Being a wrestling fan, I cannot put off discussing the obvious this month — World Championship Wrestling’s Halloween Havoc pay-per-view! Halloween Havoc is dead and gone and so is WCW (bought from AOL Time Warner by World Wrestling Entertainment in 2001), but back when I was a young misfit, this was one of my favorite PPVs each year and it was certainly one of WCW’s signature events.
Halloween Havoc was WCW’s annual October (duh!) PPV and it always featured some cool props. For instance, the first year or two, the ring canvas was orange, which was just so cool when any other time of the year all you ever got to see was a blue or gray canvas. WCW also did a pretty good job of making the entrance look really fun and spooky with tombstones, skeletons and what have you throughout the years. People knock WCW for their low-budget and technical mishaps, but they usually hit the nail on the head for the look of the show up until the late ’90s.
This year is the twentieth anniversary of the very first Halloween Havoc, but the first show I remember is the 1990 edition where Sting defended the world title against Sid Vicious (not the punk rocker!). I didn’t see the show (I wouldn’t get PPVs until later in the year when I discovered an old black & white UHF TV we had could pick them up for free), but I remember being on pins & needles wondering if Sting walked out that Sunday evening with the belt still in his possession.
In those days, if I didn’t catch the show, there was no way of knowing the details until the next batch of wrestling shows come around, which in the case of WCW, wouldn’t be until the following Saturday! Then, if I wanted an even more in-depth analysis, I’d have to wait about a month or two until the wrestling magazines covered it with a more unbiased eye (would I would usually beg my mom to buy me on our weekly trip to the grocery store). Then, it’d be maybe 3-4 months before the show would be released on VHS so I could FINALLY see it for myself.
At first, WCW tried to do gimmick matches that would fit the Halloween/horror theme of the show like 1990’s Thunderdome match, 1991’s “Chamber of Horrors” match and 1992/1993’s “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” match but once the mid-90s hit, the Halloween theme because less and less important. It had really been reduced to being just another WCW pay-per-view by then, but the show gave me a lot of great memories as a kid and even creeped me out with this promo for the 1990 show:
I intend to get a bit more in-depth with the shows later in the month, but until then, you can get your pro wrestling & Halloween fix by reading these: