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‘WWE Survivor Series: WarGames’ Was a Surprisingly Fun Watch as Someone Who Grew Up in the Age of Triple H

Cody Rhodes in American Nightmare: Becoming Cody Rhodes

Color me shocked that in 2023, I willingly watched WWE Survivor Series: WarGames with my older brother when I was home for Thanksgiving and became overly invested in the storylines unfolding before me.

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I grew up in a wrestling family, with two brothers who would recreate Ric Flair’s robes and use me as a doll, power bombing me on the trampoline because they could. Wrestling as a part of my childhood whether I actually enjoyed it or not. I knew who the Four Horsemen were, and I could sing you the entrance themes of some of the most iconic wrestlers. Again, that didn’t mean I enjoyed what was happening, but I did have my favorites—but when I was old enough to not care about wrestling, I didn’t.

But after watching WarGames, did I then go on to obsessively learn everything I could about Cody Rhodes? Absolutely I did. Do I love Team Bianca? Yes I do. The two WarGames matches and the regular matches in between were thrilling and really made me excited for wrestling in a way I haven’t been in years.

It helped, I think, to learn that Triple H was now in charge of the WWE. As a child of the ’90s, there were two wrestlers that I loved the most: the Undertaker and Triple H. The Undertaker because I’m morbid and Triple H because I loved how charismatic he could be. So, what I discovered about indulging my brother by watching WarGames with him was that I do actually like watching wrestling, especially this era.

Why? Because Triple H really knows how to make engaging television, which is what WarGames ended up being, whether you had been following along with the WWE religiously (like my brother had) or you were coming into this Survivor Series match cold, like me.

What exactly is WarGames?

The set up for WarGames makes it fascinating. Two sets of cage matches frame the show as a whole, opening the night and ending it. For this night, Team Bianca vs. Damage CTRL kicked things off and we saw a Team Bianca victory, but the rules for WarGames really were what made it so much fun for me to watch.

It starts with two wrestlers in the ring, one from each team. Slowly, after breaks in the ring, one member from each team gets let into the ring, one at a time, with one team having the advantage before the teams even out again. It goes back and forth like this until both teams are fully in the ring, and the match doesn’t end until someone is pinned or someone submits.

The structure kept me on the edge of my seat. I was waiting patiently to see what Charlotte Flair brought to the fight in the first matchup, and then, in the last fight, I was waiting to see what Cody Rhodes did before Randy Orton came to save Team Cody in the end. It all made for exceptionally fun television, and while I maybe wasn’t that big of a fan of the WWE or wrestling before, it made me invested in these wrestlers, and I went on to watch American Nightmare: Becoming Cody Rhodes and learn more about wrestlers I met watching WarGames.

The WWE knows how to put on a show

Team Bianca at WWE Survivor Series: WarGames

One of the things about professional wrestling, especially when it comes to the WWE, is that often, the disbelief of it all really is like pulling teeth to me. Trying to believe that this was “real” felt hard, and I’m someone who loves to suspend my disbelief. But more than any of that, what I loved was seeing how women were embraced in the WWE.

For most of my childhood, I looked up to the men of the WWE. And we had some great guys to cheer for. Like I said, I did love Triple H and the Undertaker as wrestlers. Watching WarGames and seeing the women in the first matchup? It ruled, and then to hear my brother explaining Judgement Day and how Rhea Ripley is the unofficial leader of the team? I was invested!

All of this made me suddenly so much more interested in what the WWE was cooking up in a way that I haven’t been in years. It made me watch American Nightmare and then I was furious for what happened in the Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes Wrestlemania match, all because of WarGames.

(featured image: Peacock)

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh.

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