Skip to main content

The Only Review of Halloween Havoc 1989 That You'll Ever Need

Due to request, Caliber's 2013 Tour of the Classics is making a stop at Halloween Havoc 1989.

Mike Rotunda vs. The Z-Man
Rotunda obviously spent his GAB money on a perm, which I assume had something to do with him being Gabe Kaplan's stunt double. Doesn't matter what a person does, there's no way someone is getting over with a name like Z-Man. I'm soon proven this as this match is absolute death. It's insanely slow, with constant stalling, and once the action gets going it's leap-frogs and wrist-locks. Thankfully, they do figure out what this match needs to pick it up, SEVERAL submission spots. Leg-scissors, abdominal stretch, sleepers, it's all there, and it all sucks. Thankfully The Z-Man, a nickname the ladies gave him, turns a flying cross body into a pin. 
The Z-Man pins the future boat captain at 13:23 | *

We get an interview with Bruno who was the definition of a barrel chest.

This is Sir Oliver Humperdink. He was out on behalf of the SST & Samoan Savage. I'm including this picture because I started reviewing this PPV late at night, and fell asleep. For some reason, I have no idea why, my VLC player froze the file on this image. So, I literally woke up to this on the computer monitor about 2 feet from my face.

The Midnight Express & Steve Williams vs. The Samoan Swat Team & Samoan Savage

I often wonder if wrestling organizations in other countries are as xenophobic. Does a promotion in England do the Samoan savage crap? Are there any American characters who are either Million Dollar Man-esque, or Zeb Colter? I wonder if any promoters fucked with Samoan type wrestlers now and again. Like, you have Fatu come into the office for his first meeting;

Promoter: We wanna go with something new! You're gonna be a Harvard educated-type Samoan. A man of culture and class, who's here to change stereotypes and ways of thinking
Fatu: Really?!
Promoter: Nah, just kidding. Here's a raw fish, get to eating. 

Enough with the fun, let's get back to the match. MX and Dr. Death are pretty great, that goes without saying. The Samoans are death as far as any entertainment goes. Speaking of death, once the good Doctor comes in, the place explodes. He really gets going, getting you whipped up for the match, but then you realize it's The Samoans on the other side, not The Southern Boys or the 4 Horsemen. Eventually, because I say this with no exaggeration or stretching of the truth, this match goes on for at least 4 hours, and finally Stan is pinned by The Samoan That Is Not Fatu, not to be confused with The Harris Brother That Sid Did Not Pin. 
Stan runs into Corny and is pinned at 18:16 | ** [all of these stars are for Dr. D and MX]

We get an interview with Terry Funk in which he states that tonight a new dance will sweep Philly, the 10,000 Watt Electric Boogie featuring Ric Flair and Sting. I for one am looking forward to this match, simply to see how Funk acts when he gets electrocuted. 

Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin

It's great how Ross keeps talking up Rich, and how he's "the comeback man of 1989" as the crowd screams "TOMMY RICH SUCKS!" There is nothing to note of this match, other than the crowd shitting all over it. Man, this PPV better get going, because so far it's God-awful. Honestly, this picked up a little near the end, and that's all I have to say about it. I can't believe Rich won with a Lou Thez Press in 1989. 
Cuban Assassin eats a pin after getting hit with a finisher that wouldn't get over in 1089 A.D. let alone 1989 at 8:26 | *1/2

FREEBIRDS! Man, they were DYING to make those Terminator shades happen. Let us also not forget the waist high leather jackets. 

The Freebirds [C] vs. Dynamic Dudes - WCW Tag-Team Championship

The Freebirds do have a great move where Hayes will run over to Garvin after getting roughed up and have him adjust his hair. I'll give it to the Dudes, they've got some decent double-team moves. The crowd, because it's the birthplace of smark, is chanting like crazy for the Freebirds. So much so that Garvin and Hayes get into it. The crowd is so sick of the Dudes’ pathetic babyface pandering that they blow the roof off with a cheer when Hayes cheapshots Johnny. Near the end, The Dudes look to be finishing off the Birds, drawing absolute heel heat. They go for the Wipeout [a double sling-shot back-drop] on Garvin, Hayes holds Ace's foot, allowing Garvin to turn into a pin and retain the titles, much to the delight of the crowd. Now, I'll admit, I was dreading this, but this match absolutely won me over. The crowd laid a great foundation for the match, proving it's always awesome when people will not just eat the white bread like they're told. I also have to give due to the Dynamic ones, as their double team moves and energy helped them pull their own weight. Same goes for The Freebirds, as they were ridiculous, and absolutely soaking up the adulation. Good stuff. 
Garvin pins Douglas after a botched Wipeout at 11:28 | ***1/2

Interview with The Steiners. It's so weird seeing the voice, and sheer idiocy of Big Poppa Pump coming out of this dumb looking dude with a mullet. 

Doom w/ Woman vs. The Steiners

You know, I often hear about how broken down Scott was once he hit the BPP stage of his career, however it wasn't until I started watching old NWA stuff that I saw it for myself. Literally everything he does is faster, from simple things like walking and punching, to leaps off the top rope and Frankensteiners. Definitely one of the hardest hitting matches I've seen, as the Steiners are typical to their rep, but Simmons and Reed are giving as good as they get. Rick and Scott are controlling at first until Doom starts gloriously pulling out every cheap heel tactic they can. They get Scott in their corner and beat the hell out of him with numerous double-team moves, my favorite of which being what appeared to be a double-suplex but they end up just throwing Scott to the ground once he's up in the air. Eventually Scott nabs the hot tag, but Woman places an international object in the mask of Reed, allowing him to deliver a super-head butt on Rick and earn the victory. Of course, the announcers don't call in to question the absolutely inane action of putting something like a roll of quarters in your mask as opposed to just your hand, but whatever gets the job done, I suppose. It's a pretty good match that's made on the simple fact of how hard-hitting it is. 
Reed head-butts Rick for the pin at 15:26 | ***1/4

Brian Pillman vs. Lex Luger - US Heavyweight Championship

The match started off with Brian doing whatever he could to get the edge on Luger, but Lex just kept cutting him off at the knees. Eventually, Pillman is able to work Luger's left arm in hopes of disabling the Torture Rack. All this does is piss Lex off, as he eventually beats the hell out of Pillman with clotheslines to the back of the head and powerslams. This is the role that Luger should play always, whoever wanted to see him as a face is out of their mind. Or digs crap. Philly seems to really love themselves some Lex, and we even see him jawing with Hat Guy from ECW. Luger catches Pillman with a Stun Gun, and that's enough to put him down. I too am stunned at Luger being able to have another good match that wasn't with Flair. I don't think it's anything worth seeking out, but it definitely helps elevate the PPV, and at the time made Pillman look like a star. 
Pillman eats a Stun Gun and a pin at 16:48 | ***1/4

Skyscrapers vs. Road Warriors

Well, here's the match that'll give you your money's worth, workrate wise. The fact that Sid is still in a tag-team after what I saw at the GAB 89 is amazing. The match is just about what you'd expect, a lot of no selling, a lot of kicking and punching that help carry a giant reminder that the LOD are not the greatest tag-team of all time. Teddy Long is mobbing around with a giant gold key, leaving me to wonder if he melted down the crown the Skyscrappers won at GAB. He probably opted for the key because carrying around the crown looked stupid. Teddy tosses the key in and we get ourselves a DQ. 
The Skyscrapers are DQ'ed at 11:39 | *1/2

Interview with Sting and Ric Flair. Sting tells us it's Halloween, and it's full of havoc. Oh...oh, I see what he did there. 

Ric Flair & Sting vs. Terry Funk & The Great Muta - w/ special guest ref Bruno Sammartino - Thunderdome Match

The match can only end when either Gary Hart representing Muta & Funk or Ole representing Sting & Flair throw in the towel for one of their guys. The Thunderdome cage is decorated with Halloween garb that of course catches fire before the match starts. Once it does start, it's great, with everyone giving their all, and enjoying the hell out of themselves. It's almost as tough a brawl as the Flair/Funk match from the Bash, but I feel like the cage is actually hindering the match. Instead of keeping it in the ring, the guys have to occasionally work the cage, and it really disrupts the flow. However, Flair does swing from a rope like Tarzan, so that helps. However, if they'd just kept this as a basic tag match, they could have had a great main event. Unfortunately, all this crap with the stupid electrified cage, and throwing in the towel just ruined it. Completely killing the flow, and turning the match into a disjointed mess of people randomly going here and there and doing whatever, like touching the top of the cage despite the fact we're told it's got 10,000 watts running through it. The second half wouldn't have been so bad had it not been built on the promise of the great first half. Ole throws in Gary's towel, and we have our winners. 
Towel is thrown in for Funk & Muta at 21:55 | ***1/4

Showcase Showdown: 

On the heels of GAB, as well as the other great stuff I've been hearing about 1989 NWA, I really expected this one to be solid as well. Although I've certainly seen a hell of a lot worse, there wasn't anything mind blowing here. Had more than one match been at least ***1/2, I could probably give this a recko, but that isn't the case. Dusty's need to have a gimmicked main event soured the final match on a card that was built on a foundation that could be described as "OK" at best. I'd say look for the Freebirds vs. Dynamic Dudes match on YouTube, and sure, check out the main event while you're at it, because the first half is some great stuff. This show is the Second Showchase that's not so bad, but still isn't the first one that had jet-skis and the Royal Rumble pinball machine.

As always much respect to my editor, Steven Ferrari. I met him when I needed to buy a new caravan for a boxer I was managing, and at the time he was living with a group of Gypsies. Dags? Oh yeah, I like "dags".

Str8 Gangster, No Chaser - I've started a new article series known as Man Etiquette, so you'll know how to act in certain situations, I pay tribute to the burliest of the burly from the 8-bit era, talk about people who shouldn't use the internet [all of them], Saved By The Bell Archives, Comic Book Films You Didn't Know Were Comic Book Films, movie reviews, wrestling articles, and plenty of other goods.
WCW In 2000 - Recently updated with the infamous Bash at the Beach 2000. You know what's shocking? The PPV is GOOD. No joke, it's seriously good, and features the best match of WCW's 2000 year so far.
Man Movie Encyclopedia Vol.1 - NOW ONLY 99CENTS! THAT'S LESS THAN A DOLLAR! My book about action films. Endorsed by Scott Keith & Maddox, as well as well as fellow BoD'ers The Fuj & Kenny Chill. 5 star average on amazon.
Board for the BoD'ers - We average about 50 people a day stopping by, a constant cast of people posting, and you can talk about anything you want.

Any questions, comments, mailbag stuff you want posted -


  1. Am I crazy or is caliber the modern day Chris Hyatt(e?) as far as wrestling reviews go. Sure he went nuts at the end but those mop ups were always an entertaining review. This was pretty good imo

  2. And yes I am old enough to remember going to al issacs "scoops" every day, but especially Tuesdays to read mop up

  3. I love the Thunderdome match. Muta 'extinguishing' the fire with his mist is tremendous.

  4. I loved me some Hyatte, but Caliber here stays on topic WAY more than he ever did.

  5. I think you misinterpreted 'don't post until Halloween'.

  6. Whatever happened to Chris Hyatte? Man that guy was a prick... but I couldn't stop reading him...

  7. I actually think a straight Thesz Press into a pin would be a good finish for Brodus. The big splash is overused anyway, and its a good fat guy crusher type move that doesn't get used as a finish.

    Either that or he needs to debut the Boogie Woogie Banzai Drop.

  8. Scream09_HartKillerApril 29, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    I didn't see this show, but I love the Halloween Havoc pay per view theme. I liked the show with the orange and black ring/ropes. 1991? Or 1990. Maybe both. Anyway, more pimped out Halloween sets for October pay per views! Hell, they could even rip off the Black Scorpion angle and have a "ghost" haunting Raw all October. John Cena challenges the "ghost" to a match at the pay per view. After emerging victorious, Cena realizes it's not a ghost, but a man in costume, who turns out to be Teddy Long! Teddy was trying to scare away the Raw GM (whoever it is at the time) so he could run both shows, and he would have gotten away with it to, if it wasn't for that melding Cena!

  9. Yeah, if a big guy were to do it, with a running start and all, I could buy it. But an average sized fellow? No.

  10. Overrates WWF

    Underrates WCW.

    Go figure

  11. Do some early 90s wrestling show reviews.

  12. I don't care much for Caliber's reviews (I like some of them, but not a lot of them--and he knows this and seems to be cool with it), but I would never, ever compare him to Hyatte. Caliber is far better.

    Hyatte, in my opinion, was one of the biggest, most self-important douchebags to ever grace the internet. He stopped writing about the news and tried to become the news. He spawned many imitators who were equally douchey and self-important.

    Hyatte had a one-sided "feud" with Scott for years where Scott essentially no-sold everything. Scott ended up with multiple published books, a large and dedicated fanbase, and a happy family. Hyatte, on the other hand, was still trying to poke fun at Keith about a year or two ago still when he came out with some trashy fictional story with a protagonist based on his idea of Scott.

    There is a life lesson or two to be learned somewhere in there.

  13. Glad to see my favorite company and favorite era get some review shine. Do us ALL a favor though and skip Starrcade 89. Yea.... WrestleWar 90 much better show

  14. Another big fan of 80's NWA here. Definitely a let down after GAB, but still entertaining in its own right.

    Nice job, enjoying the reviews!

  15. Yeah, Hyatte was stupid. FUNNY at times, and he had a good way of pointing out the real problems with some angles or storylines, but he often went all-out with his "feuds" and a desperate attempt to seem cool. Remember all the times he said he got a "female friend" to help with some of his pranks?

  16. There was so much potential with that show, IMO. It was a wasted opportunity if you ask me.

  17. "WrestleWar '90, the kings of the ring, all come together and do the wild thing"

    Best theme song for a Pay Per View ever!

  18. I can still see that promo in my head all the time.

  19. Still sounds like Caliber. Give it some time for Scott to have had enough of him.

  20. Yeah, someone claiming to be Tammy e-mailed him and he posted her correspondence for a while. Then the real Tammy made some comment about it, and the guy spilled the beans to Hyatte, who then told his audience. I think the guy was trying to segue that into a regular writing spot or something.

  21. Yeah the Mop-Ups were highly entertaining when he stayed on point.

  22. Yeah...also...speaking of old writers...whatever happened to Eric S?


Post a Comment