Halloween Havoc 1991: The Dangerous Alliance Is Coming

Halloween Havoc 1991
Date: October 27, 1991
Location: UTC Arena, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Attendance: 8,900
Commentators: Jim Ross, Tony Schiavone

We’re a year after the not very scary Halloween Havoc 1990 and now we move on to the much scarier 1991 version. Tonight we have Lex Luger, the now heel world champion, facing Ron Simmons. Other than that we have a guy here called the Halloween Phantom, who is a new star debuting tonight. Well new to WCW at least. The reveal is pretty awesome though. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is of a haunted house with ghostly images of wrestlers superimposed over it.

We open up outside with Eric Bischoff acting as a kind of greeter I guess. Cactus Jack and Abdullah show up with the Butcher in a tie. DDP and Diamond Studd (Scott Hall) arrive. Dustin Rhodes and Barry Windham show up but the Enforcers (Larry Zbyszko and Arn Anderson) come up and crush Barry’s hand in the car door, which puts him out of his match later tonight. I think Barry was legit hurt and this is how they wrote him off TV for awhile.

Cactus Jack/Abdullah The Butcher/Diamond Studd/Big Van Vader vs. Steiner Brothers/El Gignate/Sting

Oh boy it’s the Chamber of Horrors. Now if you’ve never heard of this, clear some room off your list of absurd gimmicks. This is inside a cage similar to the Cell, although there’s no top on it and the holes in the cage are bigger. Inside are coffins, skeletons and a few weapons. The idea of the match is that everyone is fighting at once and at some point during the match, an electric chair will lower from the ceiling. Someone must be placed in the chair, strapped down and someone from the other team has to throw a switch, “electrocuting” them. And somehow, it’ll be even dumber than it sounds.

Oh and Gigante is replacing the injured Windham and Cactus is replacing Oz, although Oz will be in a match later and apparently Oz replaced Jack in that match. No idea why they made the switch. Jack comes out with a chainsaw minus the chain. Sting is US Champion here and yes, this is really what they’re using him for. Cactus jumps Sting on the ramp and Abdullah helps, but Rick comes out for the save. This is before we’re even in the cage. Well Rick was but he left because it’s just a cage so why should it be hard to stay inside?

In the ring Scott kills the Studd with a Tiger Driver while Gigante fights Vader. Sting gets a kendo stick to pound away on everyone he sees. Well everyone that isn’t on his team that is. Or the referee either. Speaking of the referee, he has a camera on his head here which is really more annoying than anything else. That could be an interesting idea for an angle but it never went anywhere.

People in masks pop out of those caskets. They don’t do anything but they pop out anyway. Sting clotheslines Vader to the floor and Gigante pulls Studd off of the cage wall. The Steiners hit their top rope DDT on Cactus as the chair is lowered. Vader knocks Rick into the chair but Rick clotheslines his way out of it. Sting throws a casket lid up in the air so it lands on Cactus’ head.

Now we have ghouls coming out with a stretcher. Again they don’t do anything but they’re there. Scott shatters a kendo stick over Cactus’ head, breaking him open. Cactus and Sting climb the cage and ram each other into it, which is one of the few actual clear brawls in the match. The rest of it is too hard to call because of the awful camera work. Sting has the stick now and stabs Hall with it.

It’s pretty much impossible to call this match as everything is all over the place and it’s just random brawling. Sting is busted open, as is Abdullah. Cactus goes for the switch as Rick is put in the chair, but the future Freakzilla makes the save. The heels get Rick into the chair for a second but he fights out of it pretty quickly. He gets put in there again and Cactus goes for the switch. Steiner suplexes Abdullah into the chair instead and after Cactus takes FOREVER to stand next to the switch, he throws the lever and Abdullah gets “electrocuted.”

Rating: W. As in wow, what were they smoking, or why. You can pick whichever you like and I think it’ll be fine. This was a huge mess but to me, this is pure nostalgia. I haven’t seen this match in years but I still remember about 80% of the commentary word for word. The match is terrible and incredibly stupid but it’s a fond memory for me so I can’t hate it.

Cactus checks on Abdullah post match but the Butcher gets up and beats up the ghouls that brought out the stretcher earlier.

Eric and Missy (Dracula/showgirl) debate who the Phantom is. The Young Pistols don’t care who it is. They want the US Tag Titles and are heels now.

Big Josh/PN News vs. The Creatures

The Creatures are generic masked guys, one of which is Joey Maggs and the other is Johnny Rich, the latter of which you don’t need to know. Josh is a wilderness guy and News is a fat white guy in lime green that raps. Josh starts with let’s say Creature #1. The Creatures double team Josh but it’s off to News to clean house. The fat man hits a dropkick followed by using the power of fat in the corner. Back to Josh for a bit before News comes in to miss a splash. Instead of the Creatures taking over, it’s back to Josh. Josh runs them over, hits the Northern Exposure (Earthquake) and a top rope splash from News pins #1.

Rating: F+. Another bad match here but without the fun levels of the previous one. The Creatures were never seen again of course and the other two didn’t go anywhere other than to comedy land. I really need to get back to modern wrestling where the filler matches at least have a point at times.

Terrance Taylor vs. Bobby Eaton

This should be good. Taylor slaps him around to start so Eaton offers him a free shot. Eaton is the face here and it’s still York Foundation time for Taylor. He takes Eaton down with an armdrag but the second one is countered. Bobby speeds things up and Taylor bails to the floor. They go to the floor and Eaton is sent into the barricade, but he backdrops Taylor over the railing and into the crowd for a second.

Back in and Taylor tries to hide. Eaton blasts him with a right hand for two and it’s off to a hammerlock. Rooster Boy gets out with a jawbreaker and they go to the ramp. Eaton slams him down and hits a knee/splash off the top to crush Taylor. Back in and Taylor sends him through the ropes and into the barricade again. Taylor uses the break to go over to the computer and York for more assistance.

The solution is apparently a corner clothesline followed by a knee drop for two. They head to the ramp again and Eaton is put down by a gutwrench powerbomb. Eaton slowly gets back in and takes a top rope splash for two. We hit the chinlock which is broken somewhat quickly but a knee to the ribs stops it dead. Taylor gets some more computer advice and apparently is willing to settle for the countout.

That doesn’t work and Bobby comes off the top with a sunset flip for two. Off to a reverse chinlock by Taylor but Eaton comes out of it with a jawbreaker, just like Taylor did to him earlier. Taylor’s Vader Bomb hits knees and it’s time for Bobby’s comeback. He pounds away in the corner and suplexes Taylor down for two. A swinging neckbreaker puts Terry down but Eaton goes up and gets crotched. Taylor’s superplex is broken up and Eaton hits the Alabama Jam for the pin.

Rating: B. This was a great back and forth match. It’s amazing how much more bearable Taylor is when he isn’t acting like a bird. The computer gimmick got annoying after awhile but having him wrestle straight worked pretty well. This wasn’t quite a masterpiece but it was a very solid sixteen minute match and a nice change of pace.

Jimmy Garvin vs. Johnny B. Badd

Michael Hayes is here but he has a bad arm. Johnny is gay here but we can’t say gay so we call him “very flamboyant.” Teddy Long is still in the ring when the bell rings. They speed things up to start and Badd is sent to the floor. Back in the ring and Garvin (who is apparently a face here which I hadn’t picked up on until now) runs him over with a forearm to send Badd back outside.

Garvin works over the arm but Badd pounds away with fists. He chokes off a Teddy distraction and uses some very basic offense. A flying sunset flip is mostly messed up and it gets two. A top rope elbow gets two. Garvin dumps him over the top and nothing happens out there. Back in and they collide but Garvin beats him to his feet. The DDT hits but Teddy has the referee. The left hooks from Badd gets the pin.

Rating: D-. This really didn’t work at all. Badd was still very green at this point and it was clear that he wasn’t ready for a spot like this. Garvin was old and not very good either, although he never quite was anything special in the ring. This was supposed to be a showcase match for Badd but it came off as more boring than anything else. Badd would get WAY better in a few years though.

Missy harasses Bobby Eaton about who the Phantom is and when he doesn’t know, she whines. Was she supposed to be adorable or something?

TV Title: Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes

Dustin is challenging. JR says that if he was starting a company, he would pick Steve Austin as his #1 draft pick. See why people say he knows his stuff? Rhodes takes him down quickly but Austin runs to the ropes to hide. A shoulder puts Dustin down and a clothesline does the same to Austin. They go to the mat and Dustin’s grandparents are here apparently.

They keep going back and forth with basic stuff until Dustin clotheslines him to the floor. That again isn’t a DQ for whatever reason. Either way we get to see Lady Blossom’s rocking cleavage for a bit so it’s not a bad thing at all. Back in and Austin suplexes him down for two. Dustin’s bulldog is countered so he settles for a headlock takeover instead. Austin finally counters into a headscissors as things slow way down.

Back up and they run the ropes a bit, but Dustin misses a cross body and crashes out to the floor. Somewhere in there Dustin got busted open badly. Austin pounds away on it and hits a gutwrench suplex for two back in the ring. It’s amazing how different Austin is back here. He’s a mat wrestler who barely ever throws a punch. Off to a chinlock and the cameraman cuts over to Lady Blossom and the camera pans down to her chest in a shot that I don’t think was supposed to be seen on the broadcast.

The clock is winding down as we have less than four minutes to go and Dustin is in trouble. They trade small packages and Dustin takes him down with a clothesline, getting two. Lady Blossom (who is a dead ringer for Debra) slaps Dustin in the face but Austin’s charge misses. A second lariat gets two as Austin gets his foot on the rope. Back to the floor and Austin goes into the post with less than two minutes left. Powerslam gets two for the Natural as does the Bionic Elbow with a minute left. Austin is reeling with 30 seconds to go. Dustin goes up and hits a top rope lariat for two as the bell rings.

Rating: B-. This was a pretty good match although the ending was pretty obvious. Austin would hold that title for the better part of a year before trading it with Barry Windham and Ricky Steamboat. Having these fifteen minute matches with other talented guys had a lot to do with Austin becoming one of the best in ring workers ever. This was solid stuff.

Bill Kazmaier vs. Oz

Oz doesn’t have the big elaborate entrance anymore. Kazmaier was a legit World’s Strongest Man, having won the official competition three times in the 80s. He comes to the ring with an Earth shaped balloon on his back. This was supposed to be Cactus Jack vs. Kaz but Jack wanted to be in the cage. This is power vs. size and less power with the shorter guy dominating early. They do a test of strength and Big Sexy (Oz is Nash if you were one of the handful of people that didn’t know that) takes over. A belly to back suplex gets two for Oz. Kaz skins the cat, hits a shoulder block and wins with a torture rack.

Rating: D. Whatever man. This was just a quick match to I believe end the Oz character, or at least put another bullet into it. Once they realized how dumb the thing was they dropped it and turned him into Vinnie Vegas which was way more appropriate for him anyway. Kazmaier never did anything and retired in January of the following year.

Van Hammer vs. Doug Somers

Van Hammer has only been here about a month and we’re still in the squash period for him. Somers is yet another replacement, in this case taking the place of the injured Michael Hayes. The match barely breaks a minute and Hammer wins with a slingshot suplex.

Brian Pillman says he wants the Light Heavyweight Title more than anything.

Richard Morton, part of the York Foundation, says this is the first of many titles for the Foundation.

Light Heavyweight Title: Brian Pillman vs. Richard Morton

This is a tournament final to crown a first ever champion. Nick Patrick has that stupid head camera on again. Morton keeps running from Pillman which probably isn’t that bad of an idea. Brian slams him down and hits a spinwheel kick to send Morton out to the floor. Back in and Pillman goes to the middle rope for a double ax followed by taking it to the mat with a series of headlocks.

A good example of why the referee camera is stupid: Pillman has him down and all we can see is his arm going down. Why would I want to see that? Pillman throws Morton around with armdrags and then it’s back to the headlock. O’Connor Roll gets two for Brian. Morton works on the arm…..and keeps working on the arm…..then works on the arm some more. It’s all the same hold so this is taking forever.

Pillman finally fights up and we go to a wide shot of the crowd instead of focusing on the match. A clothesline puts Morton down and the fans aren’t all that impressed. An enziguri puts Morton down as does a backdrop. Pillman fires off some chops and they collide, sending both guys out to the floor. Pillman has his shoulder rammed into the post and he’s in trouble. Not that it matters though as they go back in and the top rope cross body gives Pillman the title.

Rating: D. This was REALLY boring. Morton isn’t used to being on offense and it’s easy to see that he’s out of practice. There’s a reason that the face getting the tar kicked out of him is called playing Ricky Morton. The title never went anywhere and would be retired in about a year. It would be resurrected in about four years and have its name changed to the Cruiserweight Title, which would work a little bit better.

Z-Man vs. WCW Halloween Havoc Phantom

He looks like the Phantom of the Opera and comes out to the theme from the movie/musical of the same name. The announcers think they know they guy’s style but they can’t place it. A neckbreaker gets the pin in less than a minute and a half. Tony says the name of the finisher, complete with the name of the person using it and the identity of the Phantom, but I’ll save the surprise for later.

Tag Titles: Enforcers vs. Patriots

The Enforcers are defending and are Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko. The Patriots are Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip and are also the US Tag Champions, but their titles aren’t on the line here. For the sake of simplicity, if I say champions here, I only will be referring to the Enforcers. Chip, who looks like he has an entire steroid store inside him, hooks a quick abdominal stretch but Larry escapes.

Zbyszko is getting frustrated so he brings in Anderson. Off to the much taller Todd Champion but Anderson punches him down with ease. Todd gets sent to the apron but he low bridges Anderson to the floor, which again isn’t a DQ. Back in the ring and Anderson gets caught in a bearhug but Larry breaks it up. Everything breaks down and the Enforcers are knocked to the floor.

Larry comes in to face Todd and guess what Larry does. Just take a guess. After running from Todd he makes a blind tag to Anderson who dumps Todd to the floor. Larry rams him into the barricade to take over and the Patriots are in trouble. Anderson puts a knee into the chest and it’s back to Larry. Neckbreaker gets two. Todd pounds on Anderson but Arn makes a blind tag to bring Larry back in. Larry gets caught in a suplex and it’s a double tag to Arn and Chip. Everything breaks down and Chip runs into Larry, allowing Anderson to spinebust him in half for the pin to retain.

Rating: D. This was another boring match with the Patriots being in there because the Enforcers needed a challenger. The match wasn’t any good at all and the Patriots clearly weren’t very good. Chip looked like he was about to explode with all of those bulging muscles on a small frame too.

We go down to Eric Bischoff who has Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa with him. Paul has earth shattering news for us. He’s tired of the booking committee saying that he’s too controversial and getting thrown off the commentary team. In the words of Bugs Bunny, of course you know this means war. While he doesn’t have a commentator’s license, he does still have a manager’s license. That’s how he’s going to take apart the company: by going through the company’s heroes one by one, starting with the biggest hero of all: Sting.

Paul brings out the WCW Halloween Phantom as his new top guy and says that the man behind the mask will be the only one on the planet that can bankrupt the company and buy it so he can fire everyone he doesn’t like. The Phantom takes the mask off and it’s…..RICK RUDE. He’s gotten a major haircut and looks evil now instead of stupid. Rude says all he cares about is himself, his women and his money. His money man has a problem with WCW and therefore this company needs to come down.

Rude talks about how he’s never had the chance to face Sting and wants to know if he’s as small as he looks on TV. Rude is coming for the US Title. AWESOME reveal here and it would set the stage for the next eight months of top level feuding in the company. On top of that, Rude was a completely different man in WCW, going from being basically a comedy heel in the WWF to being a killer in WCW. He would be the top heel in the company by February and would be that man for months afterwords.

We get a video on Ron Simmons going back to Florida State to train for his world title match tonight. Florida State head football coach Bobby Bowden says Simmons is ready.

WCW World Title: Ron Simmons vs. Lex Luger

Luger is defending and has Harley Race with him while Simmons has Dusty Rhodes for no apparent reason. This is 2/3 falls. Feeling out process to start and they trade hammerlocks. Simmons tries a dropkick but misses completely to give Lex the advantage. Ron comes back with a facejam and snaps off a powerslam for no cover. The spinebuster gets the first fall in about five minutes total. That came out of nowhere and we have a one minuet rest period.

Simmons slams him down onto the back again and whips him into the corner time after time to have Luger hiding in the corner. Let’s talk about the Braves, who are playing in the World Series at the same time as this show. A sunset flip gets two for Simmons and Race is freaking out. Simmons misses a charge and Luger sends him flying out to the floor. Back in and an elbow drop gets two for the champion.

Lex hits a powerslam of his own for one because his back is too messed up to cover fully. Off to a chinlock as Luger tries to buy himself a breather. Simmons fights back with elbows and punches before grabbing a rollup for two. A backslide does the same and Luger is getting in more and more trouble every second. Race distracts Ron so Dusty gives him the big elbow. In a HORRIBLY STUPID MOMENT, Luger charges at Simmons who is on the ropes. Race holds Simmons against the ropes and Lex falls to the floor, AND THAT’S A DQ. That rule was so stupid that I can’t fathom it at times.

After another rest period it’s the third fall. Simmons is ready to go while Luger is sucking wind. The champion gets in a sucker punch and goes on a big rush of offense. He’s also bleeding from under his right eye. Simmons shrugs that off and pounds away in the corner. A clothesline gets two. Luger knees him in the ribs and Simmons is slowed down almost immediately. A powerslam puts Luger right back down and a middle rope shoulder puts Lex on the outside. Simmons’ shoulder hits the post and we go back inside so the piledriver can get the pin for Luger to retain.

Rating: D+. I wasn’t big on this one. This felt more like a really big TV main event rather than a PPV main event. Simmons would become a lot bigger soon enough and would get the title off Vader in 1992. The DQ here was just freaking dumb as there were far worse throws earlier in the night, but it made sense here because it needed to. Not a very good match but I’ve seen worse.

The announcers talk a lot to end the show.

Overall Rating: D. This wasn’t the worst show ever but there’s really nothing on it that you need to see. Luger would leave in February so he was a lame duck champion for the next three or four months. Sting would thankfully go from this to something worthwhile by doing ANYTHING but being in that cage match. Also the Dangerous Alliance was coming and that’s nothing but gold. This wasn’t much but there are far worse shows.

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