Regal Relives WCW World War 3

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November 22, 2012

One of the most popular events in WWE history is the 30-man over-the-top rope battle royal known famously as the Royal Rumble. Initially birthed in 1988, the right to face the WWE Champion at WrestleMania by winning the Royal Rumble did not come into play until 1993. In 1995, the annual WWE tradition initiated World War 3. Literally. (PHOTOS)

In 1995, WCW tried to capture the same excitement and unpredictability that made the Royal Rumble famous. However, the Atlanta-based organization decided to add their own chaotic twist to the tried-and-true formula. WCW President Eric Bischoff believed “bigger was better” and created World War 3, a 60-man battle royal that took place in three separate rings. The first year’s battle royal was for the vacant WCW Title, the years that followed were for the No. 1 contendership to the WCW Championship.

“Absolute mayhem,” is what came to WWE Superstar William Regal’s mind when he thought about World War 3. Regal, a former WCW competitor, took part in all but one of the massive battle royals that were held from 1995 to 1998.

“There were so many people, and …” said the former King of the Ring, pausing for a moment before continuing, “… I’m trying to find a redeeming quality of it, but there is none.”

A major difference between World War 3 and the Royal Rumble - aside from the amount of participants and trio of rings - was the entry of the competitors. Rather than intervals between entrants like the Royal Rumble, the 60 ring warriors battling in World War 3 would all enter the rings before the opening bell. With so many people in the rings at once, Regal believed the risks certainly outweighed the reward.

“It had to be spread out over three rings; there was no way to do it otherwise. It was a very dangerous thing to be in, so many bodies everywhere, but well worth watching from a fan’s perspective.” Regal explained.

“The best in the world could be fighting off a number of people,” he added, “but all it takes it to get pushed awkwardly or into someone else and you get injured.”

According to Regal, there was certainly a strategy at play if a competitor truly wanted to make a difference, like when the inaugural three-ring clash crowned “Macho Man” Randy Savage as the WCW Champion.

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