DATE: October 24, 1993
VENUE: Lakefront Arena (New Orleans, LA)
COMMENTATORS: Tony Schiavone & Jesse “The Body” Ventura
The 1993 edition of Halloween Havoc tries its hand at Spin the Wheel, Make The Deal as Cactus Jack takes on Big Van Vader in a match to be decided in the main event. Also on the show Rick Rude defends his Big Gold Belt that’s also a World Title now against Ric Flair, Ricky Steamboat trades up from his scheduled opponent to take on “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff, and Sting and Sid Vicious have a Halloween Havoc ‘90 rematch to decide who the franchise of WCW is.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: Big Van Vader
- WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION: “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes
- WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPION: “Lord” Steven Regal
- BIG GOLD BELT CHAMPION GUY: “Ravishing” Rick Rude
- WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS: Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio
- The Shockmaster, Charlie Norris, & Ice Train vs. The Equalizer & Harlem Heat (*1/2)
- Ricky Steamboat vs. Paul Orndorff (***)
- Lord Steven Regal [c] vs. Davey Boy Smith for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/4)
- Dustin Rhodes [c] vs. Steve Austin for the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (***1/2)
- Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio [c] vs. The Nasty Boys for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (**3/4)
- Sting vs. Sid Vicious (**1/2)
- Rick Rude [c] vs. Ric Flair for the BIG GOLD BELT (**)
- SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE THE DEAL: Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (**1/2)
A group of trick or treaters are ready to call it a night but the main kid has one more house to hit: THE SPOOKY MANSION. Thunder & lightning effects as the kids approach the house, the gate closing behind them, fog covering the ground. The doorbell ring is a SCREAM. Door opens to reveal Tony Schiavone of all people, apparently WCW pays its commentators a lot better than I thought. Schiavone says his wife is baking…cookies. He invites them in, WHICH THEY ACCEPT, then suddenly appears at the top of the stairs saying that anything can happen on Halloween including Spin the Wheel, Make The Deal. Main Kid is unimpressed and wants to see something really scary, and Schiavone TURNS INTO A F*CKING MAN BAT, the kids opening the door right into the Lakefront Arena for pyro and ballyhoo.
- So stupid. I loved it. I hope those kids escaped and weren’t eaten by Bat-vone. I wish wrestling still tried goofy stuff like this.
–Eric Bischoff welcomes the home crowd, standing in front of the infamous MATCH WHEEL, which has gotten some upgrades (actually part of the set and has HORNS for some reason). He takes it to ringside where Ventura is dressed as Bourbon Street’s #1 gynecologist and Schiavone is dressed as…Jesse Ventura. Spitting image, thought Ventura cloned himself.
The Shockmaster, Charlie Norris, & Ice Train vs. The Equalizer & Harlem Heat (Kane & Kole)
Kane is Stevie Ray and Kole is Booker T but they’re still stuck with their stupid original WCW names which sucks sh*t but I’ll play along. Shockmaster had his infamous debut over the summer, tripping and killing his push almost immediately as he bust through a wall, and since then has been portrayed as a klutz outside of the ring. He even comes out in a hardhat. Equalizer is better known as Dave/Evad Sullivan, doing a low-rent Bruiser Brody thing right down to the furry boots. Ice Train is a few years away from his Fire & Ice days, and Charlie Norris is also here I guess.
Kole starts off for his team, trying to slam Train but failing because he’s too big. Train levels him with a clothesline, Kane tags in and gets caught in a wristlock. Norris tags in, tomahawk chop to the arm (oh right he’s rocking a Native American gimmick, that’s important to note). Kole tags back in again to no luck, Shockmaster gets the tag and a surprisingly positive response from the crowd as he headbutts Kole’s arm repeatedly. Train tags back in, Harlem Heat connect with a double slide slam but he emphatically presses out of a pinfall attempt. Equalizer finally tags in and does nothing of note. Norris tags in and takes some offense from the heels, including TWO spinning ax kicks from Kole that can’t put him away. Shockmaster gets the hot tag and goes to down, catching Kole in a bearhug and slamming him to the mat for the 1…2…3.
The Shockmaster, Charlie Norris, & Ice Train defeated The Equalizer & Harlem Heat (9:46)
- Perfectly fine opener I guess but I couldn’t help but feel bad for Ice Train & Harlem Heat for being stuck with a bunch of go nowhere geeks as partners and opponents. Just a real mix of low-card blah. Luckily Harlem Heat would get right the f*ck out of this mix in 1994 and ascend to tag team glory and Ice Train would get a much better run. (*1/2)
Shockmaster and Equalizer brawl a bit, the former winning that fight and the faces celebrate.
-Bischoff is backstage with Terry Taylor, who campaigned hard to get the spot as the second referee for tonight’s Big Gold Belt match. Taylor says he’s done a lot of questionable things in his career and wants to atone for them by helping call this match down the middle. How about you bring Alexandra York back and we’ll call it even?
Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat vs. “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff [w/ The Masked Assassin]
Steamboat’s original opponent was supposed to be Yoshi Kwan but he’s injured so instead we get a better match out of it. This one has some history too as Steamboat ended Orndorff’s reign as TV Champion at the August Clash of the Champions so undoubtedly Orndorff wants a little revenge. No one is quite sure why The Masked Assassin (also called just The Assassin) is with Orndorff now, but apparently he has a vendetta against Dusty Rhodes that stems from Slamboree ‘93. How that led him to managing Orndorff is a question for never because I doubt they ever explain that.
Orndorff takes control early, slamming Steamboat on the ramp, but The Dragon finds his groove and starts working Orndorff’s arm over after sending him into the ringpost. Steamboat works like a heel here, even separating Orndorff’s fingers during an armbar for extra torque and getting in the ref’s face. Steamboat connects with a series of clotheslines and is so ramped up he boasts to the crowd. A dazed Orndorff crawls to the floor, Steamboat rams him into the steps but then ref distracts him for some reason and he gets tripped, smashing head-first into the apron. Orndorff finds a second wind and goes on the attack, sending Steamboat over the guardrail and into the first row. Both men hit a crossbody and crumple to the mat, Steamboat sends Orndorff back to the ramp and hits a flying chop followed by an atomic drop that sends him back into the ring. Orndorff kicks out of a couple of pinfall attempts, sends Steamboat’s head crashing to the canvas. Steamboat counters a Piledriver attempt with a backdrop and covers but Orndorff bridges out (HIS POOR NECK). Steamboat hits his patented Flying Crossbody but Assassin distracts the ref so by the time he makes the count Orndorff has had enough recovery time to kick out. Steamboat angrily shoves the ref out of the way, causing him to turn his back and Orndorff sends him over the top and onto the floor. Assassin loads his mask and headbutts Steamboat in the back of the head and The Dragon doesn’t beat the count.
Paul Orndorff defeated Ricky Steamboat via countout (18:35)
- Very good match here, Steamboat working real aggressively to sell the animosity he still has with Orndorff; too bad no one ever let him be a heel, I think he would’ve been really good at it. Orndorff got his sh*t kicked in for the most part but had some bright spots. The ending was dumb, as much as I love a loaded mask being put into play. (***)
-Schiavone and Ventura discuss Rick Rude’s “Big Gold Belt”. WCW’s International committee have decided it’s now a “World Heavyweight Championship” so that’s what they’re calling now, even though WCW already has a World Champion. Uhhhh cool I guess. Ventura rips the fake mustache and beard off Schiavone, taking the commentator off-guard. WCW folks had no idea how to handle Ventura’s improv and it always rules.
“Lord” Steven Regal [c] [w/ Sir William] vs. “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith for the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP
Smith arrived in WCW earlier in the year and was immediately put into a main event feud with Vader, headlining both Slamboree and Beach Blast. Now he’s challenging for the third-tier championship midway through the PPV and even though he’s got the best opponent it had to have felt like a downgrade. Regal is only a few months into his run as Television Champion, having defeated Ricky Steamboat for the title at Fall Brawl the month prior. He’s also relatively new to WCW but he’s so f*cking good they had no choice but to strap him up. Michael Buffer handles the in-ring introductions, as he will for the other title matches of the evening.
Regal grabs a wristlock, Smith spins out and counters, Regal counters back and sends him to the mat. Smith kips up, another reversal, Smith does a front flip counter to a counter and they reset. BULLDOG BROUGHT HIS WORKING SHOES. Smith counters a whip with a cartwheel, Regal mockingly does the same and gets rewarded with a monkey flip. Reversal upon reversal, Smith grabs an armbar but Regal hugs the bottom rope for a rope break. This slaaaaaps. Smith elevates Regal with his feet, Regal bellyflops to the canvas, Smith continues the punishment with a full-on bow and arrow submission. Sir William earns his paycheck by distracting the Bulldog, allowing Regal to attack from behind. Regal Roll and a senton for a two-count. Regal connects a whole lot of knees and European uppercuts, Smith tries a comeback and runs into a knee when charging into the corner. Regal applies a half-nelson/Indian Deathlock combo, Smith kips out and rolls Regal up for the 1…2…champ kicks out. Bulldog hits the Running Powerslam for the 1…2…REGAL KICKS OUT. Smith summons the last of his strength and connects with a piledriver for the 1…2…TIME HAS EXPIRED.
Lord Steven Regal [c] and Davey Boy Smith fought to a time-limit draw; Regal retains the WCW WORLD TELEVISION CHAMPIONSHIP (15:00)
- This match popped off right from the beginning, Smith reverting to his smaller Stampede days by cartwheeling and kipping up to reverse offense. Regal is UNMATCHED in his initial WCW run and he was on full display here, every move with purpose and stringing submissions together with almost no effort. God I love Lord Steven Regal, and I love even more that Smith was motivated here. Yeah there is a little jank here and there but who f*cking cares. (***1/2)
-Bischoff is at the horned wheel. Out come Big Van Vader and Harley Race; the WCW World Champion gives it a spin (no magic lever this time) and it lands on…TEXAS DEATH MATCH. Not as cool as a Coal Miner’s Glove match but I guess it’ll do.
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes [c] vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin for the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Col. Robert Parker, who is not out for this match, has apparently taken credit for Austin getting the title shot. Also absent at ringside is Austin’s Hollywood Blonds partner Brian Pillman. These two had a damn good match at Halloween Havoc two years prior but now they’ve got some more mileage in them boots so I’ve got high expectations going in.
Austin goes for a Boston Crab, Rhodes uses his leg power to swing him off. Austin escapes an atomic drop and grabs a side headlock so he can sneak in a closed fist. Rhodes fires back with a dropkick and buckle shot, then dodges a running knee and Austin sends himself flying out to the floor. Rhodes, sensing blood in the water, goes after Austin’s knee, twisting it with a toehold. Austin regains control with a low-blow as he ties up the ref, then connects with a bare kneedrop (moving the kneepad down) for a two-count. Rhodes sends Austin into the corner, Austin immediately bounces out with a float-over kneedrop which KICKS ASS for a two-count. Things break out into a slugfest, Rhodes connects with a backdrop and a lariat for the 1…2…Austin kicks out. Rhodes goes for the Bulldog, Austin counters by sending him flying into the buckles and puts him a tree of woe, doing that AMAZING Hollywood Blonds camera taunt to mock him as the ref helps him out. Rhodes fights out of a Stun Gun attempt, Austin rolls him up using the ropes for the 1…2…3! NEW CHAMP NEW CHA-wait the ref takes it back and Rhodes rolls Austin up for the 1…2…3.
Dustin Rhodes [c] defeated Steve Austin via pinfall to retain the WCW UNITED STATES HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP (14:22)
- In an alternate timeline somewhere in our infinite multiverse, Rhodes/Austin became one of the greatest rivalries in WCW history and main-evented at least one Starrcade. These two had such terrific chemistry together. Great match with a dumb finish, the ref taking back his three-count because he saw the ropes being used after the fact. Sorry dude you already counted the fall, give my man the belt! Oh well. He’d get it in due time. (***1/2)
-Next PPV on the calendar is BattleBowl, the goofy gimmick getting its own show meaning WCW is finally back to having a real Starrcade again.
-LAST NIGHT = Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio upset The Nasty Boys for the WCW World Tag Team Championship on Saturday Night.
Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio [c] [w/ Teddy Long] vs. The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) [w/ Missy Hyatt] for the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Nasty Boys stole the goddamn show at Halloween Havoc back in 1990 and now they make their return to the event after a few eventful years in the WWF. Scorpio and Bagwell have matching gear in Halloween covers, and for some reason Teddy Long is managing them? That’s a strange mix, but not as strange as MISSY HYATT managing The Nasty Boys. Odd combinations all around.
Nasty Boys steal the belts and pose with them, champs clear them out then Bagwell forcibly kisses Hyatt to a loud pop from the crowd. Nothing says “good guy” like non-consensual kissing, that’s what I always say. Match starts for real, Bagwell hits the Nasty Boys with a double dropkick and Scorpio outdoes him with a flying double crossbody. Nasties bail to the floor, Scorpio launches himself off Bagwell’s back for a splash which RULES. We really do not deserve 2 Cold Scorpio. Eventually the Nasties turn the offensive tide, working Bagwell over including a double Stun Gun attempt that Bagwell takes weirdly, turning the botch into something looking BRUTAL. Hyatt takes a moment to slap Bagwell for revenge on getting kissed earlier; he deserved worse but whatever. Sags and Knobbs continue the quick tags, tying up Bagwell’s legs so he can’t find his way over to his partner, a cool little detail. Bagwell finally fights his way out of the Nasty Boys clutches and gets the hot tag to Scorpio. Spinkicks, dropkicks, and a beautiful moonsault on Knobbs for the 1…2…Sags tries to interfere but ends up elbowdropping his own partner. Long and Hyatt fight on the apron, Scorpio hits a motherf*cking 450 Splash that the crowd goes wild for but the ref is too distracted, allowing Sags to hit Scorpio in the back of the head with his boot, Knobbs covering for the 1…2…3.
The Nasty Boys defeated Marcus Alexander Bagwell & 2 Cold Scorpio [c] via pinfall to win the WCW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP (14:40)Sti
- And just like that Bagwell & Scorpio are no longer the champions. Booooo. The Nasty Boys are great and all but 2 Marc Scorpwell (oof I should’ve workshopped that) deserved a LITTLE longer than a one day reign as champs. Good match for the most part, got slow a little bit, but Scorpio made up for it by kicking ass like he always does. All-timer that guy is. (**3/4)
-Bischoff interviews Sid Vicious and Col. Robert Parker. Sid will be the Grim Reaper tonight and take Sting’s soul. Whoa dude it’s just wrestling.
Sting vs. Sid Vicious [w/ Col. Robert Parker]
These two previously met in the main event of Halloween Havoc ‘90 for the World Championship, but this time they’re fighting for something equally as valuable: the right to be considered the franchise of WCW. Bet it doesn’t pay as well as World Titles do. Vicious returned to the company the previous May at the first Slamboree, squashing Van Hammer and aligning himself with Big Van Vader as the “Masters of the Power Bomb”, going to war with Sting and Davey Boy Smith over the summer.
Sting swipes at Parker, Sid attacks from behind. Sting rebounds with a slam and a clothesline, Vicious rolls to the apron and eats ANOTHER clothesline. Sting suplexes Vicious back in, Vicious quickly rolls out. Sting keeps the attack going and they brawl into the crowd, shades of their Havoc ‘90 match except with less Barry Windham. Back in the ring Parker grabs Sting, Vicious goozles him into a chokeslam but poses instead of covers. Parker gets involved, choking the Stinger with his handkerchief. Sting goes after Parker, Vicious clubs him from behind with a double axhandle. Sting escapes a chinlock, Vicious connects with a powerslam for the 1…2…not yet. Sting fights out of a bearhug, hits a Stinger Splash into opposite corners of the ring, and even gives Parker one in the kisser. Vicious attacks again, Parker blindly grabs at the legs but accidentally grabs Vicious’ leg. Vicious angrily pulls Parker to the apron, Sting takes advantage of the distraction and rolls Vicious up for the 1…2…3!
Sting defeated Sid Vicious via pinfall (10:44)
- A lot better than their match back in 1990. The ending was weird though, Parker grabbing Sid’s leg blindly didn’t make a ton of sense. I believe this was the start of Sid’s face turn that would have led him to the World Title in December at Starrcade but then he had to go stab Arn Anderson with a pair of scissors and get himself fired. Oops. (**1/2)
Parker profusely apologizes to Sid, who ignores him and walks to the back.
–Big Van Vader and Harley Race are shown getting prepped for the Texas Death Match, while Cactus Jack and his mysterious bag rock back and forth in another part of the arena, Jack muttering that no one can hurt him.
“Ravishing” Rick Rude [c] vs. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair [w/ Fifi the Maid] for the BIG GOLD WORLD TITLE BELT OF MUCH IMPORTANCE
As stated earlier (I think, maybe I just thought it) the WCW “International” committee has declared Rude’s title belt a “World Championship” so it’s ACTUALLY IMPORTANT GUYS, PAY ATTENTION TO IT. Terry Taylor is the outside ref for this one, still confused as to why he’s even involved. Rude beat Flair via NEFARIOUS MEANS to win the title the month prior at Fall Brawl and has been sexually harassing Fifi because he and his mustache cannot be contained. Since this is a World Title-ish match, Michael Buffer lets loose a “LET’S GET READY TO RUUUUUUUMBLE”. Ah yeah that’s the good stuff. Inject that into my veins.
Flair lays into Rude at the outset with jabs a backdrop. Corner chops, delayed vertical suplex, and a WOO by The Nature Boy but only a one-count off the lateral press. Rude misses a top rope kneedrop, Flair goes after the leg by ramming it into the post as Taylor looks on, Ventura admonishing him for not doing anything about it even though he’s the outside ref. As always The Body has a point. Rude yanks the tights and sends Flair to the floor, then tries to use the ropes for a cover but Taylor removes them and Flair rolls him up for a two-count. Flair catches Rude with a crossbody, sending both men spilling out to the floor. Flair follows up with a top-rope fistdrop to the floor, which causes The Nature Boy to celebrate because his % is low when it comes to hitting those moves….as evidenced when Rude counters his second attempt at it. Rude connects with a backbreaker and locks in a Camel Clutch-style chinlock. Rude gyrates at Fifi and hits a top rope fistdrop but hurts his own knee in the process. Flair is sent over the buckles AND INTO A CAMERAMAN, Rude drops him with a clothesline. Flair comes back with a Rude Awakening of his own for the 1…2…Rude kicks out. Flair heads to the top for a flying nothing that Rude counters with a boot. Ref gets bumped, Rude covers Flair but there’s no one to make the count. Taylor runs in to do his job then ALSO GETS BUMPED. Flair ducks a foreign object and hits a back suplex, Flair grabs the object and wallops Rude with it for the 1…2…Taylor stops counting, other ref calls for the DQ because he saw the foreign object get used. The f*ck is that?
Rick Rude [c] defeated Ric Flair via DQ to retain the WORLD GOLD BIG IMPORTANT BELT (19:41-ish)
- Seeing Flair hit babyface fire offense is always fun. Match itself was a bit dull though, really slow and the finish at the end was f*cking dumb. (**)
-Schiavone and Ventura go over the Texas Death Match rules: No DQ, falls do not count as a win, 30 second rest between falls (heh?), if guy can’t get up after a 10-count then he loses.
TEXAS DEATH MATCH
Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader [w/ Harley Race]
Vader put Jack out of commission earlier in the year with a powerbomb on the concrete floor, which resulted in Jack LOSING HIS MEMORY AND ENDING UP THINKING HE WAS A SHIP CAPTAIN WHILE LIVING WITH A GROUP OF HOMELESS PEOPLE. The…the f*ck? Jack eventually remembered everything and has been fighting his way back to Vader, including beating Yoshi Kwan the month prior at Fall Brawl to get his mysterious good luck bag back. Vader’s WCW World Heavyweight Championship is not on the line for this one, I assume because Spin the Wheel, Make a Deal matches aren’t sanctioned?
Brawl begins right on the ramp, Vader hits the post with his arm and Jack rams it on the guardrail. Jack grabs a chair, Vader clobbers him with rights. Jack responds with rights of his own and hits Vader with a fan’s camera (hope it’s okay, camera costs eleventy hundred dollars in 1993). Action moves into the ring for some reason, Vader connects with a THICC lariat and a series of jabs that busts Jack open. Action back to the ramp, Jack suplexes Vader and beats Race up to steal the chair he was trying to introduce. Chair to the skull, they fight into the Halloween Havoc set and they fight INTO A GRAVE THAT HAS AN “RIP VADER” GRAVESTONE. A little presumptuous. Jack emerges with a “BANG BANG”; Vader slowly follows suit, now busted open himself. Jack catches him with a lariat for the 1…2…3. 30 second rest period, Jack grabs a cutout of a cactus (ha) and levels Vader with it when the big man easily beats the actual 10-count. Vader to the floor, Jack hits a Pepsi Plunge elbow from the ramp for the 1…2…3. 30 second rest period, Vader gets up at the real count of 4 and fights back with stiff rights and a headbutt. Jack throws a table into the ring, the ref is nice enough to set it up for them in the corner. Jack sends Vader into a bellyflop on the table, which doesn’t break, for the 1…2…Vader actually kicks out. Camera catches Race with a taser in his pocket, Vader and Jack fight in the crowd for a bit then back in the ring, Vader hits a MOOOOONSAULT for the 1…2…3. 30 second rest period but Jack is back to his feet in no time. They fight to the ramp, Jack climbs Vader’s back, and Vader DROPS DOWN AND F*CKING SQUASHES JACK ON THE RAMP WITH A SICKENING THUD JESUS F*CKING CHRIST. Vader doesn’t let up, hitting Jack with a chair and DDTing him on the steel. Trainers check on Jack, Vader shoves them away and covers for the 1…2…3. 30 second rest period begins, Jack is up to his feet before that count is finished and hits a DDT on Vader but lands on the chair. The actual 10-count begins, Jack gets to his feet but Race ZAPS him with the taser and down he goes, Vader gets to his feet and gets the win.
Big Van Vader defeated Cactus Jack (16:00)
- A monstrous brawl full of stiff shots and Jack trying to f*cking kill himself, which I got to respect. However overall I didn’t like this match. The rest periods killed ANY of the drama of a 10-count as both guys were up before the ref barely got started and ended up slowing things down and ruining the flow. Also Jack spends the year “Lost in Cleveland” only to return and embark on a revenge tour…AND LOSE? That’s some sh*tty booking right there; Vader’s title wasn’t even on the line, he could’ve eaten the loss and been fine. Felt like a bricked layup. Again I don’t want to take away from the brutality but it didn’t work for me. (**1/2)
Jack hits Race with a Double Arm DDT on the ramp, which is NOT a consolation prize in my eyes. That’s the show.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Regal/Smith and Rhodes/Austin rocked, but the rest of the matches were…fine, but not necessarily memorable. Halloween Havoc ‘92 was straight up bad but this year’s show is more…fine. It was fine. I know A LOT of people like Jack/Vader more than I do though so if you’re one of those folks you probably like the show more than I did. That’s fine. I’m not offended. Don’t ever talk to me or my son again, but I’m not offended.
- MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Lord Steven Regal vs. Davey Boy Smith
- MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Vader turns Jack into a pancake on the ramp. I may not have liked the match as a whole but holy f*cking shit that spot damn near shattered MY spine and I watched it 20+ years later.