Home Articles 2011 Trick or Treat, WCW Style

Trick or Treat, WCW Style

31 Oct

“Tis now the very witching time of night…” -William Shakespeare 

halloweenmainSometimes, on really rainy days, I miss WCW.  For all of the company’s faults (and it had enough of them to fill the entire state of Missouri), it did a lot of good for professional wrestling and I often look upon my childhood memories and see WCW in some of the most positive moments.

One concept I always look back on and smile when I think of it is Halloween Havoc.  WCW’s annual pay-per-view for the month of October, Halloween Havoc always had big matches, unique stipulations and a feeling of unpredictability to it that made it a must-watch every year.  Sadly, we have been without this event since 2000, but in the spirit of Halloween, I took a look back at every show and pick one moment from every show that deserves more attention in the history books, no matter if it is for good or bad reasons.

Fire up the time machine and put on your cheapest luchador mask.  It’s Trick or Treat time, WCW style! 

 


1989

Best Known for: The Thunderdome Cage Match main event.

What I Know it For: The Z-Man wins!

zmanAs a kid, one of the coolest guys to watch was “Flyin” Brian Pillman.  Back then, his moves were so innovative and awesome.  You couldn’t get enough.  Every now and then, he would form a tag team with another high flying superstar, Tom Zenk, otherwise known in WCW as “The Z-Man.”  As a child, your opinions of things are always jaded and eschewed.  However, even as a kid, I knew The Z-Man blew.  It’s funny getting older and seeing how he is an outcast in the business because of his departure from WWF and how much Kevin Nash makes fun of him in interviews.  It confirms that I was right when I wasn’t even old enough to tie my shoes.  That being said, on this night in 1989, Z-Man did the unthinkable: he actually beat Mike Rotunda!  Good on ya, Tom!  I hope your mortgage isn’t in default wherever you are.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Bruno Sammartino basically giving Vinnie Mac a swirlie and refereeing the main event; Watching Johnny Ace look like such a dolt.


1990

Best Known for: The Sting/Sid Vicious main event featuring the awful “Barry Windham as Sting” debacle.

What I Know it For: The Nasty Boys are in shape!

When I wrote my Battlebowl 1993 Retro Diary for this very website, one of the things I was most surprised to see was how much I enjoyed The Nasty Boys.  Not only were they entertaining in their antics and their unintentionally bad speaking abilities, they were pretty darn good workers.  Rewind 3 years later and WOW.  These guys were svelte considering that they would later be bastard sons of Bastion Booger.  Plus, they could keep up with the Steiner Brothers!  That’s not an easy feat.  Brian and Jerry, if you ever need a quick pick me up, watch this match.  It will make you think twice about eating that third box of Entemann’s.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Kevin Nash really not being able to wrestle as one of the Master Blasters; Brad Armstrong as The Candyman…oh wait, you didn’t hear me?  I said THE CANDYMAN.


1991

Best Known for: The terrible, terrible, terrible Chamber of Horrors match

What I Know it For: Rick Rude is awesome.

rickrudeRemember The Z-Man?  I know I just spoke about him a couple of paragraphs ago, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you had already forgotten.  Building up to Halloween Havoc 1991, it was being built up that The WCW Halloween Phantom would be taking on Mr. Zenk at the show.  Everyone had two mindsets about The Phantom: either it would be a giant bust of Gooker proportions or The Z-Man was winning again.  Cut to the show and The Phantom absolutely squashed Zenk in two mintues with an all-familiar neckbreaker.  Later in the show, Paul E. Dangerously introduced The Phantom as his next charge and BOOM…one of the most underrated debut promos commenced.  I was a giant Sting mark, but there was no denying Rick Rude was a badass.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Lex Luger and Ron Simmons putting on one of my favorite matches as a kid; The debut of a tag team that failed on a Ding Dongs level: The Creatures.


1992

Best Known for: Popping a huge buyrate with Jake Roberts vs Sting

What I Know it For: The Barbarian…WCW Title contender?

What better way to establish the first African-American World Champion, Ron Simmons, than have him feud with lifetime mid-carder The Barbarian? Yep…The Warlord’s teammate.  Bill Watts…YOU FOOL!

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: WCW being stupid and not gimmicking the wheel that determined the stipulations for Jake/Sting; Nikita Koloff’s last match.


1993

Best Known for: Vader and Cactus Jack beating the holy hell out of one another.

What I Know it For: The worst opening match in wrestling history.

icemanDon’t get me wrong.  Harlem Heat is one of the greatest tag teams in the past 20 years.  In 1993, they were still green, vest-wearing nobodies named Kane and Kole (it’s still better than coming out in chains as slaves…yes, that almost happened).  Tag them up with an even worse wrestler, The Equalizer, and you already have a gruesome threesome.  Look across the ring.  There’s Charlie “Bootleg Tatanka” Norris, “Mr. Gorbachev, Tear Down This Wall” Shockmaster and Ice Train, who is just way too unimportant and boring to even have a fake alias.  Apparently, it took several years for WCW to realize that the first match on the show is supposed to get the crowd hot for the rest of the show, not prepare them for downing an entire bottle of pills when they get home.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Watching this show with my grandmother while my mother was getting her tonsils taken out and her rightfully rolling her eyes at everything that occurred; British Bulldog failing to win a WCW championship for roughly the 637th time that year.

 

1994

Best Known for: The retirement cage match between Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan

What I Know it For: Two words: Pumpkin Piledriver

Something is wrong with me.  I have two Nasty Boys moments in this article.  Maybe it’s time I take a break.  On second thought…FUCK THAT!  IT’S A PILEDRIVER ON A PUMPKIN!  That pumpkin deserves to be in the Hall of Fame.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: A totally out-of-shape Honky Tonk Man trying to keep up with Johnny B. Badd; Steve Austin drowning in WCW and losing to Jim Duggan.


1995

Best Known for: The Giant falling to his death after his Monster Truck match with Hulk Hogan…and then wrestling the main event.

1995What I Know it For: Sabu being Sabu

Poor Jerry Lynn.  Not only was he saddled with the atrocious Mr. JL gimmick in WCW, he was also subjected to Crash Test Dummy status for Sabu.  I don’t think many people remember the brief tenure Sabu had in WCW.  Have you heard of the phrase “having a cup of coffee” somewhere, as in a short stay?  Sabu had a thimble of coffee with WCW.  Even his crazy ass uncle, The Sheik, came by to throw fire and generally scare children, if only to inspire Chuck Taylor.  It’s 16 years later and Sabu is still doing his thing.  Note to self: send Sabu a letter telling him to stop doing his thing.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Ric Flair unsurprisingly turning heel on Sting for the millionth time; the continual insistence WCW had on booking some guy named Kurasawa strongly over Road Warrior Hawk.


1996

Best Known for: Roddy Piper’s debut promo on Hulk Hogan.

What I Know it For: The attempted murder of Rey Mysterio by Dean Malenko

The Cruiserweight Title matches between Dean Malenko and Rey Mysterio in 1996 were some of the greatest matches ever to be seen at its time.  However, I am shocked nobody ever reported Dean Malenko to the authorities.  I mean, c’mon.  Before Rey Rey started eating his Flintstones Chewables, he weighed less than Melina’s baggage (it’s a close one, but the scales tip in Ms. Perez’s favor).  Taking advantage of someone who could be mistaken for a Little Rascal is too much.  This match was another classic, but it makes me hurt to watch it.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: The rumblings of a face turn for DDP; Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Chris Benoit with both their respective wives.

 

1997

Best Known for: Rey Mysterio and Eddie Guerrero stealing the show.

What I Know it For: The start of Goldberg’s first angle

1997Goldberg had just burst onto the scene and nobody was really sure if he was going to be a future superstar or another WCW flash in the pan.  When he interfered on behalf of Debra and Alex Wright (pause while everyone stands up and does the “Das Wunderkind” dance), everyone knew right away that the answer to that question wasn’t being answered that night.  It’s hard to think in retrospect that The Streak had to endure this awful NFL-inspired storyline, but it happened and Goldberg came out unscathed.  Thankfully, there wasn’t a limo involved.  If there had been, the word “unscathed” would never even dream of being used.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Roddy Piper and Hulk Hogan embarrassing themselves in a weird ass cage; Disco Inferno doing the job to Jacquelyn.

 

1998

Best Known for: Warrior vs Hogan: a worse sequel than Batman and Robin

What I Know it For: Rick Steiner is…John Cena?

I really don’t have any words for this.  How, in 1998, can Rick Steiner be booked this strongly?  Against The Giant, Buff Bagwell AND Scott Steiner?  Is Judy Bagwell that much of a good luck charm?  I…how…no words.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: WCW botching Bret Hart vs Sting on PPV on an epic level; Lodi getting a PPV payday and undoubtedly using it on heroin, cocaine and ecstasy in a 24 hour span.

 

1999

Best Known for: Vince Russo’s influence seeping through the pores of this show.

What I Know it For: Sid Vicious is a fountain

bloodysidI only recently became aware of the Muta Scale.  Basically, it compares every other blade job to a specific match in which The Great Muta had an actual crimson mask on a scale from 0.0 to 1.0.  I think Sid ranks a solid 0.8 here.  It may seem tame to some, but I think there are actual layers of blood here.  Sid takes a lot of flack, but give him credit.  The man could bleed successfully.  Who cares if his punches looked like an infant swatting at a bug?  Or the fact that he couldn’t speak properly?  Or using a squeegee as a weapon?  Or using softball as an excuse for missing a show?  The man knew how to do what every 12 year-old boy could do: cut himself with a razor.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Booker T using a plastic mummy to win the WCW Tag Titles; the simple fact that Vince Russo thought people wanted to see Brad Armstrong vs Berlyn on PPV.

 

2000

Best Known for: Teasing the return of pre-Crow Sting…and being the last Halloween Havoc ever.

What I Know it For: The DNA match

Here is an overly long, yet still Cliff Notes version, of this match…breath…David Flair was going to marry Stacy Keibler, but she was revealed to be pregnant.  Flair went nuts and started attacking people, accusing them.  He finally figured out it was Buff Bagwell, who vehemently denied it.  It all led to a DNA Match, which was essentially a First Blood Match.  This fact wasn’t revealed until the actual PPV.  Vince Russo originally was going to tease Ric Flair as the baby’s daddy, but then thought he himself should try to get the audience to believe that he could knock up Stacy Keibler.  The angle was never finished and I probably got most of that wrong, but I didn’t do any additional research beyond my initial memory of the event.  That’s what Tope is for: watching WCW 2000 and correcting everyone’s mistakes.

Watch it HERE

Runners-Up: Random whores like Midijah, Tygress and Major Gunns having prominent roles on the show; the main event was a 4 minute handicap match.

 

There you have it.  The moments some have unfortunately forgotten.  The instances that everyone tried to erase from their memories.  As long as you have me around, I promise that you will never forget the highs and lows that were WCW shows, especially Halloween Havoc.

Besides, I refuse to do this for Road Wild.

Chris Mullet

Chris Mullet

Been Watching Since: 1987

Favorite Wrestler, currently: Pentagon Jr

Favorite Wrestler of All Time: CM Punk

Least Favorite Wrestler, currently: Randy Orton                                 

                                       Least Favorite Wrestler of All Time: Jeff Jarrett

                                       Guilty Pleasure: Scott Steiner

                                       Catchphrase: "Hey! You! Stupid! Get me something to drink!"

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