KNOCKTober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 94

The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1994. (Sorry about the Disqus issues lately.  I really do feel like they’re doing a passive-aggressive “force everyone into the new version” thing with all the mobile browser troubles and weird false positive spam stuff.  I’m really left with little choice but to switch to 2012 on a permanent basis and hope this crap resolves itself.  So for those who hate it, sorry.  And if you’re having trouble with it, I would again suggest dropping a line on the TWITTER MACHINE to @disqushelp.)  Ladies and Gentlemen, you are about to witness history. As my more devout followers (you know who you are) know already, I protested the Hulk Hogan title reign back in 1994 by doing a total and complete boycott of WCW programming from August of 1994 until November of 1995. This boycott stood until a few months ago, as I had never seen anything from Fall Brawl 1994 through Fall Brawl 1995 until I broke down and did them both for the Fall Brawl Retro Rant series last month. And now with the Havoc series, this will mark the first time ever that I have watched Halloween Havoc 1994, although I did see the Hogan-Flair match during the All Nighter II a couple of years later. So if you wanna stand up in tribute of the moment, I’ll wait for a bit. … There, that’s enough. – Live from Detroit, Michigan. – Your hosts are Tony & Bobby – Opening match, World TV title: Johnny B. Badd v. The Honky Tonk Man. Welcome to the Friends of Hogan Era, as almost anyone who’s sucked up to Hogan for the 5 years or so prior to this now gets a job with WCW and a push. Johnny has a pair of vampire fangs here, which I guess is supposed to make him look butch. Hah, doesn’t work, as the confetti gun and pyro- shooting robe is enough to put him at 7 on the Lenny-O-Meter. Stalling to start. Then cheating from HTM. As exciting as it sounds. Honky is just worthless at this point. Oh, wait, he draws money, or so he says. Maybe in 1987, Wayne, but your crap doesn’t draw flies anymore. (This was written before the promo that he cut on my voice mail, so maybe he was holding a grudge for a long-ass time.)  Same goes for Hulk these days. Resting abounds. Capetta starts counting down to the 10-minute limit at the FIVE minute mark, which pretty much telegraphs the finish right there. And people wonder why WCW sucked so much. Badd makes the comeback with one minute left, but HTM ducks the Tooty-Fruity Punch of DOOM and they roll around on the mat until the time limit. What a car wreck that match was. DUD – World tag team title match: Stars N Stripes v. Pretty Wonderful. Amazingly, WCW manages to recycle the SAME ANGLE as Bagwell had last year — the plucky, thrown-together team scores an upset win over the arrogant champs for the titles shortly before the PPV, only to stupidly give the former champs a rematch on the PPV. Tony even POINTS THIS OUT himself, thus completely giving away the finish for anyone who remembered what happened the previous year. And Tony even REMINDS us what happened the previous year. How does this man sleep at night? (On a bed of guaranteed contract money.)  Melee to start, as Roma and Bagwell blow some stuff. Have I mentioned recently how glad I am that I’ll never have to worry about seeing Roma in a major promotion again? Everyone does seem energetic tonight, at any rate. Bagwell gets to play Ricky Morton, falling victim to that dreaded Orndorff special — the ELECTRIC BOOGIE-WOOGIE ELBOWDROP! Rock stole the People’s Elbow from him, by the way.  (Oh yeah, I said it.  You can’t un-read it now!)  Roma does some stuff too, but it’s Roma, so does anyone care? He does manage to blow his patented dropkick, going too high on the move and missing Bagwell entirely. The beating continues until a pier-six erupts (Patriot not having made the tag, and thus being in there illegally) and the ref finally forces him out. In the meantime, Bagwell gets his fisherman’s suplex, but with the referee tied up with Patriot, that allows Roma to do the Midnight Express finish and drop an elbow off the top on Bagwell, then put Orndorff on top for the pin and the titles at 13:42. Patriot had no one but himself to blame for that one. **1/2 – Kevin Sullivan v. Evad Sullivan. Evad debuts “I Want To Be A Hulkamaniac” as his entrance music, and if you have that song running through your head right now, you damn well DESERVE IT. This is the long-awaited (cough cough) blowoff between the “Sullivan brothers” (who are obviously NOT brothers) after months of Kevin slapping Dave around. For those who don’t get the joke yet, Dave is dyslexic, so the joke on the net became that WCW would actually start spelling his name “Evad” and it stuck even after it was revealed to be a false rumor. Anyhoo, Evad dresses and acts like Hogan — except he’s MUCH MUCH WORSE. See if you can get to sleep now thinking about THAT one. Evad controls to start, but Kevin cheapshots him and takes over. He shoves the Hogan doo rag down Evad’s throat and hits the double-stomp, but Evad hulks up with the big boot. Kevin calms him down by waving the doo rag at him, but sucker punches him, and they fight on the floor. Evad beats the count and gets the win at 5:18. Next. 1/4*  (And then TNA copied the angle with Abyss and his Hall of Fame ring.)  – Arn Anderson v. Dustin Rhodes. Dustin needed help fighting the Stud Stable, so he did the dumbest thing humanly possible: He asked Arn Anderson. And sure enough, AA turned on him and left him for dead at Bash at the Beach, and thus we get this. Nice little mat sequence to start. Dustin gets a lariat, but goes to the top too soon and gets crotched. He manages to fight AA off and hit a lariat off the top for two anyway. Flip, Flop and Fly is countered with a punch to the head, and he takes over. Tony echoes my own thoughts on what a moron Dustin was to trust Arn to begin with.  (Even Arn himself basically told Dustin he was going to turn on him before it happened!)  Dustin works the arm. He tries the lariat but Arn moves and Rhodes takes a nice bump to the floor. AA pounds away, but gets caught in a bodyscissors, which he turns into a catapult. Dustin fights back and it’s a double-KO. Dustin recovers and the lariat gets two. Arn sneaks in a DDT try, but Dustin grabs the top rope to block and hits a stun-gun. Arn gets a sunset flip, but grabs the ropes for leverage, so the ref forces a break. Dustin then reverses for three at 9:50 of a good little match. ***1/4  (See, now this was a good story!  Dustin asks Arn for help, Arn turns on him, Dustin gets his revenge by beating him in single combat and emerging as the better man.  Why can’t WWE do this?)  – US title match: Hacksaw Duggan v. Steve Austin. This is of course the rematch from Fall Brawl 1994, and if you want to read about that travesty, I’m sure a link will have magically appeared by the time this gets posted. Austin blindsides him and attacks the knee, which Duggan basically ignores. Austin tries two double axehandles off the second rope, but Duggan nails him on the third attempt. A low blow ends that rally, however. The trick knee was acting up again, you see. Duggan comes back with the three-point stance, but Austin ducks and inadvertently backdrops Duggan over the top, basically ending the story of Stunning Steve on a lame DQ at 8:06. Match was there. * – Vader v. The Guardan Angel. Another rematch from Fall Brawl 1994. Vader stops by Muhammad Ali at ringside and gives him a “You’re the man!”, although it’s doubtful that Ali can even remember his own name at this point, let alone know who Vader is and why it was so cool for him to do that. Vader dominates, so Angel retaliates by going after Harley Race. He slams Vader onto Race for good measure. Woof. Angel with a suplex and a big boot, but Vader comes back with some VICIOUS looking jabs to the face. Crowd was “Oohing” and “Aahing” after four or five of THOSE suckers. He goes to the top but gets caught and powerslammed coming down. Vader manages a botched clothesline to take over. Pump splash gets two. Attempt #2 hits the knees, and Angel gets a splash of his own for two. Bossman slam gets two, but he breaks the count to chase Race. He suplexes Race into the ring, but as he lands Vader splashes him in a neat spot and gets the pin at 8:21. Nifty match. ***  (This was quite the feud, and the last time that Ray Traylor apparently gave a f---.)  – Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck v. The Nasty Boys. The Nasties bring a pumpkin with them. Yes, that does become important later. The Stud Stable gets nowhere fast. Sags rubs his ass in Funk’s face, then it’s Pitty Citty. Funk’s a trooper, I’ll give him that. The heels come back and WE GOT CLUBBERIN’! Sorry, Dusty moment there. Terry bails and smashes a chair into his own head 10 times to revive himself. This match makes me wanna do the same. Buck tries to utilize an international object, but the ref sees and escorts him out, which allows bodyguard Meng to interfere, but that backfires, which allows Sags to piledrive Funk, on the PUMPKIN, for the pin at 7:54. Oh, man, this was Heroes of Wrestling bad. -** Hey, I just invented a new adjective…  (As noted before, this was seemingly the remnants of an idea that was pitched to Jim Cornette for the 91 show, whereby he’d get a pumpkin broken on his head and run around the ringside area with it lodged on there like Joey and the turkey.)  – WCW World title, career v. career: Hulk Hogan v. Ric Flair. Mr. T is the guest referee. Hogan goes nuts on Flair to start, prompting T to pull him off. Flair uses the opportunity to go for the leg, which was injured by that dastardly (and oh-so- mysterious) Masked Man at Clash 27. It goes back and forth for a while, with Mr. T actually preventing Hulk from doing his usual cheating. This allows Flair the advantage again. He heads to the top and Hogan crotches him, but runs into a boot on a blind charge. He no-sells the chops in the corner and rams Flair into the cage a few times. Flair tries to climb out but gets rammed into the cage again. Flair manages to go after the knee again, putting Hogan on the mat. Figure-four, on the wrong leg as usual. Hogan reverses, and Mr. T gets bumped. It gets nutso from here, as Sherri tries to climb in, but Jimmy Hart yanks her dress off to slow her down. Sting comes out of the crowd to help, but he gets jumped by the Masked Man (with Kung Fu Grip Lead Pipe Action!) and taken out of the equation. Sherri finally gets into the cage and she handcuffs T to the ropes and they double-team Hogan. He hulks up, beats up Sherri (what a role model), beats up Flair, big foot, legdrop, goodbye Flair. Of course, that retirement only lasted a little longer than Hogan’s. The overbooking was a little silly, but it was excellent for Hogan otherwise. **** – The aftermath: The Masked Man attacks Hogan during the post-match posing, but screws up and gets unmasked. And it’s…it’s…the Disciple! No, wait, that’s this year. It’s the Zodiac! The Clipmaster! The Man with No Name! The Booty Man! Brutus Beefcake! The Butcher! Whatever. The crowd is pretty shocked, however. And speaking of schizos, Kevin Sullivan and John “Sharkalanchequake” Tenta join in the attack and they splatter Hogan. Good for them. (The IDEA was solid there, since Beefcake was known as Hogan’s best friend and Earthquake drew some big money against Hogan.)  The Bottom Line: Skip every other match and it’s a pretty decent show. Of course, the NEXT PPV of 1994 would be headlined by Hogan v. Beefcake, so that pretty much flushed any goodwill from the online world down the crapper right there, but the intentions were good here at least. Still, not enough for a recommendation.  (I didn’t mind this show at all, but 94 WCW is obviously not for all tastes.)