INDUCTION: War Games ’95 – Featuring the Most WCW Ending Ever!

28 Submitted by on Thu, 21 July 2022, 20:00

WCW – September 17, 1995

For many years, the legendary match known as War Games had disappeared from the world of pro wrestling, and that was too bad. This spectacle was a tremendous concept, featuring two sides going into battle in not only a steel cage, but two rings side by side as well, which allowed for ample opportunities for mayhem. Early versions featuring the likes of the Four Horsemen versus various Dusty Rhodes led troops became the stuff of legend and rightly so, as the matches delivered more often than not.

The rules of the match were complex, but not really needlessly so. Both sides would send one of their men into the cage and at the end of five minutes, one of the teams (determined by a coin flip, but with the heels nearly always winning) would be able to send a second participant in for the next couple minutes at which time the other crew could send in someone to even the odds. This back and forth would continue until all men were in the cage and “The Match Beyond” would begin, which signaled the ability to actually win the contest…by submission only.

It was the ultimate way to end a feud between two factions.

When WWE bought WCW in 2001, everyone wondered when we may see WarGames again. It took seventeen years (!!!!) for the match to resurface on the major league level showing up in NXT. Crazier still, despite owning the name and match itself, it has never appeared on as a WWE main roster encounter. There are tons of theories as to why this is of course, mostly centering around Vince never wanting to acknowledge that one of his competitors actually had a good idea.

Could be that.

Could also be he caught Fall Brawl 1995 and said, “Awwww heck no, we ain’t ever doing that.”

Which would, by proxy, mean Vince wasn’t a fan of the legendary DUNGEON OF DOOM.

As a bit of backstory. Hulk Hogan had come into WCW and was in need of opponents once he blew through the likes of the usual suspects such as Ric Flair and Big Van Vader. Knowing his penchant for overcoming the odds, the WCW booking team came up with the idea of not just one foe for Hogan to battle, but rather an entire legion he’d need to make his way through, a gang united with a common purpose: to end Hulkamania.

Led by the “Taskmaster” Kevin Sullivan, the crew featured the likes of Meng (Haku) and Kamala, as well Brutus Beefcake as Zodiac, who painted his face black and white and screamed “yes! no!” for no discernible reason. We also got my old friend John Tenta, best known as Earthquake, but turned into a Shark here. Even the almighty Hulkster couldn’t combat such a crew solo, so he got together with Randy Savage, Sting, and a newly turned babyface Lex Luger. The two teams would collide at the Fall Brawl PPV in War Games.

But not before we got some totally insane promos by Kevin Sullivan.

You know it’s personal when the camera zooms in not only on a man’s eyes, but to the point it appears to go straight down his throat…

…or when dead flowers are presented as gifts as a recital of “I love you, I love you not, in fact I hate you” is on display.

But do you know how you can really tell who truly despises Hulk Hogan and wants him gone forever?

That guy beats his action figure over the head with a shovel.

And he does this during a lightning storm.

That, my friends, is true HATRED.

OH! And you also run over his “prized motorcycle” with a monster truck.

Seriously, look at the poor Hulkster, looking as though he’s going to lose his mind.

Which I’m pretty sure he did, as he tells us he had his Hulkamaniac team, and I am just quoting here, “drink a couple gallons of agent orange.” I’d say that’s total BS, but he also tells us that he saw Andre the Giant’s son show up (part of a ridiculous tangent where WCW was referring to Giant Paul Wight (Big Show) as such) so maybe it was involved.

Finally, he puts his men through the paces in what appears an actual war zone.

That or maybe the set of the Indiana Jones stunt show at Disney World, take your pick.

Considering WCW used to tape shows there, I’m going with the latter.

Mean Gene shows up right before the match and tells us we need to “pull up our socks and get ready”, which can mean only one thing: the drugs in WCW in 1995 were OFF. THE. CHARTS.

Also, war.

We’re going to war.

With that, the cages begin to slowly lower from the roof and we get more fireworks than I saw the entire Fourth of July weekend this year. They shoot off any more and the whole building may go up in smoke.

Holy crap.

The Dungeon makes their way to the ring, looking quite stoic and rather imbalanced you may say. Considering Michael Buffer tells us that Meng is weighing in tonight at 315 pounds (!!!!!), that may make sense.

Hogan and his crew are out next, with camouflage face paint and waving old glory as we get even MORE fireworks going off. Memo to Tony Kahn: if you ever try to do another exploding barbed wire death match, you might want to give these guys a call.

(Oh, and yes – that induction is coming. So save the snarky comments for something else please.)

The match finally begins, and we lead off with Sting vs. Shark. I know a lot of folks bag on Sting’s work for whatever reason (although a lot fewer do today than back then), but he works pretty well with Tenta here, giving him a body slam and doing having a decent match.

I mean, aside from the fact poor John is supposedly a shark and starts gnawing on Sting’s arm.

And there there was this unfortunate move where Shark looked to leap over the ropes and somehow got caught between the rings.

I think John must have seen Free Willy one time too many.

Zodiac is in next, and Sting swings off the top of the cage and into a kinda sorta let’s pretend it’s a dropkick. God bless Sting and Tenta, but things are already starting to completely fall apart at this point. Just as I am thinking that, Tony Schiavone tells us “we have seventeen minutes to go before this match can even end!”

That’s less commentary and more warning, I think.

Savage in next, and he goes right after Tenta, attempting to give him a vertical suplex. Shockingly, that doesn’t work and he starts to get manhandled. He winds up over by the side of the cage, and somehow Meng grabs his leg and starts pulling him out from under the cage.

That makes like zero sense, but it is unique if nothing else.

Kamala joins the fray, and Heenan explains to us he’s home in the cage. Also, he’s happy to be back in the jungle. I love Bobby, he’s my all-time favorite wrestling personality, but pretty sure those two statements completely contradict each other. Meanwhile, Tony exclaims that “Macho Man and Sting are getting wasted!”

Mid match? That sounds like a terrible idea.

I mean, unless you’re watching at home. Then I’ll condone it.

Heck, with this one I might even encourage it.

Luger in next. He clobbers Shark and Kamala then accidentally hits Savage and they start fighting each other. This drama of whether Luger could be trusted, which was built up in the weeks leading into the match, lasts approximately 45 seconds and then Hulk’s team are all working together again.

Meng is the last guy in for the Dungeon, and there’s not much to report here other than when he kicks Luger, Lex screams “OHHHH!!” in the most robotic and emotionless manner possible. And he does it over and over again. It’s so bizarre it rounds the corner of being ridiculous and hits the home plate of awesome.

Hogan finally comes in and being a role model for the youth of today, immediately throws salt in everyone’s eyes.

Actually, scratch that – Heenan tells us “that smells like napalm or gun powder!” So it’s even worse.

He follows that up with the lethal combination of back rakes AND chest rakes, which everyone reacts to as if they’re being sliced open with a chainsaw. And SPEAKING OF COMICAL SELLING…

We get THIS.

I might get a seizure if I keep watching this.

Who ever thought I’d need to post an epilepsy warning on an induction?

Apparently such a beating was nearly life-ending for Zodiac, as Hogan traps in a good old fashioned Camel Clutch. At this point the ref asks Zodiac if he wants to quit. Care to guess what he said?

“YES!”

“NO!”

“YES!”

“NO!”

Remember what I wrote above about that spot with Savage being pulled out from under the ring being unique?

Scratch that.

THIS was unique.

And maybe, just possibly, the most WCW thing I’ve ever seen.

And just for clarification, that’s not meant as a compliment.


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28 Responses to "INDUCTION: War Games ’95 – Featuring the Most WCW Ending Ever!"
  1. kmtown says:

    Did Mean Gene just sneak us the bird?

  2. Statistician says:

    STATISTICALLY…

    This is the 61st piece of Crap from 1995, extending 1995’s lead as the Crappiest year in wrestling history to 2 entries (ahead of 2000, with 59).
    It’s also the 3rd WarGames match to be inducted, after the 1998 three-way mess and the “Russo’s Revenge” 2000 match. This would be all the bad WarGames matches, pretty much.
    This was the first WCW PPV during the Monday Night Wars. And in a real war, this PPV would be the equivalent of taking your shirt off and painting a giant target on your chest.
    This is one of the rare examples of an induction within an induction within an induction. That’s because this match contains the inducted Dungeon of Doom, two of whose representatives are the inducted Shark and Zodiac. (Should be 3, as Kamala’s run with WCW deserves an induction.)

    Join me next week for more useless info.

    • Peter says:

      That tracks, 1995 is considered one of the worst years in wrestling. We’ve got Dungeon of Doom feuding with Hogan in WCW meanwhile Diesel’s feuding with the Million Dollar Corporation and King Mabel. Still some bright spots here and there but oof.

      • Reflection of Perfection says:

        Not only was WWF having their worst year in-ring wise in 95 with wrestling plumbers, garbage men, party clowns, evil fitness instructors and Puerto Rican ninjas, 95 is mostly remembered in WCW for the “hokey Hogan antics”. If it wasn’t for this mockery of War Games it was Hogan refusing to put over Flair, Vader and even Savage for once. Not to mention the next month’s Halloween Havoc was Wrestlecrap central.

        Sad part is while WCW gave their fans the finger with THE YETAYYY, WWF did the same thing by holding October 95 In Your House in Winnipeg where there couldn’t have been more than 1,000 people there to see Diesel vs Bulldog in one of the worst matches I’ve ever seen.

        1996 may have been the worst financial year for WWF but it doesn’t hold a candle to the incompetence of 1995. What made WCW in 96 so great was 95 was so bad.

  3. Sean Bateman says:

    When will you induct John Tenta vs Koji Kitao, Deal?

  4. Christopher Haydu says:

    I really have to question this induction. Granted, I’ve never seen the match, but going by the review, it doesn’t seem like it was too bad. That dive that Earthquake took into the middle of the two rings was pretty good. And as far the ending, not only would I not negatively criticize it, I would say Ed Leslie deserves some credit for actually trying to get the gimmick over.

    Maybe you should lay off Ed Leslie for a while. He wasn’t that bad, and Brutus the Barber Beefcake will always be awesome.

    • Derrick William Cannon says:

      I do have to agree that how Ed Leslie finished was excellent character work. He truly couldn’t decide if he gave up or not. There is only one submission during this era that outranks it for sheer madness and oddly brilliant character work. And yes I would vote for said person as at least I would gain a free dictionary.

    • Guest says:

      Just because he was a good character in your opinion doesn’t mean he was a good or worthwhile wrestler in the grand scheme of things. There’s a reason most of his history was related to Hulk Hogan same way no one gives a damn about Kevin Nash outside of his relationship with Shawn & Hogan.

  5. Adam Smith says:

    Is the finish of the zodiac beat down stupider in hindsight when they reveal that he’s a inside man for the faces meaning they beat him up for technically no reason?

    • Wonkey Donkey says:

      Yes, but in fairness they probably didn’t know that at the time. Remember the Higher Power gimmick where it turned out to be McMahon which made zero sense whatsoever because they didn’t plan far enough in advance. Same with Black Scorpion and countless others. We should probably cut wrestling bookers more slack when it comes to long-term payoffs given everything that can change and go wrong even over just a couple of weeks, though that doesn’t excuse obviously stupid gimmicks that were just there to fill time or bury someone. This match was goofy and probably qualifies as Wrestlecrap but it’s the fun kind that ultimately didn’t harm anyone and had a couple of entertaining things about it, I dare even say that Zodiac using the ‘yes/no’ submission was admirable commitment to the character.

      Looking forward to more AEW inductions. I think they’re far more competent than TNA ever were but there’s still been some dumb moments. Would be awesome to see ROH or other indies being featured more in the future as well.

      • RD Reynolds says:

        Always open to suggestions. 😉

        • Not The Carters But Close Enough says:

          Well, there’s that one Jeff Hardy match from 2003, the time that ICP showed up, the Teddy Hart puke incident, Kevin Steen’s lawyers, SCUM, Enzo and Cass invading the G1 Supercard…

          • CP says:

            Wow, AEW was around in 2003?

            Think that’s what RD was referring to. If not I will withdraw the comment.

            • RD Reynolds says:

              Open to all suggestions, AEW or otherwise 🙂

              • CP says:

                I would like to take you up on that, Deal, and suggest something I have not seen covered to a good deal of satisfaction.

                Eugene’s heel turn.

                • Thomas Moffatt says:

                  I’m still waiting for the Search For Shawn Michaels and also an MLW induction – Mance Warner v MJF, empty arena. Mance Warner is WC in my opinion – a Stone Cold rip-off mixed with Ryback…

    • Reflection of Perfection says:

      The opposite of no reason. Since it was revealed he was working for Hogan all along, them beating him around and he quickly submitting to the camel clutch was all part of the plan.

  6. Der Sepp says:

    This company…
    So many fans give WWF a hard time for their 1994/95 “New Generation” but that pales in comparison to the utter bollocks of WCW.

    • CP says:

      Did it though?

      Don’t get me wrong, 1995 WCW was bad, but I don’t think that on their worst day they were as bad as the WWF was. I mean, Phantasio, Mantaur, Aldo Montoya the Portuguese Jockstrap, Tekno Team 2000, Mabel getting a push because he was fat, WrestleMania XI…

  7. Hulk6785 says:

    Fun fact: Fall Brawl 1995 also featured a match between Ric Flair and Arn Anderson.

  8. James Tyler says:

    I actually quite like this match- sure, the Dungeon are goofy as heck but Tenta and Meng were a perfect fit for WarGames and it was a decent brawl. Frankly I’d put this edition ahead of 93 (the Shockmaster!) and 94 (Dustin Rhodes before he was good and The Nasty Boys bore me rigid beating up on The Stud Stable)

  9. Michael Hunt says:

    Kevin Sullivan could have filed a formal protest since it turned out Zodiac was a friend of Hogan’s that went into the Dungeon of Doom to sabotage them from within.

  10. Guest says:

    “Meng is the last guy in for the Dungeon, and there’s not much to report here other than when he kicks Luger, Lex screams “OHHHH!!” in the most robotic and emotionless manner possible.”

    Did he?

    I’ve seen this clip everytime I watched Botchamania 71 and the problem wasn’t Luger being robotic and emotionless but being as loud and over the top as possible to the point that if this was the fall of 96 to the winter of 97 Sting could’ve heard him all the way in the rafters.

    And this was years before the Machine’s infamous spot on Thunder.

  11. Adam says:

    … what the hell is with that mask Meng(?) is wearing?

  12. RRA says:

    “(Oh, and yes – that induction is coming. So save the snarky comments for something else please.)”

    That exploding ring match induction will be glorious.

  13. Larry Barnsworth says:

    Kevin Sullivan always bemuses me. I keep forgetting just how tiny he was (is). At times he almost looked like a midget Hogan impersonator. What is he, 5’4″?

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