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WCW Halloween Havoc 1999
by Scrooge McSuck
- It's everyone's favorite time-o-year here at DWS... the 4th Annual Halloween Havok! To be honest, I'm starting to run low on ideas. Remember Krusty posing for Trading Card Photo? That was more of an idea than I have right now. Yeah, there's a few Halloween Havoc PPV's still uncovered, and if the WWE Network would EVER ADD ANYTHING, then we could touch on several of the Halloween Episodes of Prime Time Wrestling. Enjoy!
- If being a Halloween Havoc PPV isn't enough to set the mood, this is the first PPV under the guidance of Vince Russo and Ed Ferarra on the WCW creative team. Yeah. Maybe I'm looking too into it when the Tagline for the PPV is "The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of..."
- Originally presented live on Pay-Per-View on October 24th, 1999, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Tony Schiavone and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan are at ringside to call all the nonsense, unless otherwise noted. BREAKING NEWS: Rey Mysterio is injured. The crowd works up a solid "weasel" chant, despite Heenan checking out at least 2 years earlier.
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match:
Disco Inferno © vs. Lash LeRoux:
I'm a mild fan of Disco Inferno, but with the loaded Cruiserweight Division, THIS is the best we can get? Was Lash LeRoux ever over? Whatever happened to him? Disco surprises him with a clothesline and stomps away in the corner. LeRoux gets a boot up on a charge attempt, but can't follow up and gets planted with a DDT. Lash comes back with a dropkick and scoop slam for two. Powerslam gets two. LeRoux with some goofy dancing before hitting a clothesline for two. Whip to the ropes, and Disco takes a casual bump through the ropes. Lash follows him out, only to get sent into the ring post. Back inside, Lash catches Disco off the second turnbuckle with a modified T-Bone Suplex for two. Sloppy hurricanrana gets two. Disco fights out of a chinlock and levels LeRoux with a clothesline. He dumps LeRoux, but he skins the cat back in. LeRoux blocks the Stunner and counters with a back breaker. Lash goes for a head scissors, but Disco drops him on his face and comes off the ropes with a swinging neck breaker for two. Disco with a Russian leg sweep and second rope elbow drop for two. Disco with a brutal piledriver, but it only gets two. Disco whifs on a clothesline and LeRoux counters with a modified sit-out Powerbomb. Sequence of counters ends with Disco hitting an inverted atomic drop, and the Last Dance (Stunner) finishes LeRoux at 7:37. **1/2 Acceptable opener. Nothing flashy, but the work was solid with a decent string of near falls at the end. You know, maybe this PPV won't be so bad, after all. Post-match, out of nowhere, Lash slams Disco onto the belt, because babyfaces are sore losers when they lose clean?
- Earlier today, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko, and Chris Benoit plan on leaving for the WWF. Or Shane Douglas' Revolution. I don't know.
WCW World Tag Team Championship Match:
Harlem Heat vs. Hugh Morrus & Brian Knobs (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Konnan & Billy Kidman:
This is Falls Count Anywhere, with two referees to watch over the mess. The titles are vacant due to Rey Mysterio's injury, but Konnan and Kidman still have the belts. I guess WCW didn't honor the Freebird Rule that week. Remember when WCW had Rey Mysterio unmask because he wasn't marketable with it? Weapon shots at the bell, so I guess we know what to expect. Who thought a three team Tornado Tag is a good idea for television? Jimmy Hart actually gets a cheap shot in... yes, that's really the only noteworthy moment from the early minutes. Its been nothing but sloppy brawling and excessive weapon blows. Harlem Heat and Knobs find themselves fighting in the stage props, probably trying to recreate the anti-classic they had at Uncensored '95. Harlem Heat with miscommunication, with Stevie Ray comically bumping through a pile of conveniently stacked (and empty) boxes. Back in the ring, Hugh Morrus puts Konnan through a table with the No Laughing Matter. Backstage, a Mummy prop is used and Booker T pins Knobs at 5:08... but then you hear a pinfall in the ring, because the production team forgot to cut back to the ringside camera. Kidman celebrates with one belt, Booker T celebrates with the other. The official decision: 10-time Tag Team Champions, Harlem Heat. 1/2* Shit match. Quarter of a star for Jimmy Hart working, another quarter of a star for the mummy prop. I guess they finally found the Ye-TAY.
- Ric Flair, David Flair, and Crowbar (not the wrestler) are WALKING!
- Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly come out, despite not being on Tony Schiavone's format sheet. Long winded promos on PPV? That's WCW for you. I guess Ric Flair did a spanking number on Kimberly, but to her, it was just warm-ups compared to what her and DDP do... intimiately, that is (thank you, Kimberly, I wouldn't have gotten the subtle reference without you having to point it out). Then we get masturbation innuendos, because someone with a mentality of an 11-year old is giving notes on what to say. The end game... a strap match (unfortunately, it's not a Yapappi Strap Match).
- Goldberg is looking for Sid. I'm looking for a wrestling match.
Perry Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero:
Saturn represents The Revolution (a stable as of match time only consists of Saturn and Shane Douglas), and Eddie Guerrero represents the Filthy Animals. Is this heel vs. heel? I could've sworn the Revolution were heels, and Eddie's pre-match promo was kind of heelish. There's Shades of Grey and then there's Confusing Mess. Saturn attacks before the bell. Criss-cross sequence ends with Eddie getting caught with the Stun Gun/Hot Shot. Whip to the ropes and Eddie comes back, clipping the knee. It's sad to hear Bobby Heenan try and work in his signature commentary spots, but without any sign of energy (in this case, who is the leader of the Filthy Animals, and names all of them in succession). Back in the ring, Saturn counters a hurricanrana with a Powerbomb. Springboard body press gets two. Saturn works the arm for a moment before slapping on a cross armbreaker. Eddie fights out of the corner, takes Saturn over with a snapmare, and grinds his foot across the face. I loved doing that spot in N64's No Mercy. A series of counters leads to a T-Bone Suplex from Saturn for two. Things slow down, with Saturn working the leg, then Eddie working the arm. Saturn escapes and connects with a Lionsault for two. He goes for it again, but Eddie gets the knees up. Eddie with a brain buster, but the Frog Splash misses. Saturn tries another springboard, but Eddie counters mid-air with a dropkick. Saturn ends up crotching Eddie along the turnbuckle and takes him down with belly-to-belly suplex for two. Eddie fights out of another high risk maneuver and counters with a Super-Plex. Here comes Ric Flair, because why not? He whacks Eddie with the Crowbar, drawing a Disqualification at 11:14. Why give them this much time (compared to everything else) and do the lamest finish of the night (so far)? ** Decent match at times, but the crowd nearly turned on it when they were laying around, randomly turning it into a ground submission style match. They at least had the sense to react to the backlash and pick up the pace.
- Backstage, Goldberg pounds away on Sid Vicious, who either bladed or opened up a packet of ketchup over his hair.
- Buff Bagwell comes out for ANOTHER talky-segment, "unannounced" according to Tony Schiavone. Buff shoots about "the two new writers from up north" that are allegedly there to "save WCW" (more like kill). Jeff Jarrett, fresh off dropping the WWF Intercontinental Championship a week earlier, runs out for a ringside brawl. Lex Luger runs out with the guitar and accidentally on purpose bashes Buff with the guitar, and it doesn't break.
Brad Armstrong vs. Berlyn (w/ The Bodyguard):
What the hell is Brad Armstrong doing on a WCW PPV in 1999!? Berlyn is a repackaged gothic looking Alex Wright. His unnamed Bodyguard would soon go by the name "The Wall. I guess this will be a quick squash for the freshly repackaged Berlyn. Lockup into the corner, and Berlyn gives a cheap right hand. Berlyn flips his way out of a wristlock. Armstrong with an arm drag and dropkick for two. He grabs a headlock, but Berlyn quickly counters with a twisting back suplex. Berlyn counters a leap frog with a Powerbomb for a two count. Whip to the ropes and Berlyn connects with a spinning heel kick. Berlyn arrogantly covers and gets rolled up for two. Berlyn with a snap suplex into a cover for two. Criss-cross, and Armstrong with a body press for two. Berlyn chokes away. Armstrong hooks the ropes to avoid the Rude Awakening, and covers Berlyn... FOR THREE at 4:24!? Armstrong takes a post-match beating, so his win is cheap, and Berlyn looks like a chump jobbing in comically bad style. 1/2* I'm all for giving undercard guys some PPV exposure but Brad Armstrong has no business going over any pushed talent at this point of his career.
WCW Television Championship Match:
Chris Benoit © vs. Rick Steiner:
You know it's time for a Chris Benoit match on the WWE Network, because the chapter breaks don't exist for him. I guess the only difference between face and heel Rick Steiner is that he no longer wears the amatuer headgear. Steiner immediately takes a breather after the bell rings. Steiner finally makes first contact, pounding away. Whip to the ropes and Steiner hits a stiff clothesline, followed by his signature powerslam for a two count. Benoit avoids an elbow drop and unloads with chops. He takes Steiner off the top with a Super-Plex and continues to dish out the punishment. He goes for the Crossface, but Steiner bails. Benoit quickly follows with a suicide dive. Steiner turns the tide, whipping Benoit into the ring steps. Back in the ring, Benoit sends Steiner from corner to corner and almost whiffs on a dropkick. Steiner uses the referee as a shield to slip in a cheap low blow. He slaps on the oddest looking step-over toe hold I've ever seen. The crowd is mostly dead at this point. They go for a Powerbomb and counter spot, but Benoit gets too much lift, and just crashes hard in an ugly fuck up. Benoit with a small package for two as I hope this match just ends soon. Steiner with a german suplex for two. Loud "boring" chant as the match keeps dragging. Benoit comes back with a DDT and diving shoulder tackle. Whip to the corner, and it's time for the rolling Germans for two. We get a blant referee bump. Benoit avoids a chair shot and hits a T-Bone Suplex (popular move tonight). He goes to the top, and the Swandive Headbutt meets nothing but chair. That wasn't obvious. Here comes Dean Malenko, and surprisingly (not) hits Benoit with a chair shot almost as weak as Lance Storm. Steiner covers for the TV Title at 12:41. *1/2 Way below standards and expectations. Rick Steiner was practically worthless in the ring, and Benoit was definitely not as crisp as he usually is. Just a poorly constructed effort.
Bret "Hitman" Hart vs. The Total Package (w/ Elizabeth):
I guess Bret Hart is selling a knee injury. Despite being referenced often as Lex Luger, he's officially being rebranded simply as "The Total Package." Same shit, different name. You'd think he's playing his Narcissist role, with all the pre-match posing he does. Bret doesn't waste any time going on the attack, sending Luger to the floor. He dominates with mostly pounding blows. Back to the floor again, with so little of note taking place. Elizabeth attacks from behind, but it doesn't help turn the tide. Bret with a pair of leg drops. Luger finally mounts some offense and drops a series of elbows for a two count. Bret shrugs it of and takes Luger down with a Russian leg sweep for two. Inverted atomic drop and clothesline connects. Back breaker and second rope elbow drop gets two. Luger thumbs the eyes to escape a Sharpshooter. They do a sloppy spill over the top rope, bringing back memories of the finish to the 1994 Royal Rumble. Bret's selling the leg, so we know what to expect. Luger pounds the knee and slaps on a single-leg crab for the submission at 7:49. That sucked. 1/2* Slugfest, Five Moves of Doom, Luger beats the crap out of the leg. There's the crib-notes version of what happened during this match.
- In one of those "what the hell is the point of this" segments, Madusa is trotted out in a bikini to shill WCW's new Nitro Cologne, leading to her "shooting" about this is "Bullshit" and dumps the cologne on Bobby Heenan. Really, not to sound like a dick bag, but when you want to trot out eye candy, you choose MADUSA? Second segment that I've paid attention to referencing "those two guys from New York." WCW was fucked the second they hired them.
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match:
Sting © vs. Hulk Hogan:
ReMatch from Fall Brawl, which featured the head scratching decision of turning Sting heel. The only problem is nobody bought into it because it's Sting and there was never any reason or demands for such a turn to be done. Hogan no-shows his entrance, and after a long delay, they bring out Sting, because "it's standard for the challenger to come out first", except they almost never followed that unwritten law. Hogan finally shows up about four hours later, in his street clothes, lays down, and Sting covers to retain his Championship. Hopefully the Hogan fans in attendance aren't disappointed, because God knows, there's nothing cheaper than promising something and putting bullshit like this on the show. I wasn't a big fan of Hogan at the time, but I'm sure some kids wanted to see him wrestle, and got THIS. Not only did he not WRESTLE, he didn't even work. He just shows up, lays down, and walks away. What a fucking joke. As bad as WWF/E has ever been and could ever get, it will never be as bad as what WCW was capable of producing. No rating for the match, but the bottom of the barrel in terms of sleazy bait-and-switch business tactics.
WCW United States Championship Match:
Sid Vicious © vs. Goldberg:
I totally forgot about Sid's "Millennium Man" gimmick. His theme music is a total rip-off of his WWF Sid Justice theme music, by the way. He's also allegedly undefeated, having won the US Title a month earlier from Chris Benoit at Fall Brawl. Goldberg's entrance lasts forever, and then he's randomly attacked by Scott Hall and Kevin Nash. Sid attacks from behind when the dust settles and sends Goldberg into the security rail. Goldberg quickly retaliates and slams Sid across the rail. Goldberg pounds away, re-opening Sid's cut. They finally enter the ring, and Sid makes the Superman Comeback. He slaps on the Camel Clutch, but Goldberg fights out and drops Sid with an electric chair drop. Random thought: Has Sid ever done a blade job before this? Goldberg dominates, but Sid won't stay down. Why are the building up one of their top heels with a babyface formula match? Sid keeps fighting back, but Goldberg is too powerful. Then the referee decides Sid can't continue and calls for the bel at 7:12, making Goldberg the NEW U.S. Champion. 1/2* Match was almost entirely punching and kicking, and the bat-shit confusing way of booking a strong heel as a brave babyface makes absolutely no sense. Throw in as cop-out finish, and it's Russo-Riffic.
- Sting comes out to issue an Open Challenge to anyone in the dressing room. Oh, God...
Non-Yapappi Strap Match: Ric Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly):
Is this show over yet?! They stall for a while to get things started. DDP starts with rights, and Flair quickly responds with blows of his own. His lashes DDP a few times and sends him into the ring post. They work their way up the aisle, with Flair using the strap to his advantage. They brawl into the crowd as I wonder why they need to do four corner touches as the finish, and then realized matches like this and cage matches with escape only were designed for people to do jobs without losing cred of taking pinfall losses. Flair forces himself on Kimberly, opening the door for a threesome... or a methodical beating from DDP. Flair does a blade job, because why the fuck not? Maybe he felt like his performance would be upstaged by Sid due to his manly blade job from earlier in the show. Stuff happens, and the show is swirling down the drain so fast I didn't notice that the commentary died for a minute or so due to technical difficulties. The entire match up to this point, almost 10-minutes in, has been brawling at ringside and strap shots. Flair actually dares work the leg for a few seconds, but this crowd is long lost. He slaps on the Figure-Four, and I don't even know what the rules are for this turkey. DDP's over-selling is just embarrassing to watch. DDP goes low in a very unconventional style. DDP hits the Diamond Cutter, and it gets three... I think... at 12:49. Charles Robinson stopped the count, but still called for the bell. David Flair runs out with Crowbar in hand, and gets taken out by KIMBERLY. DUD Long, dull, and pointless. It's shocking that someone like Flair would work such a poor match, and DDP would give so little effort that he literally did nothing the entire match.
- Ric Flair is taken to an Ambulance, and it's hijacked by the Filthy Animals. I need some Aleve to cure the headache I'm getting from watching this abomination of a PPV.
Impromptu, Unsanctioned Match:
Sting (World Champion) vs. Goldberg (US Champion):
Instead of building up a match between these two on television, they just tack it onto a steaming pile of shit PPV that has already backed out on delivering the promised Main Event. Tony Schiavone mentions before the bell that no titles will be defended here, but it's clearly for the Title... or is it? Goldberg pounds away and hits a sloppy clothesline. Sting takes control and comes off the top with a splash for two. Sting with a Spear, but Goldberg no-sells and hits a roundhouse kick that ended Bret Hart's career. Sting avoid a charge and hits three Stinger Splashes. Whip to the ropes, Goldberg ducks a clothesline, hits the Spear, and finishes Sting with the Jackhammer at 3:08. Goldberg is awarded, announced, and celebrates with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship afterwards. 1/2* Standard "dark match" formula of rushed delivery, except with a Championship allegedly on the line.
Just in case you couldn't get enough swerves, not only was the match later nullified the next night on Monday Night because no one officially signed for the match to be for the Championship (another rule that comes and goes depending on the whims of Russo or whoever is in charge), but that Sting is no longer the World Champion, either. So they screw-job finished a PPV that ended with a head-scratching finish with a match that was never even advertised as taking place!
Final Thoughts: I can honestly say I have a hard time thinking of anything positive that came out of this show. There's the bad booking, including screwing paying fans out of the advertised main event, and then delivered an impromptu "make it up to you" match that has a shit finish that kills trust in the fans. There's the poor choices of character direction, like putting Sid over as a plucky face, despite being a heel who not only had a size advantage, but abused everyone on the roster as part of his arrogant Millennium Man gimmick. Then there's the uncharacteristically AWFUL work from guys like Chris Benoit and Ric Flair, and they still worked harder than each of their opponents. The several references and shoots regarding the arrival of the (then unnamed) Russo and Ferrara was ego-stroking at it's lowest form. There's just nothing to say that could be considered a compliment. This might be the worst WCW PPV, ever, from every possible department. I could probably find more enjoyment out of a random show from Juggalo Championship Wrestling. Yeah, I went there.
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