Halloween Havoc ’91

Since Clash 16 the following has occurred:

  • One Man Gang refused to put over PN Newz and was fired as a result.
  • WCW was rumored to be considering bringing back the Nightstaker (Adam Bomb) who had a horrid match with Sid in his only major match.
  • The USWA was trying to get a Jerry Lawler vs. Lex Luger Unification match put together. Jim Herd was surprisingly ok with much of the deal that would put a basically regional title on par with his “global” title. Paul Heyman ended up in trouble for telling Eddie Gilbert about what was in the works and Gilbert blabbed it around the business. An angle was suppose to occur in mid-November in Memphis to set the match up but it was postponed after word leaked.
  • Heavy rumors circulated that Luger vs. Bill Kazmaier was in the books for an end of year feud.
  • On TV Barry Windham and Steve Austin had an issue and when Dustin Rhodes got involved Windham almost came to blows with him before Dusty came down to play peacemaker. This was done seemingly to help transition Windham to teaming with Dustin instead of Ron Simmons who once again saved Barry from an attack from Lex Luger.
  • Madusa was pursued by the WWF to come in as Ric Flair’s valet. She chose to come to WCW instead.
  • The Rockers gave their notice to the WWF that they were heading to WCW. Shawn then leveraged a singles push into a deal to resign with the WWF and Marty took on heat for squawking about leaving. Marty would leave the WWF for nearly a year soon after.
  • Steve Austin nearly prepared to leave WCW for the WWF and rumors were flying that Dustin would beat him for the TV title at Havoc to send him on his way.
  • The Fabulous Freebirds turned babyface and saved Rick Steiner from an attack by Arn Anderson and Larry Zybysko. The Birds beat the Enforcers on TV in a non-title match. Then a few weeks later, The Freebirds donned masks as “The Screaming Eagles” and lost to the Enforcers, despite the element of surprise being on their side.
  • Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher threw Sting a birthday party and promised it would be his last. Bill Kazmaier, among others, took up Sting’s cause and tried to help him deal with the wackos.
  • Tom Zenk was arrested for battery – that led to the cops finding pot as well as steroids on him.
  • In one of the greatest examples of disparity of talent between two tag team partners, Jushin “Thunder” Liger teamed up with OZ for a show in Japan.
  • Veteran Doug Somers was signed on to work as a high profile jobber.
  • Just prior to the PPV Windham fractured his wrist in four places while wrestling a jobber. I believe he was scheduled to wrestle in the Chamber of Horrors match and ended up being replaced by El Gigante.

Halloween Havoc 91

Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone call the action.

We start with a clip of Eric Bischoff greeting the wrestlers as they arrive at the arena. Cactus Jack and Abby arrive together. Cactus is in a sports coat and Abby has a dress shirt and tie on?!?!! Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes then arrive and are attacked by the Enforcers. They proceed to “break” Windham’s wrist.

Chamber of Horrors Steel Cage Match: El Gigante, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner and Sting vs. The Diamond Studd, Big Van Vader, Abby the Butcher and Cactus Jack

The cage is full of “implements of torture”. Jack brings a chainsaw to the ring. Scott is working this match while still legitimately injured. On paper this could be a lot of fun. Oddly Jack wasn’t supposed to be a part of this originally, despite feuding with Sting. He is replacing the One Man Gang.

Sting and Rick brawl with Jack and Abby on the ramp as everyone else goes at it in the ring. All 8 quickly pile in the cage that is surrounding ringside, not just the ring. Sting cracks all the heels with a broom handle. Scott Hall is tossed into a wooden casket at ringside. Another casket has a masked man in it and the hooded man attacks Scott.

Vader and Sting collide for the first of many times on PPV and Sting knocks him to the floor. Cactus is downed with a top rope bulldog from the Steiners. Then suddenly a smaller cage is lowered into the ring with an electric chair inside it. Now there’s no room for anyone to work.

Vader beats Steiner into the chair but Rick fights him off. Jack is bonked with a casket lid. 10 men come down to ringside, all dressed in white, with white face paint – they await the victim of the chair.

Jack is bleeding. He and Sting scale the cage. Abby is bleeding too and Scott chokes him with a chain. Jack takes a wicked bump into the cage at full speed. Scott uses the chain on Hall and Vader. The lever for the electric chair is turned on by accident, and the camera shows it up close as JR tries to ignore it.

Jack climbs toward the switch. A gaggle of men brawl around the chair. Rick is tossed in the chair and Jack just stares away from the chair. Abby is then tossed in the chair and Jack still looks away. Rick can’t find the head device for the chair and has to dig it out from under Abby’s blubber. Jack still looks away. Finally Abby is properly locked on and Jack, confident that Rick is still in the chair after nearly a minute has passed, pulls the switch and fries Abdullah. Sparks fly, smoke and fire shoot off and Abby shakes violently. The faces celebrate murder as the heels stare at Abby’s body.

Match was pretty solid until the goofy chair gimmick ruined the end. Otherwise this was basically War Games with weapons and shitty camera work. Abby wakes up and attacks Jack and then they attack the orderlies together.

Missy Hyatt (dressed as a flapper or a showgirl) and Eric Bischoff (dressed as a Vampire) discuss who the WCW Halloween Phantom may be.

Big Josh and PN Newz vs. The Mysterious Creatures

Newz raps and a bunch of fat white people dance along with him. The Creatures are Joey Maggs and Johnny Rich under masks. Josh beats up both masked men and then Newz uses his girth to bounce both men around. Newz hits a DROPKICK!

Josh hits a nice belly-to-back suplex. Newz misses a corner splash. Josh tags back in and hits another back suplex before the Creatures take over via double-teaming. Josh shakes that off and butt splashes one of the masked men. PN Newz then crushes him with a top rope splash for the pin. Went too long for what it was.

Bobby Eaton vs. Terrence Taylor

The “Dallas” rip off theme returns here, as the WWE Network doesn’t seem to know if they own the rights to the tune or not. Eaton and Taylor do a bunch of jaw jacking to start. They trade some big punches back and forth. Things spill out to the floor where the momentum swings out there too.

Back in, Eaton out grapples Terrence until the action spills to the ramp. Eaton lays Taylor out and hits a flying knee from the top down onto the prone heel laying on the ramp. They briefly return to the ring before Eaton is dumped to the floor again. The steel barricade is used to soften Eaton up. Taylor then drags Eaton to the ramp and delivers a Tiger Bomb to him on the wood.

Bobby fights on thru the pain but ends up trapped in several rest holds. Eaton battles his way out and starts his own offensive. A neckbreaker sets up an Alabama Jam tease, but Taylor catches him on the top rope and climbs up after him. Eaton knocks Taylor off and hits the flying leg drop for a hard earned win. Well worth the watch as this was two men working hard and putting on a nice sixteen minute battle.

Jimmy Garvin vs. Johnny B. Badd

No idea why this match is happening based on reading the build up to this PPV. Hayes has his arm in a sling. Hayes stalls and poses even when he’s not in the match. Garvin stalls to start as well. Badd starts with fists but Garvin dumps him to the floor, where Hayes reveals his arm injury is fake and he slugs Badd.

Badd uses a towel to choke Garvin and take control. Hayes takes off the sling and just cheers Garvin on. Badd blows a flying sunset flip and both men almost fall over. Even JR notes he blew the spot. Badd goes for two more high-risk moves and finally gets caught. Badd misses a charge and splats on the concrete. Badd misses a KO punch back in the ring and Garvin hits the DDT to a big pop. Teddy Long keeps the ref busy until Badd can recover and hit the KO shot for the win. A disjointed mess, as rookie Badd continues to suck.

Missy Hyatt interrupts Bobby Eaton who is carrying a pumpkin on his way to “celebrate”. A wild party for sure it seems. Anyway, still no Phantom.

TV Champ Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes

Whochiwowza, ummm Lady Bosom, errr I mean Blossom is, well…whoa. Both men feel each other out. JR notes that Steve Austin would be his top choice to start a wrestling group with. 4 years early, but I think this Ross guy is on to something…

Dustin tosses Austin around, so he quickly downs Rhodes and tries to keep him grounded. Rhodes is game for this and they trade a fast paced series of reversals that ends with Austin dumped on the floor. Dustin’s Grandma (the wife of a plumber!) is at ringside to see his big match. Steve avoids a bulldog but Rhodes continues control.

Things slow down with side headlocks, so the announcers talk about how few clothes Blossom is wearing and how her chest won’t fit in a standard picture. No they really do, I’m not just making perverted jokes again.

Dustin misses a dive and crashes to the floor. He comes up bleeding and Austin goes right for the wound. He abuses Dustin out of the ring and then back in the ring as well. A headlock allows Steve to force the blood out of Rhodes.

Dustin finds a second wind but Austin cuts him off with an impactful clothesline. The men trade rolling cradles but Dustin tries a high-risk move as he hears the time limit is running down. It misses and Austin and Blossom take turns torturing Dustin. Rhodes rallies yet again and bloodies Steve with a ring post shot. “The Natural” unloads with punches and elbows as time runs short. A few desperation pins fail to achieve victory in time as the 15-minute time limit expires. Another really good match and you could see the potential for these young men to have great matches someday.

They announce that Starrcade would not be a normal card but instead be a “Battle Bowl” tag team challenge. And suck.


Dear God.

This was scheduled to be Cactus Jack vs. Bill but Jack had to be moved to the Chamber match. OZ’s hair is now blond and not gray like when he first showed up. Nash talks trash as they work a headlock and a test of strength. A test of strength with the World’s Strongest Man.

OZ tries to use an Irish whip but Kazmaier wouldn’t go for it and sends Nash into the corner instead. Bill gets a hip toss and Tony exalts praise on his development as a wrestler. For a hip toss.

JR notes WCW competed in front of 60,000 fans in Japan recently and have already sold over 40,000 tickets to their next show in January. Except only two or three guys from WCW actually are working those events and New Japan’s roster is what is actually drawing those houses.

Nash clubs away but Kazmaier skins-the-cat over the ropes back in the ring when Oz tries to toss him. He then locks on a torture rack for the win. Let’s just be happy that wasn’t worse than it was and move along.

Van Hammer vs. “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers

Tony says Van’s fans are the Hammerheads, Hammerhisteria is running wild and Vantastic is the new buzz word for Hammer’s abilities. This was suppose to be Hammer vs. Michael Hayes, but Hayes is “injured”, even though we saw earlier he was faking it. JR just laughs it off. Hayes was a face, so why was he going against Hammer to start with?

They whiff their first move as they collide and Somers falls down as Hammer was going for a clothesline and Somers went for a shoulderblock. A suplex ends this quickly.

Moving on…

WCW World Light Heavyweight title tournament finals: Brian Pillman vs. Mr. Richard Morton

It’s odd they waited 6 weeks between the Semis and the Finals. These two even wrestled on TV in between then and now. JR notes Wally Yamaguchi is at ringside. (Who’s that, you ask? In about 7 years he’ll try to chop off Val Venis’ “pee-pee”). I still can’t believe Morton is still wearing his Rock and Roll outfits while running with a corporate gimmick.

Morton grounds Pillman. Pillman grounds Morton. They work a shockingly slow paced match. Armbars that go on forever. Finally they crash together and Pillman hits the flying crossbody for the win. Morton’s second straight PPV stinker.

Tom Zenk vs. The Mysterious WCW Halloween Phantom

The Phantom is wearing a half black/half white mask and a black body suit. He jumps Zenk to start. A mustache pops out of his mask as he blitzes through Zenk and hits a Phantom Awakening Neckbreaker. How Rude of him. Just a squash. Tony flat out calls it the “Rude Awakening” during the replay. Well there goes the surprise for later. Of all the times for him to call a move correctly…

WCW World tag champions Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko vs. US Tag champs The US Patriots

Larry messes with Chip to start. Power vs. Experience leads to power winning out early as Chip is able to out do “The Living Legend”. Arn tries grappling but Chip slips out. Anderson complains about Chip being oiled up. Todd tags in and he over whelms Arn too. Larry gives it a go, but stalls and runs away instead of locking up. Arn then gets in a cheap shot and Champion is sent to the floor.

Larry greets him there and drives him into the railing. The heels give Champion a beating until Chip can finally tag back in. All four men go at it and Arn gets a spinebuster for the win. The heels severely outclassed the faces here.

Eric Bischoff is joined by Paul E Dangerously and Madusa. Dangerously bitches about being suspended from broadcasting several weeks ago. He declares war on WCW for this infraction and reminds everyone that he still has a manager’s license. This allowed him to find a man to take out Sting, who is the WCW franchise. This will then bankrupt WCW once and for all. Rick Rude unmasks and declares Sting is going down. Rude hadn’t been seen in a year, so this is a major return.

Ron Simmons is shown back at Florida State. He is training for the biggest match of his career.

Best 2 out of 3 falls: World Champ Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons

Dusty Rhodes joins Ron Simmons to counteract Harley Race. Mr. Hughes is sent to the back. Why was this made multiple falls? With two big bulls, it should really be one fall to a finish, with an ending being brought about only after both men are driven to the point of exhaustion and a mega hard-hitting move found its mark.

They feel one another out until Ron tries a drop kick and misses. This allows Luger to smell blood and pounce. Simmons rallies fast and hits a powerslam and spinebuster for a quick win in round one. Luger is selling a back injury as we start round two. Luger is tossed around at will. Ron keeps the pressure on until he makes another mistake and misses a charge that sends him splattering on the concrete.

Luger goes on the offensive, while still selling his back. Lex is also either blown up, or acting like he is as he’s breathing heavy. Harley Race distracts Simmons, which draws over Dusty and the mentors go at it briefly. Lex charges at Simmons and is dumped over the top. Race prevented Simmons from flipping over as well and that earned Ron a DQ in round 2.

Lex is bleeding next to his eye somehow. Simmons is all fired up now and he starts no selling Luger’s offensive flurry. Lex is superplexed and the fans are pretty into Ron’s success. A flying shoulderblock sees Lex knocked to the floor. Simmons follows him out and charges at Luger again. Lex side steps him and Simmons crashes into the ring post like a fool. Luger quickly gets Ron in the ring and hits a sloppy piledriver for the win. A replay shows Simmons lands on Lex’s knee and not his neck at all. Tony covers by saying his shoulder hit and that hurt him enough for the pin. Tony declares it one of the greatest title matches ever, I declare it slightly above average.

The hard push for Simmons, with multiple segments airing on TV of his Florida State career, to training in Florida State, and then wearing the FSU colors on his tights led to a title match being held in…Tennessee. Then after 6 weeks of a monster push, Simmons blows the big one and loses. Ask the Lex Express what that does for a babyface’s momentum.

Final thoughts:

Outside of a couple of matches that were entertaining, this was largely an exercise in willpower as I drudged through meaningless matches and Wrestlecrap.


Written by Andrew Lutzke

The grumpy old man of culturecrossfire.com, lover of wrasslin' and true crimes.

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