Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WCW Halloween Havoc 1993

I really want to see Vader vs. Cactus, so what the heck - let's knock this out too! We get a skit with bad acting that cost far too much money to get across the Halloween stuff. Kids trick or treat and at least one is in a Sting shirt. Tony is a general creeper here inviting the kids in for cookies. He manages to not only seem like a guy that owns a FREE CANDY van, but also hype up the PPV with a wheel spin. Tony unmasks to reveal a monster. As ya do to hype up a PPV.

Bischoff is in front of the wheel looking like a moron. Tony is dressed like Jesse, while Jesse is dressed like Bourbon Street's Number 1 Gynecologist. Okay... Harlem Heat and the Equalizer team up to face The Shockmaster, Ice Train, and Charlie Norris. I'm just skipping to the finish on this. Tony wisely talks about everything but the match. Kwan is out with an injury, so it'll be Orndorff vs. Steamboat instead - well, that's a huge upgrade. Shockmaster, THE WINNER OF LAST MONTH'S MAIN EVENT, "Uncle Fred" comes in and the crowd chants "whoop there it is". For the second month in a row, Jesse talks about Norris making bank off an Indian casino - so maybe that was true. Shockmaster hits horrible punches, which Equalizer sells horribly. Bearhug slam wins. Jesus. An even worse post-match brawl between Shockmaster and Equalizer happens and we get a replay of the bearhug slam - with Fred dropping to his knees first.

Eric interviews Terry Taylor, who will be the second referee for the Flair vs. Rude match. Orndroff comes down with the Assassin in a hell of a suit. Jesse talks about how slim he is. Ha! Steamboat breathes fire, which remains impressive to see. Orndorff hits a series of punches and a nice forearm. Gorgeous kneeling forearm strike from Orndroff mid-ring. Orndorff cradles him up after a back suplex and Jesse says good - he gets paid the same to win either a five or 20 minute match. Bridging hammerlock by Steamboat - damn, that's something Ciampa basically lifted to perfection. 
A series of chops gets 2 for Steamboat. Steamboat ducks down for a backdrop, but eats a faceplant. Piledriver is countered into a drop-down cradle, then a backflip and a jackknife cradle for 2. Crossbody off the top hits, but the Assassin distracts the ref, so it gets 2. Steamboat hits a big flying tackle for 2. A second one hits for 2. Steamboat pulls the ref and then gets tossed over the top - so either thing could have been a DQ. The Assassin loads the mask and headbutts Steamboat - so Orndroff wins via countout. This was really long, but quite good.
Tony talks about The Gold Belt and a European tour. WCW International sent a memo out saying that they recognize the Gold Belt as a World Title, and now it is the WCW International World Title. Jesse says that's all too much and he always viewed it as one - Tony agrees and yeah, it was better as just The World Title without all the bullshit. Bulldog comes out to face Regal, in yet another demotion. Bulldog went from a PPV main eventer in the World Title hunt to the TV Title hunt. Both men have outstanding themes. Buffer says this has a 15 minute time limit - so we're not getting a finish.
Bulldog actually gets some wrestling in this, locking on a Romero special. Lots of matwork mixed in with uppercuts and knees. Bulldog gets 2 off a sunset flip, so Regal kicks the gut hard. Inverted bearhug with five minutes to go. More ground work. Regal lands a grounded forearm to the face for 2. Almost like an MMA-style flying punch - looked great. Davey gets the delayed suplex, so Regal kills time. Running powerslam hits, but Regal kicks out before time expires. He hits a piledriver and gets a 2.5 count right as time expires. So Davey COULD have won, but waited too long to hit the piledriver. It was a nice piledriver, at least.

Vader comes out and spins the wheel - which gets pyro, and it will be a Texas death match. Dustin vs. Austin is up for the US Title. Dustin is the champion and Steve is going into this without Brian, and a fan holds up a "Stunning Steve is the wrestler of the '90s". Boy howdy. Dustin comes out in ridiculous sequin chaps. Buffer does an intro for this and being a champion in this era really did make someone stand out thanks to Buffer doing intros for all title matches.
It's amazing that Dustin is still wrestling while Austin has been retired for nearly 14 years now. Jesse buries Dustin and his ridiculous getup. Well, he's not wrong. Austin and Dustin always had great chemistry, and Austin hits a neat slingshot knee drop with Dustin moving him into the buckle and Tony saying hey, Steve knew he'd do that to explain how cooperative that looked. Dustin gets crotched and Steve hits neat back elbows and chops. Steve sends him down and gets 3 with his feet on the rope. Nick waves it off because of the rope usage and Dustin gets 2.5 claimed as 3 with a schoolboy. That all sucked. Steve bonks him with the belt. Steve steals it...well, he got a 3 and Dustin got a 2.5 - so yeah, it's rightfully his.
Battlebowl is hyped up - I remember getting to order both PPVs because I had eye surgery and...yeah did I pick some winners! I got to see Battlebowl and The Doinks. We see the Nastys lose to Bagwell and Scorp due to the heels' arrogance and the faces won the titles. It's rematch time tonight. Missy comes out looking quite trashy.
This version of the WCW Tag Team Titles was always my favorite - they're simple, but the gold and black design looks far better than the red-heavy versions before, or the weird for the sake of weird '98 and beyond ones. Scorp dances and Bagwell...has a seizure that Jesse buries as dancing. Well, he's not wrong.

Missy is described as "their escort", which is hilarious. "The Handsome" Marcus Alexander Bagwell is thankfully a moniker that didn't stick. Jesse says that being in an escort service is perfect for Missy. Bagwell kisses Missy and she spits. So I guess she doesn't swallow. More "whoop there it is" stuff. Sags runs wild on Marcus, who recovers with a double dropkick to both guys. Scorp gets 2 off a victory roll on Knobbs. Missy slaps the shit out of Bagwell hard. Knobbs yells "c'mon ya fucking idiot!" to someone. Knobbs comes in for a sloppy elbow drop and locks on a bearhug. Nasty double team splash in the corner misses and Bagwell makes a hot tag to Scorp. Moonsault block hits for 2. 450 hits, but Scorp eats a boot to the head and the heels regain the gold.
Eric meets with Sid and Parker before Sting vs. Sid. Sid looks like Sid, while Sting is in a DENIM JACKET WITH NEON GREEN SEQUINS. This is high on the all-time worst outfits list for Sting, and he had a ton of them. Sid and Sting do a lot of brawling. Not much of note. Long chinlock here by Sid before a big Sting chant breaks out. Sting's backhand shots always looked great, and no one really did them. Backdrop gets 2 for Sid. Sid's chairshot leaves a welt on Sting's back that is kinda nasty. Sting lands some boots and hits his two-handed facejam. Stinger splash hits twice! Parker randomly grabs feet, and almost costs Sid the match. This gets 2, but Sting's O'Connor roll gets 3. The "I accidentally grabbed MY ALLY" spot is pure wacky Southern wrestling, and didn't work well here.

Backstage, Vader punches Harley's hands and Jack meditates. The MATCH FOR THE BELT is up. Ric comes out and then Rude demands that the fat, out of shape Louisiana LOSERS stand up and pay respect to the champ while he shows them what a REAL SEXY MAN IS SUPPOSED TO LOOK LIKE! Big Gold looks great on Rude, and his Halloween-themed gear is outstanding.

Taylor will be the on-floor ref. Flair works on the knee to start and like before, gets the figure four early - but it's mid-ring now. Rude gets the ropes, but the move was on long enough to hurt him. In the first match, Ric attacked the arm and now he's solidly focusing on the leg. Flair smacks the leg in the post and Jesse is outraged at Taylor doing nothing before asking WHY IS HE THERE IF NOT TO OFFICIATE ON THE FLOOR!? Well, that's a solid point and Tony has no real counter beyond 'well, Ric has a 5 count". They go out over off a crossbody and Rude just smacks a chair hard. Flair punches away at Rude on the guardrail and Taylor...nudges him. Jesse buries him for doing nothing.

Flair dives and hits a forearm shot. A second dive misses and Flair hits the guardrail. Rude goes for a chair, but Taylor prevents it. Rude snaps the throat on the rope as Jesse says that Flair is the 60 minute man, but he's been that for a long time. How long can he possibly go? Well, if he could get cleared by WWE, he'd probably wrestle today and he was okay even in his '60s. Rude hits a diving chop, but the knee buckles. Rude gets a long seated chinlock again.

Tony talks about Ric winning his first World Title in '79 from Dusty and still going strong. Flair hits a Rude awakening and gets 2 just like he did at Fall Brawl. Flair gets 2 off a backslide and hits a suplex. He goes up for a flying nothing and eats a boot to the face. Ref 1 is bumped, so Taylor goes in. Taylor gets bumped and Rude has the knucks. Flair hits a back suplex and they go flying. Flair hits him and Taylor counts 2 - but the first ref stops the count. Ref 1 saw him use the knucks, and wants to DQ him. Taylor wants Flair to win and the crowd chants bullshit. Rick Rude wins by DQ and grabs Fifi. Flair gets the figure four on the ramp.
The rules are recapped - falls don't count, but 30 second rests are available after a fall and the man who can't stand after the 10 count loses. Vader's WCW theme is so awesome and I like him being in this match despite it not being a World Title match. They start with a brawl on the ramp and slug it out at ringside. Vader hits the post and they slug it out near Tony and Jesse. A fan gives Jack their camera, so Jack hits Vader with it. Chair to the head of Vader!

Vader clubs him down and gets a huge "JACK, JACK, JACK!" chant. Vader goes to suplex him in the ring, but Jack suplexes him to the ramp. Back suplex on the ramp makes a sick thud. No game has really gotten that sound across yet. Race goes for a chair, but gets stopped. Chair to the back of Vader near the set. They fight in the RIP Vader grave and Jack comes up bloody.Vader is sliced up why Tony says "he's coming up out of his grave!"

Jack gets a fall off..something no one is sure of. Jack gets a cactus to hit Vader with. He goes down and he is covered in blood. Jack gets the Cactus Elbow and gets a fall, leading to another rest period. This "pins don't count" stip works perfectly, because IF THEY WANT TO, they've given Jack the credibility to be in main events and in the World Title scene. Jesse says that it's a good thing they're so ugly, because they can't get uglier. Jack brings a table in the ring, which in '93 draws shock from Tony.

Vader clubs away in the corner while Jesse says they're getting sprayed with blood. Vader gets tossed in the table for 2. Jack bonks Vader with the table and goes for a sunset flip on the floor. Jack avoids the ass splash. Harley grabs a taser  Vadersault hits and gets 3. Jack piggybacks him and Vader just falls back and they make a sickening thud. Sick swinging chairshot on the ramp to Jack. DDT on the chair hits hard. The medical team comes to Jack, but Vader moves them away. Jack is out and covered, so the rest period begins. Jack gets up and DDTs Vader after a fast count. The dual count begins and Jack's up at 8 - but Race tases him and Vader wins. Race eats a beating after the match.

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