Reviews

Retro Reviews: WCW Halloween Havoc 1998

Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are breaking down every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. We are coming off Fall Brawl, which saw Diamond Dallas Page win the War Games match to earn a WCW World Heavyweight Title shot on this show against Goldberg. That show was below average, much like Road Wild the month before, and both of them felt like chores to get through. You can read my complete thoughts on that show and every show we have covered on the site here. This is around the time that WCW started to lose its grip on the ratings a little bit, and the quality of the shows is a good indication of why. Can WCW turn it around? Let’s find out!

The VHS cover featured the worst match on the show. Of course, it did.

WCW Halloween Havoc
October 25th, 1998
MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada

The show starts with a package featuring the match pitting “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. The Ultimate Warrior. I was never a big Warrior guy and the fact that WCW brought him in here was very whatever at the time, at least for me. Rumor has it that Hogan wanted to bring him in to avenge a loss to the Warrior a few years before this in the WWF. Knowing Hogan the way fans do, it’s completely plausible.

We are welcomed in the arena by the broadcast team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and Mike Tenay. They put over the title match between Goldberg and Diamond Dallas Page, as well as highlight Hogan vs. Warrior later on in the night. They go to the ring where The Nitro Girls are dancing in the ring. This feels very Nitro, and not just because of the name of the group.

Gene Okerlund is at the entrance and introduces Rick Steiner, who will be facing his brother Scott later on. Steiner said that tonight it’s not brother vs. brother, but he is just another wrestler to take out. Before he can say anything else, here comes Buff Bagwell. Bagwell recently left the NWO and is a free agent. He tells Gene and Rick that even he is sick of Scott Steiner. Bagwell says the NWO doesn’t work one on one and that tonight he wants to be in Rick’s corner to make sure the match will be even. Rick says they haven’t seen eye to eye and he doesn’t know if he can trust Bagwell. Bagwell says that he is ready to watch Rick’s back tonight. Rick agrees and he will be there for his match. It’s finally time for the first match. Starting a PPV with a promo segment is so weak. All of this could have been accomplished on the go-home show of Nitro.

WCW Television Title Match
Chris Jericho (c) vs. Raven

Last month, Raven lost a match to Saturn which in turn causes The Flock to disband, so he has been on his own and has been losing a lot of matches as of late. Raven grabs the mic and says that he is the victim and that WCW has been treating him unfairly. He says that he wasn’t scheduled for this match, but he is expected to be here. Raven says he isn’t going to wrestle because he doesn’t have to. Jericho grabs the mic as he gets out of the ring and Jericho says that all The Jericoholics want to see him wrestle. Jericho says that he was looking forward to facing a “legend” like Raven. He insults The Flock and tells Raven he doesn’t have what it takes and Raven jumps in the ring to start the match.

Jericho pulls off his jacket and starts beating him with it. Jericho sweeps the legs out and covers Raven with a foot on the chest. He sends Raven into the ropes, but Raven comes back with a clothesline and hits another one that sends both of them to the outside. He grabs the steps and slams Jericho down on them. Raven climbs up the steps and hits a dropkick that knocks Jericho down to the ground. Raven continues with the offense and sends Jericho into the ropes, but he reverses it and drops Raven on the top rope. Jericho hits a dropkick that sends Raven to the outside once again. He comes to the outside after him, but Raven turns the tables and slams Jericho against the railing. Raven slides in the ring to break to the count before coming back out to inflict some more damage. He tries to throw Jericho into the railing again, but Jericho reverses and sends him flying into it instead. Back in the ring, Raven recovers and works on Jericho in the corner. He sends Jericho into the ropes and gets a Sleeper Hold on, but Jericho gets out of it with a suplex. He hits a senton on Raven and takes the pad off the turnbuckle. Jericho with a kick to the chest and goes for a Hurricanrana, but Raven reverses it into a Powerbomb. He drops Jericho on the exposed turnbuckle and hits a clothesline for a close near fall. Raven tries a clothesline, but Jericho rolls through and gets him in The Lion Tamer. Raven reaches for the ropes and gets them to break the move. Jericho slaps Raven in the face and picks him up, but Raven hits The Even Flow DDT. He goes for the cover but Jericho kicks out! Great near fall. Jericho hits a low blow and hits a Bridging German Suplex and gets a two-count. Kanyon comes down to the ring and Jericho knocks him off before getting Raven in The Lion Tamer and he wins the match after 7:50.

Winner and STILL WCW Television Champion: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 3.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: That match was very solid. They went out there and while things started slow, they picked up quickly. The fans were into everything they did and they had a lot of nice near falls. Starting this show with ten minutes of promos was a little wack, but these two went out and had a very good match. Raven losing just pushes the story of his losing streak continuing, so I am alright with it.

Bischoff and Hogan come out from the back, for you guessed it, another promo segment. Bischoff tells people to shut up and look at Hogan. He says that he thinks they have been walking on a cloud lately and people have been asking what he admires about Hogan so much. He said it’s his emphasis on family values. Hogan grabs the mic and says that everyone loves him. He says that last week on Nitro he showed that he was willing to do whatever it takes to take down Warrior. They show footage of Hogan kicking his nephew Horace out of the NWO last week. He says The Warrior doesn’t stand a chance and that he will know what Hogan is all about. He says that when Warrior stepped into his world, he is going to get beat up 4 life.

Meng vs. Wrath

Meng has been on a warpath lately and has been destroying everyone in his path. Wrath is back on the scene after some time off and has been undefeated since coming back to WCW.

Wrath grabs the feet of Meng and drags him to the outside to hit some chops to the chest. Wrath gets in the ring and does a dive over the top rope, which is impressive for a man of his size. They get back in the ring and exchange some blows to the head and Wrath tries a clothesline, but Meng doesn’t budge. Wrath comes back with a flying clothesline and covers Meng for a two-count. Wrath kicks him around on the mat before Meng gets back to his feet and gets a kick to the face. Meng hits a backbreaker and covers Wrath, but he gets a shoulder up. Meng hits an elbow to the head and starts to slam Wrath’s head into the corner. Meng bites him on the ear and even after a slight flurry by Wrath takes him down with a suplex. Meng hits a clothesline in the corner and drops him with an atomic drop. Wrath gets back to his feet and hits Meng with a big slam for a near fall. Wrath gets Meng with The Meltdown and picks up the win after 4:23.

Winner: Wrath
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was fine, but it was a hoss match. Both guys hit each other with a lot of power moves, but it was so short that nothing of substance came of it. Wrath getting Meng up for The Meltdown was an impressive feat of strength, that’s for sure.

Billy Kidman is backstage with the internet guys talking about his title defense coming up later on the show.

Disco Inferno vs. Juventud Guerrera

The winner of this match will go on to face Bill Kidman later on for the WCW Cruiserweight Title. Guerrera had been the champion but was defeated by Kidman after he left The Flock and went out on his own.

Both men circle each other as the bell sounds and Disco gets the first offense in and works Guerrera into the corner. He brings him out to hit a side slam for a two count early on. Guerrera ducks a clothesline and hits a series of chops to the chest. Guerrera takes him down with some headscissors and they have an awkward exchange on a facebuster which they come back to so Guerrera could hit it. Guerrera tosses Disco to the outside of the ring and comes out after him with a splash. He throws Disco back into the ring, but is taken out with an Atomic Drop followed by a clothesline. Disco with a scoop slam and climbs up top to hit a flying elbow. He does his best to keep Guerrera grounded with a chin lock. Guerrera gets back to his fact and rolls Disco up before hitting a spin wheel kick to the head. Guerrera goes to the apron and springboards off the ropes, but Disco slides out of the ring to avoid it. Guerrera does another one only this time he comes crashing down on Disco on the outside. Guerrera hits a Hurricanrana, and motions for the Juvi Driver. He goes for it, but Disco reverses it and drops him on the ropes. He hits a Swinging Neckbreaker and both men are down on the mat. Disco picks him up by the hair and gets some shots to the head. Guerrera rolls him up after some showboating, but Disco recovers and puts Guerrera in a Big Swing. The referee checks on Guerrera after Disco falls on his crotch on the way down. Disco covers him a couple of times, but can’t come up with the win. Disco hits a suplex and he climbs to the top rope. Guerrera gets up as Disco takes too much time on top and he brings him down with a Frankensteiner. He climbs back up and hits a splash on Disco for another near fall. Guerrera hits a Bulldog for another two-count. Disco comes back with a kick to the gut and hits a Piledriver to pick up the win after 9:39.

Winner: Disco Inferno
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was good in spots and sloppy in others. I enjoyed the match for the most part, but there wasn’t much to it. Guerrera was flying all over the ring and Disco used his power moves to keep him grounded. Disco hitting a Piledriver to win the match was refreshing at least. He will now go on to face Kidman for the Cruiserweight Title.

It’s another Nitro Girls segment as they are dancing in the ring right after the match.

Scott Steiner comes out with a microphone in hand. He says that he is standing in Las Vegas in the town that never sleeps and he has been going for “3 days and 30 nights”. Classic Scott Steiner. He says that he is in town and ready to pound. He says that he heard Bagwell earlier and said that he is nothing but a punk. Scott says he has beaten Rick up his whole life and he will do it again tonight. He said is Bagwell is so confident they should make it a tag team match instead. Scott says The Giant will be his partner tonight and they will even put their World Tag Team Titles on the line, which brings out JJ Dillon. Dillon says that he wanted to make sure that he heard that correctly. Dillon adds a stipulation that if The Giant and Scott lose their match tonight, he has to agree to face Rick right after. Dillon makes the match official tonight.

Collective Thoughts: What is going on with all these promos on this show. At least it’ll make the match a little more interesting.

Fit Finlay vs. Alex Wright

They lock up in the ring with Finlay getting an early advantage with some power and working Wright into the corner. He locks up the arm, but Wright gets out of it with an arm drag. Finlay drives an elbow to the face of Wright and snaps him over before dropping a knee down. He hits Wright with some chops to the chest before Wright fights back and takes Finlay down to the mat. He drops Finley on the top rope and pounds on his chest. He catapults Finlay into the bottom rope throat-first, but the advantage is short-lived starts stretching him across his knees. He sends Wright to the outside and pounds on his back as he comes out as well. Wright pulls him down and hits a scoop slam followed by an elbow on the outside. Finlay recovers and slams Wright down on the railing at ringside. Wright comes back in and hits a Sunset Flip, but only gets a one count. Finlay quickly gets back to his feet and hits some stiff shots to the back. They continue fighting and find themselves on the outside again. They get back in and Wright comes off the top with a Missile Dropkick but comes up short. Finlay goes for a running shoulder but hits the post. Wright hits a Neckbreaker and he beats him after 5:09.

Winner: Alex Wright
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was alright, but it’s another short match on the show. They hit each other with a lot of stiff shots and it looked good, but the ending was so sudden it took away from the match. Wright won with a move you don’t see end it every often, so maybe that’s a silver lining. They were in and out.

Ernest “The Cat” Miller is backstage with Lee Marshall and they argue about Miller being the greatest in the WCW locker room.

Lodi vs. Saturn

Lodi was a long-time member of The Flock and has been on his own since Saturn freed all the members. Now, he is looking to get revenge against Saturn here.

Saturn starts working on the arm as the bell sounds, but Lodi gets out and chases after the guy who took his signs from ringside. He slowly gets back in the ring and gets a headlock on Saturn, but he is quickly disposed of. Saturn hits a leg sweep and sends Lodi to the outside. Saturn hits some chops in the corner and sends Lodi into the corner, but he slides out of the ring and grabs his signs. Saturn comes out after him and hits him in the chest before sending him back into the ring and hits a Belly To Belly Suplex. He hits Lodi with a Falcon Arrow before hitting The Death Valley Driver and he wins. The match went 3:50.

Winner: Saturn
Match Rating: DUD

Collective Thoughts: This was a glorified squash match on a show that already has too many Nitro moments on it. Saturn was in control the whole time and made quick work of Lodi, to the shock of no one.

The announcers talk about the newly announced tag team match from earlier on. They show footage of Bagwell trying to take Scott out with a chair which causes the rift between the two.

There is another Nitro Girls segment. Give me a break.

WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Billy Kidman (c) vs. Disco Inferno

Kidman starts off quickly with a headlock, but Disco fights out with an arm drag. Kidman comes back with a dropkick and it sends Disco to the outside of the ring. Disco gets back in and Kidman has him locked up again. Disco sends Kidman into the ropes, but is taken down with a drop toe hold. Disco starts working on the arm as he gets back up, but Kidman ends him slamming him down to the mat. Disco sends him to the apron before Kidman comes back with some headscissors over the top. Disco gets a knee to the midsection and sends Kidman into the ropes again and takes him down with a drop toe hold on the bottom rope. He gets another kick in and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker for a two-count. Disco mocks Kidman as they get back up and he takes him down with an elbow to the head. Kidman charges in but Disco pulls down the rope and Kidman flys to the outside.

Disco comes out after him, but Kidman hits him with a Bulldog off the stairs. He rolls him back in the ring, He comes off the top with a splash, but Disco rolls out of the way. Kidman fights back after a chin lock and hits Disco with a big clothesline coming off the ropes. He comes off the ropes again, but Disco lifts him up and slams him down to the mat. He stomps on Kidman as he crawls to the corner and hits a suplex. Disco drops him down on the ropes and continues to maintain control. Disco climbs up to the second rope and comes off with an elbow, but comes up empty. Kidman hits a Powerbomb and covers him for a two-count. Kidman hits a powerslam and gets another near fall. Kidman misses a dropkick and Disco takes advantage with a Piledriver. There is a lot of time before he covers him which gives Kidman a chance to get his shoulder up. Kidman hits a Bulldog, but he takes more of it than Disco does and he is flattened with another move by Disco. Kidman fights back with a Facebuster and The Shooting Star Press to retain the title after 10:49

Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Billy Kidman
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was a solid, competitive match. This is one of the more enjoyable outings for Disco that I have seen in a while and he held himself well. When he hit Kidman with The Piledriver, everyone thought it was over because he just beat Juventud Guerrera with that same move. Kidman was on his way up the card so having him keep the title here made a lot of sense.

WCW Tag Team Title Match
Scott Steiner & The Giant (c) vs. Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell

If The Giant and Scott lose this match, it will be Rick vs. Scott right after the match as announced earlier. Also, The Giant has to be smoking the world’s smallest cigarette. Scott is filling in for Scott Hall, who is actually the Tag Team Champions along with The Giant.

The Giant and Rick are the first ones in the match for their teams. The Giant rushes over and starts pounding on Rick right away. He hits a big chop to the chest and hits an Atomic Drop. He goes to tag Scott into the match, but Scott wants him to hit Rick with another move before he does. He tags in Scott and he starts pounding on Rick right away. He throws Rick to the outside which allows The Giant to come out and hits a headbutt. Bagwell comes to confront him, but is quickly scared away. Scott continues pounding on Rick in the ring before Rick starts to mount a comeback with an Atomic Drop. He hits Scott with some shots to the head and takes him down with a clothesline. He goes for the pin, but Bagwell wants to tag into the match instead. He comes and attacks Rick immediately. Bagwell runs out of the ring and goes to the back which leaves Rick out there by himself. Scott kicks Rick and brings him over to the ropes. The Giant tags back in and continues the assault on the eldest Steiner brother. The Giant chops him down to the mat and Rick rolls out of the ring. Scott slams him against the railing before rolling him back in the ring. The Giant hits a Russian Leg Sweep and covers Rick, but pulls him up. Scott slams Rick into the corner, but Rick starts to show signs of life. Scott snuffs it out with a low blow and Rick is down to the mat again. Scott holds Rick and The Giant comes off the ropes, but he hits Scott with a Missle Dropkick! Unbelievable move. Rick hits The Giant and takes him down with a Bulldog off the top and pins The Giant to win the titles. The match went 8:24.

Winner and NEW WCW Tag Team Champion: Rick Steiner
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This match was alright, but nothing special. Rick and Scott have been feuding over the last couple of months and this was some of the first direct contact they have had. The most impressive move of the night was that Missle Dropkick right before the ending. Something I don’t like about this outcome is that this is the second time a singles star wins The Tag Team titles. Oh, well.

After the match, the referee makes Scott get back in the ring and he has to face his brother in a match now.

Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner

Rick sends Scott into the aisleway and slams him against the guardrail. The Giant tries to fight Rick, but he gets knocked out of the ring. Rick sends Scott into the stairs and rolls him back in the ring. He hits a shot to the head and follows that up with a clothesline. Scott reverses a whip to the corner, but Rick gets a foot up and takes him down. He drives Scott into the corner gut-first. Scott hits his FOURTH low blow in front of the referee in his match to stop Rick’s momentum. He takes him down with a clothesline and continues to pound away on his head. He sends Rick into the ropes and he tries to leapfrog his brother, but Rick catches him and hits a Powerslam. Someone in a Bill Clinton mask jumps the railing and gets in the ring and destroys everyone in the ring with a Slapjack. He takes the mask off to reveal that it’s Buff Bagwell. He hits the referee as well and counts the pin, but Rick kicks out. Scott hits a Franensteiner off the top rope and Bagwell drags the referee over again, but Rick gets the shoulder up. Rick comes off the ropes and clotheslines Scott before tossing Bagwell to the outside. Rick is up top and hits Scott with a Bulldog as a new referee slides in to count the fall. This match went 5:10.

Winner: Rick Steiner
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was alright, but both guys were gassed at this point. A lot of this was also an overbooked mess with Bagwell being all over the place. He took everyone out and tried to give the win to Scott, but it backfired. Rick getting two wins in a row was a pretty solid outcome for him.

Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash

This is the battle of The Outsiders. They came in together in 1996, but lately, Hall has been dealing with some off-camera demons. I hate that they put this into a storyline, but here we are.

Hall throws his drink in the eyes of Nash and takes him to the outside of the ring early on. He pounds on Nash and sends him into the post. He grabs a microphone and smashes it into Nash’s head. He grabs some cable around ringside and he chokes Nash with it. He throws Nash into the railing and punches him in the head which sends Nash to the ground. Hall slides in the ring and calls for a microphone. He does a promo while Nash is on the outside recovering. Nash finally gets his bearings and slides in the ring, but Hall continues to take him down. Halls hits a Discus punch to the head and hits him with a scoop slam. Hall calls for the end, but Nash shoves him away before he can pick him up. He works Nash into the corner and hits him with punches on the second rope. Hall continues to beat on Nash who isn’t mounting any kind of comeback. Nash finally comes to his senses and hits a big Sidewalk Slam. The two men are now on their knees and exchange blows back and forth. Nash hits a high knee as they get back to their feet and punches Hall in the head. He goes for a Jackknife Powerbomb, but Hall scurries out of the ring. They lock up as Hall gets back in with Nash just shoving him to the ground. Hall works on the shoulder, but Nash quickly knocks him down again. He stomps on the chest of Hall and sends him into the corner before hitting some shots to the back. Nash hits some high knees and a big elbow in the corner. He calls Hall a “piece of shit” and starts telling him to have another drink while he continues to pound on him. Great audio work by WCW there. Nash hits a Big Boot and The Jackknife Powerbomb. The crowd tells him to hit another one, and he hits him with another one before leaving the ring. The referee counts Nash out and Hall wins after 14:19

Winner: Scott Hall
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was more of a story-driven match than anything else. They both worked well together and the moves were fine, but Nash destroyed Hall for the last part of the match. The second Jackknife showed an awesome display of power from Nash. I liked the match as a whole, but it wasn’t a technical classic or anything.

Ahh yes, another Nitro Girls segment.

WCW United States Title Match
Bret Hart (c) vs. Sting

Red face paint Sting is my favorite incarnation of the character.

Sting chases Hart around the ring as Hart refuses to get in the ring at first. He finally gets ahold of him and sends him flying into the ring. Sting stomps away on Hart and works him into the corner for some punches to the head. He follows that up with a clothesline and a punch to the head. He sends Hart into the corner and taunts him as he is trying to get to his feet. Sting hits an Atomic Drop and covers him for a two-count. Hart fights out of the corner and pounds away on the head and neck of Sting. Hart hits a DDT and covers Sting for a near fall. Hart hits an Atomic Drop and a clothesline of his own. Hart drops a leg on Sting and continues to headbutt him in the back. Sting fights back, but is quickly taken down again with a knee to the midsection. Hart with a rake to the eyes and hits a Bulldog out of the corner. He chokes Sting with his boot against the ropes. Sting rolls him up and grabs a quick two-count before Hart is back with a side Russian Leg Sweep. Hart comes off the second rope, but Sting catches him and puts him in The Scorpian Death Lock, but Hart gets to the ropes. Sting stomps away on him and slams him down to the mat again.

Sting with some right hands and hits a shoulder block off the ropes. Hart’s knee gives out and he collapses to the ring. Sting isn’t fooled and continues to stomp away on Hart. Hart pulls out an object from his trunks, but Sting hits him with a clothesline, and Sting grabs the object. As Sting goes to hit him with it, the referee grabs it and that allows Hart to get a low blow in. Remember when that was a DQ? Hart with a backbreaker and hits an elbow off the second rope. Hart sends Sting crashing to the outside and slams him into the railing. Hart continually kicks Sting in the ribs before dropping him on the railing. Hart rolls back in the ring and Sting is in right behind him. Hart hits a shot to the gut and pounds on Sting on the apron. The referee comes to check on Sting, but Sting accidentally takes him out with a headbutt. Hart drops the leg on the referee to make sure he will stay down. Sting starts to mount a comeback, but Hart snuffs it out with a kick to the head. Hart climbs to the top, but Sting is right there and hits a Superplex off the top right on the top of the referee. That looked like it sucked for all parties involved. Sting hits a Stinger Splash, but the momentum wipes Sting out instead. Hart wales on him with his baseball bat in the back and drives it into his head from the second rope. Hart tries to wake up the referee and he puts Sting in The Sharpshooter. He drops Sting’s arm three times which gives Hart the win after 15:05.

Winner and STILL WCW United States Champion: Bret Hart
Match Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: These two can’t really have a bad match, but this was about as average as they are going to get. There were some good spots throughout and Sting hitting that splash so violently really turned the tide of the match. It was good, and Hart played such a good heel around this time. Hart wasting Sting with that baseball bat was a cheap way to win the match, but he is a heel so it works.

After the match, the paramedics bring out the stretcher and put Sting in a neck brace, and wheel him to the back. As the announcers try and kill time talking about the rest of the matches coming up.

“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan vs. The Warrior

This is the match that the wrestling world has been “waiting a decade for”. That seems a little far-fetched to me. I bet WCW thought they were getting something they definitely weren’t.

The two men have a face-to-face in the ring and Hogan is taken down with a punch to the head. They lock up and Hogan starts working on the arm, but it’s short-lived, and Warrior takes control back. He slams Hogan down to the mat and Hogan slides to the outside to get away from Warrior. He finally gets in the ring after circling it and starts pounding on Warrior again. Warrior gets back to his feet, but Hogan knocks him down to his knees again. Hogan takes him down with a scoop slam, but Warrior no-sells it and hits Hogan with one of his own. He clotheslines Hogan over the top rope and to the outside. Warrior comes out after him and slams Hogan into the guardrail. They have a sloppy exchange which ends with the referee being wiped out. Hogan drops a knee on him for good measure and Hogan calls for the rest of The NWO to come out. The Giant makes his way to the ring, but he sends up kicking Hogan instead on accident and Warrior wipes him, Vincent, and Stevie Ray out of the ring. Warrior tries to wake up the referee, but Warrior hits him from behind. Hogan drives the knees to his back and works Warrior against the ropes. Hogan takes his belt off and starts wailing on Warrior with it. Hogan with a scoop slam and misses with a pair of elbows right after. Warrior goes for a splash, but Hogan rolls out of the way. Warrior grabs the weightlifting belt himself and starts hitting Hogan with it. Hogan grabs some flash paper out of his tights and uses it against Warrior and it looks hideous. It didn’t even come close to his face. Warrior climbs up top and hits a flying clothesline. Hogan is busted open at this point and hits a low blow in front of the referee for what has to be the tenth time tonight. He hits Warrior with a leg drop as Horace Hogan makes his way out to the ring. Warrior starts to fire up and takes Hogan down with clotheslines. Bischoff grabs the referee as Horace gets in the ring and creams Warrior with a chair. Hogan covers him and wins the match after 14:18.

Winner: “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan
Match Rating: -5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: Yes, you read that right, minus 5 stars. I normally give matches the benefit of the doubt and try and look at it objectively, but this is the worst match I have seen since starting to cover WCW shows for the site. Both men did four moves in 14 minutes, including clotheslines, a leg drop, flash paper, and hitting each other with Hogan’s weightlifting belt. That flash paper spot was ridiculous. What an awful match this was and I can’t hate it enough. There is nothing that proves Hogan’s ego more than bringing Warrior in here just to go over.

After the match, Horace brings lighter fluid into the ring, but the referees get in there before they can do anything.

WCW Heavyweight Title Match
Goldberg (c) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

This match could be Goldberg coming down and squashing Page and I would still rank it higher than what I just saw.

Both men lock up and exchange arm drags before Goldberg grabs a hold of him and both men fall out to the floor. They get back in the ring and take each other down to the mat. Goldberg picks Page up and slams him down. He follows that up with an armbar and a jawbreaker. Page recovers and goes for a Diamond Cutter, but Goldberg shoves him away and he goes to the floor. Page gets back in quickly and Goldberg continues working on the arm. Goldberg runs into Page again and sends him flying to the outside. Page drops Goldberg on the ropes and hits a Neckbreaker. Page throws him into the corner and hits a Russian Leg Sweep and gets a near fall. Goldberg makes his way back to his feet and hits a slam on Page. He gets some shots to the head and knocks him into the corner. He catches him coming out and he suplexes him. Goldberg throws him into the ropes and hits a Sidewalk Slam. Goldberg gets Page in an arm breaker, but Page gets to the ropes to break the hold. Goldberg sends him into the ropes again, but Page hits some headscissors. Goldberg gets back up and charges into the corner, but Page moves out of the way and he hits the post. Goldberg gets back in the ring and he is taken down with a clothesline off the top. Page kicks him in the back and hits a DDT. Goldberg absolutely crushes Page with a Spear as they get up, but he is still favoring the shoulder from the missed one earlier. Goldberg goes for The Jackhammer, but Page reverses it into a Diamond Cutter! That is one of the best counters of all time. He can’t capitalize though and both men are down. He covers Goldberg, but he kicks out at two. Page goes for a suplex, but Goldberg reverses it into a Jackhammer and wins after 10:59.

Winner and STILL WCW Heavyweight Champion: Goldberg
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: Now, that is how a main event match should be. It had a big fight feel even as both men were walking down to the ring. This is the type of match that would have gotten a “holy shit” chant if both men got in the ring and had this match today. Page’s counter of the Jackhammer into The Diamond Cutter is one of the prettiest and best-executed counters of all time. I would have had Page beat Goldberg here with hindsight being what it is now. He was over and the people would have gone ballistic. I see why they kept the streak going, but I think Page winning here would have had a more favorable impact on the history books.

There is also an underlying story with this match. WCW was running long on the show. Anyone who knows about Pay-Per-Views knows that you have to be done earlier than the time you normally go off the air so that the PPV company has time to run the next showing. Since they just had to have Hogan vs. Warrior on this show go 14 minutes, the Page vs. Goldberg match went to black about midway through and people didn’t see the end of the match. WCW ended up refunding a bunch of money and showed the match the next night on Nitro. What an absolute shitshow that must have been. It’s sad too because this match was really good and Hogan vs. Warrior took time off my life. This is definitely when the train started coming off the tracks a little bit.

After the match, Goldberg picks Page up and they share the ring together as the show goes off the air.

Overall Show Rating: 5 out of 10

I was going to go a little higher than this, but Hogan vs. Warrior was really terrible. I thought there were a lot of good moments on the show too. Goldberg vs. Page was the first main event on a WCW show in a while where I didn’t want to be run over by a car after watching it. I thought Disco had two good showings in his matches, and I was a big fan of the opening match between Raven and Jericho. This was a good show, but it was bogged down by egos and guys not willing to step out of the limelight. It’s going to keep me up at night thinking about Hogan lighting that flash paper.

What did you think of Halloween Havoc 1998? Loved it? Hated it? You wished Hogan and Warrior retired 10 years before this? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter, and let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other. I will be back next week.

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