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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

While Evolution Started The Battle, Could The Shield Win The War Games?
Posted by Greg De Marco on 04.24.2014

Since their debut in 2012, The Shield has been one of the most dominant factions in WWE history. Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns have more recently met their match with The Wyatt Family, but still came out on top in the end. Now they're faced with their toughest task yet—WWE COO Triple H and his renewed alliance with Batista and Randy Orton as Evolution.

While the feud has quickly captured the imagination of newer fans, the impact on old school/hardcore fans is even greater. These fans don't want a battle, they want a war. They want...WAR GAMES! And according to recent reports (a href=http://www.411mania.com/wrestling/news/320527/The-Latest-on-WWE-Possibly-Doing-a-War-Games-Match.htm target=new>link), the upcoming PPV locations pinpoint one event that could possibly host this spectacle: WWE Battleground.

Originally dubbed "War Games: The Match Beyond," the match is one of more beloved concepts among longtime fans, including yours truly. The rules are relatively simple. The match uses two rings, surrounded by a steel cage with a roof. The early War Games matches featured two teams of five, while the later incarnations dropped the team sizes to four. Two men started, one from each team, and battled for five minutes. At this point, one man from each team joined the match every two minutes, alternating entry, until all participants are in the cage. At that point, the match could be won by submission only—the "Match Beyond" portion of the match. The delayed alternating entry gave one team the "man advantage" throughout the match, and that advantage was typically determined through a coin toss, which was typically won by the heels.

War Games was invented by Dusty Rhodes as a storyline method to end the Four Horsemen's reign of terror over the NWA territories, although the match rarely served to end anything. The first two were held as featured contests in the 1987 Great American Bash tour. In 1988, an eleven year old Greg DeMarco witnessed his only live War Games match, the tenth overall, as part of The Great American Bash tour stop in Richmond, Virginia. On that night, the face team of Sting, Nikita Koloff, Lex Luger and The Road Warriors beat The Four Horsemen of Ric Flair, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard, Barry Windham and JJ Dillon. There were 29 War Games matches held inside the traditional two-ring, steel cage structure, and over half of them—15—took place between July 4, 1987 and July 28, 1998. Of those 15, all but one (#4) featured The Four Horsemen. Despite their history in the match, The Horsemen only won one War Games match, at WrestleWar in 1991, and it was a bastardized version of the group featuring Ric Flair, Barry Windham, Larry Zbyszko and Sid Vicious.

The return of War Games would be quite the historical moment in modern day WWE history. Given Triple H's respect for "old school" and his love for Ric Flair, it's 100% believable that War Games could return with Evolution and The Shield as the central factions. And that's exactly what should happen.

With their first showdown potentially headlining the Extreme Rules special event/international pay-per-view, The Shield and Evolution's feud is one of the top three stories in the company today—necessary as you don't want to use War Games as an undercard attraction. The feud also features the all-important faction/stable element. Finally, all six men have showcased their fair share of brutality in recent months, another core element of the match.

But I don't think the fans, at least the old school fans, want to see a 3-on-3 War Games. So who else do you add?

The obvious choices are Kane (with Evolution) and Daniel Bryan (with The Shield). Those obvious choices are also the best and most likely. Another route could be to elevate additional talent by putting them in the match. Cesaro could be added to the Evolution team with the backstory of Triple H cutting a deal with Paul Heyman. The face side of the equation could have several options, including Cody Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus and even John Cena.

Could this foursome compete in a War Games revival?

As a wrestling fan of 30-years and someone who witnessed War Games live, I would selfishly love to see the concept return. I wouldn't want to see Battleground become a yearly home for the match, but I'd rather it be used in the right situations. I believe Evolution & Kane vs. The Shield & Daniel Bryan is that situation, and one the WWE should cash-in on. Not having The Wyatts vs. The Shield inside the Elimination Chamber is a missed opportunity in my book, but the return of War Games would more than make up for it.

The big question then shifts from "Who" to "If." Could the WWE actually put on War Games? It does totally change the configuration of an arena, eliminating overall floor seating but increasing the number of premium ringside seats by nearly 50%. But it's also a nod at history—WCW history no less—that is out of character for the WWE. Personally can't give this match better than 50/50 odds, and I'm likely letting nostalgia get the better of me.

So while there's a small chance, there's still a chance!

You Decide: Will we see the return of the 2-ring, double cage War Games in the WWE?

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