Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Halloween Havoc 1991
October 27, 1991
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
World Champion: Lex Luger (7/14/1991)
U.S. Champion: Sting (8/25/1991)
World Television Champion: Steve Austin (6/3/1991)
World Tag Team Champions: The Enforcers (9/5/1991)
U.S. Tag Team Champions: The Patriots (8/12/1991)
World Six-Man Tag Team Champions: The York Foundation (10/8/1991)
Yeah, once again, I have the Turner Home Entertainment version. That means there is some matches that have been cut and one that really shocks me is the Pillman/Morton match. Having followed some of the quarter and semifinal matches of this title tournament on Worldwide, I was kind of bummed that it’s missing. Good to know there’s Pillman/Liger stuff on the way though. Here’s what was edited off the Turner version. Credit goes to ProWrestlingHistory.com!
* Big Josh & PN News beat The Creatures (Joey Maggs & Johnny Rich) (5:16) when News made the pin.
* Bobby Eaton pinned Terrance Taylor (16:00).
* Bill Kazmaier beat Oz (3:59) via submission.
* Van Hammer pinned Doug Sommers (1:13).
* Brian Pillman pinned Richard Morton (12:45) to win the first WCW Light Heavyweight Title.
On a personal sidenote, this is probably the earliest PPV of my childhood that I can recall listening to for free through the static and having reactions like “Oh man! I just saw Ron Simmons for a second there!” From that standpoint, I believe we all know where I’m coming from. I remember being disappointed that Luger retained the title (oops, spoiler!) and then flipping over to watch game seven of the Braves/Twins World Series to witness my beloved Braves lose- boy, I was one upset five year-old.
Anyways, let’s get to the PPV.
Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone!
Uh oh! Barry Windham will not be able to compete in the “Chamber of Horrors” match tonight. Why was he on the heel team anyway? The reason why is because on his way to the arena in his Mercedes convertible, he was met with a handshake from nothing-more-than-on-screen-talent and announcer Eric Bischoff. During the handshake, Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko grab hold of Barry’s arm and then they SLAM it in the car door! OUCH! Luckily, Dustin Rhodes was riding along with Barry at the time to drive him over to a hospital.
El Gigante, Sting, Rick & Scott Steiner vs. Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher & Diamond Studd – Chamber of Horrors Match
This match, which is infamous for the sheer ridiculousness of the gimmick, is the big return match for Scott Steiner after he suffered a bicep injury in the early summer. Remember kids, he was good once. Vader is also making his return to WCW in this match and received a full-time contract as well. The coolest entrance has to be Cactus Jack bringing a chainsaw to the ring with him. Diamond Studd (better known as Scott Hall) is subbing for Barry Windham. The match is basically a Thunderdome cage match free-for-all complete with wooden caskets and kendo sticks until the “chair of torture” is dropped down into the center of the ring around five minutes into the match. Once the “chair of torture” or “electric chair inside of another small cage” is placed in the ring, the first man to strap a wrestler from the opposing team in the chair and have the “electricity” flow through his body by having a “fatal” lever pulled which is placed WAYYY up on one of the Thunderdome cage walls, wins. Sting and Rick Steiner beat on Abdullah and Cactus on the rampway while Scott hits his first tiger bomb since his return on Diamond Studd. Can’t forget about the Refer-Eye camera that Nick Patrick is sporting there. It’s basically a camera placed on a bicycle helmet for all of us to get a point of view from someone inside the ring every now and then. The match is just mindless brawling with slams on the caskets and Sting busting Cactus and Abdullah open with kendo sticks. The best spot of the match is Scott giving Cactus a DDT off Rick’s shoulders right as the “chair of torture” is being lowered. Meanwhile on the floor, Sting drops the top of a casket on Cactus’ head as some jobbers dressed all in white come down with a gurney to haul off the “final victim”. Notice how I’m not mentioning El Gigante here. Oh, you didn’t notice? I didn’t think you would. He spends the whole match pounding on people, but not really having any kind of effect on the match. Scott gets in a good WHACK on Cactus’ face with the kendo stick. Man, Cactus is taking WILD bumps throughout this whole match. All the faces minus Gigante take turns in the chair, but they all escape before any “harm” can be done. The finish comes as Rick Steiner does the ol’ switcheroo on Abdullah by giving him a belly-to-belly suplex into the chair when Cactus, who is up by the lever, wasn’t looking. Cactus just hears the door shut on the cage thinking its Rick who is strapped in the chair and pulls down the lever to cook Abdullah and give the faces the win by accident. (12:37) Yeah, I don’t believe this concept was ever used again. Explosions go off around Abdullah to make you think he’s really being electrocuted, but I don’t think anybody was fooled. Cactus Jack goes over to console Abdullah, but the guy goes crazy and beats the crap out of everything that’s moving around ringside. The Cactus Jack stuff really made the match, so I’ll give it some stars for that. Tony ~ “Well I guess when [Abdullah] opened his eyes, he thought he was in heaven and knew he shouldn’t be there!” Ouch. **
Jimmy Garvin (w/Michael PS Hayes) vs. Johnny B. Badd (w/Teddy Long)
The Freebirds wear Atlanta Braves gear out to the ring and start up some tomahawk chops so they will be loved. Michael Hayes is “injured”, by the way. He’s got his arm in a sling. Johnny B. Badd has just started to really go nuts with the confetti. He’s got Badd Blasters attached to his robe that he wears up the entrance ramp that shoots off confetti and then he shoots another Badd Blaster off into the crowd from the ring. Crowd chants for the Freebirds and the DDT for the first thirty seconds as Garvin cheers them on and Johnny has a word with Teddy. Once they get going, they trade hiptosses across the ring until Badd ends up going over the top rope and to the floor over by Hayes. Garvin pulls the ref aside so Hayes can whip his arm out of his sling and pop Badd in the face. Back in, Garvin hits a powerslam and follows up with a running forearm to put Badd back out on the floor. Back in again, Garvin works the arm for a bit until Badd comes back with blows and a jumping clothesline. Badd does a little choking and cheating out of a rear chinlock before he connects with a backdrop. Johnny catches Garvin charging into a corner with a boot and tries a flying sunset flip, but they totally blow it. Badd goes up again and this time delivers an elbow drop for two. Badd heads up again, but it’s three times too many and he gets nailed on the way down and does the Ted DiBiase flip sell. Badd still manages to reverses a cross-corner whip, but Garvin avoids the charge and Badd flies out to the floor. Garvin flips Badd back in and a double-KO spot ensues. Badd goes for the KISS THAT DON’T MISS (or Tutti Fruity Punch…whichever), but Garvin ducks it and hits the DDT. Garvin covers Badd, but Long is up on the apron with the ref. Garvin goes over and grabs at Long and turns around into the KISS THAT DON’T MISS for the 1-2-3. (8:26) Badd took some good bumps in there, but the screw-ups can’t go unnoticed. *½
We go to Missy Hyatt to see if she knows who the Halloween Phantom is yet, but she still has no clue. Bobby Eaton walks by with a big pumpkin (apparently, he’s going to celebrate his win over Taylor). He doesn’t give a crap about a phantom and keeps on walking.
WCW World Television Champion Steve Austin (w/Lady Blossom) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Dustin’s grandma is here so you know this is going to be big! They trade basic stuff to start as JR reminds us of the 15-minute time-limit rule, which should tell you what these two are going for right off the bat. Dustin won’t go for anything Austin tries in the first several minutes and then clotheslines Austin out to the floor. Back in, Rhodes goes for the BULLDOG, but Austin shoves him off. It doesn’t stop Dustin though as he goes to a headlock. Austin rolls Rhodes over for a couple two-counts off that. Meanwhile, Lady Blossom is flaunting herself in front of the camera. Nothing wrong with that if you’ve ever seen Jeannie Clark before. Austin escapes and ducks a crossbody to send Rhodes flying out to the floor for his signature bump. I saw him about a month ago at a TNA/UWF show and he’s still doing it. Austin follows Dustin out for some clubberin’ and actually busts Dustin open. After a flying double-ax handle on the floor, Austin brings Rhodes back in and gives him a gutwrench suplex for 1-2-NO! Austin grabs a chinlock and puts his feet on the ropes for some good ol’ fashioned cheating. Ref finally sees what’s going on and makes Austin break and then gets turned around into a right. Rhodes tries a monkey-flip in the corner, but Austin shoves him off and drills him with a clothesline for two. FOUR MINUTES REMAIN IN THE TIME LIMIT! They trade small packages for near-falls. Austin tries a clothesline, but Dustin ducks and levels Austin with one of his own for 1-2-NO! Rhodes wants a dropkick, but Austin puts on the brakes for 1-2-NO! Austin chokes Dustin in the ropes for Blossom to claw on Dustin’s cut forehead. Austin still goes for the Bossman straddle, but Rhodes moves out of the way. Dustin follows up with an atomic drop/clothesline combo for 1-2-NO! Austin gets his foot on the bottom rope. Rhodes takes Austin to the floor and posts him REAL good to cut open Austin. Dustin throws Austin around into the guardrail and then brings him back in the ring. TWO MINUTES REMAIN IN THE TIME LIMIT! Dustin hits a powerslam for 1-2-NO! He pounds away and delivers a Bionic Elbow for 1-2-NO! ONE MINUTE REMAINS IN THE TIME LIMIT! Ten-count corner bionic elbows follow and that just can’t be a smart move. Dustin connects with some blows just like his daddy does and gets another near-fall. FIFTEEN SECONDS REMAIN IN THE TIME LIMIT! Dustin climbs up top for the kill and comes off with a flying clothesline for 1-2-NO! The time limit expired at the last second. (15:00) While the time-limit draw is a little cliché looking back on the TV title defenses from the ’90s, they really put it in high gear by the end there. Possibly Dustin Rhodes’ best match to date. ***¼
WCW Halloween Phantom vs. Tom Zenk
Who is this phantom guy? Nobody knows! He wears a full-body suit and a mask to keep his identity secret until later. Zenk gets put away pretty quickly with a REVERSE NECKBREAKER. (1:27) Tony ruins everything and mentions the Rude Awakening.
WCW World Tag Team Champions The Enforcers vs. The Patriots
In case you didn’t notice, Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion are the U.S. tag team champions. One’s a fireman and the other is an army guy who like to tell kids what not to do. They’re also green as can be and I’m guessing they are here for a little wrestling lesson. Surely no one in the freakin’ universe would think the Patriots were walking out of Chattanooga as the world tag champs. Looks like Firebreaker Chip has some new tights as compared to the past Worldwide episodes. He starts off against Larry Z and gets caught in an abdominal stretch almost immediately. Zbyszko wants a reverse neckbreaker, but Chip reverses into a backslide for two. Here comes Arn! He gets isolated as Champion tags in and drops a double-ax from the middle rope. They go to the floor where Arn tries a piledriver, but Champion backdrops out. Back in, Champion applies a bearhug. Larry Z comes in to help, but they take a double-clothesline instead. The heels regroup and Larry tags back in to slap Champion around. Champion chases Larry out of the ring and then turns his back on Arn for Larry to get in an open shot. Arn dumps Champion over the top rope for Zbyszko to get in some guardrail action. Back in, Larry gets a swinging neckbreaker for two. Champion tries to fight out of the heel corner, but Larry gets a blind tag and nails Champion from behind. Backbreaker gets two and then Zbyszko goes to a chinlock. Champion fights up and counters a suplex into one of his own to make the lukewarm tag to Chip. The action breaks loose, but then Arn catches Chip in a Spinebuster for the 1-2-3. (9:51) Not a bad glorified squash. This was pretty much the end of the Patriots experiment as they would lose the U.S. tag belts in a few weeks. *½
Eric Bischoff brings out Paul E Dangerously, who had recently been fired from being a commentator for being too controversial. Definitely a weird moment to see Bischoff and Heyman standing so close to one another without some punches being thrown. Maybe it’s just me. Madusa has been brought in to hang with Paul E, by the way. Paul E cuts a promo on the company that didn’t want him anymore and declares war against WCW and the championship committee. He reminds the world that he has a manager’s license and looks to take out all of WCW’s heroes starting with Sting. Madusa has found the man who has the ability to take Sting out and that man is the WCW Halloween Phantom! Now immediately you’re thinking, what the F? We have ANOTHER masked guy who’s here to take out Sting? It better not be Ric Flair! Paul E builds this masked man up as basically unstoppable and then he unmasks him to reveal that the Halloween Phantom is “Ravishing” Rick Rude! Crowd is in shock. He reminds the crowd that all he cares about is himself, his women and his money. The Dangerous Alliance has begun!
Before the main event, they show Ron Simmons’ preparation video.
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger (w/Harley Race) vs. Ron Simmons (w/Dusty Rhodes) – 2/3 Falls
Mr. Hughes has been barred from ringside to prevent any triple-teaming which had been a trademark of Luger’s title reign. Lots of stalling to start. Once they make contact, Simmons really tries too hard and makes a mistake by missing a dropkick. Simmons comes back with a Powerslam to set up the SPINEBUSTER for 1-2-3! (4:54) Simmons – 1 Luger – 0. They get a 60-second rest period in between falls and Dusty uses his time wisely to calm Simmons down so he doesn’t make a mistake. On the other side of the ring, Race doesn’t say much and looks back over at Rhodes every few seconds. The rest period ends and Luger is grabbing at his back and really selling the Spinebuster. Simmons counters a suplex and then whips Lex from corner-to-corner before delivering a backdrop. Simmons catches Luger with an elbow out of the corner and hits a bulldog for 1-2-NO! Luger goes low, but Simmons surprises Lex with a small package for 1-2-NO! Luger sells the back some more and then pulls Simmons out to the floor, but Simmons comes back in quickly with a sunset flip for 1-2-NO! Simmons tries a running clothesline, but Luger moves and lets Simmons fall out to the floor. Back in, Luger does some lazy stuff like eye rakes and choking. Elbow drop gets two. Luger gets a powerslam, but can’t cover immediately because of his sore back. This time Luger catches Simmons out of the corner and drops him with a clothesline for two. Luger manages a suplex and slowly covers for two. Luger grabs a chinlock and uses the ropes for leverage, but Simmons powers out and gets a rollup for 1-2-NO! Simmons gets a backslide for another near-fall. Simmons tries to come off the ropes, but Race grabs his foot. Dusty comes over and bionic elbows Race to death, but evidently not good enough as Race grabs Simmons as Luger charges at him and makes it look like Simmons gave Luger a backdrop over the top rope to get Simmons DQ’ed and earn the second fall for Luger. (16:26) Simmons -1 Luger – 1. Another 60-second rest period goes back with Rhodes and Race doing the same thing as before. Luger gets in a cheapshot and pounds away, but then Simmons begins to NO-SELL and fire back with ten-count corner punch. Luger tries to come out with an atomic drop, but Simmons escapes and drops Luger with a clothesline for 1-2-NO! Backdrop gets two. Superplex gets two. Powerslam sets up a Flying Shoulderblock, but Luger rolls out to the floor. Simmons follows him out and tries a three-point stance up against the ringpost, but Luger moves and Simmons eats the steel. Back in, Luger hits the PILEDRIVER and that does it for 1-2-3. (21:59) Luger – 2 Simmons 1. While it told a good story, the action was rather dull. I don’t know if that spinebuster in the first fall knocked the wind out of Luger and he just never recovered or what, but he wasn’t himself here tonight. **¼
Final Thoughts: Nothing too amazing here, but the end of mediocrity in WCW is coming soon enough. It started tonight with the addition of Rick Rude and the hot new angle with Paul E. The Dangerous Alliance was one of my favorite stables as there were no slackers in that group whatsoever. Anyways, the Rhodes/Austin match is good, but no better or worse than the other matches they did throughout their time in WCW. Halloween Havoc has once again failed to put on a classic main event and even though it was always one of WCW’s flagship shows, it didn’t really have a classic main event until ’93. With nothing really outstanding here on this card, I’m going to have to go with thumbs down for Halloween Havoc 1991, as it’s the worst of the first three shows.