Austin is joined on today’s show by MLW’s Court Bauer for a look back at WCW’s WrestleWar 1992: WarGames.
Austin informs that after sitting back and watching the War Games match from this PPV, it wasn’t the 5-star match that he remembered it being. There were several things about this match that he felt could have been improved, but nonetheless, it was still a great match and everyone involved in it busted their ass to put on a great show that night.
Austin says he felt pretty comfortable by this point as a singles competitor, even though he was 4-5 years away from becoming a major star in WWE. Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat was just arriving in WCW at this point after a very successful run in WWE, and Austin decided to pick his brain. He asks Steamboat how he could improve as a performer and Steamboat just told him to keep doing what he was doing.
Austin still knew that he was missing something – the ultimate character and/or gimmick. He was working as ‘Stunning Steve’ at this point, but he still wasn’t really sure what was so ‘stunning’ about his character. He wouldn’t truly become a massive star until he adopted the ‘Stone Cold’ gimmick in WWE several years later.
Bauer mentions that Steamboat suffered from multiple back injuries and that was unfortunate, because he thinks Steamboat missed out on the opportunity to make an awful lot of money during the Monday Night War years in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Austin agrees and says that Steamboat was just on another level in the ring, and working with him was always a pleasure.
Bauer considers Rick Rude to be the cream of the crop in terms of WCW’s heel roster in the early-mid 90’s. He points out that Rude had a lot of issues with Vince McMahon and that resulted in him leaving WWE. Looking back now, Bauer considers this to be a good move for Rude’s career because he believes Rude would have been lost in the shuffle in WWE in the early 90’s.
Soon after Rude’s arrival in WCW, Vader made his debut in the company and together they made a formidable heel duo. Bauer informs that Vader had been hand-picked by Inoki to reign supreme as a monster heel in Japan, and his presence would be immediately felt in WCW. Bauer also informs that Jim Hellwig (The Ultimate Warrior) was the initial choice to portray the Big Van Vader character prior to Leon White taking over the role.
Austin segues to praising Kurt Angle, saying he picked up the business of professional wrestling quicker than anyone else in the business’ history. Bauer recalls working with Angle in WWE, saying that Angle was incredibly ambitious and never let his push go to his head. Angle treated the business like a shoot, urging the creative team to give him the WWE Title while he guaranteed that he wouldn’t let them down if he was booked to be Champion.
Getting back into the War Games match from WrestleWar ’92, Austin critiques his own work in the ring saying that his head was down too much, he looked too slow, and he didn’t get enough offence in in the initial 5-minutes of the match. He also says that his working punch wasn’t near good enough back in those days, and that was something that he’d correct years later in WWE.
He thought the match itself was fairly disjointed, and he thought the finish was rather lacklustre for a match of this stature. He informs that there was very little communication between the performers before the match, and this lack of attention to detail resulted in a spotty match in his opinion. It might have been a cool match for 1992, but it certainly wasn’t the ‘be all end all’ in terms of great matches.
Austin points out that Madusa was tough as nails as a performer, and she was respected and universally accepted by the boys. Seeing her climb up onto the top of the cage during this match was pretty incredible, and the steel lagged so much while she was up there that the performers in the ring were striking their head on the top of the cage.
Austin and Bauer agree that the finish of this bout was anti-climatic, and Austin feels that the babyfaces needed to stand tall in the middle of the ring at the end of the match. Having all the heels standing in the ring to end the show was the wrong decision in his opinion, but Bauer points out that WCW always seemed to have an issue with the babyfaces standing tall.
Austin didn’t notice the issues that were present in this match while he was working it because he was a green competitor, and he was simply trying to get through the motions. Looking back now, this match simply doesn’t hold up to 2017’s standards in his opinion. He’d give the match a generous 3/5 grade based on a 1992 scale, but on today’s scale, 2.5 would probably be more accurate. Bauer agrees, grading the match 2.5/5.
That sums up this week’s episode of The Steve Austin Show. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya next week for another recap!