Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Halloween Havoc 1992
October 25, 1992
Philadelphia Civic Center
The current WCW & NWA Champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Ron Simmons (8/2/1992)
NWA World Champion: Masa Chono (8/12/1992)
WCW U.S. Champion: Rick Rude (11/19/1991)
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions: Dustin Rhodes & Barry Windham (9/21/1992)
WCW World Television Champion: Scott Steiner (9/29/1992)
Sorry guys, this is the Turner Home Entertainment version. That means that the opener has been cut off the tape completely. Here’s the result of that match anyway. Just for the heck of it. Thanks, ProWrestlingHistory.com!
Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn, & Shane Douglas beat Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes, & Bobby Eaton (11:02) when Gunn pinned Hayes with the Thesz Press.
Your hosts are Jim Ross & Jesse Ventura.
Ricky Steamboat vs. Brian Pillman
Pillman turned heel almost two months prior to this show. In the Philly crowds, they love their heels so they’re pretty split as to who is their favorite. They trade chops to start and then Steamboat tries to get the win early with shoulderblocks. Pillman stops that by dumping Steamboat out, but he skins-the-cat back in and rolls him up for two. As Pillman kicks out, Steamboat gets sent face-first into the top turnbuckle so Pillman takes over. Hey! The ECW Hat Guy is in the front row! Pillman steps away to gloat. Steamboat plays ‘possum and trips Pillman into an armbar. Pillman forearms out and regains control while the crowd chants “Brian sucks!”. Steamboat fights back with a choke-lift, but Pillman plays ‘possum on Steamboat and nails him from behind with a forearm. Does anybody know what a gander is? Headscissors takedown from Pillman gets two. Pillman goes for a superplex, but Steamboat pushes him off. He goes for the FLYING BODYPRESS, but Pillman counters THAT with a dropkick! Cover, 1-2-NO! Pillman grabs a sleeper, but Steamboat rams Pillman’s face into the corner not once but twice for the break. Pillman maintains the advantage with a neck snap on the ropes and then heads up top, but Steamboat’s there to slam him down. Pillman begs away and then goes to the floor for a breather. Steamboat follows him out, but Pillman takes advantage by being the first man in and nails Steamboat with a knee-lift. When Steamboat comes back with chops, Pillman goes to the floor again to try and pull the same trick, but Steamboat is wise to it and trips Pillman up. Steamboat runs into a knee in the corner and then gets caught with a flying crossbody for two. Steamboat comes back with a rib buster and comes off the top with a flying sunset flip for 1-2-NO! That sets up a rollup sequence with Steamboat getting the better of Pillman for 1-2-3! (10:34) Good stuff and a nice prelude to their tag team wars in early ’93. ***¼
WCW VP Bill Watts is here to bring us up-to-date on some of tonight’s issues. First off, in order to keep the NWA world title match fair, both competitors get to hand-pick a referee. Chono picks Sasaki, Rude picks Race. A coin toss will decide who will be the in-ring ref or the outside ref. Secondly, Terry Gordy has been suspended (which is another word for quit because of money disagreements). Watts told Steve Williams he could pick whomever he wanted as his partner and he picked Steve Austin. That guy is destined for great things, you know. And finally, Rude has a second match tonight in which he’s supposed to defend his US title against Nikita Koloff in a no-DQ match with Madusa barred from ringside. Well, Rude saw the whole thing as completely unfair and sought legal help to get WCW to change the card, so now Vader will defend his belt in his place against Nikita tonight. If Nikita wins, he’s the champ. Man, I hope nobody paid to see Rude vs. Koloff. NOW LETS HOOK EM UP!
Big Van Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. Nikita Koloff – No-DQ match for the WCW U.S. Heavyweight Title
If Rude and Vader were hoping that Race would get to stay at ringside, they would be incorrect. Senior official Ole Anderson sends them both to the back to keep this one-on-one. There’s about seven minutes cut from this match. Vader OWNS Koloff to start with the usual stiffness. He dumps Koloff out so he can pose, but he’s met with a forearm and a crossbody instead. That gets two. Koloff hits the chinlock and Vader punches out and into the corner. He tries an avalanche, but Koloff moves and rolls Vader up for 1-2-NO! Another crossbody gets two, and then Vader takes a breather out to the floor. It’s no-DQ, so all guardrail/ringpost action is legal! Koloff goes for the SICKLE up against the ringpost, but Vader moves and Koloff runs into steel. Has he ever hit that? Back in, Vader delivers another avalanche and POWERBOMBS him for 1-2-3. (4:34 shown) This would be Koloff’s last match due to a career-ending neck injury, which means the Rude/Koloff feud was never resolved. You see what bait-and-switch booking will get you? It ends CAREERS! Not enough here for me to rate, honestly.
WCW/NWA World Tag Team Champions Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & Steve Austin
Rhodes and Windham have been hating on each other a little bit in the last few weeks, which makes this title defense the make-or-break for the team. Doc and Dustin start the match. Jesse eggs on JR with the football references and mentions Texas vs. Oklahoma during a three-point-stance-off. Doc makes a sucker out of Rhodes by avoiding the charge with a leapfrog and then nailing him with a clothesline. Crowd loves it as Doc keeps the momentum going with a few more football tackles, but then he runs into a clothesline out of the corner! The Texans take over and control Doc’s arm. Dustin dropkicks Doc into the wrong corner for a tag to Austin. He gets controlled for the next few minutes. Dustin works a headlock for most of that time. Austin avoids a corner charge and tries a monkey flip, but Rhodes shoves him off and hits a lariat for 1-2-NO! Windham tags and connects with another lariat for two. Windham hits a suplex, but Austin goes to the eyes and tags in Doc. Slugfest ensues and then Windham whiffs on a crossbody and crashes out on the floor. Back in, Windham flips out of a suplex from the apron and gets a rollup off the ropes, but both guys are just too big for that. Windham becomes face-in-peril and Austin hits a flying vertical elbow drop for two. Doc tags back in, but runs into a sleeper. He quickly charges into the corner and sends Windham face-first into the ringpost for the break. Crossbody gets two. Austin tags in and tries to get the pin out of a three-quarter nelson. Hammerlock slam follows and Doc gets another tag. He cuts off the tag to Dustin and gets a powerslam for 1-2-NO! Doc grabs a chinlock, but Windham escapes with a jawbreaker. Austin gets the tag and nails Rhodes. He tries for a superplex, but Windham punches him off and hits a Flying Lariat for 1-2-NO! Double-KO spot leads to our first HOT TAG TO RHODES! He goes BIONIC ELBOW CRAZY on the heels and hits the BULLDOG on Austin for 1-2-NO! Then out of nowhere, Rhodes gets decked with a clothesline from Doc for 1-2-NO! We’ve got another long face-in-peril segment coming up. Doc applies an elevated Boston crab for a bit, but doesn’t keep the hold on too long to bore anybody. Tag to Austin, he applies a Canadian backbreaker. Jesse’s getting excited! Dustin kicks off the ropes, backdrops Austin over and falls back on top of Austin for a two-count. Austin bridges up for a backslide, but Dustin gets the better of that for two, then Austin drops Rhodes with a clothesline! Great wrestling sequence. That gets two. Doc tags in and talks some junk to Dustin. When he retaliates, Doc just bowls him over and makes the tag to Austin. Dustin starts to fight back again on Austin, so he nails him with a right hand and then plays to the crowd. Doc tags in for a suplex, then Austin comes in for a chinlock. Dustin fights up, but runs into a powerslam. Doc tags back in and a double-underhook suplex gets two. Belly-to-belly gets another two. Austin tags back in and applies a half-crab. Rhodes comes out of that by hammering on Austin’s quads and tries desperately to tag out. That leads to a false-tag spot. Rhodes and the ref Randy Anderson gets dumped and Windham thinks he’s going to get the win with a rollup on Austin, but Doc stops that with a clothesline. Ref Nick Patrick runs down and counts Austin covering Windham for 1-2-3. Ref Randy Anderson gets back in the ring and says NAH UH! I DIDNT SEE NO TAGS! Match continues, and we’ve got two minutes left in the time limit. Rhodes surprises Austin with a rollup and gets 1-2-NO! Bell rings prematurely. Windham and Doc brawl on the floor while Rhodes tries to get the win in the ring. He hits the lariat for two. Elbow drop gets two, but then Austin pulls Rhodes into the corner. Now they go through a piledriver reversal sequence with Austin getting the worst of it. There’s 20 seconds left! Rhodes slowly covers for 1-2-NO! And the time limit expires. (30:00) Good stuff from everybody. Maybe I just like the classic wrestler types, but I personally enjoyed Williams working with Williams more than Williams working with Gordy. ***¾
We go over to Tony Schiavone who is standing by with Dangerously, Vader and Race. Dangerously basks in his own glory for coming up with the idea to have Vader sub for Rude so he could concentrate on his NWA title match. Madusa comes by and shoves Paul E aside, which should hint to you that they are having issues. Paul E fires her on the spot and treats her like Missy Hyatt back in ’91. He says the only reason he hired Madusa to take care of Rude’s needs was because “the other hooker he had in mind had a previous obligation.” ECW! ECW! ECW! Then he keeps on screaming that she’s fired until he takes a CHICK KICK to the face and security has to take her away. For ’92, this was heavy stuff.
Its time for Sting to spin the wheel so he can make that deal. Here are the matches that “could possibly” go down tonight. We’ve got a Russian chain match, dog collar match, “I Quit” match, barbed wire match, cage match, lumberjack match, “prince of darkness” match (?!), Texas death match, first blood match, Texas bull rope match, spinners choice…but lucky for us, it falls on the coal miners’ glove match! Hooray!
NWA World Heavyweight Champion Masa Chono (w/Kensuke Sasaki) vs. Rick Rude (w/Harley Race)
Race wins the coin toss, so Sasaki has to stay out on the floor. Regardless of what occurred between Madusa and Paul E, she still comes down to the ring with Rude. Long feeling-out process to start. Chono fights out of a chinlock and goes for the STF, but Rude blocks and Chono just works the toehold. The crowd’s getting bored. Rude pops the crowd with a Piledriver for two. Back to a Rude chinlock, and the crowd must’ve just sacrificed a baby to their pagan god or something because they’re all cheering and pointing. I’m telling you; Philly is INSANE! Chono fights up and goes for the MAFIA KICK, but Rude ducks and Race gets nailed and knocked out to the floor. Rude goes for a running turnbuckle smash, but Chono blocks that and heaves Rude over the top-rope on top of both referees. Back in, Rude hits the RUDE AWAKENING but there’s no ref. Rude misses the flying knee-drop, so Chono applies the STF! The refs finally get back in the ring and Race calls for the bell. (12:57 shown) Since Chono sent Rude over the top-rope, Race DQ’s Chono. Rather lazy match, followed by a bad finish. Afterwards, Sasaki beats the crap out of Rude and Race to earn himself a few months in WCW. *½
The Barbarian workout video. FREAKIN’ CONCRETE BLOCKS!
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Ron Simmons vs. The Barbarian (w/Cactus Jack)
Now I’ve met Barbarian and he’s a nice guy and all, but main eventing a PPV? Sorry man. I just don’t buy it. Ron Simmons gets a Goldberg-esque entrance with security guys surrounding him. Barbarian dominates to start with power moves. Cactus distracts ref Nick Patrick so Barbarian can throw Simmons into the ringpost. Back in, Barbarian grabs a cobra clutch. Simmons has to back Barb (that’s what I call him when we hang out on the weekends) into the corner twice to get the break. Barbarian goes for the flying elbow drop, but Simmons moves out of the way and hits the Spinebuster for 1-2-NO! Simmons delivers a pair of clotheslines and then the three-point stance, but Cactus distracts him on the apron so Barbarian nail him with the KICK OF FEAR. The FLYING HEADBUTT connects for 1-2-NO! Barbarian hits a clothesline but then runs into a POWERSLAM for 1-2-3. (7:24 shown) Kiss your main event run goodbye, Barb. Solid enough, I guess. Just kind of dull. *
Sting vs. Jake Roberts – “Coal Miners’ Glove match
I’ve never been a fan of “object on a pole” matches. Especially this one because you don’t even need the object to win the match. You can win without it, which makes the whole gimmick completely retarded. Why not just give them both gloves, knock each other out and be done with it? Roberts goes for the glove immediately and Sting pulls him down for some slams. Sting whiffs on a dropkick and then Jake works the back. They go to the floor where everything is legal because this match is “unsanctioned”. Roberts gets sent shoulder-first into the ringpost three times and then Sting goes after the glove. He gets half-way up the pole, but Roberts pulls him down for a back suplex. Jake sells the arm injury though and doesn’t follow up, so Sting goes after the arm. Jake hiptosses Sting over the top-rope to escape the armbar, but Sting lands on the apron and stops Roberts from climbing up the pole by bringing him down crotch-first on the turnbuckle connector. Jake dumps Sting out to the floor and nails him with a steel chair. Back in, Jake chokes away but misses on the running knee-lift. Stinger Splash misses, but the Short-Arm Clothesline does not. He even uses the hurt arm and sells it afterwards. He hits the DDT and the crowd erupts. Jake starts to climb, but Sting manages to swing around the pole and elbow Jake away. That cues Cactus Jack to run down with the snake sack. Jake fiddles with that while Sting climbs up the pole and grabs the glove. Jake’s got that DARN cobra in his hand! Sting nails Jake in the kidneys and rolls him up for 1-2-3. (10:36) The snake bites Jake in the face (even though he’s clearly holding it there) and us WCW fans never hear from him again. Match might’ve been good three years earlier, but Jake was pretty much done thanks to drugs and alcohol. *
Final Thoughts: This was almost like WCW pay-per-views from ’95 until the end: great undercard with weak main events. The first half isn’t must-see or anything, but it is good. Although if a 30-minute tag match isn’t your style, then you can skip this show. Thumbs in the middle for Halloween Havoc ’92.