Monday, February 9, 2015

Havoc '98

Adapting a previous thread comment into a Q. Has there ever been a bigger card on paper than Halloween Havoc 98? DDP/Goldberg, Hogan/Warrior II, Bret/Sting, Hall/Nash, Steiner/Steiner. I can't find a Wrestlemania with a bigger Top 5. You had arguably the greatest tag team off all time(who also happened to be real life brothers) facing, the two nWo founders facing, a rematch of one of the most famous matches of all time with the dynamic totally changed due to Hogan being heel, a match between the two guys who defined the mid-90s(who also shared the same finisher), and a World Title match between the #1 and #2 babyfaces in the company, all first-run matches other than Hogan/Warrior. Without the benefit of hindsight in knowing how much the show actually sucked, that's a megacard. What shows were you most excited for due to the advertised card before they happened?


​Yeah, that was a pretty stacked show from a star power standpoint.  Don't forget that the opener was Raven v. Jericho, which was also a hell of a deal.  WCW had so much star power at that point it was pretty sick. And yet they still managed to lose the war.

Personally, a bunch of the NWA shows from 88 stood out for me as shows I was jazzed to see (but couldn't, living in Canada and all.)  People at school were going nuts about Clash #1 (Flair v. Sting!  Luger & Windham v. Tully & Arn!  Fantastics v. Midnights!) and were really disappointed that "free TV" meant TBS, which wasn't available up here until 1992.  And you had Bash '88 (Flair v. Luger!  Dusty v. Windham!  Fantastics v. Midnights!  That stupid triple cage bullshit that sounded awesome on paper!) even though it didn't really deliver in practice.  Starrcade '88 was also insanely stacked (Flair v. Luger!  Dusty & Sting v. Road Warriors!  Windham v. Bigelow!  Rotundo v. Steiner!) ​and even the TV title match was a heated blood feud with an awesome story behind it.  For me, a great year to be a fan.  A fan without PPV or video stores that carried the VHS releases, sadly, but still great to be a fan. 

118 comments:

  1. That starcade 88 theme is still one of the all time greatest. Also, while we've all seen it a million times over from other guys, I will say seeing sting dive onto the floor was way ahead of it's time for those of us who weren't use to seeing it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. WrestleMania 19 had a better top five. And that show ruled. Even though no one bought it.

    Seriously: HBK, Jericho, HHH, Rock, Austin, Hogan, Vince, Brock and Angle. Only Booker T wasn't on that level. Though maybe if he pinned HHH...

    ReplyDelete
  3. Theme is at the end of here.

    Man, did they really know how to pimp their home videos back then. I remember seeing this after renting best of starcade from blockbuster and wanting to buy everyone of them. Sadly I was 9 and didn't have a job.



    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM45_54oXTY

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cena vs Orton,one more timeFebruary 9, 2015 at 7:16 PM

    Money in the bank 2011.
    Forget the main event,I was even looking forward to MARK HENRY VS THE BIG SHOW.How many times could you say that?

    ReplyDelete
  5. 1998 was a great year to be a fan for ne, just by virtue of the fact that both WCW & WWF PPV's were on free TV; in a country that generally is utterly dead for wrestling. Actually it's a sign of just how white hot wrestling was in general at that time.

    This card was OK as well. Not great or anything but the good outweighed the bad.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Summer slam 2002. - Brock/Rock, Benoit/RVD, angle/Rey, HHH/HBK, edge/Eddie.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wrestlemania 3. The End.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bash 89 - flair/funk, sting/Muta, Luger/steamboat, war games.

    ReplyDelete
  9. KOTR 95. FOUR Savio Vega matches. I don't mind telling you I climaxed 4 times that night.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Or did people buy it, and there was some sort of switch over with cable/direct tv/how ratings worked/technology.

    I've been told that a number of times on this blog. The low butyrate just seems odd, not just because of the stacked card, but because those Raws before the WM were inching back toward Attitude Era numbers (5.0ish).

    ReplyDelete
  11. Havoc 98 -- if you don't know any better -- does look stacked. But the Steiners were a shell of their former selves, Hall was acting like a drunk BECAUSE HE WAS REALLY A DRUNK AND IT AFFECTED HIS PERFORMANCE, and everyone -- EVERYONE -- thought it would be bad. Also Page v. Goldberg sounds like a big deal and it worked out well, but I don't think many fans were stooked to see it.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wrestlemania XX felt stacked to me. The undertaker's return was exciting as fuck (again, based on before what actually transpires), Benoit was gonna get a true main event, Eddie/Angle (!!), The Rock's return, and even Jericho vs Christian in a solid mid card angle.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I wonder if John Morrison let the dog bang Melina

    ReplyDelete
  14. CruelConnectionNumber2February 9, 2015 at 7:43 PM

    No one gave two shits bout SummerSlam 2002 until after it happened and was the wrestling show of the year.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wait...WE beat Japan to something weird?

    ReplyDelete
  16. CruelConnectionNumber2February 9, 2015 at 7:47 PM

    Or because it featured lame duck or poor champions (injured Angle, shitty HHH), poor challengers (babyface Lesnar who just lost the title, yuck, and Booker T), old men fighting (Hulk and Vince) or re-rematches (Austin and Rock) who had only been back in the company for 1 month.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Havoc 98 should have been Starrcade 98.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yeah, I was not digging the show at ALL based on the buildup. Angle vs Brock wasn't even set in stone until a few weeks before when Angle decided to go. Booker T looked like a fool, I didn't care about HBK vs Jericho since HBK was part-time and obviously winning, and Rock vs. Austin had more of a "been there, done that" feel to it.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I didn't realize how big that show could have been. Sting/Bret felt flat with it being months of Bret obviously playing him, the Steiners seemed booked to meet every month without it actually happening for awhile there and I don't think Hall/Nash had a finish. And Warrior/Hogan was terrible.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Better show, but not as "stacked" on paper.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Agreed, most it was was well built up months in advance to.

    ReplyDelete
  22. CruelConnectionNumber2February 9, 2015 at 7:55 PM

    Austin hadn't been a draw since 2001. No thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I never thought Brock was as big a deal as a face as they did - which seems accurate since they turned him heel not 6 months after his big WM moment.

    ReplyDelete
  24. CruelConnectionNumber2February 9, 2015 at 7:56 PM

    Great build up. Way too many filler matches/segments.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 8:00 PM

    Agreed on those matches, but the four-way tag matches and other filler could have been trimmed down a great deal.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Stranger in the AlpsFebruary 9, 2015 at 8:01 PM

    I just watched Chi-Town Rumble which had Steamboat-Flair and Luger-Windham as their top two matches, plus title defenses by Rick Steiner against Mike Rotunda and The Road Warriors against Kevin Sullivan-Dr. Death. Not a stacked card, but highly anticipated going in.


    Who the hell booked that show? Rick Steiner slaps a sleeper on Rotunda, falls backward onto his back and gets pinned, loses the title. The very next match: Luger v Windham. Windham hits Luger with a back suplex, both guys shoulders are down, Luger gets his shoulder up at the last second, new US champ. Then Road Warriors vs. Sullivan/Williams. Hawk pins Sullivan, Williams pins Animal, referee counts the three, both teams think they win.


    This was three straight matches, and all title matches. I would say that was Dusty, but he was gone by that point.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 8:02 PM

    Agreed. I recall there being a LOT of doubts around Brock at that point still. No one was all hard for Lesnar like they are now, simply because he wasn't Mr. UFC and had not proven how awesome he was as a wrestler and persona yet

    ReplyDelete
  28. Probably super late to the party but Seth Rollins is fucked.

    ReplyDelete
  29. I liked Rumble 04 because it set up the top matches. Benoit wins, Deadman Undertaker toys with Kane, Foley attacks Orton and Brock lays out Goldberg.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Brock didn't get over until after the Rock match, Rock was getting some backlash and it was a foregone conclusion Brock would win. They did some cool training video hype packages though, gave the match a big time feel.

    ReplyDelete
  31. i love Flair pimping the Betamax release! A few of the early WWF CHVs were available on LaserDisc as well.

    ReplyDelete
  32. In hindsight it was pretty ballsy on WWE's part to stick with the Brock push when fans weren't reacting to it because if this took place today WWE would most likely get cold feet and Brock never would have been a made guy.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Did Bret attempt to bodyslam Sting, but then hold his back in pain?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Did the Steiners Match every actually happen with out some screw job? See this was the shit that Killed WCW. That have this stacked Roster and they'd promise all these "Dream Matches" and then never deliver. Was there ever one dream match during the MNW's that WCW promised and then actually delivered a great match?


    In the beginning of the MNW - they'd throw out Flair/Hogan, Sting/Hogan, and Flair/Sting and they were all good/decent but nothing earth shattering.


    You'd think they have a sure thing with Hart v Sting... but we got an unmotivated Heel Bret v Lobster Sting.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Bret/Sting is just mind boggling. It's like a ** match between two guys with very complimentary styles. Kind of a 1993 Perfect/Michaels level of disappointment for me. Bret was like a year off his prime and Sting would have two or three great matches in 1999. I think Sting was pretty blitzed out of his mind during this period if I recall and Bret was just obviously not motivated at all.

    ReplyDelete
  36. I know it has been said before, but Halloween Havoc is the one show the WWE is totally foolish to not be using that namesake for their October PPV. They market to kids anyway, what's more kid friendly than Halloween?

    ReplyDelete
  37. I still watch those video packages every time I start getting unmotivated to workout.

    ReplyDelete
  38. The fact that they never pulled the trigger on that match baffles me.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Yeah, pretty sure Flair and Jim Ross were sharing the book at this time.

    ReplyDelete
  40. That would require the admittance that someone without the surname McMahon came up with a decent, potentially money making idea. War Games: The Match Beyond mocks you for such foolish thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  41. They did better at Mayhem - at least I liked the "Montreal Redemption" finish with Bret powering out of the scorpion and applying the sharpshooter to win - but sadly that ending at Havoc might have upstaged Hogan. I tend to side with Hogan, but seriously anything would have been better with that Bret m/Sting farce at Havoc. Being attacked by dogs (aka Rick Steiner ) would have been better.

    ReplyDelete
  42. I suppose -- though War Games probably does not match up with their image well. I'm sure the Network will be pimping out Havoc this year, but I think that whole arm is disconnected from the rest of the product pretty much.

    ReplyDelete
  43. In a way it does me too. People might say "well, maybe because Hogan would want to go over", but I really don't buy that. I've always thought Hogan never had one problem jobbing if it was someone on his level, and he woudl certainly have seen Austin as being on his level.

    On the flip side, I see Austin wanting to finally put one of his closest friends in the business over. And Rock thanking him at the end of the match was a really nice touch.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yeah, I do remember that match being good too. They had a solid match on Nitro earlier that month as well.

    Mayhem 1999 did just about the last respectable buyrate for the company too -- they had like maybe three more shows that even cracked the 100k mark.

    ReplyDelete
  45. No I think Starrcade was horrible enough as it was. And they probably would have ended up DDP winning the title and losing it to Nash on Nitro - only to have the finger poke go down.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Even 14 years later, Vince can't admit inferiority in any facet of the business. Frankly it's a shock to me they even use something as trivial as the U.S. Title considering its origins. Although maybe it spent two years at the Performance Center to properly learn WWE style prior to introduction.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Yeah, the only hope is for them to rebrand it themselves.


    "WWE presents Late October Chaos!"

    ReplyDelete
  48. Brock was nothing to me back then. I just watched that match in August - that dude was a monster - but I think it's MMA hindsight.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Emailer hit it right on the head. Strictly by a "On Paper" status of the names involved , that is one of the biggest cards in ppv wrestling history

    ReplyDelete
  50. Giving Hogan total control of the company wasn't an option and be content Austin jobbed to Rock.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Sorry. That was rather insensitive.

    ReplyDelete
  52. "Revolve the disc, formulate the agreement!"

    ReplyDelete
  53. No - but he did cut a promo about Sting being 700 pounds.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Plus Stevie Ray, you fruit booty.

    ReplyDelete
  55. Rock/Austin
    HHH/Undertaker
    Benoit/Angle
    McMahon/McMahon with Foley as Ref.


    Guerrero, Jericho, Regal, Edge, Jeff Hardy, Dudleys all in undercard spots.


    That feels pretty stacked to me.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Yeah I get the guys point as well, but it wasn't like people's dicks were hard over this one.

    ReplyDelete
  57. They got by with the Great American Bash for a few years before it changed simply to the Bash.

    ReplyDelete
  58. Surely the most stacked match ever is Royal Rumble 92 –
    Hogan, Savage, Flair, Bulldog, Dibiase, Michaels, Von Erich, Piper, Roberts, Undertaker,
    Sid Vicious…

    ReplyDelete
  59. Autum Ruckus: Dispute Contests

    ReplyDelete
  60. Good point. I forgot about that. Why in the world would they ever have used that name of all things since they're so incredibly hesitant to use anything else?

    ReplyDelete
  61. And don't forget Konehead's "believe I'm a bus" music video that they played ten times during the PPV.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I don't think either of them cared at the time. Bret was still lossy about Montreal and his booking made no sense and Sting was about to take time off for personal reasons - he grew a goatee, he was going through some stuff. The angle was long and never seemed to get to it's predictable outcome.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Dusty was a road agent?

    ReplyDelete
  64. I agree. That moment at the end of the Rock/Austin Match is really classy.


    But I'm not sure Hogan would have laid down for Austin. He did some jobs in 2002 so maybe I'm wrong.


    Austin claims that he didn't think Hogan could keep up with him and he didn't want to slow himself down but Hogan put on some great matches that year as he seemed reinvigorated after he was back in the WWE. The Hogan/Vince Match in particular, who knew that match was gonna be the classic it was?

    ReplyDelete
  65. That would be a fun thread topic, honestly. Take WCW names and gimmicks and adapt them to WWE-speak, simultaneously blatantly ripping them off while giving no credit whatsoever.

    ReplyDelete
  66. I think it may have happened at World War 3, but I'm not 100%. That would have been 9 months after Scott's heel turn and they advertised it only to turn it into a tag match or some other typically involving Buff Bagwell non-match I can't remember their ever being a blowoff. I assume they knew Scott had to go over to cement himself as a singles wrestler but at the same time God forbid Rick Steiner not look strong in 1998.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Repo Man, Bezerker, Jerry Sags, Nikolai Volkoff, VIrgil, Skinner, The Warlord...


    I kid, I kid.... Rumble 92 is easily one of my favorite matches of all time.

    ReplyDelete
  68. I didn't like Rock, I didn't care about Brock, and those packages made me want to see them fight.

    ReplyDelete
  69. Ya think Morrison regrets insulting Trish?

    ReplyDelete
  70. This year's Rumble was pretty stacked too. So stacked that Bryan couldn't handle the competition and ended up getting eliminated after a few minutes.

    ReplyDelete
  71. Yeah, thats what i remember it was always a Non-Match.. or some shit with Buff Fucking Bagwell.

    ReplyDelete
  72. That was the main thing I hated about the Steiners feud that in every match and every beatdown angle, Rick Steiner always came out on top. It was infuriating because he was obviously the Marty Jannetty of the team.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Grand-Disagreement, Spring Horse Show, Smash at the Sea.

    ReplyDelete
  74. me too.i was happy to see brock beat the rock.i was tired of the rock leaving at that point plus the buildup was one of the best builds imo. and getting to see hbk back and in an amazing match was great

    ReplyDelete
  75. austin didnt feel hogan could keep up.plus steves health wasnt the best and i think he wanted to put rock over and return the favor

    ReplyDelete
  76. Ha I intentionally left him out

    ReplyDelete
  77. No, it was a crazy and surprising flop. Mostly because they pushed Hogan-Vince as the top feud.

    In fact it failed so bad they did a 10-month promotion for WM 20 to make sure that didnt happen again. Then they made WM so big that the other non-Rumble PPVs became irrelevant.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Survivor Series 1990 is pretty stacked too. Hell, opening match.. Warrior/LOD/Von Erich vs. Perfect/Demolition. That is insane.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I hate that they split them up so late and Steiner was way past his peak. His promos were awful in hi early years but who have known he would turned into a such an amazing insane promo.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Even guys like the APA and Test were big time over at that point.

    ReplyDelete
  81. Ah didn't want to overshadow the others. I see what you did there.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Yeah, makes sense. Austin-Rock was probably the safe option. At the time, I thought Austin-Hogan or Lesnar-Austin would be the way to go. With Austin's condition at WM19, it's probably good they didn't have the Brock match happening

    ReplyDelete
  83. LOL@your heavyweight champion being in the opening match.

    ReplyDelete
  84. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:34 PM

    Maybe my favorite non-WM show as a kid. Love the elimination matches and the Final Survival idea

    ReplyDelete
  85. Smash at the sea

    Boy, does that bring back memories

    ReplyDelete
  86. New NXT signee Frank Grimes is about to get overshadowed in a big way once Vince sees this...

    ReplyDelete
  87. Isn't that Taker in the prison outfit jobbing to a dog?

    ReplyDelete
  88. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:38 PM

    Especially after the reception to Rock-Hogan at WM18, you would think Vince would immediately be stroking Austin & Hogan to make that match happen. Even SummerSlam '02, just to cash in on the Hogan nostalgia run. I know Austin ended up out of the company, but a preliminary plan of SummerSlam '02, or Survivor Series (at MSG), if not Mania 19.

    ReplyDelete
  89. That whole PPV was assbackwards. Warrior came through the curtain first. The rest of them was just afterbirth.

    ReplyDelete
  90. Hadn't even thought Sur Ser 2002 at the Garden... Thats a great card and that crowd was off the chart. Would have made for an amazing atmosphere.

    ReplyDelete
  91. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Yeah, I remember that. The video packages were an awesome touch. Rock really made him look like a monster in that match.

    ReplyDelete
  92. Holy shit...I STILL see that video in my head before commercial breaks.

    ReplyDelete
  93. I love the moment of Rock thanking Austin, and in my mind I always consider that the end of that era of WWE.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Once Bischoff was in WWE, I think the dynamic could have been great too. Vince has to turn to his greatest rival (Austin) to oppose Bischoff (who Austin hates from his WCW history). Vince loves Hogan due to past history, but he knows Hulk & Bischoff are buddies. Austin & Hogan just want to fight to prove who the biggest star ever is. Vince & Bischoff are both heels, pandering to them due to their power struggle for control of WWE. Easy enough to have Austin go over, then do a posedown and beer celebration with Bischoff & Vince dead in the middle of the ring at MSG.

    ReplyDelete
  95. I was there and the atmosphere was electric. HUGE pops for the Warriors, Luger winning and of course Steamboat but a LOT of support for Flair in a smark town.

    ReplyDelete
  96. Havoc 98 was an even bigger letdown for me than Starrcade 97.


    It was so stacked on paper and could have been the PPV that kept WCW in contention with WWF. What we got instead:


    -Steiner/Steiner, which should have been a hard-hitting power match, got no time and an overbooked crap finish.
    -Hall/Nash was overshadowed by a tasteless "reality" alcoholic storyline and the non-finish of Nash letting himself get count out.
    -Bret/Sting served up another garbage finish. They could have delivered a good match here, but both guys did not give a single fuck at that point.
    -Hogan/Warrior I don't even have to talk about.
    -DDP/Goldberg was a great match that you didn't get to see if you ordered the $40 PPV.


    So they went 0 for 5.


    Raven/Jericho was awesome. DDP/Goldberg might have saved the show, but my PPV feed cut out right around the fireball nonsense during Hogan/Warrior. So that's how it ended for me.

    ReplyDelete
  97. I wrote this elsewhere but this is the kind of thing that KILLED WCW.


    Never delivering on what they promoted.

    ReplyDelete
  98. He was in the last as well but had to share the spotlight with Hogan

    ReplyDelete
  99. I'm SURE they tried for the name Russell Mania.

    ReplyDelete
  100. He tore all the muscles in his chest.

    ReplyDelete
  101. Also, this has that guy from those "Conversations with My Four Year Old Daughter... as acted out by another grown man," in it.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:55 PM

    Yep. Think about the run they had. Starrcade '97 failed on so many levels. SuperBrawl was another run-in finish where they didn't really make good on the Sting-Hogan second chance OR use Bret Hart to any effect. Uncensored was a no-finish between Hogan & Savage. The spring PPVs were all fuck finishes and nonsense tag matches with no satisfying payoffs. By summer it was all nWo/Wolfpack with no actual, you know, big matches between them to pay anything off. Then they hotshot Goldberg's big win to TV instead of PPV and give him nothing as champion during that run. Jay Leno main events a PPV with Hogan. They do embarassing business with Warrior. Worst WarGames ever. nWo vs. Wolfpack gets no real payoff. Halloween Havoc in general. The Goldberg-Nash finish. No Hogan-Nash payoff to be found. Warrior is gone as fast as he arrived. Bret Hart's run is awful. Horsemen are insignificant immediately after reforming. Wrath gets squashed. Jericho gets over and goes nowhere. 1998 was just an endless avalanche of suck, where there was so much potential

    ReplyDelete
  103. All sizzle, no steak.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Fat, Ugly Inner-City SweathogFebruary 9, 2015 at 9:58 PM

    The first few Survivor Series cards were great fun as a young mark, because you had ALL the stars featured and all different combinations of guys fighting.

    ReplyDelete
  105. You have no idea how awesome your idea sounds when you imagine Damien Sandow's original gimmick delivering it

    ReplyDelete
  106. MVC were really ahead of their time.

    ReplyDelete
  107. Don't feel bad Scott, I watched this live too.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Why did they give Vader the Title for only 21 days before dropping it to Simmons? Vader crushed Sting and was made a monster... and then he just drops it to Simmons?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Ok....this looks cute. Plus, I love Jack Russells.

    ReplyDelete
  110. I also remember Muta vs. Brad Armstrong 2 out of 3. Good but long.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Still made no sense. Really dumb way to put across big moments.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Watts WCW hurt me a lot as a kid, taking away top rope moves. For a little kid, high flyers are one of the main reasons to watch wrestling. So that, combined with Sting losing the title to Vader, dampened my interest for a little while. I still watched every week, of course.

    ReplyDelete