With League officials promising a War Games match at the Sept. 6 show in Ft. Lauderdale, MLW.com is taking a stroll down memory lane to revisit the first time MLW put on a War Games match.

Background – Extreme Horsemen vs. Funkin’ Army
Back in 2003, the Extreme Horsemen ruled Major League Wrestling. Steve Corino was the World Heavyweight Champion. C.W. Anderson and Simon Diamond were the World Tag Team Champions. Veteran Barry Windham and P.J. Walker (aka Justin Credible) provided plenty of ring experience and star power to the group.

But there was a thorn in the side of the Extreme Horsemen. That thorn went by the name of Terry Funk. For months, the Extreme Horsemen brought in bounty hunters looking to take Funk out. Finally, during the summer of 2003, the bad blood between the Extreme Horsemen and Funk (along with some of his associates) boiled over.

It would take two rings and a massive cage to settle things. It would take War Games. Funk’s team – the Funkin’ Army – consisted of Steve “Dr. Death” Williams, The Sandman, Sabu and Bill Alfonso. More on Sabu’s and Alfonso’s entry in the match later.

War Games Rules
Let’s take a look back at MLW: War Games from 2003. Since War Games matches are few and far between, let’s start with a brief look at the rules of a War Games match.

  • Generally, there are three to five members to a War Games team. Most War Games matches have only included two teams.
  • One member of each team begins the match and battle one-on-one for five minutes.
  • At two-minute intervals, a new member from one of the teams enters on an alternating basis.
  • A coin toss determines which team will have the one-man advantage during these alternating entrances.
  • Pinfalls and submissions cannot take place until all 10 men have entered the ring.
  • At that point, “The Match Beyond” begins.
  • A winner is declared when any participant on one of the teams is rendered unconscious, quits or gives in to a submission.

2003 War Games – Extreme Horsemen vs. Funkin’ Army
Anderson, Sandman Start Things Off

CW Anderson and the Sandman opened the match. The two battled viciously for five minutes, by the time the Extreme Horsemen (who won the coin toss) saw their second man enter, Anderson had already been busted open by the Sandman.

Corino Enters
World Heavyweight Champion Steve Corino was next for the Extreme Horsemen. He brings a fistful of barbed wire to the ring. Anderson and Corino work over Sandman with the barbed wire and Sandman’s own kendo stick.

Funk Enters
Terry Funk brought a steel chair to the ring and evened the odds for a couple minutes.

Diamond Enters
Simon Diamond is next in, giving the Extreme Horsmen the advantage once again. By this time, Sandman, Anderson and Corino are all wearing the crimson mask.

Dr. Death Enters
Steve Williams evens up the odds and does a fair amount of house-cleaning as the fresh man in the ring. Just prior to the next Extreme Horseman entering, Williams takes a low blow from Diamond and the Funkin’ Army is moments away from being on the short end of the numbers.

Walker Enters
Weapon of choice for Walker is a ladder. But shortly after his arrival in the ring, Funk has the ladder. He’s got it draped over his head and shoulders and is spinning in the ring, taking out both Anderson and Diamond.

Sabu Enters
Prior to Sabu’s entry, it was believed Funk only had two teammates. Dr. Death and Sandman. Jerry “The King” Lawlor was scheduled to be in the match at one point, but did not make it. Sabu was a surprise replacement and came in the ring a house afire. Sabu cleans house, but only briefly. By the time the next entrant in the match is announced, Walker is choking Sabu with his shirt.

Windham Enters
Barry Windham hits the ring and is hammering away on the Funkin’ Army. He nails the opponent team’s namesake with a piledriver and it seems as though the Extreme Horsemen are on their way to victory. After all, Funk only had four members on his team. But Sabu’s long-time manager and former referee Bill Alfonso decides he’ll be the fifth man for Funk’s team.

Alfonso Enters
With the numbers advantage looking like they might be too much for the Funkin’ Army, Bill Alfonso grabs the mic and says he “may get his ass kicked” but he’s going to join the Funkin’ Army squad. He enters the ring and the …

Match Beyond Begins
We’ve now entered Match Beyond territory. The first team to have someone submit, give up or be rendered unconscious will lose the match. It’s mayhem in the ring. Both teams have a member of the other squad in Boston Crab submission maneuvers. Sandman is trying to choke out Windham. Sabu has put Walker through a table. Alfonso is trying to survive being stomped out by Diamond.

Finally, Funk grabs his flaming branding iron. First, he gives Corino a Double Cross Ranch brand on the back, then uses the flaming branding iron to spit a fireball into the face of Corino. With the World Champion writhing in pain from the fireball, Funk puts on his family’s famous spinning toe hold. It doesn’t take long for Corino to submit, giving Terry Funk and his Funkin’ Army team the victory in the first War Games to be held in MLW.

MLW War Games Tickets
Get your tickets to MLW’s War Games event on Sept. 6 at the War Memorial Auditorium now! Tickets start at just $10 by visiting MLWGo.com.