Written By: Matt Peddycord
WCW Halloween Havoc
October 27, 1996
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Garden Arena
The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/10/1996)
WCW U.S. Champion: Ric Flair (7/7/1996)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat (10/5/1996)
WCW World Television Champion: Lord Steven Regal (8/20/1996)
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio (7/8/1996)
Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, and Dusty Rhodes.
WCW World Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko
Can Malenko regain the gold? That’s the question. Malenko brings Rey’s mask that he stole and places it in the corner for the last time as his *motivation*. Tenay joins the threesome for this one. Malenko tries for the win early with a back suplex and attempts the TEXAS CLOVERLEAF, but Mysterio shrugs it off. Oddly enough, the crowd seems to be more behind Malenko than Mysterio. He catches a quebrada and a rana, but a satellite headscissors puts him on the floor as Mysterio fools him with the fake dive. On the apron, Malenko eyes the mask and gets distracted for some reason, so Rey dropkicks him to the floor and dives out FOR REALZ with a beautiful somersault plancha. With Malenko down, Rey grabs his stolen mask and changes masks! That fires Mysterio up momentarily as he catches Dean with a couple headscissors into nearfalls, but Malenko blocks one with a side slam. Now Malenko goes after the back, culminating with a NASTY back superplex. GEEZ. Cover, 1-2-NO! Mysterio reaches the ropes on a headscissors, but winds up taking a brainbuster anyways. Small package from Rey gets Malenko a little pissed. He goes after the back again by grinding on a backbreaker and then transitioning over to a camel clutch. Malenko catches Rey with a sleeper and drops down into a body scissors. Oh snap. Mysterio elbows out, but runs into a knee and receives a release hammerlock northern lights suplex. Yeah, it sounds complicated. It’ll break your arm – plain and simple. That gets two. They both fight to the top rope and punch each other down, which happened in their rematch on Saturday Night that led to a double countout. Aren’t you glad you have a nerd like me to point out these things? Down on the floor, Mysterio slips on a headscissors off the safety rail spot, but they improvise and make their way back inside. Springboard somersault senton (the Triple S!!!!) puts Malenko down for two. Waistlock exchange sees Malenko getting stuck in a bridge pin for 1-2-NO! Back to the floor, Rey shows off with a springboard corkscrew moonsault. Back in, Rey gets a quick rana for 1-2-NO! Rey goes for it all with the SPRINGBOARD HURRACANRANA, but Malenko catches him for a sitout powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Rey knees away the Super Gutbuster and tries the Top Rope Rana, which Malenko shrugs off and stops Mysterio from trying another springboard by bringing him off the ropes with a SUPER DOCTORBOMB! Rey’s done on that one. Malenko covers for the 1-2-3. (18:29) HUGE pop for Malenko’s win. Just an excellent match with plenty of time to play off all five of their previous encounters. I mean with FIVE matches, they ought to know one another pretty well by now. A low top-ten MOTYC by my standards. ****¼
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero
At least Tony is honest. He has no idea where the stupid Battlebowl ring is that these two are supposed to be fighting over. And what do you know, the referee is the sketchy one himself – Nick Patrick. Good to see Eddie back. It tried to start off with a bang (pun not intended) with some guardrail action, but they bring it inside for some headlocks. DDP does that thing where he’s stuck horizontally in the ropes and gets kicked to the floor. Page ducks a pescado attempt. Eddie’s not dumb enough to go with it anyway and jumps to the floor to meet DDP with some chops. After a ride into the guardrail, Guerrero brings Page back inside for a Hilo that gets two. Eddie gets crotched and eats the steps. DDP calls Eddie “girlfriend”? Back inside, DDP covers with his feet on the ropes for two. The tide turner comes as DDP hoists Guerrero up off a whip and lets him drop to the mat. I hate his gutbuster off the shoulders. That gets two. Page uses the ropes off an ab stretch and follows up with a tilt-a-whirl sideslam for two. That pisses him off a little bit to the point where he gets into a shoving match with Nick Patrick who shoves him back and gives Page a good finger pointing. DDP shakes his hand and avoids a charge as Eddie goes crashing to the floor. Back in, they trade back and forth off a nearfall sequence which ends with a clothesline from Page. DDP misses the big field goal kick and takes the ten-count corner punch. To the floor, Eddie gives DDP his best dive off the top. Back in, Page hotshots Eddie and delivers the Pancake Slam for two. Spinning sitout powerbomb from Page gets 1-2-NO! And just like that, DDP drops Eddie with the DIAMOND CUTTER for the 1-2-3. (13:38) Anti-climatic finish sure, but for good reason as Eddie broke a rib during this match. For that reason, this was all DDP. And what do you know, the ring was in Nick Patrick’s back pocket the whole time. **½
The Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett (w/Ric Flair)
Before the start of the new World order matches, Ted DiBiase talks some junk up in the crowd. Since the nWo wouldn’t realistically be allowed backstage, they would have to enter through the crowd. Also, Giant brings the stolen U.S. title belt with him. Nick Patrick works this match as well. This works like most every Giant match ever unless his opponent’s name is Hulk Hogan where the guy works sleeper holds and tries to slam him and fails. Giant gives up on a backbreaker when Flair gets on the mic and tells Jarrett to get up and kicks some nWo butt. WOO! You better believe there’s a bearhug in this match too. Eventually, Jarrett gets Giant all wobbly and puts him down (!) with a flying bodypress, but Giant presses him off the cover at two. A failed Figure-Four puts Jarrett on the floor. Giant tries to splash him up against the ringpost and misses. Jarrett clamps on the FIGURE-FOUR, but Giant GOOZLES out of it. When Jarrett’s a second away from taking a CHOKESLAM on the floor, Flair comes over and low blows Giant in plain sight of the ref for the DQ. (9:54) Well, Jarrett did say he wouldn’t take the Chokeslam and he didn’t. Pretty average Giant match though. I liked how they remembered the finish from April where the Giant won the world title by stopping the Figure-Four with a Chokeslam. Continuity is cool. On the other hand, shouldn’t Flair be trying to steal back the U.S. title here instead of you know – not? In case the Giant wants to rip Flair’s arms off and beat him with them, the rest of the Horsemen come down to stand by his side. Why is Arn Anderson wearing the Hog Wild jean jacket? Whyyyyyy? *
Chris Jericho vs. Syxx
Here is Syxx’s WCW PPV debut. Another match involving the nWo, another match with Nick Patrick. Feeling out process to start. Jericho rolls under a spinning heel kick and spots Dungeon of Doom members (Kevin Sullivan, Big Bubba, and Konnan) watching on in the crowd. Tony says they’re working security? Shouldn’t that be handled by actual security officers? Jericho kicks and chops Syxx around, but gets caught up top and takes a spill to the floor. Somersault pescado by Syxx takes Jericho down. Back inside, Syxx punishes Jericho in the corner with his signature kick combo. Jericho escapes a chinlock and catches a spin kick, but Syxx uses his other foot to kick Jericho down. Nice. Syxx elbow drops Jericho on the apron, but misses a charge in the corner. From there, Jericho mounts a comeback and springboard dives onto Syxx. COME ON BABY! Back in the ring, Jericho nails a flying back elbow for 1-2-NO! Syxx comes off the top, but Jericho dropkicks him in mid-air for a nearfall. Nick Patrick is taking forever to get down to the mat. Lionsault and a nice bridge rollup gets a slowww one-count thanks to Nick Patrick. Springboard crossbody by Jericho still only gets him a two-count even when Syxx had been covered for a good four-count. Jericho goes over and yells at Nick Patrick, but turns back around into a Spinning Heel Kick from Syxx for the normal 1-2-3. (9:48) According to the commentary, it looks like that was supposed to be a fast count much like the one at Starrcade 1997, but didn’t happen. Some nice high risk stuff you would expect, but I don’t think these two ever realized their full potential against one another. For that matter, even in the WWF. Afterwards, Jericho chases Nick Patrick out of the ring and then the guy helps Syxx to the back. **½
Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson
Arn’s here to punish Luger for the loss at Wargames. He’s already worn his back down with chairshots, but Lex isn’t selling them here with any rib tape or anything. AA treats Lex like he’s nothing to start. Big mistake. Luger comes back with a press slam and a clothesline to the floor. Lex follows him out and drives Arn into the ringpost. Back in, Luger hits a powerslam and hammers on the back for a while. And just when AA looks done for, he catches Luger for a desperation Spinebuster. Back to the floor, this time Arn is in control. In the ring, AA cheats with an ab stretch and goes for the DDT, but Luger hooks the ropes to block . Now the ref gets bumped and Arn tries to nail Luger with a chair up against the ringpost. Luger ducks and catapults Arn into the ringpost instead. From there, Luger gives Arn a suplex on the floor and beats his back with the chair for some added revenge. That leaves Arn in dire straits and the TORTURE RACK is academic. And with that, Arn Anderson submits. (12:14) What? Yes, Arn FN Anderson submits. It’s definitely a rare moment. This was just both guys wearing each other’s backs down for ten minutes until somebody got to use a chair. While it makes sense, it was all too predictable booking. This also proves to be Arn’s final big PPV match due to his career-ending neck injury and since I’m a HUGE AA fan, it’s pretty saddening that I won’t be covering anymore of these. ITS STILL REAL TO ME, PEOPLE! Nah, I’m kidding. With Anderson laid out in the ring, Flair and Jarrett come out to check on him and he ends up doing a stretcher job. *½
Chris Benoit & Steve McMichael (w/Woman & Debra) vs. The Faces of Fear (w/Jimmy Hart)
More of the Horsemen v. Dungeon of Doom. Mongo and Meng start us off and get into a shoulderblock battle. Barbarian roughs Benoit up in the corner, but then he takes Barbarian over with a Northern Lights suplex for two. Benoit rolls out of a Boston crab and stomps a mudhole down in him. Sullivan, Bubba, and Konnan protest from their seats. Back to Meng and Mongo, they try some sumo stuff. Meng wins that and chops Mongo back into the corner. After he poses, Meng turns back around into a series of chopblocks. A kick to the head stops all that. Mongo comes back with an Erik Watts dropkick, but Meng swats off a second one. Meng misses a splash and Benoit gets the tag. He chops away on Meng, but winds up taking the backdrop into a powerbomb from Barbarian! So freakin awesome. Cover, 1-2-NO! From here, Barbarian launches Benoit from one end of the ring to the other with a SUPER BELLY TO BELLY THROW! Of course that was mostly Benoit, but who cares. It looked cool. That gets two. The Faces of Fear deliver the STEREO FLYING HEADBUTTS while Woman shrieks at ringside. Cover, 1-2-NO! Mongo makes the save. Suplex-flying splash combo connects, but Mongo says “enough of this”, pulls Benoit out off the cover, and wallops Meng in the head with the Haliburton briefcase. Meanwhile, Benoit ascends to the top for the SWANDIVE HEADBUTT! That gets three. (9:24) I’m actually kind of surprised that Meng SOLD the briefcase shot. Fun watch just to see Barbarian throwing Benoit around all over the place. After the match, the rest of the Dungeon of Doom jump the rail and help the Faces of Fear lay out both Benoit and McMichael. And since Flair has left with AA to the hospital, there’s nobody left to save them. Sullivan says something to Woman along the lines of “I’m the man”. ***
WCW World Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat (w/Sister Sherri & Col. Robert Parker) vs. The Outsiders
Scott Steiner was out with an injury and instead of just waiting to put the belts on them to drop to the Outsiders, they got impatient and decided to just have Harlem Heat drop the belts to Hall & Nash instead, which makes no sense if WCW wants fans to boo them. And the crowd’s reaction shows exactly who’s side they’re on by getting super loud with Razor & Diesel chants. Booker and Hall start the match. He catches Hall with a hook kick, but Hall comes back with his signature punches. The hiptoss across the ring spot puts Hall on the floor to take a beating from Stevie Ray. Back in, Hall spits on Stevie Ray and tags out to Nash. He takes Stevie Ray to the corner and unloads with knees and elbows. Stevie Ray battles back, spits at Hall, and beats Nash down into the corner. Booker T tags in for a Scissors Kick for 1-2-NO! Nash comes back with a Side Slam on Stevie Ray and tags Hall. He hits the second-rope bulldog on Stevie Ray for two. Booker tags in for a chinlock, but Hall fights out and sends him into Nash for a club to the back. Tag to Nash, he hits a Big Boot and the Snake Eyes. Booker staggers over into a clothesline from Hall on the apron. The crowd approves! Back over to Hall, he gives Booker a Chokeslam for two. Fallaway Slam connects and Sherri hops up on the apron, so Hall lays a big ol’ fat half-drunken kiss on her. Isn’t that like a standard babyface action? Hmm. HUGE undeniable “Razor” chants go up. They trade sleepers until Booker gets crotched on the top rope. Double-KO sets up a not-so-hot tag to Stevie Ray. Nash takes a clothesline to the floor as the Heat deliver the HARLEM HANGOVER to Hall! The ref is too busy trying to get Booker T out of the ring, allowing Col. Parker to try and whack Nash with his cane. He gets scared and instead, hands Nash the cane, who breaks up Stevie Ray’s pin with Parker’s cane. Hall turns over on top for the 1-2-3. (13:06) Huge pop for the Outsiders. No one should really be surprised by that though. **
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hogan (w/Ted DiBiase) vs. Randy Savage
Hogan wears his “3 Ninjas” toupee to the ring. He looks freakin ridiculous. Last time we saw Savage, he was covered in black leather and talking all emolicious. Tonight he makes his entrance and looks as though nothing happened. Maybe it’s because he’s got a monster truck of his own now? Ref Randy Anderson sends Giant away because that big guy can’t be out here. Several minutes of stalling from Hogan to start. Once they do lock up (Hogan still has his sunglasses and headband on), he quickly exits back to the floor. Back in, Hogan finally goes low and hits the running clothesline. Savage fires back and flying double ax handles Hogan’s glasses off. He puts those on and then grabs a chunk of Hogan’s toupee before punching *that* off. And he continues to punch Hogan to the floor, where he makes him eat his toupee. Hogan eats the ringpost and takes a chairshot to the top of his cranium. Umm, DQ? Ref Randy Anderson stops a second chairshot, allowing Hogan to nail him from behind and give him a chairshot while he’s down. From here, Hogan sends him into the post and gives him another chairshot – this time to the back. Hogan atomic drops him on the guardrail when what do you know. Miss Elizabeth heads down to ringside with her concerned face on. In the ring, Hogan gets distracted by her as Savage schoolboys him for 1-2-NO! Savage grabs him a handful of trunks so Hogan can moon the crowd. They brawl to the floor where Hogan uses Liz as a shield. He does it a second time and throws Liz at Savage so he can nail him. Back in, Hogan hits the Big Boot and while he’s posing in the corner, Liz jumps in the ring and lays on top of Randy. Hogan takes her up by the chin and tells her what it’s all about over in the corner. Now he goes for the LEGDROP, but Savage moves. Hogan pulls out some taped knux, but Liz takes it away from him and jumps out to the floor where DiBiase regains the object. Savage ducks a running clothesline and ref Randy Anderson gets nailed. In comes Nick Patrick and you know where this is heading. Savage fires back on Hogan and slams him for the MACHO ELBOW for 1-2-NO! Nick Patrick’s neck is killing him and he can’t keep counting. Savage starts ripping him apart. There goes another $500! Meanwhile, DiBiase hands Hogan the taped knux, but Savage blocks the blow and nails Hogan. When Savage heads up for another MACHO ELBOW, DiBiase grabs the legs to make Savage jump down and give chase. Here comes the Giant to stop that. CHOKESLAM ON THE FLOOR! Inside the ring, Giant puts Hogan on top for the 1-2-3. (18:35) From the way he was talking on the last Nitro before the PPV, you’d think Savage would be tearing Hogan limb from limb. Just a really weak main event with such a storied personal feud behind it. *
Right when Hogan tells everybody to go see Santa With Muscles, some bagpipe music plays all over the arena. Who comes out to bagpipe music? You guessed it. ROWDY RODDY PIPER! Since Hogan is so bored, he’s here to break the monotony. Back in the ’80s, they were running neck and neck as far as star power goes. Hogan even admits it. Piper says that he’s the only guy Hogan has never beaten. Piper shakes his hand, tells him to shape up, and starts to leave. But then Hogan has to call his kilt a skirt. Oh no he didn’t. That gets Piper pretty pissed. They go nose-to-nose and Hogan says that maybe they should have the war that didn’t settle the score. Ooo, nice reference. Piper tells Hogan that he’s the reason he’s got no hair. Your day is coming, Piper. Uh oh, he grabs Hogan’s belt which creates a problem, but it doesn’t matter because we have to leave.
Final Thoughts: Another pretty important PPV for the new World order as Hall and Nash gain the tag team titles, however the match quality is way down compared to Fall Brawl. The opener is fantastic and there’s a few solid matches interspersed throughout the card. Make your own judgment calls there. While the main event was lame, the angle at the end with Piper’s WCW debut was great. While he says he’s not for either WCW or the nWo, having anybody go up against the heel group is a plus now that there’s no babyfaces left except for maybe Luger. Not a must-see show, but at least check out the opener. If you can’t grab a copy, find the newer Rey Mysterio DVD and watch it that way. I’m going with a thumbs in the middle for Halloween Havoc 1996.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.