WarGames is coming to Survivor Series.
WWE chief content officer Paul “Triple H” Levesque revealed the WCW-originated concept will make its Survivor Series debut this year, replacing the traditional 5-on-5 Survivor Series match concept.
“We’ll have a men’s WarGames match and a women’s WarGames match. The tradition of the Survivor Series has ebbed and flowed and changed slightly over time, but this will be similar to that,” Levesque told David Shoemaker and Oliver Lee Bateman of The Ringer. “This will not be Raw versus SmackDown. It will be much more story-line driven. I still look at it as a traditional component to Survivor Series in there because it’s large teams of people competing. We just upped the ante a little bit with WarGames and made it evolve.”
WarGames features teams competing in an elimination 5-on-5 match, featuring two rings side-by-side and covered by a massive steel cage.
Dusty Rhodes came up with the concept in 1987 after watching Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. It debuted as part of Jim Crockett Promotions and then became a staple for WCW, becoming one of the most iconic match types in wrestling history. The 1991 and 1992 WarGames matches are among the best cage matches of all time.
The concept vanished from wrestling when WCW sold to WWE until Levesque brought it back in 2017 while running NXT. Eight WarGames matches have been held in NXT since its return, all of which received positive feedback from fans.
With Levesque now taking over WWE's creative direction from Vince McMahon, it appears he's determined to bring the WarGames revival to pro wrestling's biggest stage.
“Survivor Series has been an amazing event for 36 years. And it needs to evolve a little bit and this year seemed like the right time to do it,” Levesque said. “We’re going to go to the TD Garden in Boston on the 26th, and it’s already about as close as you get [to] sold out without us [announcing the WarGames matches]. But you know, this is about serving our fans. I wanna give them everything they can have.”
Recent Survivor Series iterations were fraught with largely bland creative decisions, featuring matches that pitted SmackDown vs. Raw with little-to-no stakes. Making matters worse, the WWE draft often came in the weeks leading up to Survivor Series, leaving performers fighting against the brand they were just representing on television not long ago. Too often, it felt like filler programming, with even stellar matches falling flat due to the lack of stakes.
That should not be a problem for the 2022 Premium Live Event, with Levesque eschewing the red vs. blue pattern to create storyline-driven matches.
The Bloodline seems like a mortal lock for the men's WarGames match after adding Solo Sikoa to the fold at Clash at the Castle. Logic would dictate a group of wrestlers wronged by The Bloodline—Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens and Matt Riddle being among the shortlist of potential candidates—taking them on in an all-out blood feud.
The women's match will likely feature Damage CTRL, the new stable featuring Bayley, IYO SKY and Dakota Kai, and a pair of partners taking on a group that includes Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss and Asuka. The groups put together a well-received six-woman tag at Clash at the Castle, and settling their feud inside WarGames would make storyline sense.
Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah could round up the face side of the equation after losing the women's tag team championships to Sky and Kai.
Regardless, Survivor Series is shaping up to be a must-watch event for the first time in a long time.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).