For you wrestling fans out there, maybe the VHS box art will refresh your memory even more of one of the coolest wrestling pay-per-views from back when I was a young street tough…. HALLOWEEN HAVOC!
To be honest, I’m not too familiar with the inaugural edition of the show. I wasn’t really into wrestling until 1990 and before that I pretty much only knew about the WWF’s cast of cartoon wrestlers. I didn’t see this until a couple of years later.
Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman – Fantastic match with Luger defending the United States title against Pillman. This was one of those matches that really made you think Luger had “it”. He didn’t, of course, it was his opponents that usually did.
Ric Flair & Sting vs. The Great Muta & Terry Funk – Ah, the Thunderdome Match. A fun, goofy gimmick match to cap off Halloween Havoc.
I have a lot of fond memories of this pay-per-view because I was so into the hype for it at the time. How could our superhero world champion Sting possibly overcome the odds against the unstoppable monster Sid Vicious?
The Steiner Brothers vs. The Nasty Boys – United States tag team title match. Yes, the Steiners were so good they got a great non-brawling match out of the sloppy Nasty Boys. I think the Hart Foundation is the only other team to do so. Pretty much the swan song for the Nasties in WCW, they shortly popped up in WWF.
Doom vs. Ric Flair & Arn Anderson – World tag titles. I can’t remember the details, but I was really into this Doom/Four Horsemen feud. I thought it was really cool to see heel vs. heel, or as I would have called it then — “rulebreaker vs. rulebreaker”.
Lex Luger vs. Stan Hansen – I HATED Stan Hansen, he was such a disgusting looking and acting man, surely the company’s #2 superhero “good guy” come overcome him? Nope. Shockingly, Hansen won the U.S. title from Luger, and shockingly, he did it convincingly. I was DISTRAUGHT over this one.
Sting vs. Sid Vicious – World title. Sting *almost* lost. The Four Horsemen concocted a plan to switch Horsemen member Barry Windham with Sting during the middle of the match and have him let Vicious pin him. The real Sting was able to make his way to the ring though and ended up beating Vicious. Kinda silly looking back, but at the time, I ate it up.
By this time, WCW was getting kind of boring. They were bringing in too many gimmick characters and as much as I hated the now super-arrogant Lex Luger and loved Ron Simmons at the time, they had zero chemistry together and put on quite a boring main event.
Sting, the Steiner Brothers and El Gigante vs. Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack, Diamond Studd and Abdullah the Butcher – The infamous “Chamber of Horrors” of match where Abdullah was “electrocuted”. Yup. That’s how you won, you had to strap your opponent into the electric chair and turn on the juice. What? You don’t agree with capital punishment as a finish for a wrestling match? Match is a joke, of course, but was a fun spectacle for my young self.
WCW Phantom vs. Tom Zenk – Nothing match, but the Phantom turned out to be the newly arrived Rick Rude (fresh from the WWF) and Paul E. Dangerously came out and cut a promo on WCW afterwards, promising revenge on the company forming one of the greatest stables of all time: The Dangerous Alliance.
By this time, WCW was really in the dumps. They still had some great wrestlers, but times were changing, management was in turmoil, the company was seemingly working on a shoestring budget and ’92 was a transition year. Many longtime dependable NWA/WCW wrestlers were leaving and a bunch of younger and green wrestlers were coming in to unsuccessfully fill the void. The 1992 edition was a pretty bad and boring show.
Barry Windham & Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Williams & Steve Austin – Windham & Rhodes were defending the NWA & WCW World tag titles. Austin was subbing for Terry Gordy. Great match that went to time-limit draw. Windham & Rhodes were an awesome team.
Sting vs. Jake Roberts – A “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” match where they legitimately spun a wheel to see what type of gimmick match they would have (Coal Miner’s Glove match). Really, really bad and boring match (even as kid, I could see this), but I was really caught up in this feud. Jake “the Snake” Roberts had come over from the WWF and was a super-hot heel at the time he left, so naturally he continued his slimy heelish ways once coming over to WCW and there was no one better for the sinister Roberts to play against than the clean-cut Sting.
1993 WCW was so boring to me. In fact, 1993 and 1994 were really boring to me for WCW and WWF. By this point, I wasn’t even really watching WCW, I was mostly keeping up with the company thanks to wrestling magazines and recaps from my friend. I totally didn’t buy Cactus Jack as a main event wrestler, so that didn’t help either.
Vader (no longer a Big Van) vs. Cactus Jack – Okay, so what? They had a great brawl. Vader was defending the world title in this one. This was the second “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” match. This time, it ended up being a Texas death match.
Now we’re into the Hogan era of WCW. Everything became a bit more PG and lots of familiar WWF faces were popping up thanks to Hogan pulling strings.
Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair – “Retirement” cage match with Hogan defending the world title. He won and Flair was “retired” for only a handful of months. Good match, even into the late-90s, Hogan and Flair usually had good matches against each other.