Written By: Matt Peddycord
Halloween Havoc ’90
October 27, 1990
With my Turner Home Entertainment version, it means there’s some matches edited out, so just to show you that you aren’t missing anything, here’s what you missed! Thank you, ProWrestlingHistory.com!
Terry Taylor pinned Bill Irwin (11:47).
Brad Armstrong pinned JW Storm (5:04).
Master Blasters Blade & Steel beat Tracey Smothers & Steve Armstrong (7:17) when Blade pinned Armstrong.
Junkyard Dog pinned Moondog Rex (3:15).
Your hosts are JR & Paul E. Dangerously!
Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich vs. Midnight Express (w/Jim Cornette)
The Midnights get a HUGE face reaction from the Chicago crowd. Can I just say that I love the Midnight Express? JR & Paul E explain that the Freebirds injured Gibson’s knee a week earlier and put him out of action, which explains why Tommy Rich is teaming with Morton here. Eaton and Morton kick things off which is just how it should be. Eaton takes Morton to the corner twice and makes a clean break and brings Morton out with a hip-toss both times. On the third try, Eaton clean breaks and then pops Morton in the mouth. Morton reverses a cross-corner whip but then charges into an elbow. Eaton gets caught coming off the top rope and then they do a criss-cross with Morton getting the better end of that. Morton nails Eaton with a headscissors to send him walking. Eaton back in, makes a blind tag to Lane off a whip and they do what they innovated; a double-team move. Lane guillotines Morton and follows up with a slingshot clothesline. Eaton tags in and they give Morton a drop-toe hold/elbow drop combo. Cover, 1, 2, NO! Morton counters a whip into the corner, but then runs shoulder-first right into the steel ringpost. I think the camera misses a tag between the Midnights. Eaton and Cornette do a number on Morton who is out on the floor while the ref is busy with Rich and Lane. Back in, Morton comes back with a sunset flip but Cornette gets up on the apron to avoid the pinfall! In the meantime, Eaton makes it look easy by waltzing in and dropping an elbow on Morton. Lane tosses Morton out to the floor to set up a ROCKET LAUNCHER on the rampway! WHAT YOU GONNA DO, MORTON?! The crowd eats this up like manna from Heaven. Lane does the cabbage patch dance before he pins Morton! Hahaha! Jackknife rollup, 1, 2, NO! Eaton comes in on a blind tag off a Morton rollup attempt and drops him with a screwed-up neckbreaker. If you want to be extra nice, you could say it looked like a Diamond Cutter! Eaton connects with the awesome slingshot backbreaker! Cover, 1, 2, NO! Rich tries to get the crowd to cheer on Morton to make a tag but that’s just not going to happen in Chicago, Tommy. Lane tags and draws Rich in so that he can toss Morton over the top rope which was illegal until the nWo came, making it necessary for WCW to break ALL the rules. Eaton beats on Morton on the floor, but then runs right into the ringpost. Morton follows up with a headscissors on the floor but then takes a swift kick in the gut by Cornette. Back in, Morton gets an inside cradle on Lane for two. Eaton tags in and connects with the ALABAMA JAM! Instead of covering Morton like he should have, Eaton demands the ref to go for the ten-count. That’s clue #1 on who is going to win this match. Morton is up at eight but then takes some kicks in the corner from Lane. Morton no-sells some punches and fires back at Lane, but then gets cut off from his corner. Eaton tags in and they go for another ROCKET LAUNCHER, but Morton gets his knees up! HOT TAG TO WILDFIRE! He goes nuts on the Midnights and hits the THESZ PRESS on Lane, but Eaton breaks up the pin at two. Rich goes up top but then gets nailed in the back by Cornette and his trusty racket! The Southern Boys come down dressed up as Jim Cornette wannabes with green plastic rackets. Armstrong pulls Cornette off the apron as Eaton gets dumped out on the rampway by Morton. Somehow Cornette’s racket is in the ring and as the ref is paying attention to Eaton, Rich nails Lane in the head with it. Rich covers Lane for the 3! (14:01) This would ultimately be the end of the Midnight Express as we knew it. After this, Lane and Cornette both leave the NWA to go and start Smoky Mountain Wrestling. As far as the match goes, minus all the unnecessary shenanigans in the finish and you’ve got some classic Midnight Express wrestling. ***½
Oh man! It’s the Phantom of the Opera, Tony Schiavone! He’s standing by with the World Champion, Sting! He’s got a lot on his mind right now with everything going on with Sid and the Black Scorpion! Sting screws up his big insult on Sid by saying, “Don’t let your butt override your youknowwhat!” Sting puts over Sid as his biggest challenge yet. Just as Tony mentions the Black Scorpion, Ole Ander-I mean, a man in a black cloak and hood shows up behind Sting. Actually, that’s supposed to be the Black Scorpion. He wants to show Sting what his black magic is capable of doing, so he grabs a crew member and drags her onto this David Copperfield-like disappearing act stage that has been there all night. He lifts up a curtain which is Sting’s cue to run over to the rescue, but for some reason the other crew members are holding him back. As soon as Sting breaks free to go over to the curtain, it drops to show that no one is there! Some pyro goes off to where Sting and Tony were standing at before and the Black Scorpion and the crew girl run out! What a horrible trick! The crew girl breaks free and jumps into Sting’s arms as the Black Scorpion runs away. That was VERY bad, WCW.
The Renegade Warriors vs. The Fabulous Freebirds (w/Little Richard Marley)
Little Richard comes down dressed up in Rock n Roll Express gear to mock Robert Gibson. I hope they didn’t really injure the guy AND THEN take his pants! Little Richard looks like Norman Smiley, only gayer if that’s possible. While we’re on the subject, the Freebirds also look pretty gay tonight. Hayes not only has his hair colored pink, but he’s got on some gold-sequined pants. Garvin is just about bad with those tights, but at least his hair color isn’t pink. Anyways, the Renegade Warriors are the suckier brothers of Jay Youngblood; Chris and Mark. This match was signed due to the Freebirds attacking some nobody named Allan Iron Eagle who is some buddy of the Youngbloods. Go figure. The Freebirds stall at the start of the bell which is pretty much the best thing they can do in a match. Mark Youngblood takes it to both Freebirds once they get started. Chris comes off the top for a big clothesline to put the Freebirds out on the floor to regroup. Meanwhile, JR gets pissed at Dangerously for wondering why he takes Gibson’s injury so personal. Did he and Heyman EVER like each other? Back in, Hayes takes a hip-toss and goes back to killing time. Garvin tags in and now HE stalls around! The bell rang three minutes ago and I’ve seen maybe 30 seconds of wrestling! Once Chris Youngblood makes contact with Garvin, he goes to a headlock. Garvin escapes but gets rolled up for two. Chris gets shot right into the Freebirds corner where Hayes sneaks in a quick left jab. Garvin delivers a back suplex and then draws Mark in so that he can toss Chris over the top rope. Hayes and Little Richard beat on Chris before Mark comes by to help out. Back in, Garvin hooks on a chinlock. Chris fights up but then gets a knee buried in his gut as Garvin tags Hayes. He hits a fist drop and returns to the chinlock. Chris fights out again but Hayes makes a blind tag to bring in Garvin. The Freebirds cheat a little bit and control Chris Youngblood for a good while. They don’t really do anything of note. Hayes works the chinlock for WAY too long as the crowd chants DDT. That means they want ACTION, guys! Chris Youngblood fights out of the chinlock and counters the DDT, but can’t make the tag to his brother. Garvin tosses Chris out to the floor again for Hayes to nail him with the left jab. Back in, Hayes tags in and delivers an elbow drop for two. Hayes goes right back to the chinlock to bore EVERYONE some more. Chris elbows out and hits a crossbody for two. Hayes grabs the chinlock to take back control. He goes up to the top and gets slammed off to set up the silent hot tag to Mark Youngblood. Literally. It got no reaction whatsoever. He chops away on both Freebirds to set up stereo ten-count corner punches. For some reason, Little Richard is up on the apron and he gets tossed into the ring by Chris. Meanwhile, Mark gets a rollup off the ropes on Garvin which allows Hayes to pop in with the DDT. Garvin covers and thank God, it’s over. (12:38) According to other sources, the match time was actually more like 18 minutes so that means my version is missing about six minutes. Whoever edited this, I want to personally thank you. CRAP
Tony stands by with ¾ of the Four Horsemen in Sid, Flair and Arn. Where’s Barry Windham you ask? You’ll see what he’s up to later on in the show. Arn and Flair say they will take the tag titles from Doom and Sid rules the world. FOUR HORSEMEN FOREVER!
NWA U.S. Tag Team Champions Rick & Scott Steiner vs. The Nasty Boys
This thing breaks down IMMEDIATELY! While the ref is trying is in the ring with Rick and Knobbs, Sags nails Scott in the head with a steel chair down on the floor! These two go in the ring while Rick and Knobbs go out to the floor. This isn’t a No-DQ match, people. This is just nuts. Scott flips out of a superplex and jumps up at Sags for a super belly-to-belly suplex! Scott covers, but Knobbs breaks it up at two. Finally, we get some order which leaves us with Scott and Sags. The story to set up the match goes as follows: the Nasty Boys come into WCW and beat the ever-living crap out of the beloved Steiner Brothers so therefore, they get a US tag title shot. Sags ducks low off a whip to set up the tiger driver. The Steiners hit the double-team top-rope bulldog on Sags! Scott covers but Knobbs comes in to break up the pinfall with a steel chair, but the ref never saw it. Sags slides out as Knobbs covers for a near-fall. Knobbs begins to work on Scott’s lower back. Sags tags in and delivers a pumphandle slam and then a side suplex for two. Knobbs tags in again and applies an abdominal stretch. Rick comes in and breaks up the hold to allow another no-tag switcheroo by the Nasties. Sags grabs a bearhug, but Scott escapes with his belly-to-belly suplex. Knobbs comes in to cut off Scott from tagging Rick, so he takes a Steinerline. Rick tries another but Knobbs ducks, sending Rick crashing out to the floor. Inside the ring, the Nasties deliver a SPIKE PILEDRIVER to Scott! Sags covers, but Knobbs can’t be in the ring at the same time. While the ref is busy trying to get Knobbs out of the ring, Rick comes in and nails Sags in the back with a steel chair for a little payback. Sags makes the tag to Knobbs and he comes in to apply some more bearhug. He backs Scott into the corner, but then runs into a boot. Knobbs wisely tags in Sags and then holds on to Scott so he can’t make it the tag. This is smart tag-team wrestling that you didn’t see out of the Nasties in later years. Somehow, Sags has his forehead lacerated from that chairshot from Rick earlier, but he hit him in the BACK of the head? Sags applies a Boston crab which is a very smart move. Paul E is intrigued that Sags is busted wide open and it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. There are SO many signs to what he would be famous for in years to come on this commentary. Scott flips out of the Boston crab, but the Nasties prevent the tag once again. Knobbs applies a STEINER RECLIN-I mean, camel clutch to continue working on the back. Scott finally makes his comeback when Knobbs misses a double-team corner charge and Sags gets dropped with a Steinerline. Rick gets the long-awaited tag and destroys the Nasties with Steinerlines. He hits a belly-to-belly suplex on Knobbs for two. Scott comes in and then gets dumped to the floor by Sags, which leaves Rick all by himself with the Nasties. He gets dumped as well, but once the Nasties turn their backs on him, he leaps up to the top for double-Steinerlines! Scott yanks Sags out off a whip and slams his head into the ringpost. Meanwhile in the ring, Rick drops Knobbs with a Steinerline to set up the FRANKENSTEINER! It’s over. (12:27) I miss the days when your tag teams are just as over as your singles stars. Anyways, the match started fast and furious with some great action but then it died down tremendously once the Nasties took control. The Nasties used basic tag-team skills and almost took the straps, but the Steiners were just a little smarter at the tag team game. For some reason, WCW didn’t sign the Nasties to a full contract, so the WWF took them right in and gave them the tag belts at WrestleMania six months later! After the match, the Nasties attack the Steiners from behind as they celebrate with their belts. Rick even gets double-whipped into the steel ringpost! **¾
Tony gets a word with Scott Steiner but then he gets attacked from behind AGAIN as the Nasties are dressed up as concession workers! Surely that was like after the next edited-out match because there is NO way that could have gone down in real time.
NWA World Tag Team Champions Doom (w/Teddy Long) vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson
JR puts Arn over as the greatest tag-team wrestler in the world at that time. He starts out against Ron Simmons, which of course, JR can’t help but review his football achievements. This match is the simple formula of power and speed vs. technique and experience. Simmons overpowers Arn to start which was expected. Flair nails Simmons in the back off a whip to set up a suplex for Arn, but Simmons no-sells and delivers a powerslam for the first near-fall of the match. Reed comes in to allow the Horsemen double-team in the corner, but Simmons explodes out with a double-clothesline. Flair rolls out and chases Teddy Long into the ring. Flair grabs him, so Long retaliates with a slap! Why doesn’t Teddy have balls like that now? Once things slow down, Reed and Flair tag in to go at it. Flair starts up the mind games immediately and then pounds on Reed into the corner. Heyman makes a good point by mentioning that Flair isn’t out of his element in a tag-team situation, but that he is just returning to his roots. Reed fights out and presses Flair. Arn runs in and gets pressed by Simmons while Reed corner-punches on Flair. Reed delivers a hiptoss and a clothesline to get Flair to start begging for mercy. By begging for mercy, I mean he baits Reed in so he can thumb him in the eye. Reed no-sells a chop and returns the favor many times over with some nice left jabs. Flair flops to the mat as he reaches out for a tag from Arn. Flair rolls away from Arn and does his Flair flip out of the corner and runs right into Simmons. Flair gets back up on the elevated runway and chops at Simmons, who no-sells and chases Flair towards the backstage area. Simmons decks him and tosses Flair back into the ring. Arn tags in and takes a high knee from Reed. Simmons tags in to give Arn a double-clothesline. Uh oh, Simmons ducks low off a whip and that changes the whole complexion of the match. While Reed is with the ref, Arn hooks on a Boston crab while Flair comes off the ropes to deliver a rolling knee drop! WOO! The Horsemen tag in and out, working on Simmons’ back. All that leads to an Arn Anderson spinebuster, which is DEATH in the NWA. You know, the one Triple H does now, but cooler. Arn covers for 1, 2, NO! Simmons PRESSES Arn off of him! Since working the back didn’t seem to get the job done, Flair tags in and changes strategy: destroy the knee. Flair hits a shin breaker and tags Arn back into the ring. Arn grinds on the knee and tags Flair in, who delivers a back suplex and then hooks on the FIGURE-FOUR! Arn pulls on Flair’s arms to get more leverage, which of course the ref doesn’t see at all! Reed comes in to let the ref know what’s going on, so Arn seizes the moment and jumps in the ring to stomp on Simmons’ knee while still in the hold! There’s nothing like some tag-team Horsemen cheating. It’s such a lost art these days. What I don’t understand is how Arn can work as a road agent for WWE and the tag-division still SUCK. Simmons is in the FIGURE-FOUR for over a minute when he finally is able to reverse the hold. Flair quickly tags in Arn who comes in and goes right back after the leg. Simmons tries to fight back, but then he whiffs on a dropkick. Arn covers for 1, 2, NO! Arn tries for a pin attempt by locking on a double-knuckle lock, but still can’t get the three. He does the pump splash spot, but of course Simmons gets the knees up. Arn is still able to regroup and take Simmons back to his corner to tag in Flair. Simmons stands tall when Flair tries a shoulderblock to send him down, but Flair is still able to cut off the tag and bring in Arn. Simmons gets tossed, but their plan backfires as Flair gets his head smashed into the guardrail. Back in, Simmons tries a sunset flip but Arn is able to tag in Flair before he goes down for the pin attempt. This makes Flair the legal man and not Arn. Genius! WOO! However, Simmons ducks a back elbow and nails Flair with a clothesline. Arn gets tagged in quickly to prevent another Doom tag attempt. This time, it’s Arn making the mistake by ducking low off a whip. He takes a face slam to set up a kinda hot tag to Reed! He’s goes all HOUSE-A-FIRE on the Horsemen. Reed and Flair go out to the floor while Arn and Simmons are in the ring. Reed takes Flair to the guard rail while Arn sets up a piledriver in the ring. Reed sees it coming and quickly climbs to the top rope and delivers a flying shoulderblock to Arn! He covers Arn for 1, 2, NO! Flair breaks up the pin. Now Simmons and Flair go out to the floor while Arn hits the DDT out of nowhere! Simmons is there to stop the count. Simmons covers Arn for 1, 2, NO! They all end up out on the floor for the double-countout finish. (18:20) This was a very good formula tag-match up until the end. It reminded me of the awesome Four Horsemen/LOD wars of the late ’80s. They finished up this little feud at Starrcade ’90 with Windham replacing Flair because he was too busy being “The Black Scorpion” in an even better match with no real finish. Oops, hope I didn’t ruin anything for anyone. ***
NWA U.S. Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Stan “The Lariat” Hansen
Haha, Hansen cracks me up big time. He comes out before his music plays and starts beating up the Halloween Havoc set with his bullrope and cowbell. Onto Luger, it’s amazing how they waited until 1991 for the first time to put the World title on him. His third reign as US Champion is the longest ever in the title’s history, as he comes into this match as US champion for seventeen months and five days. Hansen tries to get the upper-hand on Luger to start, but he puts Hansen down with a back elbow to send him rolling out to the floor stalling along with the crowd. Hansen comes back in and brawls with Luger out to the floor. Back in, Luger takes back over with a slam. Hansen comes back with a knee to the face. Luger fights off a headlock and then avoids a corner charge from Hansen that sends him crashing out onto the floor. They brawl around ringside and then return to the ring. Luger takes Hansen down with a hiptoss and delivers an elbow drop for 1, 2, NO! Hansen headbutts Luger in the abdominal region to come back and then nails a snap suplex. Hansen hits an elbow drop for 1, 2, NO! Now Hansen delivers a slam and a knee drop for 1, 2, NO! Luger tries to mount some offense by trading blows with Hansen, but ultimately goes down to a bulldog for 1, 2, NO! Luger tries to pound on Hansen once more by taking him to the corner, but Hansen slams him to the mat for 1, 2, NO! Hansen goes to the middle rope for an elbow drop, but Luger rolls out of harm’s way. HERE COMES LUGER! Luger sets up several near-falls with a dropkick, a slam and a suplex. Hansen cuts off Luger’s momentum by reversing a whip into the corner and following in with a clothesline. Hansen disregards the referee’s warning to get out of the corner by giving him a back elbow! Take that, you skinny, pathetic authority figure! Hansen turns his back on Luger to motion to the crowd that he’s going for the LARIAT, so Luger runs out of the corner and drops Hansen with a clothesline! All of a sudden, Hansen’s protégé, “Dangerous” Dan Spivey is shown at ringside. He tosses Hansen’s cowbell to him, then returns to the dressing room. Luger backdrops Hansen as he goes for the knockout blow. As he tries for another clothesline, Hansen pops him with the LARIAT! He didn’t need to cheat after all, as Hansen covers Luger for the three-count to win the US title. (9:30) Definitely not a pretty match by any means, but for the most part it kept me entertained. I’m not sure why they necessarily bothered with Hansen enough to have him go over their #2 face, but whatever. Luger beats Hansen in a re-match at Starrcade and everything goes back to the way it was before. *½
NWA World Champion Sting vs. Sid Vicious
I’ve seen this match so many times; I’m almost not looking forward to reviewing it. If you’ve seen it on the “Best of Halloween Havoc” release that WCW put out on VHS many years ago, you’ve pretty much seen the whole match. The announcers determine the outcome of the match in Sid’s favor because of the Black Scorpion’s effect on Sting, not necessarily due to the fact he’s wrestling Sid. Sting turns his back on Sid and gets nailed from behind. Sid misses a clothesline off a whip, but catches Sting out of a crossbody and delivers a backbreaker which Sting no-sells the move. Sting trips him up and tries for the figure-four, but Sid goes to the ropes and rolls out of the ring. Back in, Sid misses a clothesline and gets dumped out to the floor. Sting follows him out and slams his head into the guardrail. Sid goes to the eyes, but then gets shoved shoulder-first into the ringpost. Back in again, Sid powers out of an arm-ringer but then misses a charge in the corner. Sting now goes to an armbar, but Sid kicks out of it. Sid takes Sting down with a headlock, but Sting counters it into the headscissors. Sid KIPS UP out of it and drops Sting with a clothesline. Sid chokes Sting all around the ring but then goes down to a sunset flip for 1, 2, NO! Sid gets right back up with another clothesline for 1, 2, NO! Sid locks on a nerve hold, but Sting punches out. Sid reverses a whip and puts Sting down with a powerslam for 1, 2, NO! Sid returns to choking Sting. Sting reverses a cross-corner whip and tries the Stinger Splash, but Sid moves out of the way. Sid pounds on Sting on the apron, but then turns around into a flying crossbody block and he kicks out at one and then double-axes Sting right back down to the mat! You suck, Sid. We see some more Sid offense: clotheslines, chokes and badly applied chinlocks. Sting finally comes back with a flurry of kicks and then a running face slam. But then Sting runs right into a boot and falls out so they can fight on the runway. Sid slams Sting down and then returns to the ring to gloat so that Sting can leap over the ropes and knock Sid down with a clothesline. Sting dropkicks Sid out to the floor and follows up with a pescado! They start to fight back towards the dressing room (not the runway) as Flair and Anderson come down to stop the ref’s count. Sid and Sting return to the ring where Sting tries for a slam but Sid falls on him for the three-count much to the confusion of the crowd. We get fireworks and everything as the REAL Sting comes out from the back with a rope nicely tied around his wrist. He gets back in the ring as Sid tries to nail him in the face with the belt. Sting ducks and nails Sid with the belt to set up the Stinger Splash. He cradles Sid for the real three-count to retain the title. (12:38) In case you didn’t know, the fake Sting was Barry Windham. Funny how WCW would continue to doing the fake Sting bit six years later and would continue doing so pretty much until the end of the promotion. Besides all of that, this is not a great match by any means. *
Final Thoughts: Well, I have the Turner Home Video release, so it’s not the full show which had ten total matches. That’s okay by me though because I really wasn’t look forward to a JYD/Moondog Rex match. Thanks Ted. Three good matches out of six warrants a ‘thumbs in the middle’ from me.