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WCW Halloween Havoc 1990
by Scrooge McSuck
- Originally broadcasted live on Pay-Per-View on October 27th, 1990, from the UIC-Pavilion in Chicago, IL. Jim Ross (as Dick Tracy) and Paul E. Dangerously (as Dracula) are calling all the action. Tony Schiavone is lurking around as the Phantom of the Opera, conducting interviews. This was the Turner Video release, but for some reasons, I feel like splicing in the matches clipped out from the full PPV. In an interesting change, the ring canvas is red and the ropes and turnbuckles are orange, no doubt for Halloween.
Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich vs. The Midnight Express (w/ Jim Cornette):
Morton and Rich are dressed like 50's style greasers, with leather jackets and plain-white t's. The Express no longer have their signature theme song, replaced with something even more generic. As mentioned in the Bash 90 review, Gibson is out with an injury, storyline reason by the Freebirds. Paul E. on Rich: "We all know rednecks can't Rock n' Roll." Morton and Eaton start. Lockup, and Eaton with a clean break, but not without lecture. Eaton with a pair of hip tosses, as I notice that the middle rope is orange with black stripes. Lockup to the corner, and Eaton with a sucker punch, followed by an elbow. Eaton to the top, and he catches a fist to the midsection. Morton with a series of shoulder tackles, followed by a long-criss cross sequence before taking Eaton down with a hurricanrana. Lane with a blind tag, and he catches Morton off the ropes with a slam. Lane hangs Morton up on the top rope, then slingshots back in with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes, drop toe hold, and Eaton with an elbow drop for two. Whip to the corner, and Morton posts his own shoulder on a charge. Eaton to the top, and he misses... something. I think. Bad camera work on that. Cornette works in a racket shot, of course. Eaton lays Morton out with a clothesline and chokes away. Back in the ring, and Morton surprises Lane with a sunset flip, but Eaton breaks it up. Has Rich even been in the match, yet? Lane uses the tights to leverage Morton through the ropes, then slams him on the floor. Lane slams him on the ramp next, and Eaton with the Rocket Launcher to a big pop.
Eaton tosses Morton back in, and Lane rolls him up for two. Morton with another roll up, but Eaton breaks it with a neck breaker (think Diamond Cutter). Whip to the ropes, and Eaton with a slingshot into a back breaker for a two count. This might as well be Midnights vs. Morton, because that's all it's going to be, I think. Lane chokes Morton across the rope, allowing Cornette a second cheap shot. Lane lures Rich in to distract the referee, and tosses Morton over the top rope, for the hell of it. Eaton rams Morton into the post, but misses a charge, and Morton takes him down with another hurricanrana (called a Japanese head scissors, by Jim Ross). Back inside, and Morton cradles Lane for a two count. Lane goes JYD on Morton with a headbutt on all fours, and Eaton tags in to punish him in the corner. Eaton with a slam, and he nails the top rope leg drop, but wastes time making a cover. Lane with karate kicks to the midsection. Morton returns the favor with rights, but Lane cuts off the tag. Lane with a slam, and the Rocket Launcher meets the knees this time. Rich FINALLY tags in, and pounds away on both of the Midnights. Whip to the ropes and Thesz Press on Lane for two. Rich with a slam, and he heads to the top rope, only to get nailed with the racket by Cornette. Suddenly, the Southern Boys come to ringside, dressed as Jim Cornette, complete with pillows under their shirts and plastic rackets. Everythings going wild, with Rich KO'ing Lane with the racket during all of the confusion, and he covers for the three count at 14:04, ending the tag team tenure of the Midnight Express. Outstanding opener, which doesn't come as a surprise considering the magnificent chemistry Eaton, Lane, and Morton have with each other. No diss on Tommy Rich, but I'm glad that he was sitting on the apron for all but the last minute, letting the others do their thing for one last time. Eaton would hang around, shuffling between midcard singles pushes, tag teams with the Dangerous Alliance and the Blue Bloods, before settling into a JTTS role for the latter half of the 90's.
Terry Taylor vs. Wild Bill Irwin:
PPV Exclusive! Taylor is only a few months removed from departing the WWF, leaving behind a solid gold gimmick in the Red Rooster in the process. Bill Irwin is probably more famous for his "Goon" gimmick in the mid 90's than working the territories throughout the 80's. Someone named "Jack Brickhouse" joins the broadcast position for this one. Lockup, and Rooster quickly goes to work on the arm. Irwin takes control with clubberin', but he meets the boot on a charge, and Taylor comes off the top with a missile dropkick for two. Taylor with a headlock takeover, and I feel bad, as I constantly retract typing "Rooster." Irwin escapes, but misses a knee drop. Taylor fails going for a Figure Four, and chooses to go back to the headlock. Taylor surprises Irwin with a back slide for a two count, but I guess Irwin has a bigger surprise, with a roundhouse right. Whip to the ropes, and Irwin with a jumping boot to the face for a two count. Irwin goes to a chinlock, and we can expect a lot of this. The boring chants become audibly clear, very fast. Taylor escapes with a jaw breaker, and comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes, and Taylor with a back elbow, followed by an atomic drop and bridge suplex for two. Irwin comes back with a tombstone piledriver (called that, too) for a two count. Jim Ross keeps talking about the Top 10 rankings, which Taylor is among, but Irwin is not. The "action" spills to the ramp, but nothing happens. Back inside, Taylor with a snap suplex and knee drop for two. Taylor goes for a splash, but meets the knees. Whip to the ropes, and Taylor takes Irwin over with a sunset flip for two. Irwin with a charging clothesline for two. Taylor counters a suplex with a cradle for two. Irwin argues with the referee and gets rolled up for two, again. Taylor avoids a charge to the corner, and a swinging neck breaker gets two. Irwin catches Taylor off the ropes with a spinebuster, but somehow gets cradled going for the cover at 11:50... who in their right mind gave this that much time?! Hot finish, but the 10-minutes before that dragged ass.
- Tony Schiavone is standing by with WCW Champion Sting, who gets about three sentences into a trash-talking bit about Sid Vicious. Suddenly, he name drops the Black Scorpion... oh no... Oh please, God, no... The Scorpion shows up on a seperate section of the stage, "kidnaps" someone, and does a disappearing act, all while Ole Anderson cuts a pre-recorded promo. I guess it wasn't as bad as spinning a dudes head like a top and turning him into a Jaguar. Just plain stupid.
"The Candyman" Brad Armstrong vs. J.W. Storm:
PPV Exclusive! Welcome to the first instance of giving Armstrong a stupid gimmick, because being a good wrestler wasn't good enough. In this case, ring trunks designed like a candy cane, and at times, handing candy out to children at ringside. I guess it's better than arachnaman and "masked goober helping the Freebirds." Don't know much about Storm. He did work a few shows with the WWF in 1992, but never got past the role of Jobber. Some speculate he later worked as Maxx Muscle, but there's conflicting stories on that. Lockup, and the much larger Storm easily throws Armstrong down, then counters a hip toss with a nasty clothesline. Criss-cross, and Armstrong with the hip toss, followed by a dropkick. Back inside, and Storm wipes Armstrong out with another clothesline. Storm with a cocky-cover before settling in with a chinlock, as Paul E. verbally blows Storm for (allegedly) winning a boxing match and a wrestling match in the same night. Armstrong fights free, but gets caught in a bearhug and dropped across the top rope. Whip to the ropes, and an awkward dropkick spot follows. Storm with a snap suplex, and another arrogant cover. Storm catches Armstrong off the ropes with a powerslam, and follows with a tilt-o-whirl slam for a two count. Armstrong avoids another dropkick, and nails Storm with a knee lift. Armstrong with a standing dropkick, and a slugfest follows. Storm with a shitty roll up, and Armstrong responds with an insidle cradle for the three count at 5:06. Odd finish, since Storm was being hyped as an undefeated monster, and Armstrong was, well, Brad Armstrong.
The Southern Boys vs. The Master Blasters:
(Tracy Smothers & Steve Armstrong vs. Steel & Blade)
PPV Exclusive! ... Ugh. The Master Blasters are Kevin Nash (Steel) and Al Green (career scrub). Blade and Armstrong start, as Jim Cornette joins the broadcast team, dressed as a Civil War soldier, running down the Southern Boys. Blade and Armstrong trade blows until Armstrong clotheslines Blade to the floor. Smothers tags in, and they take turns working the arm. Steel tags in, and throws Smothers out of the ring. Back inside, and Steel pounds away. Smothers fights back from the middle turnbuckle, and a missile dropkick assists him in taking Steel down with a body press for a series of two counts. How can the referee allow BOTH to pin him at the same time? Blade tags in, and takes Smothers down with a side suplex. Whip to the ropes, and Smothers with a body press for one. He goes to make a tag, but Blade clotheslines him into 1993. Double back elbow from the Blasters, and Steel takes Smothers down with a powerslam. The Blasters continue to control, doing little of note. Blade with a slam, and he heads to the top rope, eating boot in a ridiculous looking spot. Armstrong in with a powerslam and dropkick to Blade. Double dropkick to Steel, and a double shoulder tackle to Blade. The Boys with the missile dropkick double team finish, but Cornette pulls Armstrong off Blade, allowing Steel to clothesline him from behind. Blade comes to and makes the cover for three at 7:18. Mostly a mess, but it was reasonably short, I guess.
The Renegade Warriors vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (w/ Little Richard Marley):
(Chris & Mark Youngblood vs. Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)
Oh no, there's one thing I hated more than recapping Freebird matches from 1990(ish)... recapping RENEGADE WARRIOR matches. The Freebirds are looking more and more like drag queens, particularly Hayes, who's sporting some flashy tights and a complete make-up job. "Little Richard Marley" is former jobber Rocky King, acting as a lackey for the Freebirds, and is dressed like Robert Gibson, complete with bandaged knee. Paul E. mentions the 'Birds injuring Alan Iron Eagle as the reasoning behind this match taking place. Stalling to start, surprise surprise. Mark takes control and works both over, and Chris with a double clothesline to clear the ring. Stalling! Chris with a headlock on Garvin. Hayes nails Chris Youngblood from the apron, and Garvin takes him down with a back suplex. He takes a trip over the top rope, thanks to Mark Youngblood distracting the referee. Rocky King gets some shots in, as well. Garvin with a snapmare, and it's chinlock time. The only interesting aspect of this is the heated commentary between Ross and Dangerously over the injury of Robert Gibson. Hayes in with another chinlock. Chris fights free, but a blind tag keeps the Freebirds in control. Chinlocks dominate the next 6-7 minutes, and that's not exagerating. There's a Jon Lovitz reference, that's how dull this is. Hayes with a slam, and he goes to the top rope, only to get slammed off. The crowd doesn't care at all for the Youngbloods. Hot tag, and Mark Youngblood works both Freebirds over. Mark rolls up Garvin, but Hayes counters with a DDT for the three count at 13:24... that has to be clipped, because I'm seeing results calling it around 18+... either way, a piece of garbage. It goes to show how poorly the babyface teams were promoted, considering the babyface reactions for teams like the Freebirds and the Midnight Express.
- Tony Schiavone is standing by with the Four Horsemen, Ric Flair, Anderson, and Sid Vicious. Wait... where the hell is Barry Windham? For those who forgot, the team of Flair and Anderson challenges the Tag Team of Doom for the World Tag Titles, and Sid Vicious challenges Sting for the WCW World Championship in the main event.
WCW United States Tag Team Titles Match:
(Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs)
The Steiner Brothers © vs. The Nasty Boys:
How deep is a tag team division, to feature FOUR matches, and have two championships? The Nasty Boys didn't spend too much time in WCW, with this program with the Steiners their only notable program before jumping to the WWF in December. The Steiner rush the ring and it's a brawl all around the outside of the ring to start. Saggs whips Scott into the security rail and bashes him with a chair. Sags sets Scott up on the top turnbuckle, but Scott slips out and takes Sags down with a super-belly to belly suplex. Knobbs breaks the pin attempt, and Rick quickly knocks him back to the floor. Scott pounds away and takes Sags down with a underhook powerbomb. Rick heads to the top rope, and the elevated bulldog takedown connects. Knobbs with a chair to Scott to even things out, and covers illegally for a two count. Whip to the ropes, and Knobbs with a side suplex, followed by a powerslam for another two count. Knobbs tosses Scott to the floor, where Sags greets him with a knee off the ring apron. Sags with a pumphandle slam, and headbutts to the lower back. Sags with a tilt-o-whirl slam, and Knobbs comes in, again illegally, to apply an abdominal stretch. J.R. claims it's sold out, but there's a LOT of empty seats masked in darkness. Sags tags in and applies a bearhug. Scott escapes with a belly-to-belly suplex, but Knobbs prevents the tag. Rick comes in and nails Knobbs with a Steinerline, because he felt like it, but misses another, and spills over the top rope. Moron. The Nasties with a spike piledriver, but more chaos leads to Rick nailing Sags with a steel chair. Scott with a back suplex, and both men are still out of it. Knobbs cuts off the tag and slaps on another bearhug. Sags in, and he shows off a crimson mask while applying a Boston Crab. Scott manages to power out, but he still can't make the tag. Knobbs with a seated chinlock, and Scott escapes that, too. Scott with a reverse atomic drop on Sags, followed by a clothesline. Rick finally gets the hot tag, and unloads on both Nasties with rights and steinerlines. Rick with a belly-to-belly on Knobbs for two. Sags tosses Scott over the top, but the referee didn't see it. Rick heads to the top rope, and a double clothesline takes both men out. Nasty Boys double team Rick, but Scott pulls Sags out of the ring, Rick with another Steinerline, and a Frankensteiner to Knobbs finishes things off at 15:23. Post-match, the Nasty Boys take a few more shots at the Steiners before leaving the ring. Good brawl, but too slow at times, particularly the overly long bearhug spots.
- Tony Schiavone is standing by with Scott Steiner, who is attacked again by the Nasty Boys, who are disguised as concession workers. I'm thinking there was another match clipped out, and a quick search says yes, they cut out a match between Junkyard Dog and Moondog Rex. I'm sure no one is crying over not knowing how that match was.
WCW World Tag Team Championship Match:
Doom © (w/ Theodore R. Long) vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson:
Don't remember much in terms of why this is taking place, but I do remember Flair beating either Simmons or Reed to make Teddy Long his personal chaueffer for a few weeks. Not exactly the high point of Flair's run. I guess this is a good example of "shades of grey", because both teams are technically heels, but both teams were getting mild babyface reactions. Anderson starts with Simmons. Lockup, and Simmons easily overpowers the Enforcer. Anderson with shoulders to the midsection, but Simmons sends him to the apron, and brings Anderson back in with a suplex. Flair with a knee to the back of Simmons, and Arn with a suplex, but Simmons pops back up and hammers away. Reed with a knee to Arn, and Simmons with a powerslam for a two count. Flair in with chops, but Simmons explodes out of the corner with a double clothesline, clearing the Horsemen from the ring. Teddy Long gets involved and bitch slaps Flair... I'm surprised, too. Reed and Flair tag in, as Ross aknowledges the rule breaking tendancies of both teams. Flair works him over in the corner with short rights, but one chop lights Reed's fire, and he unloads on Flair and takes him down with a press slam. Arn runs in, and Simmons does the same to him. Reed with mounted punches in the corner, and takes Flair over with a hip ross. Reed with a clothesline, and Flair begs off before thumbing the eyes. Reed no-sells the chop again and pummels Flair into a jelly. Flair keeps going for chops, and continues to take a beating for it. Whip to the corner, and Flair flips to the apron, where Simmons greets him with a clothesline. Flair tries chops on Simmons, with the same result: none. Anderson tags in, and takes a high knee from Reed for his troubles. Irish whip, and Doom with a double clothesline for two. Simmons pounds away until taking an elbow to the back of the head.
Anderson with a Boston crab, and Flair drops a knee to the back of the head, to finally turn the tide. Flair takes Simmons off his feet with a big chop, and Anderson follows with his signature spinebuster for a two count. Flair with a stomp to the left knee, followed by an atomic drop. Anderson drops down on the left knee of Simmons, and Flair with some stomping. Flair takes Simmons off his feet with a back suplex, and he slaps the Figure-Four on in the middle of the ring. Anderson offers additional leverage and punishment behind the referee's back, but Simmons won't give up and turns it over. Anderson jerks the leg and works a modified toe-hold. Simmons fights back with rights, but misses a dropkick, allowing Anderson to cover for two. They fight over a knucklelock until Arn meets the knees trying to drop his body weight across the midsection of Simmons.Flair tries a shoulder tackle, but it puts him down instead. Anderson cuts off the tag and dumps Simmons to the floor. Flair tries to take advantage of the situation, but eats steel for his efforts. Simmons comes back in with a sunset flip, but Flair tags in and rakes the eyes from behind. Whip to the ropes, and Simmons comes back with a weak diving clothesline. Anderson cuts off the tag once again, and gets slammed face-first into the canvas shortly after. Reed gets the hot tag and unloads on both Flair and Double A. Whip to the ropes and a dropkick to Flair, followed by a diving shoulder block for a two count. Flair and Reed brawl on the floor while Arn and Simmons do it in the ring. Reed to the top, and he nails Arn with a shoulder block for two. Simmons knocks Flair over the top rope as Anderson plants Reed with a DDT for another two count. There's havoc (halloween style) everywhere, inside and outside the ring, until everyone gets counted out at 18:19. Poor ending to a fantastic tag team match. To be fair, it had to be expected, because Flair and Anderson were too high profile to go over a tag team, and you don't want to job them clean to a tag team, either. Match of the night, with the opener a close second to it.
WCW United States Championship Match:
"Total Package" Lex Luger © vs. Stan Hansen:
This has disaster (or slobberknocker) written all over it. I don't even know how this came to be. Probably a random attack on television or something, because Hansen is a crazy son of a bitch. Luger's rocking a hell of a mullet and bright orange trunks. He looks like Shane Douglas' older brother. Hansen attacks before the bell, but Luger was ready for it, and knocks Hansen to the outside. Hansen rakes the eyes, takes Luger over with a snapmare, and drops an elbow for two. Hansen takes it to the floor, and falls off the apron with an elbow. Back inside, and Luger takes Hansen down with a slam. Hansen regains control, with knees to the chest and a headlock takeover. Whip to the corner, and Hansen misses a charge, spilling to the floor in the process. Back inside and Luger measures Hansen up with rights. Luger with a hip toss and a pair of elbow drops for two. Hansen with a shot to the midsection and a snap suplex for a two count of his own. Whip to the ropes, and Hansen with a shoulder tackle. Hansen with a slam and knee drop for two. Slugfest won by Hansen, and he takes Luger down with a bulldog for a two count. Luger with mounted punches in the corner, but Hansen counters with a modified spine buster for another two count. Hansen with a slam, but he misses an elbow from the second rope. Luger catches Hansen off the ropes with a dropkick, followed by a slam for two. Luger with a suplex for another two count. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Hansen follows in with a clothesline. The referee gets in the way of things and takes an elbow to the face for his troubles. Luger counters the lariat with a lunging clothesline of his own. Suddenly Dan Spivey makes his way to ringside and hands the cowbell to Hansen. Luger ducks under and back drops Hansen, then slams him face first into the canvas. Luger hits the ropes and eats a forearm for three at 9:28, giving Hansen the United States Title. They keep saying it was the lariat, but Luger was in too close for it. Match was nothing much more than a slugfest. Not bad, but not too good, either.
- We kill time with an interview from Theodore Long, and then Missy Hyatt makes her token PPV appearance, because that was probably a clause in her contract or something. No matter what, she gets two minutes of air time. With all that out of the way, it's time for the main event...
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sting © vs. Sid Vicious:
Weird for the WCW booking team (cough:Ole Anderson:cough) to put Sid in such a lameduck challenger role, when the bigger picture has been and would continue to be the ongoing saga between Sting and the mysterious Black Scorpion. They trash talk (or plan spots) to open with. Sid attacks Sting from behind, and counters a cross body with a back breaker. Sting no-sells it, sweeps the leg and goes for a figure-four, but Sid rolls to the floor. Lockup, and Sid with a rake of the eyes. Sting ducks a big right, dumping Sid over the top rope in the process. Sting sends Sid into the post, and goes to work on the arm once they return to the ring. Sid escapes, but misses a charge to the corner, and Sting goes back to the arm. Sid escapes with a side headlock, but Sting counters with a head scissors. Sid escapes with a nip up, and puts Sting down with a clothesline, then celebrates prematurely. Sting goes for a sunset flip, but only gets two. Sid puts Sting back down with a clothesline, and gets two, as well. Sid settles into a nerve hold, because chinlocks were too exciting, I guess. Sting with shots to the midsection to escape, but Sid quickly takes him down with a powerslam for a two count. Sid with a series of knees into the midsection, followed by choking. Whip to the corner is reversed, and Sting misses the Stinger Splash. Sting recovers enough to come off the top with a cross body, but only for a one count. Sid quickly smashes Sting across the back with a double axehandle, and rubs his face into the canvas. Sid knocks Sting to the apron, and wipes him out with a clothesline for two.
Sid slaps on a chinlock, as the show is rapidly running out of PPV time. Sid with a snapmare, and an elbow drop misses. Sting hits the ropes, and misses an elbow, too. Sting with boots and a bulldog to bring Sid to the canvas. Sid catches Sting coming with a boot, and they spill to ramp. Sting comes charging back, and hits a suicide dive back into the ring. Sting sends Sid to the floor with a dropkick, and comes out with a plancha. They brawl into the crowd as Flair and Anderson make their presence felt. Suddenly, they come back to the ring, and Sid lands on top of Sting on a slam attempt for the three count at 11:52 to become the .... wait... that wasn't Sting. That Sting was 6'8" and in less impressive physical condition! The REAL Sting returns, with rope wrapped around his wrist as balloons drop from the ceiling. Sting nails Sid with the belt, Stinger Splashes him, and a roll-up REALLY wins the match for Sting at 12:36... what the hell was that?! What total ass of a way to not only end the show, but the much anticipated main event of the PPV. The match was OK for the most part, with some awkward moments of non-action and Sid working a little too loose, but that finish... Wow. I hope whoever thought that was a good idea was fired. The fake Sting was later revealed to be Barry Windham, by the way. Nice to know that he predicted what ring attire Sting would wear that night to complete the hoax.
Final Thoughts: Other than the opening match and the World Tag Team Championship, this isn't a very enjoyable show for me to sit through. The undercard is mostly of poor quality, I enjoyed the US Tag Title Match to an extent, but still found it a chore to get through, the United States Title Match was a clusterfuck of action that I had anticipated, and the finish marks the first in a long line of awful booking decisions at Halloween Havoc, most of them sadly involving Sting. Solid recommendation to take a pass on this one, should you ever consider watching it.
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