Halloween Havoc 1999
Date: October 24, 1999
Location: MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Date: October 24, 1999
Location: MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
The Russo Era is officially upon us as we got a big time preview this past Monday. However, this show is the real thing with Russo getting to direct where things go from here. Expect to see a lot more pointless talking, a lot more insanity and a lot more shouting about what I did to deserve this. Let's get to it.
The opening video focuses on Sid vs. Goldberg and mentions the whole “Goldberg can't touch him” bit, which has basically been ignored. Hogan vs. Sting gets even less hype.
A LOUD Weasel chant is ignored by Heenan as Tony announces that due to Rey Mysterio being injured, the Filthy Animals have been stripped of the Tag Team Titles. The solution? A triple threat hardcore title match for the belts with Kidman substituting for Mysterio. Well why bother having a match when you can just make it hardcore? They run down the rest of the card in case you bought the show blind.
The big demon holding the pumpkin set is back. That thing is so cool looking and deserves to be on a better show.
Cruiserweight Title: Disco Inferno vs. Lash Leroux
Lash is challenging so Disco starts fast with a clothesline and stomps in the corner. A DDT plants Leroux again and it's time for choking. Lash comes back with a dropkick and slam for two. Totally basic stuff so far. Some Cajun dancing sets up a clothesline for two more as Heenan suggests holding ropes of trunks.
They head outside with Disco sending him into the steps, only to get caught in a nice belly to belly back inside. It's a bad sign when fans are already going for popcorn in the opening match. Or did people even show up for those seats in the first place? Lash puts on a chinlock in a rare move for a good guy, which might explain why it doesn't go anywhere.
The Last Dance (or is it still the Chartbuster?) is countered into a backbreaker but Disco escapes Whiplash (which Tony didn't seem to recognize) as well. The swinging neckbreaker gets two for Disco and Heenan again wants trunks pulled. Lash lifts him up for something like a sitout ProtoBomb (Tony: “THAT'S HIS MOVE!” No Tony, it isn't.”) for his closest near fall yet but the Last Dance retains the title a few seconds later.
Rating: D+. The wrestling was acceptable but this was a horrible choice for an opener. An opening match is supposed to get the fans into the rest of the show. Instead this was just a basic match with almost no high flying or exciting moments, making it completely against the idea of a standard cruiserweight match. It didn't help that Lash pretty much got squashed here and never even had major control. Just an odd choice and nothing interesting.
Post match Lash hits Whiplash (Tony: “THAT'S HIS MOVE!”) on the belt. What a jerk. They might as well turn Disco face as he's pretty over with the fans.
Malenko and Benoit arrived earlier in the day (because they work here) and run into Saturn. He hasn't heard from them lately, but Dean and Chris are done with the Revolution. In other words, after months of building up the Revolution and then feeding them to the First Family and Sid, we're likely in for a feud between the members, making the entire team as close to a waste of time as you can get.
Harlem Heat is ready to survive the Tag Team Title match tonight because that's what they've done their whole lives. Stevie doesn't want those no talent fruit booties to forget it.
Tag Team Titles: Kidman/Konnan vs. Harlem Heat vs. Brian Knobbs/Hugh Morrus
The titles are vacant coming in. Penzer: “This match will be fought under street fight rules!” Heenan: “Oh no.” The First Family wears Halloween masks to the ring. Kidman and Konnan on the other hand wear the title belts to the ring despite Kidman never winning one. Kidman has a camera with him as well. The First Family has weapons with them for an early advantage and there are two referees here. You can see the screwiness from a mile away.
Booker throws Brian into the fans and Stevie nails Kidman in the head with a trashcan. All six get back in to make my life easier with Morrus nailing Kidman with a clothesline for two, thanks to Kidman grabbing the ropes. Stop having that rule in hardcore matches. Falls count anywhere should include in the ropes. Booker goes after Jimmy Hart and gets blasted with a trashcan. That doesn't interest him enough to sell though so Harlem Heat double team Knobbs and throw him through a Styrofoam casket.
Morrus drops Kidman ribs first onto an open chair (ow) as Knobbs and Booker fight into the back. It's table time in the ring as Knobbs hits Booker with a water jug. For some reason, Tony finds this funny. No Laughing Matter puts Konnan through the table but in the back, Booker hits Knobbs with a mummy for a fast counted pin and the titles before Morrus can pin Konnan.
Rating: D-. So to recap, this is likely setting up Harlem Heat vs. the First Family again, meaning we're right back to where we were about a week ago. The match was your standard messy WWF hardcore match with gimmicky weapons and no semblance of wrestling in the slightest. In other words, Russo thought it was great and the novelty is going to wear off quick. Or make me want to watch Road Dogg vs. Al Snow who were better at these things.
As Harlem Heat comes back in we hear a three count and a bell, which apparently was Kidman pinning Morrus. How that came about after the No Laughing Matter isn't clear because we needed to watch Harlem Heat walking from the back. Why is Russo so obsessed with watching people walk through the back? It took up like ten minutes on Nitro and now it screws up the result of a match. I mean.....IT'S WALKING. You still see this stuff to this day on Raw and Impact and I still don't get it.
Also Konnan might have injured his collarbone. Oh good. He can still walk in the back. Mysterio and Torrie (who really, really agrees with the Filthy Animals look) come out to stare from the entrance.
The Flairs storm into the arena with Ric holding a crowbar.
Here are Diamond Dallas Page and Kimberly for our first talking segment of the show. Kimberly says fourteen times, which isn't the amount of times Flair won that stupid belt. That's the number of times Ric spanked her recently, but when she and Page are together, that's just a warmup. This would be the pointless sexual part of the show.
Page hates Flair and promises that Ric will never forget him. Kimberly invited David Flair to her room in an obvious swerve (Page's words) and Ric showed up, but can only spank her? Page has Flair's spank, and guess where he points. Page: “Let's whack it, and let's jack it all night long.” Before this takes a VERY weird turn, Page wants to make the match tonight a strap match. This is another of those ideas which really didn't need to happen and all the innuendo got old in a hurry, like almost every Russo idea actually.
Goldberg is looking for Sid.
Kidman and Torrie tell Eddie that they'll have his back tonight. Eddie thinks he should call Rey on the way to the hospital. Guerrero is wearing a Rolex, which he probably stole from Ric on Monday.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Perry Saturn
Eddie lets Heenan hold the watch for some reason. They dive around each other to start until Saturn grabs a hot shot for two. Back up and Eddie throws him to the floor and then into the barricade. The lack of extended selling continues as Saturn gets two off a pop up powerbomb. Heenan wants the number of a 24 hour pawn shop while Saturn cranks on an armbar.
Off to a cross armbreaker followed by a chicken wing with a headscissors (cool looking move). That goes nowhere so Eddie dropkicks Saturn for two, only to walk into a t-bone suplex. Saturn switches up the target by going after the knee with a variety of leg locks. Eddie grabs a wristlock on the mat before going with a short arm scissors. The lifting counter slam and a Lionsault get two for Saturn but Eddie brainbusters him back down.
The frog splash misses though and Saturn hits a springboard dropkick. Eddie goes up but gets crotched with a superkick to the knee, allowing Saturn to superplex him down. They head up top again with Eddie reversing Splash Mountain (Razor's Edge bomb) into a superplex, but here's Ric Flair with a crowbar to knock Eddie out for the DQ. Why do I have a feeling that's the closest we'll get to a regular match with a regular ending all night long?
Rating: C. The match was pretty dull but they were getting going when we got to the stupid ending. I'm so glad we set this stupid angle up on Monday and Flair was so angry that he waited eleven minutes before coming down to break it up. As usual though, this was about the angle instead of the wrestling, which makes the match we got seem like a waste of time.
Kidman and Torrie come out so Flair blasts Kidman with the bar and kisses Torrie. She doesn't seem to mind that much. I have zero issue looking at Torrie more tonight. Ric comes back to remember the story and gets his watch back.
We cut away from the replay to see Goldberg punching Sid. Security breaks them up and Sid is a bloody mess. Heenan: “He looks like he took 50 tomatoes to the face.” Potatoes more than likely.
Here's Buff Bagwell for another talking segment. He has a problem with the two new writers from up north who are here to save WCW. Oh geez here we go. He also has a problem with Jeff Jarrett because Buff isn't on the show tonight. The line doesn't make any more sense in context. Bagwell tells Heenan to get Jeff out here but Jeff is here because Buff even turns to talk to Bobby.
The fight is on with Buff a face again and fired up after being uninterested on Monday. That's another story we're not going to reference again isn't it? Jeff starts to get the better of it so Luger comes out for the save, only to hit Buff with the guitar by mistake. I guess this is due to Liz being knocked out with a guitar next to her. I still think she did it to herself.
Sid is getting stitched up and throws the cameras out.
An injured Eddie calls Rey and tells him to get back to the arena. Isn't Rey injured?
Brad Armstrong vs. Berlyn
Naturally Brad wears an American flag shirt to the ring. They lock up to start with Berlyn cartwheeling out of a wristlock. Berlyn suplexes Brad down as Tony reads off a sweepstakes result. A pop up powerbomb gets two on Armstrong followed by some stomps. The dull match continues with Berlyn hitting him in the corner as Tony talks about ANYTHING but this match. Brad grabs the rope to counter the neckbreaker and quickly covers Berlyn for the pin. It's as sudden as it sounds.
Rating: F. This was on pay per view, meaning it's a failure by definition. Somehow this was the best they could have done as they kept it short but this really could have been done on TV for the same result. Dull match and the Berlyn push thankfully is done. He never got a fair shake though, after the Duggan match last month and then this mess.
The bodyguard and Berlyn lay out Armstrong post match.
Flair says he has his watch back and is ready to fight the Animals anytime. He brings up the spanking again, which is becoming a thinner and thinner veil for what they really want to say but can't on TV. Torrie got some of Flair tonight so Kimberly is up next.
TV Title: Chris Benoit vs. Rick Steiner
Benoit is defending after beating Steiner for the title the night after Fall Brawl. Steiner immediately heads to the floor, just after Tony says that wouldn't happen in this match. I can always get a chuckle out of Tony being wrong. We play keep away for a bit until Rick nails him coming back in. A huge Steiner Line nails Benoit and Rick hits his backdrop powerslam for two. Tony calls this power wrestling, which I guess is the new definition for “we won't fire this guy so sit through this awful stuff.”
Rick goes up but Benoit grabs a superplex, which Steiner isn't even polite enough to sell for more than about four seconds. The threat of the Crossface sends them back to the floor with Steiner sending him into the barricade to take over again. Rick screws up the timing coming out of the corner (I'm shocked too), meaning he has to intentionally walk into a dropkick for two. It looked horrible but that really shouldn't surprise anyone at this point.
A low blow puts Benoit down because Rick doesn't know how to wrestle a match to get control. Off to a lame leg lock which doesn't seem like it would be very painful, but it lets Rick take a break after this grueling six minutes of work. Benoit misses another dropkick so Rick rubs his face into the mat. An attempt at a sunset flip counter to a powerbomb goes badly as well with Rick not even leaning back to be taken over, leaving Benoit to crash to the mat instead.
Benoit gets one off a small package but stays on the mat instead of getting up so Rick can't botch anything else. Instead Rick just hits him in the back of the head and puts him in the reverse Tree of Woe. Rick hits some release German suplexes for two with Benoit just crashing harder and harder each time. The fans aren't pleased until Benoit counters a suplex into a DDT to get a breather.
Benoit chops away in the corner and rolls some Germans. Tony: “THIS IS A CLASSIC!” The referee eats an elbow to the face so Steiner brings in a chair. Benoit hits a suplex and does a Van Daminator with a right hand instead of a kick. He loads up the Swan Dive but Steiner throws the chair at him on the way down. Cue Malenko to SHOCKINGLY turn on Benoit by nailing him with the chair, giving Steiner the pin and the title because SCREW WCW AND THEIR LOVE FOR RICK FREAKING STEINER.
Rating: D. There's only so much Benoit can do when he's in a mess like this. Rick beat Benoit up for twelve minutes and Benoit was barely ever on offense. What is Benoit supposed to do in something like this? On top of that, let's mess up the Revolution and get rid of their most popular and successful member for the sake of a SWERVE. Maybe this gets Benoit on to something bigger, but my goodness, couldn't he drop the TV Title to.....oh I don't know.....SATURN OR MALENKO?
Saturn and Malenko hug in the aisle. Saturn: “Hi Shane.” Heenan: “DOUGLAS COULD BE BEHIND THIS!” Because Shane Douglas gets to come in and be some mastermind I guess.
Bret still has an injured ankle and shouldn't be wrestling tonight. Luger may have cost him the World Title last week, but this week he's going to be excellently executed. This was the first logical and well done segment of the night and it lasted all of 45 seconds.
Total Package vs. Bret Hart
Bret goes right after him to start and takes Luger outside to send him into the announcers' table. Tony: “This is a very hard table!” Back in and Bret rakes the eyes across the ropes and chokes in the corner as this has been completely one sided so far. They head outside again with Bret ramming him into various objects, only to go after Elizabeth. Eh I can't blame him with her in that dress.
Luger's cheap shot fails and Bret sends him into the barricade and back inside. Luger finally goes to the eyes to take over but Bret hits him in the back to regain control. We hit the Five Moves of Doom but Luger breaks the Sharpshooter with another thumb to the eye. They fall out to the floor and Bret is holding his ankle again. Back in and Luger wraps the leg around the ropes before putting on a half crab for the submission. Seriously.
Rating: D. Luger's entire offense for this match: two pokes to the eye, a right hand, a kick to the leg, bending the leg around the rope and the half crab. This is one of those matches where all of the premises don't add up to the conclusion. Bret having a bad leg coming in and selling it throughout is fine, but my goodness. LEX LUGER just made Bret tap to something other than the Torture Rack on pay per view. Just.....think before you do things WCW. Please?
Goldberg promises to separate Sid's head from his body.
Here's Madusa in a swimsuit to shill Nitro cologne. She gets on the announcers' table and pours it over Heenan, swears about the Powers That Be, and leaves. Apparently it smells horrible. Tony: “I love my job.” This has been a moment.
We recap Sting vs. Hogan. Sting turned heel to win the title last month at Fall Brawl because WCW is stupid, and tonight is the rematch.
WCW World Title: Hulk Hogan vs. Sting
Hulk doesn't come out at first, Sting comes out, Hogan eventually comes out in street clothes (I don't want to know what street) and lays down for the pin in three seconds. That would be Hogan's last match until February. Any guesses as to how much of an explanation we get on this idiocy?
We're on a Goldberg vs. Sid video before Hogan is even out of the ring and the first part is covered by Sting music. They mention the Goldberg can't touch him bit and don't bother explaining. At one point the video cuts back to the crowd because WCW is run by a bunch of stupid monkeys. The fans are booing this out of the building and can you blame them?
US Title: Sid Vicious vs. Goldberg
Sid is still a bit bloody from earlier in the night. Hall and Nash jump Goldberg during the entrance, further making me wonder why he has six state troopers flanking him. Is it in case one of the boys takes a shot at him in the back? Sid jumps Goldberg in the aisle and the brawl (this won't be a match) is on. Goldberg shrugs it off and drops Sid over the barricade.
The referee stops things so Sid can blade again but Sid comes up swinging. It really seems like they're trying to make Sid out to be a face here. A big boot drops Goldberg and we hit a camel clutch. Goldberg does an impressive power up into an electric chair drop for two and cranks on the neck. The blood is just flowing out of Sid's head. They slug it out even more with Sid getting weaker from the blood loss. Tony: “This is the darnedest thing I've ever seen.” Is it Tony? Is it the darnedest? Goldberg hammers him even more in the corner and Sid falls to his knees to make the referee stop it.
Rating: D+. The blood looked great but if they're trying to do the Austin turn at Wrestlemania XIII (note that Goldberg didn't turn here and wrestled like he always does), they're really missing the point. I'm not going to care about Sid after all those months of destroying cruiserweights and not selling for Benoit because he had a great cut in a seven minute match and didn't even get pinned. Try again WCW, because this isn't going to work.
Rick Steiner helps Sid to the back. Do you want him to be a face or not? To be fair it wasn't really clear, but Sid wanting to walk out on his own and wanting to fight Goldberg again looked like a face move to me.
Heenan tries to say Sid's streak is intact to keep up the stupid story.
We look at Ric and Kimberly in the hotel on Monday. This comes off as an excuse to see Kimberly in lingerie. That's not a complaint by the way.
Here's Sting to say he came here for a fight, so if anyone wants a shot at the belt later tonight, come get him.
Ric Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page
Strap match with the two of them tied together and wins coming by pin or submission. Just bring the Filthy Animals out now to get this over with. Page hides on the floor to start before they trade shots in the corner. They head outside with Page being pulled into the post before going up the aisle and into the crowd. Page nails him in the back with the strap but Flair chops him back.
To ringside again with Flair kissing Kimberly. He's had a good night so far. Page hammers away and busts Flair open, though it's not as good as Sid's cut. They slug it out for a good while before Page takes him to the announcers' table for a whipping. Back in and Flair hits him low to take over again, followed by more chops and a second low blow. They're really not trying anything special here.
The knee drop misses Page's head as is the custom and it's time to go for the leg. Flair wraps the strap around Page's throat and puts on the Figure Four, only to have Page make the ropes. Now it's Page hitting him low a few times to take over, setting up the Diamond Cutter for....the finish but not a pin. It's a weird ending as Robinson counts twice, Flair moves his foot a bit, and Robinson stops before three but calls for the bell anyway. I think Flair was supposed to get his foot on the ropes but didn't make it.
Rating: D+. This might have been the second best match of the night, but some of that might have been due to how much time it got. The strap really didn't add much and this could have been any given regular match but I guess they wanted to tie it into the spanking idea. I'll give you a minute to think about Page and Flair spanking each other.
Page nails the referee and chokes Flair with the strap, only to have Kimberly stop David's interference. She hits David low and hands Page the crowbar to nail Ric in the ribs and between the legs. David is thrown in as well for a Diamond Cutter as medics come in to help the Flairs. The Filthy Animals jump out of the ambulance to jump Ric. I really don't see why Mysterio was injured but this gives me another excuse to look at Torrie so whatever.
Sting vs. ???
We have less than nine minutes to go in the show counting entrances. Answering the challenge: Goldberg, because screw Starrcade and drawing money and all that. No US Title with him of course. Tony says this is non-title despite Sting issuing a challenge for a title shot. Sting heads outside before the bell but actually has a point: there's no referee. Cue Charles Robinson with no injuries from the previous match for the opening bell with less than six minutes to go in the show.
Goldberg kicks away in the corner and hits an awkward clothesline. They head outside with Goldberg in full control and sending Sting into the barricade for about the millionth time tonight. Goldberg clotheslines the post, allowing Sting to hit the top rope splash for two. Sting spears Goldberg down but Goldberg pops to his feet and kicks him in the face. The real spear hits the buckle, setting up three straight Stinger Splashes. That goes nowhere and it's spear and Jackhammer for the pin in just over three minutes.
Rating: C. This was actually entertaining while it lasted but my goodness they just wasted their guaranteed Starrcade main event for a three minute match. But hey, at least it was surprising! No one knew it was coming and there was no way to make extra money off the match but at least it shocking.
Goldberg is handed the belt and announced as the new champion. Tony thinks there might have been some confusion but I'll chalk it up to Tony being stupid. Goldberg leaves so Sting yells at the referee about it not being a title match. Robinson gets a Death Drop to end the show. So let me get this straight: Sid might be a face and Sting is a heel. What kind of bizarre world have I stumbled into?
Overall Rating: D-. Yet somehow, I didn't hate this. I don't know if it was just the show being far less dull than their recent disasters (namely Fall Brawl) or it actually being WAY tighter than Monday's nightmare, but I didn't hate this show. Now that being said, this show is still a disaster, wasting all kinds of potential money and throwing stuff at the screen with the hopes that something sticks, but it could have been worse.
Keeping these acts short was the best thing they could have done, as it keeps the fans from getting too insulted by what they're sitting through. It's a horrible show for sure, but there's something about it that I kind of liked. Granted that might have just been Kimberly and Torrie looking great on multiple occasions but the show was such a switch over the messes I've been sitting through that it was hard to hate.
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