TAWF Clean 13: War Games
War Games: The Match Beyond
War Games was one of the most popular gimmick matches in the National Wrestling Alliance and World Championship wrestling. The match was called “The Match Beyond” after the late Dusty Rhodes created watched Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. The first War Games took place during the 1987 Great American Bash tour in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rules of Engagement
The rules for War Games are as follows:
- Two teams of either four, five, or more men each facing off with each other in staggered entry format.
- The setup of the cage consisted of two rings side by side with a giant ring-encompassing rectangular cage that covered both rings, but not the ringside area. Doors were placed at far corners of the rectangular cage so the two teams didn’t come into contact before they were supposed to.
- The match began with one member of each team entering the cage. After five minutes, a member from one of the teams (usually determined by a coin toss, but has also been determined by a match or by a contest such as an arm wrestling match, a live fan poll, etc.; this is almost always the “heel” team in order to provide heat) would enter the cage, giving his team the temporary 2-on-1 handicap advantage. After two minutes, a member from the other team would enter to even the odds and giving 2-on-2 tag team advantage for the next 2 minutes. Entrants alternated between teams every two minutes, giving the coin toss-winning team the temporary advantage in the numbers game before giving the other team the advantage with the freshest man and even odds.
- Teams continue to alternate during the 2 minutes periods until all eight or ten men are in the ring.
- Once all eight, ten, or more men (depending on team size) had entered the cage, what was referred to as “The Match Beyond” began. The only way to win was submission or surrender (which is kind of the same thing).
Credit: Cageside Seats
War Games matches were held nearly every year from 1987 to 1998, although the rules for the 1998 and 2000 incarnations are much different from the traditional versions.
The War Games match returns to a major wrestling promotion for the first time in nearly 20 years. The match will be the main event of NXT’s Takeover event, which is scheduled the night before Survivor Series. The rules, however, are vastly different from the rules above.
- The three-member teams of SAnitY (Eric Young, Alexander Wolfe & Killian Dain), Undisputed ERA (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly), and The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar) & Roderick Strong will wage war inside a massive steel cage that surrounds TWO rings.
- All three teams will be contained inside separate shark cages by the entrance way, with a member from each team (as chosen by his respective squad) starting the match.
- After five minutes, the remaining members from one team will be released from their shark cage and allowed to enter the match.
- When another three-minute period elapses, the remaining members from a second team are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
- Following another three-minute period, the final team’s members are released from their shark cage and enter the match.
- Once all three teams have entered the WarGames Match, a victory can be attained via pinfall or submission.
- Although it sounds a little confusing and cluttered, we think the new version of War Games will live up to the legacy of Dusty Rhodes’ creation.
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