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Rock Star Gary reflects on…WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

So after reading your suggestions and making the Mello Yello move from 1993 WWF to 1993 WCW I offer a hopefully more readable review of one of WCW’s delicious bites from 1993.

Live from New Orleans, LA

Airdate: October 24, 1993

Attendance: 6,000

Hosted by Tony Schiavone and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

The opening sequence begins with children trick-or-treating.
“Dracula” wants to pick the next house much to his friends’ dismay. He points
toward a mansion behind a steel gate. At the same time a man’s hand is shown
awaiting his visitors. Upon their entrance the steel gate closes behind them
frightening the other children.  “Dracula” continues onward and rings the
doorbell which rings as a high-pitch squeal. Obviously they’re taken aback by
that.

The door opens and Tony Schiavone answers. He offers the
children some cookies. “Dracula” obnoxiously tells Tony that he wants to see
something scary. He offers them a bloody Sid with a pair of scissors! Oh wait,
that happened AFTER this show in England. Alternatively he offers “Spin the
Wheel, Make the Deal” for the Vader-Cactus Jack main event. Still dissatisfied
“Dracula” asks for something even scarier. Tony calls his wager, peels back his
mask, and transforms into a hideous monster. The children try to escape, but
the door is locked. Suddenly the door opens and the wheel appears.

With the exception of Tony’s horrendous acting this wasn’t
that bad. It was actually pretty good according to WCW’s mini-movie standards.

Inside the arena Eric Bischoff welcomes us to the show
dressed as General George Custer. Tony disguises himself as “Jesse Ventura” as
Jesse wears an old doctor’s costume complete with mask. He informs Tony that he
is “Bourbon Street’s #1 gynecologist.” He even pulls the thermometer trick on
him. This show is off to an ominous start.

Match 1: The
Shockmaster, Ice Train, and Charlie Norris versus Harlem Heat and the Equalizer

Highlights:

·        
For those who are unfamiliar the members of Harlem
Heat used to be named Kane and Kole instead of Booker T (Kole) and Stevie Ray
(Kane).
·        
Additionally Charlie Norris was WCW’s awful
version of the Native American stereotype in response to Tatanka in the WWF.
·        
Tony informed us that Too Cold Scorpio and
Marcus Alexander Bagwell won the tag team titles “last night.” Considering the schedule
for the infamous Disney tapings in July this acted as a swerve to smart fans
back in 1993.
·        
Meanwhile in the early portion of the match Ice
Train popped the crowd with his power maneuvers.
·        
In an effort to continue to humiliate the Shockmaster
gimmick Jesse buried him on commentary.
·        
Tony stated that “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff
will substitute for the injured Yoshi Kwan later in the show.
·        
The crowd chanted Tag Team’s “Whoomp There It
Is.”
·        
Booker T, er, I mean Kole really showed that
he’s the cream of the crop in this match.
·        
Shockmaster applied the bear hug on Kole and
slammed him for the pin.

 

Rating: ½*

Summary: This
match was the drizzling shits. At least Booker T looked good in spite of his eating
the pin.

After the match Shockmaster and the Equalizer “brawl” in the
ring. I’m sure this entertained the 300 or so fans that occupied the average
attendance at house shows during this time.

Bischoff interviews the second referee for the Rude- Flair
match–Terry Taylor. He’s going to call it “right down the middle.”

Match 2: Ricky “The
Dragon” Steamboat versus “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff (w/ the Assassin)

Highlights:

·        
The Assassin was Joe Hamilton, father to WCW
referee Nick Patrick.
·        
Not so ironically Patrick was the referee for this
bout.
·        
Steamboat sold everything like death, even a
slam on the ramp.
·        
He attempted a cross-body block from the ramp
into the ring, but Orndorff evaded him.
·        
While Orndorff worked on Steamboat’s back Ricky
concentrated on working on Paul’s arm.
·        
Outside the ring Orndorff launched Steamboat
over the steel railing.
·        
Top rope elbow to Steamboat’s head from
Orndorff.
·        
After Steamboat tossed him onto the ramp he
delivered a chop to the head from the top rope.
·        
Running atomic drop by Steamboat sent Orndorff
over the top rope back into the ring.
·        
Steamboat gave Orndorff a flying body press from
the top rope, but the Assassin occupied the referee’s attention nullifying the
pin attempt.
·        
Aggressively Steamboat pushed Patrick out of the
way but went over the top rope when Orndorff lowered it.
·        
The Assassin loaded the mask and head butted
Steamboat in the back of the head knocking him out.
·        
Orndorff won by countout.

 

Rating: ***

Summary: Countout
finish aside this match was a hard fought battle with some good work rate. I
truly enjoy Steamboat’s thirst for a pin attempt several times during a match
as it gives a sense of realism.

Tony and Jesse discuss the Big Gold Belt and WCW’s upcoming
European tour. I bet Arn Anderson and Sid Vicious regret going on that tour.
According to Tony the WCW International Board of Directors recognize Rude’s
title as a World title.

Let me add something here: Back in July WCW taped months of
matches for their Worldwide syndicated program basically giving away the
results of title changes to the members of the audience. The NWA got wind of
this and was none too pleased with the complete breach of kayfabe surrounding
their prestigious title. Consequently WCW withdrew from the NWA on September 1,
1993. Furthermore, the breach of kayfabe was exposed in an article in the
Charlotte Business Journal according to the history of WWE website hence
notifying its readers of the result of a match at an upcoming PPV event. Yikes!

Why WCW decided to keep the Big Gold Belt and recognize it
as a World title is beyond comprehension. After all once they decided to leave
the NWA, Vader’s status as the WCW champion should have skyrocketed. On the
contrary they have two World titles confusing the audience and devaluing the
WCW title altogether.

Match 3 for the World
Television title: Lord Steven Regal (champion w/ Sir William) versus “The
British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith

Highlights:

·        
Michael Buffer performed the introductions and
calls it the “Battle of Britain.”
·        
To DBS’ credit he was able to go counter for
counter against the wily Regal here.
·        
DBS applied a Mexican surfboard to Regal.
·        
Rolling senton by Regal.
·        
European uppercut/high knee combination by
Regal.
·        
DBS gave Regal a clothesline and a vertical
suplex.
·        
Upon his attempt at a powerslam Regal’s feet
knocked Sir William off the apron.
·        
DBS hit the powerslam, but Regal kicked out at
2.
·        
In the final seconds DBS gave Regal a
piledriver, but time ran out before referee Randy Anderson could count the
pinfall.
·        
Time-limit draw.

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Obviously Regal was the ring general here
based upon the numerous submission and mat-based styles contained within the
match. In spite of the close call draw for the TV title DBS had been drawing
recently as a WCW World title contender. In fact, on the WCW European tour DBS
performed in the main event for the WCW title against Vader numerous times.

Time to spin the wheel! Vader
spins it and it lands on…                      

Steel cage match? No.

Barbed wire match? Nope.

Coal Miner’s Glove match? Nah uh,
not this year.

Texas Death match? Yes!

Match 4 for the US
title: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes (champion) versus “Stunning” Steve Austin

Highlights:

·        
Extremely prolific sign at ringside claimed
“Stunning” Steve Austin as the wrestler of the 90s. If only WCW had listened.
·        
Continuing the introductions to title matches only
Buffer did the honors.
·        
At 261 pounds he was “The Natural.” Since he’s
currently 232 pounds can we refer to him as “The Natural Light?”
·        
In lieu of a buzz or crew cut Austin wore the
high and tight hairstyle here. 2 years later he wouldn’t have enough hair to do
so.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Austin followed by a blind
charge; however, Rhodes evaded him, and Austin tumbled over the top turnbuckle
to the floor “injuring” his knee.
·        
Rhodes seized the opportunity when Austin
re-entered the ring.
·        
As Rhodes went for the bulldog Austin caught him
and crotched him on the top rope.
·        
After a double leg pickup Austin pinned Rhodes
with his feet on the ropes, but referee Nick Patrick instructed Rhodes to
continue the match.
·        
Thinking he had the victory Austin went to the
announcer’s table to get the belt but got rolled up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary:  Without question I have to deduct a
half-point for that finish. Although Austin getting pinned was the right finish,
a lame distraction finish wasn’t the right decision. Perhaps Austin can find
something down the road to get an edge against Dustin. Stay tuned!

After the match Austin decimates Rhodes with a belt shot to
the head busting him open. Now both men have a reason to face each other in the
coming weeks.

WCW Battlebowl 1993 will be on November 20! Its rant has
already been scheduled.

Match 5 for the WCW
World Tag Team titles: Marcus Alexander Bagwell & Too Cold Scorpio
(champions w/ Teddy Long) versus The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt)

Highlights:

·        
Back on October 9 Bagwell and Scorpio upset the
champs in a non-title bout on WCW Saturday Night (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCamUmKLVCs).
The rematch was set for October 23 where they scored another upset and won the
titles (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sa7nHegv8LY).
·        
Buffer announced Missy Hyatt as the Nasty Boys’
escort. Insert your own joke here.
·        
Before the match Bagwell planted Hyatt with a
liplock. Tastes like mackerel, or so I’ve heard.
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp, there it is!”
·        
Nasty Boys missed a double boot then Bagwell
dropkicked them. They missed again and Scorpio gave both men a flying body press.
·        
Plancha by Scorpio with the assist of Bagwell.
·        
Bagwell took a long drop to the floor courtesy
of a Nasty Boys’ double-team.
·        
Long jumped on the apron wearing a black bandana
with a white X.
·        
Meanwhile Saggs held Bagwell so that Missy could
slap the taste out of his mouth.
·        
False tag so referee Randy Anderson escorted
Scorpio out.
·        
Nasty Boys missed their patented slingshot
avalanche.
·        
Hot tag to Scorpio led to a leg lariat to
Knobbs.
·        
A Scorpio dropkick put Knobbs down then a leg
lariat put Saggs down.
·        
Moonsault by Scorpio.
·        
Missy got on the apron, but Long tried to pull
her down.
·        
Saggs knocked Long off the apron, but Bagwell
rammed Missy and Saggs’ heads together.
·        
Scorpio hit the 450 splash, but Saggs nailed
Scorpio with a boot.
·        
Knobbs made the cover, and we have new
champions!

 

Rating: ***

Summary:  Unfortunately the end result was a given
because the taping schedule would not be denied. Regardless, to say that
Scorpio and Bagwell carried the Nasty Boys here should go without saying.

Bischoff interviews Sid with Colonel Rob Parker. Sid refers
to himself as “Psycho Sid.” Truer words were never spoken two nights later.

Match 6: Sid Vicious
(w/ Colonel Rob Parker) versus Sting

Highlights:

·        
This match determined who the franchise of WCW
was.
·        
After Sting clotheslined Sid on the apron he
suplexed him back in the hard way.
·        
They brawled into the crowd. Wait! Was this 1993
or 1999?
·        
Back in the ring Sting gave Sid a top rope
clothesline.
·        
After the Colonel distracted Sting Sid
chokeslams him.
·        
As Sid occupied the referee the Colonel choked
Sting with his handkerchief.
·        
Funny bit where Sid not only picked up a
CUSHIONED chair but also hit Sting with the cushion!
·        
Sid used the steel railing to clothesline him.
·        
Powerslam by Sid followed by a bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell but got caught with a boot
to the midsection.
·        
Sid with a second bear hug.
·        
Sting rang his bell again, caught the foot this
time, and layed in a beating.
·        
Stinger splash!
·        
A second Stinger splash!
·        
The Colonel got nailed off the apron.
·        
Mistakenly the Colonel grabbed Sid’s foot rather
than Sting’s.
·        
Sid pointed out the error and lifted him onto
the apron.
·        
Sting rolled Sid up for the pin.

 

Rating: **1/2

Summary: Nothing
spectacular, but is there dissention between the Colonel and Sid?

After the match Sid begrudgingly forgives the Colonel.

Back in the locker room Vader boxes Harley Race’s hands.
Meanwhile Cactus Jack meditates with his bag and yells out “You can’t hurt
Cactus Jack!”

Match 7 for the WCW
International World title: “Ravishing” Rick Rude (champion) versus “Nature Boy”
Ric Flair (w/ Fifi)

Highlights:

·        
The crowd erupted when the “Nature Boy” and Fifi
make their way to the ring.
·        
Buffer rumbled.
·        
Second referee Taylor was positioned on the
floor.
·        
Rude climbed the top turnbuckle and missed the
knee drop.
·        
Flair with the knee crusher followed by the figure
four! YES!
·        
Tag Team back again! “Whoomp There it is!”
·        
Rude grabbed the ropes to break the hold.
·        
Flair grabbed the ankle and rammed the knee into
the post.
·        
Taylor did nothing to stop it, so Jesse
complained about it.
·        
After Rude tossed Flair between the ropes to the
floor Flair re-entered via sunset flip.
·        
Rude dropped to his knees and held the ropes.
Taylor put a stop to it immediately.
·        
Flair’s high cross body sent both men to the
floor. Rude got the worst of it.
·        
Flair went to work on Rude outside the ring. Again
Taylor did a piss poor job of stopping him so Jesse ranted and raved about it
some more. Funny stuff.
·        
Flair with a forearm from the top rope to the
floor! Wow!
·        
Again Flair tried the forearm from the top rope,
but Rude caught him in the midsection.
·        
Rude tried to nail Flair with a chair, but
Taylor stole it from him.
·        
Rude made Flair taste the steel. Needs Tabasco.
·        
Rude with a backbreaker then taunted Fifi.
·        
Rude hit the forearm from the top rope but hurt
his knee further.
·        
Flair flip in the corner caught the cameraman
and a clothesline from Rude.
·        
Sleeperhold by Flair.
·        
Rude again climbed to the top rope but jumped
over Flair.
·        
Flair hit the Rude Awakening!
·        
Backslide by Flair got a 2 count.
·        
Flair came off the top rope but ate boot.
·        
Double reversal on a cross-corner whip knocked
Randy Anderson out of the ring.
·        
Rude clothesline received no count; hence,
Taylor entered the ring.
·        
Flair knocked Rude into Taylor.
·        
Rude pulled out the brass knuckles, but Flair
ducked and delivered a belly-to-back suplex.
·        
The knuckles fell off Rude’s hand, and Flair
retrieved it despite a crew member’s interference.
·        
Flair knocked Rude silly with the brass
knuckles.
·        
Taylor counted 2, but Anderson stopped the count
and raised Rude’s hand.
·        
Flair lost by disqualification.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Excellent match! It was way too soon for
Rude to lose the belt. He and Flair had good chemistry and told a great story.

After the match Flair grabs the title belt and holds it
high. In the meantime Rude goes after Fifi. He carries her down the ramp until
Flair catches him from behind to rescue her. Flair tries to slap the figure
four on Rude on the ramp, but the referees stop him.

Tony and Jesse discuss the rules of the Texas Death match:

1.       No
disqualification
2.       Falls
don’t count. That means a pinfall does not decide the match.
3.       30
second rest period between falls.
4.       Falls
occur anywhere in the building.
5.       Match
continues until one man can’t get to his feet before the 10 count.

Match 8 Texas Death:
Big Van Vader (w/ Harley Race) versus Cactus Jack

Highlights:

·        
Back on April 17 Cactus Jack upset Vader by
countout. Vader asked for a rematch for the following week. During the match
Vader powerbombed Jack on the concrete knocking him out of action until
September (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VN0kM0aKJk).
·        
A series of vignettes were filmed by WCW
searching for Cactus Jack. To say that they were terrible theater is an insult
to the term theater. Amnesia and a little bag were used as plot devices, but
the story was utter tripe. Hopefully this match delivers to cover for it.
·        
Jack jumped Vader on the ramp to begin the
match.
·        
As Vader punched Jack he removed the head gear.
·        
One punch too many hit post.
·        
Jack used a chair.
·        
Moments later, Jack received a camera from a fan
and nailed Vader with it.
·        
Unprotected chair shot to the head by Jack.
·        
Vicious clothesline by Vader.
·        
Tony informed us that the WCW title was not on
the line.
·        
Jack is busted open.
·        
Jack with a belly-to-back suplex on the ramp.
·        
Race lumbered over with a chair, but Jack caught
him.
·        
Protected chair shot from Jack.
·        
Chair to the back by Jack in the graveyard.
·        
They rolled into the grave marked for Vader.
·        
Jack emerged and his eye looked grotesque.
·        
Soon after Vader emerged and was busted wide
open as well.
·        
Running clothesline put Vader down for 3.
·        
30 second rest period.
·        
As Vader made it to his feet Jack hit him with…a
cactus!
·        
Vader fell to the floor, and Jack hit him with
an elbow drop for another 3 count.
·        
30 second rest period and Vader made it to his
feet.
·        
Jack threw a wooden table into the ring.
·        
Cross-corner whip by Vader reversed by Jack into
the table. Only got a 2 count.
·        
In a loud and sick thump Jack with a sunset flip
from the apron to the floor.
·        
Vader nailed him with the legs of a cushioned
chair.
·        
Race was shown with a taser. So that’s where
Scott Hall got it!
·        
After a slam Vader climbed to the top
turnbuckle, HIT THE MOONSAULT, and pinned Jack.
·        
After the rest period Vader threw Jack onto the
ramp.
·        
Jack jumped on Vader’s back, but Vader fell back
with a very loud SPLAT! Ouch!
·        
Vader with a semi-protected chair shot followed
by a DDT onto the chair.
·        
Trainers checked on Jack, but Vader chased them
off.
·        
After clearing debris Vader pinned Jack.
·        
During the 30 second rest period Race grabbed
the taser.
·        
Jack then DDTs Vader on the chair.
·        
Both men were down. As Jack rose to his feet
Race shocked him with the taser!
·        
Vader got up before the count of 10 and was
declared the winner.

 

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  This match serves as an excellent precursor
to what ECW became in the mid- to late-90s. Even though it was a great bloody
brawl what was the point of Vader’s victory here? Jack had been hospitalized,
put through the ringer with the WCW mini-movies, and then lost the blow-off match?

After the match Jack grabs Race and DDTs him on the chair on
the ramp. Small victory for Jack there.

Conclusion:  Minus the opener
each match hovered around 3 stars. To me that’s a great show. The main event
made Cactus into a star. Unfortunately it would take another five years before
anyone put the World title on him, but that’s neither here nor there. Flair
made Rude look great in the semi-main event. Rude’s definitely world champion
caliber in spite of the “title” he held here. Sid’s loss meant more here than
Sting’s victory due to the scissors incident in Blackburn, England two days
afterward. The Nasty Boys’ victory had to happen. There was no other way around
it due to the taping cycle. Austin made Rhodes look good in their match and
hopefully subsequent matches. Bulldog would get opportunities against both
Vader and Regal while on tour in Europe so the time-limit draw didn’t hurt him.
The match between Steamboat and Orndorff was a house show dream match. It’s a crying
shame that WCW was barely drawing flies at their shows in 1993. I blame the
promotion of the events rather than the talent as I lived in the Southeast
during this time and didn’t hear much if any local promotion of WCW.

Anyways, find three hours and
watch this spectacle. I’m hoping the Clash and Battlebowl, which are next on my
plate, are this good.
For more information on me please visit http://rockstargary.com.