Rock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event III

As I promised earlier in the Daily thread, here is my latest reflection. Go Cubs!

Taped from Hershey, PA

Airdate: November 2, 1985 (taped 10/31)

Attendance:  8,000

Hosted by Vince McMahon and Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Read moreRock Star Gary reflects on Saturday Night’s Main Event III

Halloween Havoc 1999

Halloween
Havoc 1999

Date: October 24, 1999
Location: MGM Garden
Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 8,464
Commentators: Bobby
Heenan, Tony Schiavone 
Reviewed by Tommy Hall 
The
Russo Era is officially upon us as we got a big time preview this
past Monday. However, this show is the real thing with Russo getting
to direct where things go from here. Expect to see a lot more
pointless talking, a lot more insanity and a lot more shouting about
what I did to deserve this. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video focuses on Sid vs. Goldberg and mentions the whole
“Goldberg can’t touch him” bit, which has basically been ignored.
Hogan vs. Sting gets even less hype.
A
LOUD Weasel chant is ignored by Heenan as Tony announces that due to
Rey Mysterio being injured, the Filthy Animals have been stripped of
the Tag Team Titles. The solution? A triple threat hardcore title
match for the belts with Kidman substituting for Mysterio. Well why
bother having a match when you can just make it hardcore? They run
down the rest of the card in case you bought the show blind.
The
big demon holding the pumpkin set is back. That thing is so cool
looking and deserves to be on a better show.
Cruiserweight
Title: Disco Inferno vs. Lash Leroux
Lash
is challenging so Disco starts fast with a clothesline and stomps in
the corner. A DDT plants Leroux again and it’s time for choking.
Lash comes back with a dropkick and slam for two. Totally basic
stuff so far. Some Cajun dancing sets up a clothesline for two more
as Heenan suggests holding ropes of trunks.
They
head outside with Disco sending him into the steps, only to get
caught in a nice belly to belly back inside. It’s a bad sign when
fans are already going for popcorn in the opening match. Or did
people even show up for those seats in the first place? Lash puts on
a chinlock in a rare move for a good guy, which might explain why it
doesn’t go anywhere.
The
Last Dance (or is it still the Chartbuster?) is countered into a
backbreaker but Disco escapes Whiplash (which Tony didn’t seem to
recognize) as well. The swinging neckbreaker gets two for Disco and
Heenan again wants trunks pulled. Lash lifts him up for something
like a sitout ProtoBomb (Tony: “THAT’S HIS MOVE!” No Tony, it
isn’t.”) for his closest near fall yet but the Last Dance retains
the title a few seconds later.
Rating:
D+. The wrestling was
acceptable but this was a horrible choice for an opener. An opening
match is supposed to get the fans into the rest of the show. Instead
this was just a basic match with almost no high flying or exciting
moments, making it completely against the idea of a standard
cruiserweight match. It didn’t help that Lash pretty much got
squashed here and never even had major control. Just an odd choice
and nothing interesting.
Post
match Lash hits Whiplash (Tony: “THAT’S HIS MOVE!”) on the belt.
What a jerk. They might as
well turn Disco face as he’s pretty over with the fans.
Malenko
and Benoit arrived earlier in the day (because they work here) and
run into Saturn. He hasn’t heard from them lately, but Dean and
Chris are done with the Revolution. In
other words, after months of building up the Revolution and then
feeding them to the First Family and Sid, we’re likely in for a feud
between the members, making the entire team as close to a waste of
time as you can get.
Harlem
Heat is ready to survive the Tag Team Title match tonight because
that’s what they’ve done their whole lives. Stevie doesn’t want
those no talent fruit booties to forget it.
Tag
Team Titles: Kidman/Konnan vs. Harlem Heat vs. Brian Knobbs/Hugh
Morrus
The
titles are vacant coming in. Penzer: “This match will be fought
under street fight rules!” Heenan: “Oh no.” The
First Family wears Halloween masks to the ring. Kidman
and Konnan on the other hand wear the title belts to the ring despite
Kidman never winning one. Kidman
has a camera with him as well. The
First Family has weapons with them for an early advantage and there
are two referees here. You can see the screwiness from a mile away.
Booker
throws Brian into the fans and Stevie nails Kidman in the head with a
trashcan. All six get back
in to make my life easier with Morrus nailing Kidman with a
clothesline for two, thanks to Kidman grabbing the ropes. Stop
having that rule in hardcore matches. Falls count anywhere should
include in the ropes. Booker goes after Jimmy Hart and gets blasted
with a trashcan. That
doesn’t interest him enough to sell though so Harlem Heat double team
Knobbs and throw him through a Styrofoam
casket.
Morrus
drops Kidman ribs first onto an open chair (ow) as Knobbs and Booker
fight into the back. It’s
table time in the ring as Knobbs hits Booker with a water jug. For
some reason, Tony finds this funny. No
Laughing Matter puts Konnan through the table but in the back, Booker
hits Knobbs with a mummy for a fast counted pin and the titles before
Morrus can pin Konnan.
Rating:
D-. So to recap, this is likely
setting up Harlem Heat vs. the First Family again, meaning we’re
right back to where we were about a week ago. The match was your
standard messy WWF hardcore match with gimmicky weapons and no
semblance of wrestling in the slightest. In other words, Russo
thought it was great and the novelty is going to wear off quick. Or
make me want to watch Road Dogg vs. Al Snow who were better at these
things.
As
Harlem Heat comes back in we hear a three count and a bell, which
apparently was Kidman pinning Morrus. How that came about after the
No Laughing Matter isn’t clear because we needed to watch Harlem Heat
walking from the back. Why is Russo so obsessed with watching people
walk through the back? It took up like ten minutes on Nitro and now
it screws up the result of a match. I mean…..IT’S WALKING. You
still see this stuff to this day on Raw and Impact and I still don’t
get it.
Also
Konnan might have injured his collarbone. Oh good. He can still
walk in the back.
Mysterio and Torrie (who really, really agrees with the Filthy
Animals look) come out to stare from the entrance.
The
Flairs storm into the arena with Ric holding a crowbar.
Here
are Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly for our first talking segment of
the show. Kimberly says
fourteen times, which isn’t the amount of times Flair won that stupid
belt. That’s the number of times Ric spanked her recently, but when
she and Page are together, that’s just a warmup. This would be the
pointless sexual part of the show.
Page
hates Flair and promises that Ric will never forget him. Kimberly
invited David Flair to her room in an obvious swerve (Page’s words)
and Ric showed up, but can only spank her? Page has Flair’s spank,
and guess where he points. Page:
“Let’s whack it, and let’s jack it all night long.” Before this
takes a VERY weird turn, Page wants to make the match tonight a strap
match. This is another of
those ideas which really didn’t need to happen and all the innuendo
got old in a hurry, like almost every Russo idea actually.
Goldberg
is looking for Sid.
Kidman
and Torrie tell Eddie that they’ll have his back tonight. Eddie
thinks he should call Rey on the way to the hospital. Guerrero is
wearing a Rolex, which he probably stole from Ric on Monday.
Eddie
Guerrero vs. Perry Saturn
Eddie
lets Heenan hold the watch for some reason. They
dive around each other to start until Saturn grabs a hot shot for
two. Back up and Eddie
throws him to the floor and
then into the barricade. The
lack of extended selling continues as Saturn gets two off a pop up
powerbomb. Heenan wants the number of a 24 hour pawn shop while
Saturn cranks on an armbar.
Off
to a cross armbreaker followed by a chicken wing with a headscissors
(cool looking move). That
goes nowhere so Eddie dropkicks Saturn for two, only to walk into a
t-bone suplex. Saturn
switches up the target by going after the knee with
a variety of leg locks. Eddie
grabs a wristlock on the mat before going with a short arm scissors.
The lifting counter slam and
a Lionsault get two for Saturn but
Eddie brainbusters him back down.
The
frog splash misses though and
Saturn hits a springboard dropkick. Eddie
goes up but gets crotched with a superkick to the knee, allowing
Saturn to superplex him down. They
head up top again with Eddie reversing Splash Mountain (Razor’s Edge
bomb) into a superplex, but here’s Ric Flair with a crowbar to knock
Eddie out for the DQ. Why
do I have a feeling that’s the closest we’ll get to a regular match
with a regular ending all night long?
Rating:
C. The match was pretty dull
but they were getting going when we got to the stupid ending. I’m so
glad we set this stupid angle up on Monday and Flair was so angry
that he waited eleven minutes before coming down to break it up. As
usual though, this was about the angle instead of the wrestling,
which makes the match we got seem like a waste of time.
Kidman
and Torrie come out so Flair blasts Kidman with the bar and kisses
Torrie. She doesn’t seem to
mind that much. I have zero
issue looking at Torrie more tonight. Ric
comes back to remember the story and gets his watch back.
We
cut away from the replay to see Goldberg punching Sid. Security
breaks them up and Sid is a bloody mess. Heenan:
“He looks like he took 50 tomatoes to the face.” Potatoes
more than likely.
Here’s
Buff Bagwell for another talking segment. He
has a problem with the two new writers from up north who are here to
save WCW. Oh geez here we go. He also has a problem with Jeff
Jarrett because Buff isn’t on the show tonight. The line doesn’t
make any more sense in context. Bagwell
tells Heenan to get Jeff out here but Jeff is here because Buff even
turns to talk to Bobby.
The
fight is on with Buff a face again and fired up after being
uninterested on Monday. That’s another story we’re not going to
reference again isn’t it? Jeff
starts to get the better of it so Luger comes out for the save, only
to hit Buff with the guitar by mistake. I guess this is due to Liz
being knocked out with a guitar next to her. I still think she did
it to herself.
Sid
is getting stitched up and throws the cameras out.
An
injured Eddie calls Rey and tells him to get back to the arena.
Isn’t Rey injured?
Brad
Armstrong vs. Berlyn
Naturally
Brad wears an American flag shirt to the ring. They
lock up to start with Berlyn cartwheeling out of a wristlock. Berlyn
suplexes Brad down as Tony reads off a sweepstakes result. A
pop up powerbomb gets two on Armstrong followed by some stomps. The
dull match continues with Berlyn hitting him in the corner as Tony
talks about ANYTHING but this match. Brad
grabs the rope to counter the neckbreaker and quickly covers Berlyn
for the pin. It’s as sudden as it sounds.
Rating:
F. This was on pay per view,
meaning it’s a failure by definition. Somehow this was the best they
could have done as they kept it short but this really could have been
done on TV for the same result. Dull match and the Berlyn push
thankfully is done. He never got a fair shake though, after the
Duggan match last month and then this mess.
The
bodyguard and Berlyn lay out Armstrong post match.
Flair
says he has his watch back and is ready to fight the Animals anytime.
He brings up the spanking
again, which is becoming a thinner and thinner veil for what they
really want to say but can’t on TV. Torrie
got some of Flair tonight so Kimberly is up next.
TV
Title: Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner
Benoit
is defending after beating Steiner for the title the night after Fall
Brawl. Steiner immediately
heads to the floor, just after Tony says that wouldn’t happen in this
match. I can always get a
chuckle out of Tony being wrong. We
play keep away for a bit until Rick nails him coming back in. A
huge Steiner Line nails Benoit and Rick hits his backdrop powerslam
for two. Tony calls this
power wrestling, which I guess is the new definition for “we won’t
fire this guy so sit through this awful stuff.”
Rick
goes up but Benoit grabs a superplex, which Steiner isn’t even polite
enough to sell for more than about four seconds. The
threat of the Crossface sends them back to the floor with Steiner
sending him into the barricade to
take over again. Rick
screws up the timing coming out of the corner (I’m shocked too),
meaning he has to intentionally walk into a dropkick for two. It
looked horrible but that really shouldn’t surprise anyone at this
point.
A
low blow puts Benoit down because Rick doesn’t know how to wrestle a
match to get control. Off to a lame leg lock which doesn’t seem like
it would be very painful, but it lets Rick take a break after this
grueling six minutes of work. Benoit
misses another dropkick so Rick rubs his face into the mat. An
attempt at a sunset flip counter to a powerbomb goes badly as well
with Rick not even leaning back to be taken over, leaving Benoit to
crash to the mat instead.
Benoit
gets one off a small package but stays on the mat instead of getting
up so Rick can’t botch anything else. Instead
Rick just hits him in the back of the head and puts him in the
reverse Tree of Woe. Rick
hits some release German suplexes for two with Benoit just crashing
harder and harder each time. The
fans aren’t pleased until Benoit counters a suplex into a DDT to get
a breather.
Benoit
chops away in the corner and rolls some Germans. Tony: “THIS IS A
CLASSIC!” The referee eats an elbow to the face so Steiner brings
in a chair. Benoit hits a suplex and does a Van Daminator with a
right hand instead of a kick. He loads up the Swan Dive but Steiner
throws the chair at him on the way down. Cue Malenko to SHOCKINGLY
turn on Benoit by nailing him with the chair, giving Steiner the pin
and the title because SCREW WCW AND THEIR LOVE FOR RICK FREAKING
STEINER.
Rating:
D. There’s only so much Benoit
can do when he’s in a mess like this. Rick
beat Benoit up for twelve minutes and Benoit was barely ever on
offense. What is Benoit supposed to do in something like this? On
top of that, let’s mess up the Revolution and get rid of their most
popular and successful member for the sake of a SWERVE. Maybe this
gets Benoit on to something bigger, but my goodness, couldn’t he drop
the TV Title to…..oh I don’t know…..SATURN OR MALENKO?
Saturn
and Malenko hug in the aisle. Saturn: “Hi Shane.” Heenan:
“DOUGLAS COULD BE BEHIND THIS!” Because Shane Douglas gets to
come in and be some mastermind I guess.
Bret
still has an injured ankle and shouldn’t be wrestling tonight. Luger
may have cost him the World Title last week, but this week he’s going
to be excellently executed. This was the first logical and well done
segment of the night and it lasted all of 45 seconds.
Total
Package vs. Bret Hart
Bret
goes right after him to start and takes Luger outside to send him
into the announcers’ table. Tony: “This is a very hard table!”
Back in and Bret rakes the eyes across the ropes and chokes in the
corner as this has been completely one sided so far. They head
outside again with Bret ramming him into various objects, only to go
after Elizabeth. Eh I can’t blame him with her in that dress.
Luger’s
cheap shot fails and Bret sends him into the barricade and back
inside. Luger finally goes to the eyes to take over but Bret hits
him in the back to regain control. We hit the Five Moves of Doom but
Luger breaks the Sharpshooter with another thumb to the eye. They
fall out to the floor and Bret is holding his ankle again. Back in
and Luger wraps the leg around the ropes before putting on a half
crab for the submission. Seriously.
Rating:
D. Luger’s entire offense for
this match: two pokes to the eye, a right hand, a kick to the leg,
bending the leg around the rope and the half crab. This
is one of those matches where all of the premises don’t add up to the
conclusion. Bret having a bad leg coming in and selling it
throughout is fine, but my goodness. LEX LUGER just made Bret tap to
something other than the Torture Rack on pay per view.
Just…..think before you do things WCW. Please?
Goldberg
promises to separate Sid’s head from his body.
Here’s
Madusa in a swimsuit to shill Nitro cologne.
She gets on the announcers’
table and pours it over Heenan, swears about
the Powers That Be, and
leaves. Apparently it
smells horrible. Tony: “I love my job.” This
has been a moment.
We
recap Sting vs. Hogan. Sting turned heel to win the title last month
at Fall Brawl because WCW is stupid, and tonight is the rematch.
WCW
World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Hulk
doesn’t come out at first, Sting comes out, Hogan
eventually comes out
in street clothes (I don’t
want to know what street) and
lays down for the pin in three seconds. That would be Hogan’s last
match until February. Any guesses as to how much of an explanation
we get on this idiocy?
We’re
on a Goldberg vs. Sid video before Hogan is even out of the ring and
the first part is covered by Sting music. They mention the Goldberg
can’t touch him bit and don’t bother explaining. At one point the
video cuts back to the crowd because WCW is run by a bunch of stupid
monkeys. The fans are booing this out of the building and can you
blame them?
US
Title: Sid Vicious vs. Goldberg
Sid
is still a bit bloody from earlier in the night. Hall
and Nash jump Goldberg during the entrance, further making me wonder
why he has six state troopers flanking him. Is
it in case one of the boys takes a shot at him in
the back? Sid jumps
Goldberg in the aisle and the brawl (this won’t be a match) is on.
Goldberg shrugs it off and
drops Sid over the barricade.
The
referee stops things so Sid can blade again but Sid comes up
swinging. It really seems like they’re trying to make Sid out to be
a face here. A big boot drops Goldberg and we hit a camel clutch.
Goldberg does an impressive
power up into an electric chair drop for two and cranks on the neck.
The blood is just flowing out of Sid’s head. They
slug it out even more with Sid getting weaker from the blood loss.
Tony: “This is the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen.” Is it Tony?
Is it the darnedest? Goldberg
hammers him even more in the corner and Sid falls to his knees to
make the referee stop it.
Rating:
D+. The blood looked great but
if they’re trying to do the Austin turn at Wrestlemania XIII (note
that Goldberg didn’t turn here and wrestled like he always does),
they’re really missing the point. I’m not going to care about Sid
after all those months of destroying cruiserweights and not selling
for Benoit because he had a great cut in a seven minute match and
didn’t even get pinned. Try
again WCW, because this isn’t going to work.
Rick
Steiner helps Sid to the back. Do you want him to be a face or not?
To be fair it wasn’t really clear, but Sid wanting to walk out on his
own and wanting to fight Goldberg again looked like a face move to
me.
Heenan
tries to say Sid’s streak is intact to keep up the stupid story.
We
look at Ric and Kimberly in the hotel on Monday. This comes off as
an excuse to see Kimberly in lingerie. That’s not a complaint by the
way.
Here’s
Sting to say he came here for a fight, so if anyone wants a shot at
the belt later tonight,
come get him.
Ric
Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Strap
match with the two of them tied together and wins coming by pin or
submission. Just bring the
Filthy Animals out now to get this over with. Page
hides on the floor to start before they trade shots in the corner.
They head outside with Page
being pulled into the post before going up the aisle and into the
crowd. Page nails him in
the back with the strap but Flair chops him back.
To
ringside again with Flair kissing Kimberly. He’s had a good night so
far. Page hammers away and
busts Flair open, though it’s not as good as Sid’s cut. They
slug it out for a good while before Page takes him to the announcers’
table for a whipping. Back
in and Flair hits him low to take over again, followed by more chops
and a second low blow. They’re really not trying anything special
here.
The
knee drop misses Page’s head as is the custom and
it’s time to go for the leg. Flair wraps the strap around Page’s
throat and puts on the Figure Four, only to have Page make the ropes.
Now it’s Page hitting him
low a few times to take over, setting
up the Diamond Cutter for….the finish but not a pin. It’s a weird
ending as Robinson counts twice, Flair moves his foot a bit, and
Robinson stops before three but calls for the bell anyway. I
think Flair was supposed to get his foot on the ropes but didn’t make
it.
Rating:
D+. This
might have been the second best match of the night, but some of that
might have been due to how much time it got. The strap really didn’t
add much and this could have been any given regular match but I guess
they wanted to tie it into the spanking idea. I’ll give you a minute
to think about Page and Flair spanking each other.
Page
nails the referee and chokes Flair with the strap, only to have
Kimberly stop David’s interference. She hits David low and hands
Page the crowbar to nail Ric in the ribs and between the legs. David
is thrown in as well for a Diamond Cutter as medics come in to help
the Flairs. The Filthy Animals jump out of the ambulance to jump
Ric. I really don’t see why Mysterio was injured but this gives me
another excuse to look at Torrie so whatever.
Sting
vs. ???
We
have less than nine minutes to go in the show counting entrances.
Answering the challenge: Goldberg, because screw Starrcade and
drawing money and all that. No US Title with him of course. Tony
says this is non-title despite Sting issuing a challenge for a title
shot. Sting heads outside before the bell but actually has a point:
there’s no referee. Cue Charles Robinson with no injuries from the
previous match for the opening bell with less than six minutes to go
in the show.
Goldberg
kicks away in the corner and hits an awkward clothesline. They head
outside with Goldberg in full control and sending Sting into the
barricade for about the millionth time tonight. Goldberg
clotheslines the post, allowing Sting to hit the top rope splash for
two. Sting spears Goldberg down but Goldberg pops to his feet and
kicks him in the face. The real spear hits the buckle, setting up
three straight Stinger Splashes. That goes nowhere and it’s spear
and Jackhammer for the pin in just over three minutes.
Rating:
C. This was actually
entertaining while it lasted but my goodness they just wasted their
guaranteed Starrcade main event for a three minute match. But hey,
at least it was surprising! No one knew it was coming and there was
no way to make extra money off the match but at least it shocking.
Goldberg
is handed the belt and announced as the new champion. Tony thinks
there might have been some confusion but I’ll chalk it up to Tony
being stupid. Goldberg leaves so Sting yells at the referee about it
not being a title match. Robinson gets a Death Drop to end the show.
So let me get this straight: Sid might be a face and Sting is a
heel. What kind of bizarre world have I stumbled into?
Overall
Rating:
D-. Yet somehow, I
didn’t hate this. I don’t
know if it was just the show being far less dull than their recent
disasters (namely Fall Brawl) or it actually being WAY tighter than
Monday’s nightmare, but I didn’t hate this show. Now
that being said, this show is still a disaster, wasting all kinds of
potential money and throwing stuff at the screen with the hopes that
something sticks, but it could have been worse.
Keeping
these acts short was the best thing they could have done, as it keeps
the fans from getting too insulted by what they’re sitting through.
It’s a horrible show for
sure, but there’s something about it that I kind of liked. Granted
that might have just been Kimberly and Torrie looking great on
multiple occasions but the show was such a switch over the messes
I’ve been sitting through that it was hard to hate.
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

Halloween Havoc Boxset idea.

Hi Scott,

I have no idea how WWE decides its match listings for its DVD but there sure is one DVD I would love to see, a best of Halloween Havoc boxset. Something like the below, what do you think?
 
The Best of WCW Halloween Havoc
  1. Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman (Halloween Havoc, October 28, 1989 – NWA U.S. Title Match)
 
  1. Doom vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson (Halloween Havoc, October 27, 1990 – NWA Tag Team Title Match)
 
  1. Bobby Eaton vs. Terry Taylor (Halloween Havoc, October 27, 1991)
 
  1. Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham vs. Steve Williams & Steve Austin (Halloween Havoc, October 25, 1992 – WCW Tag Team Title Match)
 
  1. Big Van Vader vs. Cactus Jack (Halloween Havoc, October 24, 1993 – Texas Death Match)
 
  1. Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (Halloween Havoc, October 23, 1994 – WCW World Title/Cage Match)
 
  1. Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman vs. Ric Flair & Sting (Halloween Havoc, October 29, 1995)
 
  1. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko (Halloween Havoc, October 27, 1996 – WCW Cruiserweight Title Match)
 
  1. Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero (Halloween Havoc, October 26, 1997 – WCW Cruiserweight Title/Mask vs. Title Match)
 
  1. Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Halloween Havoc, October 26, 1997)
 
  1. Chris Jericho vs. Raven (Halloween Havoc, October 25, 1998 – WCW TV Title Match)
 
  1. Bill Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Halloween Havoc, October 25, 1998 – WCW World Title Match)
 
1999 & 2000 offered nothing of value or maybe Sting vs. Goldberg from 1999 for the insanely hyped crowd?
 
​Well, we've already had the Best of Bash set, so I'd be shocked if we DIDN'T get a Best of Havoc set to milk the last out of the WCW udders.  And yeah, that looks like a good start.  
What I really wish they'd do for fun is throw the WCW All Nighter shows onto the Network sometime, because it's basically six hours of built-in content they can air with a minimum of effort.  It's already got Tony and Bobby hosting and everything!  You can air them in a late night slot, just like the originals.  Repeat each show once and boom, a whole day programmed.  ​

 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

6 weeks is a long time to build up a pay-per-view event. It gives the promoter a chance to flesh out a real story for their main event. With Hogan and Savage, it’s a cinch really. On again off again besties for roughly a decade, Savage had always been the loose cannon to Hogan’s sturdy hand. Hulk’s glue kept them together, through the best and the worst. When they had their rift, Savage’s insanity was the trigger. But now, Hogan stabbed his best friend in the back in a middle-aged crisis, finding a couple of (slightly) younger friends to chum around with and make him feel like a star again.
And if you think for a second that’s how this show was promoted, well then you haven’t read a word I’ve written these last 6 weeks. And if that’s the case, shame on you. How else are you supposed to keep up with Harlem Heat’s never-ending TV appearances?
Nope, it’s all about Elizabeth. Is she in love with Mach, or is it a game? She clearly took some sort of payoff from Hogan in order to … hell, I don’t even know why she took some sort of payoff from Hogan. Something about movies and getting to Randy. Except that she’s spent the last year throwing his money into the crowd, and banging Ric Flair. But forget all that, NOW IT’S REAL!
LIVE from the MGM Grand Arena, it’s MONSTER TRUCK MADNESS! No? That’s not a tradition? It should be.
Your hosts are TONY SCHIAVONEDUSTY RHODES, and “SOBER” BOBBY HEENAN. Tony wastes no time with the hyperbole; this is the biggest match in the history of our sport since 1905. Tradition, you see. Taking it to a new level! Heart! Where do I cash in my Buzzword Bingo card?

DEAN MALENKO (with Rey Mysterio Jr’s mask) vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. (for the WCW world cruiserweight title)
I’ll give the company credit; they filled the giant space of time between Fall Brawl and Havoc by nicely building this little feud up, even if both guys are about as interesting as a betta fish on the microphone. My wife actually bought a fish about a month ago, and promptly named it Big Poppa Pump. She wouldn’t RECOGNIZE Scott Steiner if she saw him, but she heard the name once and immediately stored it in her memory banks for the next pet she owned. I look forward to our eventual kitten, Mil Mascaras. MIKE TENAY joins the booth, and sounds like he’s been broadcast over AM radio. Malenko is dumped quickly, and opts to try and slow things down. However, he stops to stare at Mysterio’s mask, and takes a springboard dropkick to the face. That’s followed by Dean hitting the deck just in time for Rey to come somersaulting over the ropes with the ever gratuitous dick to the face. He steals the mask from Dean’s hand, and takes this clear advantage to … change back to his old mask. Impressively, he manages to avoid having us see his face. Dean hits the ring, and winds up on the wrong end of an Oklahoma roll for 2. However, Rey tries to fly again and winds up taking a side suplex. He goes for what appears to be a brainbuster, but throws Rey forward into the ropes instead. A half crab is turned into a sideways half surfboard, and Malenko stretches him further by pressing the ball of his foot into his back as he pulls. The fans call for a rally as they head up, but a backdrop superplex hits for Malenko and he gets 2. He moves into a head scissors submission, and as he releases, hits a brainbuster for 2. Rey manages to sneak in a small package for 2, which serves to piss off Malenko and he gives Rey an angry little dropkick before he can even stand up. He goes back to the submission holds cuz that’s how he rolls, working a camel clutch. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gets 2. A frustrated sleeper is applied, and they fall to the mat, but Rey just won’t tap. It’s applied almost like a rear naked choke, which makes Rey’s escape look laughable in 2014; but he does it here only to get slammed on the back of his head. This time Dean works a standing sleeper, but they wind up back on the mat. Dusty talks about Rey’s “vallant effort” as he takes another suplex. Malenko scissors the arms behind Rey’s back, and Rey lets us know exactly how the move works by screaming “AHHHH MY BACK”. Dean tries to go up, but Rey quickly sacrifices himself to knock Malenko to the floor. Rey whips Malenko to the guardrail, and mounts him from behind, but takes a low blow. Back in, Dean goes for another tilt-a-whirl, but Rey twists in mid-air and gets 2! He’s gaining speed, as he hits the springboard somersault senton, then rolls through for 2! Rey goes up, but Malenko shrugs him off before the rana. Still, Rey lands on his feet, drops Dean, and bridges back with a CLOSE 2! Malenko is sent to the floor again, and you know what that means, as Rey hits a springboard twisting bodyblock! Back in, Rey hits the West Coast Pop, but Dean kicks out!! He calls for it again, this time with the springboard, but Malenko turns it into a powerbomb for ANOTHER close 2!! The fans are really into this now, as both guys wind up on the top buckle, a little bit weary. Malenko shoves off a rana, and then gives Rey a super gutwrench powerbomb to score the upset and win the belt back at 18:34! Great, great stuff, with WCW really getting the hang of using the Cruiserweights to get the crowds fired up and ready to go. Not a bad day for Dean Malenko either, who scored 4 stars on Worldwide that aired that morning. ****
Meanwhile, JEFF JARRETT chats with TONY THE TIGER. Pride! Charisma! Heritage! Tradition! Ha ha! RIC FLAIR is in the house to support Jarrett, but mostly to face the mile long lineup of women tonight because they’re in Vegas. I appreciate his honesty.
DIAMOND DALLAS PAGE vs. EDDIE GUERRERO (for the Lord of the Ring)
So Eddie won the ring from Page back at the Clash in August, but Page stole it back so … we’re to believe if Eddie wins THIS match that Page will give it up THIS time? Page needn’t worry, he’s got an angel in his corner named NICK PATRICK. Will Page finally acknowledge his nWo membership tonight? Eddie’s frustrated about being denied the stupid ring, and pounces on Page with some energy. That changes fast, as they head to the floor and Page whips Guerrero to the guard rail. Back in, Eddie delivers a series of hiptosses and tries to score a pinfall. Eddie applies a headlock and refuses to let go, killing a few minutes. Page gets to his feet, but he’s taken down with a snapmare, and winds up tied in the ropes. Patrick tries to stop the assault, but Eddie shoves him aside and kicks Page to the floor. Eddie hits the deck as well, and whips Page to the guardrail. Back in, Eddie tries another snapmare, but this time Page crotches him across the top rope, and gets warned by Patrick. See – he’s here to fairly enforce the rules! Back to the floor, Page beats him down and orders him to “get up, girlfriend!” Back in, Page tries to pin Eddie with his feet on the ropes but Patrick catches it. Page decides to drop an elbow on Eddie’s jewels, which is called his mid-section by the crack announce team. Tony, actually using his head, starts questioning whether Page even brought the Battlebowl ring with him. I’m gonna have to lean towards no on that one. Page and Patrick start getting into a shoving match over Patrick’s officiating, and Eddie nearly scores a pinfall in the melee. Eventually they make up, and share a hearty handshake. Eddie jabs a thumb into Eddie’s eye, but Page is able to dump him to the outside. Back in, a waistlock slam is countered into a package for 2. Page avoids a sunset flip, but also misses the punch he throws and winds up taking the move anyway, starting a chain of rolling 2’s back and forth. DDP goes for a punt, but slips on the banana peel and Eddie plants him with a European uppercut. They play 10-punch count-a-long in the corner, finishing with one more uppercut. Page hits the deck, and Eddie follows right behind with a top rope plancha! Back in, Page hits a jawbreaker across the top rope, and a pancake gets 2. A spinning powerbomb gets 2. The fans start getting on Page, so he whips out some momma jokes, before hitting a Diamond Cutter for the pin at 13:32. Patrick reaches into his pocket, and gives Page the Battlebowl ring – which gives the announcers a conniption. They could not be slower at putting this stuff together. **
RANDY SAVAGE is with MIKE TENAY, who doesn’t even MENTION Liz, because he’s jacked to fight Hollywood Hogan, dig it!
Meanwhile, DEAN MALENKO also stops in for a chat with the Professor. Malenko vows to keep the belt for a long time, but won’t deny Rey a rematch if he wants one.
Over in the nWo section of the audience, TED DIBIASE stands with THE GIANT, who is carrying Ric Flair’s stolen US Title. Jeff Jarrett is an idiot for having turned down an nWo invitation, apparently. They figure if Flair isn’t willing to step in the ring with The Giant, that Jarrett can’t possibly think he has a chance. Giant promises a chokeslam.
THE GIANT (with Ted DiBiase) vs. JEFF JARRETT (with Ric Flair)
NICK PATRICK has been assigned to this match because everyone in WCW’s booking offices are colossal morons. Giant puts the US title on the line here, which I guess is about as legit as DDP defending the Lord of the Ring earlier. Jarrett gets all up in Giant’s mug and starts strutting … to a loud chorus of boos. Jarrett manages to stay out of the Giant’s clutches, throwing the occasional jab and strutting with far too much confidence. Then he decides a side headlock is the right way to go, and he gets picked up with one hand and slammed. Still, he pops up and fires away some more, but Giant tosses him by the hair across the ring. Jarrett jumps on Giant’s back with a sleeper, but he runs backwards into the buckle to make him break. Still, Jarrett jumps on once again. Released, Giant rushes him in the corner but misses. Corner punches from Jarrett have the Giant staggering, but Jeff assumes it’s okay to strike and he walks right into a big boot for 2. Giant headbutts Jarrett in the cherries, and follows with a backbreaker. Flair grabs the mic and orders Jarrett to kick the Giant’s “nWo ass!” That fires Jeff up a little, and he tries a crossbody off the middle rope, but gets caught. Giant hits a pair of backbreakers, and threatens the Chokeslam. Instead he uses the bearhug, which Jarrett breaks by biting Giant in the eye. Jarrett hits a pair of dropkicks, and tries to slam Giant but he falls on Jeff immediately for 2. Back to his feet, Jarrett hits a double axehandle off the top, and a crossbody gets 2! With the Giant down, Jarrett goes for the Figure Four, but he’s shoved off easily and sent to the floor. Giant charges Jarrett, but hits the ringpost with his shoulder! Jarrett puts on the Figure Four, but Giant sits up and grabs Jeff by the throat; exactly the same finish as his World Title change against Flair back in April. Flair can’t stand to watch, and punches The Giant in the plums drawing a DQ at 9:56THE HORSEMEN hit the ring to ensure the Giant doesn’t attack anyone, and all 5 guys stand tall together. *1/2
Back in the crowd, TED DIBIASEVINCENT, and NUMBER SIX stand together. DiBiase says a win is a win, and Flair simply made sure Jarrett left alive. Turning to the upcoming match, they all give Jericho props for being a great athlete, before promising to maul him.
NUMBER SIX vs. CHRIS JERICHO
Syxx has been around about a month, and to date hasn’t had his name displayed in a graphic a single time, so the fans are probably left to assume his name is “Six”, until Heenan finally clarifies it by spelling it out. NICK PATRICK is once again assigned to an nWo match. Tony tells us to watch this one carefully, as it’s the first match between an nWo member and WCW. WHAT THE HELL WAS THE LAST MATCH THEN?!? KONNANKEVIN SULLIVAN, and BIG BUBBER sit in the front row, but Braun the Leprechaun does not. Jericho hits a monkey flip, and screams “COME ON BAYBEEEEE” because that’s his WHOLE GIMMICK. A corner clothesline connects, but his follow up attempt at a crossbody off the top is stopped with a dropkick that sends him sprawling to the floor. A baseball slide sends Jericho to the guardrail, and Syxx follows with a senton. Back in, Syxx stomps that mudhole and walks it dry. Over to the martial arts kicks, and we move to a headlock. Back up, Syxx hits an enzuigiri, but misses a dropkick and hits the corner. Jericho throws a spinning heel kick that sends Syxx to the floor, and follows with a top rope plancha. Back in, Jericho hits the top rope elbow for 2. Jericho tries to follow up, but walks into snake eyes. Syxx dives off the top, but Jericho stops him in mid-air with a dropkick for a super slow 2. Jericho doesn’t let it bother him, hitting the Lionsault, and bridging back with a pin combo for the world’s slowest 1. Jericho frustrated hits a springboard crossbody for about an 8 count which is actually a 1 by Nick Patrick, and as he argues, Syxx hits a spinning heel kick for the fast win at 9:50. **
MIKE TENAY is with LEX LUGER in the back who looks like he’s been modelling for some sort of Steroid Scarecrow commercial. Luger’s tired of being questioned by Arn Anderson. I imagine he’s also tired of using a hair brush, or some sort of styling product.
ARN ANDERSON vs. LEX LUGER
The interesting thing about this, is that apparently Arn and Luger have somehow become completely blinded or oblivious to the nWo thing. Anderson became so consumed with hate that Luger couldn’t fend off the nWo, that apparently HE needs to be dealt with NOW as opposed to, you know, the common enemy that threatens their very existence. And hatred fuels him here, as he drops a series of knees to Luger’s face. Lex is just as amped though, roaring out of the corner like a lion (with a mane to match!), and clotheslines Arn to the floor. Off the apron, Lex hits a double axehandle, before running Anderson’s back into the ringpost. Kevin Sullivan’s voice somehow cuts over all the fans, as he starts screaming “RACK HIM LOOGAH!” You know what I like about that? It’s a heel openly rooting for a face, because in terms of the storyline, that’s who they are most likely to be aligned with. The WWE could take note of this, instead of “hey, I’m a bad guy now, I’m cool with all my old enemies”. Luger refuses to appease the Dungeon, opting for a backbreaker instead. Anderson throws a desperation back elbow, and heads up, but he gets crotched by Lex, and tied to the reverse tree of woe. Luger kicks and stomps at Arn’s back, and preps the Rack. Anderson isn’t ready to give up though, nailing a spinebuster, taking them both out. Back to the floor, Anderson takes control, beating Luger right in front of the Dungeon of Doom. Luger crawls to the apron, but Arn holds him hostage on the ropes and drives his knee repeatedly to the small of the back, releasing on the third shot so Luger falls to the floor once again. Lex desperately gets back in before the count, and finds himself getting Arn’s knee driven over and over into the back. Luger stands up, right into an abdominal stretch, and Anderson uses the ropes because he’s a lifetime scumbag. He gets away with it too, not caught on any of the peeks from the referee. Anderson releases and starts to work over the neck now, setting up a DDT – but Luger holds the ropes to block it and Arn’s head smacks the canvas. Luger throws a back elbow, but Anderson ducks the subsequent clothesline and Lex pulls up so as not to hit the referee. Anderson kicks Lex in the back driving him into the ref to knock him cold, and grabs a chair. Big swing misses, hitting the ring post! Luger drops Anderson, and catapults Anderson into the ring post. A vertical suplex on the floor gives Lex a chance to grab the chair now, and he pounds away on the back of Anderson, getting revenge for the attack on Nitro a couple weeks ago. Back in, the referee wakes up, and Luger easily applies the Rack for the submission at 12:18. Luger refuses to release the hold for nearly a minute after the fact, just to send a message to Anderson and the rest of the Horsemen. RIC FLAIR and JEFF JARRETT rush to ringside, to check on Arn who gets stretched out of the building. If Savage fails to capture the belt, Lex would seemingly be the obvious #1 contender to chase Hogan. **1/2
LEE MARSHALL distracts us from Arn’s potential career ending injury by finding HARLEM HEATSISTA SHERRI, and COLONEL ROBERT PARKER. Booker calls out the “wannabe thugs”, who they gonna jump, Harlem style.
THE FACES OF FEAR (with Jimmy Hart) vs. CHRIS BENOIT and MONGO MCMICHAEL (with Woman, Debra McMichael, and the Haliburton)
Tony speculates with Anderson and Flair out of the building, and half of the Dungeon of Doom sitting at ringside, this might be a Horsemen ambush; which actually wouldn’t be a bad idea if they executed that right now. Of course, with Meng and Barbarian on your side, it’s like having 5 men on your side at ALL times, so this is already theoretically a handicap match. Meng and Mongo hit each other with shoulderblocks for awhile, but all that does is get Meng to scream like a wild man, and neither sell or move. Mongo goes into the 3 point stance and unloads, which Meng sells like a shotgun blast. He turns things over to Barbarian, who chokes Benoit in the corner. Benoit hits an overhead belly to belly with a bridge for 2. Barbarian pounces up because he doesn’t feel pain, and tries for a Boston crab, but Benoit gets away. Everyone trades off once again, and Meng starts stomping around mocking the football poses of Mongo. They wind up brawling like sumo wrestlers in the middle of the ring, and Meng lays in with the CLUBBERIN’! Mongo fires back with chop blocks to both Meng and Barbarian, but Meng won’t even sell THAT, and he gives Mongo a superkick. The wild men hit double headbutts, and Barbarian comes in to work Mongo over. A scoop slam brings in Meng, but Mongo chases him off with a dropkick. And since he figures it worked once, he tries again, but Meng swats his legs like a fly and slams him. A senton backsplash misses, and Benoit gets the tag. He lays in the chops, forgetting Meng is basically made out of cement. He rushes the ropes while Barbarian blindly tags in, and winds up getting backdropped into the arms of Barbarian who powerbombs him for 2! Since Benoit is mortal (oops sorry), Meng chops him down and Benoit howls. Chris is placed on the top rope, but he manages to fight off Barbarian. He stands to do something, so Meng casually walks over and crotches him once again. Hah! Barbarian throws Benoit about 800 feet with a superplex, getting 2. Honest to god, any harder, and Benoit would have hit the opposite turnbuckle. Both of the Fear go up top, and hit the double swandives, and only Mongo can save the pin. This is a full on massacre. Barbarian picks up Benoit with a vertical suplex, and Meng is RIGHT behind with a big splash as soon as he hits the canvas, but Mongo pulls Benoit out of the ring to safety. Meng gets in there, but Mongo has the Haliburton and smacks Meng square in the face. Benoit rushes upstairs, hitting the swandive, and scoring the upset pin at 9:55. ***1/2
The Dungeon rushes in immediately, and storm the Horsemen. Benoit tries to stand tall, while Mongo is killed with a spike piledriver from Barbarian. Benoit somehow manages to fight off everyone, while Sullivan beats Mongo over the head with the Haliburton. Benoit is finally subdued, and is given a spinebuster from Bubba. Woman screams at Kevin to stop, but Hart screams if she’d called Kevin on Friday like she was supposed to this wouldn’t be happening. Sullivan reminds Woman “I’m the man, not him”. Why on EARTH would Woman have called Sullivan on Friday? Actually, forget I asked, I don’t actually want to know, and hopefully this will never be mentioned on TV again. (Spoiler: This will be mentioned again)
Back in the crowd, TED DIBIASE and VINCENT promise there’s nothing Harlem Heat can do to stop the Outsiders from taking the tag-team titles.
THE OUTSIDERS vs. HARLEM HEAT (with Colonel Robert Parker and Sista Sherri) (for the WCW world tag-team titles)
It would appear, on the surface, that it’s a little unfair for Harlem Heat to have had to wrestle about 45 times in the weeks leading up to the pay-per-view, but Hall and Nash DID have to do battle with the Starbuck Twins, so it evens out. And no, Sherri isn’t wearing a Halloween costume, that’s her regular look.
The fans are solidly behind WCW here. Just kidding, nobody’s cheering for that pack of losers at this point, as the roof just about blows off for Hall and Nash. They steal the tag-team titles and pose with the belts, to a loud pop. Booker starts with Scott Hall, who throws his toothpick in Booker’s face. Booker responds with an armdrag. Them’s tough words, Book. Harlem sidekick drops Hall, but he simply looks annoyed. A couple of big right hands turn the tide. Booker applies a hammerlock, but Hall quickly reverses. Booker elbows Hall in the face, and tosses him to the outside. It’s not a DQ, apparently, because it was “momentum”. Stevie Ray bumrushes Hall with a clothesline, and Parker threatens his CANE. Back in, Hall spits in Stevie’s face. Oh no he DIDN’T. Before facing retribution, in comes Nash. He throws his high knees in the corner, and finishes with a back elbow. Stevie explodes out of the corner with a clothesline, spits in Hall’s face, and slams Nash on the buckle. Booker comes in with an axe kick, getting 2. Nash comes back with a sidewalk slam on Stevie, and tags in Hall. A second rope bulldog gets a close 2. Booker tags in with a flying jalapeno, scoring 2. The Colonel was so sure that was it, he’s forced to mop his brow. Of course, he also mops his brow anytime it’s not a close count, any time the fans cheer, any time Stevie Ray stands on the apron, and any time Glacier is mentioned. Which he hasn’t been in awhile, I’m concerned. Now that he’s come, has he ceased coming? Meanwhile, Nash has levelled Booker with a big boot. Hall comes in with a uranage, but Stevie saves at 2. Booker tries another flying forearm, but Hall catches him in mid-air and hits a fallaway slam. Sherri pounces up on the apron and slaps Hall, who responds by shoving his tongue down her throat. Booker explodes in a fit of jealousy with a spinning heel kick, while the Colonel is so angry he can’t even mop his brow! The fans are disgusted by these actions, and show it by chanting “RAZOR” in unison. Booker gets locked in a sleeper, but he manages to shove off and apply one of his own to MASSIVE heel heat. Hall escapes by crotching Booker on the top rope. Dusty: “You’re nuts if you think that didn’t hurt!” Well played. After a collision, Booker is able to make the tag, and Stevie’s got some hurtin’ for the cracka ass suckas. Hall is gorilla press slammed INTO Nash in a nice spot. Booker sends Nash to the outside with a clothesline, and heads up to hit the Harlem Hangover on Hall! However the referee is tied up chasing Booker out, which the Colonel uses as his chance to hit the ring, only to wind up in the meaty hands of Nash. Colonel hands over the cane to save his own hide, and Nash beats Stevie down with the can that won them so many matches, allowing Hall to score the pin and claim the tag-team titles at 13:10. This was so much better than it had any business being (and far better than I remember it being). **1/2
WCW World War 3! Watch for it on Video Cassette! What the hell is a Video Cassette?
Back in the nWo section, HOLLYWOOD HOGAN is dressed in a ridiculous blonde spiked hairdo. And with the main event to come, Hogan’s so focused that he needs to stop to talk about the Three Ninjas movie he just filmed, along with Santa With Muscles that comes out at Christmas. I’m thinking neither of these are worth bragging about.
HOLLYWOOD HOGAN (with The Giant, Ted DiBiase, and Vincent) vs. RANDY SAVAGE (for the WCW world heavyweight title)
Tony announces that the Outsiders were escorted out of the building because apparently they got into an altercation with Doug Dillinger. Wait wait wait, all you have to do to get rid of the nWo is to ESCORT THEM OUT? Why didn’t anyone try this back on Memorial Day, 6 months ago?!? And I’m sorry, Hogan looks preposterous.
Buffer kills me by introducing Savage as one of wrestling’s “classiest stars”. The man is a LUNATIC, classy he ain’t. Macho also brings a Monster Truck with him, because that’s what we do in 1996. Sadly, it’s not 1995, because it would be on the roof. I’m shocked he doesn’t have his own sponsored race car. Savage demands the goons leave, and the referee appeases him by throwing the nWo out. Off the bell, Hogan immediately takes a powder, and orders “fatso” in the front row to sit in his seat. The fans root for Macho here, so at least one member of the nWo is still drawing heat. During the 4 hour stall-fest, Tony turns his attention to talking about the fact that a replica monster truck was given to a fan in attendance. Hogan finally puts on a headlock, and follows up by rolling out of the ring again. We are now 5 minutes into this match, and literally nothing has happened. They opt to start with a test of strength, but Hogan’s a SCOUNDREL and rakes the back of Savage’s head, and screams “YOU AIN’T NOTHING!” Savage gets his head slammed to the buckle, and Hogan hits a clothesline, which gives Hogan a chance to stomp around the ring like a sumo wrestler. Savage gets in his first offense at the 8 minute mark, by throwing a couple of punches and hitting an axehandle. He steals Hogan’s glasses, and WEARS THEM! What a move! Hogan gets down on his knees and apologizes, but Savage kicks him in the sternum, ripping off the wig. OH MY GOD, HOGAN’S BALD! Of course, the announcers can’t say this since it’s in Hogan’s contract as a great big no, so Tony says “there’s the hairdo we’re used to!” Hogan bails, but Savage chases him up the aisle and shoves the wig down Hogan’s throat. Randy grabs a chair and smacks Hogan in the face, which would draw a DQ most of the time but apparently the rules are relaxed tonight. Party like it’s mid-2000, WCW! Hogan somehow comes back in here and throws Slim Jims at Savage. A chairshot drops Randy, and Hogan starts dancing again. Hogan crotches Savage on the guardrail, and kisses him on the head. Of course, the kisses make ELIZABETH jealous, who bounces down to ringside. The distraction in the ring allows Savage to schoolboy Hogan for 2. Savage grabs the tights again and Hogan’s bare ass is on display. Well, not completely bare, he’s wearing a gold thong like he’s Jason Giambi stuck in a slump. Hogan hits the floor once again, and hides behind Liz. Back in the ring, Savage hits Hogan with a knee, which gives Hogan a chance to hit the floor AGAIN. Can we stay in the ring for more than 30 seconds at a time? Hogan hides behind Liz, because this is deja vous, and shoves her into Randy before clotheslining him. Back in, Hogan hits the big boot, but Liz hits the ring to protect Savage from the legdrop. Hogan gently picks her up by the chin and orders her to watch herself, reminding her that she works for him. Then he goes for the legdrop, but misses. Hogan grabs a foreign object, but Liz steals it. Hogan freaks out, and clotheslines the referee. That draws NICK PATRICK down to ringside, along with MARK CURTIS. Savage kicks Hogan in the teeth, and heads to the top rope while Curtis helps the fallen ref to the back. Patrick hits the ring as Savage hits the elbow, counting 2 before his shoulder goes out. Savage rips off Patrick’s neckbrace, and beats him down. Hogan grabs the foreign object, but Savage takes it away and hits Hogan in the head. He goes up for a second elbow, but DiBiase grabs Savage’s leg to stop it. The Giant re-joins us at ringside, and gives Savage the Chokeslam on the floor. Savage is rolled in, and Hogan is placed on top, just in time for Patrick to make the count at 18:39. Just … wow. –**
The Giant lumbers to the back, re-emerging with a bucket of ice water. It’s used to revive Hogan, as well as complete his end of the ALS challenge. Hogan brags that he’s the king of Hollywood, and complains about how bored he is. Tony goes to sign off, but suddenly bagpipes fire up, and everyone knows what’s coming next, as RODDY PIPER walks out! Hogan’s eyes about pop out of his head upon seeing him. They share an uncomfortable hello, before Piper explains why he’s here. If Hogan’s bored, he’s here to break up the monotony. Hogan apologizes to Piper, saying that he didn’t create wrestling alone, Piper was there with him. Piper says he’s not here to represent WCW, he’s here to deliver a reality check. He says he’s just as big a star as Hogan, and just as big a movie star. (I’m willing to bet he believes that, too.) Piper runs down his resume. Hogan senses that time is running out, and tries to cut Piper off, but Piper has no sense of the time and won’t stop rambling. Hogan tries for a second time to bury the hatchet, but Piper said he doesn’t want to hear it yet, because he’s still got more bragging about his resume. We talk Wrestlemania (was that a WCW event?), and he finally makes his point that he’s the only guy Hogan’s never been able to beat. Piper demands Hogan admit that the fans made him. Hogan, for the third time, admits that Piper’s just as big a star. Piper tells him to straighten up. Just as he’s leaving, Hogan throws in a joke about the kilt, and reminds Piper that he’s messing with the nWo now. Tony wraps the show up at this point, even though Piper’s still carrying on like a mad-man, because time ran out about 5 minutes ago with the pay-per-view carriers.

Crazy or not, Piper’s exactly what WCW needs – leadership. Let’s see how they follow through on Nitro.

October Classics: Rey Misterio, Jr vs. Eddy Guerrero – Halloween Havoc ’97

Halloween Havoc ’97 was main evented by Piper vs. Hogan in a cage match, but there were a couple of matches on the undercard that stood out. The first of which was this match for the Cruiserweight championship, with the stipulation that Rey would unmask if he lost. I’ll post the other match tomorrow.


Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Eddie Guerrero by PWF

October Classics: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – WCW Halloween Havoc ’94

This is the blowoff to Hulk Hogan’s feud with Ric Flair after Hogan’s debut back in the spring/summer of ’94. It has a cage, Mr. T as the referee, a mysterious masked Hogan attacker being unveiled. Overbooked, yes. Entertaining, also yes.


Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part One) by mrbling



Hulk Hogan vs Ric Flair (HH94 Part Two) by mrbling

October Classics: Cactus Jack vs. Vader – Halloween Havoc ’93

Spin the Wheel! Make the Deal! It didn’t land on Coal Miner’s Glove Match this time, and it gave Foley and Vader the chance to beat the crap out of each other. The ending holds this back a little, but each guy had their working boots on for this. Sick bump from Foley when Vader falls back on him. Just an amazing brawl.


WCW Halloween Havoc 1993 – Cactus Jack Vs. Vader by Bluthor

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.

The Lapsed Fan: Halloween Havoc 1991

Scott,
Here again with a plug for this week's THE LAPSED FAN.  Again, thank you so much plugging the show! JP
the lapsed fan Another week elapsed, another Lapsed Fan here at WZ, and this time it's Jack and JP's first look at a WCW pay-per-view. The co-chairmen break down the 1991 Halloween Havoc, and the unforgettable, for better or worse (who are we kidding? Worse) "Chamber of Horrors" match. The panel dissect the show as only they can, pointing out and meditating on a number of fascinating tidbits, including:- The original move pegged the "Attitude Adjustment"
– The story behind Paul E.'s sudden exodus from WCW and dramatic return on this show to form "The Dangerous Alliance."
– Which of the show's competitors JP had Galoob figures of
– Prescient insight into Alexandra York's laptop and presumptions on how it led her charges, including "The Computerized Man of the 90s," Terrence Taylor, to, well, losses
– The match where, to win, you had to put your opponent in an electric chair and flip the lethal switch, subjecting the audience to a live death that the announcers somehow covered with a detached nonchalance. Unlike anything you've ever seen, thank God. All that and so, so much more on the latest Lasped Fan, exclusively at WrestleZone. Check it out here for an evening of terrifying destruction:www.wrestlezone.com/news/489179-the-lapsed-fan-episode-7 Subscribe to us on iTunes:itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/lapsed-fan-wrestling-podcast/id886288819?mt=2&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 And follow us on Twitter: @thelapsedfan

Halloween Havoc 1998

Halloween
Havoc 1998
Date:
October 25, 1998
Location:
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance:
10,663
Commentators:
Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, Bobby Heenan
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
We’re
FINALLY here after six weeks of buildup. It’s a double main event
with Warrior and Hogan in the battle for Hollywood’s sanity and ego
as well as Diamond Dallas Page challenging Goldberg for the World
Title. However the show is remembered far more for something that
had nothing to do with the wrestling. Let’s get to it.

The
opening video hypes up the big matches on tonight’s card with the
overly dramatic music playing in the background. This really is a
stacked card.
The
set looks AWESOME with a giant demon holding an inflated pumpkin with
the Halloween Havoc logo. WCW always did nail their sets unlike
today where you’re lucky to get a few props.
The
announcers hype up the double main event. By this I mean they
mention Goldberg vs. Page in one sentence and then talk about Hogan
vs. Warrior for two minutes. Thankfully Tenay actually talks about
the World Title match and how different Page and Goldberg’s paths
have been to get here.
We
open with the Nitro Girls in the ring. Since most of you probably
know what’s coming, I’m going to keep track of the time being wasted
on segments like this. The ongoing total will be listed in
parentheses at the end of each segment. (1:10)
Tony
lists off three matches added: Disco vs. Juvy with the winner getting
a title shot later in the night and Raven challenging for the TV
Title.
Gene
brings out Rick Steiner for a chat as we wait on the first match.
Rick says this isn’t brother vs. brother tonight because he sees
Scott as just another opponent. Buff Bagwell comes out sans NWO gear
to say he’s had a real change of heart. Everyone is sick of Scott
Steiner and he knows the NWO doesn’t work one on one. Therefore,
Buff should be in Rick’s corner tonight and he barks to prove his
loyalty. Rick doesn’t know if he can trust Buff but goes along with
it anyway. (4:37)
TV
Title: Raven vs. Chris Jericho
This
could be good. Side note: I’m watching this on the WWE Network
(praise be its name) and Break the Walls Down is swapped in for
Jericho’s WCW theme. My head snapped up when I heard that instead of
his regular song. Raven complains about his losing streak and asks
What About Me.
He
went to bed at 11am this morning and then arrived at the arena to
find out he’s in an unscheduled match. Well he doesn’t feel like
wrestling tonight so he gets up and leaves. Jericho doesn’t want to
wrestle either but all of the Jericholics are here to see him because
Jericho equals buyrates and rock and roll. He was really looking
forward to facing an icon like the leader of the Flock, but there
wouldn’t be much of a challenge because Raven is a LOSER. That’s
enough to get Raven inside for the opening bell, nearly thirteen
minutes into the show.
Jericho
jumps him coming in and whips Raven with his leather jacket, setting
up the arrogant cover for two. Raven gets his hands on Jericho and
they fall over the top and out to the floor. Jericho gets suplexed
ribs first onto the steps and comes up holding his knee. A dropkick
off the steps puts the champion down again. Jericho: “HELP ME!”
Back in and Jericho hits a quick Stun Gun before the springboard
dropkick sends Raven into the barricade.
Chris
follows him out with a dive but Raven steps aside and Jericho goes
head first into the barricade as well. It’s Raven’s turn now as
Jericho whips him into the steel again before they head back inside.
Raven bites Jericho’s face before throwing on a quickly broken
sleeper. Jericho hits a backsplash and takes the turnbuckle pad off
but Raven blocks the whip into the corner. A standing hurricanrana
is countered into a powerbomb by Raven before he catapults Jericho
face first into the buckle for two.
Jericho
is oddly unharmed by being sent face first into steel but Raven
catches him in a belly to belly for two. Back up and Jericho sweeps
the legs to put on the Liontamer. Raven is quickly in the ropes and
hits the Even Flow out of nowhere for two. A low blow lets Chris hit
a German suplex for another close two as Kanyon runs out and gets on
the apron. Jericho immediately knocks him off and reverses another
Even Flow attempt into the Liontamer for the quick submission.
Rating:
B+. Why does no one bring this
up as a great match for either guy? They meshed the hardcore and
wrestling stuff together here and got a great match as a result.
Jericho was wrestling like a face here for the most part and it
worked just as well as his awesome heel run. The announcers played
up how Raven has been submitting so quickly after passing out from
the Crossface with a smile earlier in the year. Nice touch of
continuity to go with a great match.
Here
are Hogan (in an NWO Nitro t-shirt) and Eric Bischoff with a goatee
and haircut. Before the actual promo starts, Hogan says he beat up
everyone in wrestling because he loves Eric so much. Eric is always
asked what he admires the most about Hollywood. Since there’s so
much, it’s that he represents the family values of this millennium.
Hogan
says he could be long winded out here but he knows the NWOites all
love him and worship the ground he walks on. He goes on about how he
attacked Horace to prove a point and we get clips because just
talking about it isn’t enough. Hogan says he went a bit too far but
it was drawing a line on what it meant to be an NWOite. Tonight,
Warrior will know exactly what it’s all about and he’ll get beaten up
real bad for life. Since that’s not enough, Hogan spends another
minute talking into the camera as the music plays. (10:07)
Meng
vs. Wrath
The
fight starts on the floor with Wrath sending Meng into the steps and
taking him down with the flip dive off the apron. They
head inside with Wrath getting two off a middle rope clothesline.
Meng rolls forward to escape the Meltdown and the Kick of Fear gets
two. A gutbuster gets the same but Wrath comes back with knees to
the ribs in the corner. Meng gets two more off a belly to back
suplex but misses the Death Grip. A Rock Bottom is good for two on
Meng before the Meltdown gets the pin for Wrath.
Rating:
D+. The match was a decent
power brawl and it gets Wrath a his biggest win to date. They’re
actually building him up strong and it’s very nice to see for a
change. You would think putting the TV Title on him would make sense
as Jericho doesn’t need it and the US Title simply wasn’t happening
for Wrath at this point.
Kidman
is ready to face either Guerrera or Disco Inferno tonight. I
won’t count this as a waste of time because it was like fifteen
seconds long.
Disco
Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera
Winner
gets a Cruiserweight Title shot against Kidman later tonight. Disco
stomps away in the corner to start but grabs a side slam for two.
Juvy lands a LOUD chop to take over and does some quick dancing of
his own. Guerrero tries the backflip out of a Fameasser position but
just falls to the side. A second attempt at a Fameasser works a bit
better and Disco gets monkey flipped over the top. Juyy baseball
slides into a headscissors and both guys go down for a few seconds.
Back
in and Disco takes over with an atomic drop and clothesline before
stopping to dance instead of cover. We hit the chinlock with no
cranking on it at all before Juvy slides to the apron to take Disco
down with a Stunner. Disco heads outside again and turns his back on
Guerrera, allowing him to be taken out by a nice plancha. They head
inside again and Disco grabs a swinging neckbreaker but lays on the
mat instead of covering.
Disco
counters a sunset flip with a right hand but stops for a Macarena.
He busts out a giant swing of all things but dizzies himself. It
doesn’t turn out all that badly though as he falls head first onto
Juvy’s groin. Referee: “Juvy are you ok?” All three announcers:
“NO HE’S NOT OK!” Disco takes forever to get up top so Juvy can
nip up and grab a top rope hurricanrana. Now it’s Juvy on top with a
spinwheel kick (his hip hit Disco so Tony’s “flying body attack”
description is more accurate) for two and the sitout bulldog gets the
same. Juvy loads up a victory roll but Disco shoves him off and
nails the jumping piledriver for the pin.
Rating:
B-. Shockingly good match here
with Disco wrestling a normal style against the high flier in
Guerrera. I’ll give Disco this: he turned a ridiculous gimmick into
a successful career and had some solid matches throughout. That
jumping piledriver looked great as well and made things even better.
Nitro
Girls again, this time with hats and chairs. Kimberly’s complete
lack of emotion is more disturbing than anything else. (11:05)
Here’s
Scott Steiner with something to say. He’s been going for thirty days
with a freak on his left, a freak on his right and one in a box. Big
Poppa Pump is in town and ready to pound so here’s a catchphrase. He
beat up Buff in front of his brother, so why not make this match
interesting tonight, and have Buff/Rick vs. Giant/Scott? We’ll make
it even more interesting and make it for the World Tag Team Titles.
Giant comes out and agrees.
JJ
comes out and asks if they’re serious. If they’re willing to do so,
let’s make it even MORE interesting: if the titles change hands, Rick
gets to face Scott in a fifteen minute match. You know, LIKE THEY
ALREADY ADVERTISED. Scott says deal. This makes potentially five
matches added to the card already tonight. (15:42)
Fit
Finlay vs. Alex Wright
Heaven
forbid we don’t see this match again after they fought on Nitro two
weeks ago (and again this coming week on Thunder). Finlay
drives him into the corner to start as the announcers immediately
start talking about Hogan vs. Warrior. Wright does three straight
nip ups and climbs the corner to escape a wristlock. I guess just
spinning Finlay’s arm around was too passe for a European. They
trade European uppercuts with Wright taking over and stomping away as
the boring chants start up about two minutes in.
A
catapult into the bottom rope has Finlay in trouble but he comes back
with a catapult of his own, sending Wright chest first into the ropes
so he falls back onto Finlay’s knees. They head outside with Wright
taking over and slamming Finlay onto the floor. Finlay comes back by
dropping Wright’s throat across the barricade out of a fireman’s
carry. Back inside and they tumble right back down again. Wright
comes back inside and misses a missile dropkick. Finlay’s charge
hits the post and Alex hits a neckbreaker for the pin.
Rating:
C. The match was fine but this
was already done on Nitro and the story isn’t interesting in the
first place. Wright has won most of the matches between the
participants so far and it hasn’t really done anything for anyone
involved. This is a good
example of a match that just didn’t need to be on the PPV.
Ernest
Miller talks about being great on WCW.com but Lee Marshall points out
that all his nicknames are already taken. Kidman at least had a
match tonight. (16:42)
Lodi
vs. Saturn
This
is added match #5.
December to Dismember only added four. Lodi has little pieces of
chains on his trunks which jingle every time Saturn does anything.
Wait stop the match! SOMEONE IS TAKING LODI’S SIGNS! Thankfully
Lodi gets out of the ring and chases the guy down, demanding that he
leave the signs at ringside. Back in and Saturn takes him down with
a leg sweep, sending Lodi to the floor again. Lodi has to save his
signs again and tries to
leave but Saturn throws him back in and destroys him with the usual,
setting up the Death Valley Driver for the pin.
Rating:
D. It’s a comedy match which is
the only way you could do a Lodi vs. Saturn match. That being said,
what was the point in adding this to the card? To give the audience
a breather from between the big matches that could be on Thunder and
whatever comes next? At least Saturn got to look dominant.
The
announcers talk about what’s coming. We also get a recap video of
the Bagwell vs. Scott feud, which at least sets up a match later so
I’ll count it as mattering.
Nitro
Girls, looking very nice in leather pants and cut off tops. (19:00)
Cruiserweight
Title: Kidman vs. Disco Inferno
Disco
is challenging and is quickly dropkicked down to the corner. A drop
toehold sets up an armbar from the champion before he just stomps a
mudhole on Disco. Kidman gets a bit too cocky though and gets sent
throat first into the ropes, followed by a neckbreaker for two.
Disco tosses him outside but Kidman climbs up the steps for a bulldog
down to the floor. Back in and the champion misses a top rope splash
to give Inferno a two count.
We
hit the chinlock on Kidman but he quickly gets up and hits a hard
clothesline. Disco avoids a charge in the corner and stomps Kidman
down before talking a lot of trash. A middle rope elbow misses after
Disco wastes too much time dancing. He’s able to avoid a dropkick
though and hit the jumping piledriver for a delayed two count.
Kidman reveres a suplex but can’t hit his bulldog out of the corner.
Instead it’s Disco getting two off a gordbuster but taking too much
time trying the Macarena Driver. Kidman counters with a faceplant
and the Shooting Star retains the title.
Rating:
B-. Not as good as the Guerrera
match but it still worked quite well. Kidman was awesome at this
point and could have a good match with anyone (except Scott Hall of
course) as the division is really getting awesome again. Thankfully
the LWO wasn’t a part of this as it just isn’t catching my interest
so far.
Konnan’s
music video (edited off the Network). (21:30)
Tag
Titles: Scott Steiner/Giant vs. Rick Steiner/Buff Bagwell
Hall
and Giant are the real champions but it’s NWO Rules. The rules state
that if the NWO loses, Rick and Scott will face each other for
fifteen minutes. Not in a fifteen minute time limit match, but for
fifteen minutes. Bagwell is in street clothes. We stall a bit more
before the bell, but Tony is immediately plugging Bride of Chucky as
soon as the bell rings. Giant chops Rick in the corner to start and
Scott says stay on him instead of making a tag.
After
a few belly to back suplexes it’s off to Scott with some forearms to
the back as Buff plays cheerleader on the apron. Scott stays on him
for a few moments before he gets caught with an atomic drop. A
Steiner Line (not a lariat Tenay) puts Scott down and it’s off to
Buff who of course turns on Rick because THAT’S WHAT BUFF BAGWELL
DOES. Seriously, it’s all he’s done for most of this year. It’s
like the bad movie sequel when they’re just doing the same plot again
but this time it’s the same people.
Buff
runs off to make it a handicap match as Scott kicks his brother low.
The fans LOUDLY call this bull as Giant comes in and stands on Rick’s
chest. The beating keeps going with a slam from the Giant as the
announcers speculate about Judy Bagwell being in on this. Back to
Scott as Rick fights back but gets stopped by another low blow. Tony
says the WCW rules committee needs to look at that move. Wait so
it’s not a DQ already? Giant goes up for a missile dropkick of all
things (looked good too) but lays out Scott by mistake. Rick hits
the top rope bulldog for the pin and the titles because oh why not.
Rating:
D. Do I really need to explain
this one? The match wasn’t entertaining and the swerve surprised no
one, but the announcers of course treat it like some award winning
performance. What’s the point in having a setup and the swerve in
the span of an hour and a half? I know WCW thinks its fans are
stupid but come on. But hey, at least we have WACKY Tag Team
Champions now.
Rick
Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
Scott
tries to run and Giant is still down in the ring. Rick brings Scott
back to the ring but has to run from Giant. Scott gets sent into the
steps and begs off in the ring but Rick pops him in the mouth. Rick
gets a boot up in the corner and drives him upside down into the
corner for one. Another low blow puts Scott in control again and the
crowd just dies. After some choking, Scott gets caught in a belly to
belly for two. And now we have Buff Bagwell in a Bill Clinton mask
(I don’t get it either) with the slap jack to knock Rick and the
referee silly for the DQ.
Actually
scratch that as the match just keeps going despite the bell. Buff
puts Scott on top of Rick and picks up the referee’s hand for the
count. Rick kicks out at two as Scott hits the Frankensteiner out of
the corner for another two count. Buff throws the referee to the
floor but Rick comes back and hits the bulldog on Scott as Nick
Patrick slides in for the pin. Buff:
“ANYBODY SEEN MONICA???” Seriously what was up with the Clinton
stuff?
Rating:
F.
JUST LET THE STEINERS HAVE A MATCH!!! Why
is that such a horrible idea? There’s a built in story and it would
probably be an entertaining power match, but for some reason WCW
keeps dragging it out longer and longer until no one is going to care
anymore. And again, WHAT WAS WITH THE BILL CLINTON STUFF??? Yes I
know he was on trial around this time, but why is Buff in a Clinton
mask supposed to be funny?
We
recap Hall vs. Nash. These guys split up at Slamboree in May and
they’re having their first match five months later. Somehow that
puts the Steiners to shame. Hall
turned on him because he needed money which Hogan and Bischoff were
willing to give him. It’s a lame story but it’s better than nothing.
Scott
Hall vs. Kevin Nash
Hall
comes out with a cup in hand as Tony gives us a disclaimer about Hall
needing help. Scott throws
the drink in Nash’s eyes and hammers away to start, knocking Nash out
to the floor. Scott chokes him with a camera cable and blasts Nash
with a big right hand while still wearing the vest. It’s time for a
mid match promo as Scott asks how the world looks through foggy eyes.
Back
inside with Hall hammering away even more, dropping Nash with a
series of right hands. A discus punch sets up the crotch chop as a
loud Wolfpack chant starts up. Nash doesn’t feel like taking the
Outsider’s Edge this early so he makes his comeback with the right
hands and side slam before collapsing from exhaustion. They slug it
out from their knees, which would have more impact if we were over
five minutes into the match.
It’s
Nash up first but Hall bails to the floor to avoid a Jackknife
attempt. Hall comes back in for some more punches before driving in
the shoulder blocks. Nash
fires back with some right hands and the running crotch attack
against the ropes. Some knees in the corner have Hall in trouble and
the framed elbow knocks him down. Nash drives in knees in the other
corner while asking Hall if he wants another drink. Hall’s punches
have no effect at all so it’s a big boot, pull of the straps and two
powerbombs before Nash walks out on the match.
Rating:
D+.
It wasn’t exactly good, but after watching whatever the Steiners
thing was, this was a masterpiece. At least it was a match and had a
story with Nash just wanting to beat some sense into Hall instead of
beating him. Why is that so hard for Rick and Scott to do? Anyway,
not a great match, but there was something here at least.
Nitro
Girls, now in rainbow colored wigs. (22:30)
US
Title: Sting vs. Bret Hart
Bret
turned on Sting a few weeks back after turning on him a few months
back for reasons still not explained. Sting is challenging
and sits in the ring with the bat as Bret circles around on the
floor. The chase is quickly on outside but they’re nice enough to
come in for the bell. Bret immediately heads outside again but Sting
finally tosses him inside to get going. He rains down right hands in
the corner and hits an atomic drop for two.
Bret
fights out of the corner with right hands and headbutts followed by a
DDT for two more. A legdrop gets two for the champion and an elbow
gets the same. This match is almost in slow motion. We hit the
chinlock for a bit before Bret stomps on the chest. Bret
misses a dropkick and Sting
tries the Scorpion to wake the crowd up but Bret is in the ropes
before it goes on. Sting
hammers away and ducks a leapfrog but Bret injures his knee. Somehow
Sting falls for it and Bret loads up a foreign object. A clothesline
knocks it out of his hand but the referee takes it from Sting,
allowing Bret to get in a low blow.
The
Five Moves of Doom have Sting in trouble and Bret throws him outside.
Back in and Sting accidentally nails the referee with an elbow but
Bret drops a very intentional leg to keep him down. Bret kicks Sting
low again (what is with all these low blows tonight???) but Sting
crotches him on the top for a superplex. Everyone is out but Sting
hits a Stinger Splash, only to knock himself out on the post. Bret
hits him with the bat about five times, including once to the throat,
before putting on the Sharpshooter for the TKO win.
Rating:
D. This was long and boring
with nothing a stupid ending. Sting is probably going on the shelf
now as the Wolfpack takes yet another hit. Bret winning with the bat
is out of character for him, but then again so is being this bored in
the ring. There’s nothing here again and the match was really slow
and dull.
Sting
goes out on a stretcher after
a long time.
Hollywood
Hogan vs. Warrior
Here
we go everyone. This has been called the worst match of all time and
I’m curious to see how bad it really is. Hogan says he can kill the
Warrior and then threatens to murder the bum. Warrior tells Hogan to
get in the ring and immediately drills him with a right hand at the
bell. Hogan takes over with a knee to the ribs and shots to the back
before putting on a wristlock. Warrior counters into one of his own,
sending Hollywood bailing to the floor.
Hogan
refuses to do the test of strength and takes Warrior into the corner.
Now he’ll do the test with Warrior in trouble and we get the
recreation of the famous sequence. Warrior keeps trying to fight up
but Hogan switches to another wristlock, setting up the criss cross
so Hogan can slam Warrior down. It’s not sold at all but Hogan is
kind enough to sell for Warrior’s slam A clothesline puts Hogan over
the top and out to the floor where Warrior rams him into the
barricade.
Back
in and the referee gets bumped with Hogan kneeing him in the head as
well. Hogan runs Warrior over and calls in the Giant who
accidentally kicks Hogan in the head. Warrior knocks Giant, Vincent
and Stevie Ray to the floor but gets caught by a belly to back suplex
for two. We get the workout belt whipping followed by one of the
more impressive screwups I can ever remember. You know the spot
where a heel drops elbows but the other guy keeps rolling away? They
try that here but Warrior rolls the wrong way and knocks Hogan over.
IT’S LEFT AND RIGHT FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
Anyway
Warrior misses the splash (zero reaction) but comes back with a right
hand and hits him with the workout belt. The referee yells at
Warrior so Hogan pulls out a magic kit. It’s a plastic bag with some
paper and a lighter inside which is supposed to be used to make a
fireball but Hogan can’t get it to work and throws the paper at
Warrior before some of it lights up between the two of them. Thank
goodness Warrior doesn’t sell it and hammers away on Hogan.
A
top rope ax handle (with Warrior’s hands coming apart about 10 inches
before making contact and lightly grazing Hogan’s shoulders but
somehow busting Hogan open. There’s ANOTHER low blow and the legdrop
(still no reaction) before Horace comes out with a chair. Hollywood
misses another legdrop and Warrior fires off some clotheslines as
Bischoff distracts the referee. Horace hits Warrior with the chair
to give Hogan the pin and soothe his fragile ego.
Rating:
F. Oh yeah it’s bad and it’s
not even in a funny way. This is bad in a pitiful way and doesn’t
get any better at all. Ignoring the traditional illogical turn at
the end by Horace (Hogan said something about passing a test), this
was a long and horrible match with no one looking good.
The
original idea with the fireball was for Warrior to make a big blind
comeback which even Hulk has said was a bad idea in retrospect. This
was much more embarrassing than anything else with Warrior showing
how he had nothing at all anymore and that Hogan was just a joke
anymore in the ring. I think everything that can be said about this
match has been said at one point or another so I’ll leave it at that.
The
Hogans pour lighter fluid on Warrior but Doug Dillinger stops the
matches from being thrown.
It
would be about 10:59 at this point but it’s World Title time.
WCW
World Title: Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Let’s
stop it here for a second because this is where it all fell apart.
See, WCW decided that this show should be extra long and asked the
PPV companies to give them an extra thirty minutes. Unfortunately
this was 1998 and not that simple, so a lot of feeds went off
somewhere between the end of the Warrior vs. Hogan match and the
start of the title match. Yeah WCW gave them some advance notice,
but that doesn’t put WCW in the clear. If you look at this show,
they EASILY could have cut nearly an hour out but WCW just couldn’t
let that happen.
Overall
the show ran roughly three hours and twenty minutes, so cutting out
say 25 minutes would have made this fit the time slot. As
I mentioned, we had over 22 minutes of segments that weren’t needed
or Nitro Girls (certainly not worthless but not necessary). On top
of that there was the Juvy vs. Disco match, Wrath vs. Meng, Finlay
vs. Wright, Saturn vs. Lodi
and the Tag Title match which all could have been on free TV instead
of here. WCW never advertised the show as running longer than usual
as far as I know so it’s not like the fans would feel ripped off.
It
comes off as a combination of stupidity and somewhat arrogance as the
company just figured their plan would work and they just HAD to be
bigger than WWF. What did most of the stuff they added here help?
What does a Saturn vs. Lodi comedy match (probably six minutes with
entrances and a post match replay) do to help the card? It ticked
off the fans and cost them a lot of money, but at least they got the
Buff Bagwell swerve and a Konnan music video on PPV.
And
now, the match. Page’s music is edited on the Network. Page
charges right at him a few times and is easily shoved away. An
armdrag frustrates Goldberg and they lock up before falling to the
floor without breaking it up. Back in and Page tries a legsweep but
Goldberg does a standing backflip to avoid it. Men his size should
not be able to do that. A bad looking cross armbreaker has Page in
trouble and Goldberg shoves him out of the ring to block the Diamond
Cutter.
Back
in and Page takes him down into a hammerlock but a hard shoulder
block puts him on the floor. Page is able to snap Goldberg’s throat
across the top rope and he follows up with a swinging neckbreaker. A
Russian legsweep gets two and we hit a front facelock. Goldberg
knees his way out of it and hits a spinning neckbreaker to put Page
down. A hard hiptoss puts Page down and a side slam gets two for the
champion. Back to the cross armbreaker but Page makes the rope.
A
superkick sends Page flying but he sidesteps the spear, sending
Goldberg hard into the post. Page
gets two off a flying clothesline and the running DDT puts the
champion down as well. He calls for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg
nails him with the spear. It injures his arm though and Goldberg
can’t get the Jackhammer. Page slips behind him and grabs the
Diamond Cutter but both guys are down. The fans are suddenly WAY
into this as Page gets a very close two. Page tries a suplex of his
own but Goldberg counters into the Jackhammer to retain the title.
Rating:
B. It’s not a masterpiece but
it’s definitely Goldberg’s best match ever. The fans were buying
into Page as a threat at the end of the match and that’s more than
can be said about the vast majority of Goldberg’s opponents. To put
it simply, this was a good wrestling match. You can’t often say that
about a WCW main event but that’s what you had here.
Goldberg
helps Page up post match and
poses to end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. Oh my where do I
start? As is almost always the case, a good effort by lower card is
wasted by most of the main event stuff. Look at the World Title
match for an example. It’s the only good main event match on the
show, but it’s the third thing people remember after Hogan vs.
Warrior and the feed cutting out. Those things overshadow good
efforts by guys like Jericho, Raven and even Disco Inferno.
On
top of that, look at how much of the card was announced the night of
the show. That’s common with some nothing matches, but there were
three title matches announced during the show. I’m not saying one of
them would have been enough to sell a PPV, but I’d certainly think
Raven vs. Jericho, a Tag Team Title match and a Cruiserweight Title
match in addition to everything else already advertised might have
sold a few extra shows. But
again, they just don’t mention it and add it on here.
This
should have been a huge night for WCW but it turned into one of the
moments they’re remembered for in a bad way. The card was one of the
most stacked lineups I can ever remember WCW having but it’s
remembered for two huge failures more than anything else. It’s still
definitely a good show with the opener, main event and cruiserweight
stuff outweighing the three bad main event matches (Hall vs. Nash is
bad but not terrible) but the bad is really hard to ignore.

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

QOTD 50(?): Halloween Havoc

Happy end of Halloween Blog Otters! I’m on my way to an organ performance at Brown university and figured I’d post this, else miss two QOTDs in a row!

What are you best and worst Halloween adventures? 


I have a few involving sailor Jerry’s, k2 , cops and German chicks but ill save it for a real keyboard

So I’ll post my costume. I’m the king of kings…. Personal band.https://mobile.twitter.com/MeekinOnMovies/status/396121149018349568/photo/1


The Only Review of Halloween Havoc 1989 That You’ll Ever Need

Due to request, Caliber’s 2013 Tour of the Classics is making a stop at Halloween Havoc 1989.


Mike Rotunda vs. The Z-Man
Rotunda obviously spent his GAB money on a perm,
which I assume had something to do with him being Gabe Kaplan’s stunt double.
Doesn’t matter what a person does, there’s no way someone is getting over with
a name like Z-Man. I’m soon proven this as this match is absolute death. It’s
insanely slow, with constant stalling, and once the action gets going it’s
leap-frogs and wrist-locks. Thankfully, they do figure out what this match
needs to pick it up, SEVERAL submission spots. Leg-scissors, abdominal stretch,
sleepers, it’s all there, and it all sucks. Thankfully The Z-Man, a nickname
the ladies gave him, turns a flying cross body into a pin. 
The Z-Man pins the future boat captain at 13:23 | *

We get an interview with Bruno who was the
definition of a barrel chest.

This is Sir Oliver Humperdink. He was out on behalf of the SST & Samoan Savage. I’m including this picture because I started reviewing this PPV late at night, and fell asleep. For some reason, I have no idea why, my VLC player froze the file on this image. So, I literally woke up to this on the computer monitor about 2 feet from my face.

The Midnight Express & Steve Williams vs. The
Samoan Swat Team & Samoan Savage

I often wonder if wrestling organizations in other
countries are as xenophobic. Does a promotion in England do the Samoan savage
crap? Are there any American characters who are either Million Dollar Man-esque,
or Zeb Colter? I wonder if any promoters fucked with Samoan type wrestlers now
and again. Like, you have Fatu come into the office for his first meeting;

Promoter: We wanna go with something new! You’re
gonna be a Harvard educated-type Samoan. A man of culture and class, who’s here
to change stereotypes and ways of thinking
Fatu: Really?!
Promoter: Nah, just kidding. Here’s a raw fish,
get to eating. 

Enough with the fun, let’s get back to the match.
MX and Dr. Death are pretty great, that goes without saying. The Samoans are
death as far as any entertainment goes. Speaking of death, once the good Doctor
comes in, the place explodes. He really gets going, getting you whipped up for
the match, but then you realize it’s The Samoans on the other side, not The
Southern Boys or the 4 Horsemen. Eventually, because I say this with no
exaggeration or stretching of the truth, this match goes on for at least 4
hours, and finally Stan is pinned by The Samoan That Is Not Fatu, not to be
confused with The Harris Brother That Sid Did Not Pin. 
Stan runs into Corny and is pinned at 18:16 | **
[all of these stars are for Dr. D and MX]

We get an interview with Terry Funk in which he
states that tonight a new dance will sweep Philly, the 10,000 Watt Electric
Boogie featuring Ric Flair and Sting. I for one am looking forward to this
match, simply to see how Funk acts when he gets electrocuted. 

Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin

It’s great how Ross keeps talking up Rich, and how
he’s “the comeback man of 1989” as the crowd screams “TOMMY RICH
SUCKS!” There is nothing to note of this match, other than the crowd
shitting all over it. Man, this PPV better get going, because so far it’s
God-awful. Honestly, this picked up a little near the end, and that’s all I
have to say about it. I can’t believe Rich won with a Lou Thez Press in 1989. 
Cuban Assassin eats a pin after getting hit with a
finisher that wouldn’t get over in 1089 A.D. let alone 1989 at 8:26 | *1/2


 
FREEBIRDS! Man, they were DYING to make those
Terminator shades happen. Let us also not forget the waist high leather
jackets. 

The Freebirds [C] vs. Dynamic Dudes – WCW Tag-Team
Championship

The Freebirds do have a great move where Hayes
will run over to Garvin after getting roughed up and have him adjust his hair.
I’ll give it to the Dudes, they’ve got some decent double-team moves. The
crowd, because it’s the birthplace of smark, is chanting like crazy for the
Freebirds. So much so that Garvin and Hayes get into it. The crowd is so sick
of the Dudes’ pathetic babyface pandering that they blow the roof off with a
cheer when Hayes cheapshots Johnny. Near the end, The Dudes look to be
finishing off the Birds, drawing absolute heel heat. They go for the Wipeout [a
double sling-shot back-drop] on Garvin, Hayes holds Ace’s foot, allowing Garvin
to turn into a pin and retain the titles, much to the delight of the crowd.
Now, I’ll admit, I was dreading this, but this match absolutely won me over.
The crowd laid a great foundation for the match, proving it’s always awesome
when people will not just eat the white bread like they’re told. I also have to
give due to the Dynamic ones, as their double team moves and energy helped them
pull their own weight. Same goes for The Freebirds, as they were ridiculous,
and absolutely soaking up the adulation. Good stuff. 
Garvin pins Douglas after a botched Wipeout at
11:28 | ***1/2

Interview with The Steiners. It’s so weird seeing
the voice, and sheer idiocy of Big Poppa Pump coming out of this dumb looking
dude with a mullet. 

Doom w/ Woman vs. The Steiners

You know, I often hear about how broken down Scott
was once he hit the BPP stage of his career, however it wasn’t until I started
watching old NWA stuff that I saw it for myself. Literally everything he does
is faster, from simple things like walking and punching, to leaps off the top
rope and Frankensteiners. Definitely one of the hardest hitting matches I’ve
seen, as the Steiners are typical to their rep, but Simmons and Reed are giving
as good as they get. Rick and Scott are controlling at first until Doom starts
gloriously pulling out every cheap heel tactic they can. They get Scott in
their corner and beat the hell out of him with numerous double-team moves, my
favorite of which being what appeared to be a double-suplex but they end up
just throwing Scott to the ground once he’s up in the air. Eventually Scott
nabs the hot tag, but Woman places an international object in the mask of Reed,
allowing him to deliver a super-head butt on Rick and earn the victory. Of
course, the announcers don’t call in to question the absolutely inane action of
putting something like a roll of quarters in your mask as opposed to just your
hand, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose. It’s a pretty good match
that’s made on the simple fact of how hard-hitting it is. 
Reed head-butts Rick for the pin at 15:26 | ***1/4


Brian Pillman vs. Lex Luger – US Heavyweight
Championship

The match started off with Brian doing whatever he
could to get the edge on Luger, but Lex just kept cutting him off at the knees.
Eventually, Pillman is able to work Luger’s left arm in hopes of disabling the
Torture Rack. All this does is piss Lex off, as he eventually beats the hell
out of Pillman with clotheslines to the back of the head and powerslams. This
is the role that Luger should play always, whoever wanted to see him as a face
is out of their mind. Or digs crap. Philly seems to really love themselves some
Lex, and we even see him jawing with Hat Guy from ECW. Luger catches Pillman
with a Stun Gun, and that’s enough to put him down. I too am stunned at Luger
being able to have another good match that wasn’t with Flair. I don’t think
it’s anything worth seeking out, but it definitely helps elevate the PPV, and
at the time made Pillman look like a star. 
Pillman eats a Stun Gun and a pin at 16:48 | ***1/4


Skyscrapers vs. Road Warriors

Well, here’s the match that’ll give you your
money’s worth, workrate wise. The fact that Sid is still in a tag-team after
what I saw at the GAB 89 is amazing. The match is just about what you’d expect,
a lot of no selling, a lot of kicking and punching that help carry a giant
reminder that the LOD are not the greatest tag-team of all time. Teddy Long is
mobbing around with a giant gold key, leaving me to wonder if he melted down
the crown the Skyscrappers won at GAB. He probably opted for the key because
carrying around the crown looked stupid. Teddy tosses the key in and we get
ourselves a DQ. 
The Skyscrapers are DQ’ed at 11:39 | *1/2

Interview with Sting and Ric Flair. Sting tells us
it’s Halloween, and it’s full of havoc. Oh…oh, I see what he did there. 

Ric Flair & Sting vs. Terry Funk & The
Great Muta – w/ special guest ref Bruno Sammartino – Thunderdome Match

The match can only end when either Gary Hart
representing Muta & Funk or Ole representing Sting & Flair throw in the
towel for one of their guys. The Thunderdome cage is decorated with Halloween
garb that of course catches fire before the match starts. Once it does start,
it’s great, with everyone giving their all, and enjoying the hell out of
themselves. It’s almost as tough a brawl as the Flair/Funk match from the Bash,
but I feel like the cage is actually hindering the match. Instead of keeping it
in the ring, the guys have to occasionally work the cage, and it really
disrupts the flow. However, Flair does swing from a rope like Tarzan, so that
helps. However, if they’d just kept this as a basic tag match, they could have
had a great main event. Unfortunately, all this crap with the stupid
electrified cage, and throwing in the towel just ruined it. Completely killing
the flow, and turning the match into a disjointed mess of people randomly going
here and there and doing whatever, like touching the top of the cage despite
the fact we’re told it’s got 10,000 watts running through it. The second half
wouldn’t have been so bad had it not been built on the promise of the great
first half. Ole throws in Gary’s towel, and we have our winners. 
Towel is thrown in for Funk & Muta at 21:55 |
***1/4


Showcase Showdown: 

On the heels of GAB, as well as the other great
stuff I’ve been hearing about 1989 NWA, I really expected this one to be solid
as well. Although I’ve certainly seen a hell of a lot worse, there wasn’t
anything mind blowing here. Had more than one match been at least ***1/2, I
could probably give this a recko, but that isn’t the case. Dusty’s need to have
a gimmicked main event soured the final match on a card that was built on a
foundation that could be described as “OK” at best. I’d say look for
the Freebirds vs. Dynamic Dudes match on YouTube, and sure, check out the main
event while you’re at it, because the first half is some great stuff. This show
is the Second Showchase that’s not so bad, but still isn’t the first one that
had jet-skis and the Royal Rumble pinball machine.

As always much respect to my editor, Steven Ferrari. I met him when I needed to buy a new caravan for a boxer I was managing, and at the time he was living with a group of Gypsies. Dags? Oh yeah, I like “dags”.

Str8 Gangster, No Chaser
– I’ve started a new article series known as Man Etiquette, so you’ll
know how to act in certain situations, I pay tribute to the burliest of
the burly from the 8-bit era, talk
about people who shouldn’t use the internet [all of them], Saved By The
Bell
Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn’t Know Were Comic Book Films, movie reviews, wrestling articles, and plenty
of other goods.
WCW In 2000
– Recently updated with the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. You know
what’s shocking? The PPV is GOOD. No joke, it’s seriously good, and
features the best match of WCW’s 2000 year so far.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1
– NOW ONLY 99CENTS! THAT’S LESS THAN A DOLLAR! My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as
well as well as fellow BoD’ers The Fuj & Kenny Chill. 5 star average on amazon.
Board for the BoD’ers – We average about 50 people a day stopping by, a constant cast of people posting, and you can talk about anything you want.

Any questions, comments, mailbag stuff you want posted – [email protected]

Halloween Havoc 1997

Halloween Havoc 1997
Date: October 26, 1997
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 12,457
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan

Reviewed by Tommy Hall

This
was another request and since I want to get some WCW PPVs done I have
no problem knocking this one out. We’re two months out from Starrcade so
this show doesn’t mean much. We have something resembling a double main
event with Hogan vs. Piper in a cage and DDP vs. Savage in what would
be called a last man standing match.  Let’s get to it.

After a brief intro that is literally all about Hogan vs. Piper, we’re into the arena for some talking.

Tony
talks about how a year ago Piper debuted in this arena. Oh and it’s the
biggest cage match EVER!!! The announcers talk about the cage match a
lot which is of course non-title as Sting vs. Hogan is carved into
granite here. If Hogan wins, the NWO may never die. Yes, Piper was
pushed that hard.

Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon

The
Dragon wanted to get his hands (or is it claws?) into Sonny Onoo, the
manager of Nagata. Onoo is the old manager of Dragon and he screwed him
over for Nagata. I guess cuddling with the scales didn’t work. This feud
went on way too long and no one really wanted to see it but it kept
getting pushed anyway. They trade some kicks to start and Nagata takes
over.

They
speed things up and Dragon tries some more kicks which results in him
getting suplexed hard. There’s the head stand in the corner but Dragon
gets caught in a neck crank. He can’t get anything really going here.
Dragon finally breaks the hold and gets kicked for his efforts. Tenay
thinks the winner here might be #1 contender for the Cruiserweight
Title.

Camel
clutch by Nagata and Dragon is in trouble again. We hear about Nagata
being in MMA which is true. He was 0-2 and his fights lasted less than a
combined 90 seconds. To be fair though, his opponents were Cro Cop and
Fedor. Wait those fights hadn’t happened yet. Unless they were amateur
or at REALLY small promotions, I have no idea what fights Tenay is
talking about.

Suplex
gets two for Nagata as I’m in pain simply thinking about having to
fight those two. Dragon gets a Dragon Screw leg Whip out of nowhere and
we hit the floor. Dragon tries a dive and jumps into a kick. This has
been about 85-90% Nagata. Here comes Raven with the Flock for some
reason as Dragon hits the Asai Moonsault. Back in the ring and the
handspring elbow by Dragon eats a knee.

Sunset
bomb off the top gets two for Dragon as he’s slowly getting more moves
to hit. Apparently he has a bad elbow. Standing moonsault gets two and
Dragon wants the spinning frankensteiner. Nagata reverses and is able to
drop the arm across the thing that connects the buckle to the post. He
hammers the arm and gets a belly to belly for two.

Nagata
Lock (a leg lock) goes on for a bit but Dragon grabs a
Dragon Sleeper for a few seconds as Nagata escapes. Both guys down now
but Dragon pops up to hit his kicking sequence to take over. Spinning
frankensteiner hits but the arm is hurt. He goes for the Dragon Sleeper
and Nagata reverses into an armbar for the tap out. Quick finish there.

Rating: B-.
Basic match here and Nagata was dull as always, but this was
still good. This feud would go on forever with Nagata never really
losing. Dragon never really meant anything after this, although you
could say the same thing for the whole company in about six months. Not a
bad opener, but Dragon got beaten down too much.

Disco
Inferno is on WCW.com with Mark Madden. Hey it’s like a WZ Party! He
runs his mouth about facing Jacqueline, a woman, tonight. I can’t stand
her and this angle was bad.

Gedo vs. Chris Jericho

This
is a bonus match. Gedo has blonde hair and is in a dark yellow cut off
shirt and pants. Gedo’s partners may be coming to WCW soon apparently.
Apparently Gedo lost in the finals of the Super J Cup. Jericho sends him
to the floor and then a long suplex in the ring puts Gedo down. Jericho
is a face here.

He
chops away but gets knocked over the rope once and skins the cat. I
still wonder how in the world that name came from. Gedo is apparently a
fan of 1970s southern brawling and is like Dusty Rhodes. Oh dear indeed.
And this guy almost won the Super J Cup? That could be horrifying. Gedo
takes over with a powerslam and a sleeper but Jericho gets a
clothesline to make Gedo flip inside out.

Double
powerbomb by Jericho (I didn’t know he did that in WCW) gets two. They
both go to the top but Jericho botches the heck out of it (how often do
you hear that line?) and almost lands in a Styles Clash kind of move.
That looked painful but not quite a FREAKING OW MAN level.
Pescado by Jericho eats boots and they head back in. Gedo gets a shot at
the knee and goes up, only to jump into the Liontamer to end this.

Rating: C+.
Pretty good match here but not quite as good as the first one. The
styles kind of clashed here (haha that was funny) but the result was
still solid. Jericho botching is always interesting to see due to the
rarity of it. Decent match as yet again we see the WCW formula of good
matches from young guys and the bad matches from the old guys to end it.

Mongo and Debra argue about divorce things.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

This
is mask vs. title with Eddie as champion of course. Great heat on Eddie
to start as he’s totally evil here. Rey gets an arm drag and a cross
body to send him to the floor almost immediately. Rey flips to the apron
but gets caught by Eddie and tripped, sending him to the floor. Eddie
rams Rey into the steps and adds a hilo to the back in the ring. Rey
fires off a dropkick but tries a cartwheel which gets caught in a belly
to back as Eddie continues his dominance.

Tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker by Eddie gets two. Eddie goes after the mask but this is
part of a bodysuit kind of a thing. Abdominal stretch by Eddie and Rey
is in trouble. Tenay says that Rey used to wrestle as Hummingbird which
Heenan of course rips into. Rey is on his back in a test of strength
position so he uses Eddie as a board to pop up with and jumps to the top
rope, backflips over and grabs a DDT out of nowhere to break Eddie’s
momentum. AWESOME move.

Rey
sends Eddie to the apron and tries a dropkick but Eddie moves and sends
Rey to the floor. After sending him into the railing it’s a camel
clutch with Eddie ripping at the mask again. Off to the Gory Special and
Rey is in trouble. Modified surfboard as Eddie is in total control
here. We hear about El Santo which is someone you hardly ever hear about
at all.

Rey
tries to fire some shots off in the corner but gets sent into the
opposite corner and caught in the Tree of Woe. Baseball slide by Eddie
misses and he does the Hennig crotch spot against the post. Rey dives
off the top onto Eddie on the floor and here comes Rey. Standing rana
gets two back in the ring. A headscissors puts Eddie on the floor and in
perhaps the most awesome spot I’ve ever seen, Rey gets a running start
and dives over the ropes, catches Eddie in a rana and swings him around
without touching the floor until he releases the hold.

Back
in and a corkscrew moonsault gets two. Split legged moonsault misses
and it’s a big powerbomb by Eddie and Rey is in trouble. Crowd is
getting into this quickly. Big heat on Eddie now. Rey takes him down
with a spinwheel kick but the West Coast Pop is reversed into a
backbreaker. Frog Splash misses so Rey goes up top. Eddie tries a
crucifix bomb off the top but Rey reverses into a rana out of air and
holds Eddie down to get the pin and the title! AWESOME ending!

Rating: A+.
This was in the running for match of the year and it’s easy to see why.
The problem is when you have Austin vs. Hart in the I Quit match and
the original Hell in a Cell in the same year. That kind of slows things
down a bit which is a shame as this was a great match indeed. Rey was
awesome at this point and moved around here so well that it was almost
uncanny. Great match and Eddie played an awesome cocky heel here. Great
match and the best I’ve ever seen out of Eddie I think.

Bischoff
and Hogan babble about wanting Sting guaranteed to be out of the arena
before he’ll fight tonight. Ok then. This took four minutes somehow with
them talking about wanting a contract or something so he can get the
physical belt back.

Debra has a surprise opponent for Mongo.

Alex Wright vs. Steve McMichael

This
is more of Debra vs. Mongo with her managing Wright here. And it’s time
to talk about Hogan not being in the main event now. Mongo works on the
wrist but Wright bounces out of it. A minute into the match the
announcers say the names of the wrestlers for one time each. I think
Wright is a heel here but it’s really kind of hard to tell. Not like the
announcers are helping us any as we need to talk about Hogan being a
coward.

Yep
Wright is a heel here as we discuss the NWO having power now and how
they have the fans over a barrel. Wright works on the arm but I’m not
sure why. It’s not like they’re being recognized for it. Tony is calling
them con men or whatever. Mongo takes over again as now we’re going to
talk about Sting to avoid talking about the match. They collide in the
ring and neither guy goes anywhere.

They
talk about the match for 34 seconds and just flat drop it to talk about
Hogan more. After a bit more talking it’s a tombstone, Mongo’s
finisher, to Wright. Goldberg comes in while Debra has the referee, and
spears Mongo. This would be a bit more effective if the referee hadn’t
looked over his shoulder to make sure the spear hadn’t happened yet. The
Jackhammer hits (how does the referee not notice a third person in
there) and he throws Wright on top for the pin.

Rating: C.
I’m giving them some credit here because they got such little love from
the announcers. In a six and a half minute match the match was talked
about for all of a minute. That’s pathetic and they did it on TV also. I
can kind of understand it there but here? Why? Are they trying to sell
it or something? We already have the PPV man. What’s the point?

Debra gives Goldberg the Super Bowl ring which is now apparently Goldberg’s. He lays out Wright and he’s the real man for Debra.

Savage and Liz (looking very sexy in an NWO t-shirt) say various things about beating up DDP.

Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline

This
was supposed to be for Disco’s TV Title but the wrestling commission
wouldn’t let us have a title match where the area between their legs
wasn’t matched. Tony tries to tell us that WCW should ban Hogan from
coming back to PPV if he bails tonight and talks about court cases or
something. It’s so hilarious to hear someone on Halloween Havoc talking
about not giving the fans an advertised main event.

Disco
runs of course as he’s both afraid of her and is afraid of trying to
touch her. We’re at stall #3 by Disco so far so we talk about WCW having
momentum or something. WCW never got that no one cared about WCW or
momentum or a war or whatever as it went on FOREVER. Disco has hit the
floor five times in three minutes now and there has been zero contact
whatsoever.

To
the ropes again as this is just idiotic. The fans boo loudly and I
can’t say I blame them. We talk about how Hogan ran too. OH COME ON as
he’s hit the floor eight times now and she finally chases him. A sunset
flip gets two as we’re firmly in the “let’s praise Jackie for doing
basic moves on a man because she’s female” territory. Drop toehold takes
her down and Disco hits the floor again.

We play keepaway on the floor for awhile and Disco hits the floor for an 11th
time. WHO BOOKED THIS CRAP??? Jackie finally catches him and hammers
away….kind of. Disco tries to leave and that gets him nowhere. Hip toss
doesn’t work and he sends her to the floor. The problem here is simple:
Jackie is just a brawler that talks tough.

That
doesn’t make this impressive. It makes it long and like they’re trying
to say “look at us! We’re awesome because this chick is awesome!” See,
when Chyna did it, it was realistic because she could hang with them and
you kind of forgot she was a woman. Jackie is a chick that is doing
moves to men. Cross body is rolled through by Disco for two and Jackie
rolls up the TV Champion and pins him clean. No one cares about Jackie
still.

Rating: F.
Oh do I even have to explain this one? Jackie isn’t impressive, no one
cares about her and she was supposed to be Chyna or something like that.  This was a very boring match that might have had 1 minute of “action” out of
nine. This was just terrible and they had to know it was.

US Title: Ric Flair vs. Curt Hennig

Hennig
stole Flair’s robe and turned on Flair and the Horsemen at Fall Brawl.
Hennig, the champion, comes out with the Cruiserweight belt instead of
the US belt. Flair sprints to the ring and beats the tar out of Hennig
to start. Time to talk about Hogan some more as we finally get the robe
off Hennig and onto Flair (minus the sleeves). Hennig gets his first
offense in, a clothesline, at about two and a half minutes.

Tony
manages to say by golly as he rants and raves about WCW and pride and
all kinds of nonsense like that. Hennig goes after the knee and the
announcers rant about Hogan even more. Just say he’ll be here and get it
over with. Hennig works over the leg a lot as the momentum this match
had has just died completely. Elbow gets two as Hennig goes after the
head, which is what was injured in the War Games match where Hennig
turned.

All
Hennig and his orange crotch of tightness here as he hammers away at
Flair’s head. He hammers away and we talk about what WCW might offer
Hogan and Bischoff. Sleeper goes on which is very appropriate here. A
chair is grabbed and Hennig tries the weakest chair shot ever as Flair’s
head is up against the post. Flair chops away and hammers Curt down.
Slingshot sends Hennig into the post which happens a lot to him. Still
on the floor mind you as we have been this entire paragraph.

Back
into the ring now as Hennig wants to leave. Flair chases him down and
they head back to the ring where Hennig beats him down again. The belt
is in the ring from where Hennig tried to leave. Hennig sets for the
Perfectplex onto the belt but of course the idiots that are the WCW
announcers don’t get what he’s going for because it’s not like THAT IS
HIS SIGNATURE MOVE AND HE HAD THE LEG HOOKED ALREADY!!! Flair
suplexes him onto the belt and then puts Hennig in the Tree of Woe, puts
the belt on Curt’s face and stomps it for the CHEAP DQ!!!

Rating: C+.
Decent match but the talking and the ending completely crippled it.
Flair and Hennig can have a good match in their sleep and this was ok,
but the lack of offense from Flair in the middle hurt it as he more or
less lost his momentum after a single punch. Still though, not bad at
all and awesome due to sheer talent.

Flair keeps up the beatdown but the NWO ran out for the save.

Savage says he’s awesome on the internet.

JJ
Dillon, back from an injury angle, says the match is going to happen.
Ok, NOW FREAKING DROP IT ALREADY!!! Bischoff of course comes out to whine and say Dillon has no authority or something like that. Dillon has
a contract that has been notarized or something. That’s what he uses in
a wrestling show. Dude, wrestling fans don’t care about contracts. Let
it die. Bischoff says if Sting is here, they want Nitro. Whatever man.

Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall

Larry
Zbyszko is referee for no apparent reason. The announcers get the
contract from the previous segment because you pass it around like
something brought in for show and tell. Zbyszko wants to fight Hall over
some AWA thing and he wouldn’t get to until January. We talk about
Hogan and Bischoff EVEN MORE because we haven’t hammered that out yet I
guess.

Larry
takes a toothpick to the face and here comes Lex. Larry pulls Hall off
of him as we hear about the one feud of Larry’s that anyone cares about,
that one being against Sammartino. Larry calls it down the middle here
as Hall throws on a headlock. Luger works on the arm as we’re having a
very basic match to start us off here. Syxx is at ringside here.

Hall
puts on a hold where he grabs Luger’s wrists and bends his arms back.
Luger reverses it so that he’s behind it. Hall is still holding the
wrists even though he’s in pain here. I give up. He uses the ropes to
escape. Really? I mean dude, REALLY? And this guy was in THE LADDER
MATCH people! Clothesline puts Luger down and Hall takes over again.
Zbyszko counts slow.

Off
to a sleeper by Hall as this match is putting me to sleep. That goes on
for awhile until a suplex gets Luger out of it. Larry, ever the
impartial referee, backdrops Hall to the floor. Here’s Bischoff who gets
drilled also. Luger starts his comeback and hits three atomic drops and
the forearm. Bischoff distracts Larry and Syxx kicks Luger down.
Outsider Edge hits and there’s the pin. Wow I’m kind of surprised.

Rating: D.
The referee thing got old quick as Larry didn’t need to be there in the
slightest and they never told us why Larry and Hall didn’t like each
other. I knew because of prior knowledge, but this is a bad thing that
only WWF ever seemed to get right: let us know in case there are first
time viewers. That might make them want to see more instead of “oh
they’re feuding and don’t worry why.” Never got that.

Larry
sees the replay and we restart the match. Rack goes on and the bell
rings just as Syxx kicks him for the potential DQ. This extra time might
have been 12 seconds long and I’m not sure if Luger won by submission
or DQ. Does it matter? Rating is the same as above. Bischoff beats up
Zbyszko as his ego continues to dominate the show. I mean dude, why in
the world was Bischoff in a competitive match at Starrcade? The point of
a match like that is for him to be destroyed, but they let Bischoff
fight and win a screwy match. That’s WCW for you though. And you wonder
why they went out of business.

Oh
and Larry choked Syxx with a submission hold. That was a reason to get
him out of the ring as he had a bad neck. He would be gone just after
the beginning of the year and I don’t’ think he wrestled again for WCW.

Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page

This
is billed as a Las Vegas Death Match which means Last Man Standing.
These two feuded all year and it was AWESOME. By the way, Liz in a short
leather skirt, tied off NWO t-shirt and three inch heel thigh high
boots: WIN. Page has taped ribs which were injured for about 3 years I
think. Savage attacks the ribs which Dusty says you can’t hide. Well gee
Dusty how did you figure out he had bad ribs when they’re taped?

We
head into the ring after starting on the floor and Savage hammers away.
Page does that pull up out of the corner to break the count and beats
the tar out of Savage. Both guys are down quickly off a double
clothesline which Dusty explains the name of. Diamond Cutter attempt
goes nowhere as Tony and Dusty argue over whether or not that move would
be effective here. How are these people so freaking stupid?

Page
goes lucha and dives over the top to take down Savage. Back into the
ring but Page gets caught coming in and tumbles back out. Savage gets
his patented (and he has the paperwork) axe off the top to the back of
Page, sending him into the barrier. We head into the crowd where Raven’s
Flock is sitting. They slug it out in the crowd and brawl out of the
crowd up by the entrance way.

Savage
sends him into the safety rail which makes sense as it hurts the ribs.
Page throws him into the set which is made of fake tombstones and slams
him onto a “stone” which explodes. Dusty of course freaks out over
everything. Back towards the ring and Page goes rib first into the
railing again but he might have blocked part of it. The shot into the
steps doesn’t get blocked though and Page is in trouble.

Another
shot with the steps gets about five and we’re back in the ring now.
Savage steals a camera but Page gets his feet up to kick it back into
Savage’s face. Nice counter there. Both guys are down and Liz pops up on
the apron with a tray of some kind which is shattered over the
referee’s head. She chokes Page but Kimberly comes out for the save. Yep
Liz is far hotter.

Nick
Patrick comes out to referee it and Page hammers away. Atomic drop and
the Pancake (Styles Clash without the arms being hooked) sets up an
attempt at a Diamond Cutter which misses. That gets a count of about
five so Savage slams him and drops the elbow right into the ribs.
Somehow that only gets 9 and there goes the referee right before a
Diamond Cutter. Well of course he goes down at that exact moment.

Patrick
gets up but both guys are down since Page never got up after dropping
Savage with the Cutter. Both guys are rolling around at five and are
both up at eight. Another Diamond Cutter attempt is countered by a low
blow and Page hits the floor. And here’s Sting who hits Page in the ribs
with the bat. Even Tony knows it’s not Sting so you can tell the joke
was dead here. Somehow he couldn’t tell it was Nash as Sting the next
month though. Page can’t get up as Savage makes it and this war is over.

Rating: A-.
The ending is what holds this back but this was a war. Both of these
guys liked to map out their entire matches so this was more like a
recital than a match but that’s fine. Savage vs. Steamboat was like
that. Very good match here as they beat the tar out of each other and
it’s only the stupid ending that keeps it from being a classic. Still
worth a watch though.

Bogus Sting was Hogan if you’re curious.

Savage jumps DDP while he’s attached to a stretcher.

The announcers talk about the match some more. Why are you surprised here?

Hulk Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

Piper
has the belt here but isn’t champion. This is non-title and in a cage
because this match is supposed to draw money in 1997. This is more like
the Cell with no top and with big spaces in the walls shaped like
squares. Think the blue cage but with squares big enough to pass a crack
baby through. No word on what you do to win this but it’s implied Piper
can win with the sleeper. Granted they don’t say get the sleeper and
walk out or win with a submission out of it but whatever.

Hogan
tries to climb out but Piper whips him with a belt. Now Piper bites
Hogan’s ass. Dude, ass to mouth in a Hogan/Piper match? I’ve seen a lot
now. We head into the ring for a change and it’s and atomic drop and a
head slap. No referee here either. The cage here is more for keeping
people out than a weapon which is fine I guess. Back to the floor again
and Hogan tries to climb but is caught with a low blow.

They
slam each other into the cage and Hogan wants the door open. Ok, Piper
shoves Hogan out, meaning Hogan was out FIRST, but they went out at the
same time so this continues. I guess that means you can win by escape
but they just want it to keep going. Hogan tries to leave but Sting, and
I’m assuming the real one, is pointing a bat at him. Piper catches up
to him and slams the door on his back/shoulder.

Hogan
gets Piper in and then falls out of the ring. He wants to get out now
so I’m assuming it’s escape. Seriously, it’s that confusing. How
freaking hard is a cage match anyway? Hogan rams him into the cage a few
times as I keep tellimg myself this is almost over. Hogan climbs but
Piper follows him. There’s a pair of Stings in the aisle as now Piper is
near the top of the cage.

Hogan
kicks Piper down off the cage (Piper kind of climbed down) and then
Hogan climbs down as well. Weightlifting belt to the back and Hogan goes
up instead of going through the door like an intelligent heel would.
That cage is shaking too which is a bit scary. There’s a Sting waiting
on Hogan at the bottom so Piper pulls him back in. Here’s a third Sting,
this one kind of chunky.

Actually
we have four of them now and now it’s five. Hogan climbs down so Piper
tries to get out like an intelligent person but Hogan stops that also.
Back into the ring now for some reason and Hogan pops him with the world
title. There’s the leg drop onto Piper onto the belt which gets two as
the referee has to come in.

Savage
comes out and climbs to the top of the cage and jumps into the middle
of the ring. Now to be fair he missed Hogan by about two feet but he
caught him on the top of the head at least. Not criticizing him there
mind you but pointing it out. I’d be scared to death from jumping that.
Sleeper ends Hogan just after that.

Rating: D-.
This match made no sense at all. You go from the lack of knowing how to
win the match to kind of knowing how to win the match to no one wanting
to escape the cage it seemed to the Sting army who did a total of one
thing (keep Hogan from leaving) to Savage coming in at the end to the
biggest problem: they really didn’t do anything.

This
was about 14 minutes long and the vast majority was laying around,
climbing the cage and punching. There was no drama, no extended
advantages, very little violence and it really seemed liked there was no
real reason for this to be in a cage. Bad match indeed for a lot of
reasons.

Post
match Bischoff comes out and he, Hogan and Savage beat up Piper. One of
the Stings gets in and gets taken down with ease. They handcuff Piper
to the cage and the beating is on. Hogan puts the Sting mask on for no
apparent reason. A kid climbs over the cage and the fake Sting takes him
down with ease and then Hogan and Savage beat the tar out of him in
the ring for no apparent reason. This is either REALLY stupid or a
totally pointless work. Security comes in and takes FOREVER to get him
out. And that’s the show. Seriously, this ends with the fan being taken
out.

Oddly enough the music for the credits is what would become Marc Mero’s theme music in WWF. No idea why but it is.

Overall Rating: C-.
This is a hard one to grade. However other than the main event and the
man vs. woman, nothing is really that bad. Hall vs. Luger is dull but
not particularly horrible. Then you have two awesome matches including
an all time classic which is more than enough to keep this from a
terrible grade.

The
constant talking of Hogan possibly not wrestling is REALLY annoying and
I’d recommend fast forwarding about 45 minutes after that
Hogan/Bischoff promo. It’s certainly not the worst WCW show ever but the
bad stuff is rather bad. See those two matches and if you’re incredibly
bored the whole show minus the main event and man vs. woman. Not too
bad but still not great.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com

Snickers Presents The Only Review Of Halloween Havoc 1998 That You’ll Ever Need Presented By Snickers

Halloween Havoc – October 25th, 1998
MGM Grand Garden Arena
10,663 in attendance
Buyrate was 0.78. Year prior was 1.17, headlined by Hogan v Piper, Age in the Cage.

You know, it’s probably a blessing that Havoc didn’t do mega-numbers, due to the fact that it went a half & hour longer than what they told the cable-companies. So millions of screens went black and WCW had to reimburse all of those people, while showing the main event for free on Nitro.

One thing I can say right
away, is the set is looks awesome. One of the best I’ve seen.

Nitro Girls do their Nitro Girl thing. Shawn’s
wife is rather attractive, although too tall for my tastes. I always thought
Fyre was the best looking, personally.

We start off the PPV with an interview. Alrighty.
Rick Steiner shows up and informs us he’s the hound, in the pound, and he’s
gonna get down. Buff comes out wearing one of those driver-caps, but
wearing it backwards like people did in the 90’s. Those hats are cool, but when
worn backward, man, they look SO stupid. Especially HHH’s ‘Harley
Davidson’ one. Buff is also wearing FuBu. Buff is also timeless. Buff is also
going to be in Rick’s corner, and would never, EVER turn on him. EVER.
That’s spelled E-V-E-R.

Raven vs. Chris Jericho [C] – WCW Television
Championship


Huh, Tony just called Jericho’s cover the “arrogant
cover.” I thought that was solely a CAW reference. Speaking of CAW, this is
easily my favorite Raven look, and I really wish he would have kept it.
He really started looking weird as time moved on. They made Jericho look tough
as all get out in this match. I mean, he kicks out of a catapult into
the turnbuckle bolt followed by a clothesline. Then he kicks out of Raven’s
Evenflow. It’s too bad this didn’t get longer, because this was
hard-hitting, fast, and extremely close. Great opener. Plus, we get the irony
of Jericho almost losing to the Evenflow DDT, while his entrance music
is a rip off of Pearl Jam’s Evenflow.
Raven taps out to the Liontamer at 7:49 | ****

You know, something I miss is the match re-caps
that WCW would do, where they show the high-lights, and even the entrance of
the winner. 

Hogan comes out for an interview in an nWo Nitro
shirt. I imagine after the rating that show had, there were a lot of homeless
folk around Atlanta that became nWo-ites. You know, the
Bischoff/Hollywood Hogan relationship was awesome. Punk and Heyman need to act
like that. We get a recap of Hogan beating up Horace, reminding me how
stupid it was that Stevie Ray was in the nWo, and that Stevie Ray was one of
those people who felt you could eat whatever you want while on anabolics.
In the crowd, I see a Kenny’s Krib Sting. Anyone else remember Kenny’s Krib?
Afterward, Hogan says he’s gonna rip out Warrior’s heart, and then bury
it along with his soul in a toxic waste dump. That sounds very specific, and
painful.
 

Disco Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera
You know, props to Disco for getting over. Do you
know how disheartening it must have been to get your big break, and then be
told they want you to be the wrestling version of John Travolta from “Saturday
Night Fever”? You’d be better off being the wrestling version of John
Travolta from “Urban Cowboy.” Disco outsmarts Juvi, and points to his head,
letting us know he’s SMART. Disco gives us a little Macarena action,
reminding me of the Macarena contests my middle school would hold at lunch. Not
a bad match, really. They just didn’t click very well.

Disco hits a jumping piledriver on Juvi for the
pin at 9:39 | **1/2

Scott Steiner comes out. He tells us that Las
Vegas is the city that never sleeps, which is fine for him, because he’s been
up for three days and 30 nights. I have to admit, that’s a neat trick. 

Disco Inferno vs. Kidman [C] – Crusierweight
Championship


Alright, why couldn’t Disco just wait in the ring until
Kidman came out? It would have been rather impressive if he wins the strap. Man
alive, if there’s one guy who
looks nothing like he did, it’s Kidman. And Barry Windham. Disco needs to work
on his trash talk. Screaming things at Kidman such as “turn down
the music” and “pip-squeak” just aren’t working. He tries to
powerbomb Kidman, and we all know what that leads to. Decent bout. 

Kidman hits the Shooting Star for the pin at 10:49
| ***

Scott Steiner & The Giant [C] vs. Rick Steiner
& Buff Bagwell – WCW Tag-Team Championships

Face Buff is No-Buys Buff. I want the top-hat.
Giant is in first, and he works Rick over. It’s great, because he goes to tag
Steiner in, and Steiner tells the Giant ‘one more! one more! break him!’
then when Rick is toast, Scott comes in. It’s great heel stuff, because he’s
completely avoiding one-on-one, and being
a total ass. Brilliance. Tag to Buff, and turn
from Buff. Thankfully that was fast. He’s quickly back into heel Buff mode,
further confirming my belief to be proud that I cheered for him in
Tacoma, even if this was his THIRD heel turn to the nWo. Giant misses a drop
kick, nailing Scott, giving Rick his opening. 

Bulldog to Scott gives Rick the pin, the titles,
and singles match with his brother at 8:24 |  **

Scott Steiner walks away, seemingly reneging on
his original deal! That no good-nik. So, Rick follows after him and pulls him
into the ring. 

Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner
Some suplexes here and there before a very bizarre
sequence; Some guy in a suit and a Bill Clinton mask jumps the rail, knocks out
a few dudes, takes the slap-jack from Stevie Ray, then runs into the
ring and knocks out Rick as well as the ref. He unmasks to reveal Buff Bagwell.
Seriously, what the hell? We saw
Buff earlier, so why on Earth did he need to disguise himself? And WHY did he
need to be Bill Clinton? Was the Rick James mask lost? Then, if that wasn’t odd
enough, he proceeds to drag the ref around and use his hand to make 3 counts.
Rick makes the comeback, puts down Scott with the Bulldog. His theme music is a
pretty decent rip-off of “Welcome To The Jungle,” I might I add. Despite
the weirdness, it was still entertaining. 
Rick hits Scott with the Bulldog for the win at
5:10 | *** [match wasn’t much, but I’m giving the whole ordeal 3 stars]

Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash

Scott comes out apparently drunk. Once Nash hits
the ring, though, he throws the drink he’s been carrying into Kevin’s face and
reveals he’s not drunk! Joke’s on you, Kevin, he’s only in a soma coma.
Unfortunately, Hall is clearly on his way to that ESPN documentary at this
point, and Nash is rich, so this match doesn’t even come close to their
matches in the WWE. The entire match is punch-punch-knee-knee-punch-punch. There was a
decent amount of drama, but for their history and such, this needed to
be mid-80’s NWA violent. 

Nash walks out of the match after giving Hall two
Jack-knife powerbombs at 14:19 | **

Bret Hart [C] vs. Sting – US Championship

Man, Bret’s WCW music is absolutely terrible. This
was when Sting had the goatee, so he looked like a character from Dick Tracy.
He keeps doing this thing where he stomps Bret’s hands, and that’s
something a heel should add to his moveset, because it’s fantastically cheap.
Man, Bret is actually a pretty decent heel. He’s doing all sorts of
awesome bad-guy stuff in this match, from faking injury, to using international
objects and low blows. At one point, Bret has just dropped Sting
neck-first on the guard-rail, but a female fan has all the words of
encouragement for him, letting Stinger know “GET UP! YOU’RE SO SEXY!”.
It works. I email Mickie James x-rated drawings I do in Microsoft Paint all the
time and she’s always kicking ass. So, you know. Soon, the ref is
knocked out and these two just don’t give a shit. Running over the ref,
suplexing each other on top of him, it’s good stuff. Soon, Stinger does the
splash, but knocks himself out on the ringpost, resulting in him hanging
over the ropes. Bret then commits murder by BASHING Sting in the head with the
baseball bat repeatedly. Pretty awesome, actually, as it was done just
right, not with a ball-peen hammer, and it didn’t go on for 40 minutes. I
remember this match being really bad, but on second viewing, it’s not
bad at all, just didn’t live up to the hype. Honestly though, Bret as a heel is
awesome, and I actually want to see the rematch between these two.
Bret slaps Sting in the Sharpshooter, and the ref
drops his hand 3 times to give Bret the win at 15:03 | ***1/4

Hollywood Hogan vs. Warrior – The Match WCW Paid
$1 Million For


We get a shot of a tasteful sign that says
“Bischoff is…A] retarded B] broke C] a gimp D] All of the Above.”
Well, the sign gives away the answer, as D is circled with heavy
enthusiasm. I will say, Warrior’s music is actually pretty bad-ass, and one has
to wonder if Mac got his fascination with dusters from Warrior. I’m inclined
to believe that he did. Seriously, this match honest to God looks like two guys
are out there having their first match ever, not two guys who have a combined
almost 30 years of experience. Haha, the log roll. This in no way can be
considered one of the worst matches of all time, because it’s damn
entertaining, especially with Hogan throwing unlit flash paper at the
Warrior. At least he took full credit for the stupid fireball ordeal. Scarier
than burning oneself is leaving these two to call an audible mid-match. I’m
shocked it didn’t involve Truckasourus. Now they’re going to cover Warrior in
lighter fluid, as we’re to REALLY believe that they’re going to burn him alive
in front of people. If I were Warrior, there’s absolutely NO WAY I’d trust
Hogan to NOT burn me alive. I’d be afraid after he dumped all the fluid on me
that he’d wonder where the lighter was, so he could secure it, and then
use the lighter in his hand to add extra light in aid of his search of the
lighter that he’s sure is around my body somewhere.

Horace Hogan hits Warrior with a chair to give
Hogan the pin at 14:18 | * [but really, if we’re talking how entertaining it is
in its awfulness, then we’re talking ****]

DDP vs. Goldberg [C] – WCW Championship
It’s truly stunning that they screwed up
Goldberg’s run. I mean, it’d be so much harder to screw it up, than to not.
This match is fantastic from the get go, which is all credit to DDP. I will
give props to Goldberg though for doing the backflip when Dallas tried to sweep
his legs out from underneath him. I know I may get some flack for over-rating,
but anyone who thinks this isn’t at least ***1/2 stars is crazy. The
beginning is great with DDP refusing to be afraid, and doing everything he can
to wear Goldberg down. Great moment with the missed Spear and Goldberg
being weak from then on. DDP actually had Bill with the Diamond Cutter, but
just couldn’t cover in time. Again, great match. They also should have
had a rematch where DDP beats him finally. He’s easily the closest anyone has
come at this point, and the match was awesome. DDP beating Goldberg
would have been believable, and told a great story. Oh well. Nash winning ended
up just fine.
Goldberg with the Jackhammer at 10:28 | ****1/4

Showcase Showdown: You’ve got two matches that
reach 4 stars, one of the greatest train-wrecks in wrestling history, and a
solid under card. It’s a fun show that gets a bad-rap, simply because of
Hogan/Warrior, I believe, even though it’s one of the most entertaining things
on the card. If you don’t feel like watching the whole show, then just snag
Jericho/Raven, and DDP/Goldberg. However, if you’ve never seen Warrior/Hogan
II, then by all means you need to see that too. 
3 and a half head-butts out of 5.

Thanks as always to my editor, Steve Ferarri. We were both in the Vietnam War, where we both ended up dead, but then were brought back to life under a secret program called The Universal Soldiers. 
For more Caliber than you can shake a stick at, head on over….
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WOODSTOCKtober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 2000

The SK Rant for WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 (Let’s wrap up this countdown with one of the low points of WCW’s lowest point.) – I’m always accused of being biased, so I’m going to add one positive thing to every match so you can’t say that I didn’t find any. – Live from Lost Wages, NV – Your hosts are Tony, Stevie & Mark. How bad is it when Stevie Ray has leapfrogged both Mike Tenay and Scott Hudson into the regular PPV spot? Opening match, WCW World tag titles: Mark Jindrak & Sean O’ Hare v. Rey Mysterio Jr. & Kidman v. The Boogie Knights. I really wish the champs would have their names on their boots or something, because I still can’t tell the difference. (Thankfully Sean would at least distinguish himself enough in WWE that today I could tell the difference were I stupid enough to want to watch this show again.)  Kidman & Wright double-team Jindrak to start, but Wright turns on Kidman. O’Hare gets the same treatment. Kidman shoulderblocks Disqo for two. (Oh yeah, this was when Disco changed his name to Disqo because of Cisqo.  Fun fact:  I have no fucking idea who Cisqo is because I didn’t listen to any kind of top 40 radio or music shows between the late 90s and a few years ago.  It constantly amazes my wife when I have these giant pop culture blind spots of stuff that she assumes everyone shares knowledge about.  But I digress.)   Wright dropkicks Jindrak for two. He gives Jindrak what appears to be a high knee, but Jindrak goes down about two seconds before the move connects. Wright uses the Edge & Christian assisted suplex on Jindrak for two. Man, Wright is outworking everyone else in the match by 100% here. O’Hare comes in and cleans house on the smaller guys, making them look like jobbers. How ironic. The champs hiptoss Kidman into the ring, and the Boogie Knights double-team Rey Rey as the pointless highspots start. They fire off a bunch of them until Sean O’Hare finishes Disqo with the Seanton bomb at 10:05 to retain the titles. This was what it was. **1/2 Positive thing: The right team won. – Hardcore title match: Reno v. A-Wall. I haven’t watched Nitro or Thunder in months so I’m totally lost as to the point here, but I vaguely recall the whole deal with Reno winning the title on a reversed decision a few weeks ago. The Idiots stress that this is OLD SCHOOL HARDCORE, BABY, as those “Start in the back and fight to the ring” rules have gone the way of Tony Schiavone’s self-respect. (I love the idea of “old school hardcore”, given that the entire style they’re ripping off originated about two years before this show took place.  Maybe 5 if you’re counting ECW, but who does?)  Rhetorical question: When was the last time a hardcore match in WCW was actually fought under those rules, because I haven’t seen one of them since about July? Reno puts Wall through a table 10 seconds in to just completely cheapen the gimmick. Do the people booking these matches have ANY idea how to effectively use things like tables? Notice how the WWF makes the fans chant for them for 10 minutes before one gets pulled out? There’s a reason. It’s called DRAMATIC TENSION. We get to hear the term “old school hardcore” about 14 times. Fight to the rampway and into the back, which was supposed to be the kind of thing that we didn’t want to see anymore and thus was eliminated. My head hurts. Wall throws one of those imitation plastic monitors that you see in IKEA displays at Reno, and luckily he ducks to avoid the serious injury that hollow plastic props can cause. Hmm, there’s a picture on the screen, but it’s not plugged in? WCW: Swedish for “crap”. (Oddly enough, IKEA now uses real TVs in their displays, or least they do at the Edmonton store when I’m lucky enough to get out there and spend ridiculous amounts of money on stuff I don’t need.  Maybe it’s a good thing Saskatoon isn’t big enough to ever get an IKEA.)  Back to the ring, more tables. Yay, more tables, that’ll make them their 60 million dollars back. Reno gets his neckbreaker thing on a table for the pin at 10:45. What exactly is that move supposed to be doing to cause damage? Basically he’s just turning him over. In fact, the brunt of the blow is on Reno, because he’s the one landing on his back and taking the weight of Wall on him. (And yet 80 zillion indy guys now use that move, to the extent that “Roll the Dice” has basically become the generic name for the move.  I think that Crossroads might become the new de facto standard name with time, though.)  Oh, sorry, I’m being biased again, feel free to write me and complain about the Rock Bottom or the KICK WHAM STUNNER, because lord knows I care about each and every piece of mail I get from people defending this stuff. ½* An MIA-NBT showdown follows. Positive thing: The Wall didn’t cause serious injury to himself or his opponent.  (Sadly, the serious injury would come just three years later for the Wall, as in death.)  – Impromptu match: Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak v. Chavo Guerrero & Lash LeRoux. Chavo & Lash dominate Stasiak to start as Madden stresses that THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEM between Stasiak & Palumbo while the other two argue that there is. Note to retarded bookers writing this stuff: It’s the year 2000. Just thought I’d let you know. Lash dominates Palumbo, but Chavo gets dumped. Palumbo & Stasiak argue and Stasiak gets rolled up for two, just in case the “Blind Deaf & Dumb Society of America” happened to be in the audience tonight watching and wasn’t sure what the storyline was.  (If they were today, Alberto Del Rio would probably tear up their braille signs and laugh at them, and then they’d sue WWE and win.)  He comes back with a powerbomb for two. Chavito plays trooper-in-peril, but reverses a press slam and gets the hot tag to Lash. He gets nailed and exchanges sleepers with Chuck Palumbo. When was the last time ANYONE used a sleeper in the WWF (not named “X-Pac”)? (Dolph is bringing it back, baby!  And HHH did shortly after this, too.)  You know why? Because it’s a dead move and fans instinctively get bored when it’s used. So of course we ended up seeing three or four of them tonight. Hot tag Chavo, and heel miscommunication allows Chavo to hit the DDT on Stasiak for the pin at 9:22. If they think splitting up Palumbo & Stasiak is gonna help one bit, more power to ‘em, but a little subtlety goes a long way in wrestling and they’d do well to remember it. Match was pretty boring. *1/4 Positive thing: Madden brought “Chavito” into formal use. – Shane Douglas & Torrie v. Konnan & Tygress. Torrie is dressed as Wonder Woman. Konnan, who got severely beat down in the opening match and had to be helped out by EMTs, looks remarkably better as he hits the ring a minute in to save us from seeing any more of Torrie v. Tygress. He and Tygress double-team Douglas, and you immediately know that you’re watching a WCW PPV because Douglas has the World’s Biggest Brace and a double-wrap on his left arm, so Konnan and Tygress work on the good arm. (Well because then both arms are useless, maybe?) Reverse psychology, maybe? Torrie comes in and does the Baywatch Lifeguard Run in gloriously bouncy slow motion at Tygress in the corner, but runs into a foot. I don’t know how one can possibly screw up that spot, but they managed. (Lifting the foot in the corner is a tough gig.  Just ask Kevin Nash.)  Tygress plays T&A-in-peril. Ah, you might ask: If Konnan was so injured that they had to get a non-wrestler to do the brunt of the work, why not just sub him out and use someone else? Answer: Because then all the irate fans who paid to see this match would demand a refund. Hot tag Konnan, and Katie bar the yadda yadda yadda. Everyone stands around waiting for a cue to go home in a charming spot that makes me love WCW THAT MUCH MORE until Torrie does a sort of Franchiser on Konnan that manages to make the move even MORE useless than when Shane does it. I think Konnan and Torrie had to pause for a couple of seconds to figure out who was actually supposed to be selling the move. Konnan MIRACULOUSLY kicks out from that move and hits the X-Factor on Douglas at 8:35 for the pin. See, now I personally wouldn’t have given this anything NEAR 10 minutes with two injured guys and two chicks in there, but everyone says I’m biased so I guess it was okay. -**1/2 Positive thing: Torrie running. – DNA match: David Flair v. Buff Bagwell. I still don’t know what “DNA rules” are supposed to be. Flair brings some beakers in a baggie to at least make an effort to sell the angle. I’d pull up the quote from Vince Russo last month about how this angle would have “swerve after swerve” and shock the world, but really it’s like pulling up old quotes of Eric Bischoff from 1997 going on internet chats and talking about how boring the ratings wars were at the time. The horse is dead, why lay in anymore shots? Buff pounds on Flair and yawns a lot, treating the match like a joke. HE’S SHOOTING, BROTHER! What’s really sad here is that David doesn’t even realize that he’s being made into the joke, as he goes through his usual crazy selling and generally tries really hard with what he’s being given. It’s always a tragedy when someone with as little talent as David is out there giving it his all and someone who used have as much as Buff did is out there acting like the match is beneath him. It might be, but it’s his job to convince the fans otherwise. They do something resembling brawling on the floor, and David gets hit with a chair and bleeds, giving Bagwell the win at 5:42. Apparently it was a first blood match. That’s one of those details you want to tell people, guys. Especially the wrestlers, because Bagwell hits the Blockbuster and tries for the pin before the ref informs him that he’s already the winner. (That’s WCW for you.)  Whew, that’s a relief, if David had been booked to win then Buff might have quit and we’d be robbed of ever seeing him again, and god knows the world isn’t ready for life without Buff. -***, thus showing the god-given talent and drawing power that Buff Bagwell brings to the table every time out. Positive thing: Neither Judy Bagwell nor Miss Hancock was involved in any way. – Somebody’s grandfather (in a Yankees jersey) walks in and turns on Buff after the match, looking remarkably like Lex Luger if he was a 40-year old has been with no career direction. Oh, wait… – Kickboxing match: Mike Sanders v. The Cat. Cat squashes Sanders for the three scheduled two-minute rounds, but at the end of the third one Shane Douglas KO’s Cat with a chain. Cat is saved by the bell (I think?), but brawls with Douglas and gets counted out (??) after the time limit expires (???) to lose the commisionership to Mike Sanders (????). I think we need one of those Bruce Mitchell “Explain the Booking” contests to take care of this one. –**** Positive thing: I liked Mike Sanders’ shirt. – Mike Awesome v. Vampiro. You know, I was pretty much hoping that this one would end the negative-star run, but then I was also hoping that Buff would no-show and get fired tonight, so I guess I’m just overly optimistic. Vamp wants the #1 contendership in return for all the people he’s beaten in his WCW career. Vamp bails and Awesome hits a tope con hilo, although only in a loose sense of the word “hits”. Brawl into the crowd for lack of anything good to do. That goes on for a bit, until Awesome gets jumped by an energetic fan and stops to pound him into oblivion before going back to hitting Vampiro with worked punches two seconds later.  (Could I have timed this repost ANY BETTER?!) Don’t forget to stomp, guys. Back to the ring for a duelling chairs spot that comes out of nowhere and goes the same place. Vamp hits a Super-Frankensteiner and nearly breaks Awesome’s neck in the process. He follows with a top rope something that looked like a cross between a cannonball and a Thesz Press, but somehow was worse than both. Awesome bails, but Vampiro comes back with a Michinoku Driver. Hey, they hit a spot! Congratulations, remind me to buy a card to commemorate the occasion. Vampiro stops to go table shopping, but none is evident. So instead of WRESTLING, he wastes another minute checking under every side of the ring. They head outside and Awesome powerbombs him on the floor for two, as this has suddenly become a falls-count-anywhere match. Funny, I didn’t think it was Vancouver. Back in, a top rope Awesomebomb finishes at 9:50, returning the favor by nearly breaking Vampiro’s neck. I don’t know why people were getting excited about seeing this one. -*1/2 Reason #459 why WCW is losing 60 million dollars: Awesome does this incredible-looking deadly finisher, the announcers sell it like Vampiro is a corpse, and what music is playing the background? Awesome’s cheesy 70s elevator music. Positive thing: Mike’s hair remained in pristine condition even after the match. – Canadian title: Lance Storm & Jim Duggan v. General Rection. Please, Duggan, bring us above DUD! Slugfest between Rection and Duggan to start. Storm goes next and runs into a foot. He comes back with an atomic drop. Rection dumps him but gets dumped in turn. Man, this is thrilling action. Duggan chokes him. Long beatdown follows. Storm provides the second sleeper spot on the night, then heel miscommunication cues the comeback for Rection. Powerslam gets two. The ref (Scott Armstrong, the second-best worker in the match) gets bumped and is out cold. No wonder the Armstrongs jobbed all the time. Duggan piledriver, no ref. Elix Skipper runs in but gets held off by Major Gunns. Is that storyline STILL going on? Didn’t everyone stop caring about it two months ago, including the bookers? Rection does something that looks kinda like a russian legsweep to Duggan, and finishes with a moonsault that misses by six inches to capture the Canadian title and thus bury Lance Storm further. I guess retarded WCW logic says that because Duggan jobbed, Lance Storm keeps his heat for a rematch with General Rection. Not that anyone wants to see Storm v. Rection again to begin with. Reason #1949 why WCW is losing upwards of 60 million dollars: The second-highest champion in the promotion is named “Hugh G. Rection”. DUD Positive thing: Zero stars is still better than less-than-zero stars. – Jeff Jarrett v. Sting. Tony talks about how the first Halloween Havoc was in 1989 and how 11 years later Sting is still here. Open mouth, insert foot. (I don’t get it.)  Brawl to start, then Sting misses a Stinger splash and then dumps Jarrett. That’s about the extent of the good part of the match, as a bogus Sting, dressed in 80s garb, comes out to taunt Sting. Sting takes him out. Sting & Jarrett brawl into the crowd, where finds “Early 90s Sgt. Pepper Sting”, complete with hot pink tights and bad makeup job. No ducktail, though? That’s pretty sloppy. He beats up that one, too. I’d call the match incredibly retarded right now, but I’m afraid it might get worse. Back in, Jarrett & Sting stall until Wolfpac Sting joins us and gets beat up. For those people who wonder what exactly we recappers mean when we talk about “masturbatory insider booking” that goes over the heads of 99.9% of the audience and only serves to amuse the bookers, this is the match you wanna look at. Jarrett controls with some basic stuff as we’re all just waiting for Sting #4. And indeed he soon pops out of the ring and drags Sting under, only to get beat up. I think that one was played by Steve Keirn. Or maybe Ray Licachelli. The lights go out and a fifth Sting rappels from the rafters to attack. PLEASE don’t tell me that they were just waiting for Bret Hart to retire so they could start doing that again on a regular basis. This Sting is bald, by the way, thus shattering the finely crafted illusion of authenticity that they had been shooting for all match long. Sting puts him through a table as Sting #4 (for those keeping track) returns to hit Sting with the guitar and give Jarrett the pin at 14:38. WCW’s never-ending quest to make Jeff Jarrett a top heel continues. And with booking like this, would YOU bet against them? -*** Positive thing: Copyright issues prevent them from doing the same gimmick with Jarrett’s old personas. For the moment. – I mean, CHRIST, how hard is it to book a Jarrett v. Sting match? You put them out there, say “Have a good match” and decide that one goes over the other. My working theory for this show so far is that Vince Russo snapped, killed all the other bookers, and wrote the show while high on amphetamines and coffee with the help of his imaginary friend “Mortimer the Space Cowboy” in one last attempt to destroy the promotion before he’s officially fired. However, as noble a goal as that may be, there’s just no excuse for ever mentioning Kung-Fu Action Lobster Sting again. – WCW World title: Booker T v. Scott Steiner. Dear god, Crush & Adam Bomb are main-eventing tonight? Hammerlock sequence to start. Steiner bails, but changes his mind and comes back to pound away on Booker. Brawl outside and into the crowd, which Steiner dominates with ease. Back in, Steiner elbowdrop gets two. Booker escapes a surfboard, but runs into a lariat. Steiner gets a top rope fallaway slam (right onto the section of ring torn apart by the previous match when Sting #4 popped through it) and poses, not even bothering to cover him. Sure, bury your World champion, why not? Who needs offense, anyway? Booker comes back but Steiner lariats him again, out of the ring. Back in, Steiner lays in the boots. Booker comes back with a missile dropkick (yah! Scott finally sells a move!) but that offensive flurry doesn’t last long for Booker as Steiner grabs his trusty foam lead pipe and takes out Booker and several refs for a DQ at 13:27. Nothing earns the trust and support of a dwindling fanbase more than a DQ in a title match that they spent $30 to see. * Positive thing: There was an impressive shot of Medasya’s ass while Steiner was making his entrance. – Kroni>| v. Goldberg. We’re got MAYBE 5 minutes of total airtime left here. And indeed it’s 1998 all over again as Goldberg dispatches both with the usual at 3:42. DUD Positive thing: The show is over. The Bottom Line: Hands down, worst PPV of the year to date. No competition, no likely challengers on the horizon unless XPW suddenly gets a better TV deal. What was expected to be decent was overbooked into insanely bad, and what wasn’t supposed to be good, wasn’t. Disqo’s lame duck gimmick sums up the current booking very well: Lame duck. Or, if the WWF deal doesn’t go through, dead duck. (Well, the WWF deal did go through, and they still ended up a dead duck anyway.)  Thumbs WAY down.

COCKBLOCKtober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 99

The Netcop Rant for Halloween Havoc 1999 (Speaking of awesome scary stuff, BATMAN #13 this week.  Holy SHIT Scott Snyder has made Joker one terrifying son of a bitch again. I bow to his comic writing greatness.) Warning: The following rant contains sarcasm of a damaging nature and may expose the hypocrisy of WCW shills. Readers with WCW leanings may wish to ask their parents before having the Vince Russo era exposed for the farce that it is.  (I called that one early and often.)  Live from Las Vegas, NV, which seems fitting for the first Russo show, somehow. Your hosts are Tony and Bobby, sitting at ringside instead of in the back. Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Disco Inferno v. Lash LeRoux. DI gets a quick start to control. Lash comes back with some basic stuff and they brawl out of the ring. Back in and Lash hits a sloppy rana from the top for two. Back-and-forth with more bush league stuff for a bit. Disco gets the swinging neckbreaker for two, and the jumping piledriver also gets two. I miss the Macarena Driver, personally. (Is WWE gonna have people doing a Gangnam Style thing soon?  Because I’ve never even seen the original video and even I’m tired of hearing about it.)  Lash hits a sloppy pumphandle powerbomb for two. Whiplash, but Disco escapes and hits the Chartbuster for the pin. This was indyish as you can get, but probably the best that could have been expected. **  (Eh, Lash always tried hard, but he was always way out of his league.)  Earlier in the day, Benoit and Malenko tell Saturn & Douglas to shove the Revolution up their ass. “Ass” total so far: 1. I smell a screwjob to mess up Benoit’s career again. PLEASE prove me wrong, WCW. WCW World tag title: The First Family v. Harlem Heat v. Kidman & Konnan. They had announced that Rey Rey (which is apparently his new official name) was injured, and so the Filthy Animals were stripped of the titles. Kidman and K-Dong still wear the belts to the ring, acting like babyfaces, even though the storyline has them as heels. (That whole sentence sums up Russo in a nutshell.)  Just non-stop weapons shots here, none of them very good. The Heat & Knobbs fight backstage, ala RAW. Stevie Ray hits Knobbs with a mummy and gets the pin there, while in the ring (which the camera totally misses) Kidman pins Hugh Morrus a couple of minutes later as the Heat comes back out (there was two referees). They act all controversial and stuff, but the Heat’s pinfall clearly came well before the Animals’ did. Heat gets the titles for the 10th time. This was utter junk. 1/2* Sports Entertainment Segment: DDP & Kimberly are out to insult the crowd. Crowd chants “You suck” and DDP replies “I can’t suck, I’m not from Vegas”. More spanking innuendoes stemming from Nitro result, plus some masturbation innuendoes towards Flair, all of which leads to DDP issuing a challenge for a strap match tonight. Hey, changing the stips on the fly, where have I seen that before? Oh, yeah, the WWF. “Ass” count: 3. Eddy Guerrero, who apparently stole Flair’s Rolex, plays heel and challenges Saturn for the next match. Dammit, pick a side and stick to it with the Filthy Animals. Eddy Guerrero v. Saturn. Eddy works the knee and they brawl on the floor. Eddy takes a nasty bump on the stairs (called a “bump” by Tony – wow.) and Saturn works on the arm, back in the ring. Crowd is just ENTHRALLED with this, let me tell you. A couple of suplexes, and now Saturn goes for the knee. Crowd goes for the nacho stands. Eddy comes back with a brainbuster, but the frog splash misses. Eddy goes to the top and Saturn crotches him and superplexes him. Eddy reverses out of a Splash Mountain attempt (you DARE try that on Eddy?!?), and Flair runs in with a crowbar for the Sports Entertainment Finish ™. Yeah, advance those storylines, Russo! We don’t need those stupid pinfalls, that’s so 80s! Kidman & Torrie try for the save and get beaten and kissed, in that order. Dull match. ** Backstage, Goldberg is hammering on Sid. Blood is seen. Atta boy, Sid! And now, it’s another Sports Entertainment Moment as Buff comes out for an interview. On a PPV. Jarrett attacks, Lex Luger makes the save. Que? “Ass” count: 4. I’d be neglectful in not mentioning Luger’s pathetic missed guitar shot, as he nails Buff by mistake but doesn’t catch him with the flat of the guitar, so it doesn’t break. D’Oh. Backstage, it’s more Sports Entertainment as Eddy calls in the troops on his cell phone. Wonder who he stole that from… Berlyn v. Brad Armstrong. Total squash. I mean, no offense for Brad, until Berlyn tries the neckbreaker and BA reverses the legsweep for the pin! WHA?!? Jesus, if you’re gonna squash Brad, squash him, and if you want to give him the win, at least give me the decent match I know they can pull out. But this shit was ridiculous. 1/2*  (I know Russo really liked Brad and wanted to find a role for him, but Berlyn was still a relatively hot act at that point.  Just weirdness.)  Flair gives a ranting interview about all the sex he had with Kimberly and all the sex he’s gonna have with Torrie. It’s nice to see SOMEONE who can finally get motivated under this new atmosphere. World TV title match: Chris Benoit v. Rick Steiner. Steiner stalls to start. He runs through his same old, same old. Benoit comes back with a superplex and a plancha. More stalling, and then Rick goes with the greco-roman ballshot to take over. And now to the resting. Oh for god’s sake, you idiot, just let Benoit carry the damn match. Two released german suplexes, with Rick wandering around and nonchalantly taking his time between moves. Benoit comes back with the rolling german suplexes, and the ref gets bumped. Oh, man, I’ve got a bad feeling. Chair gets involved, and Rick nails Benoit with it to block the swandive. Malenko runs in…and turns on Benoit. (It was a SWERVE!)  Oh, shit, I KNEW that was gonna happen. Steiner gets the pin and the title, and once again Benoit is the plucky guy who “put up a good fight” and “came THAT close” but never quite gets it done. At least Malenko as a heel is a good thing. * The Total Package v. Bret Hart. I’ve got a bad feeling about this one, too. Lots of brawling for the first minutes, and not much happens as Luger starts working on the knee. Half crab…and BRET TAPS? What the hell was that? Kudos to Bret for selling the knee injury from Nitro, but LUGER? *1/2 Goldberg interview. “Ass” count jumps to 6, an unheard of total for WCW. Sports Entertainment Moment: Madusa (in a bikini) comes out to shill Nitro Perfume. She goes to the table, then tells the announcers that “this is BULLSHIT” and dumps the perfume on Bobby. They didn’t apologize for the bad word.  (Was this the deal where they were complaining about how bad that perfume smelled as well?  Where they were supposed to be shilling it but were just constantly harping on how shitty of a product it was?  So much weirdness at that time that didn’t make sense unless you were in on the joke.)  WCW World title: Sting v. Hulk Hogan. Hogan’s music plays, no one comes out. Sting comes out, Hogan’s music plays again, no one comes out. Finally he comes out in street clothes, says something to Sting, and does the “pin me, pay me” deal, laying down for the Sting pin. Hah, I called that one before the show started. DUD Big heel heat for Hogan there. I think we all know where this is leading.  (To Sting bombing as a heel and tanking ratings even worse than CM Punk currently is?  Because yeah, it did.  And before you get your panties all in a knot, I think we can agree that Punk is awesome as a heel, but it’s clearly not helping business in the slightest, especially wit a big DVD focusing on him and their flagship video game with him on the cover, and it was probably a huge mistake to even do the turn.)  US title match: Sid v. Goldberg. The Outsiders destroy Goldberg before the match. Sid attacks and the brawl is on. Sid is just absolutely bleeding a gusher, approaching 0.8 Muta. Man, he sucks as a wrestler, but his blading is top-notch. Historical note: This is the first non- Hogan, non-Flair, authorized blade on WCW PPV since about 1994. (Until Standards & Practices got wind of it.)  Much resting abounds, until the ref just stops the match due to bleeding. Goldberg gets the belt. THAT’S IT?!? Six months of shitty buildup and THAT’S the payoff? 1/4* Sting is back. He wants ANYBODY for the title tonight. Oh, you don’t wanna issue those open challenges, Sting, especially when Russo is booking… Strap match: DDP v. Ric Flair. Brawling into the crowd to start. Now Flair tapes an artery of his own, but not as bad as Sid. Flair gets laid out on the announce table and whipped. Flair beats the tar out of him back in the ring, and the figure-four gets two. Thank god, no “touch all the corners” rule. DDP gets a quick Diamond Cutter, but Flair has his foot on the ropes. Nope, Robinson counts three. Everyone seems very confused, but the decision stands. Weird. That was just out of nowhere. David hits the ring with a crowbar, but Kim takes him out with her Kung Fu Action Boobies ™ and a monster beatdown on the Flair family follows. Pretty nothing brawl with a weird ending. **1/2 And now, another Sports Entertainment Moment, as Flair is brought to the ambulance, and it gets hijacked by the Filthy Animals, who are now heels again. (BURIED IN THE DESERT!)  Monday Night RAW, April 1997. I’m just saying… Sting is back. Again. And this time, the one person you DON’T want answering your challenges answers… WCW World title match: Sting v. Goldberg. Welcome to Crash TV, as the guaranteed money-maker feud for Starrcade gets hot-shotted on a PPV likely to do a 0.4 buyrate. With three minutes left in the show, to boot. Sting dominates quickly, but spears Goldberg. Goldie no-sells, but Sting comes back with three Stinger splashes, also no-sold by Goldberg. Spear, jackhammer, see ya. SO WHY PUT HIM OVER SID FOR THE TITLE?!? Oh man, I need a shotgun and a bottle of bourbon after that one. 1/4*  (And THEN they just vacated the title anyway so they could do their stupid 64 person monstrosity leading up to the next shitty PPV.  Because Russo feels, like I do, that tournaments are awesome.  Unless Russo is booking them.)  The Bottom Line: Let’s see…Blood, scantily clad women, swearing, sexual innuendo, bad wrestling…hey, it’s RAW! While Tony Schiavone might preach “cutting-edge”, it’s really just WCW playing catch-up to where ECW and the WWF already were in 1997, and as Bart Simpson once said… “We’re supposed to catch up with the other class by going SLOWER? Cuckoo…” Welcome to the Russo era. Peak match: **1/2. I guess wrestlers need not apply. Thumbs down.

BEDROCKtober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 98

The Netcop Rant for WCW Halloween Havoc 98. I didn’t intend to do one, but y’all won’t leave me alone… – Note: My roommate and his crack-smoking brother were busy having a domestic altercation for a good chunk of the first hour and a half of this show, so if I missed or glossed over anything important, it’s because I was distracted.  (Oh man, adventures with Andrew.  My use of the term “domestic altercation” here is an extreme understatement.  Anyway, in a related story, my CD player broke down around this time, so Andrew “acquired” one for me and sold it to me at a very reasonable price.  I’m going to assume he just had one around the house so I can sleep better at night.  Eventually he got better as a person and I considered him a friend for a few years after that.  Not anymore, sadly.  I’d like to get on my high horse and presume that my lineage is any better, but my brother is also a recovering addict, and in fact used to work for the Hell’s Angels as an associate before doing something really stupid to lose the job. Family, what can ya do?)  – Live from Lost Wages, NV – Your hosts are the Usual Gang of Idiots. – Opening T&A: The Nitro Girls “dance”. – Opening yakfest: Scheme Gene brings out Rick “Dumbest Man in the World…Next To Sting” Steiner. (Steiner’s more of a “Duh Duh” idiot, whereas Sting is a gullible idiot.  Different things.)  I’ve finally figured out that those knobs on Rick’s jacket are little bulldogs. Buff Bagwell comes out to offer to be in Rick’s corner, because he’d NEVER, ever, turn on him. No, seriously. Honest. This time he means it. Would he lie to us? – Opening match (finally): TV title, Chris Jericho v. Raven. Raven whines about his losing streak vis-a-vis a conspiracy against him. (There kind of was, in fact.)  Hey, maybe he should talk to Jericho. Jericho verbally berates him until Raven attacks and gets levelled by Jericho. Raven clotheslines him out of the ring and uses the STEEL steps to his advantage. Back in and Jericho gets to do his thing, hotshotting Raven and hitting the springboard dropkick, but misses a dive off the apron. Jericho goes headfirst to the STEEL steps again, but Raven takes his trademark upside-down bump to the STEEL railing. Back in and more international objects are utilized. Sleeper by Raven. Suplex to escape and a senton. Jericho with a charge out of the corner and gets caught with a powerbomb. They exchange more stuff. Raven gets the Even Flow for two, Jericho gets the Liontamer but he escapes. Kanyon jumps on the apron and gets knocked by Raven accidentally, allowing Jericho to get the Liontamer for real. Too much action to call in the last sequence, and a great opener. ****  (That is a great forgotten classic that deserves to be on a DVD somewhere.  Get on that shit, WWE!)  – Hogan comes out to talk, as PPV watchers switch channels by the thousands. He’s wearing an nWo Nitro shirt, thus confirming that they had nothing better to do with the 1,000,000 shirts that were produced for that purpose in late 1997. (Why not send them to starving kids in Africa like they do with the losing Super Bowl merchandise?  I know if I’d gone two weeks without proper nutrition, I’d be like “Sweet, a Hollywood Hogan t-shirt!”  I forget which comedian I paraphrased/stole that joke from, but kudos, because it’s a great one.)  – Meng v. Wrath. (I think this match would make the blog’s brain explode.) Wrath beats him out of the ring and hits the somersault off the apron he was working on while with Mortis. Back in the ring and Wrath hits a couple of clotheslines to force Meng to sell. Meltdown attempt #1 fails and Meng takes control. Crowd is gone. Does Meng even have any idea how to play to/against the crowd anymore? (He’s the MONSTER MENG!  He doesn’t care about the crowd!)  More slow boring offense from Meng. Wrath with a uranage for two. Meltdown for three. Good pop for Wrath. 1/4*  (And then Nash squashed him.  I mean, honest, I get the point of the winning streak ending like it did, because they were setting up Nash as the guy who ends streaks, but talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.)  – #1 contender’s match: Disco Inferno v. Juventud Guerrera. (#1 contender for what?  Drunken karaoke champion?) Disco takes control early but Juvy hits some flying stuff. They do an awkward spot that leads to a Rocker Dropper from Juvy, and Disco gets monkey flipped right out of the ring and Juvy follows him out with a flying headscissors on the floor. Back in and Disco with the chinlock. They trade more stuff and Juvy ends up hitting a wicked cross-body to Disco on the floor. Juvy flips out of a suplex and hits a rana. He goes for the Juvy Driver but Disco flips out and tries an inverted suplex, but both guys end up escaping and knocking each other out. Disco gets two. Juvy with a sunset flip but Disco smacks him down and does the Macarena, then uses the GIANT SWING OF DOOM~! and falls headfirst on Juvy’s crotch. It gets two. Disco goes to the top and takes way too long and gets crotched. Juvy with the rana off the top, and he goes to the top himself and nails the FLYING BODY ATTACK OF DEATH~! Juvy with the Rube-Goldbergian bulldog for two, but puts his head down on a whip and Disco hits the SWANK jumping piledriver for three. No Macarena, however. ***1/4 – 10 brownie points to whoever can identify who Rube Goldberg is and why I refer to Juvy’s bulldog in that matter… (Offer no longer valid.)  – More Nitro girls! You’re telling me they couldn’t have chopped 19 minutes of this shit out? And were they handing out breast implants at the door or what?  (10 brownie points to whoever can explain the logic of having NITRO Girls on a PPV.)  – More time wasting as Scott Steiner and the Giant challenge Rick and Buff for the tag titles later in the night. Never mind they probably knew that the show would run long as it is. I dunno, this is kind of suspicious. They NEVER used filler material before this (if you don’t count the wrestling, har har) on PPV, so why suddenly start sticking AT LEAST 10 minutes’ worth of interviews and Nitro Girls in there?  (In fact they did know the show was running long and they told cable companies well in advance, but 1998 wasn’t exactly the technical heyday that it is now, and most of them just weren’t able to block off all four hours, even with advance notice.  Thankfully, Bell Expressvu, or whatever the hell it was called at that point, was one of the ones who did.)  – Alex Wright v. Fit Finlay. Case in point, this match, which they already had in the can from the Thunder tapings a few nights before. There was no reason to even show this. How can Mike Tenay hype Hogan-Warrior II with a straight face.  (Because he’s dead inside?  That would certainly explain how he can watch Joseph Park get hit in the face with a hammer and just shrug it off.) And why are they talking about the main event during this match? Are there some channel surfers who were watching other PPV events and just suddenly decided to buy this one halfway through? This match is nothing incredibly special, as they go through the motions for about five minutes until Wright hits a reverse neckbreaker out of nowhere for the pin. Call it about **1/4.  (Trust me, the much more entertaining brawl was happening live in my apartment.)  – Lodi v. Saturn. Lodi is from “anywhere in the world but Las Vegas, Nevada”. I think we’ve made all the gay jokes about Saturn’s attire that can be humanly made. (But not about Lodi’s!)  A Saturn squash with Lodi stalling punctuated in between. T-bone suplex, falcon arrow suplex, Death Valley Driver. Next match. 1/2*  (Kudos to Lodi for really stepping up his sign-making game around this time.)  – The Idiots blather to waste more time. – More Nitro girls. – Cruiserweight title match: Kidman v. Disco Inferno. See, now why couldn’t this have been on Nitro? Disco controls to start but Kidman comes back with a botched flying headscissors. Disco with a drop toehold on the bottom rope. Disco mocks him and hits an elbow. Kidman takes a blind charge and Disco ducks, sending Kidman to the floor. Disco follows and Kidman improvises a springboard bulldog using the steps! Ouch! Kidman to the top but misses a splash. Disco gets two. Chinlock from Disco. To think that last year he was TV champion and losing to a woman. (It’s like it was only yesterday!  Oh wait, it was.)  Disco Sucks chant. Ricochet clothesline from Kidman, but Disco returns with a faceplant. Disco lays the smack down in the corner and teases a dance, drawing great heat. Belly to back suplex for two. More trash talk from Disco. He misses the boogie elbow off the second rope and Kidman with the sitting powerbomb for two. Cross corner whip and Kidman eats elbow, but manages to snap off a powerslam for two. Dropkick misses. Disco nails the piledriver for two. Kidman up with a springboard bulldog, but Disco turns it into a suplex and hits a gourdbuster for two. Macarena Driver gets turned into the facebuster and that of course leads to the shooting star press for three. Disappointing. **1/2 Allow me to add my voice to those saying that he should take two months and tour Japan. – Gonnad’s music video. Just guess how much I loved this. It should be noted that he equates his music with weed, alcohol, heroin and crack. Great message to be sending out to the kids. (Better this than Skrillex.)  And it’s yet another five minutes that didn’t need to be on PPV. – WCW World tag team title match: Scott Steiner & The Giant v. Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell. Tony at least pays lip service to continuity by noting that nWo rules apply to the tag team titles and the nWo can pretty much do whatever they want with them. Buff isn’t even dressed to wrestle. If you need to know what happens here, just go back and read my Havoc 95 rant because THE SAME FUCKING THING HAPPENS HERE. Tony has the temerity to actually bring up the name of Ch__ky the evil doll. I won’t dignify it by writing it. Giant beats on Rick to start, and then Scott gets his licks in. Nothing notable enough to type going on. It’s so sad that Scott turned on Rick in FEBRUARY and they’re just fighting for the first time now. Rick comes back and stupidly tags in Bagwell, who promptly turns on Rick, duh. The announcers try to sell Bagwell as being REALLY convincing this time, unlike the other 14 times. Scott and Giant continue the assault on the partnerless Rick as Bagwell retreats. Fans start a spontaneous Goldberg chant in hopes of coaxing him into helping. Giant better lose some weight if he wants to jump ship. (He did OK for himself in WWE.)  They don’t take fat boys up North. Giant teases some pinfalls but refuses to pin him. Rick fights back but Scott crotches him. That’s about four in the same match. Giant slowly….climbs…the…ropes and hits Scott with a missile dropkick by mistake. Rick comes back with the usual, nails a bulldog off the top on the Giant…and gets the pin? See, the faces are generally supposed to lose in these situations. (Oh yeah, this was the tremendously entertaining portion of the WCW booking period where they had Rick Steiner and Kenny Kaos as tag team champions, as well as a brief stint with Judy Bagwell as a champion.)  Well, anyway, we get… – Rick Steiner v. Scott Steiner. Scott bails but Rick drags him back into the ring. Rick destroys his brother to great crowd reaction. (Running theme at the apartment that day.)  Scott crotches him again to retake control. Tenay notes that it makes four, if you’re counting. Well, Mike, some of us ARE, thank you. Rick comes back but Buffy returns with a Bill Clinton mask and Stevie Ray. Buff cleans house with the ODOR EATER OF DEATH~! and the bell rings. But the match seems to be continuing. Buff counts a couple of two counts himself but Rick keeps kicking out so Buff dumps the ref. Rick takes out Buff and nails the bulldog on Scott, and Nick Patrick runs in to count the final three. Entertaining crap. Call the whole thing ** because I’m feeling generous.  (By “generous” I mean “A few drinks into the show.”)  – Video package for Hall v. Nash. – Scott Hall v. Kevin Nash. The ring entrances give me time to change my laundry and go get my dinner ready. I’m serious. (One thing about apartment living that I will NEVER miss is shared laundry facilities.  Home ownership is worth it strictly for being able to do laundry whenever and however often you damn well want, without scrounging for quarters.)  Hall hammers Nash right from the start and chokes him out with a cable. Hall trash talks him over the PA and brings him back in the ring for more abuse. At least he’s not “drunk”. (Although he was likely drunk.)  Big Wolfpac chant. Edge attempt early but Nash fights him off. The Idiots note that Nash isn’t really fighting back. (He is pretty passive-aggressive.)  Nash with two cross-corner whips and a sidewalk slam, not called anything by Tony or anyone else. Slugfest. Hall with the usual as the Idiots trip all over each other to call the Outsiders the GREATEST TAG TEAM IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT~! Wasn’t that the Steiners about a half an hour ago? (Plan change.) Nash comes back with his usual. Nice to see the huge contract hasn’t affected Nash’s work ethic or anything. Nash proceeds to destroy Hall with knees in the corner while mocking his drinking problem. Big boot and a powerbomb. Another one, and Nash simply walks away, not wanting to beat Hall. Hall wins by countout. *1/2  (And yet Nash STILL got the Starrcade title shot after losing a major match by countout!  I hope someone got fired over that one!  Oh yeah, Bischoff did, never mind.)  – US title match: Bret Hart v. Sting. Bret stalls *forever* before Sting drags him in and beats on him. Bret retakes control (very slowly) and stomps and chokes. Man, the Nitro brawl was way better than this. Crowd is dead. I would have thought they’d have been able to work together much better. Bret with the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM!, but Sting catches him off the second rope and applies the Scorpion. Sting works on the leg, but Bret plays possum. Sting stomps on the knee anyway, which allows Bret the opportunity to load up an international object. Sting gets it but the ref blocks, allowing crotchshot #5509 on the evening. Okay, this time it’s the FIVE MOVES OF DOOM! for real. They end up on the floor and Bret drops Sting on the STEEL railing. Watch that potty mouth, Bret. Ref checks on Sting and gets an elbow in the mouth for his trouble, then Bret drops a leg on him for good measure. They exchange some stuff (carefully stepping over the referee) and Sting gives Bret a superplex which is for naught. Stinger splash but Sting nails the ringpost. Bret grabs the BASEBALL BAT OF DEATH! and wallops Sting a few times, then applies the Sharpshooter as the ref revives to count the “submission”. Ugh, five minutes too long with a silly ending. Bret NEVER did this sort of thing in the WWF. He always won clean, even if he had to cheat outrageously on the way. This was just a typical cheap Hogan ending. **, and I’m very disappointed in both guys. Sting does a stretcher job. Reports say this will lead to a Sting vacation. Well, fuck, what do you call ALL OF 1997???? Maternity leave?  (Bret so did not give a single shit by this point.)  – THE MOST ANTICIPATED RETURN MATCH IN THE HISTORY OF OUR SPORT! : Hulk Hogan (w/ boa) v. The Warrior (w/out “Ultimate” or a hope in hell of winning). The Idiots wax about Hogan needing to beat the Warrior until I feel like singing ABBA’s “Waterloo” in tribute. Waterloo, everybody’s got their Waterloo… Duelling “Hogan sucks” and “Warrior sucks” chants to begin. (Hey now, let’s settle this right now and agree they both suck, OK?)Warrior apparently calls his fans the Warriors. I’m surprised he hasn’t launched a lawsuit against them, too, for copyright violation. Nothing personally offensive meant to anyone, but if you liked this match you’re a goddamn crack-smoking braindead moron.  (People have quoted that line many times.  I take a certain amount of pride in it.)  Much like my roommate’s brother, but that’s another story. Hogan stalls, Warrior stalls. Warrior calls for a test of strength. Hogan beats on him. Only two or three actually hit. Hogan with more alleged offense. Test of strength. The boring chants begin. They trade wristlocks and do the criss-cross-slam spot, which Warrior no-sells and responds with his own. Hey, where I have seen that before? Hogan gets clotheslined to the floor, but at least he doesn’t blow out his knee this time. Weak brawling on the outside. Mike Tenay calls it a “fine wrestling match” and I feel like slapping him around for whoring himself like this. Back in the ring and Patrick gets bumped. The nWo comes out to help and they botch it one-by-one. Hogan with a belly-to-back for two. Hogan whips Warrior with the WORKOUT BELT OF DEATH! and chokes him out. This is turning into a Roddy Piper comedy match. Elbows that always miss, well, miss. Warrior fucks up a chop block but misses the big splash. Now Warrior’s got the WORKOUT BELT OF DEATH! and gives Hogan some without a DQ. Now Hogan digs out the “fireball” but it fails. (Man, when nitrocellulose can’t even save a match, you’re in trouble.  Jerry Lawler could draw a house for years on end with well-timed fireballs.) This is just sad, my friends. So now Warrior has to improvise something to cover up. Double axehandle off the top, which Hogan blocks (called as such by the announcers) but Warrior fails to sell so Hogan sells getting hit and the Idiots just sit there silently for a while. Hogan blades and sets up the legdrop, which misses. Horace Hogan wanders out with a chair as Warrior hulks up. THREE CLOTHESLINES OF DEATH! Bischoff distracts the referee as Horace nails Warrior with a weak chairshot to the back, allowing Hogan to get the pin. Geez, where’s the Disciple when you need him, Warrior? (Selling coke on the subway.)  What a fucking farce this was. -** I would have boosted it to a DUD had the attempted Warrior barbeque gone down, but it didn’t.  (That rating feels a bit generous to me.  I’m thinking –****)  – WCW World title match: Goldberg v. Diamond Dallas Page. It’s pretty sad when Hogan does 20 minutes of every cheap Memphis heel tactic known to man and Jerry Lawler and gets zero reaction, but Goldberg and Page blow the roof off the joint with a straight wrestling match. It’s sad in that Hogan is probably going to repeat the same match at World War III and get the World title, not in that straight wrestling matches are bad.  (Boy, Hogan really REALLY wanted that win back, but Nash’s asskiss-fu was stronger, I guess.)  I really, really hope the Braindead Suits in charge of WCW are paying attention. (They weren’t.  Ever.)  Goldberg tosses DDP around out of the lockup to a huge pop. DDP mouths him off and they go tumbling out of the ring. DDP takes down Goldberg, who flips and lands on his feet. Fireman’s carry and cross armbreaker from Goldberg. DDP up with a jawbreaker and he takes control with some good wrestling. Goldberg tosses him and DDP with a necksnap off the top rope. Whip to the corner and russian legsweep for two. Goldberg is selling and everything. Front facelock slows things down. Goldberg knees out and spins off a neckbreaker. Suplex variation from Goldberg and a sidewalk slam. He should be wrestling like this all the time. Back with the cross arm-breaker on DDP. Whip and DDP with a flying headscissors, but Goldberg with a superkick. Charge and Goldberg goes to the post and fucks up his shoulder. See, now DDP should have gone to work on the arm, but that’s a minor point. DDP with a clothesline off the top for two. Goldberg whips DDP off the ropes with one arm but gets DDT’d. DDP signals for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg pops up and spears him, further injuring the arm. The crowd is rabid. And he’s STILL selling the arm injury! He goes for the jackhammer but the arm is gone and Page gets out and hits the Diamond Cutter! Gets a very dramatic two count. Page tries a suplex but Goldberg reverses to the Jackhammer for the win. Best Goldberg match ever. What the hell, I’m feeling generous. ***3/4 – World War III promo. The Bottom Line: Two really good matches, one good match and a whole lot of mediocre->crappy stuff is good enough for a thumbs up from me. Show ran WAY too long, however and there was way too much filler, however, so this isn’t a glowing recommendation by any means, but WCW avoids the hot pokers this time around with a good effort.

GRIMLOCKtober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 97

The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1997. – Okay, so here’s the deal: Much like my King of the Ring 95 rant, I felt unsatisfied with my original rant for this show that I did in 1997 (even though it was plugged by Rick Scaia during the days of Online Onslaught) and so I decided to rewatch the show and update my notes, and subsequently the rant, for a more modern perspective. As well, the original show was rated using the Hot Poker up the Ass rating system, which was cited by some as being too difficult to use as an objective ratings source. (Cited by JERKS maybe.)  So here’s some of the original, mixed in with some new stuff, along with times and star ratings and more up to date comments. Enjoy.  (Oh geez, I’m actually ripping off 99 Scott, I guess.)  – Live from Las Vegas, Nevada. – Your hosts are Schiavone, Heenan and Dusty. – Opening match: Yuji Nagata v. Ultimo Dragon. Remember a few years ago some video game company releasing a bio-feedback bodysuit for fighting games? That’s what Nagata’s outfit looked like. This was probably one of the dumbest choices for a feud in 1997, because Nagata is a heavyweight and Dragon is a cruiserweight. A knee used to block the handspring elbow is a nice touch from Nagata. Nasty kicks, too. Nagata works on the shoulder, then applies a sort of figure four to further the damage. Oy vay. Hey, Yuji, the arm is ATTACHED TO THE SHOULDER. Just thought you might like to know. Finally, he hits the Herb Kunze armbar for the tap out at 9:47, which is a pretty bad ending and didn’t fit with the flow of the match. Still, good match otherwise. ***1/2  (That rating seems a bit disconnected with the match description.)  – Gedo v. Chris Jericho. For those of you not acquainted with the finer points of my tastes in Japanese wrestling, let’s just say I hate Gedo’s guts and wish he was dead and leave it at that. (I’ve since gotten over it.)  He was nice enough to chop off his dumbass Don King hairdo for this match, but the jumpsuit remains, in fashionable banana yellow. Tenay scares the hell out of me by suggesting that WCW was interested in bringing Jado and Fuyiki over to join Gedo. DEAR GOD, NO! Tenay also annoys me by reminding everyone that Gedo got unfairly pushed to the finals of the 1995 Super J Cup, losing to Jushin Liger, but not before single-handedly dragging the entire show down a notch. Standard Gedo v. Jericho WAR match here, with the only notable bit being Jericho blowing a top rope rana so badly that I’m surprised (and a little disappointed) that he didn’t break Gedo’s neck and retire him forever. To give you an idea, the announcers note that Gedo has a love for 1970’s style southern brawling, and compare him to Dusty Rhodes. Yes, he’s THAT BAD. Liontamer gets the submission at 7:16. Match was good. ***1/4 – Cruiserweight title, mask v. title: Eddy Guerrero v. Rey Mysterio Jr. Rey has his “SLAM EVIL!” alternate costume tonight. Big heel heat for Eddy here. Good fast sequence to start, with Rey mistiming a highspot and Eddy covering by bumping him onto the floor. Eddy springboards in and hits some stiff shots. Rey with a dropkick and Eddy blocks a handspring with a backdrop suplex and a jackhammerish move for two. Tilt-a-whirl gets two. Eddy goes for an abdominal stretch and turns it into a nasty pumphandle backbreaker. Ee-yow! It gets two. Eddy applies a knucklelock and gets a few twos. Rey fights up and goes into a springboard DDT. Dropkick sends Eddy to the floor, but Eddy thinks ahead of him and dodges the highspot. Brawling on the floor. Back in and Eddy rips at the mask while in a rear chinlock. Gory Special is reversed into an armdrag, so Eddy dropkicks him in the face and into another submission move. Flying elbow gets two. Rey is in the Tree of Woe, and Eddy gleefully charges, but misses and crotches himself. Rey hits a plancha as Eddy bails. Back in, and Rey snaps off a rana for two. Headscissors puts Eddy on the floor again, and Rey follows with a somersault plancha. Back in, and Rey hits a corkscrew moonsault for two. Moonsault #2 hits the knees and Eddy nearly KILLS him with a powerbomb. He misses a blind charge and Rey comes back with the rana, but gets caught with a backbreaker. Blown spot, but I can forgive it. Frog splash misses, and they head to the top and fight over a superplex. Eddy maneuvers into Splash Mountain, but Rey reverses to the rana for the pin at 13:49 for the title. Whew. ***** I still liked Hell in a Cell better for emotional impact and heat, but this was the better pure match. – Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan do a soundbite where Hogan threatens not to wrestle until WCW can guarantee Sting won’t be in the building. This is stupid on many levels. – Steve MacMichael v. Alex Wright. Bill Goldberg comes out as Debra distracts the referee and gives Alex the win. Okay, that’s not exactly how it happened. It was more like Debra walks around the ring and the referee wanders over for no good reason and starts yapping at her. She *then* jumps onto the apron and “distracts” the referee. Bill wanders in, takes 15 or 20 seconds readying himself, clips MacMichael (nearly knocking over the referee), then does the JackHammer not two feet away from the referee. The referee glanced over his shoulder *twice* and clearly saw what was going on. Then Goldberg picks up Wright, heaves him onto MacMichael, and finally leaves just before the ref turns around. This was SO STUPID. The announcers spend the entirety of the match talking about Hogan v. Piper later. Match ran 6:30. DUD  (Remember when Goldberg was a heel?)  – Disco Inferno v. Jacqueline. I was pretty pissed off about the match back in 1997, but with all the crap that has gone on in wrestling since then, I’ve mellowed to it. The match is still a horrible abomination, and Jackie isn’t just a bad female wrestler, she’s a bad wrestler period. But now I can just view it as the crappy match it is, rather than a personal offense. (I think that if there’s one thing Vince Russo has taught all of us, it’s that things can ALWAYS be worse.)  Jackie gets the pin off a cradle at 9:39, 9:00 of which was stalling. DUD – US title match: Curt Hennig v. Ric Flair (US title). Hennig takes the Pillman bump to the railing. Hennig’s oversell of the chops is glorious to see, back when Curt gave a damn. Hennig works the knee very well, too. The announcers are STILL talking about the main event. Match kinda drags, however, so it’s excusable. The belt (which was the CRUISERWEIGHT belt, by the way, instead of the US belt) gets involved, and Flair uses it for the DQ at 13:55. A very watchable match ruined by another screwjob ending. **1/4 – Scott Hall v. Lex Luger. Oh, lord. Why do you test me so? Just to sum up this whole match, there’s a spot where Scott Hall is holding both of Luger’s wrists behind Luger’s back, in a surfboard move. Luger goes behind and reverses it, but Hall is STILL HOLDING LUGER’S WRISTS. Uh, Scott, why don’t you just LET GO OF HIS WRISTS? It was that bad, folks. Ending #1: Lex does his obligatory 3 offensive moves in succession (in this case, an atomic drop done 3 times) and goes for the rack, but Syxx comes in and misses a kick to the head (which Lex sells anyway) and allows Scott to hit the Outsider Edge and get the (very reluctant) pin from Larry Z at 12:38. But Larry demands instant replay, and match starts again. Luger gets Hall in the rack 5 seconds later, Syxx runs in, DQ. I think. No decision was announced. Bischoff runs in and takes out Zbyszko, just to continue making himself look better than every wrestler, announcer and referee in his whole company. Utter waste of 20 minutes. * – Las Vegas Death Match: DDP v. Randy Savage. DDP has suddenly acquired some sort of padding taped to his ribs here.  (And it stayed there for like 3 years.) They go into the crowd and do basically nothing. They hit each other with styrofoam props and sell it. Kimberly comes out and drags Liz back to the dressing room by the hair in a pointless spot that would have been much improved by them ripping each other’s clothes off and falling into a conveniently placed tub of jello. Neither girl is seen again after they go back to the dressing room. Ref takes a bump as DDP hits the Diamond Cutter, then Fake Sting #2939B (aka Hulk Hogan) comes out (even the announcers aren’t buying it this time), hits DDP with the bat and the referee wakes up and counts DDP out at 18:05. I enjoyed this MUCH more on second viewing. **** – “Main” event: Roddy Piper v. Hulk Hogan (non-title). Not only was the match bad, but they couldn’t even decide on the rules. They spent most of the match fighting to get out of the cage like in a WWF style match, but at one point both guys walked out the door and fought outside the cage. Then when they got back in, they fought to get out again. They spend 40% of the match hanging from the cage in some form. Hulk gets the advantage, the ref comes in to count the pin, Piper kicks out. Sleeper, Piper wins at 13:14. I guess WCW’s thinking was that everyone is going to buy Starrcade anyway, so who cares if the World champ is made to look foolish by Piper two months beforehand? (Well everyone did buy Starrcade at least.)  Savage leapt off the top of the cage in a spot that would have been cooler had the cage not been so high up and far away from the ring that he would have needed a tracking system to actually hit Piper from where he jumped from. Hogan and Savage handcuff Piper to the cage, some fake Stings run in, a fan runs in and the Megapowers beat him up too, show over. Huh? -** The Bottom Line: I brutalized this show on first viewing, but after two years of perspective, this is really quite an enjoyable show with an amazing FOUR matches at *** or better, and two of them at **** or better. Even with the nWo bullshit, you can’t really ask much more than that. I’m reversing my original thumbs down and going thumbs up for this one.  (Really, 15 years later the only thing anyone remembers is Eddy v. Rey, but it was a hell of a match.)

GRIDLOCKTober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 96

The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1996. – Apologies for being a day late with this one, but I had to get my nerve up to sit through it. By the way, kudos to everyone who pointed out the truly frightening proportion of my prognosticative powers, with regards to the Fabulous Moolah. It still gives me nightmares, too.  (I believe that was in reference to my comment that Moolah could end up winning the Women’s title any day now, and then that very thing happened.)  – Live from Lost Wages, Nevada. – Your hosts are Tony, Bobby and Dusty. – Opening match, Cruiserweight title: Rey Mysterio Jr. v. Dean Malenko. This one had a real unusual backstory to it: See, Mysterio won the title from Malenko, and Malenko was upset at losing his title and decided he wanted a rematch. You don’t see that kind of edgy storyline these days. Malenko is a full heel at this point, for those who have trouble keeping track, much like myself. Tenay notes that Rey is nothing without his mask. Two years later and suddenly it’s “Rey has improved peripheral vision without the mask” because American fans are too stupid to know about the Mexican mask heritage. Doncha love Eric Bischoff? (12 years later and it’s “Rey can live in a gold-plated mansion because of all the masks he sells in WWE.”) Mysterio was not yet over at this point, as fan reactions indicated. Much like the Hardy Boys, the fans pop for highspots and not much else. Mysterio steals back his stolen mask from Malenko at one point, and does a neat little mask switcheroo in mid-ring while Malenko is on the outside. Dean comes back and works the knee extensively. Superplex gets two, and it’s more knee workage. Rey gets a quick small package for two, and then Dean goes to an extended sleeper sequence to quiet the crowd. A hammerlocked northern lights suplex (ouch!) gets two. They fight on the top rope and both bump to the floor. Rey makes the big comeback and they go into a complex pinning sequence, finished by Dean as he simply clotheslines Rey. Remember that for later. Dean bails, and Rey follows with a corkscrew quebrada. Rey with the rana for two, and a second attempt is turned into a powerbomb by Dean for two. Rey puts Dean in position for the top rope rana, but Dean blocks that as well with a powerbomb, which this time is enough to put him away at 18:26 and regain the title. He gets a BIG pop too. One thing about 1996 WCW: You sure got a lot of 20 minute cruiserweight matches. ***1/2  (What a wacky idea.)  – Lord of the Ring match: Eddy Guerrero v. Diamond Dallas Page. This is the final blowoff for the meaningless “Lord of the Ring” title won by DDP at Slamboree 96. The REAL purpose of the feud was to put DDP in a series of good matches with the Guerrero family to trick the fans into thinking he had improved as a wrestler. And obviously it worked, because by the time the general populace figured out he was still essentially useless, he had 2 World titles under his belt.  (Oh come on, he wasn’t USELESS.) It should be noted that Nick Patrick is into his first Evil Referee stint, wearing a neck brace and selling a crippling neck injury all night. Eddy babysits DDP through a wrestling sequence to start, and a long headlock follows. DDP bails and they brawl on the floor. Back in the ring, and DDP crotches him on the top to take control. He gets a rope-assisted two count. Good. I approve of heels who put their feet on the ropes. DDP still stalls too much in between moves at this point, however. A tilt-a-whirl slam gets two, prompting a shoving match with Patrick, which in turn allows Eddy to roll him up for two. Eddy comes back and again carries DDP through a pinning reversal sequence, which is ended by DDP lifting Malenko’s move and clotheslining Eddy, just like in the last match. See how smart he is, making sure to associate himself with the good workers and use their tactics. And sure enough, the clothesline gets a good pop, too, just like it did for Dean. They exchange more two-counts, until gets a pancake and a rotation powerbomb. Eddy is stunned, and DDP finishes him with a sloppy Diamond Cutter (looking closer to the original form it held — a direct ripoff of the Ace Crusher, before evolving into the more “snapped off” version he uses today) at 13:38. Anticlimactic ending to an okay match. **1/2  (I must have had it in for DDP at that point.)  – The Giant v. Jeff Jarrett. The issue was that the Giant stole the US title belt from Ric Flair and beat him up, so Flair brought Jarrett into WCW to help him out. And to say that the fans didn’t take to Jarrett would be a gross understatement. Had Jarrett just accepted the nWo’s original offer, he might have been over and everything. As it is, supposed babyface Jarrett gets booed out of the building here. Bringing Flair out with him helps some. A little. Okay, not at all. Jarrett uses completely unsound strategy, trying wrestling moves on him and getting tossed like a lawn dart as a result. Repeat SEVERAL TIMES. Note to Paul Wight: Backbreakers are not your strong point. Giant misses a blind charge and Jarrett plays David & Goliath with him, trying to knock him down. They end up fighting outside and Flair low-blows the Giant in view of the ref for the DQ at 9:55. Well, Flair certainly tried there, I’ll give him that. 1/2* – Syxx v. Chris Jericho. This could have been great, but Syxx absolutely did not care at this point, and the match was merely a backdrop to set up Jericho v. Nick Patrick at the next PPV. It should be noted that X-Pac is my least favorite wrestler name to type, because the keyboard positioning is so awkward. Just for those who care. (Other difficult ones:  Christian and Psychosis)  Syxx was still very much Lightning Kid-ish at this point, sticking out his tongue and tossing off highspots, before a neck injury later in 1997 would essentially ground him and turn him into the more complete wrestler he is today. (By “complete” I obviously meant “addicted to painkillers”)  Tumbling sequence to start here. It is pointed out that the Dungeon of Doom is sitting in the front row. Geez, WCW comps the freakin’ DoD front row seats and they wonder why the nWo ended up kicking their butt? Jericho gets knocked to the floor and they brawl there. Back in and Syxx hits the kick combo and goes to the chinlock. A blind charge misses and Jericho takes over. He gets a few two-counts and Patrick gets increasingly biased, pissing off the crowd. Syxx hits a simple leg lariat, and Patrick supposedly quick-counts on Jericho, although it looked fine to me. Storyline overwhelmed the match here. *1/2 By the way, someone e-mailed me after Unforgiven to make the case that this match was better than the X-Pac v. Jericho one there. I personally think they had it confused with the Syxx-Jericho series from 1997, but to each their own, I guess. – Arn Anderson v. Lex Luger. Since I can’t be bothered to remember what the storyline was here, Tony kindly explains it: Arn was pissed at Luger for being a wuss and submitting at Wargames to give the nWo the win. Okey doke. Arn does some quick damage, but turns his back to gloat and Luger comes back. And yells a lot, can’t forget that. The Dungeon are cheering Lex. Lex works AA’s back, and nothing of note happens for a good long time. Arn gets a fluke spinebuster and starts working on Luger’s back. And thanks to Dusty, I can now use the phrase “Bulla Bulla” in proper context, and DON’T THINK I WON’T! Years later, Luger blocks a DDT and makes the superman comeback, which I guess is apropos for a guy with initials “LL”. Ref gets bumped and they fight on the floor. Luger gives him a few lovetaps with a chair, then racks Arn for the submission at 12:20. Whoa, check the irony on that one! It’s so poetic, it’s like Keats and Kerouac rolled into one. *  (Arn was definitely on the tail end of his career at this point, only a few months away from retirement.)  – The Feces of Fear v. Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael. Hey, who’s the bimbo with Mongo? Debbie or Brenda or something like that. Meng and Mongo start, and I half-hope for a Ming the Merciless run-in to complete that whole vowel sequence thing. Benoit hangs tough with the Barbarian for a bit, but the demons booking this thing insist on giving the fans that Meng v. Mongo sumo showdown they were clamouring for. Mongo gets beat on for a bit, coming back with a pair of dropkicks so sad and yet inspired at the same time that I feel the need to create a new rating scale: The Erik Watts Scale. Just as awesome bladejobs are rated on the Muta Scale, I now christen this new system, whereby truly pathetic dropkicks will be rated against the mother of all bad dropkicks: Erik Watts’ belly-flop at Starrcade 92. In this case, we’ll call it 0.5 Watts. Feel free to play at home. Benoit tags in and promptly gets powerbombed. Whoops. Barbarian hits an admittedly impressive overhead belly-to-belly off the top, although it was basically Benoit doing a 15 foot dive across the ring from the top rope, but maybe that’s just the cynic in me talking. A double-team diving headbutt gets two. They hit a suplex and splash combo on Benoit, but Mongo utilizes his finisher — the briefcase to the head — on Meng for the Benoit pin at 9:20. Not as brutally bad as it could have been, I suppose. * – Mayday! Mayday! This show is going down faster than Missy Hyatt at a sex addict convention . . . – WCW World tag team title: Harlem Heat v. The Outsiders. Wait, wait, I feel a shill coming on… Coming soon to WrestleLine: The Netcop Revelation Rant, covering the epic rise and fall of the nWo from 1996-1999 and explaining just why Kevin Nash is such a tool. Be the first on your block to get a copy!  (That one never happened, by the way.  I was getting so sick of Wrestleline’s nonsense that I just never bothered to write it.  Original title was going to be “There Goes The Neighborhood” before others talked me into tying it into the classic literature theme of the previous two history pieces.  Basically the bulk of what I had written got turned into the nWo entry in my first book, in case you’re wondering if there’s secret unreleased stuff in my vault.)  Okay, got that out of the way. This, by the way, is the match that officially marks the end of tag team wrestling in North America as we liked it. Fans chant “Razor” and “Diesel” at various points in the match, depending on who’s in. Hall starts while Nash picks his nose on the apron and thinks up booking ideas. He tags in and does his usual stuff, but gets beatdown by Stevie Ray. Whoa, is that SELLING from Big Lazy? A Booker T axe kick gets two. I question booking the Outsiders as heels here, given the massive babyface reaction they’re getting. Booker T plays sucka-in-peril. Hall runs through his Razor Ramon stuff, until Sherri jumps on the apron to run interference. Hall kisses her in response, and I leave it as an exercise to the reader to make the proper cheap joke. I can’t do EVERYTHING, people. Stevie Ray gets the hot tag and they hit the Harlem Hangover, but the ref is distracted putting Stevie Ray out. In the meantime, Kevin Nash bullies Rob Parker into giving him the cane, and bashes it over Stevie’s head to give the Outsiders their first tag titles at 13:06. They pose with the belts in a famous image. Match was nothing. 1/2*  (Yeah, but the Outsiders were the biggest stars in the promotion, so having the belts elevated the title above the midcard nothing it was before that, at least.)  – WCW World title: Hulk Hogan v. Randy Savage. Hey, haven’t we seen this before? Oh yeah, on every other show of 1986 through 1998, inclusive. That’s right. The announcers mock Hogan’s obvious wig, left over from the Three Ninjas movie he did. (My wife looks after three elementary school aged boys, so recently I actually had a chance to watch said Three Ninjas movie on Netflix, and even the 8 year old wasn’t buying Hogan’s performance in it.  Holy GOD what a steaming pile of crap that movie was.)  Savage had a long winning streak to earn him this shot, whereby he LOST EVERY MATCH. But hey, WCW promised Hogan v. Savage months before the match, so Hogan v. Savage you get, even if Savage looked like a lame duck challenger.  (Yeah, but this show did a monster buyrate by WCW standards, and the Slim Jim sponsorship got them a bunch of money, so you can’t argue the effectiveness of the strategy.)  We get the mother of all stall sessions to start, as no real contact is made until FIVE MINUTES into the match. Hogan gets a simple punch at that point, and Savage starts selling as though the glove was loaded with buckshot like Iron Shiek’s boot. Hogan poses a lot. Savage comes back with a double- axehandle. More stupidity as Savage steals the sunglasses and wig that Hogan has been wearing the whole match and prances around with them. Is this WCW or the Geriatric Match from WrestleMania 12? They allegedly brawl on the floor, and deep down I almost hope for Savage to blade off the shot to the padded post he takes, just to complete the self- parody in a work of true artistic Sid-ism. (CALLBACK!  CALLBACK!  I gave up on that one too quickly.)  Liz wanders out, because obviously the bookers felt that the match was underbooked, what with only two nWo members at ringside to provide possible screwjob endings. By the way, for those who complain that *I* sold out (even though WrestleLine, a division of CBS Sportsline, which is in turn a division of the largest and most popular network on TV right now, hasn’t actually paid me anything yet for carrying this site) (While technically true, Mike Samuda sent me a pretty obscene chunk of money early in 2000 for no real reason, perhaps as a make-good for Wrestleline’s cheapness.  So I did get paid as of that writing, sort of, but only once.  Although considering all of Mike’s legal problems since then, I’m wondering if I unknowingly was aiding and abetting in some form…)  it should be noted that Randy Savage has Slim Jim ads right on his tights. Now, I’m not saying I personally wouldn’t sell vital organs to major corporations for the right amount of money, but really for an event sponsored by Slim Jim with the ringposts already replaced with Slim Jim ads, this just seems like overkill, and if there’s one thing that offends me more than corporate pandering, it’s bad taste. Anyway, Hogan hides behind Liz to stop Savage’s awesome offensive onslaught, and it works because Hogan gets the big boot soon after. Liz comes in and covers Savage up to prevent the legdrop. Hogan shoves her aside, but the legdrop misses. Then, in the REALLY embarrassing part, Dibiase hands Hogan an international object that looks suspiciously like a dildo. Liz steals it, which lends more credence to that theory. The ref then gets bumped, and Nick Patrick: Evil Referee takes his place. Nick’s so into his evil role I’m surprised he didn’t grow a handlebar moustache, just so he could twirl it like Oil-Can Harry. Savage hits the big elbow, and Patrick’s neck injury acts up, preventing the three count. So Savage wrests the SEX TOY OF DOOM from Hogan and hits him with it, but now Ted Dibiase and the Giant double-team Savage, toss him back in, and the pin is a formality at 18:35. Hell, with that kind of overblown booking protection, even I could look like a credible main eventer. Sadly, even with it, Hogan and Savage don’t. DUD – And now to top off the evening, Hogan talks. Roddy Piper interrupts to a big pop, and they do a long duelling microphone segment that would be cool if either guy still had all their original body parts and could back it up in the ring. I don’t see why Hogan and the Giant didn’t kick Piper’s ass right there, but I guess that’s why I’m not booking. The segment just goes on and on, until finally the PPV runs out of time and cuts them off. Thank heavens for allotted TV time. The Bottom Line: Hogan v. Savage is good for a laugh if your taste in humor runs towards crap, everything past the first two matches sucks, and the first two matches were done before and done better. The nWo is here, good wrestlers need not apply. I think I can speak for everyone when I say “Bulla Bulla”. You can’t get more eloquent and succinct an explanation than that. Bulla Bulla indeed.

MOCKTober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 95

– The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1995. (This is definitely a show where I initially hated it, and then grew to love it in time.) – Live from Detroit, Michigan. – Your hosts are Tony and Bobby. – We are informed that Ric Flair has been attacked by Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman outside the arena, which may put the tag match with Flair & Sting against Anderson & Pillman in jeopardy. – Opening match, TV title: Diamond Dallas Page v. Johnny B. Badd. Remember when DDP was doing the opening match? (Well once he got to WWE, that would start happening again.)  “Badd” comes out of the dressing room, but the real one jumps DDP from behind to start the match. Bit of a brawl outside the ring, as Badd takes out Max Muscle and then puts a bucket on Page’s head. Whatever. Back in the ring and Badd with an armbar. Did Kim get a nosejob between then and now?  (She certainly had everything else worked on.)  Long wristlock-and-reversal sequence to waste time. Badd with a hiptoss into a cover for two. Badd with one of the TEN PUNCHES OF DOOM!, but Page dumps him face-first on the turnbuckle. Kimberly refuses to give him a “10”. See, Kimberly’s function used to be hanging around Page’s matches and holding up a big “10” sign whenever DDP did a good move. Yes, they actually pay people to think this stuff up. Page with some kicks and punches for a couple of two counts. Cross-corner whip, reversal and belly to back by DDP. Kim relents and gives him a 10, albeit reluctantly. Pancake piledriver for two. See, the angle was that DDP won 7 million dollars playing bingo, but it was actually Kim’s card, so she’s pissed off that he’s getting all the money.  (And why exactly have we not had a lottery winner gimmick since then?  What a WONDERFUL idea for turning someone heel!  The plucky babyface goes on a big losing streak, wins millions in the lottery and tells off his boss in Austin-like fashion, but then becomes a big jerk like the Million Dollar Man.  Classic soap opera!) It led to a big feud with DDP and Badd that led to Badd leaving for the WWF. DDP with the lucha-esque “El Chinlocko Reverso”. Badd with a backslide for two. Page with a clothesline. Page was horrible at this point, btw. Sunset flip try but Page sits on the shoulders for two and then Badd finishes the move for two. Page bodyslam for two. Another Greco-Roman chinlock. Badd escapes, but Maxx Muscle helps Page take him down again. I don’t know what became of Maxx, but he was just a big roid freak so I don’t really care.  (Wikipedia says that he retired in 2002.)  Back to the chinlock. Crowd is comatose. Badd with a belly to back to escape. Badd makes the superman comeback with a pair of atomic drops and a series of lefts. Flying headscissors and Badd off the top with a double axehandle, which Kimberly gives a 10, but the referee only gives two. Ligerbomb for two. Hiptoss reversed into a DDT by DDP. Only gets two. Diamond Cutter, but Badd holds the ropes and gets two. To the corner for the 10 PUNCHES OF DOOM! and DDP bails out over the top. Badd chases with a somersault plancha and tosses DDP back in, then slingshot splashes him for two. Maxx grabs him from the outside, miscommunication from the heels and Badd rolls him up for two. Badd gets dumped out and Maxx misses a charge at him. Another miscommunication spot and it’s enough for a new champion as Badd gets the pin. Bad match with a good ending to save it. ** – Zodiac (w/ Rey Mysterio’s music) v. Randy Savage. Zodiac is of course Brutus “the Booty Disciple Clipmaster without a Face” Beefcake. Savage and Zodiac fight outside the ring as an idiot fan runs into the ring. Security and the ref kick the crap out of the little puke to a big pop from the fans. They get back in and Savage finishes it about 10 seconds later with the big elbow. DUD  (Fun fact:  Zodiac was originally going to be the gimmick given to Tom Zenk in 1991, and then they held onto it for FOUR YEARS before finding someone dumb enough to take it.)  – Hotline shill as Gene notes Jimmy Hart was talking to someone he used to represent in another federation. Quick soundbites from Johnny B. – Revenge match: Road Warrior Hawk v. Kurasawa. No, it’s not the Japanese filmmaker, although if I made that joke only mdb and 5 or 6 others would probably get it anyway. Kurasawa is just some Japanese guy who liked to work on the arm. (DUDE!  That’s Manabu Nakanishi!  He’s friggin’ awesome!)  He wasn’t over, in case you couldn’t guess. Hawk batters him to start with the shoulderblock and neckbreaker. Fistdrop for two. Another two. Chops. Cross-corner charge misses but Hawk doesn’t sell. Gut wrench suplex by Hawk. Powerbomb, but Parker hooks the leg, allowing Kurasawa to slam Hawk, but miss an elbow off the top. Hawk clotheslines him over the top, then comes off the apron and clotheslines Parker. Hawk hits the ringpost, allowing Kurasawa to hit a pair of suplexes back in the ring and pin Hawk. Que? Parker was holding the ropes, but that came out of nowhere. Still, surprisingly decent match out of Hawk. **1/2  (Like I said, Nakanishi was awesome.)  – Jerry Lynn v. Sabu. (Did I read that right?)  Yes, you read that right. (Whew.)  Sabu worked for WCW for a couple of months in 1995, including this show. Sabu with an Asai moonsault right away. Lynn responds with a cross-body off the top to the floor. Back in and Lynn with a moonsault press for two. Ligerbomb for two. Charge misses and Sabu with a slingshot legdrop for two. Lynn with a belly to back for two. Lynn to the top and Sabu knocks him down and gives him a victory roll off the top for two. Sabu on the second rope and Lynn dropkicks him out of the ring. This is a total spotfest. Sabu finishes it with a slingshot moonsault out of nowhere for the pin. The Sheik tosses a fireball in Lynn’s face for fun. A bad match by today’s standards, but this was totally unlike anything ever seen in WCW at the time. ** – We go to the Taskmaster’s lair, as King Curtis yells a lot and Sullivan looks menacing. I should point out that Eric Bischoff was running WCW at the time. Not that I’m saying it was his idea, but he could very well have said “No, this is stupid, I don’t want to air this on my PPV” but he chose not to.  (Note the similarities to another angle currently stinking up TNA.)  – Mean Gene has some folks who won some motorcycle contest. Hogan (dressed like Hollywood Hogan without the painted beard) and Jimmy Hart present a bike. – Meng v. Lex Luger. Meng actually sells some stuff here. If Luger can win, he’ll wrestle Savage later because they some sort of issue. The Dungeon of Doom feud was so horribly confusing that I can’t even remember what the Luger-Savage thing was about. (Well we know what the issue became about years later…)  Luger with his usual stuff and they end up outside the ring, where Luger rams Meng’s arm into the ringpost. Wow, psychology and stuff. Meng kicks away. But Luger makes the comeback…then misses a charge to the corner. Luger tries a belly to back but Meng falls on him for two. Shoulderbreaker allows Meng the chance to stall. More kicks. Piledriver for two. Choking. Belly to back for two. I’m bored. Luger is (slowly) tossed out of the ring and Sullivan has words with him. The announcers speculate that Luger might be in cahoots, thus marking the last time any member of the WCW announce team made an intelligent comment. Back in and more kicks from Meng. They’ve given this fucking match like 15 minutes so far. Meng misses a dropkick and Luger dumps him out of the ring. Luger suplexes him back in off the apron. Three clotheslines to put Meng down and a backdrop. Another clothesline, and another. Why does he use the one move he can never hit so extensively? But wait, Meng has an international object in his boot and he nails Luger with it…but Sullivan comes in to break up the count, giving Luger the win by DQ. Uh, guys, if Sullivan broke up that pin then LUGER should have been DQ’d. Well, whatever. 1/2* – Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman v. Ric Flair & Sting. Everyone knew what was going to happen here, but it was still great to watch. Anderson and Flair had been bickering leading up to this, and they finally fought at Fall Brawl, with Pillman interfering, allowing Anderson to get the pin. So Flair begged Sting for help, bringing out a dozen kids painted with Stinger paint to plead for Sting’s help in a tag match. So Sting agreed. But Flair got “attacked” earlier in the evening and Sting comes out alone here. Sting and Arn start as the crowd chants “We Want Flair.” They do a full-nelson reversal spot and Arn bails. More chants from the crowd. Sting cleans house on both heels and they bail again. Pillman entices Sting to chase him outside but the attempted double-team fails as Sting takes out both guys. Arn & Brian are getting nowhere here. Sting press-slams Pillman, who tags out to Arn. Arn with some forearms and a piledriver try, but Sting reverses to a catapult that knocks Pillman off the apron to the railing. Boxing match between Sting and Arn, which Arn loses. Arn rams Sting’s head into Pillman’s to turn the tide. Whip and forearm shot to the gut. Stomp to the midsection…and Flair charges into the ring in street clothes as the crowd goes berserk! Pillman hammers Sting into the railing as Flair takes his place on the apron. Flair has a huge bandage on his head. Pillman hammers on Sting in the corner and Sting fights out, but gets caught in the wrong corner and double-teamed. Flair has the crowd in the palm of his hand. He takes off his shoe and swats at Arn with it to break up a chinlock. Sting lifts the knees on a Pillman splash, and Sting fights over to his corner to make the hot tag…but Arn catches him in time with a belly to back for two. Pillman antagonizes Flair enough to draw him away from the corner while Arn hammers Sting some more. Abdominal stretch on Sting, with the requisite cheating. Pillman mouths off at Flair and rubs Sting’s face into the mat. Half-crab with the requisite cheating. Field-goal kick to the ribs by Pillman for two. Double-teaming in the corner, but Sting fights outs against Arn, only to get caught with the spinebuster for two. Pillman with the elbow to the knee. Double-team leg split and Arn works on Sting’s knee some more. Flair is yelling inspirational words to Sting from the apron. God, this is so classic. Flair is the man. Sting escapes an Arn bearhug put Pillman takes him down again right away. Chops in the corner (whoo). Kind of a half-nelson by Pillman. But Sting fights out of the corner again, and rams the heels’ heads together to take them out. He sucks up every ounce of energy…and tags Flair! The crowd goes nuts! FLAIR TURNS ON STING! The Horsemen ride again and the crowd is absolutely shell-shocked. A beatdown results to bring the angle to it’s payoff. See, this is how it should have happened this time around: Flair and Anderson allow themselves to be demoralized by Bischoff to the point where they relent and join the nWo, then one day flip out and destroy some poor nWo sap. Psychological warfare at it’s finest. ***  (I’m even more deeply into this angle today than I was back then.  Yeah, at the time it seemed like yet another Sting the Giant Idiot feud, but it had layers.  Sting and everyone else was well aware that Flair was going to turn on them, and everyone SAID SO, but Sting and Flair were drawn together like co-dependent addicts sharing one last binge with each other, because Flair was compelled by his own nature, and I think deep down Sting wanted Flair to call his bluff so he could beat the shit out of him and have justification.  It’s just who they are.  Now THAT’S telling stories.)  – Long video review package of the Giant-Hogan feud. – Monster Truck Match: Hulk Hogan v. The Giant. I won’t even get into this one. Needless to say, it’s really fucking stupid. Hogan manages to push Giant’s truck out of the circle, and then they fight. But see, Giant was standing too close to the edge of the roof of Cobo Hall, and Hogan accidentally pushes him off. No, seriously. This is, of course, available on my Netcop Busts compilation as a shining example of one of the worst things I’ve ever seen.  (Giant FELL OFF THE ROOF OF THE ARENA.  And survived!  And they never even tried to explain it!  THUMBS UP!)  – Lex Luger v. Randy Savage. Whereas he was a face in the Meng match, now Luger is heelish here. Crowd is firmly behind Savage. Jimmy Hart makes his way to ringside a few seconds in. Luger pounds Savage in the corner. More rights. Some kicks. Necksnap on the top rope. Heenan flips out on the never-seen page Woodrow a few times because he’s so upset about the Giant falling off the roof. Luger with an axehandle on Savage as he’s draped over the railing. Savage rams Luger to the railing and STEEL stairs to fight back. Back in and Savage clotheslines him from behind and goes to the top, but catches a fist in the gut on the way down. Savage whips Luger to the corner, but eats knee and Luger cradles…but the ref is distracted by Jimmy. Hart and Luger end up colliding and Savage hits the big elbow for three. Bad match. 1/2* – WCW World title match: Hulk Hogan v. The Giant. Hogan enters first and everyone acts all shocked and stuff when the Giant makes his way out. Because he FELL OFF THE ROOF OF COBO HALL. And people say Val Venis is overstated. You know what the sad part is? These guys would go on to main event THREE MORE PAY PER VIEWS! Hogan with rights but the have no effect. Btw, if you think Giant is bad now… Bodyslam attempt but Giant screams like a sideshow freak and breaks out. Cross-corner whip and big boot. More forearms. Chops in the corner (whoo). Giant yells a lot. Maybe he should try All-Bran. Maybe he’s passing kidney stones. Boots in the corner. Cross-corner whip and another boot. Knucklelock brings Hogan to his knees. And he stays there for a while. Elbow and slam by the Giant. Legdrop misses and Hogan is revived. Head to the turnbuckle a couple of times and then the TEN PUNCHES OF DOOM! Biting from Hogan. FINGERNAIL SCRAPE OF DEATH! Cross-corner whip and clothesline, then more punches. Whip and clothesline. Another. Another and Giant goes over the top to the floor. Giant and Sullivan take a walk and Hogan brings them back. Poke to the eyes. More punches. Shoulderblock but Giant won’t go down. Again and Giant goes for the chokeslam but Hogan escapes. More punches and biting. Giant wiht a whip and a backbreaker. Giant stomps on his hands. Whip and a Giant bearhug. Hogan powers out but gets atomic dropped. Another bearhug. Hogan powers out again. Punches from Hogan, but Giant catches him with a chokeslam. Two count and the hulking up begins. He’s a house of fire, you know. Punches, big boot and bodyslam. Legdrop, but Jimmy Hart trips up the referee off-camera. Hogan helps him up and Hart officially turns on Hogan, pasting him with the title belt. Crowd is shocked. Luger and Savage run in to make the save, but Luger then further complicates the issue by turning on Savage! Then the Yeti (Ron Reese) comes in and does the double-team bearhug on Hogan, while, uh, gyrating his hips. The less said the better. The carnage continues. It is announced that Giant wins by DQ, since Hart was Hogan’s manager. The next night on Nitro, it was further announced that Hart had double-crossed Hogan before the match and wrote a waiver of the DQ rule into the contract, giving Giant the WCW World title. This was actually a better match than the ones that followed over the years. *1/2  (This was basically Vince Russo before Vince Russo, so I have to give it a pass just for sheer prescience.)  The Bottom Line: Well, the wrestling wasn’t great (or even good), but the storylines were actually coherent (if really stupid) and the shock booking approach set a change of pace for WCW that would redefine the company and propel them to the top. A recommended show, historically speaking. (It’s a ton of fun!) 

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 fuck.)  – 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.) 

SPOCKTober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 93

The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1993. – Amazingly, I actually got LETTERS OF SUPPORT for reviewing Havoc 92. As in, people wrote to me to express their sympathies for me watching the show again. Who says that wrestling fans aren’t a caring bunch? – Live from New Orleans, Louisiana, home of my hero Emeril Lagasse.  (I miss Emeril.  Watching his show after work used to be a great way to unwind.  Guy Fieri is great and all on Diners Drive-Ins and Dives, but Emeril was like the Hulk Hogan of wacky cooking show hosts.)  – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone (dressed as Jesse Ventura) and Jesse Ventura (dressed as a gynecologist). Too funny. – Hey, save your sympathies for the OPENING MATCH! – Opening match: Harlem Heat & The Equalizer v. Shockmaster, Ice Train & Charlie Norris. What is this, “Gang Up on Netcop Day”? (Every day is Gang Up on Netcop Day!) Sure, take five of the STUPIDEST gimmicks in wrestling (the mildly racist original form of Harlem Heat, the big dumb blond guy, Uncle Fred, the big black guy who thinks he’s a train and the fat native guy) and put them on five of the worst wrestlers in the promotion, then put them ALL IN THE SAME MATCH. (To be fair, I don’t think Ice Train actually thought of himself as a train in human form, but more of a metaphorical train.)  Is this the Village People or a six-man match? Shoot me now. Thankfully, someone with half a brain books Kole (Booker T) to wrestle the majority of the match, but sadly he’s gotta wrestle SOMEONE, and at this point it’s beyond his powers to carry five stiffs in the same match. The match isn’t worthy of my recapping, as the Shitmaster bearhugs a Heat member and pins him at 8:56 of hell. Just AWFUL. -** – Eric Bischoff interviews Terry Taylor, currently a babyface, who will be the special second ref in the Rude-Flair match tonight. – Paul Orndorff (w/ The FatAssassin) v. Ricky Steamboat. Paul blindsides him to start, but Steamer gets a rollup for two. Steamboat bails and they fight onto the rampway. Long stretch of nothing as both guys wait, then Steamboat suddenly dives in over the top, which Orndorff simply sidesteps. Steamboat goes to work on the arm, however. This goes on for a while. No wonder they were calling him the “armdragon” at this point. They fight on the floor some more, allowing Paul the chance to stall. Steamboat breaks it up and goes back to the arm. He goes nuts with chops and they fight on the floor AGAIN. Orndorff gets the better of it and we’re back in the ring for an elbow off the top that gets two. They do an ugly pin reversal for some twos. Steamboat makes the big comeback, but gets caught and nearly piledriven. He reverses out and they do another sequence, with this one leading to a catapult into the corner for Orndorff, and a two count for Steamboat. Flying bodypress, but the Assassin distracts Nick Patrick with a father-and-son talk (bet you didn’t know that one…), then loads up the MASK OF DEATH with an international object and headbutts Steamer, giving Orndorff the countout win at 18:32. Way too long for that lame-o ending, especially since Orndorff got shunted into the tag division soon after. *1/2  (God, that whole Orndorff push, leading to the Orndorff/Roma/Assassin push…you just have to shake your head and say “Holy fuckballs, it’s WCW” sometimes.)  – Tony introduces us to the ridiculous “International Board of Governors” rationalization for calling the worthless former NWA title a “World title”. Whatever. (Why not just call it the International title?  What kind of a dumbass promotion has two World titles at the same time, anyway?)  – World TV title: Lord Steven Regal v. The British Bulldog. Regal is reluctant to touch DBS, because he’s been rolling around in dog-doo and all. Oh, wait, that’s 6 years later, sorry. Nice little psych-out job from Smith to start. They go into a headlock reversal sequence that gives the Bulldog the advantage, much to Regal’s chagrin. NO ONE has better facial mannerisms than Regal. It’s like reading a book when you’re watching him. Davey gets a bow-and-arrow, something you don’t see too often. Sir William’s interference allows Regal to take over. Senton gets two. Regal with some nice forearm to knee combos. Good stuff there. Regal works the arm for a while, keeping him grounded and stretching him. Not in the shoot sense of the word, of course. DBS fights out with one minute left in the time limit (actually, 1:30, but I can forgive them being off by 30 seconds) and cuts loose. Powerslam gets two, and he doesn’t seem to know what to do next. So he piledrives Regal, but the time limit runs out at 2. Hey, if the shot counts in basketball after the buzzer, and the play counts in football after the time expires, why should a pinfall be stopped by the bell? Of course, in hockey the puck has to cross the line before the buzzer, but that’s still 2-to-1 against wrestling’s interpretation. Anyway, solid match, if a little dull. **1/2 – We spin the wheel and make the deal for tonight’s main event, and the obviously fixed wheel lands on Texas Death. At least they didn’t pick “Coal Miner’s Glove” again. – US heavyweight title: Dustin Rhodes v. Steve Austin. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell how you drastically different these guys’ careers got after this, but I’ll reiterate, just because I like humiliating the unholy offspring of Dusty Rhodes. My own theory is that Dustin *has* to be the child of a union between Dusty and a demoness, because nothing human could possibly want to procreate with him. Anyway, Austin was still 1/2 of the Hollywood Blonds at this point, and went on to become the biggest star in wrestling history. Dustin was an undeserving US champion, and went on to play a comme-ci comme ca movie buff, S&M fetishist, moralizing preacher, mother-figure to Blue Meanie, and most recently a Black Scorpion ripoff. (Don’t forget potential child molester as Seven!)  Much like his fellow Knight of Nepotism, Erik Watts, Rhodes got what he deserved in the end.  (Man, I just REALLY hated Dustin Rhodes at this point.  Dustin, if you’re reading this, we’re cool now, man, really.  I’m moved on, so should you.)  But back to the match. Austin runs like a coward to start, and when they lock up the match never really clicks for a while. In fact, nothing worth noting happens for the first five minutes. Austin misses a blind charge and ends up on the floor, hitting his knee in the process, which allows Dustin to go after it for a while. Austin kicks him low, then tricks him into trying a leverage move, which allows Austin to use the momentum to hit a pump splash on Dustin. Really nice spot. Dustin comes back, but Austin reverses the bulldog and crotches him on the top. Rhodes gets a couple of fluke pinfall attempts, then Austin pins Rhodes with his feet on the ropes, to win the title! However, Nick Patrick suddenly decides he saw it after all, and tells them to continue. Austin is rightly pissed, which allows Rhodes to schoolboy him for the pin at 14:21. Really boring match. * – World tag titles: 2 Cold Scorpio & Marcus Bagwell v. The Nasty Boys. The pretty boys won the titles the night before on WCWSN (although it was taped weeks prior). Bagwell shows his non-existent dancing skillz before the match, thus giving white guys the world over a bad name. Bagwell then kisses Missy, and she acts like SHE got the raw deal there. If I was Bagwell, I’d ditch the match and check into my nearest clinic right then. (Missy and the Nasty Boys was another bizarre pairing that never made any sense, other than the obvious disease and smell factors.)  The champs double team the Nasties to start. The Nasties bail and stall, so Scorpio follows with a slingshot pescado with help from Bagwell. Scorpio gets a quick pin attempt on Knobbs. Bagwell gets a couple more. Scorpio with some sloppy defense to keep Sags grounded. Yeah, cuz that Sags aerial attack is KILLER if you let him start flying. The Nasties double-team Bagwell to take over, however. Not much of note happens, much like this whole show. If the Nasties would move as fast they do from the buffet back to their table, the match might be decent, but they don’t, and it ain’t. We get a false tag to Scorpio, and the real one soon follows. Moonsault press gets two, and then all hell breaks loose, with both Missy and Teddy Long getting involved. Scorpio hits the 450 on Knobbs in the confusion, but Sags retaliates by taking off his boot and hitting Scorpio in the head with it for the pin and their second title at 14:19. What a waste of sperm the Nasties are. 1/2* – Sting v. Sid Vicious. This is allegedly to see who the franchise of WCW is, although I have another theory which I’ll share after the match. Sting hits a bunch of stuff and Sid shrugs it off, and they go brawling into the crowd. Rob Parker grabs Sting’s leg, allowing Sid to chokeslam him. The next 8 minutes are pretty painful and boring at the same time, to the point where I actually have to STOP THE TAPE, go walk around for an hour or so to get the lost brain cells back, then finish watching. I thought of my theory during that walk, by the way. Parker’s interference backfires and allows Sting to pin Sid at 10:33. This would lead to Sid’s face turn that almost made him WCW World champion if not for nearly killing Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors. -* – Okay, so here’s my theory on Sid: He has these terrible matches on purpose. Since it’s not humanly possible for one person to be that useless, I figure that it must be deliberate, and maybe even some sort of sick artform in Sid’s mind. Some have Dadaism, we get Sidism. He’s painting a picture with his terrible wrestling, giving a profound and painful lecture on the current state of wrestling, whereby he’s saying “Any promotion that would push ME is severely messed up”. It’s sad and beautiful at the same time that someone would suffer for their art so, indeed martyring themselves for the cause of bring awareness to the essential suckiness that surrounds him. It’s a cry for help, you see. Every time he puts on his idiotic rear chinlock, he’s crying “Stop me before I suck again!” and yet he continues to be pushed. I think the current rambling interviews are just a further sign of his current surrealistic art being taken to yet another, even sicker level. Have you ever heard the shoot interview he did with Rob Feinstein where he basically claimed that his run as WWF champion did houses 5 times larger than Shawn Michaels’ run? I can’t touch that kind of delusional genius. Picasso was a hack — SID is truly the greatest artist of our generation.  (I think that much like the great tragedies that have befallen mankind, we search for meaning in the chaos, some sort of greater purpose to justify the pain we must suffer through.  Hence, Sid fans.)  – Bogus World title match: Rick Rude v. Ric Flair. Fifi the Maid is in Flair’s corner, and as always is hotter than anyone deserves.  (C’mon, Flair HAD to be tapping that.)  Flair gets the early advantage when Rude is hitting on her, and gets the figure-four in the center of the ring two minutes into the match! Rude makes the ropes. Flair continues working the knee while Jesse bitches about the job Taylor is doing as the outside ref. They fight on the floor, with Flair nailing a forearm from the top. LUCHA FLAIR! He tries it again and Rude nails him. Rude works the back as they’re back in the ring. He nails Flair off the top, but hurts his own knee in the process. It gets two, and then we get a ton of resting. Flair Flip takes out the poor cameraman in the corner. Rude keeps working the back as Tony spews history to fill up the dead air. Rude misses whatever off the top and Flair, ever the cheeky one, hits a Rude Awakening for two. He misses his own move off the top, however. Then the ref gets bumped, so Terry Taylor comes in. He gets bumped right away, too. God, I hate Dusty Rhodes. Rude finds an international object, but Flair steals it and nails Rude with it as Taylor recovers and counts the pin on Rude. But the original ref is up and telling Taylor he saw the object used, and thus DQ’s Flair at 19:45. Again, WAY too long for that stupid Dusty Finish. **  (An actual wrestler taking a ref bump is a STUPID idea.  Unless there’s some kind of mental phenomenon whereby wearing a ref’s shirt renders the person frail and prone to blackouts.)  – Texas Death Match: Vader v. Cactus Jack. This is the final blowoff for the amnesia angle. Read the 1993 WCW rant if you want to know what *that* was all about. They brawl on the rampway right away, and Vader hits the post by accident. Jack grabs a camera from a fan and bashes Vader with it, then a good ol’ chairshot. Back in the ring, and Vader decides to kill Cactus dead. Jack manages to survive long enough to suplex Vader onto the rampway, then fights off a chair- wielding Race and blasts Vader into the stone age with the chair. OUCH! They fight into the gravesite set up on the stage, and fall into the open grave. When they emerge, Jack is gushing blood from both above and below his eye, and Vader is bleeding from the forehead. What is this, a contest? (Winner:  Me.)  Jack clotheslines him and pins him. Vader beats the 10-count back up, so Cactus clobbers him with a prop cactus. Vader rolls onto the floor to escape, and Jack follows him down with a Cactus elbow, which gets another pin. Vader beats the 10 count again. And now he’s PISSED. Jack tosses a table into the ring (helpfully set up by Nick Patrick) and Vader gets the wrong end of a whip into it. Back outside the ring, and Jack sunset flips him off the apron and suplexes him on the railing. Vader pulls Jack into the crowd, which allows Cactus to take a SICK bump onto the concrete, then Vader tosses him back over the railing, so Jack takes a SICKER bump that way. What a maniac. Vader nails him with a chair, but keeps the legs stuck out. Ouch. Back in the ring for the Vadersault, which gets the pin, duh. Jack beats the 10 count. Vader pummels him in the corner and they’re back on the ramp. Jack tries a sleeper, and Vader FALLS BACK on him. Jack later said in a shoot interview that it ruptured his kidney, but he didn’t want to quit because then he’d look like a wuss. The trainers check on Jack, but Vader tosses them off and pins Jack. Jack gets up during the 30-second rest period and DDTs Vader on the rampway, but Race pulls out a tazer and zaps him, making him stay down for the 10-count and giving Vader the win at 16:20. Hey, guess which fat cow booked this match? Awful, awful ending to a crazy brawl. ****1/2  (Did this piece of business make it onto one of the 15 Mick Foley DVDs yet?  Because it really should have.)  The Bottom Line: A really boring and worthless show up to the main event, which is definitely worth seeing. It’s not enough to save the show, however. Not recommended.

BROCKTober Countdown: WCW Halloween Havoc 92

And now it’s time for that new sitcom…Everybody Hates Netcop. This week’s assault on your poor, humble, beleaguered (did I mention humble?) reviewer comes from Matt King (get it?) on the Steel Cage Asylum newsboard at www.cataclysmal.com/asylum/7.html, as he deconstructs my last Thunder review and calls me an idiot a bunch of times. Great reading, folks. Well, not really, but I figure I’d be a good sport and give him extra hits.  (Too late.  The website doesn’t exist anymore.)  Anyway, in order to dissuade those who think I’m biased against WCW (perish the thought!) , I thought I’d pick a WCW show with ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to make fun of, at all. Nope. Not a one. The Netcop Retro Rant for Halloween Havoc 1992 (My first WCW PPV ever!  And given the fact that we were finally getting TBS in Edmonton at the time, I could actually watch the weekly buildup on WCW Saturday Night and then ORDER THE SHOW!  This was big news to us hardcore Canadian wrestling nerds at the time.  Too bad my first WCW PPV had to be, you know, this show.)  – Live from Philadelphia, PA – Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bruno Sammartino doing analysis and Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura on commentary. In a Hyatte-esque moment for me, Tony calls Rick Rude someone who will go down as one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, then throws to Missy Hyatt, who it occurs to me is willing to go down ON the greatest wrestlers of all time. (Class all around.  Is it safe to say that Missy is actually doing better than Tammy right now, or did the crazy train leave the station too long ago for Tammy to ever make up that headstart?)  Then, in an even weirder moment, Missy throws to Jesse Ventura, noting that she’d vote for him for president. – Opening match: Bobby Eaton, Arn Anderson & Michael Hayes v. Johnny Gunn, Tom Zenk & Shane Douglas. Gee, which side do you think the Philly crowd will cheer? The faces nearly get booed out of the building here, in case there was any doubt. The Pretty Boys clean house early. Douglas gets the least of the heel heat, Zenk the most. My buddy Rod Dixon (of www.tomzenk.com) (That site also no long exists.  Haven’t talked to Rod in a long time, either.  Rod!  What’s up?  Where the fuck is Tom Zenk at, anyway, dude?)  noted that Zenk was the only one of the three who refused who work as a heel when it became apparent that they were getting a heel reaction. Zenk gets beat on for a while, then makes a hottish tag to Shane, and the heels cheat like nuts to regain the advantage. Jesse is in awe of the fans’ reaction. Shane escapes a figure-four (oh, the irony) and makes the hot tag, and a pier-six erupts. Gunn (later to become Salvatore Sincere or Tom Brandi, depending on your view) hits the Thesz Press for the pin. (Question:  When the Tom Brandi push was not working in the WWF, why did they not resurrect the Johnny Gunn gimmick and team him up with Billy?  Discuss.)  Crowd does not approve. Good opener. **3/4 – Missy tries to gain access to Rick Rude’s dressing room to ask him about his upcoming US title defense against Nikita Koloff and NWA World title challenge against Masa Chono (both in the same night, as punishment from Bill Watts)…but Harley Race kicks her out. Hmmm… – Brian Pillman v. Ricky Steamboat. Pillman was freshly turned here. The face-heel reactions are back in sync again with the rest of the world now. They trade chops to start, and Steamboat does a wicked “playing possum” move to sucker Pillman into an armdrag. Great little mat wrestling sequence and Pillman starts cheating. Crowd chants “Brian sucks” in an era before that particular chant became commonplace. (Was that chant ever commonplace?)  Philly was the pioneers in chanting about things sucking, so in the long run they’ll always have that addition to the wrestling encyclopedia. Pillman pulls out all the cheap heat tactics (choke, hair pull, slapping Steamboat around) but Steamboat counters a superplex. Pillman blocks the bodypress with a dropkick, however. They trade two counts and Pillman gets a sleeper, which Steamboat fights out of. Jesse spends much of the match extolling the virtues of the eye poke and necksnap, and reminiscing about Philly crowds telling him how much he sucked. Those were the days, eh, Jesse? They trade chops and Pillman cheats enough to get a bodypress off the second rope for two. Steamboat gets a sunset flip off the top for two, which Pillman reverses for two, which Steamboat reverses for three. Good stuff. ***1/2 – Teddy Long interviews Masa Chono and his cronies: Hiro Matsuda, Kensuke Sasaki and whoever the NWA president was. (Jared from Subway.)  Chono selects Kensuke Sasaki as his special referee for the NWA World title match. Rick Rude had already selected Harley Race as his. – Bill Watts runs down the announcements for the evening: Terry Gordy is fired from WCW, so Steve Williams and Steve Austin will challenge for the tag titles tonight…Big Van Vader will sub for Rick Rude against Nikita Koloff for the US title…and that’s about it. – US title match: Big Van Vader (surrogate champion) v. Nikita Koloff. KOOOOOOOOOOOOOLOFF. KOOOOOOOOOOOOOLOFF. (At this point there was a whole “Goldberg is just ripping off Nikita Koloff” thing going around, so Ryback can feel better knowing that no matter how fresh and original his second-hand act may seem, it’s already been derided as imitation years before he even started.)  My roommate beats me by MILLISECONDS, doing an improvised “Van Vader doing Rude’s intro” bit. (C’mon, how hilarious would it have been to have Vader just come out and pretend to be Rude, doing his whole bit and acting like no one would tell the difference?)  We have a bet between us as to who’ll sell the first move — it’s Koloff. Not by much, but enough to make the difference. Vader dismantles Koloff, tosses him outside, whacks him with a chair (and a fan BEANS Koloff with a beer) then brings him back in, beats him up some more for good measure, and powerbombs him for the pin to retain Rude’s title. Man, I wouldn’t wanna be Koloff there. To no one’s surprise, Koloff retired after this and has not been seen again in professional wrestling since. Unless you count Goldberg, of course. **1/2 Weird match — Vader was being totally uncooperative at a couple of points, although he eventually allowed Koloff a bodyslam and some other offense. I wonder if Koloff pissed off someone in the back and this was the traditional “get the fuck out” message from Cowboy Bill?  (I don’t think so.  I think Koloff just wanted out of the business and put Vader over super-strong on the way out.  By the way, they totally missed an angle opportunity here, since Rude failed to win the NWA World title later in the show.  Rude should have come back to the dressing room to retrieve his US title and Vader could be like “Hahahaha fuck you” and BAM, there’s Rude’s face turn as he chases his own belt.)  – WCW/NWA World tag team title match: Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes v. Steve Williams & Steve Austin. Historical note: This is the only teaming of Steve & Steve, both of whose real name is “Steve Williams”. Windham & Rhodes were having issues at this point. And no, Steve Austin wasn’t TV champion at this point — Scott Steiner was, in WCW’s last attempt to make him happy and prevent exactly what would happen in January of 1993 — the Steiners’ WWF debut. Not even on the card, either, was he. Williams and Rhodes have a slobberknocker to start, with Williams kicking the crap out of him until Dustin hits a sneaky clothesline. Jesse pesters JR about an Oklahoma ass-kicking from the past week in a funny bit. Crowd chants “We want Flair” out of spite. Austin tags in and gets nowhere. Rhodes and Austin have a decent sequence, foreshadowing their later matches. Williams comes in and ducks a lariat from Windham to take control. I always found the booking of the Miracle Violence Connection to interesting in 1992 — they were put over the Steiner brothers almost immediately in order to establish them as unstoppable monsters, and nearly destroying the Steiners in the process, while Windham and Rhodes were booked as the plucky underdogs who eventually were able to outsmart the champs and win the titles. (Never seen a Bill Watts show before, sport?  Ever heard of the Rock N Roll Express?)  Austin is doing a LOT of mat wrestling here, in stark contrast to his current persona. After about 15 minutes, Steve and Steve really start gelling as a team, cutting the ring in the half and executing all those other tag team clichés. Windham wisely gets to play Ricky Morton. Jim Ross has plenty of time to work with, so he works in the usual Dr. Death origin stories as the match proceeds at a leisurely pace. For those who don’t know, Steve Williams was a noted amateur wrestler, and in one match he broke his nose in several places, but donned a hockey mask and wrestled the next night, causing the sports writers to dub him “Dr. Death”. His name was then solidified in his early years as a wrestler, specifically a match in Louisiana where he was busted open and needed 108 stitches to close the wound, but came back to wrestle the next night! (If anyone could have single-handedly kicked cancer’s ass, it would have been Dr. Death. Or maybe Chuck Norris.  The fact that he couldn’t do it leads me to believe a cure will never be found.)  Windham makes a mini-hot tag to Rhodes, who promptly gets mauled by Williams and becomes Ricky Morton #2. Here’s a shock: Rhodes blades. Rhodes and Austin do another really nice sequence, starting from an Austin body-vice. This is a nice, slow-paced, old-school tag match that’s not using any restholds to meet a long time requirement. I have to admire Dustin Rhodes for being able to do that sort of match. Crowd is into it too — not rabidly chanting and cheering, but paying close attention, you know? Williams suplexes Rhodes into dreamstreet for a couple of two counts. How come no one uses the forward double-underhook suplex anymore (except for Kevin Nash in Revenge)? Dustin gets a false tag with about 3 minutes left to time limit and a pier-six erupts. Ref gets bumped outside the ring, allowing the Steves to double-team Windham…and get the pin! Oh, wait, Windham’s not the legal man. Rhodes gets a pin off the bulldog! Oh, wait, the timekeeper just rang the bell prematurely. All hell breaks out with a minute left, and NOW the crowd is on the edge of their seats. Dustin tombstones Steve for two, and the time limit runs out. Great match. **** – Vader (still carrying Rude’s US title) does an interview with Paul E and Harley Race. Madusa interrupts and Paul E fires her in a classic moment, going off on a misogynistic rant and making sure to spell “fired” because she’s a woman and she’s “too stupid to understand”. She was only hired because “the other hooker had a previous engagement”, you see. Big “ooooooooo” from the crowd at THAT line. Madusa flips out and kicks Paul E’s ass all over the stage, sending the crowd into fits of joy. Great, great, segment. My mom was watching this show with my dad and I when it was on PPV in 92, and she nearly stood up and cheered for Madusa when this happened.  (Paul’s “F, I, R, E…” and subsequent shot to the mouth from Madusa was EPIC.  Sadly this led to nothing good.)  – Sting comes out to Spin the Wheel and Make the Deal. SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE THE DEAL! SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE THE DEAL! You kind of have to picture Cheetum, the demented evil midget chanting that line to get the full effect…or else buy a copy of Netcop Busts, which features the promo for this match as the first thing on it. It should be noted that the goddamned wheel gets pyro, but no one else does. Anyway, there’s only two ways to explain the choice that ended up getting made here: 1) The wheel wasn’t gimmicked 2) Bill Watts is a moron. For reference sake, the matches were Spinner’s Choice, Coal Miner’s Glove, Lumberjacks with Straps, Texas Death, Cage, I Quit, First Blood, Bared Wire, Texas Bullrope, Prince of Darkness, Loser Spends Two Weeks In a Mental Asylum (oh, wait, that was the match Ric Flair lost this year) and a couple of others. Anyway, the wheel lands on the least interesting of the bunch…Coal Miner’s Glove. I mean, my god, you have 10 other brutal matches to settle the Roberts-Sting feud, and WCW goes with a fucking Coal Miner’s Glove match? What’s the point of even doing the gimmick? How hard is it to gimmick the damn wheel so that it lands on, you know, A GOOD MATCH? Anyway… (I forget if it was ever established that they legitimately forgot to gimmick the wheel, or if it was just typical WCW tomfoolery to choose that stipulation and then people just assumed it was typical WCW tomfoolery to forget to gimmick the wheel.)  – NWA World title match: Masahiro Chono v. Rick Rude. Rude gets a de facto face pop after his manager’s turn in the Paul E. segment. This is the debut of the clean-shaven Rude. Now then, Rude and Chono had a really, really awesome match in Japan in the finals of the NWA tournament, Rude’s best ever in fact. It hovered around ****1/2. This, on the other hand…is not. Remember my conspiracy theory from the Starrcade 92 rant about Bill Watts and Japanese wrestlers? No? Then go back and read it! Anyway, off the top of my head, here’s a list of 10 more potentially exciting activities than watching this match: 10) Watching paint dry…blindfolded. 9) Organizing your paperclip collection 8) Sorting your tax deductible business expenses 7) Dubbing a “Best of the AWA” tape…using only Larry Zbyszko matches. 6) Watching a documentary on the three-toed sloth on the Discovery Channel. 5) Three words: Monday Night Curling! 4) Being ringside for a best of 29 falls Viscera v. Mideon match 3) Rewatching Shane Douglas v. Tully Blanchard…while taking Valium. 2) Helping my roommate catalogue his tape list, match by match.  (Yeah, that one I actually did take part in.  An anal retentive wrestling fan with a trunk full of VHS tapes is no picnic for anyone involved.)  And the #1 Activity That’s More Exciting Than Watching This Match: 1) Rationalizing WCW. So anyway, in between the ENDLESS FUCKING RESTHOLDS, a fight breaks out and the Philly fans desperately turn to that for amusement like a Tibetan monk turning to a porn star for sexual fulfillment after 20 years of chastity. Hey, I made a funny. So finally after TWENTY FUCKING MINUTES, *both* referees get bumped and Rude gets the Rude Awakening, but no one counts. Chono comes back with the STF and Sasaki counts the submission, but Race overturns it and gives it to Rude by DQ. A HORRIBLE, HORRIBLE abomination of a match with a Dusty finish to boot. -***1/2 Don’t EVER watch this match. It’s just not worth the 25 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back again.  (The rating seems a tad harsh, but my GOD does this match suck.)  – WCW World title match: Ron Simmons v. The Barbarian (w/ Cactus Jack). Someone, for the 1992 year-end PWI issue, submitted a top 10 list as to why WCW sucked. 5 of the reasons were “Barbarian in a World title match”. I can’t argue with that kind of overwhelming logic. Hypocritical Jim Ross Note: In the last match he extols the virtues of WCW, nothing that the bodybuilders are “the other guys”. Now, with two roided up monsters, he extols the virtues of “hard-hitting, power wrestling”. Yah. (DID YOU KNOW:  WWE is not a sport, except when they are for DVD ranking purposes.)  You know what class reunion I’d like to attend? The Parts Unknown High School one. You’d get a pretty good cross-section of the wrestling community, because EVERYONE comes from there. I mean, I pity the poor teachers who had to teach all those guys. The town must have a horrible reputation, exporting all those nasty heels. I mean, sure, they produced Mr. Wrestling II and the Blue Blazer, but other than than they just keep pumping out all the bad guys in wrestling. What kind of lousy police force do they have there? Does anyone notice all these punks wearing masks and leather and chains? Right, enough of that. This match is absolutely not afraid to suck in 14 different ways. The best wrestler in the match is the manager…Cactus Jack. They do some stuff in the ring, then do some stuff out of the ring, then some stuff back in the ring again. Who the HELL thought that this was a good idea to book as the co-main for this show? What were they smoking at the time? Did Bill Watts, Dusty Rhodes and Ole Anderson all get together and share a crack pipe, knowing that they were all on the way out, and decide to see if they could sink the federation with one show? “Sure,” Ole said, “The Black Scorpion was a dumb idea, but I bet we can top it if we do something REALLY stupid, like booking Barbarian in the main event of a major PPV.” I bet even Dusty Rhodes was taken aback when THAT one got suggested. And this is the guy that put HIMSELF over Ric Flair…twice! Barbarian puts something vaguely resembling a move not entirely unlike something that might have been mistaken for a cobra clutch on Simmons, and the announcers are so embarrassed that they dodge around actually calling it a sleeper. See, now THIS is how Kevin Nash should destroy WCW from within if indeed that is his plan: Push Barbarian back to main event status again. I guarantee ratings of 0.5 or less within 6 months. Barbarian uses Jack’s distraction to the BIG SMELLY FOOT TO THE HEAD OF HIDEOUS, FESTERING PAIN AND DESTRUCTION, and the SHITTY HEADBUTT OF TOTAL ANNHILIATION, but Ron Simmons kicks out and powerslams him for the win to retain the title. And the crowd goes…whatever. -** – We are going rapidly downhill here. – Tony and Bruno analyze the so-called match, and are joined by Erik Watts for so-called expert commentary. Crowd even boos Watts for the INTERVIEW. Man, that’s cold. – Coal Miner’s Glove match: Sting v. Jake Roberts. I always thought “Wheel of Torture” would have made a better name, but I guess I’m just not the creative genius that Ole Anderson is. Jake gets Steve Austin’s music. Sting is wearing blue and white facepa…oh, forget it, the joke is dead. (I’M BRINGING IT BACK, BABY!  Everything that is old is new again.)  This is Jake’s one and only WCW match. And thank god for small favors. The match goes like this: Move…staredown…circle…move…staredown…circle…move…repeat. They fight outside the ring for a bit, with Sting posting Jake a couple of times, and Sting makes a try for the glove, unsuccessfully. Ross notes that Jake was quoted as saying that he would not rest until Sting was eliminated from the sport. Hmm, I thought the quote was that Jake would not rest until every drop of liquor was eliminated from the bottle of hooch he had in his coat. Must be one of those “out of context” things. Jake takes control and chokes Sting out with his wrist tape. Kneelift misses. Stinger splash misses. Short-arm clothesline and DDT, Sting is out…for about three seconds. Sting is obviously unaware of the full power of the DDT, or else he was just as sick of this match as everyone else was and didn’t feel like selling anymore. Sting climbs the pole…and Cactus Jack runs in with a defanged cobra for Jake. Sting gets the glove and nails Jake, and the “cobra” bites Jake on the face, with Jake obviously holding it there, and Sting gets the pin. Stupid, stupid, stupid, did I mention STUPID?, ending. DUD The Bottom Line: Check the tape out, but FOR THE LOVE OF GOD stop it after the tag title match and don’t ever speak of the last three matches again. Hey, I guess there WAS something to make fun after all. What do you know?