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May 10, 2021 Observer Newesletter: AEW Blood & Guts, NJPW Wrestling Dontaku recaps


For the first time in the history of the promotion, AEW placed first on cable with a combined live and taped Dynamite show on 5/5 built around “Blood and Guts,” essentially the closest thing in decades to the original War Games concept that Dusty Rhodes invented in 1987.

Others have done War Games and WWE, which for years wouldn’t do it specifically because it was a WCW idea, brought it back in NXT with some modern changes, the key being allowing pinfalls, and getting rid of the roof on the cage. Plus, because it was WWE, it had to be done without blood.

AEW, with its Road to show hyping the same concept that debuted on July 4, 1987, at the Omni in Atlanta, when Dusty Rhodes & Nikita Koloff & The Road Warriors & Paul Ellering faced The Four Horseman of Ric Flair & Arn Anderson & Tully Blanchard & Barry Windham & J.J. Dillon. AEW brought back the roof, because they were going to do the traditional version (although they did shave time in the first two segments). To those who liked tradition, the roof made it authentic. The roof also eliminates jumps off the top of the cage, but more importantly, the lack of the roof is safer. In the first War Games, J.J. Dillon’s in-ring career ended when Hawk had to change the trajectory of a dive off the top rope in giving him a Doomsday Device and he fell badly. A few years later, Sid Vicious nearly broke the neck and ended the career of Brian Pillman by doing a power bomb, where he had to change the move because the roof changed the angle and Pillman came down almost on his head. Vicious later said that he was mad at Pillman because Pillman complained about his lack of selling in a match at the Meadowlands and that he in fact, intended to hurt him on purpose.

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