WWE has always prided itself on creating fresh match-ups and innovative, never-before-seen matches. “For the first time ever” is one of the company’s favorite phrases if they’re booking two competitors against one another that have never faced off or a gimmick match their audience has never witnessed. Whether they’re original ideas from WWE themselves or reiterations from territories gone by, innovation (or some version of it) is key in this business.
Over the years, we’ve seen table matches, ladder matches, and chair matches, which inevitably led to TLC matches that led to an entire pay-per-view based on that concept. We’ve had Money in the Bank, Hell in a Cell, casket matches, inferno matches, steel cage matches, last man standing, and I Quit matches. Gimmick pay-per-views like Survivor Series and the Royal Rumble have stood the test of time as annual WWE landmark traditions. From a storyline perspective, it may have been Eric Bischoff who introduced wrestling fans to the Elimination Chamber (another gimmick match that morphed into its own pay-per-view), but it was Triple H who actually invented the idea.
— WWE Mall (@WWE_Mall) April 21, 2016
But the one concept that WWE has always been reluctant to adopt to their brand has been War Games. Born in the NWA and then perfected in WCW, War Games usually consisted of two teams of four or five members inside a steel cage that encompassed two rings. Many people referred to the War Games as the greatest WCW entity that WWE never inherited.
However, Daily Wrestling News is reporting that WWE officials have had internal discussions about bringing War Games back. There appears to be some debate as to whether they will feature the match at one of their major pay-per-views like SummerSlam or Survivor Series. If the match is successful, you might imagine the company scheming up a War Games pay-per-view on its own sometime down the line. But for now, at least the company is willing to bring a War Games discussion to the table. It’s up to Vince McMahon to give the final okay.
Complex.com listed War Games as the seventh best gimmick match of all time, wondering why it hasn’t returned since the demise of World Championship Wrestling.
“Why hasn’t WWE brought back WarGames? The best thing to ever come out of WCW (sorry, nWo), WarGames pits two large teams against each other in a staggered entry format, with two men starting the match, while the others file in every two minutes. Sounds pretty cool already, but then you take into account the WarGames structure: two rings next to each other, all inside a giant steel cage. Oh, and you can’t be pinned; you have to submit or just surrender to your opponent in order to lose.”
— Lonewolf (@UnF_LoneWolf) July 10, 2015
What’s more intriguing is that if WWE is to bring War Games back to wrestling’s forefront, the idea is to pit members of The Bullet Club against The Shield for the first revival of the storied match. There had been preliminary discussions about a feud between the two stables, but positioning them against each other at War Games would certainly generate a lot of interest and perhaps higher ratings. The only downside to the idea appears to be that WWE wants to give it a new name, not War Games, but the concept would still be the same.
If all the intended participants are healthy and it makes sense storyline-wise, we could actually be seeing a new version of War Games in 2016. There’s been a large Dusty Rhodes presence ever since “The American Dream” passed away last summer. NXT held the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and Apollo Crews mentioned on RAW that Dusty was the one that came up with Apollo’s ring name. And now, wouldn’t it be ironic if WWE brought back War Games, a concept Dusty came up with and was one of the first participants? Dusty’s team took on The Four Horsemen at the Great American Bash in 1987.
Dusty’s greatest rival, Ric Flair was in the first War Games, and The Nature Boy was in the final War Games at WCW’s Fall Brawl in 1997. And now, almost 20 years later, War Games appears to be coming back.