Friday, August 22, 2014

WCW Halloween Havoc 1994

Tonight's F4W board show is the '94 Halloween Havoc show. I've seen the main event on one of the Hogan or Flair sets, but never the whole show - and this is a very interesting time in WCW history. You've got Hogan's buddies coming in and winning belts, but visually, everything is still WCW - so it's not trying to be WWF-lite like the late '90s and early '00s. The card looking pretty solid going by the preview for it, with Flair-Hogan, Dustin-Arn, and Vader-Guardian Angel on tap. Nasty Boys face Funk and Buck, which should be a fun brawl.

The opening video package is fairly awful, with just some Hogan-Flair posing and a bit of action to set up THE RETIREMENT MATCH BETWEEN TWO ICONS. Bobby's got a sequined red jacket on - so he's FINALLY the Brain in WCW. Gene talks about them "putting the pipe to Nancy Kerrigan.". Brain can barely talk here, his voice is shot. Love Gene having the minute-by-minute rates memorized. Some old fucker in a gaudy shirt and jeans sings the national anthem. The WWF would do this and ALWAYS make the singer look like a star. WCW does it and he's in a shirt and jeans.

Honky's out with his incredible ripoff WWF theme and a rather nice guitar. I love the set for this show. Johnny's out in a black and silver spider web sequined cape with pyro guns on the arms, gear that matches and that looks great, and dime store fangs. Honky's got his single-strap singlet and is working a reasonable pace here. Honky sells an atomic drop, resulting in Badd doing the same, and then HONKY'S HAIR GETS MESSED UP! Honky is a master of the old "sell so the blind guy in the back row behind a fat guy can see you" style. Heenan says he's been in the business since THE MID-60S and he's never seen a night like tonight. AND HE'S STILL IN THE BUSINESS! HTM hits a back elbow and he does his jig. Honky's dance is called the double hitchhike. Holy shit! They show Ali in the crowd, who is totally out there as basically a husk of a man. There's nothing behind the eyes. Ali was totally out to lunch there, and this was 20 years ago. A TEN MINUTE TIME LIMIT!? WHAT!? Badd misses an elbow and Honky takes control. He's got 3 minutes left and throws him to the floor. Tony gets on Bobby for just supporting bad guys and Heenan says HE'S A FAN, HE CAN'T HELP IT. I love that. Bobby knew his character so well. They do a bunch of nothing while Heenan yells at Honky to COVER HIIIIIMMM! That was great.

They chronicled Flair-Hogan by showing the knee bonking from the Clash in August. Gene's doing the VO just like a WWF video. Bischoff as a commentator was so awful. THERE ARE TWO MASKED MEEEEEENNNN! Mr. T COULD BE WITH FLAIR. WHICH SIDE IS MR. T ON! Holy 1987. Pretty Wonderful is out. Roma has a pretty okay red and white sequined jacket, while Orndorff has the same sequinned black and gold robe that he had on Raw. They're facing Steroids and Stripes for the tag titles. Tony goes over how at this event a year ago, Bagwell and his partner at the time Scorpio lost them to the Nasty Boys. Bobby says that the Patriot is Al Gore. Punch to the gut sets up a super sunset from Bagwell for 2. Roman has Pretty #1onderful on his gear now. Bagwell is the face in peril and gets a hope spot with a suplex and a backslide. Bagwell gets a sleeper, gets clubbed, and the heels cheat to win with that and a Roma flying elbow to the gut after the fisherman's suplex.

Flair cuts a promo with Sherri, who is gizmoed out of her mind. She's just dancing around goofily. Heenan references Let's Make a Deal in a promo. DAVE SULLIVAN VIDEO. Oh fuck. Hogan gave him a red and yellow bath robe. They sadly didn't dub out this awful "I Wanna Be a Hulkamaniac" song. Dave Sullivan playing this role actually works for him - better than the Equalizer, but he looks at least 45 playing a gullible 12 year old. They brawled and brawled, and brawled on the floor leading to a countout win for Dave.

Dustin-Arn recap. I loved this feud and still remember Arn saying he'd slap his Granny in the face for 50 cents! "WE'RE TURNING THE HURTIN AROUND!" - great line. I forgot about the arm-breaking angle - they left in Dustin's "GODDAMN!" for the video. Meng is scarier than P.T. in this getup. Dustin comes out in silly-looking sequined chaps and a jacket. Tony puts over him holding EVERY MAJOR TITLE BUT THE WORLD TITLE. He held the U.S. Title at this point. They show Thomas Hearns in the crowd in a nice black and orange suit jacket. Love the spot where Dustin hits an atomic drop sending Arn into the buckle so he can hit a rabbit lariat. Dustin goes for a flip, flop, and fly, but Arn's like FUCK THAT SHIT and just slugs him. Tony goes over Arn's history with Dusty - breaking his arm in '85 and leg in '88 - I love little touches like that. Dustin's out to destroy Arn's arm like he did to him - nice. Dustin gets a stun gun, much to the delight of the middle-aged blonde in the front row. He drops the knee right on the arm. They do a piledriver>sunset flip deal, but Arn cheats, gets caught, kicked, and beaten with a shitty cradle. He gets revenge by just destroying him with a DDT and mounted punches. This was easily the best match on the show so far.

Hogan, Gene, Bruti, and Hart cut a promo. Hogan's arms are crazy small here. Hogan talks about slamming Andre, God rest his soul AND HE'LL DO IT AGAIN TONIGHT! Gene asks him about Mr. T and Hogan says he looked into his eyes and he could see he was still taking his vitamins and saying his prayers! Way to give away the drama there. Bruti closes this with some goofy faces. Tony talks about Hogan's entourage - well, he's got two guys with him while Flair has ONE WOMAN. Flair's got the deck stacked against him here. They recapped Austin-Steamboat leading to Austin-Duggan. This Austin promo is truly a Stone Cold prototype. Duggan wins with a shitty backdrop and a shittier belly flop. Duggan going for the secondary title fits him since he was in the IC mix when he left the WWF and he's PERFECT for the U.S. Tittle. They've got some weird Mr. Sparkle-ish face on the graphics. Austin starts with brawling in the corner - straight out of Stone Cold's arsenal. They do stuff and DUGGAN HITS THE BACKDROP! Austin tosses him over the top for a DQ. Fuck this.

They plug THE HOTLINE and Gene cuts a promo with Sting in a sweet black tux. Sting's got some crokies holding his shades on, indoors of course. They recap the Angel-Vader feud with Angel losing via nightstick holding, then Fall Brawl where Angel hits the slam and has to reposition himself so Harley can hit a headbutt. RACE TAKES AN OVER THE TOP BUMP ON SATURDAY NIGHT before Vader hits the body attack in the corner. Race hits Patrick and nails a headbutt on him on the ground. Race is dropping knees too - he's more active here than his last few years. Angel cuffs Race to the post on the floor and attempts to hit him with a chair before being talked out of it. This Guardian Angel gimmick is at least visually impressive with the troupe of angels with him. Vader comes out with what looks like a blackjack in his hand and getting a huge pop, VADER VADER chants, and Vader rules signs. Love Vader giving props to Ali here. Angel and Race start this with stiff shots to Harley. This is like Japan where they're just slapping the fuck out of each other. VADER CLUBS HIM IN THE CORNER, GETS HIM DOWN, AND HAMMER FISTS HIM! God, Brock is such a modern-day Vader. Angel attacks Vader on the floor and Race mid-ring. WHAT AN ASSHOLE! Angel kicks Vader in the balls, uppercuts him, and slams him THANKFULLY FROM A LOW HEIGHT onto Harley. Legdrop to the balls. They struggle over a rough suplex that Angel gets. Vader lands some sick nice jabs out of the corner. Vader goes up, but gets slammed. Angel hits a flying...headbutt to be generous to the stomach for 2. Enzuiguri sets up palm strikes and an over the top lariat. They botch a chokeslam or punch or something REALLY badly. I love Harley NOT attacking here since it gives him some credibility. Angel gets a 2 off a splash. Angel gets a spinebuster for 2. Angel gives up the "spike slam" by Tony, but he goes after Harley. He suplexes him in, but EATS A SPLASH! VADER WINS!

Hearns is out with Gene and he's out of it. They hyped up the Nasty Boys tag by showing a Rhodes-Nastys skit to set up War Games. TEAM PARKER ATTACKED THEM AFTER THE MATCH. KNOBS HAS NO SHIRT! And he's getting the shit beaten out of him by Meng. They resume this with a shitty Saturday Night brawl. Sags has a giant pumpkin, while Knobs has a set of Nasty Boys masks. Nope - they're Beavis and Butthead masks. Terry goes to Pitty City and yells "YOU SON OF A BITCH, DAMN YOU!" They brawled and brawled and the Nastys won VIA PILEDRIVER ON THE PUMPKIN. Okay, what the fuck - might as well have fun with a match in what would now be the death spot, but they were hot for it here.

Tony plugs that proceeds from the show go to Ali's foundation for drug abuse. Heenan says that EVEN IF THERE'S NO HOGAN-FLAIR, IT'S THE GREATEST PPV EVER. Gene, Bischoff, and Bill Shaw are mid-ring with Ali. Gene says Bischoff's young - he's 39 here, and they give Ali a check, which he looks at and that's it. This was sad, but it must've been cool to be in this building and see Ali at a wrestling show. With Ali and T, along with Hogan and Orndorff, you've got WM I well-represented. Beefcake too. A GIANT HOGAN SUCKS chant starts things off. T's out with a Red Wings jacket to ensure a reaction. Flair comes out in black and silver while Hogan's got his group with him and Brutus trips over the pyro thing. HE'S THE KING OF HULK-MANIA! Buffer asks Tony for some information over the mic talking about Mr. T.  Buffer's intros were frequently flawed, but there's a reason he's the best boxing announcer ever. The cage lowers and this is the first time I remember that being done - even though the WWF made it popular later in the decade. The ring falls apart a bit, but I like that - gives things a human touch.

T's in gaudy black and multi-colored pants. He actually teases friction with Hogan. Hogan whips Flair into the buckle and the cage rattles, making everything seem pretty real. Tony talks about people holding up 4 fingers for Flair and he goes over the history of the Horsemen, while Heenan says he he'd up one when Hogan came out. Ha! Flair gets a huge pop and a WOOO from the fans for a delayed suplex. Tony brought up Flair's plane crash, and Heenan put him over as coming back from that ELEVEN TIMES TO BE THE CHAMPION OF THE WORLD! They're exchanging punches and chops - Flair and Hogan have amazing chemistry together and it's a shame they never got a 'Mania, but hey, they meant more in WCW than they did in the WWF, so things kinda worked out well anyway. Flair gets 2 off an ungodly bad small package. Flair eats the cage, and his wrist gets cut a bit. Flair goes up and gets his head bonked over the cage before eating some massive chops. Hogan's working his ass off here - I'll give him that. Flair's destroying the knee and he's tearing off the protective tape. 

FLAIR GETS THE FIGURE 4! Hogan reverses, Hulks up and he winds up running into T thanks to a Flair shove. Then things go to shit as Sherri goes up, Hart takes her skirt off, she shoves him, Sting brings her down, gets his ass kicked the masked man, and Sherri does a DOUBLE AXE HANDLE OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE TO HOGAN! They handcuff T and Flair and Sherri Martel beat up Hogan. MR. T GETS HIS ASS KICKED BY SHERRI! Sherri does look might fine here - nice ass on her. Hogan slams Sherri off the top before Flair and Hogan fight on the top rope. Sherri gets a big boot, opening the door for Flair to get offense again. Punches and a boot to Flair, legdrop gets the win! Hogan gladhands with Ali. Hogan celebrates and THE MASKED MAN IS BACK! He eats a big windup punch, which is sure stupid. It's Bruti - HE'S A BUTCHER, HE'S BUTCHERED A FRIENDSHIP! Sullivan's out, AND THE BUILDING'S RUMBLING - IT'S LIKE AN AVALANCHE! With a richter scale graphic on his gear. Tenta's powerslam was so awesome. Hogan eats the Avalanche butt splash. Sting and his silly suspenders come to save. He gets the edge! Shocking that Hogan didn't do that, honestly. Most of the show was at least good, but God was the ending a clusterfuck.

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