Halloween Havoc 1990: What Is Supposed To Be Scary Here?
Date: October 27, 1990
Location: UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Jim Ross, Paul E. Dangerously
This is a somewhat forgotten period of the company’s history as Sting is world champion and he’s being haunted by the Black Scorpion. You would think a Halloween show would be perfect for a supernatural character to be blown off but that wound up happening at Starrcade. Instead tonight it’s Sting vs. Sid for the title as well as Luger vs. Stan Hansen for the US Title. Let’s get to it.
The opening video is just shots of the guys on the show.
Ross has a fedora on while Dangerously is a vampire.
Tony is a phantom of some kind. He talks to Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich who are teaming together because Robert Gibson is hurt.
Ricky Morton/Tommy Rich vs. Midnight Express
This would be Lane/Eaton’s last WCW match as Lane left to start SMW with Cornette. Their music (which is still freaking cool) gets a big pop. The Freebirds injured Gibson so there isn’t much heat here. Morton and Eaton get us going and it’s stalling early on. Eaton hiptosses Morton down and then does it again out of the corner. Eaton’s tights are so high up you can’t see his navel. He jumps into a punch to the ribs and Morton takes over a big.
We get a crisscross and hits a rana before it’s off to Lane. Actually scratch that as he’s just being nefarious. Now he comes in legally for a double team as Morton is in trouble again, this time off a Lane powerslam. A slingshot clothesline puts Morton down and Eaton adds an elbow drop. The Midnights are starting to cook here. Ricky gets sent to the floor and Eaton completely misses his top rope shot to the head.
Everyone but Lane is on the floor and Cornette gets in a racket shot to the throat. Morton is finally thrown back in and Lane fires off his karate shots. Cornette acts like the great manager that he is and distracts the referee so that Morton’s sunset flip is missed. Morton gets sent to the floor again and Lane hits him with a slam. The Express hits the Rocket Launcher onto Morton on the ramp in a good looking move.
Cornette gets in another racket shot to Morton as we’re almost ten minute in without Rich being in the match at all yet. He tries to come in but all that does is allow Lane to throw Ricky over the top. The idea is that Rich has no idea how to wrestle in a tag team so the Midnights are destroying the tag team expert. On the floor Morton hits a standing rana on Eaton before coming back in to small package Lane for two.
Eaton comes back in and hits the Alabama Jam but doesn’t cover for some reason. Back to Lane for more karate but Morton comes back by ramming Lane into the buckle. Still no tag but the second Rocket Launcher attempt hits knees. Eaton tags in Lane but Morton rolls into the corner to tag in Wildfire. Rich’s Thesz press is broken up so he goes up, only to get clocked by the racket. The Southern Boys come out dressed as Cornette for a distraction, allowing Morton to whack Lane with the racket for Rich to get the pin.
Rating: B. Good stuff here with the full tag team formula working to near perfection. Ricky Morton is perfect for what he was doing here, getting destroyed for about ten minutes before Rich comes in to do nothing before the ending. It’s perfect also that the Midnights go out after losing to Morton.
Bill Irwin vs. Terry Taylor
This is before Taylor is computerized and he’s no longer a farm animal. Jack Brickhouse of the Chicago Cubs is on commentary here. He’s a commentator so at least he has an idea here. The ring mat is red here and the buckles are orange if I forgot to mention that. Taylor works on the arm to start and things slow down a lot already. Irwin is a cowboy kind of guy so he has the bandana around his neck.
Taylor comes back with a missile dropkick for two. He takes it to the mat and hooks a headlock to slow things down again. Brickhouse used to be a wrestling announcer apparently. Irwin takes over and rams Taylor into his knee. A knee drop misses and it’s back to the headlock. Brickhouse snaps off a bunch of names he’s watched over the years, including Gotch and Hackenschmidt. Dang how old is this guy? His age would mean he couldn’t have seen them so apparently the guy is a liar. Good to know.
Irwin takes over again and the announcers insult Gordon Solie a bit. Brickhouse names off some other guys he used to watch, most of which you’ve heard of. He also knows most of the modern guys which is interesting. This guy could be a regular commentator. The match is being TOTALLY ignore but to be fair, it’s nothing of note with mostly rest holds. Irwin puts on a chinlock as JR is talking football.
There’s a boring chant going on now and it’s completely appropriate. Dangerously tries to get the commentary back on the match but I really don’t care to hear about it. Sleeper goes on as Brickhouse talks about Verne Gagne developing that move. I seem to remember it being Johnny Weaver but Gagne was certainly around first so maybe it was him. Then again it’s just a choke so it’s kind of a stretch to say any one person invented it.
A bridging belly to back gets two for Taylor but he walks into a tombstone for the same. Now we’re talking about the WCW Top Ten which was one of those things that was around for years but it never really meant anything. They head outside and Irwin is knocked off the ramp to the floor. Taylor takes over and drops a knee for two. Irwin chokes some more but gets caught in a sunset flip for two. A small package gets the same for Rooster Man, as does a rollup. Irwin puts him down with a spinebuster but doesn’t cover him properly, allowing Taylor to roll him up for the pin.
Rating: D-. What a boring match. Brickhouse, a guy that would have been in his mid 70s at this point, was by far the most interesting thing here. He seemed interested in being there and was talking wrestling almost the entire match, which is far more than you’ll get from most guest commentators. The match itself sucked as no one wanted to see it and neither guy did anything to make it better.
Tony brings out Sting to talk about his title defense later on tonight against Sid as well as the Black Scorpion. He’s tired of hearing about how big and bad Sid is and he just wants to start the fight now. Cue the Black Scorpion who is behind Sting on the stage as opposed to the platform Sting is on. Black Scorpion kidnaps some fan from next to the stage and puts her in a conveniently placed box/cage and makes her disappear. Then he pops up on the other side of the stage with the girl who Sting catches. There’s a reason this is considered the worst angle of all time.
J.W. Storm vs. Brad Armstrong
Armstrong is the Candyman which is another gimmick they gave him which was just a nickname that went nowhere. Storm is undefeated coming in and gets a good reaction. He’s 6’6 and in a leather jacket, which is taken off to reveal a good look. Why have I never heard of this guy? Storm blocks a hiptoss and kills Armstrong with a clothesline. Armstrong hits that perfect dropkick to send Storm out to the floor.
Storm comes back into the ring and charges right at Brad, taking him down with a clothesline. A big back elbow puts Armstrong down and it’s off to a chinlock. Brad fights out of it but gets caught in a hot shot for his troubles. Snap suplex gets two and a powerslam puts Brad down. Storm misses a dropkick and Armstrong hits a knee lift. They slug it out and mess up a rollup spot before Armstrong hooks a small package for the pin. Wait WHAT? That’s a huge surprise.
Rating: D+. This was a total head scratcher. Storm was undefeated coming in and was treated as a total monster for the whole match before a jobber to the stars pins him? This would be like Derrick Bateman getting repackaged and beating Tensai on Raw. I don’t get this one at all and I also don’t get why Storm didn’t get more of a push. He was in a jobber tag team called Maximum Overdrive but that’s about it. He had a great look and was a big guy who the fans seemed to be into. I don’t get it.
Southern Boys vs. Master Blasters
The Southern Boys are Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong while the Master Blasters are Blade and Steel. Blade is Al Green, a guy you might possibly remember as The Dog when WCW was dying. He was also part of a team called The Wrecking Crew in the early 90s which was nothing special. Steel on the other hand is Kevin Nash, who you may have heard of.
The Blasters look like the Road Warriors. Cornette comes out in a Confederate Army uniform for some reason and complains about the Armstrong Family, which you know is hilarious. Steve and Blade get us going with Blade being clotheslined to the floor. Cornette goes on a rant about how messed up the family is, including a bunch of stories about the odd family members. Off to Smothers who Cornette has stories about too. Nash comes in and is thrown to the floor with ease.
Cornette and Heyman are about to start the Civil War up all over again as Cornette is defending the south and Dangerously is standing up for the north. The Southern Boys try a double team move but even piling onto Steel they can’t get a two count. Cornette talks about how Smothers has some famous relatives: Rock Hudson, Liberace and Truman Capote. Here’s a hint about what they all have in common: they’re all gay (well maybe in Liberace’s case but he was certainly flamboyant).
Now Cornette goes on about how his granddaddy convinced Jefferson Davis to throw the Civil War because they didn’t want to have to live in New York once they took it over. Dangerously and Cornette go at it and JR sounds completely defeated trying to talk about the match. The Blasters run over everyone and HOKEY SMOKE NASH JUST GOT UP IN THE AIR ON A LEAPFROG! I mean he got WAY up there too.
Cornette goes to cheer on the Blasters as Dangerously has no idea what to make of him. Blade goes up but jumps into a boot. Back to Armstrong and JR calls Steel Rock for some reason. The Southern Boys hit their dropkick/spinebuster combination but Cornette interferes, allowing Blade to kill Armstrong with a clothesline for the pin.
Rating: D. The match sucked but the commentary is absolutely hilarious. When Cornette gets on a roll, there is almost no one in the world that can keep up with him. The match was a squash for the most part, but the Master Blasters never wound up doing anything. See, back in the old times, you would often have tag matches or even singles matches like these on PPV or TV. There’s no real point to them and the guys might not be going anywhere, but you set them up like this in case they might go somewhere. It was a good way of having a large amount of people to pick from, but it makes for some lousy PPVs.
Freebirds vs. Renegade Warriors
The Warriors are Chris and Mark Youngblood and they’re Indians. They’re also boring beyond belief, to the point that the HATED Freebirds are cheered coming to the ring. The Birds have jobber Rocky King as their roadie Little Richard Marley here. Hayes dances around to start before chopping Mark. The Youngbloods gang up on them and clear the ring so we can stall some more.
Off to Chris vs. Garvin with Jimmy suplexing him down and throwing him over the top to the floor while the referee isn’t looking. King gets in some weak offense on the floor and it’s off to a chinlock. Hayes comes in and it’s chinlock number two. That gets reversed into a sleeper but Hayes makes a blind tag to break up the hold. Back to Hayes so he and Chris can trade chops and punches. This is a really dull match so far.
Right back to the chinlock by Hayes to make sure this doesn’t get interesting. And the hold keeps going. And keeps going. This hold has been going for FOUR MINUTES. Shouldn’t Youngblood be legally dead by this point? If nothing else it’s certainly killing the crowd. Granted the rest of the match had already killed them but this is just pouring more and more dirt onto the grave.
They FINALLY get up and Hayes sets for the DDT, drawing the loudest pop since Sting was here. Remember that the Freebirds had been injuring a lot of people lately and were hated. That’s how bad the Warriors are. Either way it gets reversed and it’s off to Garvin. They head to the floor for nothing of note as this needs to end immediately. Hayes comes back in and drops an elbow for two before THE FREAKING CHINLOCK COMES BACK AGAIN! The announcers argue over Jon freaking Lovitz as Youngblood breaks the hold, only to have it put on AGAIN.
Hayes slams him down and goes up top for some reason. That gets him slammed down and it’s off to Mark. You would think the fans would cheer after a FIFTEEN MINUTE beating, but no one is all that interested. Everything breaks down and King gets in too. The referee puts him out and the distraction lets Hayes DDT Mark for the pin.
Rating: F. There were seven chinlocks in an 18 minute long match. The fans were loudly cheering for the hated heels. I think that sums up everything as well as anything else I could say. The Warriors really were that bad and the Birds didn’t help anything at all here. This was one of the most boring match I have ever seen, and that’s covering a lot of ground.
The Horsemen (Arn, Flair and Sid. The fourth is Barry Windham but he’s not here. Remember that because it becomes important later) warn Doom and Sting that they still have time to run before the belts come to the Horsemen.
US Tag Titles: Steiner Brothers vs. Nasty Boys
This is a BIG feud and the Steiners are defending. The Nasties had beaten down the Steiners and left them bloodied after the match was made, which was unheard of at this point. It’s a brawl to start and Scott gets hit with a chair. He and Sags go into the ring with Scott escaping the superplex. He runs up the corner and hits a belly to belly superplex to take Jerry down. The crowd is going NUTS for this whole thing.
Knobbs interferes and it’s Jerry in control as he starts with Scott. Scott comes back with a Tiger Driver and Rick comes in to clean the ring. The Steiner Bulldog KILLS Sags but Knobbs breaks it up with a chair shot as the referee is getting Rick out. Knobbs, the illegal man, gets two off that. A side slam puts Scott down and the Steiners are in trouble. Powerslam gets two.
They go to the floor and Sags drops a knee on Scott, who is in big trouble. Sags comes in legally and hits a pumphandle slam for no cover. Side salto gets two with Rick making the save. The Nasties switch without a tag again so it’s back to Knobbs for more beating. Abdominal stretch goes on and the cheating draws in Rick again so the Nasties can switch again. Sags puts on a bearhug to stay on the bad back.
Scott comes out of it with the natural counter: a belly to belly suplex. The tag brings in Rick who cleans house with the Steiner Line. Rick gets knocked over the top to the floor and the Nasties hit a spike piledriver on Scott. Rick is like screw that and pops Sags with the chair. The referee is really lax about these tags. Jerry is busted open but he brings in Brian to prevent the tag to Rick.
Knobbs puts the bearhug on again and rams Scott’s back into the buckle a few times. Sags puts on a Boston Crab but Scott does a pushup to break it up, but Knobbs breaks up the tag again. A reverse chinlock goes on but Scott breaks out of that too. The Nasties try to cheat again but Scott avoids a charge and hits the Steiner Line on Jerry. Hot tag to Rick and everything breaks down.
The Steiners start pounding on the Nasties but they both get thrown to the floor. Rick comes back in with a double top rope clothesline to send the Nasties to the floor, but it lets them beat up Scott while they’re out there. Scott pulls Sags to the floor again and Rick KILLS Knobbs with a Steiner Line. There’s the Frankensteiner and I don’t care who you are, in 1990 that means it’s over.
Rating: B. What a great brawl this was. If you cut about three minutes out of this it’s a classic. This is the match that made the Nasty Boys, but since this is WCW, the idea of signing them up was unheard of so they were in the Royal Rumble less than three months after this and winning the tag titles from the Hart Foundation in about six months. The match was good, but the Steiners were so far and away better than any other team in the world at this point that it didn’t matter who they were facing.
The Nasties jump the Steiners again, hitting them with the same belt shots that started the feud.
Junkyard Dog vs. Moondog Rex
Please make this short. The Dog sends the Moondog to the floor and it’s time to stall. Back in the ring and they collide before JYD does the all fours headbutts. Moondog looks nothing like he usually does. He doesn’t even have a bone with him. A chair is brought in but it doesn’t go anywhere. Rex pounds him down while Paul asks why Mr. and Mrs. Dog named their son Junkyard. Oh ok there is a bone there but it’s on the corner. The referee takes it from him and a headbutt by the Dog gets the pin. This was nothing.
Tony talks to Scott who says it’s the Nasties’ blood on his tights, not his own. The Nasties, dressed as concession stand workers for some reason, jump Scott and beat him down. Dangerously thinks it’s hilarious.
World Tag Titles: Doom vs. Ric Flair/Arn Anderson
Doom has the titles and are recently turned faces. Anderson and Simmons start things off and AA gets shoved around. Simmons suplexes him down and headbutts him to the floor, making the Horsemen take a time out. Back in and Flair hits a knee to the back, but the suplex Anderson hits is no sold. Simmons comes back with right hands and Reed hits a knee of his own the back of Anderson. Powerslam gets two for Big Ron.
Teddy Long slaps Flair and Dangerously freaks out. Naitch comes in to face Reed and it’s time to strut. Flair goes to the eyes and takes over on a power man like only he can. Reed comes back with punches of his own and Doom hits stereo gorilla press slams to take over again. It gets back to Reed vs. Flair in the corner and the chops just don’t work on him Ric.
Reed sends him into the corner and the Flair Flip lands on a cameraman.
Simmons pounds Flair up the ramp and the chops STILL don’t work. Back to ringside and the Horsemen are in trouble. Anderson comes in to face Reed but it’s quickly off to Simmons. The Horsemen finally realize they can’t overpower Doom so they do what they do best: cheat! Flair comes back in and now his chops work. Anderson’s spinebuster gets two on Ron. Back to Flair and it’s time to go after the knee. There’s the Figure Four (on the correct leg and everything) and they even cheat during that.
Simmons finally makes it to the rope but Anderson is right there to keep Ron in the ring. Ron fights back but his right hands only get him so far. A dropkick misses and they get into a test of strength on the mat, letting Arn do his jump in the air and crotch himself spot. Back to Flair and even with Simmons worn down he can’t drop him with a shoulder. To the floor and Flair gets sent into the barricade to give Simmons a chance.
A sunset flip on Arn doesn’t work as Anderson makes the tag to Flair on the way down. Simmons hits a kind of clothesline (looked more like a jumping fist) but AA stops the tag AGAIN. Simmons is finally like screw this and drills Anderson so he can make the tag to Butch. Everything breaks down and Reed kills Anderson with a top rope shoulder for two. DDT kills Reed but Simmons makes the save. They fight to the floor and it’s a double countout which isn’t that popular of a decision.
Rating: B. I was digging this match until the end, but it was really just a setup for the better street fight at Starrcade. Granted that had Windham and Anderson due to Flair having to do something else that night but it was still the Horsemen. Anyway, good match here but the ending was more or less just a setup for a street fight later on.
Stan Hansen breaks a pumpkin which represents Lex Luger.
US Title: Stan Hansen vs. Lex Luger
Luger has held the title for an insane seventeen months coming into this, a record which is about six months longer than anyone else ever. Luger goes nuts on Hansen to start and elbows him to the floor. Back in and Hansen takes it right back to the floor, sending Luger into the post. They head back in (again) and Lex slams him down but gets taken down with a headlock takeover. A charge misses Luger in the corner and Hansen lands on the floor.
Luger rams Hansen into the ramp a few times and heads back in to drop some knees. A snap suplex puts Stan back in control and an elbow drop gets two. Hansen hits a headbutt and bulldog for two. He goes up for some reason but misses an elbow. Luger comes back with a dropkick and pounds away on the challenger.
Elbow drop gets two as does a suplex. Hansen comes back but shoves a referee which doesn’t draw a DQ for some reason. The Lariat misses but Luger hits a clothesline of his own. Here’s Dan Spivey, Hansen’s protege, to throw in the cowbell. Luger avoids that and bulldogs him down. He calls for the Rack but walks into the Lariat for the pin and the title.
Rating: C-. The match was a lot of punching and kicking, but to their credit they had Hansen win the title almost completely clean here. The weapon shot didn’t hit, Spivey didn’t touch Luger, the referee didn’t see anything at all and it was the Lariat that got the pin. Hansen would lose the title at Starrcade but this was a good surprise. The match was pretty dull though.
Teddy Long says nothing of note.
Missy Hyatt thinks Sid will win. I have no idea why she was here.
NWA World Title: Sid Vicious vs. Sting
Sid is a Horseman here. They talk some trash and Sid blasts him in the back, only to get caught by a cross body. Sid doesn’t go down, but puts Sting in a backbreaker instead. That gets no sold so Sting clotheslines him to the floor. Back in and Sid misses a clothesline, sending him up and over the top. Sid gets sent into the post and we head back inside. It’s a fast paced match so far.
Sting grabs the arm and cranks on it for awhile while we look at the crowd a bit. They go to the mat in a surprising move. Sid realizes how crazy it is to go to the mat when you’re almost seven feet tall and pops up with a clothesline to take over. JR calls Sid’s powerbomb (he was one of if not the first guy to popularize it in America) a version of a bodyslam. Another clothesline puts the champion down and gets a very delayed two.
Off to a nerve hold which is broken pretty quickly. Sting fights out of it but walks into a powerslam for two and it’s time for choking. Sting fights back again but misses the Splash in the corner. Sid hammers on him on the apron but Sting pops up to the top for a cross body, getting two. Sid takes him right back down and Sting goes out to the floor. Back to the apron and a forearm to the chest ala Sheamus gets two for Sid.
Sid goes back to the chinlock but the crowd is starting to wake up. Sting escapes but both guys miss elbows and it’s right back to Vicious in control. A bulldog out of nowhere put Sid down but Sid hits a big boot to send Sting to the apron. They fight up the ramp with Sting being left laying.
Sid goes to the ring and poses, so Sting charges, dives over the top, and takes the big man down. A dropkick puts Sid on the floor and Sting follows him out with a plancha. They fight into a convenient opening in the barricade as the Horsemen show up. Sid and Sting disappear but come back, only for Sting to pick Sid up for a slam, fall down and lose the title.
Rating: C-. The match was just ok with Sting doing what he could, but Sid’s offense was shall we say limited. He didn’t have the chokeslam yet for a secondary finisher so it was powerbomb or nothing. That being said, he never even tried for the powerbomb, which makes the ending kind of strange.
Oh and one more thing: that wasn’t Sting that got pinned. As Sid is celebrating and the fireworks are going off, Sting comes back with ropes around his wrist. He hits Sid with the belt, hits the Stinger Splash and hooks a small package to really win the match. The other Sting would be revealed as Barry Windham but it rally wasn’t that important.
Overall Rating: D+. This show isn’t the worst ever, but there really isn’t anything worth seeing. The Nasties match wound up being nothing, the Horsemen vs. Doom would be improved upon at the next PPV, the main event didn’t mean anything, and the rest of the card is pretty much worthless. The home video version, as usual, cuts down a lot of the awful stuff here and gives you a decent show. This isn’t a horrible show but there’s nothing worth seeing here.
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Wow. For some reason half my keyboard didn’t work on my initial response and I didn’t notice it. But you get the idea.
I’m watching this show on the WWE Network and it’s cut out a good hour. The only matches on the show are the opener, the Freebirds, the Steiners vs Nasty Boys, AA and Flair vs Doom, Hansen vs Luger and Sting vs Sid. So without everything you complained about, the show is pretty awesome.