WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 10/24/1998

Written by: Arnold Furious

We’re in Vegas, baby, Vegas. Hosts are Fat Tony (who must be way beyond ‘not caring’ by this point), Mike Tenay and The Brain. Crowd is HOT. They shill the Hogan-Woyah match from 1990. I’m quick to point out that we’re now 8 years on from that. EIGHT years. Also Goldberg won the world title off Hogan before this show instead of doing it on PPV because OBVIOUSLY Hogan-Woyah will draw more. Yawn.

Tenay tries, and fails, to get excited about the Nitro Girls – “on PPV, that’s a first…” They hype the matches while the Nitro Girls dance. Scheme Gene thinks this will be one of the greatest PPV’s in history. He chitchats with Rick Steiner. Out comes Buff Bagwell who’s supposedly turned babyface and he asks to be in Rick’s corner. Crowd doesn’t buy him as a babyface at all. Rick is stupid enough to believe Bagwell.

TV title – Chris Jericho (c) v Raven

Raven has lost the Flock and he’s feeling a bit down. “What about me? What about Raven?” Jericho is now in full “Monday Night Jericho” persona, which is pretty much what he came to the WWF with. Raven tells us he doesn’t feel like wrestling and walks. “Chris Jericho equals buyrates” – Jericho and he proceeds to bait Raven back into the ring by calling him and the Flock losers. He takes Raven’s jacket off and whips him with it. Cocky cover gets 2. Raven comes back with the Cactus clothesline and I am so into this. Raven front suplexes Jericho onto the ring steps. Step assisted dropkick from Raven. Back inside and Jericho hits a hot shot. Springboard dropkick from Jericho sends Raven outside again. Jericho tries for a clothesline off the apron and he brains himself on the rail. Raven takes a nasty spill into the rail as well and this is almost a hardcore match. Raven chokes Jericho with his shirt and then goes to the sleeper. Jericho back suplexes out of that and the Misawa running senton connects. Jericho exposes a turnbuckle but Raven sneaks in for the powerbomb and he catapults Jericho into the exposed buckle. Lariat gets 2 and the crowd is hot. Raven avoids a back kick and hits a belly to belly for 2. Jericho blocks a German suplex into the Liontamer, which Raven blocks partially and he battles into the ropes. Jericho whinges about something or other and Raven hits the DDT!!! For 2!!! He argues the count and Jericho gets a roll up for 2 and a low blow into a German suplex for 2. Kanyon appears at ringside colliding with Jericho but the Even Flow is countered right into the Liontamer and Jericho wins via submission at 7.50. ****. Just about as hot and exciting an opening match as you can fit into the allotted time. A tremendous balls to the wall effort from both guys. Crowd was completely into everything and I’d say this is the best straight up Raven match I’ve ever seen.

PROMO TIME. Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff come out and say a whole lot of nothing and eat up PPV time. The general gist is Hogan beat up Horace Boulder (his own nephew) because he’s essentially unstoppable. They could have done this with a video package and it would have been a whole lot shorter. I can’t believe they had the hot angle with Goldberg and even with Woyah only to have the last week of build up focus on Horace friggin’ Boulder.

Cruiserweight title #1 contender match – Disco Inferno v Juvi Guerrera

They batter each other and Juvi hits a headscissors for the early advantage. Rocker Dropper from Juvi at the 2nd attempt (after fecking the first one up). Juvi does a wicked headscissors through the ropes to the floor. Disco fires back with a lariat. I’m reminded that Wrath v Meng was blissfully clipped from my tape version of this show. 2nd rope elbow from Disco scores 2. Spinning back kick from Juvi and a hangover on the ropes. A springboard move is avoided by Disco running away so Juvi follows out with a pescado. Double KO so we go back in even but Juvi hits a rana anyway. Juvi Driver is blocked and Juvi gets dumped onto the ropes into a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Disco taunts for ages and gets sunset flipped for 2. Disco then breaks out a Giant SWING before falling over into Juvi’s groin for 2. Is this a comedy match? Suplex from Disco and it bugs me that he did so much comedy because he could wrestle. Disco climbs and gets crotched. Super rana from Juvi and a spinning kick off the ropes gets 2. Disco looks for an Ocean Cyclone but that’s countered into a bulldog for 2. Disco blocks a reverse rana into a jumping piledriver and that’s all she wrote at 9.38. ***. Solid from both men but too much dance stalling from Disco and I’m sure most people wanted to see Juvi in the title match later. As it happens Disco goes on to face cruiserweight champ Kidman later.

More Nitro girls…and cute though they are, I fail to see why they’re being used on screen so much.

PROMO TIME. Scotty Steiner has a few words for his freaks. Scotty loses his way with specifics and fumbles over some words before challenging Rick and Buff to a tag match against himself and the Giant for the tag titles. Huh? So we had Scott Steiner-Rick Steiner now we have Giant/Scotty v Rick/Buff for the tag titles? If Rick/Buff win then Rick gets a 15 minute match with Scotty right afterwards. Errrrrrr. Can’t we just assume that Buff turns and skip the whole thing? Scotty was HORRIBLE on the mic here.

MORE Nitro girls. Just what you want on a wrestling show. Meanwhile this tape also cuts out Alex Wright-Fit Finlay and Lodi-Saturn but makes damn sure to include the whole of Scotty’s promo. Why I oughta…

Cruiserweight title – Kidman (c) v Disco Inferno

What happened to the format here then? I forgot how much I used to dig Kidman’s music. That and Booker T were success stories for WCW. Everyone else was a failure. Kidman hits an early dropkick and Disco stalls. The crowd is now dead because we’ve had nothing for 20 minutes before this. STUPID company. Slingshot headscissors from Kidman and he stomps away to a good reaction. Sweet swinging neckbreaker from Disco gets 2 and he’s blown up already. Disco mocks Kidman in bizarre fashion while pretending to be his mother only he still calls him Kidman. Weird. Kidman gets backdropped outside. Kidman fires back with a swinging bulldog off the ring apron though. Top rope splash misses. Disco pins him for 2. Rope clothesline from Kidman batters Disco but he fires back with a farewell. Disco dances to jeers and connects with a back suplex for 2. Disco badmouths Kidman again this time calling him a “pipsqueak”. Great insult. Disco misses a 2nd buckle elbow. Kidman nails him with a Rydien bomb for 2. Powerslam gets 2. Dropkick misses however. Kidman avoids the piledriver once but a 2nd one connects for a double KO that makes no sense because Disco was fine. That only gets 2 when he eventually covers. Kidman hits a swinging bulldog but Disco switches it into a back suplex on the way down. Front suplex follows that for 2. He tries for a powerbomb but YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB KIDMAN. Facebuster. SSP. Good night at 10.46. **1/4. Pretty dull. Why have Disco work twice in one night in back to back matches? It made no sense at the time as I remember and it makes just as little sense in flashback.

WCW tag titles – Scotty Steiner/The Giant (c) v Rick Steiner/Buff Bagwell

Technically The Giant and Scott Hall are the tag team champions although even that is kind of a screwy situation and I don’t clearly remember what the hell was going on. This is the first time that Scott has wrestled Rick since turning on him in February. It’s now October. Logic would suggest that we’d have seen that clash sooner. Giant is smoking. Great message to send to kids there. Rick takes a beating and has to tag in Buff WHO TURNS ON HIM. Jesus Christ. Well everyone in the world bar the commentators and Rick Steiner saw that one coming. Crowd chants for “Goldberg” in the hope that they won’t have to sit through the rest of this match. Rick takes a 2 on 1 beating while the crowd try their best to motivate him. Giant missile dropkicks Scotty by mistake. Rick fires up and bulldogs Giant to win the tag team titles for himself at 8.23. Rick Steiner is the tag team champions! 1/2*. The company reaches up out of the toilet bowl and flushes the tag titles away. Because of that crapfest we now, FINALLY, get Rick v Scotty.

Rick Steiner v Scotty Steiner

Scotty isn’t interested in coming back so Rick jumps him. Rick fends off the Giant as well. So the young guys in the company get nothing but Rick Steiner can beat everyone on his own. Were they looking to build him up to world title level or something? Scotty begs off and gets punched in the mouth for it. Scotty goes low (for the 4th time tonight) to regain the advantage. They really shouldn’t have done this match now. The fans were buzzing until it started. Rick nearly drops Scotty on his head with a powerslam, which shows you how careful a worker he is. We get a fan over the guardrail with a Clinton mask on and out comes Stevie Ray. The fan is Buff Bagwell in a mask and he slapjacks Rick and the referee at 3.35. The bell has rung but the match is still going on. Errrrr. What? Scotty hits the Frankensteiner and Rick kicks out of that. Rick then decks Buff and Scotty. Bulldog and impartial referee Nick Patrick comes out to count 3 at 5.02. What? 1/4*. Reasonable, if predictable, angle but it was way too late and the wrestling was drab. Overbooked to all intents and purposes too. I’m sure Bischoff thought it was a tremendous way to put over a fan favourite.

Tape showing Kevin Nash as a huge babyface in the Hall-Nash feud. As opposed to a huge nothing, which is what he is. Hall looks hammered in 90% of the video footage.

Kevin Nash v Scott Hall

Hall has a spot of liquid libation pre-match. Yep, smoking and drinking before athletic endeavours tonight. Hall jumps ahead of the bell and wails on Nash. Big Lazy takes a break and lies down on the floor for 2 minutes while Hall cuts a promo. Nash sells more in the first 3 minutes of this match for Hall than for any other wrestler in his entire career. In return Hall nearly drops him on his head on a scoop slam. Nash avoids a Razor’s Edge by falling over. Kevin Nash – worker supreme. For no apparent reason Nash decides to start wrestling after 5 minutes and he hits a sidewalk slam (move #1). Hall avoids a powerbomb and jumps through the ropes like a man avoiding machine gun fire. I can only presume that he heard it was last orders at the bar. Nash overpowers a few times and hits a few forearms. The match drags on and on and on with nothing happening. Nash lines up some elbows in the corner. Then he goes to the knees while mocking Hall’s real life drinking problems. What a guy. This lumbers past the 10 minute mark and I’m feeling sleepy, so sleepy. Nash big boots Hall down. Poochiebomb (#2). Another Poochiebomb (#3, or technically #2b I guess because it’s the same move) and Nash takes a walk because finishes are too difficult for him, what with having to do stuff. Nash gets counted out at 14.18. Yeah, that long. DUD. A complete waste of my time, especially on the back of that Steiner horseshit. Hall would bounce around all over the place in the booking after this.

More Nitro girls….and this show is starting to grind at my will to live. Mercifully Konnan’s music video was cut out of the show earlier judging by the commentary.

US title – Bret Hart (c) v Sting

Bret looks really great with the belt but he’s being booked entirely to hell by this fecking company. Sting has a baseball bat as part of his nWo Wolfpac gimmick. Bret stalls forever trying to get some heat from this damn crowd, who don’t get it so he does it some more and THERE’S THE HEAT. The psychology penny has dropped. Sting drags Bret inside and we start SLOW. Must….not….fast….forward. Bret doesn’t take that crap for long and he hits a DDT for 2. Bret sleepwalks through some offence targeting the lower back. Bret cheats on the ropes and his “style” in this match is making me very uncomfortable. Whoever decided to turn Bret heel was a moron. Probably Bischoff, so I’m dead on there. Bulldog and then a side Russian legsweep from Bret. Sting catches him through and puts on the Scorpion Deathlock. Bret gets the ropes on that one. Sting looks SO stupid with face paint AND a goatee. Bret sells his knee and the crowd try to convince Sting that he’s bullshitting. Sting goes after the leg anyway and Bret is, in fact, fine thus proving Sting to not be an idiot for once. Bret hits a low blow after some International object shenanigans. Please, Bret, stop cheating. It’s just not in the Hitman’s character to do so. He doesn’t need to. 2nd rope elbow gets 2. Bret has words with some ringside fans. Naughty words. Words that rhyme with ‘duck blue’. Ref is bumped. Sting LIKE A COMPLETE FECKING MORON superplexes Bret onto the fallen referee. Nice one jackass. Way to break the referee’s legs! Bret takes a Stinger Splash where Sting tries to break Bret’s neck. Bret punks him out with a baseball bat for that and slaps the Sharpshooter on his corpse at 15.02. **. How can WCW screw this match up? So overbooked and badly overbooked for that matter. A straight up wrestling match between these two might well have been great. This wasn’t either. They’ve also given Bret new music, which is terrible. Sting meanwhile does a stretcher job. Bret would spend the following 12 months bumping around the midcard pointlessly. Sometimes I really hate WCW. They take Sting out in an ambulance and I keep expecting Hogan to run a truck into it while shouting “Hollywood is gonna lay the Smackdown on his cripple ass”. It doesn’t happen.

Wrestlemania 6 re-match – Hulk Hogan v Ultimate Warrior

Sign in the crowd suggests Bischoff is retarded, broke and a gimp. Thankfully Woyah doesn’t get any mictime, so this PPV doesn’t get warriorized unlike Chance’s column from a few months back. “Woyah sucks” chant. Hehehe. Even WCW’s most brainwashed supporters can’t believe this was a good idea. I feel like I’ve walked into the past here. The distant past. Hogan actually works Woyah over in the early going. Ah, it’s the Hogan work ethic. If you want to replicate the Hulkster’s achievements then always remember the Balding Yellow Llama’s words of wisdom –

1. Never lose matches brother. I don’t care if it’s a 500lb Giant, dude, or the most popular guy you ever saw, brother, because Hulkamania lives forever so I’m not doing it…..brother.
2. Don’t sell for anyone, brother. Selling is for losers, dude.
3. Pretend that people still care about you even when it’s been 10 years since anyone realistically enjoyed one of your matches, man.
4. Never do anything flashy, brother. If the legdrop is enough for the Hulkster, it’s enough for any man.
5. Always cheat, brother. The fans will love you for it.

While I’ve been typing that we’ve got ourselves a “boring” chant going on and a whole lot of nothing. Woyah no sells a scoop slam and HITS ONE OF HIS OWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The action, it’s too intense to tolerate! MAH GAWD, THE BODYSLAM. HOGAN MUST BE DEAD GODDAMNIT. What amazing move will they pull out next? The sleeper? The back rake? The eye rake? Hogan rakes the eyes. THE EYE RAKE. BAH GAWD, THAT’S THE MOST DEVASTATING THING I’VE EVER SEEN. Impartial referee Nick Patrick gets bumped in a spot so bad and contrived that it sets the wrestling business in Las Vegas back 20 years. Giant runs, well, lurches out and Woyah beats him down as well as some nWo b-teamers. OH MY GAWD, HOGAN HITS A BACK SUPLEX. WOYAH’S CAREER IS OVER!!!!!!! That gets 2. Crowd is absolutely dead. Hogan takes the belt to Woyah and continues with the nefarious choking. In a spot that cracks me up Woyah rolls out of the way of a Hogan elbow and Hogan trips over him. This is unbelievably wretched. Now Woyah goes to the weight lifting belt shots. Hogan pulls out the fireball in the corner and FECKS IT UP burning his own fingers. How can you blow spots in THIS match? Hogan gigs on an axe handle, which is pretty pathetic. This match is just dying out there. Hogan drops Old Glory and out comes Horace Hogan, a man who NO ONE cares about except the commentators who’ve been shilling him all show. Woyah makes his rope shaking comeback and Horace hits him with a weak chair shot. Even the commentators are bemused at this turn of events. Woyah jobs to that particular chair shot at 14.19. DUD for the match but I don’t think that’s a fair rating inclusive of the HORRIBLE finish. -**. Horace sprays lighter fuel on Woyah but security prevents him from being burned to death live on PPV. But the nWo wants to blubs Bischoff. You can’t always get your own way Eric. That would be the end of Woyah’s usefulness. Actually his usefulness ended somewhere around ’92 and the steroid trials but I digress.

WCW title – Goldberg (c) v Diamond Dallas Page

It’s introduced as the “final match of the evening” as opposed to the “main event”. Of course Hogan is ALWAYS in the main event so it can’t be that. Goldberg is WAY over, which shows you that WCW fans were screaming for something new at the top end. Goldberg overpowers to start. DDP hits an armdrag and gets driven backwards through the ropes for it. DDP hits a nice legsweep, which Goldberg counters impressively. He goes into an armbreaker but Page gets out. Jawbreaker from DDP and he tries to work the arm. Diamond Cutter is blocked. DDP comes back and shows us some technical skills so Goldberg shoulder blocks him through the ropes. DDP hangs him up on the ropes though and he hits a swinging neckbreaker. Side Russian legsweep gets 2. Goldberg totally screws up his own swinging neckbreaker. It’s called “training” Bill. You’re like a 12 year old kid out there just rushing into everything. Suplex from Goldberg, not textbook. Sidewalk slam gets 2. Goldberg goes back to work on the arm. Hey, that’s almost psychology. DDP manages a headscissors but gets superkicked for it. Goldberg misses a corner spear and posts himself, HARD. Man, is he trying to injure himself out there or is he just incompetent? DDP hits a clothesline off the buckles for 2. Goldberg goes for a one armed slam but DDP counters it into a DDT. He calls for the Diamond Cutter and SPEAR. Good lord, that’s the biggest spear ever. On his bad shoulder, incidentally. Goldberg tries to drag DDP up for the Jackhammer but he’s too hurt. PSYCHOLOGY. He fails again and DDP counters INTO THE DIAMOND CUTTER. Delayed cover gets a dramatic 2. DDP tries for a suplex and that’s countered right into the Jackhammer at 10.27. ***1/2. Best Goldberg match, ever. If he’d learned from this he could have gone on to be something special. No kidding or anything, honestly. But he didn’t. This was the very peak of Goldberg. In the midst of the streak and working a great match for the first time in his career. Both men celebrate the good match after the decision is rendered and FINALLY we get through a PPV main event without a sign of the nWo. Bliss.

Overall PPV rating – C+
Upside – Goldberg was in a good match and the stuff not involving the nWo was fine. Downside – even Bret looked bad in an nWo match and everything else they did was even worse ESPECIALLY Hogan-Woyah, which is easily one of the 5 worst matches I’ve ever seen. So it’s a thumbs in the middle C+ pointing up for most of the card. Fast forward the nWo crap and this is actually a worthwhile tape.

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