WWE Never Say Never: Reviving War Games Can Sell WWE Network Subscriptions

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WWE Never Say Never: Reviving War Games Can Sell WWE Network Subscriptions
Credit: WWE.com

Gang warfare is at the heart of any wrestling-boom period. The midcard in the Attitude Era was carried by a rivalry between the Nation of Domination and Degeneration-X.

When Hulk Hogan dominated the original golden age of wrestling in the 80s, Bobby Heenan and members of his so-called family of wrestlers were presented as the only credible threats to Hogan’s throne.

The NWA territory, later rechristened as WCW, was carried by the heritage of Ric Flair and the Four Horsemen. This main event stable did all it could to keep the heavyweight championship on Flair while piling up singles and tag team gold of its own.

The once-prestigious tradition of Survivor Series was borne out of the four-on-four tag team match. This either meant a Hart Family reunion at Survivor Series 1994, or a pair of tag teams that collaborated to form a temporary makeshift stable.

Wrestling is best when a promotion is hitting on all cylinders from singles, to tag team, to women and, yes, stables.

Raw went off the air Monday with a reunion of Evolution. WWE had been moving closer and closer to this reunion on television with the heel turn of Batista, and the pseudo-alliance he and former members Triple H and Randy Orton had formed to stop Daniel Bryan.

Now, officially branded as a unit, Evolution’s goals have shifted to stopping the Shield—arguably the WWE's top faction. I say arguably due to the rise of the Wyatt Family. They own two victories over The Shield, and their leader Bray Wyatt is currently embroiled in a feud with top star John Cena.

Again, stables are a good thing.

The gang warfare between Shield and Evolution isn't forced. It has been afforded a main-event slot on Raw through the past two weeks.

During a scrum last week on Raw, WWE COO Triple H was heard saying “don’t let this degenerate into a war.”

Subsequent tweets between Triple H and the Shield have also been sure to make mention of war. Recently, Reigns tweeted to Triple H “Kings don't win wars, Soldiers do. Watch your back Hunter because no one else will. #FallofTheKing.”

Although unlikely, WWE could be hinting toward its first-ever War Games match at the gimmick-heavy Extreme Rules.

Commencing at Fall Brawl, War Games was the WCW’s gimmicked version of Survivor Series. Two teams competed in two rings enclosed by two steel cages.

War Games was the precursor to Survivor Series and, overbooked as it sounds, it worked over a decade. The match seemed to create the perfect setting to contain gang warfare so it didn't end in an arena burnt to the ground.

According to F4WOnline (via PWMania), the idea of War Games has been broached several times, with Vince McMahon repeatedly dismissing it, likely because it wasn't his brainchild.

Triple H, credited with creating the Elimination Chamber, clearly borrowed heavily from War Games en route to setting up the Chamber.

In fact, maybe all the concept needs is a new name. Calling it War Games seems like it would be an admission of defeat in the territorial mind of Vince McMahon. But the Extreme Chamber can be passed off as original.

Unfortunately, nostalgia sells subscriptions.

With WWE’s stock taking a hit following the release of WWE Network’s subscription figures, WWE needs to make a push to draw more viewers to its make-or-break project.

Reviving War Games gives WWE an excuse to promote the Network, urging its fans to go back and relive (or discover) some of the greatest War Games of all time.

With Triple H’s influence increasing within the company, the return of Evolution and a Network in need of more subscribers, WWE would be wise to play the War Games.

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