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WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

by Scrooge McSuck

- It's time to kick off the 2nd Annual DWS Halloween Havok, and what better way to celebrate Halloween than with the obvious... old WCW PPV's called "Halloween Havoc?" Unlike with the WWF, I have not seen the majority of WCW's Pay-Per-View library, and this edition of Halloween Havoc is no different. I have never seen anything featured on it, as far as I can remember. In 1993, my devotion to the WWF was unmatched, and my knowledge of the WCW product until Hogan's debut is pretty much whatever I can piece together.

- Originally broadcasted live, on Pay-Per-View, on October 24th, 1993, from the Lakefront Arena in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tony Schiavone (dressed as Jesse Ventura) and Jesse "The Body" Ventura (in a dementic doctor costume) are at ringside to call the action. The PPV actually begins with a terrible video of kids going Trick Or Treating, and showing up at the house of "something scary"... Tony Schiavone. He demonstrates some poor acting, then peels off his mask/face, revealing a monster that is so generic, I couldn't make up anything interesting.

The Shockmaster, Ice Train, Charlie Norris vs. Harlem Heat & The Equalizer:

Harlem Heat are technically called "Kane" and "Kole", but I might slip up. Equalizer went on to be Dave Sullivan, alleged dyslexic brother of Kevin. The babyface side of things is truely a horrifying visual. When FRED OTTMAN is the worker of the bunch... yeah. I won't even bother trying to explain the Shockmaster. Everyone knows about it, so no need to go into it any more than that. Kole and Train start, after about a minute of stalling. Ventura refers to Ice Train as "The Big Green Monster", referencing his lack of experience. Kole with a knee to the midsection, but a slam is countered with one of his own. Train with clotheslines, and we get more stalling. Kane/Stevie Ray tags in, and has about the same level of success against Ice Train as Booker did. Norris comes in and works the arm of Kole. Shockmaster tags in and continues the punishment... the punishment of me sitting through this stinker. It's odd how I'd much rather watch him suck as Tugboat than as Shockmaster. Ventura makes fun of Shockmaster's lack of balance, in the mean time. Kole continues getting work over by the babyface team. Kane cheap shots Train from the apron, and Kole connects with a dropkick. They take him down with a double side suplex for two. Equalizer comes in, kicking and punching. Train quickly takes out the Equalizer, and tags out to Norris. He grabs a headlock. Shoulder blocks do nothing. Shockmaster tags in and does have success with the shoulders, then takes him down with a slam. Norris with a double chop for two. Whip to the corner, and Norris meets the boot. Equalizer with a clothesline, and now Norris is the face-in-peril. Kole with a slam for two, then some choking. Harlem Heat with a double clothesline, and Kole with a knee drop for two. Booker with an early form of the Axe Kick for another two count. He misses a move from the second rope, and it's hot tag time to Shockmaster. He cleans house of all three heels. He grabs Kole with a bearhug, and slams him down for three at 9:45. This sucked. One of the worst opening matches to a PPV I have ever seen, not including dumb gimmicks (Bash '91's Scaffold Match, or King of the Road, to name a couple).

- Eric Bischoff, dressed as a member of the Confederate Army from the Civil War, is with Terry Taylor, dressed as a referee... he's going to be a special second-referee for the upcoming Rick Rude/Ric Flair Match. Taylor is fresh off his second WWF run as "Terrific" Terry. He's going to be a good boy, says he.

Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat vs. "Mr. Wonderful "Paul Orndorff (w/ The Assassin):

Orndorff is filling in for an "injured" Yoshi Kwan. Steamboat comes out wearing his Dragon wings and spitting fire... again, to those "WWF haters", yes, WCW CONTINUED the idiotic gimmick of dressing as a dragon and spitting fire. It wasn't just something he did in the WWF. Orndorff attacks from behind. Whip to the ropes, and he takes the Dragon over with a back drop. Steamboat fires back with chops, but Orndorff remains in control. He takes him over with a snapmare, and drops a forearm across the chest. Steamboat with a roll-up for two, and Orndorff sends him to the floor with a clothesline. Orndorff follows out and introduces Steamboat to the elevated walk-way via slam. Steamboat tries to dive back in the ring, but Orndorff side steps. He brings Steamboat down with a back suplex for two. Whip to the ropes, Steamboat brings Orndorff down with a version of the arm drag, then slaps on the armbar. Orndorff sends Dragon to the ropes to escape. Steamboat comes back with a body press for two, then continues to work on the arm. Steamboat wraps the arm around the post, and again, to those who say Steamboat could never be a heel... have you ever watched in wrestle? He wrestles a more heel-ish style as a babyface than Hulk Hogan. Steamboat works on the left arm some more, as Schiavone disects the "rules of the ring post." At least he's not agitating Ventura into the "is a gun legal if it's outside the ring" theory like at SummerSlam '89. More stalling, so Steamboat lays in with more chops and sends Orndorff into the security rail.

Finally, we're back in the ring, and Steamboat's still working the arm. I love hearing Ventura pointing out everything Steamboat does illegal, a trait he seemed to use only with Hulk Hogan matches. Orndorff escapes, but misses an elbow drop. Steamboat with clotheslines and knees across the chest. The "action" spills to the floor again, with Steamboat solidly in control. Orndorff finally turns the tide, yanking Steamboat off the apron, and ramming him repeatedly into the apron. He tosses Steamer into the crowd, and I'm left wondering where the referee's count has been for the entire match? Back inside, and Orndorff comes off the top with an elbow smash for two. Whip to the ropes and a double body press has been men down on the canvas. Orndorff sweeps the legs and hooks the ropes for two. Steamboat counters for what would best be described as an awful sex position for two. To the ramp, and Steamboat comes off the top with a chop. Steamboat sends Orndorff back in the ring with an atomic drop, and comes off the top with another chop for two. Whip to the ropes, and Dragon with a double chop for two. He goes for a back drop, but Orndorff slams him face-first into the canvas. He signals for the piledriver, but Steamboat back drops free. They do the bridge into a back slide spot, Steamboat sweeps the legs and sends Orndorff into the corner for two. Steamboat with a back suplex, and to the top with the body press, but the referee is distracted by the (Fat) Assassin. Steamboat with a shoulder tackle for several near falls. Steamboat tosses the referee aside, then goes over the top on a charge. No DQ, either way? Assassin loads the mask up, and KO's Steamboat from behind. That's good enough for the Count-Out at 18:35. That lame finish for that long? Everyone has their bad nights, and it looks like Steamboat and Orndorff had one on the same day. Just too long and all over the place, with very little coherency other than "let's get to the finish."

WCW Television Championship Match:
Lord Steven Regal © (w/ Sir William) vs. The British Bulldog:

Michael Buffer does introductions. Look how fast the Bulldog went down the card. Top babyface and headliner of several PPV's, and now in a meaningless match over the bottom of the card belt. We're informed of a 15-minute time limit... so even if it's boring, it won't be atrociously long. Regal quickly (OK, not really) goes to work on the left arm. Bulldog does his reversal sequence to turn things around, but Regal quickly takes back control. Bulldog with more athletic showing-off, but it doesn't make a match good. Regal with a single-leg trip, then back to the arm. Bulldog repeats his counter sequence from earlier, so the one-truck Pony exposes himself already. Regal shows off a cart-wheel of his own, and gets taken over with a monkey flip. Regal with snapmares, but he can't quite grip a chinlock, allowing the Bulldog to frustrate him some more. Oh my GOD, this is so boring. Bulldog with a modified surfboard, but no one has ever won with it, so we'll just move along. Regal attacks from behind, and lands a series of blows to the midsection. Bulldog comes back with a body press for two. He comes off the ropes, and meets the knee of Regal. Snapmare by Regal, followed by a rolling senton for two. Regal with a knee to the midsection while pulling on the neck. Regal with a series of knees and uppercuts, then back to that headlock spot. Whip to the ropes, and Bulldog with a sunset flip for two. Regal regains control, and it's time for another rest hold targeting the ribs. Bulldog escapes with elbows, then comes off the ropes with a clothesline. Charge to the corner meets a boot, and Regal is back on him with more punishment. Bulldog muscles up, but Regal slips out, sweeps the leg, and goes back to what's been working for him all match. Bulldog gets Regal up again, but Regal hooks the rope. Regal stomps him down and covers for two. Bulldog magically starts no-selling and rolls him up for two. Whip to the ropes and a clothesline, followed by a suplex. Bulldog with the Running Powerslam, but only for two! To be fair, Regal has barely taken any punishment. Bulldog with a piledriver, but the bell rings at 15:00, mid-count. Regal retains via Draw. Match was INCREDIBLY dull, but a decent wrestling clinic from Regal, if nothing else. I wouldn't want to watch it again, though.

- It's time to Spin The Wheel, and to Make The Deal™. Yes, the main event between Vader and Cactus Jack will have a stipulation decided by the wheel. Better not be the stupid fucking Coal Miner's Glove Match, again. Vader spins it, and we land on... Texas Death Match. Thank God it didn't land on "Prince of Darkness Match." Imagine wasting Cactus and Vader in a BLINDFOLD Match? You'd think WCW would've picked that, just because it was the worst option available.

WCW United States Championship Match:
"The Natural" Dustin Rhodes © vs. "Stunning" Steve Austin:

Remember the days when Steve Austin had hair and wasn't a beer drinking, foul-mouthed redneck? I thought Austin was still part of the Hollywood Blondes, but I think Pillman was injured at the time... I really should look it up, but I don't care that much. Austin with a bitch slap to start. Lockup into the corner, and Austin does it again before hiding on the floor. Back inside, Austin sweeps the legs and goes for a Boston Crab, but Rhodes escapes. Rhodes with a headlock. Whip to the ropes, and Austin with an elbow. He takes Rhodes over with a snapmare for two. Austin with a slam, Rhodes snapmares him over, and pounds away with rights. Austin escapes an atomic drop and grabs a headlock. Criss-cross sequence, and Rhodes connects with a dropkick. What is the deal with the matches on this card dragging ass? Austin misses a knee to the corner, and spills to the floor... who, exactly, is the babyface? Shouldn't RHODES be in this situation?

Back inside, Rhodes goes for the leg with a Flair-style atomic drop, and grabs a toe hold. Rhodes grapevines the leg, slowing things down even more. Was there some sort of "not working hard" protest going on? Austin escapes and goes low on Rhodes to take the advantage back. Austin with a snapmare and knee drop across the forhead for two. Austin with a slam, still selling the knee. In a horribly contrived spot, Rhodes sends Austin to the corner, only for Austin to throw himself off the buckle to land back on Rhodes. Austin with rights and lefts, and now Rhodes with rights. Whip to the ropes and a back drop from Rhodes. He comes off the ropes with a clothesline for two. He sets up for the bulldog, but Austin crotches him across the top rope. Rhodes surprises Austin with a roll up for two. Small package gets two. Whip to the ropes, and Rhodes fights out of the Stun Gun, but Austin rolls him up for two. Austin sweeps the legs and covers for... three? No, wait, Nick Patrick saw the feet on the ropes. Rhodes rolls him up, and THAT gets three at 14:24. Austin lays Rhodes out with the belt to cap things off. Another incredibly boring match. Nice of Rhodes to blade. I thought WCW had rules about that.

WCW Tag Team Championship Match:
Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio © (w/ Teddy Long) vs. The Nasty Boys (w/ Missy Hyatt):

Here we go with one the only concepts from 1993 that I can remember about WCW. Someone, somewhere, thought it would be a wonderful idea to tape 6 MONTHS worth of footage for the World Wide program, from June through the end of November, pretty much giving away any doubt about championship reigns, among other things. Probably to work the "smart" fans, WCW had the random tandem of Scorpio and Bagwell win the belts at a taping of Saturday Night, broadcasting it the day before the PPV, and yes, the Nasty Boys still had the belts at the end of the World Wide tapings, so draw your own conclussion to the finish. The Nasties pose with the belts, and the Champs quickly clear them from the ring. Bagwell slaps a lip-lock on Hyatt to add insult to herpes. Bagwell and Sags start proper, and Sags quickly lays into him with rights. Sags with a snapmare and knee drop. Bagwell avoids a double team, and Scorpio comes in with a double body press, followed by a pair of clotheslines to clear the ring, again. Scorpio with a plancha as the Nasties spend time arguing with the front row "fans." Back inside, Bagwell and Scorpio take turns working the arm of Knobbs. Double shoulder tackle gets two. Whip to the ropes, and a Thesz Press gets two. Sags tags in, and gets worked over by Bagwell. Scorpio in, and a double hip toss and elbow gets two. Sags fights free with rights, but Scorpio quickly comes back with a twisting clothesline. Scorpio with a dropkick, drop toe hold, then back to the arm. Knobbs tags in, and a stun gun on Bagwell FINALLY turns the tide for the challengers, with Bagwell's limp body falling to the arena floor. Hyatt adds a slap to the face for payback of the kiss from earlier, and Sags takes him down with a back suplex.

Back in the ring, Knobbs takes him over with a suplex for two. Sags with a series of blows to the lower-back, followed by a slam and leg drop for two. Knobbs with a series of elbows across the back of the neck, then locks in a seated chinlock. Sags with an elbow drop for two. Whip to the corner, and Bagwell does the Hitman sell. Bagwell offers a comeback, but Knobbs with an illegal switch to drop an elbow for another two count. He drops a leg across the back of the head, then catches him off the ropes in a bearhug. Bagwell fights free with rights, but Knobbs goes to the eyes. Sags tags in, and comes off the ropes with a clothesline for two. Knobbs in, and Bagwell catches him with his head down. They do the slow crawl, and Scorpio gets the hot tag... but the referee didn't see it?! Bagwell takes care of both Nasties, and this time the ref' does see the tag. He unloads on Knobbs with boots, followed by a spinning heel kick. Sags comes in and gets some of the same. Scorpio to the top rope, and the moonsault gets two. Everyone gets involved, including Long and Hyatt, allowing shenanigans to break loose. Scorpio hits the 450 Splash, but Sags drops a boot across the head, and Knobbs covers for three at 14:41, regaining the gold they lost the previous "night." Turned into a decent formula tag match, but again, long and boring, with a barely into-it crowd, much like the entire show to this point.

Sting vs. Sid Vicious (w/ Col. Robert Parker):

Well, if this doesn't seem odd. It was a few years ago where this was the Main Event, and now they're fighting over who the Franchise of WCW is? God, dammit, that's easy. The guy who never left for the competition! I know it won't happen, but why didn't Barry Windham dress up as Sting here, too? Sid attacks from behind, and chokes away. Whip to the ropes, and Sting with a slam and clothesline, sending Sid to the apron. Sting with another clothesline, followed by a suplex, sending Sid out of the ring for a breather. Sting follows, and takes it into the crowd... Barry Windham... sorry, it doesn't happen, but you just want it to, because it's WCW, and only the stupid stuff gets a green light. Back inside, and Sting with a clothesline from the top for two. Parker hooks the ankle, allowing Sid to recover and plant Sting with a one-hand chokeslam. Time for this one to nose-dive into hell. Parker actually shows off better skills than Sid. It's been a few minutes, and I can't think of anyone interesting to comment about considering the action. Sid FINALLY does a real move, a side suplex, and Parker with more choking. To the outside, and Sid with a chair shot that wouldn't make a dent in a wet paper sack. Back inside, Sid continues working the back. Snapmare and lazy chinlock. It's like bad PBP in EWR Revenge when it comes to poor workers. Sting fights free, but runs into a powerslam. That's only good enough for two, so he torments us more with a bearhug. Sting fights free, but Sid quickly goes back to it... WHY?! How can someone suck this bad, and still get pushed so hard? Even Mabel worked harder than Sid. MABEL! The fat black guy in purple that was a laughing stock to the wrestling world, put more effort into justifying his push than Sid ever dreamed of. Sting fights free, again, and rams Sid's head into the canvas. Sting with a bulldog, followed by the Stinger Splash. Whip across the ring, and Sting hits a second. Sid no-sells it, and an ugly spot has Parker holding SID'S ankle down in a pin attempt. Sting takes advantage of the arguing over the miscommunication and rolls Sid up for three a 10:46. If I may borrow from my recap of the opener, "this sucked."

WCW International World Heavweight Championship Match:
"Ravishing" Rick Rude © vs. "Nature Boy" Ric Flair (w/ Fifi):

I don't know the deal over the two "World" Titles, and I don't care, except how can something be World AND International at the same time? Sounds like a stupid prank, if you ask me. As mentioned, Terry Taylor is at ringside acting as a special enforcer, because WCW's buyrate woes were BEGGING for more Terry Taylor. No idea who Fifi is, was, or what became of her. Flair attacks with chops, then takes Rude over with a back drop and suplex for a one count. Whip to the corner, and Flair follows in with a clothesline. Whip to the other side, and this time Rude nails him with a knee to the face. Rude to the top, and a knee drop misses. Flair with an atomic drop, leg sweep, and slaps on the Figure-Four, but Rude makes it to the ropes. Flair continues working the leg, wrapping it around the post and slapping on a grapevine. Rude escapes and sends Flair to the floor. Flair back in with a sunset flip for two. Whip to the ropes, and a body press from Flair has both men spill over the top, to the floor. Flair with more chops, and he comes off the top, TO THE FLOOR, with a forearm. Holy shit, he not only hit it, but hit it on the outside. Flair goes one more time... you moron, you're only allowed to hit it once a year, and sure enough, Rude hits him coming down. Rude grabs a chair, but Taylor prevents him from using it. JUSTICE? Back in the ring, Rude hangs Flair across the top rope and connects with a back breaker for two. Rude with a seated chinlock, and we're so bored, we pan the crowd. Rude lets go of the hold, and shows his stuff for Fifi. Who the hell is Fifi? Don't say the maid on "Flair For The Gold."

Rude to the top, and he hits a sledge to the head, but still sells the knee. That gets two, and it's back to the seated chinlock. Kudos to Rude keeping up the selling, but the rest of this match is so bleh. Whip to the corner, Flair lands on the apron (taking out the camera man), and Rude lays him out with a clothesline. Rude brings him back in with a suplex, heads to the top rope, and hits another blow to the head for a series of two counts. In the immortal words of El Gigante, Flair wants da' belt, so he won't just lay there like a jobber. Whip to the corner, and Rude with a clothesline for two. Rude slaps on a bearhug, which doesn't seem to make sense, since most of the work has been on the neck... I don't care, I just want to get through this as quickly as possible. Whip to the ropes, and Flair slaps on a sleeper hold. Rude rams back into the corner to force the break. He goes to the top, and much like Flair, he's only allowed TWO hits from the spot, so sure enough, Flair avoids it and connects with the Rude Awakening! It's only good for two, though. Whip to the ropes, and Flair with a back slide for two. Suplex, and Flair to the top rope... you know what happens. Whip to the corner, and the referee gets wiped out. Rude with a clothesline, but no count, so Terry Taylor comes in and gets wiped out, too! He's a wrestler though, so he should be up quickly. Flair ducks a shot with a foreign object and takes Rude down with a back suplex. He grabs the weapon (that the camera man moved away for some reason), and lays Rude out with it for two, with Taylor stopping the count, as the regular referee informs him of the cheating. It's a Disqualification victory for Rude at the 19:56. "Bullshit" chant, and rightly so. 20-minutes for a stupid Dusty Finish on a PPV?! Who booked this crap? Rude kidnaps Fifi, but Flair saves and locks on the Figure-Four on the ramp until officials (and Taylor) break it up.

Texas Death Match:
Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (WCW Heavyweight Champion) (w/ Harley Race):

For those who need the rules, here they are, word for word thanks to the folks at WCW. Only the part in parenthesis are mine...
  1. No Disqualification
  2. Falls Don't Count (in the final decision).
  3. :30 Rest Between Falls.
  4. Falls Anyplace in Building.
  5. Match continues until one man can't get to his feet before the 10 count.
Vader is the reigning Champion, but this is Non-Title, because it's not about titles. This was the conclussion to the mind-boggling stupid "Lost in Cleveland" vignettes, with Cactus suffering from amnesia, thinking he was a PIRATE, and, well, that's all that needs to be said, I think. Vader attacks on the ramp, and we get a slugfest. Vader removes the mask 16-seconds in, so he means business. Cactus ducks a clothesline, causing Vader to wrap his hand around the post. Cactus with a chair shot to the midsection, but Vader no-sells and we get another slugfest, won by Cactus. He grabs something from a fan and bashes Vader with it. ECW! ECW! ECW! Cactus with another chair, and bash it goes on the top of the head. We finally head into the ring. Cactus charges into a boot, and Vader lays him out with a clothesline. Vader pummels Cactus with his signature lefts and rights, making real contact on a few of them. Ouch. Cactus rolls to the outside, then brings Vader out with a suplex onto the runway! Cactus is bleeding around the left eye, confirming that beating a few moments ago. Cactus with a back suplex, followed by some stiff blows. Race walks up with a chair, but Cactus catches him coming. Cactus with another chair shot to the head, and one across the back. They tumble into a "grave" at the top of the entrance, with Cactus coming out, looking like a mess. Vader comes out, revealing a blade job. Cactus with a clothesline for three at 5:40, but with the "30 second" rest period, he has enough time to get up for the 10-count. Cactus uses a cactus prop to bash Vader upon getting to his feet, and oh snap, there's a table. Cactus with an elbow drop off the runway for another three count at 6:50, but Vader is a monster, so he's back up, again.

Cactus with rights, but Vader says fuck it and just starts pounding away on Cactus. Both are a bloody mess, something the executives in WCW sure weren't fond of, I'm sure. Cactus tosses the table into the ring, and the referee helps out in setting it up. Sure enough, Vader gets thrown into the table, and Cactus covers for two. Damn thing didn't break. Cactus bashes Vader in the head with the table, knocking him to the floor. He goes for a sunset flip, but Vader is too strong/fat. He drops Vader across the rail, but a somersault attempt just looks stupid, as Vader no-sells it in spectacular fashion. Vader throws Cactus back over the rail and hits him with the chair LEGS. The camera shows Race has a TAZER. Forshadowing! Back in the ring, Vader with a slam, followed by a moonsault for a three count at 11:59. Cactus gets up. Vader with rights and lefts, then tosses him to the runway. Jack jumps on Vader's back, and gets slammed down onto the ramp for his effort. Vader with a chair, and he does his best impression of Barry Bonds (1993 reference). He drops Cactus with a DDT on the chair. Trainers and EMT's come out to check on Cactus, but Vader shoves them away and covers for three at 14:54. Cactus gets up and hits a DDT onto the chair, but the 10-count starts after the "rest" period in a contrived situation, with both men down. The referee counts both down, even though Vader WASN'T PINNED. Cactus rolls near Race, and a Tazer to the ass puts him down for the 10-count, and Vader is up and awarded the match at 15:58. Cactus gives Race a DDT as a going home the loser prize. I don't know, maybe time has soured the reputation, but this seemed like a wild brawl with a terribly strung together end sequence. It's fun at times, and vicious as all hell, but not an outstanding classic many remember it as. Maybe it's something you had to watch earlier, when the concept of this kind of match was almost non-existant in wrestling, but now, I just wasn't feeling a 4-star classic. Again, it's good, but not "holy shit, this is awesome" good.

Final Thoughts: Outside of the main event, an incredibly lackluster Pay-Per-View. On paper, there's some stuff on here that should've been good. Steamboat/Orndorff, Flair/Rude, and Rhodes/Austin all should've been more than "boring piles of nothing", but yet all three matches were given 15-20 minutes to produce nothing but lame finishes. I didn't expect anything from the opener, the Tag Titles, or Sting/Sid (ESPECIALLY from Sid), but those three matches should've been a strong undercard, rather than a tedious chore to sit through. The only match worth looking at is the main event, but only if you love hardcore brawls, Cactus Jack, and/or Vader. Strongest recommendation to skip over this one.

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