What the World Was Watching: Halloween Havoc 1995

Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan are in the booth and they are live from Detroit, Michigan.  Schiavone says that Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman attacked Ric Flair before the show went on the air and Flair’s ability to compete later tonight is uncertain.

A video package recaps the Diamond Dallas Page-Johnny B. Badd feud.

Opening Contest for the Television Championship:  Johnny B. Badd (43-5-2) beats Diamond Dallas Page (Champion w/the Diamond Doll & Maxx Muscle) (20-2-2) after heel miscommunication to win the title at 17:01:

Page has been a fighting champion, defending the title five times since winning it from the Renegade at Fall Brawl.  He comes to the ring with the Badd Blaster that he stole on Monday Nitro, indifferently shooting it into the crowd.  Badd pulls a switcheroo at the beginning, having an imposter do part of his entrance while he sneaks in from the crowd and attacks the champion.  Page dominates the first twelve minutes of the match, though, with Badd only scoring a couple of fluke near-falls.  Badd rallies out of a chinlock and gets the Doll to give him a ten after a flying axehandle much to the chagrin of Muscle.  Badd somersault planchas the heels, but Page kicks out of the Badd Mood and kicks out of a schoolboy roll up when he and Muscle nearly collide.  However, Page is not as lucky when he puts Badd in a full nelson for a Muscle clothesline as heel miscommunication lays him out and Badd captures the television title for the second time.  The Doll also smiles at the match result.  Page and Badd were capable of doing better but this match did not find its proper gear until it was nearly over.  Rating:  **½

Randy Savage (19-3) pins the Zodiac (2-1) after a flying elbow smash at 1:28:

This match was supposed to feature Savage against Kamala, but the Zodiac serves as a stand-in because Kamala left the promotion rather than do a pay-per-view job to Savage.  The most notable thing that happens in this match is a fan who runs in and tries to attack Savage.  Referee Randy Anderson and security corral him with force to get a pop from the crowd.  Savage and the Zodiac fight on the floor until the fan is removed and Savage takes things home quickly thereafter.  Based on the extracurriculars, it was smart for Savage to get out of there fast and regroup.

Call 1-900-909-9900 to find out who Jimmy Hart was talking to from another wrestling federation!

Gene Okerlund interviews Johnny B. Badd, who says that his dream has come true of being television champion and he will always give 100% for his fans.  It is great to see Badd with the title again but after he sought the U.S. title last month this just feels like a downgrade.

Kurasawa (w/Colonel Robert Parker) (9-1) beats Road Warrior Hawk (7-1-1) via a Flair pin at 3:14:

Hawk has recovered from his broken arm, not sporting a bandage on the limb.  He also refuses to sell for Kurasawa, popping up quickly most of the offense the young Japanese star can muster.  After some extracurriculars on the outside of the ring, Kurasawa slams Hawk and does a sloppy Flair pin out of a Samoan Drop to score the upset.  Replay shows that Hawk’s right shoulder was up during the entire pinfall sequence too.  This was the antithesis of putting someone over.  Rating:  *

Okerlund interviews Randy Savage, who says he will carefully watch the result of Lex Luger’s next match.

Sabu (w/the Sheik) (2-1) defeats Mr. J.L. (1-1) after a slingshot moonsault at 3:23:

WCW hoped to appeal to hardcore fans by bringing back the Original Sheik and putting him in Sabu’s corner.  Both guys fly around with reckless abandon, with the Sheik bumping as well when a Sabu moonsault to the floor catches him when the Sheik is maneuvering behind J.L.  Sabu dominates most of the action, kicking out of J.L.’s sit out powerbomb and finishing him with a slingshot moonsault.  Right after the three-count, the Sheik throws a fireball in J.L.’s eyes to pop the crowd.  That allegedly angered Turner executives and played a role in Sabu’s release shortly after this show.  The match did not tell a story, but it was a clean spotfest.  Rating:  **

The Master cuts a live promo with Kevin Sullivan at his side.  The Master promises his son that the Giant and the Yeti will ensure that Hulk Hogan will not leave Detroit.  Poor Schiavone and Heenan have to try to make sense of this moments later on commentary.

Okerlund interviews WCW Champion Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart, who are in the locker room with Mike Hill, who won the WCW Harley-Davidson motorcycle contest.  Hogan gives Hill the keys, calling him “Maniac Mike.”  Hill’s fiancé just seems thrilled to be at a wrestling show for all of this.

A promo video hypes World War 3, the next WCW pay-per-view on November 26, and it will a three-ring battle royal with sixty men.  Schiavone says that there will be a giant in every ring and the winner of the battle royal will get a future WCW title shot.

Lex Luger (4-2) beats Meng (w/Kevin Sullivan) (31-2-1) via disqualification when Kevin Sullivan interferes at 13:11:

Any doubts as to the outcome of this match were spoiled when WCW created the stipulation that if Luger and Randy Savage won their respective matches that they would face each other later in the evening.  The match is also a convenient way for Luger to get his win back after jobbing to Meng on the September 25 edition of Monday Nitro.  Plodding power moves are the order of the day, keeping Detroit in the subdued state that they have been in for much of the show.  Sullivan refuses to attack Luger on the floor after he kicks out of a piledriver and side suplex, continuing the story of where Luger’s allegiances are.  After what feels like an eternity, Luger mounts a comeback but gets blasted with the golden spike by Meng.  However, Sullivan runs into the ring and gives Luger a stomp, triggering one of the weakest disqualification finishes of all-time and ending Meng’s seven-match winning streak in singles competition.  And Luger becomes the only wrestler on the roster other than Sting to beat Meng in a singles match this year.  Rating:  ½*

Okerlund interviews the Giant, who says Hulk Hogan does not have the courage to face him on top of Cobo Hall even though Hogan showed up there on WCW Main Event.  He vows to chokeslam the WCW champion and take the title to the Dungeon of Doom.

Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman (6-1) wrestle Ric Flair & Sting (2-0) to a no contest when Flair turns on Sting at 16:55:

With Flair injured from a pre-show attack, Sting wrestles alone and picks up where he left off several weeks ago on Monday Nitro by dispatching each of the heels in turn.  The crowd eats that up and pops big when Flair shows up with a bandage on his forehead and in street clothes.  Anderson and Pillman are able to use their numerical advantage to eventually get Sting under control and they work some brilliant near-tag sequences when Sting gets agonizingly close to his corner and gets cut off.  Sting even calls out for Flair when Anderson works over his legs, with Flair assuring his friend that he is there for him and just needs a tag.  After enduring a hellacious beating for more than ten minutes Sting finally makes the hot tag, only to have Flair strut from one end of the ring to the other and punch him in the face.  The Detroit crowd, who moments earlier was cheering Flair as one of the promotion’s top babyfaces, turns on him viciously and litters the ring with garbage as a three-on-one beatdown commences on WCW’s top babyface.  And one of the best things is that Sting uses his last reserves of energy to try to beat up Flair because he is incensed at the turn.  Just an amazing piece of storytelling and the best thing about the angle is it made another Sting-Flair feud feel new.  Rating:  ***½

WCW shows what Road Warrior Hawk looks like without makeup when they show him recording audio for the WCW Hotline backstage.

Okerlund interviews Flair, Anderson, and Pillman, with Flair seizing the microphone and announcing that there will be a new Four Horseman in WCW.  Anderson says that bloodthirsty fans wanted to see the group back together and that they must be careful what they wished for.

Okerlund interviews Lex Luger, who warns Randy Savage that he is coming for him and will use him as a steppingstone to the world title.

Eric Bischoff and Bob Chandler provide commentary for the monster truck showdown between Hulk Hogan and the Giant.  The whole goal of the truck showdown is that you are supposed to push the other truck out of a circle.  The referee cannot adequately explain the rules, prompting Bischoff to shorten them so they make sense.  Having this monster truck battle would have been a fine for Clash of the Champions last month but there is no reason the feud between these two warrants this on the same night they are wrestling for the world title.  The Giant nearly pushes Hogan’s truck out of the circle, but Hogan’s truck makes a comeback and wins.  What gets the most attention are the post-match antics as the Giant chokes Hogan and tries to throw him off the roof, Hogan gets out of the chokehold, though, and doing that causes the Giant to apparently fall to his doom into the Detroit River.  Hogan hilariously yells for help as Bischoff acts like he is near tears because someone has died on WCW television.

Randy Savage (20-3) beats Lex Luger (5-2) after a flying elbow smash at 5:23:

Heenan does a good job feigning sadness, yelling about how Hogan is now good and that is why the Giant is dead.  He also snaps early in this match when Schiavone speculates that there may not be a title match, yelling “DAMNIT!  CALL BISCHOFF AND FIGURE OUT WHAT IS GOING ON!”  Jimmy Hart comes out as both men brawl and then gets involved in the finish when Luger runs into his on the apron, allowing Savage to his finisher and go 2-0 on the evening.  Rating:  *

Heenan goes into an angry rant about how he needs answers to do his job and because he and the Giant’s father go way back.  He makes a good point about how society can talk to astronauts on the moon and yet he cannot get word about what is going on with the Giant.

WCW Championship Match:  The Giant (w/Kevin Sullivan) defeats Hulk Hogan (Champion w/Jimmy Hart) (6-0) via disqualification when Jimmy Hart interferes at 14:30:

During introductions, Hogan admits to committing manslaughter and says he is sorry.  However, defying early predictions of his demise, the Giant appears and looks no worse for wear than he did on the roof.  According to backstage reports, there were idea of putting fish in the Giant’s tights to make it look like he took a swim in a river.  WCW did not have to go that far but giving the Giant wet hair or a bruise or two would have sufficed.  And this story makes no sense to begin with, as attempted murder casts Hogan as more of the villain than his opponent.  The Giant fares well in his first match, no easy task when he is wrestling one of the biggest stars in the industry on pay-per-view.  Contrary to fears at the time, he showed incredible mobility for a big man and that played a big role in his longevity as an attraction unlike El Gigante’s run in the early 1990s.  After a long bearhug sequence, the Giant plans Hogan with a chokeslam to pop the crowd but Hogan predictably kicks out to a mixed reaction.  Hogan hulks up and slams the Giant.  However, when he drops the leg, Hart takes out the referee with the WCW title and causes a disqualification.  As was the case earlier with other matches, this would have been better if they shaved about seven minutes off it.  Rating:  *½

After this, all hell breaks loose.  Hart hits Hogan with the world title belt, which is no sold, but the Giant puts Hogan in a bearhug.  Randy Savage and Lex Luger run out, with Hart hitting Savage with the belt and Luger laying in a beating.  The Yeti also makes an appearance, coming to the ring to do an awkward double bearhug on Hogan with the Giant.  Luger eventually breaks that up so he can Torture Rack Hogan.  Ring announcer Michael Buffer tells fans that Hogan has lost via disqualification, but the title cannot change hands on those terms.

The Last Word:  This was another bad pay-per-view in a long line of them for WCW in 1995.  The Sting-Ric Flair angle was excellent, but it was a lone highlight in a big mess of matches that were given way too much time from the opener to Lex Luger-Meng.  And that is before we even talk about the craziness at the end where the Giant survived a fall off a five-story building and a Yeti appears dressed as an Egyptian mummy.  It was later revealed that the Giant won the title here because a contractual provision said that Hulk Hogan could lose the title via disqualification.  Because if there is one thing that Hogan’s feud with the Dungeon of Doom needed it was to get lawyers involved!  Oh, and Hogan does not have to lose the title via pinfall or submission in that scenario either, so no one gets a rub from beating him.  Great outcome, right?

Attendance:  13,000 (7,000 paid)

Buyrate:  0.60 (-0.37 over previous year; est. 120,000 buys)

Up Next:  WCW Monday Nitro for October 30!