Rock Star Gary reflects on WCW Halloween Havoc ’91

Live from Chattanooga, TN

Airdate: October 27, 1991

Attendance:  8,900 (4,400 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone

Can Simmons capture gold in Chattanooga? Who will become the new light heavyweight champion? Also, who is the WCW Phantom? Read on!

Earlier today, Eric Bischoff supposedly stands outside the UTC Arena as Cactus Jack pulls up in a sedan with Abdullah. Next, DDP arrives with the Diamond Studd in a sports car. Afterward, Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes drive up in a red Mercedes convertible. Suddenly, the Enforcers attack Windham CRUNCHING his right hand in the door. OUCH! Rhodes then puts Windham in the passenger seat to seek medical attention.

Match 1 (Chamber of Horrors): WCW US champion Sting, the Steiners, & El Gigante versus Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, & the Diamond Studd

Highlights:

  • The objective of the match was to electrocute an opponent in an electric chair. Seriously?
  • As Cactus made his entrance, he wielded a chainsaw. Perhaps he’s a Jackyl fan.
  • Before Sting entered the cage, he and Rick Steiner brawled with Cactus and Abdullah on the ramp.
  • Meanwhile, Scott gave Studd a doctor bomb inside the cage.
  • Although Abdullah brought his kendo stick, Sting used it against him.
  • He then abused both Vader and Studd with it.
  • In an effort to give me vertigo, WCW implemented the Refer-EYE for this show. It was a mobile camera affixed to the head of referee Nick Patrick. Let’s hope that between the match and the jiggling camera that I don’t lose my lunch.
  • Regardless, a masked wrestler emerged from one of the caskets, and Scott slammed him upon it.
  • After a dropkick, Sting clotheslined Vader over the top rope to the floor. Hey, that’s a good pairing. Let’s hope they have singles matches down the road.
  • Sting then gave Vader a plancha as the Steiners delivered the Steiner DDT to Cactus.
  • While the electric chair was lowered into the ring, Vader pushed Rick onto the chair.
  • Before Rick could be electrocuted, he gave Vader a Steinerline over the top rope to the floor.
  • Sting then BONKED Cactus on the head with the wooden cover of the casket.
  • Abruptly, a pack of ghouls brought a stretcher to the cage in anticipation of the electrocuted victim.
  • Rick then rammed Cactus face-first into the cage.
  • As Scott nailed Vader with the kendo stick, Cactus was BUSTED OPEN.
  • Sting and Cactus then climbed the cage before Sting rammed Cactus into it.
  • For some unknown reason, the masked man outside the ring was handcuffed to the cage. Fans of my Monday Night War reflections should blame Owen Hart for this.
  • Nevertheless, Sting caused Cactus to flip over the top rope into the cage while Abdullah was BUSTED OPEN.
  • After Studd put Sting in the electric chair, Scott brought a chain into the ring to choke Studd.
  • When the camera focused on the lever for the chair, it was already in the ON position. HA! I try to give WCW a little leeway with certain things, but this was inexcusable.
  • Vader then slammed Rick on the wooden cover outside the ring.
  • As Sting and Abdullah fought outside the ring, Sting was BUSTED OPEN.
  • Rick then jabbed Abdullah with the kendo stick and was also BUSTED OPEN.
  • After Abdullah put Rick in the chair, Cactus climbed to the switch.
  • Rick then gave Abdullah a belly-to-belly suplex onto the chair.
  • When he strapped Abdullah to the chair, Cactus threw the switch inadvertently believing Rick was still in the chair.
  • Sting, the Steiners, and El Gigante won.

Rating: -*

Summary:  While appropriate for Halloween, this became a convoluted mess pretty quickly.

After the match, fireworks explode, and the arena lights dim. According to Schiavone, “(Abdullah’s) getting cooked!” Cactus checks on him, and Abdullah bowls him over. He then attacks the ghouls on the ramp before he and Cactus return backstage.

Speaking of backstage, Bischoff and Missy Hyatt, in their Halloween costumes, interview the now heelish Young Pistols who want their opportunity at the US tag titles and run down the Patriots.

Match 2: Big Josh & PN News versus the Creatures

Highlights:

  • For those unaware, the Creatures were portrayed by “Jumping” Joey Maggs & Johnny Rich under masks.
  • They came to the ring with music that would be used for Psicosis during the Monday Night War.
  • In case you’re wondering, Christine Valver, who won the PN News rap contest, was shown on camera.
  • Josh reversed a cross corner whip and whipped News into Creature #2.
  • Next, he gave Creature #1 an atomic drop sending him into a running body block by News.
  • Speaking of News, he delivered a dropkick and gave #1 an Irish whip followed by another running body block.
  • As Josh tagged in, he mounted the top turnbuckle, leaped from News’ shoulders, and nailed an incoming #2.
  • He then gave #1 a release German suplex, a cross corner whip, and a back drop.
  • When News tagged in, he took #1 over, gave him a cross corner whip, but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Tags were exchanged on both sides before Josh gave #2 a belly-to-belly suplex for 2.
  • After #1 tagged in, Josh delivered a crucifix powerbomb followed by a double axe handle.
  • He then hit Northern Exposure and tagged in News.
  • Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, News delivered the Broken Record.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Josh and News won.

Rating: **

Summary:  Josh was the workhorse while News overpowered the Creatures.

Match 3: Terrance Taylor (w/ Alexandra York) versus “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton

Highlights:

  • After a pair of arm drags, Eaton delivered a clothesline.
  • Taylor then tossed Eaton outside the ring, joined, and whipped Eaton back-first into the steel railing.
  • To counter a right hand, Eaton backdropped Taylor into the front row.
  • Back in the ring, Eaton nailed him for 2.
  • He then countered a hip toss with one of his own.
  • When Eaton hooked a hammerlock, Taylor countered with a jaw breaker.
  • They then fought on the ramp while Eaton delivered an atomic drop followed by a slam.
  • As Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, he hit a knee drop on the ramp.
  • Taylor then tossed Eaton out of the ring on the opposite side.
  • With Eaton on the apron, Taylor put a knee into the back causing Eaton to taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Tramstopper at the Hair of the Dog.
  • Taylor then joined and clotheslined Eaton on the floor.
  • After a cross corner whip, Taylor followed with a corner clothesline.
  • He then gave Eaton a knee drop for 2.
  • Upon tossing Eaton onto the ramp, Taylor joined him and delivered a doctor bomb.
  • He then slammed Eaton, mounted the top turnbuckle, and hit a splash for another 2.
  • From the apron, Eaton executed a sunset flip for 2.
  • Taylor then delivered another clothesline followed by a second knee drop for 2.
  • As Taylor hooked a sleeper, Eaton countered with his own jaw breaker.
  • He then attempted a splash but ate knees.
  • When Taylor attempted a Vader bomb, he too ate knees.
  • Eaton then delivered a back drop followed by the ten-punch count-along.
  • After Taylor attempted an inverted atomic drop, Eaton blocked it and gave him a vertical suplex for 2.
  • Taylor then reversed a cross corner whip, but Eaton hit a swinging neckbreaker.
  • As Eaton mounted the top turnbuckle, Taylor cost him his balance and crotched him.
  • He then joined Eaton and attempted a superplex, but Eaton blocked it and nailed him sending Taylor down to the mat.
  • From the top turnbuckle, Eaton hit the Alabama Jam.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Eaton won.

Rating: ****1/2

Summary:  This was more than likely Eaton’s best singles match to date. The Chattanooga faithful were firmly in Eaton’s favor during the match and thoroughly loved the finish.

Match 4: Jimmy Garvin (w/ Michael Hayes) versus Johnny B. Badd (w/ Teddy Long)

Highlights:

  • Hayes was “injured” as he wore his right arm in a sling as well an Atlanta Braves jacket and hat.
  • After a pair of leap frogs by Badd, Garvin won a hip toss battle sending him over the top rope to the floor.
  • Hayes then removed his arm from the sling and nailed Badd on the floor.
  • Upon Badd’s return, he received a powerslam and a forearm.
  • Badd then hit a lariat as the Chattanooga faithful chanted ” D-D-T” in support of Garvin.
  • Next, he gave Garvin a back drop.
  • Garvin then gave Badd a cross corner whip but ate boot on his follow-through.
  • After a clothesline, Badd mounted the top turnbuckle and hit a sunset flip for 2.
  • He then slammed Garvin, mounted the opposite top turnbuckle, and delivered the big elbow for another 2.
  • As he slammed Garvin again, he mounted the same top turnbuckle, leaped, but ate a shot to the midsection.
  • Badd then reversed a cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through. In fact, he flew over the top turnbuckle to the floor.
  • When Garvin brought him in the hard way, he missed an elbow drop.
  • Badd then attempted a leap frog, but a mid-ring collision occurred.
  • As Long got up on the apron to distract referee Mike Adkins, Garvin hit the DDT to a thunderous ovation. Unfortunately for him, he only earned a false count.
  • Due to the distraction by Long, Badd nailed Garvin with a left hook.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Badd won.

Rating: ***

Summary:  Better than I expected it to be as Badd had his moments.

After the match, Hayes chases Long into the ring and nails him with a left.

Backstage, Hyatt can’t locate the Phantom but intercepts Eaton who’s ready to celebrate with some pumpkin ale. As par for the course, Hyatt remains frustrated much to my delight.

Match 5 for the WCW World TV title: “Stunning“ Steve Austin (champion w/ Lady Blossom) versus the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes

Highlights:

  • Ross made my day by referring to Hyatt as “Wendy Whiner.” HA!
  • After a leap frog by Austin, Rhodes hit a lariat followed by a dropkick for 2.
  • Upon giving Rhodes a hip toss, Austin missed an elbow drop.
  • Rhodes then clotheslined Austin over the top rope to the floor. In the process, Austin tasted the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Excitington at the Honest Pint.
  • Back in the ring, Austin countered a side headlock with a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
  • Rhodes then attempted the bulldog, but Austin tossed him aside.
  • Next, Rhodes gave Austin a cross body block for 2.
  • When he made a second attempt, Austin ducked causing Rhodes to roll to the floor.
  • Austin then joined and nailed him repeatedly.
  • As Austin broke the count, Rhodes laid on the floor BUSTED OPEN.
  • Austin then rejoined and rammed Rhodes face-first into the apron.
  • Upon mounting the top turnbuckle, Austin hit a double axe handle.
  • He then delivered a gutwrench suplex for 2.
  • When Austin applied a rear chin lock, he put his feet on the ropes until referee Randy Anderson caught him.
  • Rhodes then gave Austin a cross corner whip, but Austin blocked a monkey flip.
  • After Austin delivered a lariat with a 360° sell by Rhodes, he got 2.
  • Four minutes remained in the match.
  • As a series of inside cradles got reversed, several two-counts occurred.
  • Rhodes then hit another lariat for 2.
  • On the other hand, Rhodes missed a dropkick resulting in a 2-count for Austin.
  • While Austin distracted Anderson, Blossom slapped Rhodes. How dastardly!
  • Austin then attempted a running guillotine but came up empty.
  • When Rhodes delivered an atomic drop, he hit lariat #3 for 2.
  • Rhodes then tossed Austin outside the ring, joined, and made Austin HIT THE POLE.
  • Following a right by Rhodes, Austin was also BUSTED OPEN.
  • He also tasted the steel railing again. Waiter, could you give the wrestler with the long blond hair a Ditka dog please?
  • With two minutes remaining, Rhodes gave him a second helping of the ring post.
  • Upon their return, Rhodes hit a powerslam for 2.
  • He then gave Austin the ten-punch count-along followed by a bionic elbow for another 2.
  • As one minute remained, Rhodes gave Austin another ten-punch count-along.
  • He then delivered the Flip, Flop, and Fly but couldn’t get 3.
  • As he mounted the top turnbuckle, Rhodes hit a top rope clothesline.
  • He then made a lateral press but only got 2 as time expired.
  • Time-limit draw.
  • Austin retained.

Rating: ****

Summary:  Great story told here as Rhodes tried everything in his arsenal to win, and Austin made Rhodes look incredible.

After the match, Rhodes dropkicks Austin out of the ring.

Promo airs for Starrcade ’91 LIVE on PPV on 12/29. It’s the inaugural BattleBowl: The Lethal Lottery. Are you ready?

Match 6: Oz versus Bill Kazmaier

Highlights:

  • After Oz missed a clothesline, Kazmaier didn’t.
  • Shortly after, Kazmaier reversed a cross corner whip and delivered a hip toss.
  • He then reversed a second cross corner whip but came up empty on his follow-through.
  • As Oz delivered a belly-to-back suplex, he got 2.
  • From the apron, Kazmaier skinned the cat back into the ring and clotheslined Oz again.
  • He then gave Oz a knee lift and hooked the Torture Rack.
  • When Oz submitted, Kazmaier won.

Rating: DUD

Summary:  Pure definition of a popcorn match. This was the last supershow appearance of Oz. What will become of Kevin Nash? Stay tuned!

Match 7: Van Hammer versus “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers

Highlights:

  • Hammer delivered a powerslam, gave Somers a cross corner whip, and followed with a back drop.
  • After an elbow drop, Hammer hit a leg drop.
  • He then delivered a sloppy slingshot suplex. Somewhere Tully Blanchard was crying.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Hammer won.

Rating: -**

Summary:  This guy is not ready for prime time as he either rushed or botched every move. I bet Somers called the “Playboy” asking for a reunion afterward.

Sorry, Buddy.

Prior to the next match, Pillman dedicates it to his family and fans. York and Morton then cut a promo on Pillman.

Match 8 (final for the WCW World Light Heavyweight title tournament): Richard Morton (w/ Alexandra York) versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman

Highlights:

  • After a dropkick, Pillman hit a spinning heel kick.
  • As Morton gave him a cross corner whip, Pillman floated over, ran to the opposite corner, faked out Morton, and delivered a double axe handle for 2.
  • Shortly after, Morton gave Pillman a back elbow but missed an elbow drop.
  • Pillman then leap-frogged him only to fall victim to an inverted atomic drop.
  • Next, Pillman rolled Morton up for 2.
  • Morton retaliated with a clothesline for 2.
  • After Morton missed a clothesline, Pillman didn’t.
  • Morton then delivered a belly-to-back suplex for 2.
  • When Pillman came back with an enziguri, he gave Morton a back drop.
  • A mid-ring collision then sent both wrestlers outside the ring.
  • As Pillman grabbed him, Morton made him HIT THE POLE.
  • Both wrestlers then returned to the ring while PIllman mounted the top turnbuckle.
  • After a cross body block, Pillman pinned Morton.
  • WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!

Rating: **

Summary:  This was supposed to be exponentially historical for WCW, yet Morton’s inability to leave his feet couldn’t differentiate this match much from a heavyweight match. Unlike the opener, the Refer-eye didn’t behave obnoxiously.

Match 9: The WCW Phantom versus the Z-Man

Highlights:

  • You’ll have to wait for the identity of the Phantom as he will be revealed later in the show.
  • After a clothesline, Phantom slammed Z-Man.
  • He then gave Z-Man a knee to the midsection followed by a gutbuster.
  • As Z-Man came back with a dropkick, Phantom absorbed it and hooked a hangman’s neckbreaker.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Phantom won.

Rating: ½*

Summary: Hmmm…he’s still a mystery to me.

Promo #2 for Starrcade ’91 airs.

Match 10 for the WCW World tag team titles: The Enforcers (champions) versus WCW US tag team champions the Patriots

Highlights:

  • Zbyszko hooked an abdominal stretch, but Chip countered with his own.
  • As Zbyszko escaped with a hip toss, Chip slammed him.
  • Zbyszko then attempted a swinging neckbreaker, but Chip countered with a backslide for 2.
  • Shortly after, Champion tagged in, mounted the second turnbuckle, and lowered the boom on Arn.
  • Speaking of Arn, he brought Champion in the hard way from the apron.
  • When he made a second attempt, Champion sent him flying over the top rope to the floor.
  • He then leaped from the apron and hit an axe handle.
  • After Arn attempted a piledriver on the floor, Champion countered with a back drop.
  • Chip then tossed Arn back in, and Champion hooked a bear hug.
  • As Chip distracted referee Randy Anderson, Zbyszko nailed Champion from behind. SNEAKY!
  • The Enforcers then gave Champion a cross corner whip, but Champion rebounded with a double clothesline.
  • When Zbyszko tagged in, he baited Champion to chase him.
  • He then tagged in Arn who held Champion so that Zbyszko could deliver a spinning thrust kick.
  • Again, Chip distracted Anderson so Arn tossed Champion over the top rope to the floor. Nefarious!
  • Zbyszko then made Champion taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Downtowner at the Pickle Barrel.
  • After Arn gave Champion a knee drop, Zbyszko tagged in and slammed Champion for 2.
  • Zbyszko then delivered a swinging neckbreaker for another 2.
  • As Arn tagged in, Champion gave him an atomic drop. In the process, Arn tagged out.
  • Unbeknownst to Champion, Zbyszko mounted the second turnbuckle and delivered a double axe handle.
  • He then gave Champion a backbreaker for 2.
  • When Zbyszko attempted a vertical suplex, Champion blocked it and executed one of his own.
  • Tags were exchanged on both sides, and Chip cleaned house.
  • Upon giving Arn a powerslam, Chip got 2.
  • All four wrestlers were in the ring.
  • After Chip shoulder-blocked Zbyszko to the ramp, Arn delivered a SPINEBUSTER.
  • 1-2-3.
  • The champs retained.

Rating: **

Summary: Given the short history of their reign, it was the right decision for the Enforcers to retain. Although they carried Chip and Champion well, there was only so much they could do given the limitations of the challengers.

On the ramp, Bischoff interviews Uncle Paul with Madusa. According to Uncle Paul, he’s “too controversial” and “no longer the co-host of World Championship Wrestling.” That’s actually a shoot. Going forward, he wants to use his managerial license to destroy WCW’s “heroes” beginning with Sting. As he mentions his acquisition of Madusa, he had previously requisitioned her to find someone to take Sting down. He then re-introduces the WCW Phantom.

With fervor, Uncle Paul reveals the next WCW US champion–“Ravishing” Rick Rude. Holy shit! I was wondering when and where he’d crop up. Rude reiterates Uncle Paul’s mission against WCW starting with Sting. Next, he runs down Sting and wants to become US champion.

QUICK HOT TAKE: That’s a great surprise and great acquisition for WCW.

Prior to the main event, a video featuring Simmons airs.

Match 11 for the NWA World title (2 out of 3 falls): The “Total Package” Lex Luger (champion w/ Harley Race) versus Ron Simmons (w/ the “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes)

Highlights:

Fall one:

  • Although Ric Flair had signed with the WWF, WCW hadn’t yet procured the NWA World title belt from him. Thus, when referee Nick Patrick held the World title belt overhead, the camera didn’t focus on it.
  • Simmons missed a dropkick but face-planted Luger afterward.
  • When he delivered a clothesline, Simmons followed with a powerslam.
  • He then hit a spinebuster.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Simmons led 1-0.

Fall two:

  • After the sixty-second rest period, Luger attempted a suplex, but Simmons blocked it and delivered one of his own.
  • He then gave Luger a pair of cross corner whips followed by a back drop.
  • As Luger came back with his own cross corner whip, he ate a back elbow on his follow-through.
  • Simmons then hit the bulldog for 2.
  • When Luger attempted a slam, Simmons countered with an inside cradle for another 2.
  • Luger then tossed Simmons outside the ring, but Simmons re-entered via sunset flip for yet another 2.
  • After a clothesline by Simmons, Luger used momentum to send him outside on the other side of the ring.
  • Shortly after, Luger delivered an elbow drop for 2.
  • He then reversed an Irish whip and hit his own powerslam for another 2.
  • As Simmons gave Luger a cross corner whip, he ate boot on his follow-through.
  • Luger then clotheslined him but couldn’t get 3.
  • Upon hitting a vertical suplex, Luger still couldn’t pin Simmons.
  • He then applied a rear chin lock while using the ropes. Devious!
  • When he reversed a cross corner whip, Luger came up empty on his follow-through.
  • Simmons then rolled him up for 2.
  • As he countered a hip toss with a backslide, Simmons got another 2.
  • He then came off the ropes, but Race grabbed his ankle.
  • After Simmons turned his attention to Race, Rhodes nailed Race to a thunderous reaction from the Chattanooga faithful.
  • Luger then hit a cross body block against the ropes that normally would take both wrestlers over the top rope to the floor. In this case, Race grabbed Simmons by the tights to disguise it as an over-the-top-rope move.
  • Unable to see Race’s actions, Patrick called for the bell disqualifying Simmons.
  • The match was tied 1-1.

Fall three:

  • As the fall began, Luger bled hardway under his right eye.
  • Simmons then no-sold Luger’s shots and gave him the ten-punch count-along.
  • After Luger attempted an inverted atomic drop, Simmons blocked it and clotheslined Luger for 2.
  • He then gave Luger a cross corner whip followed by a second back drop for another 2.
  • When Simmons reversed an Irish whip, he delivered an inverted atomic drop.
  • He then placed Luger atop the top turnbuckle, joined him, and hit a superplex. Woohoo!
  • Do we have a new champion?
  • 1-2-NO!
  • After another powerslam, Simmons mounted the second turnbuckle and hit a flying shoulder block.
  • As Luger sought refuge outside the ring, Simmons accompanied him and made him taste the steel railing. It must have tasted like the Hollywood at Taco Mac.
  • With Luger leaned against the ring post. Simmons charged but HIT THE POLE.
  • Back in the ring, Luger hit the piledriver.
  • 1-2-3.
  • Luger retained.

Rating: ***1/2

Summary:  Both wrestlers showed me what they can truly do when given the brass ring. Great work, gentlemen. Also, Ross’ depiction of the match was spectacular as he sold the near-falls by Simmons exceptionally.

Conclusion:  With the surprise appearance of Rude, the edge-of-your-seat thrilling match between Eaton and Taylor, the awesome Austin-Rhodes match, and the much-better-than-expected main event, I thoroughly enjoyed this show and recommend it.

As far as the buyrate is concerned, one must factor in that this show opposed a New York Giants-Washington Redskins football game and game seven of the World Series featuring the Minnesota Twins and the Ted Turner-owned Atlanta Braves.

Buyrate: 0.80

Stay tuned for WCW Clash XVII!

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