WCW Halloween Havoc 10/25/92
Hosts tonight are Tony Schiavone and Bruno Sammartino. Bruno was a terrible color guy in the WWF, so I'm sure he'll be great in a promotion where he doesn't know anyone. They run down the card. What was supposed to be Miracle Violence Connection vs Steiner Brothers is now Windham/Dustin Rhodes vs Steve Williams/Steve Austin as Rick Steiner had an injury in Japan and Terry Gordy no showed. When Rick got hurt, MVC dropped the belts to Dustin/Barry on TV and were to have a rematch tonight. Then Gordy blew it off and was fired. The main reason was because Gordy was loyal to Baba and AJPW. NJPW, through WCW, was trying to get Doc and Gordy to jump companies in Japan. Gordy refused and also quit WCW. Doc would leave by the end of the year for similar reasons.
TO THE BACK. Missy Hyatt is outside of Rick Rude's locker room and throws it to Jim Ross and Jesse Ventura.
JR lets us know that we have anti-cobra venom on hand just in case for the main event.
Michael Hayes/Arn Anderson/Bobby Eaton vs Shane Douglas/Tom Zenk/Johnny Gunn
Can't imagine why this was cut off the home release. The Dangerous Alliance might as well be dead since they added MICHAEL FUCKING HAYES to the group. What kind of bullshit is that? You have a group of the most elite heels in the company and then you had a racist rapist who can't fucking wrestle? Arn and Gunn begin. Gunn is the future Sal Sincere/The Patriot. He's super green. He's still way better than Michael Hayes. Fuck, Paul E. is a better wrestler than Hayes. Shane hit a dope old timey spinning head scissors. Have I mentioned that Michael Hayes is a piece of shit cunt that should have died in the 80s? The Philly crowd is unsurprisingly 100% behind the heels. Arn and Eaton are putting on a clinic while Hayes stands on the apron and looks like an aborted Dog the Bounty Hunter. LOOOOL the cunt loses to Johnny Gunn. Via LOU THESZ PRESS!
Brian Pillman vs Ricky Steamboat
Pillman had recently turned heel. This should be good. Pillman is aggressive in the opening moments. He does a slam, which Dragon over sells to lure him in. That cagey Dragon. Arm drags! Big back body drop. Pillman gets back into it with heel tactics. Dragon shows his power with a double handed choke. Ricky Steamboat might be the single most attractive wrestler of all time. He's a beautiful man. Pillman drops to the mat to block Irish whips, faking a knee injury just to SWERVE Dragon. Spinning head scissors. The modern kind, not the AWA kind. Superplex is reversed. Dragon does a second rope something (because top rope moves were banned at the time) that is countered into a dropkick. Pillman then does multiple pins in a row to wear down Dragon, which is great timing considering how it was just brought up in Wrasslegaf. Sleeper spot. Dragon gets out by ramming Pillman into the corner. Pilman goes up top and gets slammed. Pillman does a knee lift as Dragon is getting in the ring. Dragon counters it the second time. Second rope cross body from Pillman. Dragon does a top rope sunset flip (which should be a DQ). This leads into a pin sequence, which Dragon wins. Decent enough.
TO THE SCHIAVONE. Tony talks to Bill Watts about the title matches tonight. Tony's weight fluctuated a lot during the 90s.
Nikita Koloff vs Vader WCW US Championship
Vader is actually filling in for Rick Rude, who complained about having to do this match as he also had to wrestle for the NWA Championship later in the night. Vader beats the shit out of Nikita. Lariatoooo. Bill Watts also removed pads from ringside because fuck safety. Ivan does a cross body to Vader's back and works a head lock. He still gets his ass kicked. He nearly wins with a school boy. Nikita misses Vader and does the Russian Sickle to the ring post. Awkward powerbomb for the win. Title retained for Rude. Vader made Nikita look like a jobber.
TO THE BACK. Teddy Long talks to Steve Williams and Steve Austin about the unified title match tonight Austin still has shitty tights, but at least has a better hair cut.
Steve Austin/Steve Williams vs Dustin Rhodes/Barry Windham WCW/NWA Unified Tag Team Championships
WCW had a weird relationship with the NWA. They officially split from the NWA in 1991. However, they had a working relationship with NJPW, who was basically the main member of the NWA now that WCW was out. When Bill Watts took over WCW, he worked out a deal to defend NWA championships on WCW shows, but I don't think WCW officially rejoined the NWA. I'm not really sure. Dustin and Doc start out. They have a football stand off. Doc SWERVES and does a leap frog. Dustin comes back with a lariatooo. Barry gets the tag. His Dutch boy hair cut his hilarious. Dustin is back in. He uses the top rope to get out of a hold and dropkicks Doc. Doc tags out. Despite the better hair cut and slightly better trunks, Austin now has no knee pads. He gets ping ponged and knocked to the floor. Back in the ring, he tries to work over Dustin's leg. Lariatoooo. Big Barry is tagged in and does a lariatoooo of his own. Big suplex. Austin tags out and the big guys knock the shit out of each other. Barry does Dustin's cross body spot. Baseball slide from Doc. Barry is FIP for a while. He comes back with a top rope lariatoooo, which should be a DQ, but isn't. Dustin gets the hot tag. Bulldog to Austin. He leap frogs Austin only to run into a Doc lariatoooo. Lariats everywhere in this. Canadian back breaker from Austin. Dustin gets out and they do a bridge into backslide spot. Lariatooo from Austin. This probably has the most clotheslines of any US wrasslin match in 20 years. Austin blocks the Flip, Flop, and Fly with a punch straight to the mouth. A series of belly to belly variations from Doc. Barry gets the tag, the ref misses it, and during the confusion, there is a ref bump and Dustin is thrown over the top. Barry has Austin rolled up, but Doc runs in and lariatoooos him. A 2nd ref comes out and counts the pin fall. The original ref gets back in and says that Windham wasn't the legal man, so the match continues. Dustin does a roll up that gets 2, but the bell rang anyway. The match continues. 90 seconds left! Tombstone from Dustin. 10 seconds left. Time limit draw. Dustin and Barry retain. Pretty awesome match. Stuff like this is why Watts era WCW is pretty good. You get a lot of stupid shit, but you also get a ton of matches like this. Even better when you consider that Gordy no showed and Austin was a last minute replacement.
TO THE SCHIAVONE. Tony talks with Paul E., Harley Race, and Vader. Paul takes credit for Rude's success. Madusa comes out to shove Paul E. Paul is a MAN. SUPERIOR! Women are INFERIOR. "I am a MAN MAN MAN and you are a WOMAN WOMAN WOMAN, which means, damn it, you are FIRED FIRED FIRED!" He shoves Madusa. She kicks him in the head (kind of) and starts pounding him. Officials have to pull her off and hold Paul E. back. Paul challenges her to a match with one arm tied behind his back and with his contract on the line. He then calls her a bitch and runs off. I'm sure this was pretty intense for 1992 WCW standards. What's really crazy is you couldn't even do that today and it is about as tame as it gets compared to the male/female violence that would go on in ECW and the big two during the Attitude Era.
TO THE WHEEL. Sting spins the wheel and makes a deal. There were 12 gimmick matches on the wheel. He pulls the lever. JEEEEEEEZZZUUUS. WCW didn't gimmick it at all and it landed on a coal miner's glove match. Sting was obviously not happy with the match, and Jesse's reaction was hilarious.
Rick Rude vs Masahiro Chono NWA Championship Special Guest Referees: Kensuke Sasaki (NWA) and Harley Race (WCW)
It makes sense to me to have a ref representing both sides. It doesn't make sense to me that the wrestlers would get to pick their own ref. Of note, Madusa, not Paul, is out with Rude. Blue Meanie was totally in the front row. The NWA has possession of the Big Gold Belt again. I'm not sure how WCW got to keep it after the completely pulled out of the NWA in 1993. A coin toss determines that Harley Race will be the in ring ref. Even lock up. Rude gets the advantage and works a chin lock. Like the Randy Orton of 1992. Chono attempts the STF early on. Rude keeps his head blocked. Chono tries for quite a while before giving up on it. Rude with a piledriver. Chono got a foot on the ropes. Because Chono blocks a top rope move by just stepping backwards, it looked like Rude went for ADR's Flying Nothing. Back to a chin lock. Something happens in the crowd, which fans are much more interested in since half of this match has been a chin lock. Rude tries a missile dropkick that he may or may not have connected with. Chono goes for the Yakuza kick. Rude drops down and it hits Harley, sending him to the floor. Sasaki checks on Race. Chono Irish whips Rude near the corner. Rude goes over the top, falling into both refs. Rude Awakening! Neither ref can make the pin. Rude misses a flying knee drop. Chono locks in the STF. Sasaki counts the submission. Race calls for a DQ due to Rude being thrown over the top rope. The official decision is Rude winning via DQ. Chono retains the title. Sasaki beats up Harley and Rude after the match. Not that good. Rude worked like ADR and Randy Orton in one body, with a lot of fuckery in the finish.
We see some training techniques of Barbarian.
The Barbarian vs Ron Simmons WCW Championship
The concept of Simmons being champion was that Bill Watts wanted to recreate the popular black babyface archetype he used so well with JYD in Mid South. The main difference is that Simmons was a career mid carder with no where near the charisma as JYD. And to have him face other career mid carders like Barbarian isn't great for his reign. It goes to the floor very early, with Barb in clear control of the champion. Barb misses an elbow from the top. I thought top ropes were banned? Spinebuster. Looked like shit. Football tackle. Cactus gets knocked off the apron. Barb boots Simmons in the back and goes back up top for a diving headbutt. 2 count. Simmons wins with a powerslam in a short match. Title retained.
Sting vs Jake Roberts Non Sanctioned Coal Miner's Glove Match
If WCW really did gimmick the wheel and wanted this kind of match, well fuck. But I'm pretty sure they didn't and ended up with the most boring possible match. Both men quickly go for the glove. Jake looks terrible, but his grey tights make him look much worse. Sting is thrown over the ropes, but there are no DQs in this. Jake's arm is rammed into the ring post a few times. No way is Jake going to be able to get the glove. It's not hanging from a pole, it's on TOP of the pole. Sting has to scale the pole to get it. Jake takes his athletic tape off to choke Sting. The ref takes it away from him, which makes little sense to me since this is non sanctioned. There shouldn't even be a ref. Jake misses a knee lift. Sting misses a Stinger Splash. Short arm lariatooo. ECW Hat Guy is in the front row. DDT! Sting flies around the pole to do a 619 elbow. Cactus Jack brings out a snake. Sting scales the pole and gets the glove. Jake does everything he can get the snake attached to his own face. It doesn't work until Jake is pinned and on the floor.
DQ Count: 1 out of 6 matches. The home release cut out Tom Zenk/Shane Douglas/Johnny Gunn defeating Arn Anderson/Michael Hayes/Bobby Eaton.
The tag match was awesome. Pillman/Steamboat was pretty good, but felt very restrained from what both guys were capable of and what they would do later on together. The NWA Championship match was not interesting in the least. Those two didn't mesh at all and the BOGUS finish didn't help. Main event was whatever. They probably would have had a much better straight singles match or literally any of the other 11 gimmick matches on the wheel.