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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Halloween Havoc ’91

December 21, 2009 | Posted by J.D. Dunn
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Dark Pegasus Video Review: Halloween Havoc ’91  

Halloween Havoc ’91

by J.D. Dunn

  • October 27, 1991
  • Live from Chattanooga, Tenn.
  • Your hosts are Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone.

  • Eric Bischoff welcomes the WCW superstars as they pull in. Infamously, The Enforcers jump Barry Windham and slam his hand in the car door.
  • Opening Match, Chamber of Horrors: Sting, El Gigante & The Steiner Bros. vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, Big Van Vader & The Diamond Studd.
    Oy. This is widely considered one of the worst, most embarrassing wrestling matches ever. It’s actually not too bad, but the stipulations and production just kill it. The idea is that it’s a four-on-four cage match with no tags. The winning team is the one that puts an opponent in the electric chair and throws the switch. The stipulations are bad enough, but much of the match is viewed through the “refer-eye” camera, a small camera mounted to the referee’s head. Yeah, because wrestling referees never miss anything important. El Gigante is replacing the injured Barry Windham. Sting and Cactus Jack are the only real reasons to watch this, but the camera doesn’t follow them enough. A gaggle of “ghouls” comes down to wait for the condemned man. Abdullah gets Rick Steiner in the chair as Cactus Jack grabs the switch. Of course, Jack doesn’t bother looking back before he flips the switch, so he doesn’t see Rick pop up and belly-to-belly suplex Abdullah into the chair. Sting’s team wins the Chamber of Horrors at 12:20. Abdullah’s electrocution is great Wrestlecrap. Bizarre match that was hard to follow. I kind of like the concept, but this was not what you’d call great execution. *

  • After the match, Abby wakes up and destroys the “ghouls.”
  • Eric Bischoff, dressed as a blood-sucking vampire, ponders the identity of the “WCW Phantom.” Missy Hyatt, dressed as a dick-sucking showgirl, says she knows.
  • Big Josh & PN News vs. The Creatures.
    The Creatures are Joey Maggs and Johnny Rich (cousin of Tommy) in masks. Josh is Matt Bourne, who would go on to fame as Doink the Clown. PN News is a big fat rapper who looks like Heavy D but wears lime green tights. ::shudder:: Josh looks grump and vicious, which is fine by me. He hits the vertical splash (which, for obvious reasons, is not as effective as Earthquake’s). That sets up the Rapmaster Splash from News at 5:13. Pretty bad. The Creatures didn’t offer up much, and I highly doubt a mountain man would get along with a rapper in the first place. Where’s the verisimilitude, I ask. 1/4*

  • Terrence Taylor (w/Alexandra York) vs. Bobby Eaton.
    This is quite glorious. Both guys have nothing to do as the TV Title was sutured to Steve Austin’s waist around this time and Dustin Rhodes was the only real challenger… for some odd reason. Regardless, the just went out and put on a fantastic match just for the sake of doing it. Taylor looks just like early Triple H at this point. The dark hair is a nice way to change that Red Rooster image. He tries to get inside Eaton’s head, but it doesn’t work, and Eaton winds up knocking him around with rights. Bobby takes it to the ramp and slams him. That sets up a kneedrop from the top rope to the ramp! That’s pretty crazy for 1991. Taylor begs off and drags Eaton to the floor with a handful of tights. Eaton takes the Pillman bump into the barricade. Back in, Taylor hits a nasty clothesline and gets two off a splash. It settles into Taylor trying to wear Eaton down, which subtracts a little bit as it gets boring. Eaton slugs his way back but gets crotched while going for the Alabama Jam. Taylor goes for a superplex but gets knocked back to the canvas. ALABAMA JAM! ONE, TWO, THREE! Eaton picks up the win in a surprisingly great match (16:01). Just two pros putting on a great match. It was apparently too late for Taylor, but Eaton would receive new life as a heel, which I will not spoil for you if you don’t already know. ***3/4

  • Johnny B. Badd (w/Teddy Long) vs. Jimmy Garvin (w/Michael Hayes).
    Apparently, there just isn’t room enough for all these flaming homosexuals in WCW. And yet, they have to refer to brass knuckles as “international objects.” The Freebirds are the babyfaces here, so Garvin tries to look less gay by dressing in leather. No. Really. The sycophantic Tomahawk Chop doesn’t help. Garvin tosses Badd early, and Badd takes a nice bump to the floor. Garvin dominates until Long distracts the ref so Badd can choke Garvin with a towel. A super sunset flip goes horribly awry and nearly brains Badd as he doesn’t make it all the way over. Badd misses a charge and tumbles to the floor. Back in, they collide for a double KO. Garvin recovers and hits the DDT, but the referee is arguing with Teddy Long. Garvin shoves Long down but turns around into the Tutti Frutti Punch at 8:26. The gimmick just overwhelmed Badd’s talent. The match was okay, if formulaic. **

  • Missy Hyatt presses Bobby Eaton on who the WCW Phantom is.
  • WCW TV Title: Steve Austin (w/Lady Blossom) vs. Dustin Rhodes.
    One of these guys was a natural wrestler with an innate ring sense who just seemed born to be in the ring. The other was Dustin Rhodes. Actually, Dustin is a decent performer at this point, but his working-class hero shtick is too bland to care about. They start out on the mat, but Dustin gets chippy and clotheslines Austin over. Yeah, we’re gonna go ahead and ignore the over-the-top rule for now. Back in, Steve grabs a headscissors for a spell. This is not the best representation of their feud, I’m thinking. Dustin gets busted open off a bump to the floor. Back in, Austin rips at the cut and hits a gutwrench for two. Ross says Austin’s ally will be the clock just as the ring announcer tells us there are five minutes left. Damn. It’s a draw. The ref catches Austin using the ropes, allowing Dustin to slug his way back. Austin blocks a monkey flip and knocks Dustin silly with a flying clothesline. OH HELL YEAH! That gets two, and Dustin returns the favor with his own. An atomic drop sets up another flying clothesline, but Austin is in the ropes. To the floor, Austin takes a bump into the railing and bleeds. The Bionic Elbow gets two as we hit the 14-minute mark. The corner pummel sets up a flurry of offense for two. Dustin hits a flying clothesline, but there’s no time for a pin. Austin escapes with a draw at 15:00. The match really picked up in the last five minutes, but for the previous ten, they were just killing time. **1/2

  • Bill Kazmaier vs. Oz.
    I just threw up in my mouth. Jim Ross: “Both these guys’ level of skill is very similar.” Actually, as horrible as this match is, it is somewhat entertaining in that Jim Ross has to work in every possible backhanded compliment he can think of. “Oz, forearms and knees. Very basic offense.” Kazmaier skins the cat after taking a beating and lifts Nash into the Torture Rack at 3:59. DUD

  • Van Hammer vs. Doug Somers.
    This is nearly as bad as Oz vs. Kazmaier. Van Hammer has a slight following, though, so at least it’s not totally devoid of heat. Hammer wins with a horrible slingshot suplex at 1:13. DUD

  • Vacant WCW Light-Heavyweight Title: Brian Pillman vs. Richard Morton (w/Alexandra York).
    This was during the ill-advised heel period for Morton as he sold out to the corporate interests yet still kept the mullet. Ross points out Wally Yamaguchi of Kai-en-tai fame, in the crowd. I’d say this is a mismatch of styles, but that’s not quite right. Morton, a natural face, is playing heel, a role he’s not really cut out for. This might have been interesting if the roles were reversed. Pillman finishes with a flying crossbody at 12:42. Inauspicious debut for the LHW Title. The title would pick up steam once Lyger came in to feud with Pillman and then it would go away again to be replaced by the Cruiserweight Title years later. *

  • The WCW Halloween Phantom vs. The Z-Man.
    See, this is what the Black Scorpion should have been, only they could have drawn it out a little more. The Phantom storms the ring and destroys Zenk. It’s pretty obvious who it is once they do a close up and once he drives a pointed elbow to the back of Zenk’s head. Zenk hits a dropkick, but the Phantom no-sells and hits a reverse neckbreaker for the win at 1:27. The Phantom walks out without revealing who is, although Tony Schiavone, Shithead Emeritus, says, “Hey, that finisher looks like the Rude Awakening,” thus spoiling the whole reveal 15 minutes before it happens. 1/4*

  • WCW Tag Team Titles: The Enforcers vs. The Patriots.
    The Patriots are the U.S. Tag Team Champions, so this is a rare moment when the #1 contenders were actually getting a shot at the World Title. The Patriots are all gimmick and no talent, so it’s actually fun to watch Larry and Arn cheat like bastards to work them over. By the way, if you ever wander into an “underappreciated” thread on a message board – Larry Zbyszko’s selling. Not only does he sell when he’s in pain, he sells when he’s arguing with the ref, when he has the other guy in a hold, when he’s on the apron, etc.. Chip runs into Larry as the match breaks down, and Arn catches him on the rebound with a spinebuster at 9:51. Biggest babyface pop of the night for the Enforcers. **

  • Eric Bischoff has an interview with former WCW announcer Paul E. Dangerously and his cohort Madusa. Paul E. says he was fired by WCW, and now he wants revenge. He still has his manager’s license, though, so he’s going to put together a team to destroy all the guys who draw money in WCW – starting with Sting. He introduces the WCW Phantom, who is going to help him bankrupt WCW. The Phantom, we learn, is Ravishing Rick Rude making his WCW debut after hitting his head on the WWF glass ceiling and making the jump. Rude, Dangerously and Madusa (the “Dangerous Alliance”) declare war on WCW. Awesome stuff that took everyone by surprise (except for Tony Schiavone). An excellent precursor to the nWo.
  • WCW Heavyweight Title, 2/3 Falls: Lex Luger (w/Harley Race & Mr. Hughes) vs. Ron Simmons (w/Dusty Rhodes).
    First Fall: They try to cover this with as much garnish as possible – Dusty beat Race twice for the title, Simmons and Luger used to play in the USFL, Simmons is wearing Florida State colors. It’s still just two stiffs – one unmotivated, one still too green as a singles wrestler to main event. Luger stalls and grabs a headlock. That kills most of the first fall before Simmons roars back and catches him with a spinebuster at 4:53.

    Second Fall: Luger wants to buy time to recover, so he stalls and tosses Simmons to the floor. Simmons sunset flips back in for two. I have no idea what’s wrong with Luger. I would hope he’s injured because if he’s just dogging it this badly, screw him. Race is carrying the heel entertainment by berating the referee. “Jesus Christ, you can count to 10!” Simmons is giving full effort at least. Luger hits a powerslam but casually rolls away instead of covering. Simmons charges into a boot, and Luger HITS THE CHINLOCK! Simmons slugs his way out of it, avoids a charge, and rolls Luger up for two. Race trips Simmons, drawing an elbow from Dusty. Luger charges and throws himself over the top rope. The ref rules that Simmons threw him over, though, so that’s a DQ at 16:24. Lame!

    Third Fall: The cameras catch Dusty and Race giving their respective guys guidance. Well, Dusty anyway. Race just has that Patches O’Houlihan look: “You’re not gonna beat him. He’s too good, and you suck somethin’ fierce.” Luger: “Yes, sir, I sure do.” Simmons UNLEASHES THE FURY, which is good because Luger ain’t doin’ nothing. To the floor, Simmons charges wildly but posts himself. That allows Luger to hit the Attitude Adjustment (a piledriver back then, not a Fireman’s Carry Slam) at 21:57. Schiavone: “This will go down as one of the great matches of all time.” Well, Tony, that’s only the second stupidest thing you said tonight. No idea what in the hell Luger’s problem was, but YOSHIHIKO gave more effort. *

  • The 411: Outside of a surprisingly good (if meaningless) match between Taylor and Eaton, the wrestling on the show was just atrocious. The Halloween Phantom and formation of the Dangerous Alliance is fantastic, but it's all angle, so it doesn't really make the show worth watching. WCW began a bit of a creative rebirth here, though, after several awful months.

    Thumbs down.

    Final Score:  4.5   [ Poor ]  legend

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