On This Day: October 24, 1993 – Halloween Havoc: Mick Foley And Vader Beat Each Other Up

Halloween Havoc 1993
Date: October 24, 1993
Location: Lakefront Arena, New Orleans, Louisiana
Attendance: 6,000
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Jesse Ventura

This is a show I’ve kind of wanted to get to for the main event alone. This is the blowoff to Vader vs. Cactus Jack with the main event being non-title. For once that’s fine though as it shouldn’t be for the title as it’s about revenge. Also tonight it’s Flair vs. Rude II for the International Title. If it’s as bad as last month’s I’m not sure what I’ll do. Let’s get to it.

The opening video here is a bunch of kids trick or treating and one has an idea. One wants to go home because it’s time for Halloween Havoc to start. They go to a big scary house and find something terrifying inside: Tony Schiavone. If Halloween Havoc is about to start, shouldn’t he be at an arena?

One of the kids asks him just that and he says he has a helicopter. He says his wife is baking cookies and asks if the kids would like them. This is supposed to be a vampire thing I think and it turns into a promo for the Spin the Wheel Make the Deal main event. Tony pulls his face off to reveal a monster and we open the show.

Tony is dressed as Jesse and Jesse is dressed as a gynecologist. That’s rather amusing. Tony says he wasn’t in that house and it was Jesse dressed as a monster dressed as Tony. Ok then.

Ice Train/Charlie Norris/Shockmaster vs. Harlem Heat/Equalizer

Harlem Heat are known as Kane and Kole (Stevie and Booker respectively) and are by far the most talented guys in there. The face team (listed first) is perhaps the least talented group of three men ever assembled and that covers a lot. Shockmaster is the guy that fell over, Ice Train is a big muscular black guy and Norris is an Indian. Equalizer is not very good.

Ice Train and Stevie start us off. 2 Cold Scorpio and Marcus Bagwell are tag champions apparently. Train runs through him but surprisingly enough there’s no tag. Train can more or less do nothing at all. Off to Stevie now and Norris as well. Stevie gets his arm worked on as I’m bored already. Shocky comes in to a pop for no apparent reason. He drops some legs on the arm as we hear about his agility. Oh dear.

Harlem Heat use nefarious means to take down Ice Train as I guess he’s the face in peril. Still no Equalizer at this point. Oh great here he comes. That’s EXACTLY what I wanted to see. This is of course incredibly boring and the most interesting thing we hear is that Yoshi Kwan has been replaced by Paul Orndorff in his match with Ricky Steamboat.

Shockmaster, called Uncle Fred here, comes in to beat up Equalizer. The fans chant whoomp there it is to tick me off. Norris in now but down he goes anyway. END THIS PLEASE!!! Booker misses a splash and it’s off to Shockmaster. He locks a bearhug on Booker and falls on him for the pin to THANKFULLY end this.

Rating: F+. Do I need to explain to you why this was terrible? Other than Booker T, Tugboat was the best worker in the entire match. Absolutely terrible, FAR too long at nearly 10 minutes and absolutely nothing special in the slightest about it. At least it’s over though.

Terry Taylor is the second referee for Rude vs. Flair. Does this PPV hate me or something?

Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat

Well he’s better than Kwan I guess. Orndorff has the Assassin, an old masked wrestler and Nick Patrick’s papa, with him for no apparent reason. The fans immediately start the Paula chant. Orndorff jumps him to start and takes the early command. I can’t stand Orndorff but this has to be better. Steamboat gets a rollup for two but gets his head taken off shortly thereafter.

We hit the floor as this is just barely interesting at this point. They fight on the ramp for a bit with Steamboat taking a WEAK slam. We stay out there way too long and Patrick finally yells at Paul about it. Steamboat finally gets something going by hooking the arm of Orndorff as he jumps and it’s off to an armbar. This needs to like, get going very soon here.

Jesse accusing the referee of jive talking. There’s something hilarious about that. Cross body by Steamboat gets two and it’s back to the arm. Steamboat sends Orndorff into the post which isn’t a DQ because it wasn’t head first. Somehow Orndorff is allowed to stay outside for like two minutes at a time. Steamboat goes back to the armbar and rips on the fingers this time.

Steamboat is all fired up here and Orndorff is hiding from him. Back to the floor where Orndorff rams Steamboat’s head into the apron and then dumps him into the crowd. Both try cross bodies back in the ring so we stop some more. Sunset flip gets two for Steamboat and we head outside AGAIN. This is beyond stupid at this point.

Back in the ring and a top rope chop gets two. Piledriver is reversed and it’s a pinfall reversal sequence. Slingshot into the corner sends Orndorff into the steel. The Steamboat Cross Body hits but the Assassin has the referee. The delay makes it get two. After some more near falls Orndorff sends him to the floor. With the referee distracted, Orndorff loads up his mask and rams his head into the back of Steamboat’s and it’s a freaking countout after nearly 20 minutes of dull.

Rating: D-. This is one of those matches that went on forever and then at the end we got nowhere. Probably 8 minutes of this was them laying around or in an armbar or being on the floor. Who in the world thought this was a good idea? We can’t have a clean ending here on a PPV? This was boring but the ending drags it way down.

The WCW International Board of Directors are saying that the International Title is considered a world title, so yes WCW did the two world titles first.

TV Title: Davey Boy Smith vs. Steven Regal

Ok, this has to be better right? This is pre-drugs Regal and therefore awesome. There’s a fifteen minute time limit so they might as well brand TIME LIMIT DRAW on the middle of the mat. BIG pop for Smith. That TV Title is the design that would become the Cruiserweight Title.

They walk around a lot and Regal complains about the oil on Smith. Smith almost breakdances and winds up in control of the wristlock. Regal takes over it and they kill some time. Smith cartwheels to escape some hold by Regal. This is another match with no apparent point other than to have a match. We’re about four minutes into this and nothing of note at all has happened yet.

Cravate by Regal wastes some more time. Surfboard by Smith takes about 30 seconds to set up. Sir William, the manage of Regal, tries to interfere and it makes Bulldog drop the hold. It allows Regal to take over as the crowd isn’t exactly thrilled with this match to say the least. Knee to the ribs gets two. He hooks a modified chinlock to waste more time.

Bulldog gets a sunset flip for two as this is reaching that level of boring again. We hit ten minutes with Regal holding onto Bulldog. This basically amounts to Bulldog on the mat and Regal laying on him. Four minutes left. Bulldog tries a comeback but Regal gets a knee to the ribs to stop that. Off to another chinlock which lasts awhile as we hit three minutes. Tony thinks we’re putting this into the deep freeze. You can’t buy insight like this people!

Bulldog gets him up onto his shoulders but Regal nails Smith in the ribs to drop him again. Back to ANOTHER chinlock as we’re at two minutes now. Jesse and Tony have an ethics debate (Jesse is against them) as Bulldog puts Regal on the ramp for no apparent reason. Regal takes him down one more time as this needs to end. Smith nips up and starts his comeback with a minute to go. What are the odds of that? Regal kicks out of the powerslam like it’s nothing and a Piledriver gets two at the bell so it’s a tie and Regal keeps the belt.

Rating: D. Well it was a little bit better than the other matches but it’s another nonsense finish. They’ve had one regular finish tonight and that was in the terrible six man match. This is perhaps the worst opening hour to a PPV I’ve ever seen. Actually wait. It’s not bad. It’s just insanely boring. This had DRAW written all over it from the second Bulldog’s music hit and everyone knew it.

The main event is a Texas Deathmatch which they clearly rigged the wheel for THANK GOODNESS after the fiasco last year.

United States Title: Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes

These two feuded for what seemed like forever. Dustin got the title in what was supposed to be a #1 contenders tournament but the champion, Rude, was injured so it became a title tournament. The Hollywood Blonds are still together but would be split very soon. Dustin of course, looks like an idiot because he wants to be a cowboy like his papa. Jesse flat out says it makes him look like a gay caballero.

The bell rings and the fans get a bit quieter. Austin slaps Dustin to start and they go into the corner. Dustin returns the slap and we hit the floor. Back in and Austin can’t get a Boston Crab. They tease a test of strength which goes nowhere. Austin drills him with a right hand to take over. Hmm he’s being rude to fans, wearing black, his hair is getting shorter and his name is Stunning. Nah there’s nothing there, at least according to Eric Bischoff.

Off to a headlock by Austin as they’re just past the feeling out process here. I’m starting to think that the boring style here is more a thing of WCW in general rather than the matches themselves. Into the corner now where Austin keeps control with chops. He tries a running knee into the corner but misses and hits the floor with a possibly bad knee. Austin with knee trouble? Nah.

Dustin, thinking for once, goes after the knee. Yep let’s do that for a few minutes now. The cameraman gets bored so we go to a wide shot as apparently researchers are looking up the rules for a gimmick match. This raises a bunch of questions. First of all, where do you look it up? Is there a Big Book O Gimmicks? Second, WCW has a research staff? And yet Charlie Norris, the Shockmaster and the Equalizer made it to TV? Finally, they didn’t know the rules when they put it on the wheel? What if it was an “everyone in the company loses their jobs match” according to the Big Book O Gimmicks? I could go on but I think you get the point.

Austin may hit Dustin low as he instantly takes over after a punch to the alleged stomach. Dustin goes back to the knee but Austin takes him down with ease again. Now we’re wasting some more time until Dustin hammers away with punches. Backdrop has Austin in trouble. Dustin calls for the bulldog but he gets crotched as a result. As Goldust he’d enjoy that methinks.

With Dustin sitting on the corner he got crotched on, Austin knocks him backwards into a Tree of Woe. Hey, Austin and Dustin only have one letter different in their name. Obviously the A did better than the D, thereby proving that letter grades are better than stars. Stun Gun is blocked and they go into a short pinfall reversal sequence for nothing but deuces.

Austin sets for a spinebuster but more or less drops him. He throws his feet on the ropes and gets the pin but Nick Patrick stops the celebration and says keep going. Dustin rolls him up for the quick pin despite Austin’s shoulders being up. Austin clocks him with the belt and leaves with the belt post match. He would win it at Starrcade before losing it to Jim Duggan of all people in like 30 seconds.

Rating: C. Well it’s the best match of the night so far but it’s still pretty bad. Austin and Dustin would have a much better 2/3 falls match at Starrcade but this was just not that good. You could see the star in Austin but he was held back by general idiocy for far too long. Anyway, decent match here but the show’s life has been sucked out of it long ago so there’s not much that’s going to save it and an ok match isn’t going to start the process at all.

Tag Titles: 2 Cold Scorpio/Marcus Bagwell vs. Nasty Boys

The random team won the tag titles “last night” (really like three weeks ago) as a surprise. Again the problems with the long TV tapings show up as everyone knew the titles were changing back tonight. Teddy Long manages Bagwell and Scorpio. Bagwell can’t dance, like at all. Bagwell has been either a rookie or in his second year for like 19 years now. Hearing Buffer say “The Diss That Don’t Miss” is disturbing.

Big brawl to start with the champions sending the Nasties to the floor. Bagwell kisses Missy Hyatt just because he can. That was apparently before the bell meaning we get MORE NASTY BOYS BABY!!! Sags goes off on Bagwell to start and apparently Bagwell is surprised. They fought them last night. How surprised can he be? Bagwell fights both guys off and Scorpio hits a top rope cross body to take both Nasties out and the challengers hit the floor again.

Another dive by Bagwell as we have even more time with them staring at each other. Off to Scorpio and Knobbs now with Scorpio getting a sunset flip for two. Double shoulderblock by the champions get two as this has been totally one sided other than some punches by Sags. Thesz Press gets two for Bagwell on Knobbs. Sags comes in and gets knocked around a bit too. Lots of double team moves get two on Sags. Off to an armbar by Scorpio now.

Back off to Bagwell and the arm work continues. Sags finally remembers that he’s in a famous tag team and shoves Bagwell into the corner and double teaming by the heels ensues. Out on the floor Missy slaps the TAR out of Bagwell. Bagwell is back dropped out there and casually says Oh My God while holding his back. Slam gets two. Off to the old favorite of a chinlock by Knobbs but it’s back to Sags very soon.

Sags spits on Bagwell who takes him down as a result. Knobbs, the illegal man, covers him for two after no tag and the referee is fine with it. Gotta love refereeing skills! Bearhug goes on to kill some more time. Marcus tries to fight out but a right hand stops him pretty easily. There’s my favorite move as the referee misses the tag to Scorpio but three seconds later the real tag happens anyway.

Scorpio comes in and cleans house with punches and dropkicks. Splash in the corner to Knobbs and he wants the Tumbleweed. Sags accidentally drops an elbow on Sags and the managers get up on the apron. In the ring there’s the 450 to Knobbs but Sags drills 2 Cold and puts Knobbs on top for the pin to win the titles back. Riveting.

Rating: C-. Well the ending was pretty fast paced but the 13 and a half minutes to get there more or less bored the heck out of me. I don’t know who thought it was a good idea to keep giving the Nasties double digits worth of time but it happened for about a year and a half. This was a boring match with a good ending and sadly enough the ending has been the best part of the show so far.

Sid and Colonel Parker (when did THAT partnership happen?) say that Sid is the Franchise of WCW. This next match is basically to determine who the big shot in the company is. Guess who wins.

Sting vs. Sid Vicious

Sid hammers him down to start with raw power. A clothesline by Sting puts Sid on the apron and a suplex brings him back in. To the floor we go and they fight into the crowd. This is all happening in maybe the first minute or so. Back to ringside with Sting totally in control. Top rope clothesline puts Sid down for two.

Parker grabs Sting’s foot and Sid is able to chokeslam Sting down. Now Sid stops to pose. Well no one ever accused Sid of being smart. He pounds away, mainly using very, very slow offense. Sid keeps grabbing Sting by the throat and shoving him around with relative ease. He adds some stomps as Sting really shouldn’t be in much trouble or pain at this point.

Parker cheats a bit and nothing really comes of it. More stomps as Sid hasn’t gone for anything resembling a kill. Side slam by Sid but no cover of course so Parker chokes a bit more. Sting goes after the Colonel on the floor so Sid goes after him, adding a chair shot so weak that I actually thought the video was in slow motion. Sid drapes him across the railing as this is so slow it’s pitiful.

Off to a chinlock now as I guess that was too much wrestling for Sid’s tastes. The fans chant for either guy as Sting fights up. He walks into a powerslam for two though and it’s off to a bearhug now. Sting gets out of it so we go right back to it. Again he escapes and avoids a big boot before hammering away on Sid. Two Stinger Splashes put Sid down and Parker is dropped for a bit. Parker accidentally grabs Sid’s foot for two. Sting rolls up Sid to thankfully end this.

Rating: D-. Oh this was bad. Sid’s combined time on offense might have added up to three moves that would have done significant damage. This went nowhere at all and was more or less a glorified workout for Sting. Sid would turn face soon after but nearly murder Arn Anderson and end his world title push. Terrible match with Sid doing barely anything at all. You know what this was like? It was like when you see wrestlers on a mainstream TV show and they do the bare bones of moves to try to make it look like a match before the ending. That’s what this was like but on a PPV match.

Vader is warming up.

Cactus seems to be….praying? He keeps saying you can’t hurt Cactus Jack.

WCW International World Title: Ric Flair vs. Rick Rude

Flair has his French maid Fifi with him. Remember that Terry Taylor is the second referee for no apparent reason at all. The big match intros waste some time. Flair gets a bunch of pyro when he’s already in the ring. Jesse: “All that for the challenger?” This is an actual world title so yes, Rude was a world champion. Taylor is on the floor for this so you can write Dusty Finish on this already.

Flair hammers away to start and gives us a WOO. Clothesline in the corner puts Rude down as it’s been all Flair so far. Granted we’re maybe 90 seconds into this. Rude gets a knee up in the corner but misses one off the top. Figure Four attempt works almost immediately and Rude is in trouble. This draws a WHOMP THERE IT IS chant for no apparent reason other than these are some stupid, stupid people.

Rude FINALLY makes the ropes and the hold is broken. Flair wraps his leg around the post as Jesse wonders why Taylor doesn’t stop it. Totally valid question which Tony of course brushes off. Flair works the knee more and Jesse says that he and Tony should wave since they’re on camera. Jesse is hilarious at times he really is.

Flair is sent to the floor to break the hold he had on Rude. He busts out a sunset flip but Rude kneels into it and grabs the ropes which Taylor slaps away so Flair gets two. Rude is knocked to the floor again as this has been one sided. Flair drops a forearm on Rude from the top rope to the floor. When do you ever see that? I guess this is post Bill Watts era. He tries it again but since it already worked once in the year it doesn’t a second time as Rude gets a fist in.

Rude tries to get a chair shot in but Taylor breaks that up. Jesse says Rude is the young one. Flair was old and this is eighteen and a half years ago. Chinlock by Rude which he lets go to gyrate for Fifi. Rude goes up and drops a forearm on Flair’s head for two. The knee injury from earlier slowed up his cover in some nice continuity. Back to the chinlock (reverse chinlock like a camel clutch here).

Flair is sent to the ramp and takes out a cameraman which is always fun to see. Suplex back in gets no cover. Rude goes up and hits the forearm/fist/strike from the top rope. Again why mess with the basics if they work? They chop it out and I think you know who wins that. Rude takes him down with a clothesline for two though and we hit the bearhug. He drops to his knees in this hold for some reason. He gets some covers out of it so I guess that was the idea.

They slug it out for a bit and Flair locks in a sleeper which is broken in seconds. Maybe it wasn’t locked in. Rude goes up a third time but Flair avoids it. Rude Awakening by Flair gets two. Backslide gets two for the challenger. Taylor is the in ring referee now for no apparent reason at all. Flair comes off the top but jumps into the boot of Rude in the dumbest spot in wrestling.

Ok now Anderson is in the ring as referee again. Flair wakes up and goes off on Rude in the corner but Rude gets a weak clothesline. Down goes Anderson so now Taylor should be the in ring referee. Rude hits him by mistake and pulls out the foreign object that won him the title last month. Flair takes him down and gets the object, hitting Rude with it. He drills Rude (no pin for no apparent reason at all) but the outside referee saw it and yes you guessed it IT’S A DUSTY FINISH with Rude keeping the title.

Rating: D+. Well the match itself was boring but then the ending made it even worse. This went twenty minutes and we get a Dusty Finish. Is anything actually going to happen on this show? Like I said another boring match but I’m rating it higher out of pity at this point. Terrible ending and a weak match to set it up means this isn’t anything to talk about.

Rude tries to take Fifi but gets dropped and put in the Figure Four on the ramp.

We go over the rules for a Texas Deathmatch (I guess we found the Big Book O Gimmicks). Here’s the idea: it’s kind of like a Last Man Standing match but not quite. You fight and you go for pins which count anywhere in the building. Then there’s a 30 second rest period (stupid) and THEN the guy that got pinned has ten seconds to get up, meaning you have 40 seconds to get up in theory. Dude, did ANYONE edit the Big Book O Gimmicks?

Vader vs. Cactus Jack

I’m not going through the whole angle again but in short they started fighting in April, Vader injured Jack, Jack is here for revenge. Vader is world champion but this is about revenge and not the title. Jack is just mad over here. He was second to probably only Flair and Sting (arguably only Sting) in popularity at this point.

They go straight to the floor and the fight is on. I remember last year in the WZ Tournament IC said that there was one person that could take Vader in a hardcore match and that was Cactus Jack. This is the proof. Vader misses a punch and hits the post so Jack goes right after it. Chair is brought in but Vader just punches Jack in the head. Cactus is like BRING IT ON and bites Vader.

HARD chair shot to the head of Vader and the champion is in trouble. They actually go into the ring but Vader gets a boot up and drills Cactus with a clothesline. Vader just mauls him in the corner and Cactus is reeling. Out to the ramp goes Jack but he avoids a suplex back into the ring. Somehow he manages to suplex Vader in a rather rare display of strength. Jack is busted open but hits another suplex on the ramp, this time a belly to back variety.

No attempts at covers yet as this has been a major brawl. Race tries to interfere with a chair and gets dropped with ease. Another chair shot to Vader and they go into the graveyard set. They go into a grave with a headstone marked RIP Vader. For some reason there are steps into it which Cactus comes out of. His eye looks AWFUL. Vader comes out of his own grave and is busted open too. There’s a Thriller joke in there somewhere.

A shot with something gets a pin on Vader. Now Vader has 30 seconds to rest and THEN he has to get up. That’s just stupid. Only WCW could take a brutal war and make it this idiotic. Cactus grabs a cactus and drills Vader with it as Vader was up at two. Why is there a cactus in a graveyard in Louisiana? Cactus drops the elbow off the ramp and gets a fall with that. After the resting (some DEATHmatch) Vader is up before two.

Vader wakes up and drills Cactus who fights right back. A table (an actual one and not the WWE style) is set up in the corner. Vader is thrown into it and bounces off which just gets two. Cactus drills him with the table (again doesn’t break. See what I mean?) to knock him to the floor. Cactus tries a sunset flip to the floor which misses so Vader tries to sit on him which fails.

Jack drapes him over the railing and just beats on him. Total war the entire time so far. Into the crowd now and Vader more or less backdrops Cactus into the ringside area again. Chair to the back of Cactus as Harley has a freaking tazer. Vader slams Jack down and hits a pretty decent Vadersault for the pin and a count of like 3. This is why the rest period is stupid: the guy is up to a knee when the count starts.

They go to the ramp again and in perhaps the sickest bump I have ever seen, Cactus tries a sleeper out there but Vader drops backwards onto him. The THUD is absolutely sick and Cactus just stops dead. He ruptured his kidney on that and more or less couldn’t move but he kept going because it would have made him look weak. My jaw actually dropped on that shot.

Vader, nice guy that he is, drills him with a chair as Race wants a DDT on the chair. There it is and Cactus is more or less deceased. No cover as Patrick brings over the trainer for Jack. Wait was there a pin in there that I missed? Vader beats up the medics and there’s the pin. Ok I’m not crazy. During the rest period Cactus DDTs Vader on the chair but as he’s trying to get up Race uses the tazer on the leg (might be nice to turn it on to play it up) of Foley and it’s over.

Rating: A. The ending is the only thing keeping this from an A+. This is an absolute WAR. Other than the rest periods (stupid WCW) there isn’t a single break of action in the whole sixteen minutes of this. Great match and of course since Cactus was over with the fans and having better and better matches, he was thrown into a tag team and more or less forgotten about until he was fired when Hogan arrived next year. Typical WCW.

Jack DDTs Race post match for fun to end the show.

Overall Rating
: D. Oh man this was weak. The main event is the ONLY thing there is worth seeing on here. If you like brawls that match is must see. The other two and a half hours shouldn’t be mentioned again. Just a terrible show with the only other highlight being Jesse and Tony’s costumes. Terribly boring show that is typical of WCW in this year. Watch the main event and that’s it. Bischoff was a Civil War soldier if you care for some reason.

 

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