Halloween Havoc 1998: Even For WCW, This Was A Big Mess

Halloween Havoc 1998
Date: October 25, 1998
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 10,663
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan, Mike Tenay

This is a rather famous show for all the wrong reasons. If 1997 was the bullet that took down WCW (which it was), this was the infection that got into the wound and caused them to die. There are so many things wrong with this show I’m really not sure where to start. Ok I am but that sounds good. There’s a double main event tonight with Hogan vs. Warrior II and DDP vs. Goldberg. I’m pretty sure you know why this was a disaster for the company, but I’ll go into details for that at the end. Let’s get to it.

The opening video is of course all about Hogan! Well did you expect something else? It’s the whole Gregorian Chant thing with images of Hogan and Warrior. Oh and there’s the world champion and there’s his challenger.

I always did like the massive pumpkin set for this series. That was kind of cool. This crowd is LOUD! I’m actually having trouble understanding Tony’s opening stuff. This is the second version of the tape that I’ve tried to watch and both had the same issues so it’s not just this version. Bobby puts on a mask while Tony is talking to Tenay so the reaction is really funny.

The Nitro Girls dance. You know, not on Nitro. Keep that in mind. They point out that this is their PPV debut, making it kind of stupid. The music on this show is WAY too loud as it’s drowning out the commentary. Apparently there have been three matches added, one for a title and one where the winner gets a title shot later in the night. Uh, ok then.

We really open the show with an interview with Rick Steiner. Really that’s the best guy you had to open things up here? It’s Rick vs. Scott tonight and Rick sees him as just another opponent. Cue Buff Bagwell, a friend of Scott’s that Rick injured on Nitro, legitimately injuring his neck. Bagwell says he’s sick of Scott and wants to be in Rick’s corner tonight. Yeah they’re not giving away the ending to that match at all. Apparently Buff needs permission from JJ Dillon to do that.

TV Title: Raven vs. Chris Jericho

Jericho with the title here. Raven’s music is WAY too up tempo for him. Again with the loud music as I can only hear little bits of what Tony is saying. Something about a losing streak? Raven has been acting differently recently, even tapping out at one point. Jericho is a cocky heel here, meaning he’s hilarious. Raven says his losing streak isn’t his fault and what about me, what about Raven, what about me. He wasn’t informed about this match and he doesn’t feel like wrestling. So he was given a title match and he’s mad about it?

Jericho says he doesn’t want to be here either but all the Jericoholics came here to see him (is he a heel here?) because Jericho equals buyrates, people in the seats and rock and roll. I’m really not sure what Jericho is here. Yeah he’s a face. Jericho calls him a loser and here’s Raven, starting the match about 13 and a half minutes into the show. Jericho whips him with the jacket and avoids a clothesline to take over.

Raven hits a Cactus Clothesline and we’re on the floor. Crowd is HOT. Raven sets up the steps and throws Jericho on them in a front face suplex. Jericho may have hurt his shoulder and/or knee. Oh and the Flock is gone by this point. They keep mentioning it so maybe it’s important? Jericho gets a hot shot to reverse things and a springboard dropkick to send Raven back to the floor.

His advantage is short lived though as Jericho gets sent into the railing and both men are down. Raven tries to set up the steps but is whipped into the railing instead. Raven’s shirt that he ties around his waist comes off so he chokes away with it. There’s a sleeper by the bird man but Jericho is out very soon. Jericho unhooks the buckle and the referee is just fine with it.

Jericho charges at Raven but gets powerbombed for his efforts. He catapults the Canadian into the buckle and Jericho is stunned. Clothesline gets two. Jericho misses a spinkick and in the fastest I’ve ever seen Raven move he immediately grabs Chris and gets a spinning belly to belly for two. They are MOVING out there. German suplex is rolled through by Jericho but he can’t get the Liontamer.

Ok scratch that yes he can but Raven grabs the rope for the break. Raven is wrestling with his eye piercing in. That is so dangerous it’s not even funny. Raven counters a whip in and gets the DDT out of nowhere for two. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that kicked out of. They speed it up again but Jericho hits Raven low and gets a German for two. Kanyon comes out of nowhere and jumps up on the apron so Jericho sends Raven into him. Liontamer ends it seconds later.

Rating: B+. Where in the world did this come from??? This was a great match and easily the fastest pace I’ve ever seen Raven go at. The crowd was into it the whole way and the false finish on the DDT was great. I was really liking this although it would have helped a bit to not have Kanyon there so randomly. Either way, great stuff indeed. Jericho jumping up and down in celebration is hilarious.

Here come Bischoff and Hogan to talk. Keep in mind that we’ve had the girls dancing and now two promos. We’re about 22 minutes into the show at this point so keep that in mind. Hogan is in an NWO Nitro shirt. Bischoff says Hogan represents family values. Uh ok? Hogan says that all his fans love him and all that jazz. He talks about beating up his nephew Horace (real nephew, real awful) for not being ready to be a disciple or something. We see the beating and Hogan says he went a bit too far. Bischoff is just there to hold the mic. Oh and he’s going to beat up Warrior. Total waste of five minutes.

Meng vs. Wrath

Yeah see what I mean about pointless stuff? Wrath was getting something resembling a push around this time and would ultimately be beaten by Rick Steiner the next month in a TV Title match that ended anything he had going because he was starting to get a pop. We head to the floor quickly and Wrath gets a front flip onto Meng from the apron. Nice one too. Back in and after some clotheslines he can’t hit the Meltdown (pumphandle slam).

Meng goes on offense and this is turning into a weak TV match. I’m very surprised Meng had a job at this point. What in the world was he going to add to any company here? Either way he’s doing nothing special here at all. Meng does his basic evil Samoan (Tongan in this case) offense and we get a nerve hold. Wrath hits a Rock Bottom to counter for two and then the Meltdown hits to end it. Sweet goodness this was dull.

Rating: D. Dang that three minute rule. I hate it so much during matches such as this one. This was bad of course and never once got even the slightest big interesting. This wasn’t put on the VHS release and I think you’ll get why later on. Again, note that they wasted another five minutes on this joke of a match.

Disco Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera

Winner gets Kidman later tonight for the Cruiserweight Title. Juvy has no mask at this point. Disco goes after Juvy to start as the cameraman looks like he’s having issues standing up. They speed things up and Guerrera gets a LOUD chop. Headscissors takes Disco down and I think they botch a Famerasser but it might have been ok. Ah there it is.

Another loud chop in the corner and a monkey flip sends Disco out to the floor. Headscissors takes Disco down but the hair acts as a shield. Back in and Disco gets an atomic drop and a clothesline but dances instead of covering because he’s not incredibly intelligent. Middle rope elbow gets two and we hit the chinlock. Heenan suggests that Disco needs a manager in a random comment.

Juvy gets a stunner on the rope to take over again. He sets for a springboard but Disco hits the floor to hide. Juvy is like get back here you scoundrel and hits a pescado. Back in and Guerrera keeps out moving him. Juvy Driver is reversed into a reverse suplex which is reversed into a hot shot and swinging neckbreaker for Disco for two. Disco blocks a sunset flip and does a Macarena. Why can’t I escape that thing???

Disco busts out a giant swing and falls onto Guerrera’s balls in a Sting spot. Vertical suplex results in more dancing. Disco goes up but gets crotched and there’s a top rope rana for no cover. Instead he goes up again and a spinwheel kick gets two. Juvy does Rey’s sitout bulldog for two. Victory roll is blocked and Disco gets a SWEET jumping Piledriver with Juvy just stopping dead for the pin.

Rating: B-. Far better match than you would expect here. Disco was actually underrated as his gimmick overshadowed what he could do in the ring. This was a fun match and even though I’m not really a fan of Guerrera he looked quite good here too. One of Disco’s better matches actually.

Here’s another 75 seconds wasted as the Nitro Girls dance again. They look good but is this the best way to use PPV time?

After that here we have another four and a half minutes wasted with Scott Steiner to say that tonight is a night off for him. He insults Steiner and Bagwell but instead of Rick vs. Scott, it’s Rick/Bagwell vs. Scott/Giant. Giant and Scott Hall are tag champions but Hall is injured. Well of course this is fine. A thrown together team is getting a title shot at the non champions. JJ Dillon comes out and says ok, but if they lose the titles then it’s Rick vs. Scott. You know, THE ADVERTISED MATCH. How can this company continue to be this stupid?

Alex Wright vs. Fit Finlay

Another match not on the home video. Finlay meant nothing by this point and Wright meant about the same, so let’s give them five minutes of PPV time! Oh ok they had a match on Thunder and this is the rematch. Don’t both to tell us who won or why they’re fighting or anything like that guys. Let’s talk about Warrior vs. Hogan instead!

Back and forth match that isn’t half bad actually, but that doesn’t mean it belongs on this show and taking up PPV time. We have the Nitro Girls to look at if we want to waste time. Wright controls to start, Finlay beats him down, more talk of Hogan vs. Warrior, Wright gets a random neckbreaker to get the win. Again, why in the world was this on PPV? It’s eating up time and is a good reason for the ending of the show.

Rating: C. Not a bad match but dang man, what’s the point? That’s the issue I have with this show: there is so much pointless crap on here that it’s killing the show. We’ve had two good matches so far but then we have these random TV matches that aren’t anything special at all and could have been given to wrestlers that matter. Such a waste of time.

Saturn vs. Lodi

Is this someone’s idea of a joke? Saturn had freed the Flock and Lodi is mad about it so there you are. Lodi being billed as from anywhere other than Las Vegas is kind of funny I guess. Anyway this is another nothing match as Saturn was in the midcard at this point and getting some traction so he beats on Lodi for awhile to reaffirm his manliness. Total squash and the Death Valley Driver ends it. No rating, but keep in mind that Lodi is on PPV and Benoit or Malenko aren’t. Let that sink in for a bit. Not on the video either.

The announcers talk about the main events and the tag titles. This is idiotic.

Oh look: another minute wasted on the Nitro Girls. No Benoit or Maleno or Eddie, but a third performance by these chicks.

Cruiserweight Title: Billy Kidman vs. Disco Inferno

The bell rings 8 times to start the match which is a bit more than you’re used to. Kidman uses speed to take over to start and gets a great dropkick. He was awesome back in the day and really was the best in the division for a long time. Disco was the kind of wrestler that was a Cruiserweight in name only as he wrestled like a heavyweight. He keeps using the hair so Kidman keeps nipping up.

Kidman finally gets ticked off and stomps the heck out of Disco to take over a bit. Disco takes him to the mat and uses his rare power advantage to take over on the champion. He makes fun of Kidman being young which doesn’t make a ton of sense. We hit the floor and Kidman gets a bulldog onto the concrete to put both guys down. Back in a top rope splash misses and Disco gets two off of the crash.

We hit the chinlock for a bit. Disco gets a flapjack and dances, completely killing him momentum. He’s really wasting time, yelling after almost every single move he hits. BK Bomb (Sky High) gets two but Kidman can’t really capitalize. He runs into an elbow but gets a powerslam for two. Piledriver is reversed but hits the second time. Disco rolls the wrong way though so it only gets two.

The reaction of Disco freaking out is kind of funny. In a NICE counter, Kidman tries to run up the corner and get a bulldog but Disco twists around and turns it into a suplex. Gordbuster gets two. He tries another Piledriver but does a Macarena first. Kidman counters into a facecrusher and the Shooting Star Press ends this.

Rating: C. This was really just a long TV match. There isn’t much going on here at all that was anything special. Kidman was way out of Disco’s league here, meaning Kidman was way better. He should have been elevated up from the Cruiserweights but this was WCW so that was downright sacrilegious. Again, why did the first match for Disco need to be here? It’s another waste of time.

Speaking of wasting time, let’s spend five minutes on Konnan’s music video. This marks at least 15 minutes, not counting Disco vs. Juvi or the other matches, that EASILY could have been cut but weren’t.

Tag Titles: The Giant/Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell/Rick Steiner

Bagwell is in street clothes. If the NWO loses the titles then Scott has to face Rick. Oh and the NWO has NWO rules, which means Freebird Rules. I forgot to mention: around this time the movie Bride of Chucky was coming out and Chucky appeared on Nitro and cut a promo about Scott Steiner. Yeah it was really dumb but they mention it here.

Giant is in a t-shirt for some reason. He chops away at Rick who he started with if you didn’t get that. Off to Scott and the fans react to this matchup. ARE YOU LISTENING WCW? Steiner gets a running kick to a seated Rick and pounds away. Rick gets sent to the floor where Giant beats him up even more. Bagwell shoves Giant away and then runs. Keep that in mind.

Rick finally gets an atomic drop which means nothing on the steroid ridden balls of Scott. Rick beats him down with ease in the corner but gets caught in an atomic drop. He no sells it and tags Bagwell. Naturally Bagwell turns on him, joining up with the NWO for the 99th time. For some reason he runs to the back and it’s a handicap match. Naturally the eternally idiotic announcers are SHOCKED, yes SHOCKED I say!

The equally stupid fans chant for Goldberg. Yes he’s going to come out here when he has a world title match later on tonight. Scott beats on Rick for a good while as the announcers won’t shut up about Bagwell. Giant literally jumps up and down on Rick’s ribs. FREAKING OW MAN! Scott beats him down and Giant keeps picking him up. Now we’re talking about Judy Bagwell. Does this company just not get it?

Anyway, Rick fights back but gets caught by a low blow which is all cool according to the referee I guess. The announcers point out that this is the FOURTH time that has happened in this one match. Dudes, stop trying to validate your lack of logic and continuity. It’s wasting our time. Scott tags Giant who goes up top and accidentally hits a missile dropkick to Scott. Since Scott is officially dead now, Rick goes up, hits a bulldog on Giant and wins the freaking tag titles by himself. The next night he got to pick a new partner and picked Kenny Kaos of High Voltage. You’re not alone: no one else remembers him either.

Rating: C-. This was pretty average, but the Bagwell turn brings it down. I have no idea what the point of this was at the end of this, but it didn’t work. First off, you’re saying that Rick can not only beat Scott, but can beat a former two time world champion on his own after being betrayed and attacked by a third man? This was very odd indeed and I wasn’t really that sure what they were shooting for.

While the crowd is popping huge for Rick winning, Scott tries to bail. Rick chases him down and I guess this is a match.

Rick Steiner vs. Scott Steiner

This is more of a fight than a match of course. Rick hammers away for a good while but Scott gets the fourth low blow of this segment to take over again. There’s a suplex for Rick to shift the momentum again. Belly to belly gets two. And then Bill Clinton jumps the railing, drills a security dude, gets a slapjack from Stevie Ray who is here for no apparent reason, DRILLS the referee with it, and of course it’s Buff Bagwell.

Uh…point to the Clinton mask? Was it supposed to fool Rick? He wouldn’t notice the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES beating up security guards? The bell rang as soon as the mask came off as you can’t DQ the president I guess. Buff picks up the referee’s hand but can’t get a 3. Rick fights them both off, gets a suplex on Scott, a second referee comes out and counts the three and it’s a bell. Where do I even begin? No rating, but just read what I said again and figure out what you think I’d give it.

We recap Hall vs. Nash, which is happening because they have to do it at some point I guess. Hall has been drinking and I cannot explain my hatred for this angle. In short, Hall would be “drunk” on camera, throw up on camera, be passed out in his house, stumble everywhere and all that jazz. It’s far worse than it sounds because he had real life issues for a long time and still does to this day. Hey! Let’s make an angle about it!

Kevin Nash vs. Scott Hall

Hall has a drink with him of course here. Hall drills him as they start it off and Nash is sent to the floor seconds in. Hall hits him in the head with the mic as they’re REALLY lenient on the DQs tonight aren’t they? Nash is down in the aisle after having whatever was in the cup thrown in his eyes, apparently alcohol. Hall, still in his vest, is in the ring. He grabs the mic and tells Nash to just leave now.

You don’t piss off a Super Shredder though and Nash gets back in. All Hall still though as this has been total domination so far. Discus Punch puts Nash down again and Hall is staggering. Slam puts Nash down and it’s time for the Outsider Edge. Hall goes for punches in the corner but gets shoved away. Nash doesn’t seem like he’s trying to fight back.

Nash keeps saying bring it on and yeah he’s not fighting back at all. And never mind yes he is as he whips Hall in a few times and gets a side slam for no cover as both guys are down. Hall has had about 99% of his offense come from punches. Jackknife attempt but Hall runs away. Nash finally rips his shirt off. We’re almost halfway in and this has been like a really long intro.

They lock up and Nash wins a battle of strength pretty easily. Hall does his slapping the back of the head bit and Nash just shrugs him off. Nash hammers on Hall’s back and is dominating here. The referee asks Hall if he wants to continue and Hall can barely say yes. Nash throws a bunch of knees in the corner and the picture frame elbow.

Off to another corner and more knees with Nash saying “have another drink baby”. Hall collapses and has nothing left. Long sequence of Nash hitting him and Hall’s shots having no effect at all. Big boot sets up the Jackknife (not the Jackhammer like Tony says) and Nash says one more. Instead of covering, Nash just walks away and gets counted out to let Hall win. We wasted almost 15 minutes for that ending? Blast it WCW do you even know what you’re trying to do?

Rating: D+. They were going for the big epic encounter here but when a match is 85% punches it’s a little hard to get into it. There was nothing in terms of competition as Hall dominated the first half and then Nash dominated the second half. Again I’m not sure what the point of the ending was but it didn’t particularly work. Pretty lame match and ending as I don’t think they wanted to fight each other.

Since they haven’t done so in nearly an hour, the Nitro Girls dance to bad techno music while in various colors of wigs. This is another minute of nothing but time wasting. There wasn’t a guy that could have cut a promo here? That’s what gets on my nerves about these segments: they could be used for ANYTHING else. You could even use them for bad comedy and they would be better.

We recap Bret vs. Sting which was built as a battle of leg locks. Bret is a heel here but neither guy means much of anything as for a year the spotlight has been on Hogan and/or Goldberg. Sting’s career was killed so badly by Hogan in the spring that he hasn’t even begun to recover and wouldn’t for years. We also knew that Bret was going to be wasted in WCW by this point and he did too. Rather sad to see indeed.

US Title: Sting vs. Bret Hart

Bret has the title here and Sting is in the Wolfpac. Sting has a goatee here and is supposed to be SERIOUS. Sting won’t let Bret in the ring as he still has the bat so we enter into a LONG stall session by the Canadian. I mean we’re at two minutes of just standing around and waiting at this point. There’s the third time Bret hits the floor and Sting gets mad and goes after him. They had a big brawl on Nitro that I vaguely remember which also contributed to this.

Sting hammers away with rather generic and basic offense for a bit. Here comes Bret with cheating tactics. And now we talk about Hogan to fill the quota for every match. Bret gets a DDT for two. Bret gets an atomic drop and a clothesline to take Sting down. I love that quick leg that Bret tends to drop. Bunch of basic stuff from the Canadian here including a bulldog.

Sting steals a small package for two out of nowhere. Bret tries a middle rope dropkick (???) and jumps into the Scorpion but there’s a rope for the break. Sting on offense now and Bret tries a leapfrog but hurts his knee. Well of course he does. Naturally he’s faking and Bret gets a foreign object. Sting knocks it out with a clothesline and picks it up himself. The referee stops him and there’s low blow #28 tonight to give Bret the momentum back.

Five Moves of Doom gives Bret even more momentum and then he throws Sting to the floor. Sting accidentally takes down the referee and Bret drops a leg on Billy Silverman. Here’s Sting’s comeback but like the eternal idiot that he is he stops to check on the referee and gets drilled. Superplex by Sting and Bret’s legs land on Silverman’s likely breaking them in half.

Stinger Splash to Bret but he hits the post to knock himself silly. Bret nails him with the bat and Sting is dead. I mean he nails him a lot. Oh dang it’s this match. I remember this now. Bret gets about 10 shots with the bat including one off the middle rope. Sting is completely out so Bret wakes up the referee who hasn’t moved in three minutes but a hand on his shoulder and he pops up. Bret puts on the Sharpshooter and Sting is out cold.

Rating: C-. Totally weak match here that never got out of second gear. The ending sucked too with the referee bump taking forever and never doing anything at all. This was idiotic and more nonsense to keep one guy over the age of 37 from jobbing clean. That would be a real issue in WCW and would haunt them until the end of their run. Not a horrible match but considering who was in there, this was awful.

Sting goes out on a stretcher and wouldn’t be seen in over four months. This would mean he didn’t wrestle for 14 months, came back for ten, then left for another four. Way to earn those millions baby! This is five more minutes that we’re wasting here.

Recap of Hogan vs. Warrior. It’s the rematch of the century and there was a bunch of stupid beyond belief supernatural stuff going on in there too that no one cared about in the slightest because it was really stupid. Hogan’s Disciple (Brutus Beefcake in gimmick #84872B) was turned to Warrior’s side through some kind of mystical smoke. Hogan beat up his nephew Horace on Monday so expect a run-in and SHOCKING swerve.

Hulk Hogan vs. Warrior

Yes just Warrior, not Ultimate or anything like that. It should be noted that the Nitro ratings had gone up with Warrior around so this was definitely something that there was an interest in. We see Horace being blasted with the chair again on Nitro. Could you make it any clearer? Hogan stalls a lot, saying he’s going to kill him and murder him and all that jazz.

Warrior Sucks chant starts up. Hogan gets knocked down by a big punch and hides in the corner. Something tells me this isn’t quite going to be Toronto in 90. Hogan hammers him down and gets a wristlock. Warrior takes over and Hogan hits the floor. You know it’s weird that they hate each other this much since Hogan seemed pretty happy with Warrior after the end of their previous match.

Test of strength time as they recreate probably their most famous spot and one of the most famous of all time. Oh never mind actually. I guess that move is too complex so we’ll use more punches. Ah there it is. Hogan wins to start and keeps doing so. The fans chant boring. Tenay says this is the battle for the city of Las Vegas. I’m not sure if that’s stupid or just typical WCW. They’re one in the same I guess.

Criss cross and Hogan wins with a slam. Hogan is by far and away more popular in this. One of the worst clotheslines I’ve ever seen puts Hogan on the floor. There’s a Hogan Sucks chant as no one is sure what to go with in here. They fight on the floor which means a lot of walking around. Tenay calls it a fine wrestling match that turned into a fight. Uh…he’s the Professor right?

Back in and we get one of the most contrived referee bumps I’ve ever seen as Patrick wasn’t in the right spot for Hogan to run into so Hogan had to switch directions to hit him. Hogan calls out the troops and here’s The Giant. Big boot misses and down goes Hogan. Stevie Ray and Vincent go down. Hogan gets a belly to back for two as the referee is mostly back up.

They’re trying to recreate a lot of the spots in their first match but the problem is most of the spots they’re redoing aren’t that well known in the first place. There was a ref bump in that match and Warrior got a suplex but there was no referee. See what I mean? Workout belt is used in its usual fashion by baldie.

Here’s a weird sequence as Hogan tries an elbow but Warrior rolls out of the way. Hogan tries another elbow and Warrior rolls away again. I’m sure you’ve all seen that before right? Well then Warrior rolls back at Hogan and hits him in the knee. It looks completely unplanned and awful as a result. Then again it’s Warrior so what do you expect? Big splash misses afterwards and control goes back to Hogan.

One punch from Warrior puts Hogan down. Belt for Warrior now and he hammers away. It’s not a foreign object because it’s part of Hogan’s attire. I stopped trying to figure out WCW rules years ago so I just go with it at this point. If they’re not changing the over the top rule they’re changing this rule so it’s whatever really.

And now it’s time for the infamous spot of the match. It’s the spot that makes this the worst match anyone has seen since….well since the last WCW PPV. Hogan goes to the corner while Warrior is being yelled at about using the belt. Hulk pulls out a bag which has flash paper and a lighter in it. The idea was supposed to be Hogan threw a fireball at Warrior and blinded him with Warrior eventually making a comeback blind.

To give you an idea of how stupid this was, Hogan himself said it was a bad idea and he came up with it. When have you EVER heard Hogan say he had a bad idea? Anyway, Hogan uses the lighter and throws the flash paper at Warrior. The problem is that the lighter didn’t connect with the paper before he threw it, so he threw a piece of paper at Warrior. He tries again but doesn’t throw the paper in time so the paper burns up in his hand instead of going at Warrior’s face. Let the panicking begin!

Naturally they have no clue what to do now and it’s clear they’re both nervous as they might actually have to improvise and think while moving. For people of their limited intellect, this might not be the easiest thing in the world to do. Warrior hits him and goes up, and doesn’t hit a double axe. Instead it’s more like a one handed punch that completely missed Hogan’s head but Hogan went down from it anyway.

He does it again and Hogan is busted from…something. Low blow by Hogan sets up the leg drop but he doesn’t cover. Here’s Horace Hogan with a chair. OH just get to the swerve already. Warrior Warriors Up and hits a bunch of clotheslines. Bischoff comes down and distracts the referee allowing Horace to blast Warrior with the chair to end it. Hogan says Horace passed the test. Yeah whatever. Horace puts lighter fluid on Warrior and security has to stop Hogan from lighting him on fire. I give up. This was more or less the last time Warrior was seen.

Rating: F. This is one of those matches that the best explanation as to why it sucks is to say “did you watch the match?” Neither guy was capable of putting on a decent match to save their lives at this point so they gave them fifteen minutes on PPV. The ending was bad, the big spot of the match was bad, the whole thing was bad. I don’t know who besides Hogan thought this was a good idea, but they need to be shot otherwise. This was an atrocious match and definitely one of the biggest bombs I’ve ever seen.

With no transition at all, it’s world title time.

WCW World Title: Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page

DDP won this by winning WarGames. I’ve always wondered: if Goldberg is such a tough guy, why does he need so many bodyguards? No big match intros and we’re off in a hurry. They lock up and Page is sent flying with relative ease. Long feeling out process to start here. Page gets an armdrag and we head to the floor almost immediately. No one really has an advantage so far.

Goldberg takes him to the mat so Page tries a leg sweep. Goldberg is like uh yeah I’m awesome and does a standing backflip to avoid it. Cross armbreaker by Goldberg is blocked and Page tries to work on the arm. Goldberg shoves off the Diamond Cutter and it’s Goldberg in charge early on. This is looking good so far, and that’s our show everyone! See you tomorrow on Nitro!

So in case you’ve never heard of this, this is what I’ve been referring to the time the entire show for. In short, the PPV ran long and a lot of people lost the PPV feed in the early going of the main event. In other words, they didn’t get to see the ending of the match they paid to see. Needless to say, this did not go well in the slightest. WCW was threatened with more lawsuits than they knew what to do with, so they did the only thing they could: air the full match the next night on Nitro.

This was a bad idea too, as it ticked off the fans that bought the show to see the main event. I mean it’s not like they were cutting off Saturn vs. Lodi here. This was one of the two reasons people bought this show. The fans were mad because why should the people that didn’t pay to see the show get to see this match? You know, hence the term PAY PER VIEW? They weren’t paying yet they were getting to see the match that the people that did in fact pay didn’t get to see. That didn’t fly at all.

The PPV company was mad too because they agreed to show this on the grounds that WCW would air a complete show. Also, by airing the main attraction for free on Monday, why should anyone want to pay the full price to see the main event when they can see it for free the night before? The whole thing was a disaster and the worst part was it easily could have been avoided.

Bearing in mind that some of the main event was seen before the feed went out, let’s take a look at some numbers here. These are all approximated and rounded off for the sake of match and I’m rounding down in every case, meaning that even if something was up to say 11 minutes and 59 seconds, I’m calling it 11 minutes. The main event ran about 11 minutes bell to bell. Let’s go way high and say it took 20 minutes counting intros (closer to seventeen but we’ll say twenty).

In other words WCW needed to cut off 20 minutes to fit in the entire show. Let’s see what we could have cut off. To begin with, the Nitro Girls. They had four dance routines at a minute each. Then we have Konnan’s music video, running about five minutes. We’re almost halfway there now. There was the interview with Hogan saying he would destroy Warrior, eating up four minutes. Buff offered to be in the corner of Rick which ate up four minutes, and then there was also the Sting stretcher deal which was five minutes.

There are your 20 minutes right there. We’re also leaving on all of the matches, including the classics such as Lodi vs. Saturn, Wright vs. Finlay and Meng vs. Wrath which combined for about 13 minutes of ring time, not counting the intros and exits. Also there was the joke of the Steiners match, as well as the fact that the tag title match was added on as a bonus. This was completely ridiculous and there were so many ways to fix it that it’s unreal. And now, back to the match.

We get some very nice chain wrestling as Page tries for the arm again but Page is sent to the floor through pure power. Back in and Page gets a neckbreaker and Russian leg sweep for two. Front chancery but Goldberg hits a spinning neckbreaker of his own to take over again. Cross armbreaker goes on again but another rope is grabbed. Page counters a tilt-a-whirl with a headscissors of all things.

Bret-Killer kick sends Page into the corner. Goldberg charges but Page gets out of the way and the champion hits the post! Goldberg’s arm is hurt and Page has a chance. Clothesline off the middle rope gets two and a jumping DDT stops the momentum Goldberg starts up. He wants the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg spears the crap out of him.

His arm is hurt though so he can’t cover or follow up. Also quick point here: when Goldberg uses the spear, he runs through the guy. When Edge hits it, it’s a shoulder block to the ribs. Edge stops going forward when he hits it more often than not. Goldberg is like a hard takedown and looks much more impressive because of it. Take notes Edge.

Goldberg tries the Jackhammer but can’t get Page up because of the arm. SELLING PEOPLE! Oh how I love it. Take note: there’s a major difference between shaking an injured body part and then doing your move and not being able to do your move because of an injury. The first looks silly while the second makes us believe you’re in pain. Diamond Cutter hits and the place erupts. They erupt even harder on the kickout. Like an idiot, Page tries a vertical suplex which is reversed into the Jackhammer and Goldberg is 155-0.

Rating: B. See what happens when you let two guys that are both popular and can work well when given time? You get a *gasp* good match! Goldberg had to wrestle a different style here and it came off as far more interesting and impressive than his usual power stuff. Page played the roll of the challenger that had a puncher’s chance very well. This was probably the best match Goldberg ever had and one of the best Page ever had. Good stuff and a nice breath of fresh air to end this show.

Goldberg and Page do the respect thing to end the show.

OverallRating: D+. This was a hard one to grade as it’s certainly not unwatchable. It’s a show where the good parts are good and the bad parts are very bad. Unfortunately there is a lot more bad than good. The opener is good and the main event is good and there’s some other ok stuff mixed in, but like I said in the time aspect there is WAY too much stupid stuff thrown in. It doesn’t help that Hogan and Warrior is one of the biggest bombs of all time either.

This is a perfect microcosm of the problem in WCW. The young guys go out there and have a good start to the show. Then the old guys, the “draws” if you will, come out and have to use three low blows a match plus weapons and ref bumps because they’re such paint by numbers guys anymore that they can’t go out and put on an entertaining match. Look at the main event: there is not one shortcut in it and you get a good match.

That’s one of the main reasons why people got irritated with WCW: the tools and pieces were all there at their fingertips, but instead of having main events like DDP vs. Goldberg they decided we’d rather see stuff like Warrior vs. Hogan, which had an interest to it but the quality wasn’t there. It’s fine for a quickie, but you need some meat eventually. Hogan couldn’t offer that, and the company never realized it. And then they died and no one seemed to care after the levels they reached at the end because of it, but that’s another story. Anyway, not a horrible show, but the bad outweighs the good as usual.

 

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2 comments

  1. Stormy says:

    I have been waiting to see your review of this show.

    Question. Is the overall rating based on all the show seen by the live audience , or the show seen on PPV? I would think the rating would be different for the 2 outcomes (ie whatever for the full show, F for the PPV without main event).

    klunderbunker Reply:

    Combination of both.