WCW Halloween Havoc 1995
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted live, on Pay-Per-View, on October 29th, 1995, from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI. Quick research reminds me that this was also the location of the previous years Halloween Havoc, where Hulk Hogan bested Ric Flair in a World Championship Retirement Cage Match with a Special Referee and a heel turn from the man formerly known as Brutus Beefcake. Can WCW's tradition of booking incredibly stupid shit for Halloween Havoc continue?
- Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are calling all the action, unless otherwise noted. We see Hogan and the Giant toying around with their Monster Trucks on the roof... oh yes, it's the show with THAT. We'll get into that later, though.
WCW Television Championship Match:
Apparently, this came to be thanks to Page costing Badd a shot at the U.S. Title. Why would DDP care about Badd challenging for someone elses Championship? INSTA-FEUD! Badd with a sneak attack, using a stand-in to cause a distraction from the entrance. 'Cause he's the babyface, of course. Badd with knee lifts, and a whip to the corner sends DDP to the floor. DDP tries taking a walk through the crowd, but Badd brings him back and puts a bucket on his head. Back in the ring, Badd takes DDP down with a drop toe hold and slaps on an armbar. Why does DDP's tights have a diamond on his crotch and ass? When I'm bored, I notice odd things like that. DDP counters, but Badd with a pull of the hair to regain control. Badd openly admits to pulling the hair, then reapplies the hold in a cute spot. Whip to the ropes, and Badd with a hip toss for a two count. Badd sends DDP into the corner following a dropkick, but mounted punches leads to DDP dropping him face-first across the turnbuckle. DDP slows things down considerably. Whip to the corner, and DDP with a back suplex. I guess they're trying to tease the Diamond Doll turning face, because it's forced down our throats by Schiavone and Heenan. DDP with a variation of the pedigree, but it only gets two. Chinlock applied, and suddenly she's called "Kimberly" and camera hogging. When the PBP team is running down the UNDERCARD of the PPV, you know they've got nothing to talk about concerning the action.
Diamond Dallas Page © (w/ Diamond Doll & Maxx Muscle) vs. Johnny B. Badd:
Badd battles to his feet, but DDP slams him down for two, and goes back to the chinlock. Whip to the ropes, and Badd with a surprise back slide for two. DDP gets up first and lays him out with a clothesline for two. Badd with a sunset flip attempt, but DDP blocks. Badd counters that with the finishing touches of the move, but only gets two. DDP with a powerslam for two. Back to the chinlock, and Muscle reminds us he's still around, helping DDP remain in control. DDP uses his wrist tape to choke Badd while the referee argues with Muscle over the bad call in the Cleveland/Cincinnati game earlier in the afternoon. Diamond Doll doesn't aprove, probably because she's a Jets fan, and we all know how much they sucked that year. 1-15, right? Anyway, DDP with more chinlock "fun." Badd escapes and takes DDP down with a back suplex. Badd with an inverted atomic drop, followed by a regular version. He connects with lefts, then comes off the ropes with a hurricanrana. Badd to the top rope, and a double axehandle connects. Kimberly gives him a 10, but the pin attempt only gets two. Badd with a Ligerbomb for two. Whip to the ropes, and DDP counters a hip toss with a bulldog for two. He goes for the Diamond Cutter, but Badd hooks the ropes and covers for two. Mounted punches in the corner, and an ugly spot sees DDP fall to the floor. Badd does a form of the 6-1-9, and instead goes over the top with a somersault plancha. Badd with the Badd Day (slingshot splash), but it only gets two. Muscle jumps on the apron, and heel miscommuncation allows Badd to roll DDP up for two. Muscle with another failed attempt to intefere, hitting DDP with a clothesline and Badd covers for the three count and Television Title at 17:00. The Diamond Doll approves. Match was dull as dirt before things picked up considerably for the last 5-minutes or so. With that said, a decent enough opener.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. The Zodiac:
Not-so-interesting sidenote: Zodiac (Ed Leslie in WCW Gimmick #4, I think) is a replacement for Kamala, who "Honkytonk Man'ed" them with short notice (referencing to HTM no-showing Starrcade over a lack of a contract the year before). If Savage wins here, and Lex Luger wins his match, then they'll both come back for a Grand Finale of Survival. Sounds like WCW recycled Zodiac's theme music for Rey Mysterio, which doesn't seem too out of the realm of believability. Savage attacks from behnd, before the bell. Only interesting part of the match is a fan jumping the rail, so most of the match takes place outside of the ring, while security handles things. Zodiac gets a few token shots in, and brings it back in the ring. Zodiac with a slam, but he misses a second rope splash or knee. Savage quickly goes to the top rope, and the elbow smash finishes the Zodiac off at 1:30. Squash match for Savage on a PPV. Zodiac might as well have been Mike Fever.
Road Warrior Hawk vs. Kurasawa (w/ Col. Robert Parker):
What is this doing on a WCW PPV? According to Schiavone and Heenan, Kurasawa likes breaking arms, including Hawk's, I guess. Hawk attacks with clubberin' blows. Whip to the ropes, and he connects with a diving shoulder tackle. Hawk with the neck breaker and fist drop for two, blowing through all of his moves in 30-seconds. It's all downhill from here, probably. Hawk with kicks to the face and a big chop to take Kurasawa off his feet. Whip to the corner, and Hawk meets the post... but then he no-sells it and takes Kurasawa down with a gutwrench suplex. Hawk with a powerbomb, but Kurasawa no-sells THAT, and plants Hawk with a slam. He goes to the top rope, and misses an elbow drop. Hawk comes off the ropes, and a clothesline sends Kurasawa to the floor. Hawk follows, and comes off the apron with a clothesline to Parker. Kurasawa rams the arm into the post, and he's kind of selling now. Whip to the ropes, and Kurasawa with a back drop slam. He connects with a Samoan drop, and uses the ropes for leverage to get the three count at 3:19. What is the deal with these Nitro mid-level matches getting short-changed on time? Match was a bunch of stuff and no-selling.
J.L. vs. Sabu (w/ The ORIGINAL Sheik):
Heenan asks what "J.L." stands for. I'm not too sure, but I think "Jerry Lynn." Har Har... remember Sabu's run in WCW? No? Well, me neither. It lasted all of two months, if that. Sabu bum-rushes and gets nailed with an enziguri. Sabu sends him into the security rail, and an Asai moonsault takes J.L. and the Sheik out. Sabu attempts a dive off the ring steps, but meets nothing but air. J.L. to the top rope, and he comes down with a body press. Into the ring, and Sabu misses a moonsault. J.L. to the top again, and his moonsault hits it's target for a two count. J.L. with a Ligerbomb for two. J.L. misses a charge, and Sabu with a somersault leg drop for two. Sabu to the top, but J.L. fights him off and gets two on a German suplex. He goes to the top, and Sabu crotches him on the turnbuckle. Sabu climbs up, and a somersault roll up gets two. Sabu climbs up, and J.L. springboard dropkicks him to the arena floor. Sabu with a shoulder to the midsection and hang man across the top rope. Sabu with a springboard moonsault for three at 3:28. Sheik throws a fireball at J.L., but the camera mostly missed it. The definition of a spotfest... I didn't care for it.
- "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan, and the Wizard (King Curtis Iaukea) come out for a stupid, long, dull, drawn out promo. Holy CRAP, was that terrible. Afterwards, we talk about the Yeti (or, as Schiavone pronounced it, Yet-AY). I forgot about that...
Lex Luger vs. Meng (w/ Kevin Sullivan):
As mentioned before, if Luger wins, he goes on to face Randy Savage later on in the show. Hopefully this one gets the three minute treatment, too. Luger attacks before the bell, as we speculate that Luger MIGHT have an alliance with the Dungeon of Doom. Luger sends Meng into the buckle with a slingshot, then rakes the eyes across the top rope. Meng with boots to the midsection and a small package for two. Luger blocks being rammed to the buckle, then catches Meng coming with a boot to the face. He bounces off the ropes, and sends Meng to the floor with a clothesline. He follows, and rams Meng's arm into the ring post. Back inside, and Luger hangs the arm across the top rope. Meng regains control with the usual. Luger goes for a back suplex, but Meng shifts his weight to land on top for a two count. Meng with a shoulder breaker, followed by more punishment in the corner. It's odd, Luger has been carrying this match so far in terms of being watchable. Meng with a piledriver for two, then it's chinlock time! Luger fights free with elbows to the midsection, and a double body press has Luger land on top for a two count. Meng with a back suplex for two. He tosses him to the floor, where Sullivan has a little chat with him. SHENANIGANS! We waste more time, and finally we get back in the ring. Luger throws a few shoulders, but Meng rakes the eyes to keep him down. Whip to the ropes, and Meng misses a dropkick. Meng gets tossed to the apron, and Luger brings him back in with a suplex. Luger comes off the ropes with three clotheslines, then takes Meng over with a back drop. Luger with more clotheslines and a powerslam. Meng pulls something from his boot and nails Luger with it, but only gets two, as Kevin Sullivan comes in and weakly kicks Luger to intentionally draw a LAME Disqualification at 13:20. Ugh... Incredibly dull. When you have Lex Luger, circa Mid 90's, carrying a match, it's not going to be pretty. Why that much time for a lame finish? What the fuck is the point of it?
Sting & Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson & Brian Pillman:
Short version for the backstory here: Flair and Anderson broke up after a few miscommunications, they had a match at Fall Brawl, and with the help of Pillman, Anderson was victorious. Flair spent weeks recruiting Sting to form a team for a match against them, but it was only until a week or so before the PPV when Sting finally thought maybe Flair was sincere and could be trusted, and agreed. However, earlier in the day, Flair had been brutally attacked by Arn and Pillman, so Sting has to go it alone for right now. Anderson grabs a headlock, but Sting counters to a hammerlock. Sting fends off a double team effort, then drops Anderson on the back of his head. Booming "We Want Flair" chants as Arn and Pillman take a breather. Anderson with a headlock, followed by a shoulder tackle. Sting with a boot to the midsection and bulldog takedown. Pillman comes in, and Sting clears both men from the ring once again. Pillman tags in, and lures Sting to the floor. Sting avoids a sneak attack, and lays both out with clotheslines. Pillman offers a handshake, and Sting responds with a press slam. Anderson with forearms across the back of Sting, but a piledriver is countered with a sling shot, crotching Pillman in the process. Sting launches Pillman off, into the security railing. Sting continues pounding on Anderson until he desperately throws Sting head-first into Pillman. Whip to the ropes, and Arn with a shot to the missection... suddenly, Ric Flair shows up to take his place in the ring.
Sting gets dumped to the floor, and introduced to the security rail. Back inside, and Arn and Pillman take turns pounding away on Sting. He offers a comeback, but Pillman hooks the leg, and Anderson drops a knee across the throat. Anderson slaps on a chinlock. Arn with a slam, and a rocket launcher meets the knees. Anderson cuts off the tag, and brings Sting down with a back suplex for a two count. He crotches himself across the legs of Sting trying to use his body as leverage to hold him down.He goes for the tag again, but this time Pillman tricks Flair into a game of cat-and-mouse. Anderson with an abdominal stretch, and yes, he DOES use Pillman for extra leverage. Pillman tags in, and continues pounding away. Snapmare, and Pillman slaps on a single-leg crab. Anderson in, and it's back to the chinlock. PIllman with a punt to the midsection for a series of two counts. Flair comes in to prevent double teaming, and Sting mounts a desperate comeback on Sting. Whip to the ropes, and Anderson plants him with the spinebuster for two. Pillman with an elbow across the leg, and applies a grapevine. Anderson in with a toe hold. Arn cuts off another tag attempt, and locks on a bearhug. Sting ear smacks out, but Arn hooks the ankle, and Pillman chokes him down. Snapmare, and Pillman with a modified abdominal stretch. Sting fights off both Arn and Pillman with rights, and it's double noggin-knocker time! Sting does the slow crawl and FINALLY makes the hot tag to Flair... who proceeds to turn on him, and lay a Level-5 Horsemen-Style ass beating on him along with Anderson and Pillman, making it a No Contest at the 17-minute mark. Afterwards, Flair cuts a promo at the top of the entrance, and we now have the newest reincarnation of the Horsemen. Great, old school formula tag match, with an excellent twist to cap it off. Honestly, people in hindsight make fun of Sting for his decision, but he, like the fans, thought Flair was being sincere.
- We recap the feud between Hulk Hogan and The Giant (Son of Andre, you know...). Then it's time for the Sumo Monster Truck Match on the roof of Cobo Hall. Hogan wins (what a surprise), but things go downhill even more, if you could believe that. Hogan and Giant start fighting, and suddenly Hogan knocks the Giant OFF THE FUCKING ROOF OF COBO HALL. Watching this on Scramble-Vision, I was thinking "how would they do that?", and I guess it was assumed he landed in the water, be it a river, canal, or whatever. We'll see what this does to our main event.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger:
Neither guy likes each other because Luger is an untrustworthy person, so Savage was out to prove it. Are we going to get a crap finish after a 20-minute match? Seems like a rule in WCW booking. Schiavone and Heenan are still pre-occupied with what happend to the Giant. Luger offers a handshake, but Savage rejects it and puts the boots to him. Whip to the corner, and Luger comes out with a clothesline. Suddenly, Jimmy Hart comes to ringside, for whatever reason. Can you believe WCW could've done a main event of Hulk Hogan & Randy Savage vs. Sting & Lex Luger for this PPV? Luger pounds away on Savage with the viciousness of a heel. Savage somehow blows being thrown between the ropes... how the fuck does that happen? I just now noticed Savage's left arm is heavily bandaged. Luger comes off the apron with an axehandle. He attempts to ram Savage into the rail, but Savage blocks and follows through himself. Back in the ring, and Savage with a clothesline to the back of the head. He goes to the top, and Luger nails him in the midsection on the way down. Whip to the corner, Savage meets the knees. Luger with a roll up attempt, but the referee is distracted by Hart. Suddenly Luger and Hart meet heads, and Savage with the elbow drop from out of nowhere for the three count at 5:26. Um... OK. That was satisfying, wasn't it? So the Luger/Meng match got almost 15-minutes, yet Savage's two matches, one with Luger, combined, is only HALF the time?
WCW World Championship Match:
Hogan is sporting his all black look, due to the Dungeon of Doom shaving off his signature mustache. I don't know or care for the reasoning, but Hogan has been reigning Champion since July 1994, so we're long overdue for a new Champion, but this is the Giant's first match (I think), so maybe not him.. To answer what happened, the Giant shows up just fine, apparently no-selling a multi-story fall less than TWENTY MINUTES AGO, and still had time to walk back around into the Joe Louis Arena AND put his ring attire on. Giant no-sells Hogan's offense, no doubt studying the book of Zeus (Tiny Lister, not the Mythological DemiGod). Giant blocks a slam attempt and pounds away. He changes things up with choking. How exactly did Giant get a title shot without ever having a match? Shouldn't a logical contender be recieving title opprotunities? Giant forces on a knuckle-lock to eat up more time. Whip to the ropes, Giant with an elbow, followed by a slam. He misses a leg drop, and Hulkster is coming to life. He pounds away with rights and sends Giant to the buckle. Hogan with mounted punches and biting in the corner. Whip to the corner, and Hogan with a clothesline. He comes off the ropes with three more, sending the Giant to the floor.
Hulk Hogan © (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. The Giant (w/ Kevin Sullivan):
Back in the ring, Hogan does a Stooge-style eye poke. Hogan with rights and shoulder blocks, but Giant no-sells. He goes for the chokeslam, but Hogan rakes the eyes. Whip to the ropes, and Giant catches Hogan with a back breaker. Whip to the ropes and it's time for a bearhug. So close to the end... almost there... Giant lets go (finally), plants him with a slam, then goes back to the bearhug. COME ON! Just finish this turkey. Schiavone actually references WrestleMania III (without SAYING WrestleMania III, of course) as this match continues to die a slow, painful death. Hogan fights free, but walks into a chokeslam. One... two... HULK UP. About damn time! Hogan with rights, the big boot, and slam. He hits the leg drop, but Jimmy Hart KO's the referee with the belt. Jimmy comes in the ring, and nails Hogan with the belt too, but Hogan no-sells it. Giant wakes up, and slaps on a bearhug. Suddenly, Savage and Luger come to ringside, and IMMEDIATELY, Luger and Jimmy turn on Savage. Suddenly even more, THE YET-AY comes to the ring, and in one of the most bizarre moments I have ever seen, joins the bearhug love-fest. I'm sorry, but that just looks incredibly... not right. I could've sworn a Yeti was a sort of Big Foot type creature, not a Mummy. Luger with the Torture Rack to Hogan, then to Savage. Giant apparently won by Disqualification at around the 17-minute mark... and takes the title. We find out the next night on Nitro, Jimmy Hart put a stipulation in the contract that the title could change hands on a DQ, but these shenanigans aren't allowed, so the title would be held up and put up for grabs at the first World War 3. I could go on and on about my opinion on the last five-minutes, but instead, I'll cose with this... There are three words to describe this, and I quote: "Stink, stank, stunk."
Final Thoughts: I don't know why, but I remembered liking this show a little bit more. The stuff between Sting, Flair, Anderson, and Pillman is classic stuff and worth a look, but as for the rest of the card, it falls under the following categories: short matches fit for Nitro or Saturday Night (Zodiac/Savage, Hawk/Kurasawa, J.L./Sabu), long and dull (Badd/DDP and Meng/Luger), or just flat out stupidly overbooked and terrible (everything to do with the Giant and Hogan). I give props for the way to take the title off of Hogan (other than, you know, doing a job), but I can't recommend a show for that kind of thing when it's surrounded by Double Giant Dry Humping™ and a whole bunch of nonsensical heel turns. Strong recommendation to avoid. Seems like I say that for a lot of these Halloween Havoc PPV's.
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