Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Halloween Havoc 1994
October 23, 1994
Joe Louis Arena
The current WCW Champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hulk Hogan (7/17/1994)
WCW U.S. Champion: Jim Duggan (9/18/1994)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Stars & Stripes (9/25/1994)
WCW World Television Champion: Johnny B. Badd (9/18/1994)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan.
WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd vs. Honky Tonk Man
So the first feud Badd enters into as TV champ is against…the Honky Tonk Man. Badd messes up Honky’s hair and that sends him running out to the floor. Back in, Honky controls and beats Badd down to slap on a chinlock. Badd backdrops out of the SHAKE RATTLE AND ROLL, but misses a corner charge. Honky covers with his feet on the ropes for 1-2-NO! They go to the floor where Honky tosses Badd into the guardrail. Back in again, he hits the chinlock some more. Badd escapes again and takes Honky Tonk to the corner for the ten-count punch with a minute left in the time-limit. Honky ducks the KISS THAT DON’T MISS and levels Badd with a back suplex. Thirty seconds! They start choking each other and roll around punching until we come to a time-limit draw. (10:00) Meh. Nothing special. I would have rather seen Badd feud with just about anybody else over the TV title than Honky Tonk. *½
For the 89,289,136th time, we see Hogan getting his knee whacked at the Clash. Since then, Flair has attacked Hogan on a LIVE edition of the Main Event and now a pair of masked men are in WCW. OMG, TURNER CAN NOW CLONE! Also, the special referee for tonight’s main event Mr. T has been seen hanging out with Ric Flair at Michael Jordan’s restaurant. Uh oh, could be trouble for the Hulkster.
WCW World Tag Team Champions Stars and Stripes vs. Pretty Wonderful
Stars and Stripes won the straps a week after Fall Brawl on a LIVE edition of the Main Event. And now the ex-champs get their rematch. Patriot and Orndorff start the match as Heenan comes to the conclusion that Patriot is a masked Al Gore. It breaks down with the Stars and Stripes in control. Tag to Roma, the champs wrench on his arm a bit. Roma punches out and flies off the top turnbuckle with a fist drop to Bagwell. They run the ropes and Bagwell comes back with a crossbody block. S&S revert back to arm wrenching on Roma. Bagwell delivers a nice flying sunset flip after Patriot nails Roma in the gut off a whip. That gets two. Orndorff gets a tag and runs right into a drop toe hold so Bagwell can start arm wrenching again. Orndorff takes a walk and comes back in to headlock Bagwell down on the mat and tags in Roma. Patriot gets drawn in by Roma while Orndorff delivers a beating to Bagwell. Nevertheless, Bagwell breaks away from Roma and tags Patriot. He nails Roma in the corner with a running clothesline and goes back to the arm. Tag to Bagwell, Roma brings him over to his corner and tags Orndorff who puts the boots to Bagwell. Now Orndorff wakes up the crowd by getting funky like a monkey with the elbow drop. I LOVE THAT! Bagwell becomes *your* face-in-peril with front headlocks and everything. To slow Bagwell down some more, Orndorff whips him into Roma for a knee and levels him with a clothesline to pop the crowd. Bagwell catches Orndorff with a boot out of the corner and jumps on his back for a sleeper, but Roma lowers the boom to stop all that. That brings Patriot in illegally to take care of Roma. While the ref is getting rid of the Patriot, Bagwell delivers the FISHERMANS SUPLEX to Orndorff! Roma comes off the top with the Flying Elbow to break up the bridge. Orndorff turns over on top of Bagwell and gets 1-2-3. (13:45) Pretty Wonderful regain the belts. Not as fun a match as at Fall Brawl, as the crowd had to be woke up mid-match. Pretty Wonderful was really a great heel tag team that was very underutilized in my view. Probably just due to lack of other good tag teams to work with more than anything else. **
Kevin Sullivan vs. Dave Sullivan
Oh geez, the #1 Hulkmaniac in the world Dave Sullivan has a new theme song. It’s called, “I Wanna Be A Hulkamaniac!” sang by a bunch of kids. Sounds so creepy. So Dave turns on his “brother” Kevin because of Hogan’s influence. It’s funny because Dave Sullivan is the only 6 foot 7 inch 300 pounder who actually wrestles worse than Hogan. This guy has way too many mental problems to be living with the general public. First of all, he’s dyslexic. Not too serious really by itself. But now he lives with a huge identity crisis and believes he’s Hulk Hogan. Nothing to this match really. Kevin beats the heck out of Dave and DOUBLE STOMPS him a couple times. Instead of covering him, Kevin heads up top and gets slammed down. Dave starts up his comeback, which is Hogan offense to no one’s surprise. Kevin grabs a Hogan bandana and puts it in front of Dave. I don’t know what he was hoping to achieve with that. With this guy’s mental issues, it’s really up for debate. They brawl out to the floor and Dave makes it back in one second before Kevin and wins by countout. (5:15) Ruh roh. The retard wins! ½*
Dustin Rhodes vs. Arn Anderson (w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng)
This is the final blowoff match from when AA turned on Dustin Rhodes back at Bash at the Beach. Short feeling-out process between these two. Arn complains about hair pulling, which is kind of humorous. Rhodes delivers an atomic drop and a clothesline from behind. Arn catches Rhodes up top for a superplex, but gets shoved down for a flying clothesline for two. AA stops Rhodes from a Flip Flop Fly and levels him. Rhodes tries to stop a flying Anderson with a boot, but he sees it coming and stays one step ahead by grabbing the boot and dropping an elbow on him. Meanwhile, Schiavone recalls how ridiculous it was in the first place for Dustin to pick AA as his partner considering the times Arn had broken his father’s arm in the ’80s. That’s actually a really good point. Down on the floor, Arn gets his arm posted. Back in, Dustin stays on the arm for a while. He whiffs on a crossbody block and goes flying over the top rope and down the aisle way. What a great bump there. He cleared the steps and everything. Arn beats up Rhodes on the apron and whips him into the ropes for a forearm to the gut. They fight over a knucklelock ending with AA trying to splash Rhodes. VINTAGE ARN~! Dustin body scissors Arn to block, but gets slid over to the bottom rope for a catapult. They take turns running each other’s eyes across the top rope and then we have a double-KO spot. Rhodes comes back with the Lariat for 1-2-NO! Arn tries to catch Dustin telegraphing a backdrop and goes for the DDT, but Rhodes blocks by grabbing the top rope! Rhodes hotshots AA and then attempts to knee drop the arm hoping to break it, but AA gets his arm out of harm’s way just in time. Dustin backdrops out of a piledriver and goes down to a sunset flip. Arn grabs the ropes and gets caught by the ref. With Arn distracted, Dustin sneaks over and scoops him up for 1-2-3. (9:50) Solid match that took the arm psychology a lot further than usual because of all the history behind it. Rhodes may have won, but takes a DDT afterwards all the same. ***¼
WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Jim Duggan vs. Steve Austin
So right after Austin regained the WCW U.S. title from Steamboat by forfeit at Fall Brawl, he was forced to defend the title against a surprise opponent in Jim Duggan who squashed him in thirty seconds. Now Austin gets his rematch. Austin attacks early, but Duggan comes back with clotheslines. Austin flips out of a back suplex and starts kicking after the knee. Duggan cleans house with an atomic drop. Back in, Austin tries the handshake bit and Duggan’s wise to it. Austin delivers a pair of flying double ax handles. He goes for a third one and Duggan catches him in the gut on the way down. Duggan starts stomping and getting excited, so Austin takes refuge in the corner when his trick knee acts up into Duggan’s balls. Ref Nick Patrick threatens to DQ Austin for it. Austin stomps a mudhole in Duggan and gets pulled out of the corner by his hair by Patrick. He chokes Duggan in the ropes and delivers the Flying Vertical Elbow for 1-2-NO! A flying splash misses and Duggan makes his comeback. Duggan charges for the THREE POINT STANCE and takes a backdrop over the top rope for a DQ. (8:02) Regardless of the fact that Duggan was not a very good worker at this point in his life, Austin still managed to make this work at least for ten minutes. Austin would get another rematch for the title at the next Clash, but that’s about it as close to regaining the US title as Austin will get once the belt goes to Vader at Starrcade. Sure he was in the US title tournament later on, but he was in and out of that pretty quickly thanks to Randy Savage. Think about that one for a moment. **
Sting comes down and sits beside Muhammad Ali in the front row.
Vader (w/Harley Race) vs. The Guardian Angel
These two just plain don’t like each other. They have been going at it since freakin’ January. Before the match even gets going, Angel gives Race a suplex in the ring for no good reason. Vader gets STIFF with Angel to start and a series of short-arm clotheslines puts them out on the floor. Angel reverses a whip and sends Vader into the guardrail. Angel takes Race into the ring and gives him a slam for NO reason. Vader comes back in the ring and gets slammed on top of Race. Angel avalanches Vader in the corner and counters a suplex into one of his own. Vader punches back and comes off the second rope, but gets caught and slammed in mid-air. Angel delivers a flying headbutt for two. They screw up a BOSSMAN SLAM attempt and Angel winds up getting clotheslined hard in the face. Vader delivers a Pump Splash and tries another, but Angel gets the knees up to block. He runs and splashes Vader for 1-2-NO! Angel hits a Spinebuster for another nearfall. BOSSMAN SLAM! Angel chases after Race and gives him a suplex in the ring. Instantly after the impact, Vader runs over and splashes Angel as Race rolls out for the 1-2-3. (8:18) A little messier than most of their brawls from 1994, but still a pretty good match. I liked how Vader took advantage of the Guardian Angel always messing with Race when he was the guy Guardian Angel should be worried about and not Race. In January, the Guardian Angel gimmick would be dropped and Big Bubba would return. **½
The Nasty Boys vs. Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck (w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng)
The Nasties bring a pumpkin with them to ringside. That becomes important later. The Nasties toss Funk and Buck into one another until they fall out to the floor fighting each other. These guys are nuts! The action settles and Funk and Knobbs start the match. Funk gets knocked out to the floor and threatens to swing a chair. Back in, Sags stink faces Funk and then rubs Funk’s face in Knobbs armpit. That REALLY sucks. Both sides employ some CLUBBERIN’ action until the Stud Stable retreats to the floor again. Funk grabs a chair and beats himself in the face about ten times. Buck now has a rope and chokes Sags around ringside. Back in again, Sags ducks a double clothesline and delivers STEREO FACESLAMS. Tag to Knobbs, who gets tripped up by Buck. Funk holds Knobbs while Buck slips on some taped knux in plain sight of the ref. While ref Nick Patrick is admonishing Buck, Meng hops up on the apron and nails Funk by accident. Sags puts the big pumpkin in the middle of the ring and gives Funk a PILEDRIVER on it for the 1-2-3. (7:57) This was it for Terry Funk’s current WCW run and he would not return until late 1999. Bunkhouse Buck would continue on with Dick Slater as his partner and capture the tag belts by summer. This was just all clubberin’ and Funk acting insane for eight minutes. All the same, still quite entertaining. *½
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan (w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Ric Flair (w/Sensuous Sherri) – Retirement Cage Match (Special Referee: Mr. T)
Wowwww. Could the cards possibly be any more stacked against Ric Flair? I mean, not only are they in Detroit which is a pro-Hogan town for obvious reasons where there’s no real chance of him being booed like there was in Orlando, Florida for Bash at the Beach and holy crap like he was booed in Roanoke for Fall Brawl which should not surprise anybody, but you’ve also got Mr. T as the special referee. No matter how many times you show Mr. T and Flair coming out of Michael Jordan’s restaurant in Chicago, everybody knows Mr. T and Hogan are friends. That’s the bottom line and it makes the whole T/Flair relationship seem incredibly contrived and desperate. Think about it. It’s quite mind-boggling to me how Bischoff lets Hogan basically do whatever the crap he wants no matter whose careers become stagnated and even destroyed as a result. Now granted Flair’s best days were behind him, but this is no way to treat him or anybody for that matter. But that’s WCW and the wrestling biz in general for you.
Alright, rant over.
This is the rubber match! Brother Bruti comes out for Hogan’s entrance, but returns to the dressing room because he’s got other things to do. Hogan gouges and clotheslines a lot to start. He grabs his doo rag and tries to shove it down Flair’s throat. Mr. T shoves Hogan back from the corner and people start to get excited and wonder if T’s going to deck Hogan, but it goes nowhere. Flair goes low and tries to send Hulk into the cage, but Flair tastes the steel instead. Flair goes after the knee and takes Hogan to school. Flair hits the Rolling Knee Drop, but Hogan reverses a cross corner whip and follows in with a clothesline. Hogan tries to choke Flair down with his t-shirt before Mr. T takes it away. Flair comes off the top with a double-ax handle to turn the tide. Flair delivers a vertical suplex and Hogan actually stays down for two. Hulk NO-SELLS some chops and fires back. Flair tries to climb out the cage and Hogan follows him up to smash his head onto the rim of the cage. Of course, Flair walks across the top rope and gets crotched. Hogan runs into a boot in the corner, but once again NO-SELLS chops. Hogan grinds Flair’s face into the cage. Flair tries to climb out again even though that’s not an option for you to win. Hogan pulls him back in by his trunks and smashes his face into the steel mesh some more. Out of nowhere, Flair counters a headlock with a shinbreaker and once again takes Hogan to school. Woo! The FIGURE-FOUR is applied in the center of the ring! Hogan sells for about twenty seconds and then reverses the hold. Hogan runs inadvertently into Mr. T and apparently knocks him unconscious. Guess by simply being a special referee, you contract that referee’s syndrome where you start to see the lights of heaven any time you make physical contact with another person inside the ring. Flair delivers a back suplex as Sherri starts to climb into the cage. Jimmy Hart tries to pull her down and winds up taking off her evening gown. Whoa we see lingerie. Sting ends up jumping the rail and tries to yank Sherri down by her feet this time. He gets her down, but the MASKED MAN comes from underneath the ring to whack Sting with a billy club. Jimmy Hart gets whacked too. Now Sherri can freely climb into the cage to help Ric Flair. The masked man starts to climb the cage too and wedges the billy club into the cage somehow for Flair to run Hogan into the billy club. Sometimes throwing your opponent into a steel cage is just not enough. Meanwhile, Sherri handcuffs Mr. T to the bottom rope. Hogan NO-SELLS a Flair suplex and then ducks a double-clothesline only to come back around and level both Flair and Sherri. Hogan delivers the Big Boot to Sherri and HULKS UP when Flair starts chopping. The Big Boot and the LEG DROP finish off Flair. (19:20) One of Hogan’s better WCW matches, but the politics are off the charts here. Flair controlled maybe 20% of that whole match. And that’s it. Other than a few mentions from Tony, Bobby and Okerlund, that was as far as the goodbye for Flair went. At the time, this was pretty despicable for any Flair fan. It took Flair several years to really recover from this tragedy. After the match, Hogan gets his hands on the masked man only to find out that he is BROTHER BRUTI! WHAT! Yes, the man who has been standing in Hogan’s shadow for the past five years has now become his biggest enemy. Kevin Sullivan and Avalanche (who has changed from an Earthquake to a different kind of natural disaster) comes in to beat down Hogan until Sting makes the save. Okerlund talks about psychological scars while Heenan cries over Flair as we fade to black. **¾
Final Thoughts: And the ‘thumbs up’ PPV streak ends at five. Once Hogan’s friends all start moving in, the work rate that WCW was known for in the US really starts to suffer and its already evident here. Thumbs in the middle, leaning down. Nothing outrageously awful, but I mean the best match peaks at just over three stars.