Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only

[1987-07-04-NWA-Atlanta, GA] Road Warriors & Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard & Ric Flair & Lex Luger & J.J. Dillon (War Games)


Recommended Posts

BIt of a difficult match to rate. I'll start with my criticisms.


This follows a very simple and predictable formula. The match starts out with a face (Dusty Rhodes) dominating a heel (Arn Anderson). Then a heel (Tully Blanchard) comes in and turns the tables until another face (Animal) comes in and the faces go back to dominating. Repeat that until everyone is in and it's time to go to the finish. I just described the entire match. As a viewer watching 30 years of later, I really would have liked to have seen them change things up just a little bit, like having the heels somehow manage to keep the advantage even when it's even or for the faces to try to stay in control even when they're outnumbered. Also, the work is mostly confined to basic brawling. Dusty gets Arn in the figure four in the beginning and then the heels work over Dusty's leg later for a bit of revenge, but those are just short sections that get forgotten as the whole thing just kind of becomes a clusterfuck as more guys go in there. Ross goes crazy on commentary about how brutal it all is, but I didn't really notice anything that stood out as particularly special. The match is lacking a hook or really much psychology at all beyond what I described about the faces dominating when it's even and heels dominating when they have the number advantage. Even the blood seems like it's there mostly to give the Apter mags an opportunity to take some good photos. Also, the finish feels a bit flat. I'd have liked something a bit more decisive than the Road Warriors singling out Dillon while the other Horsemen were distracted fighting the other faces.


All that goes out the window if we're just talking about the crowd heat. They were going crazy straight from the beginning and never really settled down. Crockett took a risk pulling out a convoluted gimmick like this, but they definitely managed to make it work with their audience. In that respect, the predictable layout actually works in the match's favor by making it easier to follow for the fans by giving them something familiar they could bite into. They knew that the faces would win in a fair fight and that the heels can only keep up when they have some kind of advantage, and that was what they got here. The result is one of the most fondly remembered matches in the company's history and one that launched a signature gimmick for WCW. In spite of all the flaws I listed above, I still never really found myself bored with the work for much of the match's 20 minute length largely because it's such a spectacle to listen to the crowd and commentators reacting to this as they did.


It's difficult to rate because there is such a seeming disconnect between the crowd heat and the match's grander influence with the actual quality of the work. I'm tempted to say it's not really meant for critical analysis. You're best off just letting yourself be hypnotized by the crowd heat and the easy to follow layout. Turn on, tune in, drop out. ***1/2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • GSR changed the title to [1987-07-04-NWA-Atlanta, GA] Road Warriors & Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff & Paul Ellering vs Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard & Ric Flair & Lex Luger & J.J. Dillon (War Games)
  • 3 months later...

Four Horsemen (Ric Flair, Lex Luger, Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard, JJ Dillon) vs. The Dream Team (Dusty Rhodes, Nikita Koloff, The Road Warriors, Paul Ellering) - WARGAMES I

Definitely one of the best WARGAMES matches of all time. Much, much better than Wargames II and overall it had a lot more energy & zip than the other ones that I have seen. The Road Warriors remain the best suited for this environment. Road Warrior Animal may have gotten one of the loudest sustained roars I have ever heard in my life. That was enough to power the city of Greensboro. Animal must have been jacked! He was just steamrolling Anderson & Blanchard. Then he did his two spots with Blanchard lawn darting him to next ring and the sit up spot. I thought Dusty vs Arn was a better five minute opening. Dusty was ballshotting and flipping off the Horsemen. Also, Dusty used the roof of the cage twice. You know Dusty wanted to be the first to use the roof since that was his innovation. Tully & Arn stooging for the Double Bionic Elbow before settling in to work the leg was good. I covered Animal. Flair was a ton better in this. I love when just jumps on somebody. There were ballshots galore in this match. Flair was definitely in the right mindset here, just brawl mode. I liked Flair trying to cut Nikita off at the pass at the door by raking the eye. This made the Double Russian Sickle all the sweeter. Koloff was just Sickleing everything he saw. Luger came in and started beating on Nikita and then moved on. I really liked the fact they did TWO Spike Piledrivers on Koloff, who had a n injured neck remember he had a neck brace on at the Crockett Cup in April. Some actual strategy! Hawk came in and not quite as good as Animal, but was just a wrecking ball of energy. I love the Road Warriors! JJ was of course completely ineffectual. Paul Ellering brings in his spiked wristband, which I dont love. It is too small. When you have eight behemoths and two managers, two ring and a massive cage, you should have something HUGE so everyone can see. I feel like that Spiked Wristband is too small. DOOMSDAY DEVICE~! JJ breaks his collarbone. They ram his head into the cage and he surrenders. I feel like that finish was still anti-climatic, but the energy level was through the roof. This did NOT feel like a battle royale, much, much better. ****1/4

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Oh man, this was complete chaos! Seeing this in person must have been a hell of an experience. Dusty and Arn start the match and it's about as brilliant as you can expect from these two. Dusty attacks, while Arn tries to back away. The heels win the coin toss and Tully enters. This was the perfect stipulation to hide the limitations of certain wrestlers. Lex Luger was still very green here, but he's only really in this to rush in and hit a few great-looking power spots before he disappears into the crowd of wrestlers. The Road Warriors looked phenomenal here, coming in to kick ass as the crowd roared with approval. I'd rate the 1992 War Games match over this, but this is still a legendary match that every fan needs to see. ★★★★★

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...