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Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham & Nikita Koloff vs Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton & Larry Zbyszko (WCW Wrestle War 05/17/92, War Games)

WCW Wrestle War May 17 1992 Jacksonville FL Dangerous Alliance 4.75* Sting Ricky Steamboat Dustin Rhodes Barry Windham Nikita Koloff Rick Rude Steve Austin Arn Anderson Bobby Eaton Larry Zbyszko Rude vs Steamboat Austin vs Steamboat War Games

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 June 2011 - 09:55 AM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:25 AM

So pretty much everyone loves this match. It's a pretty established classic, and rightfully so. In an attempt to break down the match, I'm going to focus on each person in the match and what they brought to it: STING Sting was the top babyface. He had a title run where he was being booked competently, he had good opponents, he got a great crowd reaction. It's a shame that by the time the booking caught up to him, WCW was cold and not really in a good position to capitalize on it. Anyway, he's excellent in this match. There's the memorable spot where he climbs the cage and chases Madusa down, which I always liked. There's the really awesome press slam on Rude into the top of the cage. And I thought the spot with Nikita that was a call back to SuperBrawl I was really well done, and I'll talk more about that later. RICKY STEAMBOAT Steamboat was a man possessed during this time. He had become super aggressive thanks to the storyline. I remember Sports Review Wrestling magazine doing an article about how Steamboat should be ashamed of himself for losing his temper so much because he was rapidly not becoming Steamboat anymore. I made my thoughts known in other threads about the Rude/Steamboat feud. Rude whipping him with a belt is good. Accusing him of not being the family man he made himself out to be was a good idea to enhance the Rude feud until it became the centerpiece of it. But I really like this aggressive Steamboat. He's still selling a broken nose from a Rude attack. I enjoy the stereo DDTs on Austin and Rude when he entered the cage. After a strong start, he began to fade into the background, but he still delivered a strong performance. Every spot where he needed to be the center of attention, he executed very well. DUSTIN RHODES Dustin bled a gusher here. Like, a ridiculous amount. You could barely see his face. He worked really hard. I love when he cuts off Zbyszko's entry to the cage by getting in a slugfest with him that gets the crowd going and leaves Jim Ross speechless. I wish he could have spent more time in the match, but in this gimmick, and especially when you have a match full of guys who can go, someone has to go first, second, third, etc., so Dustin ended up in the spot he did. BARRY WINDHAM The #2 star of the match for me. I'll get to #1 later. I thought the first five minutes were the best first five minutes of War Games ever. Windham and Austin had the issue with the TV title, so it made sense for them to start. Windham dominates, and I'll talk more about Austin later. Settings like this are almost tailor made for Windham -- a little wrestling mixed in with a little brawling. Aside from Arn, he had probably worked more of these matches than anyone involved, so it made sense for him to go in early. Biting Austin's cut was crazy shit. NIKITA KOLOFF Didn't have to do much, but pulled off what he needed to do really well, which was ensure that he could be trusted and do the spot with Sting where he'd push him out of the way of an attack. Sting, because he's Sting, trusted him, although to his credit Nikita never made him look stupid for it. Anyway, he's the last guy in the ring and by that point, the match is already awesome, so not much for him to do. RICK RUDE Tremendous. Rude was at a career peak. The best Rude stuff is really about feeding babyfaces. Rude is amazing at setting up spots for babyfaces to shine. There's the Sting press slams. There's Sting and Steamboat trying to drive him through the middle of both rings. There's taking big bumps for Steamboat. Rude was the top heel in the company at this point and had his act really down. STEVE AUSTIN The best guy in this match. It's amazing how sometimes a new look can help a guy get to the next level, because Austin just really blossomed as a worker after chopping the bad hair. He's in the entire match for his team, is a bloody mess, takes crazy bumps, wrestles a super fast pace ... it may be the single best performance in the history of all War Games matches. I always love the back body drop into the cage spot. Sting's on Austin is tremendous. He's juicing within minutes of entering the cage and is thrown around like a ragdoll for most of this match. Gotta love the spot where Dustin sets him up for an atomic drop and his head bounces off the top of the cage. Not sure if that was planned or not, but give Austin credit either way. This is probably the first truly great performance of his career, and it's one of his best. ARN ANDERSON Arn is Mr. Reliable in this setting, much like Windham. The match wasn't really about Arn. I don't think most Arn matches were, for that matter. But he does everything he needs to do exactly how he needs to do it. The DDT and spinebuster look great when he first enters the cage, and he does typically fun Arn stuff that we've all seen before. LARRY ZBYSZKO Zbyszko, like Koloff, is there more for storyline than action. He pulls it off well. I'm not sure how I feel about dismantling the ring to this day. It may have been a slight overreach. My favorite Larry moment in this is probably the exchange with Dustin when Dustin first enters the cage. BOBBY EATON Kind of a non-factor. He was working hurt, or else he probably would have been motivated to give a great performance, as this seems like an environment where Eaton would have shined. But he really didn't. Not blaming him as much as stating a fact. I also think it would have been cool for Sting to debut some new submission on the arm for the finish instead of an armbar, but not doing so doesn't make the match worse or anything. Pretty sure this is the WCW MOTY. Has a strong cases as the WCW MOTD, and possibly the U.S. MOTD. There are some things I wish had been slightly different, but you can say that for pretty much every match ever.

#3 jdw

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:17 PM

The #2 star of the match for me. I'll get to #1 later. I thought the first five minutes were the best first five minutes of War Games ever. Windham and Austin had the issue with the TV title, so it made sense for them to start. Windham dominates, and I'll talk more about Austin later. Settings like this are almost tailor made for Windham -- a little wrestling mixed in with a little brawling. Aside from Arn, he had probably worked more of these matches than anyone involved, so it made sense for him to go in early. Biting Austin's cut was crazy shit.

I'm pretty sure they went with an "opening 2 minutes" in this rather than the old "opening 5". That's a bit of a difference between this and the 1991: Pillman-Barry had to fill more time/space before others joined the party.

Austin-Barry is a really good start. Like you point out, a lot of people are really good in this. Only Eaton was subpar due to the injury. He'd been in Wargames before, so he would have been good in this if healthy.

On the outside, I thought Madusa was good and great in the one spot, though it was hard to figure out just what in the heck she was up to. :) Paul was mixed as usual: he's semi-effective at drawing heat, but he also seems to hog it a bit too much unto himself. There are stars-o-plenty involved in the match and Paul's job really should be to support it rather than overwhelm it.


#4 Loss

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:22 PM

Madusa threw Paul E.'s phone inside the cage, then Sting chased her back down. I was always annoyed by the way Paul E. played to the television cameras instead of the arena audience, in a way where he's very obviously acting/trying to be funny rather than enhancing the atmosphere, as you said. It takes me out of the moment. Here, he does it with the big map of the ring and their strategy, but the fake phone conversations have always been annoying to me too.

#5 Tim Evans

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Posted 31 July 2011 - 01:16 AM

Obviously this is a great match and it will be hard to tpp for MOTY. However, I didn't realise the ring broke down towards the end and the cage looked like it was going to collapse too. Austin and Dustin were the best here and I guess this was the beginning of the end of D.A

#6 KB8

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 04:28 PM

I slightly preferred the Rude/Steamboat ironman match from Beach Blast as my WCW MOTY, but it'll be interesting to see what I think when I get around to seeing them both again. Loss pretty much covered it, but this is what I said when I rambled about it last year:


#7 shoe

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 04:31 PM

This was just amazing. All the participants looked like they were in a war after the match. Loved Ross line when they show a long shot of Sting's Squadron and he goes and those are the winners. Like the way they looked it wasn't possible for them to be winners.

#8 El-P



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Posted 24 June 2012 - 03:59 PM

Loss broke down the match pretty much perfectly, I don't see anything to add. Great sense of chaos and violence, everyone playing their part perfectly, Steamboat being totally enraged, Windham seaking revenge, Rude storming into the ring early, Dustin the fiery young studd. The Madusa spot is great, complete with the awesome visual of Sting confronting her on the top of the cage. Gallons of blood, insane bumping by Austin, Arn's head driven between the two rings, Zbyszko being blitzkrieged by Dustin as he comes to the ring. Yes, strong case for MOTD. I fucking love pro-wrestling when it's done like this.

#9 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 07:02 PM

Agree with pretty much what has been said before. Excellent match that just seemed to fly by. Austin and Windham starting set the tone for the rest of the match. I thought they did a great job on how they handled when each guy entered. Too bad about Eaton being legit hurt. He seemed to have trouble removing part of the turnbuckle for weapon and Larry was just like screw it and grabbed the whole thing out of his hands. The cage ceiling is so low that it can get in the way (when they try coming off the top rope for one) but it does allow for great stuff like Sting pressing Rude repeatedly into it.

#10 WingedEagle

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 03:58 PM

Not a whole lot to add here as Loss not only gave a great summary of the match, he really made it feel like an all time classic. Gary Michael Cappetta reading rules beforehand made this feel extra big. The Windham/Austin opener was great, set the tone and started the blood which was flowing the way it should in a violent culmination like this. Hats off especially to Austin and Rhodes for their juice jobs. So many great, memorable spots, from Steamboat coming in on fire, Arn absolutely cleaning out upon arriving and being part of a double crab on Steamer. Sting climbing the cage to counter Madusa was a great visual, as was Paul E working with his diagram of the ring. Nikita's trust spot with Sting and Larry being part of the finish capped off a great half hour of brutality and storytelling. Just a phenomenal spectacle. Probably my WCW match of the year, but we'll see if Sting/Vader has anything to say about it. Only mark against it is that the camera basically missed the finish. ****1/2

#11 PeteF3

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Posted 27 July 2013 - 12:55 AM

Way too late to add anything to this. I think Pillman/Windham was a stronger and more compelling opening than Windham/Austin, but everything else here is an improvement over the '91 version which was awesome in its own right. Blood all over the place, some spectacular bumps, some great little touches that unfortunately got a little lost in the shuffle like the use of the phone and the taping of Eaton's hand--still, it's hard to hold it against a match for having too much awesome in it. Right now I have this as the #2 MOTY, just a smidgen behind Liger/Samurai and a bit ahead of Casas/Wagner/Rambo vs. Hamada/Los Cowboys. A legit ***** affair. Can't wait to get to Sting/Vader and the ironman match to see if it holds up as the U.S. MOTY.

#12 MikeCampbell


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Posted 27 August 2013 - 02:37 AM

Simply put, this is what awesome is all about. It was probably the last great War Games match. Hateful and bloody, with a bunch of great spots, and a creative ending.

#13 Zenjo


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Posted 25 February 2015 - 11:46 PM

This has been broken down so well by Loss I don't need to explain why I love it as much now as I did over two decades ago. When discussing the greatest WCW matches of all time this is never far away from the top of the pile. So rather than extol its many virtues I'm going to repost my contribution from the DVDR thread 'Vince Russo books old school storylines.' Here is how the Russofication of Wargames 92 might have played out in a terrifying alternate universe...

Before the match begins Vince Russo comes out and announces that all WCW titles are vacated. The winning team will get every single title in WCW to split between them. The losing team will all be FIRED!

When the bell rings Austin cuts a SHOOT promo, saying that his team havent been booked to win so he aint gonna wrestle tonight son. Windham stands in the ring by himself for 5 minutes.

Rude is about to enter when Madusa grabs the mic and tells him that shes PREGNANT with his child! Rude tells her to go and get an abortion.

Steamboat gets in the ring and just stands around with Windham for 2 minutes whilst Rude slaps Madusa around on the outside.

Arn enters the ring and SWERVE! He's changed sides and high fives Windham and Steamboat. Rude gives Madusa the Rude Awakening.

Dustin enters the ring and stands around with Windham, Steamboat and Arn. Paul E begs Rude not to hit Madusa in the stomach with a chair.

Zbyszko falls to the ground outside the ring clutching his chest. The commentators scream that he's having a HEART ATTACK! EMTs carry him away on a stretcher.

Sting enters the ring and stands there with Windham, Steamboat, Arn and Dustin. The arena goes dark and the voice of the Black Scorpion taunts the Stinger. When the lights come back on all 5 men in the ring have bladed and are layed out.

Bobby Eaton tries to restrain Rude who has ripped off most of the unconscious Madusas clothes and is about to rape her. Paul E is now talking loudly into his phone conducting a business deal.

Before Koloff can enter the match Russo comes out again and announces that the rules have changed. All the titles are brought out atop POLES and whoever grabs them first gets to keep the title. Anyone in the ENTIRE ARENA can grab them including ALL OF YOU FANS!

A riot follows as fans jump over the barricades and start fighting each other to get the belts. The announcers scream that at WCW events the fans are the champions. End of show.

#14 ajtroma

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 11:46 PM

I hadn't watched this in about 10 years and, sweet baby jeebus, did this still STOMP ASS. Blood, guts, violence, determination, heat. You can almost smell the popcorn and the beer of a Jacksonville crowd that is just blowing the doors off the Coliseum.

#15 garretta

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Posted 20 February 2016 - 09:37 PM

I think I've seen almost all the WarGames that have made tape, and this had to be the most violent. Austin, Arn, Barry, and Dustin were all unrecognizable at the end due to blood, and Bobby almost had his arm ripped out by Sting. While none of the individual performances matched Pillman's tour de force from last year, this was probably a better overall match.


It's hard to remember all the great spots, but I liked the double crab on Steamboat, which I don't think I've ever seen before; Arn with his head between the rings; Medusa climbing the cage and actually accomplishing her mission (throwing Paul's phone into Arn) before being chased down by Sting; Arn clobbering everything that moved with said phone; the endless personal war between Steamboat and Rude, which had to be the longest one-on-one battle in the hstory of WarGames; any spot involving the cage roof, which was far too low to be safe yet managed to play a big part in the bout because the wrestlers figured out how to use it for good-looking and effective stuff; and, of, course, the ending.


Whoever thought of using a broken turnbuckle as the main part of the finish deserves a raise. The spot looked good, and once everyone figured put what the DA was doing, we were left to wonder just who would use it and how. Larry was the perfect patsy, and Bobby the perfect victim. Rude's arms are too heavily muscled for hitting them to really hurt them, even with an iron hook, while Arn's too tough to be a quitter and Austin had already been beaten almost to death. The other interesting thing is that the DA went after Larry for hitting Bobby rather than Bobby for surrendering. I might have turned Bobby back face, since he comes across as not too evil a guy and he'd already been effective in the role just a few months before, plus he could have been a good challenger for Rude. Larry's just too sleazy and scummy to be an effective face, or even a tweener.


Having said that, if they were going to get the most mileage out of a Larry turn, this was when they should have done it. Have the DA beat Larry up and leave him laying when they had the most weapons on hand to hurt him. The problem was, with the NWA tag tournament on the horizon and Rude busy with Steamer, there was no one from the DA for Larry to wrestle if they'd turned him here, and by the time he could have started the feud in earnest, Watts had totally marginalized Heyman and the DA was just about dead as a group. As I said in an earlier thread, though, I don't think Larry could have gotten too far up the ladder, certainly not to Rude and maybe not even to Austin, who was really starting to come into his own.


Nice tease of a possible turn by Nikita, but I'm glad it didn't happen. Even if it had, it wouldn't have led to much, because Sting was already headed for what turned out to be one of his most legendary feuds, with Vader.


The commentary was pretty much straightforward; Jesse always put away his heel persona for the big events and called them 99.44% straight; the only exception here was his ripping of Barry for using the cast on his hand, and that died down when JR reminded him that there was no DQ in WarGames. In fact, JR gets the award for the worst line of the night by far: When Jesse compares Paul to Vince Lombardi and Mike Ditka, JR fires back by comparing him to Jim Jones, which is just plain wrong. I get the idea of Paul being a "cult leader" of sorts, but thousands of people actually died at Jonestown. Surely there was a bad football coach somewhere in JR's past that he could have referenced to make his point, like Oklahoma legend Bud Wilkinson when he coached the St. Louis Cardinals. 


I saw Medusa taping Bobby's hand just before he entered the ring for the sixth period. Was that the DA's response to Barry having his hand taped, or did that have something to do with Bobby's legit injury which he wrestled this match with? 


I forgot about Jesse saying that Steamer would need to call all his girlfriends in Jacksonville to help him once this bout was over. It was a typical Jesse line, but I again blame Dusty for even starting the Steamer-Rude feud down this path in the first place.


This is my WCW Match of the Year so far, but Flair's once-in-a-lifetime performance in the Rumble still keeps that match number one overall as we head into June.

#16 JKWebb

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 11:54 AM



This would be my US MOTD. It's one of my favorite matches of all-time, and sometimes I say it is my favorite. It is definitely my favorite multi-man match ever. So much has been said, there's not much to add. I love this one. *****. I'll add that this ended up being the highest ranked US match on this countdown by Loss.

My three favorite WCW matches of the 90's took place in 1992. Sting/Vader Starrcade 92 & Steamboat/Rude from Beach Blast being the other two.

#17 flyonthewall2983

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Posted 20 April 2018 - 06:30 PM

There's some really great camera work here. Early on there's a nice sweeping shot going from the ramp to the top of the cage, and later on with the story being told between Sting and Nikita Koloff. It lasts no more than 20 seconds but it's a great bit of storytelling, burying any tension from their previous feud. 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Wrestle War, May 17, 1992, Jacksonville FL, Dangerous Alliance, 4.75*, Sting, Ricky Steamboat, Dustin Rhodes, Barry Windham, Nikita Koloff, Rick Rude, Steve Austin, Arn Anderson, Bobby Eaton, Larry Zbyszko, Rude vs Steamboat, Austin vs Steamboat, War Games

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