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WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

by Samoa Rowe

October 27, 1996

-Hot opening montage puts highlights Eric Bischoff stating his biggest mistake was bringing Hulk Hogan into WCW. Also, the n.W.o. has been terrorizing the promotion, particularly making Randy Savage’s life a living hell.

-From MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV. Our hosts are Tony Shiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan. Mike Tenay also chimes in from time to time.

Cruiserweight Championship:
Rey Mysterio Jr. © vs. Dean Malenko

Malenko wastes no time tearing into Rey and picking him apart. Rey is unable to connect with a springboard move, but comes back with a tirt-a-whirl arm drag takedown. Rey fakes Dean out with a dive and takes a moment to celebrate just how awesome he is. Malenko is unable to unmask Rey and eats a somersault senton splash. Rey regains a stolen mask and switches it out, as it was the mask he initially won the title in. Malenko counters with a side slam to regain his momentum. Dean drops Rey on the ropes knee-first to aggravate his injuries. Malenko stretches the knee and lands a back superplex. Dean attacks the head with a head scissors and Brainbuster. Rey has a hope spot, but gets caught in backbreaker submission into a chinlock. Tirt-a-whirl backbreaker by Dean, who is no longer interested in Rey’s hurt knees. Dean shoves Rey into the apron and applies a rear naked choke. Rey escapes a sleeper but Malenko nails a vicious knee lift. A hammerlock suplex gets a near fall for Malenko. “Ow, MY BACK” hollers Rey as Dean wraps himself around his backside. They both take a bad tumble off the top rope, but Rey reverses a whip into the barricade, but is unable to connect with a springboard off the guard rail. Mysterio desperately nails a springboard somersault senton. They exchange rapid counters but Malenko manages a basic clothesline and backdrop suplex. Rey lands an overly telegraphed springboard corkscrew to the floor and almost pins Dean with a West Coast Pop. Malenko counters a springboard move with a sit-out power bomb in a well-earned false finish. Dean counters with a power bomb off the top rope for the win at 18:26! Heckuva an opener, only dragged down by a couple unfortunate botches in crucial moments, ***¾.
Winner and new Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko

-Lee Marshall is standing by backstage with none other than Jeff Jarrett. Jeff is ready to take on the n.W.o. and the Giant. Jeff is unimpressed by the Giant and vows to avoid the choke slam. Ric Flair is in his corner and once again appears to have had too much coffee before show time. Flair adds that even though he hates the Macho Man, he’s pulling for him in his title match against Hulk Hogan later on.

Battle for the Ring:
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero

They’re fighting over the missing Battle Bowl ring. Eddie lunges at DDP and a shoving contest follows. My WWE Network stream decides to crash at this point too, but returns with a really fuzzy picture. Ah, technology. DDP starts working the arm, but Guerrero fights back with an arm drag. Eddie musters a side headlock takedown. Eddie works the headlock for over a minute before DDP retaliates with something resembling a snap mare. Guerrero throws him into the ropes, where DDP hangs on for dear life. Eddie kicks DDP to ringside for a short brawl. Guerrero connects a slingshot for a 2 count. Referee Nick Patrick is making slow counts due to allegedly injured neck. DDP drops Guerrero onto the top rope to regain control. DDP elevates Eddie into the air for a rough landing on his face. Eddie counters an abdominal stretch, but DDP retains control with a chin breaker. Page exchanges shoves with Patrick, giving Guerrero a rest. Guerrero has to scratch and claw (and poke the eyes) to get back into the match. A series of pinfall reversals leads to a standing lariat from Page. Eddie kicks out and builds some momentum. Eddie hurts his knees with a flying cross body to the floor. DDP rebounds with a flapjack (better known as the Styles Clash today) and sit-out power bomb for near falls. The Diamond Cutter finishes it at 13:57. Perfectly solid match that might have overstayed it’s welcome a bit. I’m impressed that the heel won cleanly, **½.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page

-Mike Tenay and Macho Man Randy Savage announce a contest winner backstage. The prize is a monster truck, because it’s the mid-90’s. Savage breaks a giant Slim Jim in half and our winner is Joan from Michigan. Of course it is. Now that the important business is out of the way, Savage vows to break Hogan in half.

-Plug for WCWwrestling.com on COMPUSERVE! That takes me back. If you logged on, you could chat with Chris Jericho.

-Mike Tenay interviews new Cruiserweight Champion Dean Malenko about his future. Dean says he fulfilled his promise to win the title in Las Vegas and welcomes a rematch with Rey Mysterio Jr. anytime, anywhere. A fighting heel champion feels like a breath of fresh air.

-Ted Dibiase and The Giant cut a promo in the crowd. The Giant is wielding the United States Championship as Dibiase accuses Jeff Jarrett of being a fool. Giant, who was an excellent talker for a rookie, threatens to send Jarrett and all the Horsemen to the glue factory.

“United States Championship:”
The Giant © (with Ted Dibiase) vs. Jeff Jarrett (with Ric Flair)

Shiavone claims this really isn’t a U.S. title match because Giant stole the title from Ric Flair. Jarrett shows no fear against Giant and struts around. Jeff outmaneuvers Giant while Flair prances around at ringside. Giant counters a headlock by tossing Jarrett halfway across the ring. Giant absorbs some shoulder blocks and scores another impressive throw. Giant breaks a couple of sleeper holds but misses a corner splash. Flurry of punches by Jarrett, but Giant drops him with a single big boot. Giant drops a head butt to the groin area and delivers a backbreaker submission. Flair taunts Giant on a microphone, giving Jarrett a window to fight back. Giant counters a cross body with a pair of soft backbreakers. Giant continues to target the back and applies a Bear Hug! Jeff escapes but is unable to hit a power slam, allowing a Giant near fall. Jeff dishes out a series of attacks, finally knocking Giant down with a flying cross body for 2. Jarrett arranges for Giant to collide with the ring post and applies the Figure Four on the floor, but Giant quickly breaks it. Flair attacks Giant with a low blow for the DQ at 9:53. This was actually a very smartly worked David vs. Goliath match, **.
Winner via DQ: The Giant

-The Four Horsemen storm the ring to protect Flair and Jarrett from any retaliation from the Giant.

-Ted Dibiase cuts another promo in the crowd, this time accompanied by Vincent and Syxx. Dibiase says that Chris Jericho is a great athlete, and tonight he has a chance to get better when he goes one on one with Syxx. They promise to crucify Jericho and Syxx will go on to become Cruiserweight champion.

Syxx vs. Chris Jericho

They lock up and Jericho immediately scores a takedown, but Syxx kips up. They run the ropes and find themselves at a stalemate. Konnan, Big Bubba, and Kevin Sullivan are sitting together in the crowd, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN!! The match continues with Jericho scoring a monkey flip and series of arm drags. Syxx kicks Jericho off the top rope to the floor and follows with a somersault senton. Syxx wears Jericho down with well placed strikes and kicks. Syxx places Jericho on the apron for a flying elbow drop. Syxx wipes out in the corner, giving Jericho an opening. Jericho kicks Syxx to the floor for a springboard cross body. Syxx drops Jericho onto the turnbuckle, but his flying cross body is countered with a mid-air drop-kick. Jericho scores the Lionsault, but Syxx kicks out at 1 (thanks to a slow Patrick count). Jericho nails a forearm for another slow 2 count, but Syxx nails a spin heel kick for a fast 3 count for the win at 9:49. This was a highly watchable match that served its purpose on the card, **½.
Winner: Syxx

-Nick Patrick flees the ring and helps Syxx walk to the back, just to really hammer in the point that he is EVIL now.

-Mike Tenay interviews Lex Luger backstage. Luger airs his grievances against Arn Anderson and promises to hurt him.

Arn Anderson vs. Lex Luger

Anderson, in the twilight of his in-ring career, takes the fight to Lex with clubbing blows. Anderson foolishly turns his back to Luger, allowing Lex to shift the momentum. Kevin Sullivan and friends can be seen cheering Luger on as he works over Anderson’s back. Arn delivers a desperate spinebuster but his back is too hurt to make a cover. Arn shoulder blocks Luger to ringside and also begins targeting the back. Luger absorbs some punishment but grabs the ropes to block a DDT. Lex stops himself from bumping the ref, but Anderson shoves them down. Arn misses a chair shot, allowing Lex to catapult him into the Slim Jim ring post. Vertical suplex on the floor by Luger, followed by a series of chair shots. The referee wakes up in time to see Luger submit Anderson with the Torture Rack at 11:47. Luger initially refuses to unlock the hold, but there’s no reverse decision. Enjoyable match with logical storytelling, **¾.
Winner: Lex Luger

-Ric Flair and a crew of medics come to the ring to check on Anderson, who is selling his back injury like death.

-Lee Marshall points out that Sting is M.I.A. Call the hotline to find out more! Colonel Parker, Sister Sherri, and the WCW Tag Team Champions, Harlem Heat, join Marshall for an interview. They put Harlem Heat over as the greatest tag team in the world and they aren’t scared of the n.W.o.

Faces of Fear (The Barbarian and Meng, with Jimmy Hart) vs. Steve McMichael (with Debra McMichael) and Chris Benoit (with Woman)

Bell rings, and McMichael falls backwards to narrowly avoid a Meng kick. Mongo hits a series of shoulder blocks before managing to knock Meng down. Barbarian and Benoit make tags and tear into one another. McMichael is back in and hits Meng with a series of football-esque offense, but Meng has had enough of this nonsense and takes control. Benoit tags but gets back dropped by Meng into a power bomb from the Barbarian! The previously dead crowd popped for that spot. Benoit takes a world class beating, including a nasty bell to back superplex that flings him across the ring. Barbarian and Meng hit double flying head butts, but McMichael breaks the cover. Barbarian suplexes Benoit into place for a Meng flying splash. McMichael interferes with his Halliburton, allowing Benoit’s swan dive to finish Meng at 9:20. This was dull stuff, with a couple fun surprises here and there, **.
Winners: Chris Benoit and Steve McMichael

-The new Dungeon of Doom finally hit the ring, and assist Barbarian and Meng in beating down Benoit and Mongo. The Horsemen are left down and out.

-Ted Dibiase is back in the crowd and brags about the n.W.o. being 2-0 for the evening. The bottom line is that the New World Order keeps their promises, and Nash and Hall are about to become the new “n.W.o. Tag Team Champions.”

WCW Tag Team Championship:
Harlem Heat (Booker T and Stevie Ray, with Colonel Parker and Sister Sherri) vs. The Outsiders (Kevin Nash and Scott Hall)

Hall flicks his tootpick at Booker, who isn’t intimidated. The crowd is preoccupied with a fight in the crowd while Hall and Booker trade holds. They block hip tosses until Booker sends Hall crashing to ringside. Stevie Ray clotheslines Hall at ringside, prompting Hall to spit in retaliation. A completely fresh Nash tags in and proceeds to pummel Ray into the corner. Ray pops back with a clothesline and finds time to spit at Hall. Booker puts Nash down with a scissors kick for a 2 count. Hall returns with a bulldog off the turnbuckles on Ray. Stevie shakes it off and applies a chinlock. Hall whips Ray into a Nash clothesline and almost pins him as a result. Booker suffers a big boot from Nash, and a jawbreaker sets him up for Hall’s clothesline on the apron. The Outsiders are making quick tags and have Harlem Heat on the defensive. Sherri distracts and slaps Hall, so Hall forces a kiss on her. Hall catches Booker in a sleeper, but Booker turns it around. Hall crotches Booker on the ropes and they both go down with dual head butt attempts. Stevie Ray cleans house on the Outsiders, throwing Hall onto Nash. Harlem Heat dumps Nash and sets Hall up for the Harlem Hangover! Nash takes Parker’s cane and cracks it over Booker (while the referee was busy being distracted). That’s enough to give the Outsiders the titles at 13:04. I found this to be dull and uninteresting, but the crowd was red hot for it, so what do I know? **
Winners and new WCW Tag team Champions: The Outsiders

-WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan and The Giant appear in the crowd for a promo. Hogan talks up his movie career, but he needed a break from all that, so he’s here to body slam the Macho Man.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship:
Hollywood Hulk Hogan © (with The Giant, Ted Dibiase, and Vincent) vs. Macho Man Randy Savage

It’s worth noting that Hogan has more hair than usual, probably for one of his recent movie shoots. Savage drives a Macho Man monster truck into the arena. Bell rings, but Hogan stalls for time, though I’m more distracted by his hair more than anything. Hogan amusingly hides in the ropes while the referee shields him from Savage. They finally lock up and Hogan arrogantly works a headlock before retreating to the floor. Hogan still has his sunglasses on as he lures Savage in with a test of strength challenge, but cheap shots instead. Savage finally scores an axe handle, knocking the glasses off Hogan’s face. Hogan begs for mercy, but Macho Man dons the sunglasses and rips off Hogan’s wig. Savage, wearing the glasses AND wig, is quite the sight to behold. Hogan is horrified to once again be bald and Macho Man bats him around ringside. Hogan takes an unprotected chair shot to the head but retaliates with a chair shot of his own. Hogan retakes control and seems to be having a blast (kissing Savage’s bald spot, strutting, etc). Ms. Elizabeth arrives on the scene to watch things unfold. Hogan is thrown off by Elizabeth, giving Savage some opportunities to get back in the match (including pulling Hogan’s tights down in a roll-up, eww). Hogan shields himself with Elizabeth but gets caught in a scoop slam. Hogan hits a big boot, prompting Elizabeth to check on the Macho Man. Hogan threatens Elizabeth and misses a leg drop! Elizabeth takes a foreign object away from Hulk, but Hogan inadvertently clocks the referee. Typically, Savage would have won with the Flying Elbow, but crooked referee Nick Patrick screws him. Savage knocks Hogan down with the foreign object, but Dibiase prevents a flying elbow. The Giant returns and choke slams Savage on the floor. Giant drapes Hogan on Savage and Patrick counts to 3 to end it at 18:32. Complete farce of a main event, though the fans were into it from start to finish, *¾.
Winner and still WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Hulk Hogan

-The Giant returns with a punch bowl filled with ice water and pours it on Hogan to wake him up. Hogan has no idea how the match ended, so he’s delighted to find out he’s still champion. Hogan declares himself the “King of Hollywood” and touts the New World Order’s success. Cue the bagpipes music, and Roddy Piper makes a surprise return. Hogan acts like he’s seen a ghost and hides behind the Giant. Piper makes a ridiculous claim to being just as big an icon as Hogan is in wrestling, and a more reasonable claim to be just as big a movie star. Piper tries to establish himself as a populist hero, putting Hogan in his place, and it sets up their big non-title match down the road at Starrcade.

Final Thoughts: Despite some low star ratings, this is a fun show that is worth watching for nostalgic purposes. The n.W.o. angle was still building momentum here, go check it out on the Network. Thumbs up.

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