WCW World War 3

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World War 3 was an annual professional wrestling pay-per-view event produced by World Championship Wrestling (WCW). The pay-per-view's title also was the name of its signature match, a three-ring, sixty-man battle royal. The event took place every November from 1995 until 1998. Like the Royal Rumble, the World War 3 match was held at the event that shared its name. The first two World War 3 events were held at the Norfolk Scope and the last two were held at The Palace of Auburn Hills. In 1999, it was replaced by Mayhem.

Rules[edit]

The rules for a World War 3 match were similar to the rules for a Royal Rumble match. There were two major differences. Unlike the Royal Rumble, World War 3 was conducted as a traditional battle royal, meaning that all sixty wrestlers involved started the match at the same time. Since the match employed three separate wrestling rings, this meant that the sixty men would have to be divided into thirds and twenty men began the match in each ring.

The rules for the World War 3 match were:

  • All sixty men were randomly assigned a specific ring before the match began.
  • The match began with all sixty men, in three rings, when the bell rings. Each ring was assigned a number. From left-to-right on the TV screen ring #1 was on the left, ring #2 was the center ring and ring #3 was on the right.
  • Originally, in order to be eliminated from the match a wrestler had to be thrown over the top rope and have both feet touch the floor. This rule was amended in 1997 to allow for eliminations if a person leaves the ring in any way. In 1998 the rule was amended again to allow the counting of pinfalls and submissions for eliminations.
  • When 10 men remained in ring #1 or ring #3 they moved to ring #2 and the match continued. This rule was amended in 1997 so that the competitors had to move to the central ring once forty men had been eliminated.
  • The last man standing in the ring was declared the winner.

The inaugural World War 3 match was contested for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship, which had been stripped from The Giant due to the outcome of his match with Hulk Hogan at Halloween Havoc in October 1995. In subsequent years the winner of the match became the #1 contender to the World Heavyweight Championship. Initially the winner got to pick which pay-per-view he would face the champion at, but this changed for the 1997 and 1998 matches to a set pay-per-view.

Date discrepancy on VHS packaging[edit]

WCW released the World War 3 events on home video the following year, with the packaging for the first three releases reflecting the year that the video was released and not the year that the actual event took place, e.g. World War 3 1995 was released on VHS as World War 3 '96. The cover for the 1999 release of the final 1998 event did not show a date.

1995[edit]

World War 3 1995
VHS cover featuring Sting and various WCW wrestlers. Cover states "'96" as per release date.
Information
Promotion World Championship Wrestling
Date November 26, 1995
Attendance 12,000
Venue Norfolk Scope
City Norfolk, Virginia
Pay-per-view chronology
Halloween Havoc 1995 World War 3 1995 Starrcade 1995

World War 3 1995 took place on November 26, 1995 from the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia.

# Matches Stipulations Times
1 Johnny B. Badd (c) defeated Diamond Dallas Page (with The Diamond Doll) Singles match for the WCW World Television Championship 12:35
2 Big Bubba Rogers defeated Jim Duggan Taped Fist match 10:08
3 Bull Nakano and Akira Hokuto (with Sonny Onoo) defeated Mayumi Ozaki and Cutie Suzuki Women's Tag team match 9:16
4 Kensuke Sasaki (c) (with Sonny Onoo) defeated Chris Benoit Singles match for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship 10:00
5 Lex Luger defeated Randy Savage Singles match 5:28
6 Sting defeated Ric Flair Singles match 14:30
7 Randy Savage won after Hulk Hogan was considered to have been eliminated from the match^ WCW World War 3 (60 Man Battle Royal in Three Rings) for the vacant WCW World Heavyweight Championship 29:40
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

^ Other competitors in the WCW World War 3: Scott Armstrong, Steve Armstrong, Arn Anderson, Johnny B. Badd, Marcus Bagwell, Chris Benoit, Big Train Bart, Bunkhouse Buck, Cobra, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Bobby Eaton, Ric Flair, The Giant, Eddy Guerrero, Mr. JL, Chris Kanyon, Brian Knobs, Kurasawa, Lex Luger, Joey Maggs, Meng, Hugh Morrus, Max Muscle, Scott Norton, One Man Gang, Paul Orndorff, Diamond Dallas Page, Sgt.Buddy Lee Parker, Brian Pillman, Sgt. Craig Pittman, Stevie Ray, Lord Steven Regal, Scotty Riggs, Road Warrior Hawk, Big Bubba Rogers, Jerry Sags, Ricky Santana, Kensuke Sasaki, Shark, Fidel Sierra, Dick Slater, Mark Starr, Sting, Dave Sullivan, The Taskmaster, Super Assassin #1 and #2, Booker T, Squire David Taylor, Bobby Walker, VK Wallstreet, Pez Whatley, Mike Winner, Alex Wright, James Earl Wright, The Yeti, and The Zodiac.

NOTE: Savage was declared the winner of the World War 3 match although Hogan was never officially eliminated, having been pulled out of the ring by The Giant. Referee Randy Anderson did not see it, but declared Hogan eliminated after seeing him on the floor.

1996[edit]

World War 3 1996
VHS cover featuring Lex Luger and Masahiro Chono. Cover states "1997" as per release date.
Information
Promotion World Championship Wrestling
Date November 24, 1996
Attendance 10,314
Venue Norfolk Scope
City Norfolk, Virginia
Pay-per-view chronology
Halloween Havoc 1996 World War 3 1996 Starrcade 1996

World War 3 1996 took place on November 24, 1996 from the Norfolk Scope in Norfolk, Virginia.

# Matches Stipulations Times
1 The Ultimate Dragon (c) (with Sonny Onoo) defeated Rey Mysterio, Jr. Singles match for the J-Crown Championship 13:48
2 Chris Jericho defeated Nick Patrick Singles match, Jericho had one arm tied behind his back 8:02
3 The Giant defeated Jeff Jarrett Singles match 6:05
4 Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray) (with Sister Sherri) defeated the Amazing French-Canadians (Jacques Rougeau and Carl Ouellet) (with Colonel Robert Parker) Tag team match 9:14
5 Sister Sherri defeated Colonel Robert Parker by count out Inter-gender singles match 1:30
6 Dean Malenko (c) defeated Psychosis Singles match for the WCW Cruiserweight Championship 14:33
7 The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall) (c) defeated Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian) (with Jimmy Hart) and The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobs and Jerry Sags) Triple Threat tag team match for the WCW World Tag Team Championship 16:08
8 The Giant won by last eliminating Lex Luger to earn a WCW World Heavyweight Championship title shot ^ WCW World War 3 (60 Man Battle Royal in Three Rings) 28:21
(c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match

^ Other competitors in the WCW World War 3: Arn Anderson, Marcus Bagwell, The Barbarian, Chris Benoit, Big Bubba, Jack Boot, Bunkhouse Buck, Ciclope, Disco Inferno, Jim Duggan, Bobby Eaton, Mike Enos, Galaxy, Joe Gomez, Jimmy Del Ray, Johnny Grunge, Juventud Guerrera, Eddy Guerrero, Scott Hall, Prince Iaukea, Ice Train, Mr. JL, Jeff Jarrett, Chris Jericho, Kenny Kaos, Konnan, Lex Luger, Dean Malenko, Steve McMichael, Meng, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Hugh Morrus, Kevin Nash, Scott Norton, Carl Ouellet, Diamond Dallas Page, La Parka, Sgt. Craig Pittman, Jim Powers, Robbie Rage, Stevie Ray, Lord Steven Regal, The Renegade, Scotty Riggs, Roadblock, Jacques Rougeau, Tony Rumble, Mark Starr, Rick Steiner, Ron Studd, The Taskmaster, Syxx, Booker T, Squire David Taylor, Último Dragón, Villano IV, Michael Wallstreet, Pez Whatley and Alex Wright.

Before they even got in the ring for WW3, the Four Horsemen and the Dungeon of Doom battled outside of Ring #3, with Benoit, Sullivan (Taskmaster) and Big Bubba battling into the crowd. In the ensuing commotion WCW television announcer Lee Marshall (working the ring with Larry Zybysko), was knocked down and legitimately kicked to the head and chest by the Dungeon's Faces of Fear (The Barbarian and Meng) while lying on the floor and could be heard yelling "What the heck is going on out here?". After the fight moved back toward the locker room, Marshall managed to get himself up and, after some difficulty (and questioning why former wrestler Zybysko didn't come to his aid), finished commentating the match from his designated announcing position.[1][2]

1997[edit]

World War 3 1997
VHS cover featuring the nWo. Cover states "1998" as per release date.
Information
Promotion World Championship Wrestling
Date November 23, 1997
Attendance 17,128
Venue The Palace of Auburn Hills
City Auburn Hills, Michigan
Pay-per-view chronology
Halloween Havoc 1997 World War 3 1997 Starrcade 1997

World War 3 1997 took place on November 23, 1997 from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.

1998[edit]

World War 3 (1998)
VHS cover featuring Bret Hart and Diamond Dallas Page, who competed in the main event.
Information
Promotion World Championship Wrestling
Date November 22, 1998
Attendance 17,670
Venue The Palace of Auburn Hills
City Auburn Hills, Michigan
Pay-per-view chronology
Halloween Havoc (1998) World War 3 (1998) Starrcade (1998)

World War 3 1998 took place on November 22, 1998 from The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Michigan.

Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.


See also[edit]

References[edit]