Tuesday, October 18, 2022

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

Halloween Havoc was World Championship Wrestling's signature October PPV event before the name was adopted into a special episode of NXT that would play around this time. I've only dabbled in a few of these PPVs and never did bother to make these a tradition on the blog... and a few have wondered why that's never the case. Well, the plain and simple answer is that none of these Halloween Havoc shows were actually any good and even some of the better shows were simply a matter of being "less bad" than the usual stock. Sure, there was some good stuff - usually on the first half of the card - but the bad stuff was generally very bad and offset the few highlights on these shows.

With that having been said, since I've been on the WCW 1996 PPV kick during the summer, I might as well cover that year's Halloween Havoc PPV, which I have never seen. Fall Brawl closed out with a significant push forward in the nWo saga, with Sting out of the picture and the nWo running roughshod. Our main event for the show is Hogan vs. Savage.

Dean Malenko defeated Cruiserweight Champion Rey Mysterio Jr to win the title... I think these guys have hot potatoed that title back and forth for quite a while now.

Diamond Dallas Page defeated Eddie Guerrero in a surprisingly underwhelming match. For some reason, I was falling asleep during this one, which is odd considering both guys were really, really good. Maybe it was an off-night for both guys.

The Giant defeated Jeff Jarrett via DQ when Giant grabbed Jarrett by the throat for a chokeslam, only for Ric Flair to low blow the poor guy. Also, Giant had stolen Ric Flair's U.S. title (Flair was champion at the time), so on second thought, fuck that guy. Match was a thing that happened. Nothing special, other than Dusty Rhodes on commentary saying people were calling Jarrett a "giant killer" was funny, since nobody called him that and, as it turned out, Jarrett killed no giants.

Syxx defeated Chris Jericho via ref Nick Patrick slow counting Jericho's pinfall attempt and quickly fast-counting Syxx's eventual pinfall win. The match was fine, but this was all about cluing everyone in on the fact that Nick Patrick was the shady nWo-annointed referee. Yeah, the most shady ref ever being part of the nWo makes perfect sense; that guy seemed a bit shady. Am I tossing enough shady here?

Lex Luger defeated Arn Anderson via Torture Rack submission in a match stemming from Anderson blaming Luger for surrendering at Wargames the prior month. Arn would be stretchered out afterwards... he'd retire somewhere down the line. Not much to say about this one; they tried. That's as far as I'll go.

Horsemen (Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit) defeated the Faces Of Fear (Meng and Barbarian) in a fierce brawl that was mostly carried by Benoit. The Faces then beat up the Horsemen some more afterwards. This was a thing that happened.

The Outsiders (Hall & Nash) defeated WCW World Tag-Team Champions Harlem Heat in a perfectly acceptable tag team wrestling match to win the titles that they would hold on for the rest of eternity... or at least up until '98. Close enough, I suppose.

WCW World Heavyweight Champion Hollywood Hulk Hogan and his horrible, horrible wig defeated Macho Man Randy Savage via outside interference and Nick Patrick officiation to retain the title. If you ever want to know the reason for the ever-present stigma of old guys in the main event, I point you to this match, which was slow, plodding, painful to watch even during the best of times, and had plenty of run-in horseshit. If you want to relive the glory days of the Mega Powers exploding, Wrestlemania V is right fucking there. This was trash.

Hogan is about to cut another one of his rambling promos when out comes RODDY PIPER to confront and outramble Hogan until the show is cut off the air. What the fuck, man?

Well, that was certainly a Halloween Havoc PPV event... and probably on the lower end of the bunch. The opening cruiserweight match was the highlight of the show and then it was all downhill from there. I wouldn't call this an outright horrible show nor would I call it largely insignificant since you had a title change and a new (well, old) challenger to the throne, but this was a definite chore to sit through.

Back to TNA next week.

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