Monday, October 12, 2015

WCW Halloween Havoc 1995

WCW Halloween Havoc is instantly my favorite WCW show of 1995 for one reason; it ended the horrible reign of Hulkamania and began a shift towards actually producing something that people would actually want to watch. Imagine that.

Much like most of my WCW PPV viewings these days, this is being shown off the WWE Network. Some bits may or may not be missing, I imagine.

Johnny B. Badd (Marc Mero) defeated World Television champ Diamond Dallas Page to win the title. This match also featured legendary WCW wrestler Maxx Muscle trying to help DDP out, but he screwed things up and Mero was able to get the win... in what seems like a phrase that seems synonymous with most of these write-ups, this match was a thing that happened. It wasn't bad, it wasn't great, it was just there.

Macho Man Randy Savage defeated Zodiac in like two minutes. Zodiac is the latest attempt to repackage the former Brutus Beefcake into someone the fans would care about. It didn't work. Just about the only worthwhile thing to happen here is when a fan shows up and gets totally owned by the referee. It's sad when the highlight of a scripted wrestling match is something that wasn't supposed to happen at all.

Kurasawa, a Japanese wrestler I'm not familiar with, defeated Road Warrior Hawk with his feet on the ropes. I guess I'm supposed to care, but I don't. This match felt odd and like a waste of time.

Sabu (accompanied by the original Sheik) defeated Mr. JL after a Sabu moonsault and an original Sheik fireball... and yes, kids. Mr. JL is indeed future ECW and independent mainstay Jerry Lynn in a mask and obnoxious purple body suit. I'd imagine that by 1995 standards, the shit they were pulling off here was absolutely amazing and served as something of a precursor to the eventual Cruiserweight division, but watching it today, I'd have to say that this was still a really good match between two guys who could pull it off on their best days. And in the context of watching this nearly twenty years later, this is (so far) the best match on the show.

Lex Luger defeated Meng in a very long and very plodding match... because why put effort into making an entertaining match when you can simply phone it in? And that's what happened. So much for my hopes... would be what I would if I had any hopes because we know better.

So we have the tag-match with Sting and Ric Flair facing off against Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman... so do I even need to say it? Really, do I even need to bring it up? Because I'd imagine if you watch WCW for any considerable length of time and you put Sting and Ric Flair seemingly on the same side, you'd know what to expect... it's almost synonymous with #CenaWinsLOL in the modern era. Do I really need to say it?

Alright. I will... RIC FLAIR TURNS ON STING.

Oh, and Flair, Anderson, and Pillman reform the four horsemen, later to be joined by a guy named Benoit or something.

Look, kids. As much as I mock this trope - if only because it just makes Sting out to be the world's stupidest wrestling considering how many times he trusted Flair and Flair would just turn on him because fuck Sting - it's not that bad a story and a rather clever way (for the time, at least) to reform the Horsemen. Of course, this incarnation of the Horsemen would not be a stable one. Pillman would be gone in a few months, replaced by Mongo, and later Jeff Jarrett would join and... well, I'm getting off track here.

Hulk Hogan defeats the Giant in a monster truck brawl, because Hulk Hogan, I guess. The two get out of their trucks, fight for a bit, and then, in a moment that should live in infamy but doesn't because the monkeys at WWE are complete fucking idiots, THE GIANT FALLS OFF THE ROOF OF COBO HALL... AND LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT... because sure, why not?

Seriously, why wasn't this a thing with this guy? World's largest athlete means nothing. 7-foot, 500-pound Giant means nothing. THIS MAN FELL OFF THE ROOF OF COBO FUCKING HALL AND SURVIVED!!! Yeah, I'd like to see Brock Lesnar do that. That might make that guy interesting for once.

By the way, um, Giant is apparently the son of Andre... yeah, THAT Andre... That particular nugget was eventually forgotten... and for good reason because it was just a BAD idea.

Lex Luger and Macho Man Randy Savage fight... I guess. Jimmy Hart gets involved... for some reason. I don't care. It was short, but not short enough... Macho deserved better and he would get it soon enough. As for Luger... well, I don't knooowwwww.....

The Giant defeated WCW Hulk Hogan via DQ to win the title when Jimmy Hart attacked Hulk Hogan. Though everyone claims the title cannot change hands on a DQ, it turns out Jimmy Hart added a clause in the match contract that voided that particular claim, which meant the Giant did become the WCW champion at Halloween Havoc... for about a couple weeks before being unjustly stripped of the title (it's not Giant's fault that Hogan didn't read the fine print on the contract HE SIGNED) and forced to partake in the following month's World War 3 PPV battle royal thing... yeah, I might have the tape laying around somewhere.

In any event, the match is a clusterfuck of stupidity, just like anything Hulk Hogan does outside of the WWF or nWo. Giant does very little here and it's to be expected; it's his first WCW match in any capacity, after all, and he would eventually get better by a considerable margin before eventually sucking many years later. In any event, if Hogan fighting the monster and succumbing to shenanigans was the story they were trying to tell... well, I can't say it worked, but it did get the belt off the Huckster, for better or worse.

After the match, Macho Man comes out to help, but he's turfed by Lex Luger who ends up being a bad guy, after all, or something. Giant gets Hogan in a bear hug while a tall man wrapped in toilet paper shows up and dry humps Hogan from behind. Clearly, the kind of thing you'd never want to see... but then again, John Cena getting dry humped by the New Day to explain his impending hiatus... no, no, let's not get that far.

Like most everything in 1995 involving World Championship Wrestling, WCW Halloween Havoc 1995 sucked the proverbial red and yellow lemon. When the best match on the card is between two guys who wouldn't last long in WCW and would have good matches elsewhere, it doesn't bode well for the overall product. It's an unfortunate case where the few bright spots to be found here are overshadowed by the massive amounts of suckage permeating from the usual suspects.

The only other positive was that the stranglehold of Hulk Hogan in the main event picture was loosened somewhat and WCW would veer towards a product that was somewhat worthwhile, with Savage and Flair fighting over the World title for a couple months while an international influence graced the show's mid-card... oh and something else too.

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