WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 Review

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 Review
Date: October 26, 1997
Attendance:  12,457
Location: MGM Grand

Your commentators are Dusty Rhodes, Tony Schiavone and Bobby Heenan. So we have Dusty Rhodes back and again the part time stuff of Mike Tenay. Someone kill him please?

Yuji Nagata w/ Sonny Onoo vs Ultimo Dragon

Well this match was sort of thrown together out of nowhere with Yuji only debuting on Nitro two weeks prior and it revolves around Sonny Onoo. The match is underway with Dragon showing off his usually kicking combinations before getting put in a sleeper hold. Ultimo fights back and is able to nail his typical Asai moonsault. Dragon goes for the Dragon Sleeper buts is reversed by Yuji as Ultimo starts holding his arm. Dragon goes up top and hits a top rope frankensteiner but can’t pin his opponent because of the arm. Goes for the dragon sleeper and its reversed into an arm bar for a very quick tap out. Your winner, Yuji Nagata (9:42)

Rating: **½ - I just couldn’t get into it but was still not a bad opener. The two seemed a little odd facing each other as Nagata is much larger than Dragon but they made it work.

A special unadvertised match: Gedo vs Chris Jericho

I’m not all that familiar with Japanese wrestling but surely this yellow clown can’t be anything big. We get a run down on his history and how he made the final of the J-Cup in Japan and defeated Syxx and Benoit on the way there. Who cares?

Gedo nails a couple of powerslams before he quickly resorts to putting on the sleeper. Jericho begins his fightback and nails a huge doube powerbomb but only a two count. Jericho goes up top and tries to hit a top rope super frankensteiner, loses balance a bit too early but goes through with it anyways and nearly breaks his neck. Holy shit that was a catastrophe avoided. Gedo goes for a high risk manoeuvre, misses and Jericho puts on the liontamer for the win. (7:18)

Rating: ** - I tried to care about this but i just couldn’t. The top rope botch was something that needs to be seen though as he was seriously centimetres away from breaking his neck. Could have been disastrous but alls well that ends well.

Mene Gene talks to Debra McMichael backstage. Mongo comes in and they talk about credit cards, rings and who owns what.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddy Guerrero vs The Phantom a.k.a Rey Misterio Jr.

A stipulation to this one is if Rey loses, he loses his mask. Things start off at a very quick pace with a very nice arm drag from Misterio as things quickly go to the floor. Eddy slams Rey head first into the steps before it goes back into the ring where Eddy is well and truly on top. Tiltawhirl back breaker from Eddy but it fetches only 2. Rey recovers and hits an amazing springboard DDT but again only a two count. Eddy then puts on a steiner recliner and starts to rip off Misterio’s mask before putting on his old mans Gori Special. Rey gets a head scissor taking Guerrero to the floor and then hits an amazing somersault frankensteiner. Awesome. Rey throws him back in the ring and goes up top to hit a corkscrew moonsault but again only two. A split legged moonsault sees Eddy get the knees up and nail a massive powerbomb and pin combination for two and three quarters! Rey fights back and goes for the spring board hurricanrana but gets a back breaker for his troubles. Goes for the frog splash but adjusts as Rey moves and things go to the corner. Goes for an outsiders edge from the top but Rey reverses it into a hurricanrana for the 1-2-3! And we have a new champion! (13:51)

Rating: ***** - Amazing match and was just had a bit of everything. This was botch free and had the crowd on their toes for the entirety and the crowd popped huge when Rey got the 3 count. Truly incredible and well worth the entry fee. WCW often end their feuds once a title changes hands but i’d love to see this one go on for a bit longer. 

Hollywood and Bischoff cut a promo backstage stating that if they don’t get a contract signed stating that Sting will not be appearing, then Hogan is not participating in the main event.

Mongo McMichael  vs Debra’s Mystery Opponent

This was meant to be Jeff Jarrett vs Mongo but due to Jarrett making a runner for the WWE, Debra’s mystery partner is brought out to be my boy Alex Wright. This one looks set to end very early as Mongo hits his tombstone piledriver. Debra is somehow making a distraction at ringside and the ref decides to try keep her more in check. Goldberg enters the ring and nails a spear and jackhammer, picks up Alex Wright and plants him on Mongo as the ref counts the three. Your winner, Alex Wright (6:31)

Rating: * - Nothing match and was only used to give Goldberg his first major feud in WCW.

Macho man cuts a promo with Elizabeth on his upcoming bout with DDP.

 TV Title Match:  Disco Inferno vs Jacqueline

When i first saw this was going to PPV, I instantly thought WHAT THE FUCK. I hated this whole idea and i really didn’t want to watch it. This is basically all stalling and chasing and the whole thing was all about a laugh. Jacqueline gets the win when Disco argues with the ref and she roles him up to have a new TV champion. (9:39)

Rating:  * - Yes it was hilarious and gave me a chuckle but what the fuck does this accomplish in the long term? You have Alex Wright lose the title one week after Fall Brawl where he put on a 20 minute match and then have the champion look this ridiculous? Way to make the championship prestigious and all. Fucking stupid.

US Title: Curt Henning vs Ric Flair

Ric Flair is out quickly and is on top immediately. We get news a quarter of the way through that Hogan has pulled out of the main event due to his proposal. This match is a total brawl til about half way through which then sees Flair floored with the title nearby in the ring. Henning picks it up but Flair suplexes him centimetres away from the belt. Flair hangs Henning upside down on the turnbuckle and wraps the title belt around his face. Stomps on him and Henning gets the DQ win.

Rating: * ½ - Fucking stupid way to end what was proving to be some good viewing. Id have liked it to be a proper finish, especially on PPV, but i guess they are building this feud to end at Starrcade.

Mene Gene chats with the returning JJ Dillon. Dillon guarantees that the Hogan and Piper PPV will go on as advertised as WCW is loyal to its fans. Bischoff comes out and continues to state that Hogan will not be participating.

Scott Hall vs Lex Luger with Larry Zbyszko as special guest referee.

Shit Pac is out with Scott Hall and this one begins with Hall throwing his tooth pick straight into Larry’s face. Luger isn’t impressed and clotheslines Hall. Hall nails his typical pick up and overhead release which only gets a two. Syxx screaming at ringside was like Satan had entered my living room. From here, its your typical Luger match. Getting smashed for 8-10 minutes before having his 2 minute burst. Luger is about to go for the Torture Rack but Bischoff distracts Zbyszko and Syxx is able to nail Luger from behind. Outsiders Edge and the three count is made by a hesitant referee. Larry requests a replay and sees the interference. Calls Hall back and restarts the match. Scott pushes around Larry before Lex gets him up in the torture rack and the bell rings. (13:02)

Rating: * - This was just a major clusterfuck and there is a problem with this one, WHO THE FUCK WON THE MATCH? There was never an announcement to who the official winner was and was overbooked something shocking. 

Last Man Standing match: Randy Savage vs DDP

This is easily feud of the year so far for WCW in 1997 between individuals and first not to answer the 10 count loses. Page is wearing a bandage around his injured ribs. They slug it out early on as things quickly end up in the crowd. Page gets irish whipped into some railings before he returns the favour irish whipping Savage into some tombstones. Powerslams him through a grave like object and then wallops him with a tombstone! Back in the ring, Savage steals the camera from the dude at ringside and looks to smash Page on the mat. Page gets his feet up and cannons into pages face. Elizabeth gets on the apron and smashes the ref in the back of the head with a tray. Nice! Kimberley comes down the ramp and the girls get it on. Dusty Rhodes loves it “CAT FIGHT, CAT FIGHT, CAT FIGHT”.

Nick Patrick is now the ref as the other one gets carted out of there. Page is first man up and pancakes Savage. Goes for the Diamond Cutter but Savage holds the rope. Goes up top and hits a tired looking elbow drop. Savage is up before the 10 count and hits another Elbow Drop but Page is up at 9! Page accidentally hits the ref while nailing the Diamond Cutter which gets only an 8. ‘Sting’ comes down the ramp and nails Page in the ribs with the bat and thats it. (18:37)

Rating: *** - Soft finish but they made Page to look super strong in this one. This feud i think is still not over and thats only a good thing. Probably looking at another finish at Starrcade. Either way they put alot into this one, hopefully no more screwy finishes.

Steel Cage Match: Roddy Piper vs Hollywood Hogan.

Hogan immediately tries to climb the cage but Piper decides to stop him by literally biting his arse. Well, i knew Hogan has alot of control but getting someone to bit his own backside? Kinky. Hogan again tries to escape but gets a low blow by Piper. Hogan then opens the door and is about to leave but Piper pushes him and they go out of it together. Its over. WAIT, no it isn’t. ITS WCW. They continue to brawl as Schiavone states “its still going as they both left the cage at the same time”. HUH?

Hogan starts to whip Piper back in the ring with his belt and then starts to climb the cage. Gets meters away from touching the floor before the ‘Stings’ point the bat at him. Hogan re enters the cage and gets back in the ring. Hogan wallops him with the belt, lies the belt down and continually whacks his head on it. Leg drop, and another leg drop but only 2!

Savage makes his way out and climbs all the way up to the top of the cage and unbelievably tries a double axed handle, but misses everyone. Spectacular effort. But supposedly he connected with Hogan and Piper is able to put on the sleeper hold for the win.  (13:37)

Piper is then handcuffed to the cage as Savage and Hogan begin beating him down. All of a sudden, a fan jumps the rail and enters the cage. The fake sting that entered moments after the match is trying to keep him restrained.  Hogan and Savage catch a glimpse of whats going on and begin beating on the fan. Highly entertaining stuff. Savage pins the arms and Hogan is legitimately punching the fan in the face. Security make their way in finally and have to contain Savage and Hogan but they keep trying to beat on him as WCW quickly goes off the air.

Rating: ** - The match was better than i thought it would be but little things always seem to piss me off. When they just left the cage but Hogan was clearly the first out, that should have been it. Instead they re-enter the cage and start trying to climb out of it. How the fuck does that make sense? Either way it had a decent flow and both competitors were actually trying to win.

PPV Rating: **½ 
Not a bad show but the matches were either a flop or really good. The Eddy Guerrero and Misterio match was awesome and Savage and Page was good. The others had some interesting moments and I definitely suggest you give this a viewing, even if its just to see the fan at the end. Could have had a weapon or anything and was good to see Hogan actually throw one for once. Thumbs marginally up!

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