A Collective Review of WCW Halloween Havoc 1996 by Lance Augustine

A Collective Review of WCW Halloween Havoc 1996 by Lance Augustine

Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro WCW reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during The “Monday Night Wars Era”. I just reviewed WCW Fall Brawl 1996, and it surprisingly had a lot of good matches on the night. WCW at the time was an absolutely loaded roster and they were just starting their ascent to the top of the wrestling world. This also starts the period of Sting’s absence in which he would return with the infamous “crow” gimmick that went on to define the second part of his career. You can read about that show and every show we have covered for the site here. Will Halloween Havoc 1996 be another show that delivers, or will it be another disaster like 1995 was? Let’s find out!

The VHS tape looked like this.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
October 27th, 1996
MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada 

The show opens with a package showcasing what WCW has been going through with the NWO over the last couple of months. The big line from it was Eric Bischoff saying: “The worst mistake I have ever made was bring Hulk Hogan to WCW in the first place”. Yeah right, man.

We are greeted by the announcers for the night which are Tony Schiavone, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. They talk about the main event tonight which pits “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan for the WCW Heavyweight Title before throwing it down to the ring for the opening match of the night.

WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) vs. Dean Malenko

Mike Tenay joins the booth for the match, which was standard for the cruiserweight matches.

Malenko starts the match off quickly and takes Mysterio down to the mat. He picks him up and slams him down for a two count. Malenko gets back to his feet and hits a Spinebuster and goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, but Mysterio fights out. Malenko stays on the offense and starts working on the arm of Mysterio. Mysterio gets to his feet and goes for a moonsault, but Malenko catches him and sends him into the corner. Mysterio isn’t phased and comes back with a headscissors and sends Malenko to the outside. Malenko tries to climb back in the ring, but Mysterio hits a dropkick and sends him flying. Mysterio comes flying out of the ring with a plancha and Malenko is down. In the ring, he messes with his mask and takes off multiple before settling on a third one. Malenko is back in the ring and Mysterio takes him down for a two count. He tries another athletic move, but Malenko outsmarts him and hits a side slam. Malenko picks him up and just throws him into the ropes and it has Mysterio favoring the leg. He slams him down and puts him in a single leg crab and works the arm at the same time. He puts Mysterio up on the top and they come off with a belly to back suplex and he scores a near fall. Great spot!

Malenko stays on the offensive and hits a brainbuster for a two count. Mysterio attempts to mount a comeback and hits a thumb to the eye and rolls Malenko up for a two count. Malenko gets up quickly and hits a dropkick to the back. Malenko with a Tilt-O-Whirl Backbreaker, but Mysterio kicks out at two. Both men fall to the outside and Malenko throws him into the apron before rolling him back in the ring to stay on offense. He puts Mysterio in asleep and falls to the mat so he can grapevine the legs. Mysterio fights his way back to his feet, but Malenko throws him down by the mask. Mysterio fights his way back up again only to be taken down once again. Malenko locks his arm behind his back and hits a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. He works him into the corner, but Mysterio reverses and both men go up to the top. They knock each other off and both men splash out to the floor. Mysterio throws him into the guardrail and tries a springboard, but Malenko is one step ahead again. They get back in the ring and Mysterio hits a splash for a two. Mysterio comes off the top with a somersault splash and rolls him up for a two count. He goes for a reverse Hurricanrana and rolls him up for another near fall. Malenko is back to his feet and just wallops Mysterio with a clothesline followed by a delayed suplex. Mysterio tosses him to the outside and comes off the second rope with a splash that has both men outside again. Mysterio hits a Hurricanrana for a two as they get back in the ring and he goes for a second one but Malenko hits a Powerbomb instead. What a sequence that was! Mysterio climbs up top again, but Malenko is right behind him. They fight up top before Malenko hits an Avalanche Gut Wrench Suplex and picks up the win and captures the title after 18:32.

Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Dean Malenko
Match Rating: 4/5 Stars

Halloween Havoc 1996: Dean Malenko vs. Rey Mysterio

Collective Thoughts: Wow, what an opener. Malenko and Mysterio always had great chemistry and this match was no different. Malenko was more of a “traditional” technician in the ring while Mysterio was part of the new generation of high-flyers. Malenko wore him down throughout the match, but Mysterio had flashes of fast-paced action that kept the whole match moving nicely with no dull moments. I was entertained throughout the whole thing and it was hard not to give the Cruiserweights anything below 4 stars because the matches they had were fantastic. The ending of this match was really well done and Malenko was good at making everything look stiff and believable. 

Post-match, they go to the replays as Malenko celebrates in the ring.

They go to the back where Lee Marshall is joined by Jeff Jarrett, who will be facing The Giant tonight. Jarrett says he will be getting the job done tonight and will take The Giant down. He talks about meeting The Giant in the ring and how he is going to avoid THe Chokeslam tonight. Ric Flair joins them and says that he is here to support Jeff Jarrett and also to take all the women home tonight. He says as much as he despises Savage, he will win the WCW Title tonight.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Eddie Guerrero

Page has been battling Guerrero’s nephew, Chavo, over the last couple of weeks and Eddie is here to avenge Chavo.

Guerrero tries to get the match started, but it is broken up by Nick Patrick. Both men fall to the outside and Page sends him into the guardrail before rolling him back in the ring. Page stays on the offense with an armbar and some elbows to the head. Guerrero fights out and hits some moves that takes Page down to the mat. Both men get back to their feet before Guerrero takes him down once again. Page fights his way back to his and both men trade blows and suplexes. Page gets caught in the middle rope and Guerrero kicks him to the outside. He comes over the top and throws Page into the guardrail. Guerrero comes in with his patented senton and picks up a two count. Page reverses an Irish Whip and throws Guerrero into the turnbuckle and hangs him out to dry on the top. Guerrero gets to the outside and Page throws him into one of the Slim Jim posts. Page rolls him in the ring and attempts a pin with his feet on the ropes, but Nick Patrick sees him and stops the count. Page picks him up and just lets him fall down to the mat and Guerrero landed pretty awkwardly. He picks him up and hits a gutbuster and covers him for a two count. He puts Guerrero in an abdominal stretch and follows that up with a big side slam. Page argues with Nick Patrick which allows Guerrero to roll him up for a two count. Both men exchange blows before Page pulls the rope down and it sends Guerrero to the outside. Page rolls him back in the ring and goes for a powerbomb but Guerrero turns it into a small package. Both men exchange rolls ups with no one scoring a three. Page gets back to his feet and hits a clothesline. Guerrero mounts a comeback and hits an uppercut that sent Page flying. Page rolls to the outside and hits a splash that takes both men out on the floor. Guerrero slowly rolls him back in the ring, but Page takes him out by draping his neck on the top rope. Page hits a Flapjack but only scores a near fall. Page hits a sit-out powerbomb, but Guerrero kicks out. He picks him up and hits a Diamond Cutter to finish him off after 13:44.

Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: According to Meltzer, Guerrero had the flu going into the match and hurt his rib in the middle of it. You can really tell this is evident by the end of it. Page hit him with a series of moves and Guerrero looked lifeless for the last 5 minutes of the match. Page was on a roll at this time and really beat a lot of opponents after winning The Battle Bowl Ring. While this match had a lot working against it, it wasn’t the worst match of all time and both men had their time to shine. 

Mike Tenay is backstage promoting the partnership between WCW and Slim Jim. He is joined by “Macho Man” Randy Savage and they are going to reveal the winning fan that will take home a Slim Jim Monster Truck. What a prize boy. Savage says that after he picks the winner of the truck, he will win the WCW Heavyweight Title. They pick up the winner and it is very underwhelming. Tenay is then joined by Dean Malenko and he congratulates him on his title victory earlier in the night. Malenko says that he told everyone that he would be more focused than ever when he got to the show tonight. He says that anyone who wants a shot at the title to grab a ticket and stand in line. He says that he isn’t losing the title anytime soon. Tenay throws it over to an interview with The Giant.

Ted Dibiase is standing with The Giant in the crowd, who is holding the WCW United States Title which he stole from Ric Flair. He says that anyone who doesn’t join the NWO is a fool. He says that Jeff Jarrett is the biggest fool of all for getting in the ring with The Giant. The Giant says that he is going to stick Jarrett to the roof, to the floor, and all over the ring before hitting The Chokeslame and Jarrett will disappear forever. He makes his way down to the ring and its time for the next match.

The Giant vs. Jeff Jarrett

Nick Patrick is the referee for this match as well, which isn’t surprising since he is team NWO and he holds the title up like it is on the line, but The Giant isn’t even the champion. Flair comes out to the ring to be in the corner of Jeff Jarrett.

The two men stand face to face in the ring and Jarrett tries a clothesline, but The Giant isn’t fazed. Jarrett uses the quickness advantage and hits The Giant with a shot to the face. Jarrett hits a kick to the midsection and puts The Giant in a headlock, but he gets tossed right off. Jarrett gets him in the corner and hits some shoulder blocks before The Giant just tosses him aside once again. Jarrett tries an Irish Whip, but The Giant reverses it and throws him into the ropes. Jarrett slides under the legs and puts a sleeper on the big man. They go into the corner and Jarrett mounts the ropes for the ten punches and it has The Giant reeling. Jarrett comes off the ropes and gets wiped out with a big boot. The Giant hits an elbow drop and a head butt to the groin of Jarrett. The Giant hits a backbreaker and bends Jarrett over his knee. Flair grabs a microphone and tells Jarrett to get up and kick some NWO ass. A little easier said than done, Naitch. The Giant throws Jarrett into the corner and hits multiple backbreakers before hitting a clubbing blow to the back. The Giant gets him locked in a bearhug, but Jarrett refuses to submit. Jarrett fights out of the move and hits a dropkick followed by an attempted scoop slam, but The Giant just falls on him. Jarrett gets back to his feet and climbs to the second rope, but The Giant won’t go down. He hits a crossbody and he covers him for a two count. Jarrett goes for the Figure Four, but The Giant but kicks him to the outside. He chops Jarrett against the post and charges in, but Jarrett moves out of the way. The Giant tries a Chokeslam on the outside, but Flair hits a low blow and the match ends in a DQ after 9:55.

Winner by DQ: The Giant
Match Rating: 1.75/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was as slow-moving as it gets. The Giant dominated most of it, but Jarrett did get some offense in. He eventually even took The Giant down to the mat with a crossbody and scored a near fall. This was more for the story between Flair and The Giant than it was for Jarrett. He was there to defend the name of Flair after The Giant stole the US Title from him, so the DQ finish with Flair getting involved wasn’t surprising. 

After the match, The Horsemen hit the ring to assist Jarrett and save him from The Giant.

Ted Dibiase is back for another interview segment. He says that after that match, it’s one more in the win column for the NWO. He says that Chris Jericho is next, and even though he is a great athlete, tonight he will going down at the hands of Syxx. Syxx grabs the mic and says he is coming for the WCW Cruiserweight Title and that’s what he has his sights set on after dispatching Jericho.

Syxx vs. Chris Jericho

Syxx starts the match with some air kicks and tries to intimidate Jericho. They lock up and Jericho takes him down to the mat with a waist lock. Syxx quickly gets back to his feet and slaps Jericho in a headlock, but Jericho fights out. Both men have a standoff of athleticism and we have a stalemate. Syxx works Jericho into the corner and hits a chop, but Jericho fights out and takes him down with an arm drag. Jericho hits a chop of his own in the corner and throws Syxx into the other corner and follows with a clothesline. Jericho leaps up to the top, but Syxx quickly pushes him off and he falls to the floor. Syxx comes outside with a splash and he throws Jericho into the guardrail. Jericho rolls in the ring, but Syxx is there and lays the boots to the side of the head. Syxx gets Jericho in the corner and lays in some chops before finishing him with a kick to the head. Jericho makes his way back to his feet and Syxx takes him out again with a kick to the head. He puts Jericho on the apron and comes off the top with an elbow to the throat. He charges in the corner, but Jericho moves out of the way, and Syxx hits the mat hard. Jericho fires some shots off and hits him with a back body drop. Syxx rolls to the outside, and Jericho comes out right after him with a springboard splash. He rolls Syxx back in the ring and comes off the top with an elbow and scores a two count. He charges in, but Syxx drops him face-first on the top turnbuckle. Syxx gets to the top and tries a splash, but Jericho hits a dropkick. He covers him but Nick Patrick makes a slow count and Syxx kicks out. Jericho hits The Lionsault, but Patrick only counts to one this time. Syxx hits a Spin Kick and naturally, Nick Patrick makes a fast count, and Syxx picks up the win at 9:49.

Winner: Syxx
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars

Halloween Havoc 1996: Syxx vs. Chris Jericho

Collective Thoughts: That was a classic NWO vs. WCW type of story with Nick Patrick playing favoritism towards the NWO. Jericho had the match won at multiple points, but Patrick didn’t make the counts. The match as a whole as pretty entertaining with both men showing off their athleticism throughout. This was early in Jericho’s career and seeing where he is now, this was a fun sight. Syxx was always a solid worker and both men worked well together. 

After the match, Jericho is furious in the ring, as Syxx and Nick Patrick are helping each other to the back.

Mike Tenay is backstage with Lex Luger. He has a match tonight against Arn Anderson, and Luger says that it didn’t need to come down to this. Anderson blames Luger for what happened at War Games and now he is not responsible for what he is going to do to Anderson tonight. He says that tonight Anderson will find out why they call him “The Total Package”.

“The Total Package” Lex Luger vs. Arn Anderson

This feud stems from Anderson telling Luger it was his fault they lost War Games, and that it was his fault that Sting has left WCW.

Anderson starts off fast with a kick to the midsection and throws him chest first into the corner. Anderson lays the boots to a prone Luger, and trash talks him a little bit. He works Luger into the corner and continues the assault. Luger fires up and comes out of the corner and hits Anderson with a press slam. He tosses Anderson to the outside and comes out behind him with a double-ax. They get back in the ring and Luger hits a Powerslam and follows it with some elbows to the small of the back. Luger works on the back and hits a backbreaker for a two count. He throws Anderson into the corner and charges in, but Anderson gets an elbow up. It doesn’t last long though with Luger regaining control and continues the assault on the lower back. Luger comes off the ropes, but Anderson catches him and hits The Spinebuster. He pushes Luger to the outside and works on Luger’s back by slamming it into the apron and guardrail. Luger slowly gets back in the ring, but Anderson is right there to hit some forearms to the back. He puts Luger in an Abdominal Stretch and uses the rope for leverage. Anderson goes for the DDT, but Luger grabs the ropes and avoids the move. Luger starts to make a comeback and goes to hit Anderson with a forearm, but Anderson ducks and he takes out of the referee. Anderson grabs a chair and swings it, but Luger moves out of the way and he catapults Anderson into the ring post. Luger grabs the chair and starts wearing Anderson out on the floor with it. He rolls Anderson back in the ring and Luger puts him in the torture rack. Anderson gives up and the match is over after 12:22.

Winner: Lex Luger
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: There wasn’t much to the match and both men had ample time to be on the offensive. This was more about the betrayal Luger felt from Anderson and the rest of The Horsemen by saying he was at fault for them being in the shape they are. Both men worked on each other’s injured back, but in the end, The Torture Rack was too much for Anderson. It was cool storytelling, although the match wasn’t anything to write home about. 

After the match, Luger refuses to let Anderson out of the rack before he finally throws his lifeless body to the mat. Jarrett and Flair come down to the ring to check on Anderson and the doctors slowly get him out of the ring.

Lee Marshall is backstage really selling the talent roster in WCW. I agree with him on that one. He wonders aloud on the whereabouts of Sting and then plugs the hotline. He is joined by the WCW Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat who is with Col. Parker and Sister Sherri. Parker talks about Harlem Heat being the best tag team in the world and THe Outsiders are in for a world of hurt. Sherri says that The Outsiders are going to find out what it’s like to get beat up tonight. Booker T. grabs the mic and he says that tonight they will beat The Outsiders and retain the titles.

The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian)(w/Jimmy Hart) vs. Steve “Mongo” McMichael and Chris Benoit (w/Debra McMichael and Woman)

Meng and McMichael are starting the match for their teams. They lock up and try to knock each other over with a shoulder block, but either man goes down. McMichael comes off the ropes and hits a should block with some force that knows Meng to the mat. He quickly gets up and makes a tag to Barbarian as McMichael tags in Benoit. They lock up with The Barbarian taking Benoit into the corner and chops him hard. Benoit fights out of a scoop slam and hits a Northern Light Suplex for a two count. He charges in, but The Barbarian is there and takes him down with a clothesline. Benoit isn’t down for long though, and he regains the advantage. Meng and McMichael are both back in and have a standoff in the middle of the ring. They come at each other and Meng takes him down with a clothesline. McMichael comes back with a chop block, but Meng keeps him isolated enough to make a tag. Barbarian comes in and continues to pound on McMichael. He makes another quick tag and Meng picks up where he left off. Meng goes for a senton, but McMichael rolls out of the way and makes the tag to Benoit. The Barbarian makes a blind tag and they double team Powerbomb Benoit but only gets a two count. That was a cool looking move. Meng is back in and takes Benoit down with a chop to the chest. The Faces of Fear make some more quick tags in and out to keep Benoit isolated. The Barbarian and Benoit climb to the top with Barbarian just launching him across the ring. That was cool. Meng covers Benoit but McMichael pulls him out and hits him in the head with a briefcase. Benoit comes off the top with the Flying Headbutt and picks up the win at 9:23.

Winner(s): Steve McMichael and Chris Benoit
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: These two teams beat the hell out of each other. It was actually a pretty enjoyable match with some spots really sticking out to me. The Barbarian throwing Benoit into like the third row was a really cool visual as well as the double Powerbomb spot they hit on Benoit. Meng and The Barbarian used to scare me when I was a kid, and they were ass-kickers through and through. McMichael and Benoit had their spots to shine as well and Benoit finishing them off with a Diving Headbutt was a good move. 

After the match, The Barbarian grabs the briefcase as Meng hits McMichael with a Piledriver in the ring. Benoit is fighting off members of the Dungeon of Doom but the numbers game is proving to be too much. Kevin Sullivan looks Woman’s way and starts to take his shirt off while continuing to beating up Benoit. This is art imitating life in the truest form if you know the backstory of what went on behind the scenes.

Ted Dibiase is back and he mentions that it is 2-0 in favor of the NWO. He said that they have two more to go, starting with winning the WCW Tag Team Titles. He says that Harlem Heat is next on the hit list.

WCW Tag Team Title Match
Harlem Heat (Booker T. and Stevie Ray) (c) (w/Sister Sherri and Col. Robert Parker) vs. The Outsiders (Scott Hall and Kevin Nash)

Hall and Booker start off the match for their respective teams. Booker takes him down to the mat with an arm drag, but Hall comes back with an armbar and some shots to the shoulder. Hall picks him up and hits him with a shot to the head. Booker gets back to his feet and both men exchange shots before Booker tosses Hall to the outside. Ray takes this opportunity to whale on Hall and eventually makes the tag into the match. Hall scurries to his corner and tags in Nash, who comes in the ring and has a staredown with ray. Nash hits a knee to the midsection and hits some elbows to the back of the head. He works him back into the corner and hits some knees and elbows. He throws Ray into the opposite corner, but Ray gets the foot up and takes him down with a clothesline. Sherri gets in on the action and rakes the eyes of Nash. Booker makes the tag in and covers Nash for a two count. Harlem Heat exchange tags and isolate Nash into their corner. Nash fights back and hits Booker with a big sidewalk slam before tagging in Hall. He comes in and hits Ray with a bulldog off the top rope. He tries to stay on the offensive, but Ray takes him down with a clothesline. He makes a quick tag to Booker who comes in and continues the work on Hall. He throws him into the corner, but Hall reverses it and hits him with a clothesline. He tags in Nash who hits Booker with a big boot. He puts Booker on his shoulder and hits Snake Eyes, followed by a clothesline. He tags in Hall, who comes in and exchanges blows with Booker. Hall hits a Fallaway Slam and Sherri is up on the apron. She slaps him and Hall grabs her and kisses her which allows Booker to regroup and hit a spin kick. Hall comes back with a sleeper as the fans are chanting “Razor”. Hall covers Booker with his feet on the ropes, but only gets a two count. Booker crawls over to his corner and makes the tag. Ray comes in and is a house of fire and takes both men out. Booker clothesline Nash over the top rope and they hit The Harlem Hangover. Booker covers Hall, but for some reason, the referee is more worried about getting Stevie Ray out of the ring. Parker gets in and tries to hit Nash, but he catches the cane and hits Stevie Ray with it. Hall slowly covers Ray and pins him to win the titles at 13:07.

Winner(s) and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: The Outsiders
Match Rating: 2.75/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: It was an entertaining match throughout with odd spots here and there. WCW had this rule, at this time, where you could only save your partner from being pinned once. So, Nash hits Stevie Ray with the cane and Booker T. has to just sit there and watch. It was a stupid rule. Both teams had their moments and Harlem Heat really held their own against the top of the heap. Sherri and Parker getting involved weren’t surprising. Parker had been making mistakes on his team up to this point and this was the one that cost them the most. It was a solid match overall. 

There is a commercial for the next WCW Pay-Per-View, World War 3 1996.

“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan is amongst the fans and says its time for a little Hollywood. He said he just got done with his new movie comes out in November and that’s why he is dawning a new haircut. He said he is tired of body-slamming Hollywood so he decided to come back and body slam Savage. He makes his way down to the ring and it’s time for the main event.

WCW Heavyweight Title Match
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan (c) (w/The Giant and Ted Dibiase) vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage

The story leading up to this match harkens back to the ’80s where these two would wage war and Elizabeth was caught in the crossfire. She will be at ringside with no affiliation to either man. A Monster Truck comes out with Savage, and it was as cheesy as one would expect.

Hogan jumps to the outside as Savage comes in to lock up. He finally gets in the ring and puts Savage in a headlock and takes him down with a shoulder block, before rolling to the outside again. After Hogan is on the outside for a while, he rolls back in, and they have a test of strength in the ring. He takes Savage down to the mat and rubs his face on the canvas. He slams Savage’s head into the corner and hits him with a chop to the chest. Hogan showboats a little bit more and kicks Savage in the side of the ribcage. Hogan throws Savage into the ropes, but he ducks a clothesline and hits Hogan with some shots. He climbs up top and hits a double-ax and it knocks Hogan’s sunglasses off of his face. He tears Hogan’s hairpiece off and puts it on his own head. He sends Hogan out to the floor, but is right behind him and knocks him to the ground. He continues beating on Hogan as they make their way back to the ring. He grabs a chair and wallops Hogan in the head with it. The referee grabs the chair and it allows Hogan to knock him over. Hogan grabs the chair and hits Savage with it. He picks Savage up and crotches him on the guardrail. Hogan rolls Savage back in the ring and starts to choke him. Hogan starts talking to Elizabeth and Savage rolls him up for two. He starts to pull down Hogan’s tights, but Hogan takes him down with a shot to the head. Savage hits Hogan from behind as he gets back up and he dumps him to the outside again. Hogan grabs Elizabeth and uses her as a field with both men eventually getting back in the ring. Savage hits a scoop slam and kicks Hogan outside AGAIN. He follows him out and both men exchange blows on the floor. Hogan drops Savage with the boot as they get back in the ring and that brings Elizabeth into the ring. She covers up Savage, but Hogan pulls her up and puts her in the corner. Hogan goes to hit Savage with the leg drop, but Savage rolls out of the way. Dibiase slides Hogan a weapon and Elizabeth intercepts it. Hogan inadvertently knocks out the referee which brings out two others. Savage hits a scoop slam and climbs up top and hits The Elbow Drop, but when he makes the cover, Nick Patrick stops the count at two saying that he hurt his neck. Savage knocks him out and Hogan grabs the weapon. He goes to hit Savage with it, but Savage blocks it and he hits Hogan with it. Savage goes back up top, Dibiase pulls him down. The Giant comes back down to ringside and chokeslams Savage on the floor. He pulls Hogan over the prone Savage and Nick Patrick is there to count the three. The match went 18:37.

Winner and STILL WCW Heavyweight Champion: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This match went 18 minutes and I swear Hogan was on the outside for about 10 of them. That seemed to be Hogan’s calling card as a heel with him being on the outside for most of the match and capitalizing when he could. Typical heel move, but man does it get old when it is every match. Savage never seemed to catch any steam in WCW, and even though he won The Heavyweight Title multiple times, he just never seemed to be on top like he should have been. Hogan would go on to have a long reign and would have the title throughout most of the next year. This was a standard WCW main event. 

After the match, The Giant brings some ice water into the ring and he pours in Hogan’s face to bring him back to life. Hogan grabs the mic and says that there shouldn’t be any question who the kind of Hollywood is. Hogan says he is tired of Ted Turner and everyone else who thinks they are on his level.

The bagpipes start playing and here comes “Rowdy” Roddy Piper down to the ring. Hogan hides behind The Giant and Piper jumps in the ring. Piper tells Hogan not even to think about hitting him. Piper says if Hogan is so bored he has come to break up the monotony. Hogan cuts him off and says that there is a lack of communication because he controls wrestling, but he remembers Piper and him were neck and neck for a lot of years. Piper says he is not here on behalf of WCW and that he is here on behalf of himself. Piper says he is there for a Hogan reality check, and that he is just as big of a star as Hogan is. Piper goes over everything he has done in his career and won’t let Hogan get a word in. Piper asks Hogan where he was when he was 15 years old wrestling in garages. Hogan agrees that Piper was a big star as well and both men ran neck and neck. Piper brings up Wrestlemania 1 and his contributions to that match get overlooked. Piper says the thing that bothers Hogan so much is that Piper is one he could never beat. Piper wants Hogan to shake his hand and admit that he is better than he is. Hogan says that now that Piper is here in WCW he can admit that Piper is just as big of a star as Hogan. Piper goes to leave and Hogan tells him to squat the next time he is in the bathroom. That brings Piper back in the ring and Hogan says now they should settle the score. The Giant gets in his face, but he leaves with Hogan. Piper grabs the title belt and they face off in the ring again, but they run out of the time, and the feed stops while they are in the middle of the promo.

Collective Thoughts: That was Piper’s big comeback after being out of the spotlight for a little bit. Running out of time on Pay-Per-View was something that WCW always seemed to have a problem with and it kind of killed the momentum they were going for. Piper was a big star for a long time, but I don’t know if he was on the level of Hogan. I understand it is for storyline purposes so I guess I will give it a pass. Hogan vs. Piper didn’t really get me excited when I first saw this show as a kid, and it certainly doesn’t get me excited now. This was just WCW using their money to pull people away from Vince McMahon and have them on their show. Interesting way to end a PPV. 

Overall Show Rating: 6 out of 10

This was a middle of the road outing from WCW. I mentioned in my Fall Brawl review that WCW’s talent roster was starting to get loaded, and all the heavy hitters were showcased here. Some of the matches just fell kind of flat. Obviously, the opener was great, but it just seemed to steadily decline from there. The DDP/Eddie match could have been better if Eddie wasn’t sick and injured throughout and it seemed like most of the matches were to progress storylines over having a quality match. Before you roast me, I know that’s the point, but you understand what I am saying. Jericho and Syxx had its moments and the Tag Team Title Match was probably my second favorite on the night just because I will always be a big Harlem Heat Guy. The main event was a typical Hogan match where he was on the outside for most of it until the match finally picked up. Piper making an appearance was cool, but even now, I feel like it was about 5 years too late. Don’t worry, they do wrestle and I am going to cover it. I don’t think the show was bad, but they have had better shows. Now it is on to WCW World War 3 1996!

What did you think of WCW Halloween Havoc 1996? Loved it? Hated it? Big Piper Mark? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on twitter and let me know your thoughts. Also, please just out my podcast network, The Heel Turn Collective! We have 3 shows a week, including an AEW review show every Friday morning. Wear a mask, take care of each other, and I will be back soon with some more Collective Thoughts.