hits a move of his own. Jericho hits a Powerslam, but only gets a near fall. He works Guerrero into the corner and throws him into the middle of the ring. Jericho hits a Spin Wheel Kick to get another near fall. They exchange quick two counts. Jericho hits two Powerbombs in a row and puts Guerrero on the top rope. He brings them off with a Superplex, but Guerrero turns and lands on Jericho. Guerrero hits a Frog Splash and wins the title after 17:19.
Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero
Match Rating: 3.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: A great match between two ring generals not even in their peak yet. Jericho was in control for most of the match, but the Guerrero hope spots were very good. The pace never really slowed down and both men busted their ass the entire time. The finish with the Superplex was really well done and I thought this was a great way to open the show.
Larry Zbyszko takes the place of Mike Tenay in the booth. They go backstage where Jeff Jarrett is talking to one of the online guys. He said he doesn’t have time for this because he has a big match with Dean Malenko. They go back to the ring.
Harlem Heat (Booker T. and Stevie Ray) (w/Miss Jacqueline) vs. The Steiner Brothers (Rick and Scott Steiner) (w/Ted DiBiase)
As all the men clear the ring, Stevie Ray and Scott Steiner are in first for their teams. They lock up and Scott works him into the corner, before letting him go. Ray works Scott into the corner this time and he unloads on him with some right hands. He tries to throw him across the ring, but Scott reverses and takes him down with a hip toss. He charges back into the corner and is met with a foot to the face. He hits Scott with a Sidewalk Slam and continues pounding on him in the corner. Scott comes back with a Belly to Belly Suplex that sends Ray out of the ring to regroup. Booker tags into the match and Scott gets him in a wristlock in short order. Booker fights out and hits a punch to the head before locking Scott in a Full Nelson. Scott fights out and starts pounding on Booker. He slides out and hits Scott with a suplex and climbs to the top. He comes off, but Scott catches him and hits a suplex. He presses Booker over his head and sends him down to the mat. Rick is in and he knocks Ray off the apron and The Steiners are in full control. Rick tags into the match and he will square off with Booker as he gets back in the ring. Rick hits a kick to the midsection and pounds on the head of Booker. Scott quickly tags back in and continues working on Booker. The Steiners use some good teamwork to keep Booker isolated to their side. Rick throws him into the corner, but Booker gets the foot up. He tags in Ray, who comes in and hits Rick with some rights and lefts. Ray hits a clothesline and tags Booker back in for some double team action. Booker tries to leap over Rick after an Irish whip, but he catches him and hits Booker with a Powerslam. Scott tags back in and he kicks Booker on the side of the head. He goes off the ropes, but Ray hits him from behind which allows Booker to git a sidekick that sends him out of the ring. Ray throws Scott into the guardrail on the floor before choking him with a TV cable. Rick comes over to make the save and Ray rolls Scott back in the ring. Booker covers him, but only gets a two count. Scott works his way back to his feet and comes off the ropes, but is met with a forearm from Booker. Booker goes for a kick, but Scott catches him and hits a suplex. Both men work to their corners and make the tag to their partners. Rick takes both guys out and comes off the top with a Steiner Bulldog but Booker breaks up the count. Ray picks Rick up on his shoulders and they hit The Heat Seekers for a two count. Great near fall. Ray is in the ring with both brothers and they hit a combo clothesline/German Suplex and pick up the win after 11:44.
Winne(s): Rick and Scott Steiner
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a good tag team match between two of my favorite teams of the era. There was a lot of high impact offense and Booker added a little but if athleticism to the contest. The Heat Seeker move was so insane, and I thought that was it for sure. Now, The Steiners will go on to face The Outsiders and have the win vacated by some odd rule. It’s like clockwork.
WCW Television Title Match
Alex Wright (c) vs. Ultimo Dragon
Wright starts the match off by shoving Dragon into the ropes and hitting a scoop slam. Wright with a hip toss and starts dancing, but Dragon takes him down with a dropkick from behind. Wright gets a kick to the midsection and starts working on the arm. Dragon reverses course and takes Wright down to the mat. Wright maintains control and keeps Dragon grounded for the moment. Dragon sends him into the ropes and takes him down with a shoulder block. Dragon comes back with a fury of offense and he takes Wright down with a kick. Wright slides to the outside and drops Dragon throat-first on the ropes as he comes back in. He drops him down again and stomps down on the chest. He works him over to the corner before throwing him into the ropes and hitting a Spinning Wheel Kick. He picks Dragon up and hits a Flapjack and drops an elbow. Wright with a snap mare and locks in a chin lock. Dragon slowly gets back to his feet and kicks Wright away to get out of the hold. Wright is the first to his feet and continues to pound away on Dragon. Wright continues to keep Dragon grounded and has been in control. Wright gets up and kicks Dragon in the head before dropping an elbow to the back. He starts to choke him on the second rope and looks on to the crowd. Wright hits a suplex and covers Dragon for a two count. Wright with a chop to the chest and he sends Dragon into the ropes, but Dragon comes back with a clothesline. He hits Wright with some stiff kicks and goes in for a Spinning Heel Kick, but Wright grabs the ropes and it sends Dragon crashing to the mat. Wright drops an elbow before locking Dragon up again in the middle of the ring. Dragon gets to his feet again and hits some elbows, but Wright quickly takes him down again. Wright sends Dragon into the ropes, but Dragon hits a Sunset Flip for a two count. Wright comes back up and hits Dragon right in the face. He puts him on the top, but Dragon shrugs him off. Dragon comes off the ropes, but Wright gets his feet up. Wright hits an elbow to the head and a back kick. He hits a snap suplex and goes up top. This time Dragon is the one getting his feet up. They exchange blows in the ring with Dragon sending Wright out of the ring. Dragon comes off the second rope with an Asai Moonsault and it wipes both men out. Dragon rolls him back in the ring and sends him into the corner and hits a Hurricanrana. He kind of knocks himself loopy before both men get to their knees and exchange chops. Dragon gets the upper hand and climbs up top, but Wright knocks him down. Wright with a dropkick to the back of the head and it sends Dragon to the outside. Wright comes out with a splash and he rolls Dragon back in the ring. Dragon hits a Butterfly Suplex as they come back in for a near fall. Dragon hits a Tiger Suplex for another near fall. He puts Wright on the top, but Wright fights him off as he comes up. Dragon comes back with a Liger Bomb for very close near fall. That was great! Dragon hits a Moonsault, but Wright kicks out again. Dragon hits a Hurricanrana, but Wright rolls him up and gets a two count. Dragon is on top again, but Wright hits a dropkick on his way down. Both men exchange roll-ups and get near falls. Dragon puts Wright on the top rope and climbs up with him again, and hits The Frankensteiner. He puts Wright in the Dragon Sleeper, but he gets a foot on the rope. Dragon gets the Sleeper on again, but Wright hits a Jawbreaker. He gets Dragon with Bridging German Suplex to win and retain the title after 18:43.
Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Alex Wright
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: The first part of this match lulled in the places, but the second half more than made up for it. There was a lot of fast-paced, back and forth action at the end that made this exciting. Alex Wright laid in a chin lock for longer chunks of the match than he should have, but he actually impressed me here. He was in control for most of it, but when Dragon did get loose, it was a lot of fun. I hate roll-up endings so that took away from it a little bit, but all in all, I can’t complain much.
Mean Gene is backstage and he plugs the hotline like he does all the time. The NWO cut into the frame, but just quickly pass by the camera. Gene walks to the locker room they just left from and Curt Hennig is laying on the ground. Gene calls for help as they go back down to the ring for the next match.
Dean Malenko vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Debra McMichael)
The winner of this match will be the number one contender for the WCW United States Title and will get the shot at Halloween Havoc.
Jarrett calls timeout and climbs outside of the ring. He tells Debra to go to the back because he doesn’t need any distractions for this match. He gets back in the ring the two men lock up with Jarrett hitting an arm drag. Malenko comes back with a wrist lock and kicks Jarrett away. Both men exchange some submission holds in the ring with Jarrett getting the upper hand and laying some knees to the back. Malenko gets back to his feet and hits Jarrett with an elbow to the head. Jarrett comes back with a wrist lock and takes Malenko down to the mat. Malenko gets back to his feet and throws Jarrett into the ropes and brings him down with a drop toe hold. Malenko hits a dropkick and that sends Jarrett out to the floor. He slides back in the ring and takes advantage with a headlock. He flips Malenko down to the mat, but gets rolled up for his troubles. Both men get to their feet and Malenko hits a series of right hands. Malenko goes for a high knee, but Jarrett gets out of the way. He works Malenko into the corner and whips him to the other side. Malenko leaps over the top and both men hit each other. Jarrett tries a suplex, but Malenko gets the upper hand and puts Jarrett on the top and they come off with a Superplex. Malenko foes for a dropkick, but Jarrett grabs the ropes. Malenko stays on top with some shots to the head and a dropkick to the back. He hits a German Suplex and he gets Jarrett in the Texas Cloverleaf, but Jarrett gets to the ropes. Debra is back as Malenko and Jarrett come over the top after a Malenko clothesline. Malenko hits a baseball slide that sends Jarrett into the guardrail and he comes out to continue slamming him against it. He kicks Jarrett’s leg and rolls him back in the ring. Malenko hits a leaping back kick and covers him for a two count. He throws Jarrett into the corner, but gets hit with an elbow on the way in. Jarrett starts working on the leg and drags Malenko to the post to wrap his leg around it. Jarrett steps on the leg, but is soon shot into the ropes. Malenko kicks Jarrett off again and tries to suplex Jarrett back into the ring, but Jarrett turns it into a pin. Jarrett hits a belly to back suplex and goes to put Malenko in The Figure Four, but Malenko rolls him up. Jarrett gets up and hits a Neckbreaker. Both men exchange roll-ups before Jarrett hits a chop block. He outs Malenko in The Figure Four, and Malenko taps out after 14:53.
Winner: Jeff Jarrett
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Now, Jarrett will go on to Halloween Havoc to face Steve McMichael (Again) for the US Title. This match was a little boring, but started to pick up near the middle. Both men complimented each other well, but seeing Malenko tap out to end it was a little shocking. Malenko was so smooth in the ring and I feel like he is one of the more underused talents during wrestling’s hottest period.
The NWO buys ad space, and we are greeted by the members that will be in WarGames tonight. They are making fun of Curt Hennig and bragging about how they took him out. They say The Horsemen will be next tonight. Nash says that people are sorely mistaken if they think The NWO doesn’t have a plan. Nash says tonight they will go out and retire every member of The Horsemen. They finish by mocking Arn Anderson.
Mortis and Wrath (w/James Vandenberg) vs. The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian)
Mortis and Barbarian are starting the match off with Mortis getting some kicks to the side of Barbarian. Mortis gets him in the corner and continues to hit kicks to the midsection. Barbarian comes out and just throw Mortis into the corner. He pounds on him until he is on the mat and drops him down with a facebuster. He knocks Mortis down and covers him for a two count. He tags in Meng, who comes in and just starts working on Mortis. He hits some headbutts and chops and goes for a splash in the corner, but Mortis moves. He tags Wrath in and he exchanges some blows with Meng. Meng gets him in the corner, but Wrath comes back with a chop and a diving clothesline. Mortis tags back in and hits Meng with some shots to the head. Meng gets a thumb to the eye and tags Barbarian back in the match. He hits Mortis with a headbutt and exchanges some quick tags with Meng. Barbarian hits a huge Powerbomb on Mortis and sends him down with a pump handle slam and covers him for a two count. Meng makes a blind tag and both men pound on Mortis in the corner. Barbarian steps on the neck of Mortis while Meng is distracting the referee. Mortis comes back with some shots to the head of Meng and comes off the ropes for a few clotheslines, none of which knock Meng down. He hits Mortis with some chops and tags Barbarian back in. He hits Mortis with a scoop slam and climbs up to the top rope. Vandenberg pulls down on the ropes which crotches Barbarian on them. Mortis climbs up with Barbarian, but gets thrown down. Barbarian comes off the ropes, but Mortis gets a foot up. Wrath comes in with a big boot and a double team powerbomb. Meng breaks up the count at two. Wrath tags in and pounds away on Barbarian before hitting a backbreaker. He comes off the second rope with an elbow drop for a near fall. Mortis comes back in and they work Barbarian into their corner. They hit some double team moves and stomp on him in the corner. Wrath tags in and hits a suplex and climbs up to the top. He comes off with a flying clothesline that sends Barbarian to the outside. Mortis shoves the stairs into the side of his head and rolls him back in the ring. Wrath perches him on the top rope and they hit a double team Superplex. That was an awesome spot. Meng and Wrath go at it when Meng tags in and he eventually takes out both men. Meng continues hitting chops and kicks to the head before hitting a Powerslam for a two count. Mortis is now legal, but is soon hit with a splash off the top from Meng. Barbarian starts going at it outside of the ring while Meng is getting The Tongan Death Grip on both Mortis and Vandenberg. Wrath comes in and hits Meng with The Death Penalty to pick up the win after 12:22.
Winner(s): Wrath and Mortis
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was good for what it was, but it was just a big man tag team match. There was a lot of power spots, but there was also a lot of the match that mulled along. The Superplex spot with Mortis and Wrath was the spot of the match for sure. One thing that kind of hurt this match for me was the length. I feel like they could have shaved some time off here. Overall, the match was good, but not great.
Gene is backstage with the members of The Horsemen, sans Curt Hennig, who will be involved in War Games. Gene speculates about that situation and Benoit grabs the mic to run down the scum in the NWO. He takes a dig at Nash having so many characters in the industry. McMichael says that inside the cage, there will be nowhere for them to run. Gene then asks Flair what he is thinking tonight. Flair cuts his usual excellent promo and he says that if he quit when the chips were down, he wouldn’t be there. Flair talks to Nash directly and he said that he has disrespected The Horsemen for the last time. He says he has more desire than The NWO combined. He said tonight they are prepared to bleed and sweat to make them pay. Gene sends it back down to the ring.
The Giant vs. Scott “Flash” Norton
Both men lock up in the ring with The Giant hitting some shots to the head. He sends Norton to the outside and sends him headfirst into the guardrail. He picks him up to toss him into the post, but Norton slides down and throws The Giant into it. It doesn’t last long though and Norton finds himself Suplexed on the floor. The Giant throws him into the guardrail again and throws him back in the ring. As he is coming back in, Norton clotheslines him over the top and sends them both crashing back to the outside. They get back in the ring and The Giant hits some elbows to the back of the head. Norton comes back with a shot to the gut and picks The Giant up to drop him throat first on the top rope. He hits some elbows to the head and is doing his best to keep The Giant grounded. Norton gets him in the corner and hits some chops to the chest. He starts choking him on the top rope and continues pounding on him in the corner. Norton hits two splashes in the corner and hits a belly to back suplex. The Giant nips up and hits Norton with a kick to the face and leaves his feet for a dropkick. He signals for The Chokeslam and hits it to pick up the win after 5:27.
Winner: The Giant
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: That was a short and sweet brawl. Norton showed impressive power here by picking The Giant up and doing whatever he wanted to. In the end, The Giant winning makes sense since he was a top guy in the company at the time.
No Disqualification Tag Team Match
Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall and “Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Miss Elizabeth)
Luger and Page were originally scheduled to be in the War Games match, but got taken out.
Luger and Hall square off and lock up to start the match. Luger pushes Hall away and the two have a standoff. Hall takes him down with some shots to the head, but Luger comes back with a clothesline. Savage comes in and Luger takes him out as well. He presses Savage over his head and throws him to the outside. Page tags in the match, but Hall hits him with a few shoulder shots after a lock-up. Hall slams him down to the mat and starts working on the arm of Page. Page comes back with some shots to the head of Hall and hits an Atomic Drop. Page gets a kick to the midsection and hits a flapjack before knocking Savage off the apron. Hall sends Page into the ropes and Savage pulls his feet out from under him. Hall stomps on Page before tagging Savage in and he continues to beatdown. Hall quickly tags back in and hits a Fallaway Slam. Savage is back in and starts choking Page. He slams him headfirst into the corner and isolates Page to their side of the ring. They double team Page, who tries to fight out, but is cut off before he can get to his corner. Hall knocks Luger off the apron and starts stomping on him between the two rings. Elizabeth rakes the eyes of Page and Savage throws him clear into the other ring. Hall stomps down on Page, even though he isn’t the legal man. Hall throws him back to Savage who chokes him on the ropes. Savage hits Page with a shot to the head, as Hall knocks out the referee in the other ring. Savage and Elizabeth continue both working on Page as a new referee comes down to the ring. Hall takes him out immediately. Larry Zbyszko leaves the announce desk and heads to the ring to confront Hall. They have a faceoff in the ring and the crowd is on fire at this point. Luger starts to climb out of the ring and he rolls Hall up after Zbyszko shoves him and he counts the three. The match lasted 10:19.
Winner(s): Diamond Dallas Page and Lex Luger
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: There wasn’t much to the match, but it was more of an angle being built between Hall and Zbyszco specifically. I thought everything in here was fine, but I wish there was a little more to it seeing who was in the match. Savage beating up on Page for most of the match did look believable and these two had great chemistry together. Luger was barely in the match, and that kind of took a little bit away for me.
Gene is back and they are asking him for an update on Curt Hennig, which he doesn’t have. He shills the hotline and says that they have some groundbreaking information because of course they do. Gene shoots to a commercial for the next PPV event, Halloween Havoc 1997.
Michael Buffer is here to do the introductions and run down the rules of War Games. In case you don’t know, two men enter for 5 minutes to start the match. They have a coin flip and the winner gets to send another guy in and they alternate in 2-minute intervals. The match doesn’t start until everyone is in. You can only win by submission or surrender. I think I did that right.
War Games Match
Team NWO (Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konnan, and Buff Bagwell) vs. Team Horsemen (Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve “Mongo” McMichael, and Curt Hennig)
Obviously, Hennig is not out at first, but they haven’t ruled him out of the match yet.
Benoit and Bagwell start the match off inside of the cage. Bagwell spends the first part of the match posing and Benoit starts working on him. He hits some shots to the head and sends him face-first into the cage. Benoit with a clothesline and slaps Bagwell in the face. He throws him into the cage again and continues to stomp away on him. He throws Bagwell into the corner and suplexes him into the cage. He kicks Bagwell, who tries to mount a comeback, but is quickly taken down again. Benoit climbs up and comes off the top with a Headbutt, but Bagwell rolls out of the way. Bagwell starts choking and stomping on Benoit before throwing him into the cage himself. Bagwell hits a suplex and continues choking Benoit. Benoit fights back, but gets a back body drop into the cage. They announce the coin flip winner is The NWO which means they will have the advantage. Bagwell is on the offensive as the time is running down in the round. Benoit takes back control as the clock is winding down. The clock hits zero and that brings in Konnan. Benoit starts working on both men and stacks them on top of each other. He throws Konnan into the cage and sends Bagwell in right after. Bagwell hits a kick to the midsection and Konnan hits Benoit with a DDT. They showboat to the camera before both going over to stomp on Benoit. They throw Benoit into the other ring and just keep punishing. The time winds down as they continue to use the advantage they have. The clock hits zero and that brings in McMichael. He instantly takes out both men and The Horsemen has the advantage right now. He works on Konnan in the corner and they throw Konnan and Bagwell right into each other. Benoit starts choking Bagwell on one side while McMichael and Konnan are tied up on the other side. Benoit continues to pummel Bagwell in the corner, as the time winds down. The Horsemen remain on top.
The clock expires which brings Syxx into the match. Benoit takes him out right away and takes out the other members of The NWO while he is at it. He throws Syxx into the roof of the cage and puts him in the Cripple Crossface. Bagwell breaks it up, which gives The NWO the advantage. Flair is pacing on the outside as Hennig makes his way down to the ring. Flair tries to get the sling off the arm as Hennig as Benoit and McMichael are holding their own in the ring. The clock hits zero and that brings in Flair. He takes Konnan out first, and he follows that up by hitting Bagwell and Syxx. The Horsemen now have even strength and they are on the offensive. McMichael is choking Bagwell and Benoit is beating up Konnan. Flair is wearing Syxx out with some chops and Nash is eagerly awaiting his turn. It’s time and Nash is the final man in for his team. He hits Flair with a Sidewalk Slam. Benoit runs over and they start going at it. Nash throws him into the cage and he goes to the other ring to beat on McMichael. Nash with some elbows in the corner as Syxx and Flair continue going at it. Bagwell throws Benoit into the cage and Hennig is the last one to enter the match. It’s time for Hennig to come in, sling and all. Flair has Syxx in The Figure Four as Hennig brings out some handcuffs. He drops the sling, hits Benoit with the handcuffs, and joins The NWO. There is a five on three advantage right now and Benoit is handcuffed to the cage and so is McMichael. Flair is on his own. They all work on Flair and continue beating on him. McMichael and Benoit can’t get free and Hennig tears up The Horsemen shirt. Nash grabs a mic and asks if they surrender and Benoit spits in his face. They ask McMichael and he refuses to quit too. Benoit tries everything he can to get loose as Nash hits Flair with a huge Jackknife. They drag Flair over to the door and threaten to slam his head if they don’t give up. McMichael surrenders to save Flair and the bell sounds. Hennig slams the door on Flair’s head anyway as the match ends. The whole thing went 19:37.
Winner(s): Team NWO
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: The match itself was whatever, but the Hennig heel turn was the move of the match. It was kind of telegraphed throughout the show that something like that could happen, but it was effective. The crowd obviously hated it since this was The Horsemen stomping grounds for so many years. Benoit was definitely the star of the match for me, and he really stood out amongst everyone else. These matches are hard to follow, but this was as straight forward as it gets. I thought the heel turn was a cool spot, but overall, this kind of undelivered.
After the match, Hennig gets back in the ring and joins his new group. Nash says they beat The Horsemen right in their backyard. They celebrate in the ring as the show goes off the air.
Overall Show Rating: 7 out of 10
I am not going to lie, I went into this show thinking it was going to be awful, but it surprised me. There were some quality matches on this show as well as a lot of good storytelling to further some feuds. Conspicuous by his absence was the WCW Heavyweight Champion “Hollywood” Hogan, but I don’t think that hurt the show much at all. The opening match between Jericho and Guerrero was an awesome way to start the show, and I think The Television Championship match was a standout as well. This show also had some curious booking decisions. I know The Four Horsemen are a strong group, but having someone like Mongo in the match kind of took a little bit away from it and he could have been easily replaced by either Luger or Page. Also, why were these members of The NWO the ones picked? I understand Hogan was off doing something else, but at least have Hall in this match. Just bizarre booking. Overall, this was a good show and better than the last few events they have produced.
What did you think of the 1997 version of War Games? Loved it? Hated it? You’ve never seen it? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. While you are there, be sure to check out my podcast network, The Heel Turn Collective. We have two shows a week, including an AEW review show every Saturday. Take care of yourselves, and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.