Classic Wrestling Review: Halloween Havoc ’89

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Before I start, I want to tell you guys about a special entry to my blog that I will be doing soon. After I finish the 1989 shows, I’m going to do a “Best of the 80s” entry. I will recap what I’ve covered so far and I will give a preview of what to look forward to when I cover the 90s. I will also rank some of my favorite wrestlers, matches, etc. from what I’ve covered. If you guys have any suggestions of your favorites, send them to me on the Facebook page. I will provide a link at the end of the review. I am also planning on doing some sort of caption contest or reader challenge, but you will have to like and follow the Facebook page to participate. I hope to see you there! Now, on with the review.

(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)

Halloween Havoc

October 28, 1989

Philadelphia Civic Center

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

WCW has added yet another PPV to their lineup and this one will stick around for the remainder of WCW’s existence. It will go on to host some great matches, but it will also feature some ridiculous nonsense. It is an event that is notorious for its campiness, such as the Chamber of Horrors and, of course, the YEH-TAY!!!! This inaugural event is no exception. It features the first ever Thunderdome Cage Match! The Thunderdome is a precursor to Hell in a Cell, in that it’s a large cage that encompasses the entire ringside area. The twist is that WCW claims there will be an electrified wire around the top of the cage. This match was booked to settle the ongoing feud between the teams of Sting & Ric Flair and Terry Funk & The Great Muta. After their brawl at the end of The Great American Bash, the tensions led to the creation of this crazy match. Now, Ole Anderson has returned to help Sting & Flair, but can Sting trust him?

The show opens with a spooky graveyard animation. They show headstones that bear the names of Sting, Flair, Funk, and Muta. Ghostly images of the four men rise from the graves and fly off into the night.

Jim Ross and Bob Caudle welcome everyone to Philadelphia. Caudle says that he came from the locker room and all the wrestlers are ready but concerned. Ross then introduces Gordon Solie, who says he will be talking to the Freebirds, Lex Luger, and Gary Hart. Then, Ross calls the cage hanging above the ring, “Mesmerizing,” before introducing a new interviewer, Chris Cruise. I can’t hear that name without hearing it in Dusty Rhodes’ voice. I expected someone to start talking about the mothership. Chris says that he will be talking to Bruno Sammartino, The Steiners, The Road Warriors, Ole Anderson, and Ric Flair. If this is a competition between Cruise and Solie, then I think Cruise has the edge. Cruise then introduces Gary Cappetta, whom he calls the world’s greatest ring announcer. That was nice of him.

Z-Man vs. Mike Rotunda

Z-Man is Tom Zenk. You might remember him from all the way back in my WrestleMania III review. He has found his way to WCW and he’s facing Mike Rotunda. The Varsity Club has finally disbanded, but someone forgot to tell Rotunda. He’s still wearing his VC singlet. It could also be that he doesn’t want to let it go. Both men are already in the ring and Rotunda gets heavily booed when he’s introduced. After the introductions, Jim Ross calls Cappetta the world’s most dangerous ring announcer and I have to know what the story is behind that.

Rotunda starts the match with a takedown, but he complains to the ref that Zenk is too slippery. Z-Man gets a headlock, followed by a shoulder block, and for some reason, they do the sequence again. Rotunda keeps rolling outside to stall and the camera almost catches him fishing in his knee pad for an object. He yells at the cameraman for being nosy. The two men then fight into a corner and Rotunda thumbs Zenk in the eye before throwing him outside. However, Zenk catches him at the ropes and hits a sunset flip for a 2 count, so Rotunda takes another powder. They fight back and forth some more and end up doing a Matrix-like mid-air do-see-do, which sees Zenk end up in control of a hammerlock. They trade more holds until Rotunda grabs a head scissors and twists it. He uses the ropes for leverage, but referee Nick Patrick eventually catches him. They trade more holds back and forth, which causes Ross to remark that Zenk is keeping it basic. Rotunda ends up sending Z-Man flying a good ten feet out onto the floor, which looked painful. He then rams Zenk’s head onto the apron and snaps him across the rope. Then, he suplexes him back inside for a 2 count. Next, Mike tries an abdominal stretch and goes for leverage, but he gets caught again. Zenk tries to fight back, but Rotunda hits a jumping clothesline. He then tries a front dropkick, but Z-Man stops short. They fight back and forth some more until Rotunda attempts a cross body, but Zenk rolls through for a 3 count.

This match was too slow and had too much stalling for an opening match. I’m a firm believer in starting a show hot and this match was lukewarm, at best. Rotunda can be quite dull and Zenk wasn’t much better.

Winner: Z-Man (13:23)

Chris Cruise is in what appears to be some spooky woods or at least a cheap set. He’s with Bruno Sammartino, who will be the guest referee in the main event. Cruise calls him his hero and welcomes him back to Philadelphia. He then asks Bruno if he’s ever done anything as difficult as refereeing a Thunderdome Cage Match. Bruno says, “Not quite.” He calls it unique and dangerous and says that his role is to make sure Ole and Gary Hart don’t interfere. He’s also there to declare a victor. Chris asks if there is anything that would make him stop the match. Bruno replies that he doesn’t think so because it will be a fight to the bitter end.

The Samoan SWAT Team & The Samoan Savage (w/ Oliver Humperdink) vs. The Midnight Express & Dr. Death Steve Williams (w/ Jim Cornette)

Where is Paul E.? Why are the Samoans being managed by Oliver Humperdink now? I couldn’t find any information online, so if anyone knows, tell me. The SWAT Team has recruited another Samoan for their feud with The Midnight Express. He is called The Samoan Savage, but it’s Tama from The Islanders. Cornette leads his team out first and swings his racket around like he’s a cowboy. He grabs a mic and asks Philly if they’re ready to have some fun. Then, he presents what he calls the deadliest six-man combo in the world. He also claims that the Midnight Express have wrecked more homes than Hurricane Hugo. They are supposed to be babyfaces still, right? The Samoans come out next and do a fire dance in the entryway. The graphic tells us that Humperdink is the “Big Kahuna.” They get into the ring and Eaton startles Oliver, causing him to fall to the mat. The Samoans then scream at the crowd for a bit. (UPDATE: I have now learned that Paul E. was fired from WCW because Ric Flair felt he was being uncooperative. Apparently, he went off-script during a TV taping and Flair had enough. It’s a shame, but fear not, Paul Heyman will be back soon enough for a much better run.)

The ref has trouble controlling the two teams, but it eventually comes down to Stan Lane and The Samoan Savage. Stan manages to back drop him and clothesline him out of the ring, so the teams nearly come to blows again. Lane and Eaton do some double teaming and trade off arm wringers until the Savage tags Samu. Eaton fights off both members of the SWAT team and tags in Williams, who starts hitting everyone on the other team. Fatu tags in and gives Williams a rude gesture, so Doc punches him. He then knocks down both of the SWAT team and jogs in place. Cornette starts making chicken noises because the other team is stalling. Lane tags in, but he finds himself in trouble until he can tag Williams again. Doc reverses a whip and nails a corner clothesline that the cameraman captures perfectly. The Midnights then take over the match and maintain control on the Samoans until the Savage counters a bulldog into the corner. He tosses Eaton outside and the Samoans double team him on the floor. Williams tries to run them off with a chair, but Samu hip tosses Eaton onto the concrete with a nasty splat! He throws Bobby into the ring, but Bobby gets a surprise sunset flip for a 2 count. However, he cannot overcome the double teaming. Fatu grabs a nerve hold and we get a frightening shot of Humperdink making crazy eyes. Eaton desperately tries to fight back, but the double and triple teaming is still too much. He finally gets his knees up into the Savage’s gut on a springboard splash and makes a hot tag to Williams. Doc slams everyone and throws the Savage onto the SWAT Team. He then hits a powerslam, but Samu breaks up the pin. Lane tags in and attempts what looks like a DDT, but the Savage bumps wrong. All six men end up in a brawl and Cornette even hits Humperdink, but the Savage sends Lane crashing into Jim and pins him for the 3 count.

It was an okay match and even showed some signs of good stuff, but it dragged in the middle. I wanted to like it, but it never fully clicked with me. It’s obvious that the Midnight Express need to turn heel again because they are floundering as babyfaces.

Winners: The Samoans (18:23)

Gordon Solie is in a dark room with Terry Funk and Gary Hart. I’m not sure I’d want to be in such a room with those two. He asks how far Hart is willing to risk his men in the Thunderdome. Gary says absolutely and totally because there’s no quit in the J-Tex Organization. Funk speaks next and quotes Winston Churchill. He said never say die and Gary Hart says electrify! Funk says they will start a new dance craze in Philadelphia, the 10,000 Watt Boogie. It will feature Sting and Ric Flair. Then, he claims they’re going to turn Sting and Flair into fried chicken when they push them against that electrified cage. Gary Hart has a puzzled look on his face throughout this promo. Maybe he wants some of that fried chicken.

Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin

Do you want to know a recipe for apathy? Take one washed up veteran that no one wants to see and pit him against a tired cheap heat cliché. It’s 1989. Russians are played out, so what country can they exploit now? WCW decided to go with Cuba, so we have The Cuban Assassin. The Assassin is already in the ring and he’s waving around a Cuban flag. You can see Tommy Rich waiting patiently on the stage. Was there no room for him to wait behind the curtain? His music plays and he walks to the ring, but the fans boo him mercilessly. It’s pretty bad when you can’t even get cheered against the evil foreign heel.

The Assassin attacks Rich immediately and rams him into the corners. He misses a clothesline, so Rich slams him a couple of times. Jim Ross talks about how Rich faded into obscurity and Caudle calls him the comeback story of the year. However, the fans choose that moment to start a “Tommy Rich sucks” chant. The Assassin fights him to the ropes and headbutts him before hitting a cross body off a reversed whip. Tommy answers back with an armbar, but the Assassin fights back and sends him to the apron. Tommy hits a sloppy sunset flip back inside before going back to the arm and the fans continue booing. Tommy keeps going back to the armbar, which isn’t endearing him to the crowd. Even the commentators grow bored and start talking about the main event. The Assassin finally fights back from the armbar-fest and goes for a piledriver, but Rich back drops him. The Assassin fights back again, but Rich crotches him on the top rope. The match goes back and forth until the Assassin misses a cross body and Rich hits a weak Thesz Press for the win.

That match was awful and the crowd was having none of it. I don’t know how long this run lasts for Rich, but I doubt it was eventful.

Winner: Tommy Rich (8:29)

Gordon Solie is with The Freebirds. He says that in 60 seconds, it all goes on the line. Jimmy Garvin replies that it’s the same ol’ stinkin’ story. They always remain champions. They’re the greatest tag team tonight and the same will be true tomorrow. Hayes then says that there are so many women and so little time. He calls the Dynamic Dudes a great young team, but they’re going to find out why they call them fabulous and why they call them bad street. Hayes also says that they are what mama and daddy warned everyone about. Gordon then makes the comment that the Freebirds’ palace could turn into a mansion of misery. Huh? What are they? H.H. Holmes?

NWA World Tag Team Title Match: The Fabulous Freebirds (c) vs. The Dynamic Dudes (w/ Jim Cornette)

How did the Dynamic Dudes manage to get a tag title shot? Wait, I see how. They have Jim Cornette as their manager now. Poor Jim. How did he get roped into this? The Dudes have their skateboards again, but they still don’t ride them. They pluck another kid from the crowd and give him a neon yellow hat before handing him back to his parents. Cornette grabs a mic and asks the crowd to give the Dudes a round of applause. They get boos instead and Cornette doesn’t look enthused. The Freebirds then dance their way onto the stage and they get massively cheered. These fans are rabid in their hate for the Dudes.

Hayes and Douglas start the match. They do a series of arm drags, drop downs, and leapfrogs and Hayes almost gets a 1 count on a quick sunset flip. They somehow botch a clothesline spot, but they keep going. Shane hits a neckbreaker, so Michael tags in Garvin and Shane tags Johnny. The Dudes take control through quick tags and work on Garvin’s arm. Hayes manages to tag in, but he gets more of the same. The Dudes then do a double leapfrog and double dropkick, so the Freebirds regroup on the outside. The fans don’t care. They start a “Freebirds” chant, despite the stalling. Caudle tries to play it off by saying Hayes must have brothers in the crowd. The Dudes do some more double teaming and Johnny hits a facebuster for a 2 count. Garvin tags in, but Johnny grabs a headlock and he’s starting to look perturbed with the crowd. He keeps kicking Hayes’ hand away when he tries to tag, but it draws Michael into the ring. Johnny ends up grabbing another headlock, which draws “you suck” chants from the crowd. Johnny rolls up Garvin, but he gets shoved into a Hayes punch and Garvin knees him out of the ring. Hayes then runs over to hit a cheap shot and the crowd cheer loudly. Garvin keeps Johnny at bay before finally bringing him back inside and the Freebirds use their own quick tags to control the match. Hayes goes for the DDT, but Johnny grabs the ropes, so Hayes tags out and Johnny makes the coldest of tags to Shane. Both men double team the Freebirds, but Hayes pulls Johnny out of the ring and Garvin reverses a back suplex for the win.

This wasn’t a great match, but the crowd’s treatment of the Dudes made it amusing. The atmosphere was enough to keep it entertaining.

Winners: The Freebirds (11:28)

Chris is back in the spooky woods with the Steiners. Oh boy! Scott is going to talk! Oh, wait. I forgot this isn’t latter-day Scott Steiner. Chris asks Scott how they’re going to fight a team they’ve never seen before. Scott says they don’t need a strategy because when there are no rules, you’re playing their game. He also says that when you’re in their ballgame—you’re playing their game. I see that Scott is as well-spoken as ever. Rick then starts rambling almost incoherently. He says that Doom is a good name because when they get done with them, it will be finished. They gotta do what they gotta do. Chris asks Rick if Woman will be a factor. Rick says if she gets involved, he’s gonna give it to her! He makes a suplex motion, but it comes off looking suggestive.

Doom (w/ Woman) vs. The Steiner Brothers

A young nerdy fan named Robin Green started appearing in the crowd during Steiner Brothers matches. She seemed smitten with Rick and kept giving him gifts. The two of them even went on a date. Soon, she started accompanying them to ringside, but this angered Missy Hyatt. Missy convinced Rick to dump her. Rick soon learned that you don’t scorn a crazy stalker. The rejection caused a drastic change in Robin’s personality. She started demanding that she be referred to as simply—Woman! Woman is, of course, Nancy Sullivan. She’s the real-life wife of Kevin Sullivan and eventually, she would marry Chris Benoit. The less said about that the better. Rest her soul. Woman vowed to bring in a new tag team to get revenge on the Steiners, which brings us to this match. The Steiners enter first and Rick runs around the ring. Next, Woman leads her team to the ring. They are called Doom and they are Ron Simmons and Butch Reed under masks. It’s obvious who they are, but the announcers have to play dumb. They call them #1 and #2 during the match, but I’ll call them by their names.

The Steiners jump them immediately and a brawl starts. Rick and Scott ram them together and hit stereo German suplexes, so Doom regroup outside. The Steiners follow them and throw them back into the ring before clotheslining them out the other side. The referee finally restores order and Scott starts the match with Simmons. Both Scott and Rick attack him with clotheslines and a flurry of forearms, so Simmons rolls outside again. Butch Reed comes in and eventually takes control. He puts a beating on Rick until he reverses a suplex and tags Scott. Scott hits a springboard clothesline for a 2 count. He and Rick maintain control until Simmons counters a hammerlock with a stunner. Reed tags in and hits a running clothesline that almost turns Rick for a 360 bump. He then hits a hotshot, but he takes too long to cover him. Rick fights back and tags Scott, who nearly kills Simmons with a release German suplex. However, Doom retakes control through ref distractions and double teaming. They take Scott outside and drop him on the guardrail and then continue the cheating. Reed throws Scott over the top, but he catches him at the ropes and hits a sunset flip for a 2 count. Doom answer back with a swinging neckbreaker and a powerslam by Simmons. Scott manages to make a tag, but Nick Patrick missed it. Nick is distracted by trying to get Rick out of the ring, so Doom hit a spike piledriver. Scott barely kicks out and manages to fight back. Simmons ducks for a back drop, so Scott kicks him and makes the hot tag to Rick. He hits a back drop and a Steinerline to both men, which leads to all four men getting into the ring. Scott hits the Frankensteiner, which sends Simmons out to the floor. For some reason, Nick Patrick follows them, which allows Woman to slip an object into Reed’s mask. He uses it to headbutt Rick and pin him for the 3 count.

This match was kind of slow and not that great. The Steiner’s stuff looked good as usual, but Doom really ground this match to a slow pace. The ending was fine and it does a good job of building this feud, but I hope any future matches are better.

Winners: Doom (15:32)

Gordon is with Lex Luger. He quickly makes a crack about the lack of brotherly love in Philly tonight. I missed Gordon’s dry wit while he was gone. Luger says this is the real deal. Flyin’ Brian’s exhibition skirmishes are over. He says it’s all on the line. He then flubs his line by saying “Big money, big reputations, and a big match are for are the marbles.” He was supposed to say, “All the marbles,” but he pronounced it like “are”. He calls himself the premiere wrestler and says that he stands above the wrestling world. They are at his feet. He also calls himself the champion of the 90s. I think he’s getting ahead of himself. Gordon asks Luger how many times he’s been champion. Luger replies that he will be champion for as long as he wants. That’s not what Gordon asked, Lex. Luger then leaves and Solie makes a snide remark that Luger has been champion multiple times, which means he can be beat. I’m surprised Luger didn’t return and slap him.

NWA U.S. Title Match: Lex Luger (c) vs. Flyin’ Brian

Brian is accompanied to the ring by cheerleaders. He jogs, while they shake their pom-poms. His music stops and you can hear that the crowd are chanting, “Luger.” Bob Caudle is surprised by the chant. Luger comes out next through a smoke-filled entryway. Jim Ross tries to talk about Lex’s college football career, but he stumbles over his words. Luger’s music stops before he even reaches the ring. Was the music budget running low? Lex enters the ring, but he complains to Tommy Young that Pillman isn’t giving him some space.

They lock-up to a stalemate a few times until Luger knees Brian in the gut. He then rams him into the corners and slams him before slapping him. He tries to throw Pillman outside, but Brian comes back with a fury. He back drops and dropkicks Lex, so Luger rolls outside. Pillman won’t let him breathe. He hits a dropkick through the ropes and chops him against the guardrail. Luger goes back inside and Brian attempts a springboard, but Luger moves. Pillman chases Luger, but Lex catches him at the ropes and attacks. He starts kicking Brian in the corner while making what sounds like barking noises. Pillman makes a comeback with a springboard cross body and then flips through a Lex hip toss attempt. Luger fights back again, but not before fixing his hair. They do some drop downs and leapfrogs and Pillman gains control. Luger battles back, fixes his hair again, and then misses a clothesline, so Brian gets a 2 on a crucifix pin. However, Brian misses a flying splash. Luger presses Brian into the air and nearly forgets to move before hitting a hotshot and arguing with some fans. Brian fires back with a hard chop that makes Luger yell, “AWOOOH!!” So, Luger answers with some clotheslines and a stalling suplex. They fight back and forth until Luger flies out of the ring on a missed clothesline. Brian brings him back inside and attempts 10 punches, but Luger reverses it into a botched atomic drop. He then attempts to hit a superplex, but Pillman shoves him to the mat and goes for a flying sunset flip. It doesn’t work, so he tries a springboard clothesline, but Luger gets a foot on the rope during the pin. Pillman goes to the top again and tries a missile front dropkick, but Luger moves and hits him with a hotshot for the win.

There were a couple of shaky moments, but it was still a great match. I would like to see more matches between these two. I’m glad to see Pillman getting title shots. We will see how long that lasts.

Winner: Lex Luger (16:49)

Chris is now with the Road Warriors. He recaps the previous match, while Hawk makes sarcastic faces. Chris tells Hawk that he’s considered the greatest tag team. Just Hawk? Not Animal?? Cruise then asks if the Road Warriors can beat the Skyscrapers. Hawk replies that they’ve been underdogs their whole life, but the people aren’t stupid enough to think they’re underdogs tonight. Hawk then turns to Paul Ellering and asks him who builds skyscrapers. Paul says the people do, so Hawk replies that people also tear down skyscrapers. He says that they snack on danger and dine on death and dead men don’t make money! Animal then says that people judge themselves on how much they can take by the hands of the Road Warriors and that’s why the Legion of Doom are the number one team in wrestling. He says the Skyscrapers won’t change that. Hawk then ends the promo by clearing his throat loudly.

The Road Warriors (w/ Paul Ellering) vs. The Skyscrapers (w/ Teddy Long)

Teddy Long leads the Skyscrapers to the ring and he’s carrying a large golden key, for some reason. Maybe he uses it to wind up Sid. The Road Warriors are out next with some explosive pyro and an equally explosive crowd reaction. They rise up through the smoky stage in a great visual. Jim Ross claims that the Road Warriors were the first wrestlers to wear face paint. I think the Great Kabuki would like a word. Then, they show a fan in the crowd with a cheap looking Road Warrior Hawk mask. It’s such poor quality that Ross asks if it’s a Muta mask.

Animal and Spivey start the match. Animal has to clothesline Dan twice to knock him outside. They fight back into the ring and Hawk enters the match with a flying axehandle to Spivey’s arm. They try to shoulder block each other and Hawk finally takes him down, so Dan tags Sid. The crowd cheers a little, so I see that Sid is still over with them. Sid completely whiffs on a clothesline, so Hawk has to pretend he ducked it. Sid then misses a corner splash and Animal tags into the match for some double teaming. Sid immediately gets up and they do the same shoulder block spots that Hawk and Spivey did earlier. Hawk tags in again and calls for a test of strength, so Sid obliges him. Sid starts to win the test, but Hawk fights back and monkey flips him. Animal and Spivey enter the match and the Road Warriors take control. They take turns working on Spivey’s arm, but Dan manages to tag Sid. Hawk gets a head scissors and Sid kips-up out of it!! He then hits Hawk with a helicopter toss and tags Spivey, who hits a side slam for a 2 count. The Skyscrapers knock Hawk to the outside and drop him on the guardrail before tossing him back into the ring. They use double teaming to keep him down and in trouble. Hawk eventually makes a tag, but the ref didn’t see it and waves off the attempt. Finally, Hawk gets a boot up on a corner charge and makes the hot tag. Animal hits a shoulder block on Spivey and gets into a slug-fest with Sid. All four men end up in the ring and Animal hits a powerslam, but the managers get involved. The Skyscrapers use the key as a weapon, so Nick Patrick calls for the bell.

I know I’m probably in the minority, but I enjoyed this match. I thought it was a good big man bout. I’m fine with the ending because it sets up a continuation of the feud. There were some shaky moments, but it’s obvious that Sid has been improving. He’s one of those guys that is pretty good when he’s motivated.

Winners: The Road Warriors (by DQ) (11:39)

After the bell, the Skyscrapers continue their attack on Animal, but Hawk hits a flying clothesline. He then uses the key to knock both Sid and Spivey out of the ring.

Chris is backstage with Sting, Ric Flair, and Ole Anderson. He asks Ole at what point will he throw in the towel. Ole says that the towel will be like glue on his right arm because he’s not going to throw it. He’s going to watch Flair and Sting knock the crap out of Mr. Muta and Terry Funk. He then says that he guarantees that Gary Hart will throw in his towel. Chris tries to ask Flair a question next, but Ric is impatient. Flair says that this is Thunderdome, the big time, and the NWA. He says that he and Sting stand for a cause and that cause is the end of Funk and Muta. Flair then shouts, “Electrifying? Yes! 10,000 people? Yes!! Nationwide? YES!! WOO!!!” Sting then says that it’s Halloween and it will be full of “hammock”. Wait, what? Did he just say hammock instead of havoc? I had to rewind it a couple of times, but I’m pretty sure he did. He concludes by saying it will be different and he loves to be different.

Thunderdome Cage Match: Ric Flair & Sting (w/ Ole Anderson) vs. Terry Funk & The Great Muta (w/ Gary Hart)

Ric Flair and Sting are tagging together. Why do I have a bad feeling about that? We are told that the match can only end when one of the “terminators” throw in the towel for their team. There are no pinfalls or submissions. Gary Cappetta introduces special ref, Bruno Sammartino, first. He gets an amazing reaction, as he should. Then, Gary Hart leads Muta to the ring. There’s some guy in a suit and hat behind them, but he’s walking backward. It’s never explained. The graphic says that Muta is now the TV Champion, so I see that controversy was solved. Funk comes out separately and his music sounds like an Ennio Morricone piece. I love it. Terry threatens some fans on the way to the ring. Sting comes out next and Funk taunts him from the turnbuckles. Flair and Ole join him and Cappetta calls Ole, “The Rock.” Some annoying fan has an air horn during Ric’s entrance. Cappetta explains the rules and then the cage lowers over the ring. They play what sounds like an instrumental version of “War Pigs” by Black Sabbath. I’m surprised that wasn’t dubbed over on the network. The cage has Halloween decorations on it and some pyro lights one of the decorations on fire!! Officials rush to put out the flames, but Muta says, “I’ve got this!” He climbs up on the cage and spits his green mist at the fire, which extinguishes it.

Flair and Funk start the match and Ric chops him into a corner. He then sends Terry into a Sting clothesline and lures Muta into the ring. Muta and Bruno have a little shoving match, so Muta exits the ring. Flair then slams and chops Funk before dumping him over the ropes and tagging Sting. Sting proceeds to try and shove Terry through a gap in the cage before throwing him back into the ring. Flair and Sting double team Terry and whip him around before Ric nearly chops the flesh right off of Funk’s chest. Funk sells it by hilariously crawling around the ring. Muta comes in to help, but he gets chopped for his troubles. Jim Ross praises the action, but strangely enough he refers to it as, “Sports Entertainment.” I thought that was the WWF’s thing. Then, Ross brings up Sting being a part of the Blade Runners and uses it as a chance to take a shot at the Ultimate Warrior. Muta enters the match and Sting wails on him before press slamming him onto Funk. Flair and Sting then take turns beating on Muta and Sting attempts to shove Muta through the cage, as he did to Funk. The four men break into pairs. Flair and Funk get into a chop-fest, while Sting and Muta fight each other. The match becomes chaos. Everyone has stopped using tags and simply brawl. Funk and Muta double team Sting, but he fights back and Flair joins him for their own double teaming. Sting almost locks in a Scorpion Deathlock, but Funk stops it. Everyone ends up fighting onto the cage wall and Muta receives a shock from the wire. Funk starts climbing like he wants some of that shock treatment too. Flair ends up grabbing a rope that’s attached to the cage and plays Tarzan for a moment until Funk ends up hanging from the cage by his foot. Sting and Flair watch him in amusement, but this allows Muta to crawl under the ring and attack from behind. Sting decides it’s his turn to play Tarzan too, but this leads to Funk tying Sting’s leg to the cage. Muta and Funk work over Flair with submission holds and a spike piledriver. It takes a while for Sting to get free, even with Ole’s help, but he finally manages. He jumps all the way from the cage wall and onto Funk, which gets a great reaction from the crowd. He then chases Muta up onto the wall, while Flair and Funk chop each other in the ring. Muta breaks free and attempts his moonsault, but he gets crotched. Flair finally locks Funk in a Figure Four and Sting starts hitting splashes onto him from the top rope. Muta tries to attack Bruno, but Bruno knocks him out of the ring. Gary Hart then tries to get involved, but Ole hits him, which sends Gary’s towel flying. Bruno thinks he threw it, so he calls for the bell. Ross calls the ending controversial, but the fans are ecstatic.

This was a really fun match. I loved the way they used the cage and the props. The ending was a good way to give this feud a reason to continue. Plus, it was pretty inventive. Everyone was on top of their game in this match. However, now that this match is over, I believe it is time to get…beyond Thunderdome.

Winners: Flair & Sting (23:46)

Ross and Caudle then recap the night and Ross plugs the WCW Hotline. They mute the number on the network. He also plugs the upcoming Starrcade ‘89, which I will cover in a couple of weeks. Then, he says goodnight to everyone and they show some credits.

Final thoughts:

The first half of this PPV wasn’t very good, but the second half almost made up for it. I would call this a middle-of-the-road show. The main event and a couple of matches were good, but there were also some duds. The year started so well for WCW, but it’s starting to go downhill.

Thank you for reading. Be sure to like and follow the Facebook page by clicking here. Don’t forget to go there and post any suggestions for the “Best of the 80s” blog post and be on the lookout for any caption contests. Also, you can follow me on Twitter @PaulDMatthews78.

My next review will be WWF Survivor Series ‘89.


Written by Paul Matthews

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