Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are taking a look at every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era.
We are coming off Fall Brawl, which didn’t include a War Games match and fell very short of the mark. That seemed to be the status quo for WCW around this time and that show just confirmed it. The big angle was Sting turning on Hulk Hogan in the main event. You can read my complete thoughts on that show and every show we have covered here. Since that show, a lot has happened. Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara have made the jump from the WWF to join the WCW creative team. Russo pitched himself as the sole reason that guys like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin got as over as they did, and WCW hired them because they needed to shake things up. This is their first show being a part of creative. They have also started an angle where Russo and his cronies are known as the “Power That Be” but we never see his face on camera. How will their first show go? Let’s find out!
WCW Halloween Havoc
October 24th, 1999
MGM Garden Arena in Paradise (Las Vegas), Nevada
The show starts with packages showcasing the matches on the show. We are brought into the arena by the announced team of Tony Schiavone & Bobby Heenan.
They hype up the show before sending it down to the ring for the first match of the night.
WCW Cruiserweight Title Match
Disco Inferno (c) vs. Lash LeRoux
Disco starts things off quickly with a clothesline and starts working on the arm of LeRoux. LeRoux comes back with some shots of his own before he takes Disco down with a clothesline of his own. Both men get back to their feet and LeRoux sends Disco crashing to the outside. He slams Disco’s head against the stairs at ringside. He goes for it again, but Disco shoves him off into the post. They get back in the ring and Disco climbs up top, but LeRoux catches him on the way down with a big suplex. He comes off the top with a Hurricanrana and covers Disco for a two count. The landing on that move didn’t look pretty. Leroux starts working on the back of Disco to keep him grounded. Disco fights out and sends LeRoux into the ropes and hits him with a clothesline as he comes back in. He sends him back into the ropes and tries to send him to the outside, but Leroux skins the cat and hits a backbreaker. They exchange some blows in the ring before Disco catches his legs and drops him down on the mat. Disco hits a Swinging Neckbreaker for a two count. He hits Leroux with a Russian Leg Sweep and climbs up to the middle rope. Disco comes off with an elbow that connects and he covers him for a two-count. Disco hits a low elbow and follows that up with a Piledriver. Disco showboat a little bit and is met with a Powerbomb, but Disco gets the shoulder up at two. Disco hits an Atomic Drop and The Last Dance to pick up the win after 7:35.
Winner and STILL WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Disco Inferno
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: There was not much going on in this match. There were a lot of stop-and-go moments and the chemistry didn’t seem to be there. Lash LeRoux was a newer talent in the company and while it’s cool he got a shot at the title, this match was a far cry from what the Cruiserweight division used to be.
After the match, Leroux grabs him and lays him out with a big move on top of the title.
They show some backstage tension between The Revolution and its pitting Perry Saturn and Shane Douglas against Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko.
Mike Tenay is backstage with Harlem Heat. He asks them about their tag team title match tonight. Booker T. says that they have faced adversity before and this will be no different. Stevie Ray closes by saying that it’s Harem Heat’s night tonight.
WCW Tag Team Title Three-Way Street Fight
The First Family (Brian Knobbs & Hugh Morrus) (w/ Jimmy Hart) vs. Harlem Heat (Booker T. & Stevie Ray) vs. The Filthy Animals (Konnan & Billy Kidman)
Rey Mysterio was supposed to be in this match as Konnan’s partner, but a legit injury has taken him out of the match. The tag team titles have been stripped from the Filthy Animals because of the injury and that makes this match a winner-take-all. Kidman and Konnan still come down to the ring wearing the gold, but they aren’t officially the champions anymore.
Knobbs hits Booker with a trash can to start things off and it sends him out of the ring. On the outside, Booker is fighting with Knobbs and Konnan and they all take turns wiping each other out. Stevie Ray takes out Hugh Morrus and smashes Kidman with the trash can. Morrus comes around and lends a hand on Booker with the can lid. He covers Booker in the ring for a two-count. Booker gets back to his feet and takes both Knobbs and Morrus down to the mat. All six men get in the ring and it is chaos. Morrus covers Kidman, but he grabs the ropes to break it. Jimmy Hart gets in the ring, but Booker T. chases him away from the ring. Knobbs is coming up behind him and lays into him with the trash can. Kidman comes off the apron and wipes out Morrus with a shot to the head. Booker sends Knobbs into the set in the aisleway and Harlem Heat takes turns beating on him. In the ring, Morrus drops Kidman gut-first on a chair in ring. Harlem Heat and Knobbs are fighting all the way to the back while Morrus hits Konnan with a DDT in the ring. He tells Jimmy Hart to grab a table and he obliges. Morrus puts Konnan on the table and hits No Laughing Matter and they both come crashing through the tables. Harlem Heat hit Knobbs with something and pin him in the back. The referee and the team make their way out to the ring to let everyone know that they have won the match. While they are walking down, Kidman pins Morrus in the ring. There is some confusion, but Harlem Heat is awarded the win after 5:02.
Winner(s) and NEW WCW Tag Team Champions: Harlem Heat
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a brawl that was impossible to keep up with. They were fighting throughout the entire arena and while they had two referees out there, I don’t think it mattered much. The ending to this match was bad with Harlem Heat picking up the win, but no one was able to know that until they went all the way back to the ring. They could have done a better job with it. I am never going to complain about Harlem Heat holding Tag Team gold though.
Ric Flair is shown walking in the arena along with his son David by his side.
Diamond Dallas Page comes out to the ring and is accompanied to the ring by his wife Kimberly. It’s the first time they have been paired together in quite some time. Kimberly has a microphone and she starts talking about Flair smacking her on the butt. She says that when she is together with Page a 14-time spanking is just a little warm-up. Page says that he loves Kimberly and that he hates Flair. He says that after tonight, Flair will never forget him. The fans start getting to Page and he comes back with a slight to Las Vegas. Page says that Flair might have sent Davey Boy Smith to do his dirty work, but now he is going to take care of business. Page says if Flair likes to spank as much as he thinks, then tonight will be a strap match. He tells Flair that it’s his time tonight before the music hits and they leave the ring.
Goldberg is shown backstage in Saudi Ar… I mean in Las Vegas and he is looking for Sid Vicious.
Mike Tenay is backstage with Eddie Guerrero. He asks him about his match tonight and Guerrero says it’s no sweat and that he will take out Saturn tonight. Guerrero is also shown wearing Flair’s Rolex, which he had stolen from him on Nitro.
Perry Saturn vs. Eddie Guerrero
Guerrero tries a dropkick to start things off, but Saturn moves out of the way. He drops Guerrero on the top rope and tries to capitalize, but Guerrero hits a dropkick to the knee. He sends Saturn out of the ring and he hits the floor. Guerrero comes out after him and sends him into the railing. Guerrero moves the stairs and tries to slam Saturn into them, but he gets dropped on the stairs instead. Saturn rolls him back into the ring and hits a Powerbomb as he comes off the ropes. Saturn hit a splash off the middle rope for another two-count. Saturn grabs the wrist and starts to keep Guerrero grounded. Saturn keeps the pressure on by wiping out Guerrero with a dropkick. He works on Guerrero on the mat before they make their way back to their feet. Saturn punches him into the corner, but Guerrero fights out and stomps on the head of Saturn. He hits a dropkick to the head and covers him for a two-count. He works Saturn into the corner and sends him to the other side. He comes in to capitalize, but Saturn punches him and drops him down with a big suplex. Saturn kicks the knee and drops his weight on the knee of Guerrero. He continues working on the knee of Guerrero until Guerrero gets a thumb to the eye to break it up. He hits Saturn with a back suplex, but only gets a two-count. Saturn fights back to his feet and drops Guerrero down with a Fallaway Slam and follows that up with a Moonsault off the second rope for a good two-count. Saturn goes for the Moonsault again, but this time, Guerrero gets the knees up. He drops Saturn with a Brainbuster and goes to the top rope. He comes with his Frog Splash, but Saturn rolls out of the way. Saturn capitalizes with some shots to the head but is soon met with a dropkick in the midsection. Guerrero sends him into the corner and charges in, but he is dropped face-first on the turnbuckle. Saturn puts Guerrero on the top rope and he hits him with an Avalanche T-Bone Suplex. That was an impressive move. They continue to fight in the ring before Guerrero hits a Superplex of his own off the top rope. Ric Flair comes down to the ring and starts beating up Guerrero and the match is thrown out after 11:12.
Winner by DQ: Eddie Guerrero
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was a solid match with a bad ending. Flair coming down and laying the hurt on Guerrero makes sense because of what had transpired on Nitro, but I wish it happened after the bell. These two guys were on their way to having a really good match.
After the match, Kidman hits the ring, but Flair takes him out as well. Torrie Wilson comes out and starts shielding Kidman, but Flair pulls her to her feet. Flair drops the crowbar he had and kisses Torrie on the lips.
They go to the back where Goldberg is beating up Sid and has busted him open before their match later on.
Buff Bagwell’s music fills the arena and here he comes down to the ring. Bagwell says that he has a problem with the two new guys in the company (Russo & Ferrara). Buff also took issue with a recently returning Jeff Jarrett hitting him with a guitar shot over the head. Bagwell says that Jarrett should get his ass down to the ring. Jarrett runs down to the ring and they start fighting back and forth. It spills to the outside where Jarrett sends Bagwell into the railing but soon finds himself in that position. Bagwell works him over to the corner, but Jarrett fights out. Lex Luger hits the ring and grabs the guitar. He goes to hit Jarrett, but he hits Bagwell instead. The guitar definitely didn’t break.
Collective Thoughts: They are already mentioning Russo & Ferrara the two jumping ship from “up north”. Jarrett hit Elizabeth with a guitar shot on Nitro, and that was the reason why Luger hit the ring to fight Jarrett.
Mike Tenay is backstage with Sid and he goes crazy before sending everyone away.
Guerrero is shown on a staircase backstage calling for reinforcements.
Brad Armstrong vs. Berlyn (w/ The Wall)
They lock up to start things off with Armstrong getting the first advantage working Berlyn into the corner. He starts working on the arm, but Berlyn flips out of it and gets a right hand in. Armstrong hits his feet and takes Berlyn down with a dropkick. He gets a headlock, but Berlyn drops him with a suplex. Berlyn catches Armstrong as he comes off the ropes and drops him with a Powerbomb. He sends Armstrong back into the ropes and takes him down with a dropkick. Berlyn hits another big move and takes him down with a clothesline. He picks Armstrong up and puts him back down with an uppercut. He drops a series of elbows and covers Armstrong for a two-count. He works him into the corner and lays some boots to the midsection. Berlyn tries a Neckbreaker, but Armstrong grabs the rope and Berlyn falls to the mat. Armstrong covers him and wins the match after 4:23.
Winner: Brad Armstrong
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: The ending to this match was laughable. Armstrong didn’t even hit an offensive move to win the match. The Berlyn gimmick just wasn’t very good and Brad Armstrong was hardly on TV. I don’t know what else there is to be said about this match.
After the match, The Wall hits the ring and takes Armstrong out.
Mike Tenay is backstage with Ric Flair and Flair says the Filthy Animals aren’t ready for the big time. Flair says if they don’t like it, he will be there all night long. They mention the strap match later, but Flair ends with dogging on the Animals a little bit more.
WCW Television Title Match
Chris Benoit (c) vs. Rick Steiner
Steiner had been the long-reigning Television Champion but recently lost it to Benoit.
Steiner drops to the floor as the bell sounds and is making Benoit wait in the ring. Benoit makes the first move, but Steiner is ready, and he starts pounding on Benoit right away. He punches him in the back of the head before sending him into the ropes and hitting a clothesline. Steiner sends him into the ropes and picks him up for a big-time suplex. He goes for an elbow drop, but Benoit rolls out of the way. Benoit hits some chops to the chest and puts Steiner on the top rope for a Superplex. Steiner gets back to his feet slowly and Benoit is there to meet him with some kicks to the gut. Benoit tries the Crippler Crossface, but Steiner rolls out of the ring. Benoit comes out after him with a dive. Steiner takes back control and starts slamming Benoit into the railings and the stairs. Steiner rolls him back into the ring and covers him for a two-count. Steiner pounds on him in the corner and sends him to the other side, but Benoit gets a boot-up. He hits a dropkick before Steiner rolls out of the ring to regroup. He comes in and shoves the referee into Benoit and then hits a low blow as the referee gets shoved away from Benoit. Steiner locks the leg up and tries to keep Benoit grounded.
Benoit ducks a clothesline and tries a dropkick, but Steiner grabs the ropes and he hits the mat. Steiner picks Benoit back up and drops him right on his head. He tried a Sunset Flip but just fell down. Benoit comes back with an inside cradle for a near fall. Steiner hits him with a clothesline as he comes back up before slamming him into the turnbuckle. Steiner kicks him in the head and taunts him to get up. Steiner hits a German Suplex for another near fall. He hits another one with some hang time on it. Steiner picks him back up to his feet, but Benoit drops him with a DDT. Both men get back to their feet and Benoit comes off the ropes with a shoulder tackle. He hits some chops on Steiner and works him into the corner. He hits the Triple German Suplexes and the last one had a bridge for a two. Steiner throws Benoit back into the corner and shoves the referee into him. Benoit hits the referee with an elbow by accident. Steiner takes him down with a clothesline and gets a chair to bring into the ring. Benoit fights him off and drops him to the mat with the chair on top. Benoit comes off the top with a Diving Headbutt, but Steiner throws the chair into his face. Malenko hits the ring and grabs the chair, but he hits Benoit instead of Steiner. He rolls the referee back into the ring and Steiner wins the title after 12:50.
Winner and NEW WCW Television Champion: Rick Steiner
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This was one of my favorite Rick Steiner single matches I can remember seeing. He held himself well and the chemistry with Benoit was there. They went back and forth and had a hard-hitting battle throughout. The Malenko and Saturn heel turn at the end was a nice bow on the whole thing.
After the match, Malenko and Saturn embrace in the aisleway. It was a ruse the entire time.
Bret “Poorly Booked” Hart is backstage and he talks about his match tonight with Lex Luger. Luger hit him with a baseball bat in the knee on Nitro and Hart is coming for Luger tonight.
The Total Package (w/ Elizabeth) vs. Bret “The Hitman” Hart
Luger is going simply by “The Total Package” now, but let’s not be ridiculous. We will continue to call him Lex Luger for match purposes. Hart hasn’t had a match in a while on a WCW PPV so it’ll be nice to see him back.
Hart goes right after Luger as the bell sounds. He sends him to the outside and slams Luger into the railing at ringside. He throws Luger into the stairs before rolling him back into the ring. He drops his head into the groin of Luger before pulling him back to his feet. He takes him down with a shot to the head and rakes Luger’s eyes across the top rope. Hart chokes Luger in the corner with his boot and is in complete control. He sends Luger to the outside again. He slams Luger into the apron before sending him into the railing again. Elizabeth hits Hart from behind, but he still maintains control with Luger. He rolls him back into the ring before dropping a few knee drops on him. Luger starts to mount a comeback and takes Hart down with a shot to the head. He drops multiple elbows across the face of Hart, but it doesn’t last long and Hart is back in control. He pounds on the back of Luger and hits a Russian Leg Sweep for a two-count. Hart hits an Atomic Drop and follows it up with a clothesline. He hits a backbreaker and goes to the second rope for an elbow drop. Hart goes for the Sharpshooter, but Luger gets a thumb to the eye and breaks it up. They work each other over to the ropes and both take a bump over the top similar to the one they took at the end of the 1994 Royal Rumble. Hart rolls him back into the ring, but he is favoring his injured leg. Luger gets up and immediately starts working on the leg. He wraps it in the ropes and continues to lay the boots on it. Luger works him to the middle of the ring and puts him in a single leg crab and the referee calls for the bell after 7:46.
Winner: The Total Package
Match Rating: 1.5/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: The ending of this match took away from it a little bit. It was solid for the most part because these two have been in the ring together before this. Hart dominated the first part of it, but Luger started to get some stuff in as it went on. The ending just fell flat for me with Hart just giving up. I understand it with the injury, but still.
Mike Tenay is backstage with Goldberg and he says that tonight, Sid is a dead man.
Madusa comes down to the ring in a bikini where the secret has been revealed and is pushing the new Nitro cologne. She mentions The Powers That Be and thinks they are bullshit before pouring the whole bottle on Bobby Heenan at ringside.
WCW World Heavyweight Title Match
Sting (c) vs. Hulk Hogan
These two had a match at Fall Brawl in which Sting turned into a heel and attacked Hogan. Also, the fact that this match isn’t main eventing the show is stunning to me with Hogan being involved. Sting has beaten Hogan since that show and won the title causing this rematch to happen.
Hogan’s music plays, but he is nowhere to be found. It plays for 2-3 minutes before they just start playing Sting’s music. Hogan’s music starts again and he comes out in jeans and a black vest instead of the red and yellow. He has a face-to-face with Sting before laying down in the middle of the ring. Sting covers him and retains the title.
Winner and STILL WCW Heavyweight Champion: Sting
Match Rating: DUD
Collective Thoughts: The fans are pissed and they should be. Having stuff like this on Pay-Per-View is ridiculous. I don’t know if it was a work or a shoot, but this is the kind of stuff that made WCW look so second-rate. I promise you The Rock or Steve Austin wouldn’t go to the ring and just lay down. It’s happened twice in this company and both times it involved Hogan. It happens a third time as well, but we will get there.
WCW United States Title Match
“The Millenium Man” Sid Vicious (c) vs. Goldberg
Scott Hall and Kevin Nash attack Goldberg as he is coming down to the ring. They beat him up and Sid comes out to capitalize. He pounds on Goldberg and they exchange blows on their way back to the ring. Goldberg drops him on the railing and hits him with the stairs. Goldberg hits some stiff shots to the head and Sid is bleeding heavily at this point. Goldberg continues the assault as they get back into the ring. They fight each other into the corner with Sid hitting some chops across the chest. He sends Goldberg into the ropes and hits a big boot as he comes back in. He locks Goldberg in a Steiner Recliner. Goldberg powers his way to his feet and drops Sid down to the mat. He works on Sid on the mat and drops some elbows across the forehead. Goldberg hits some more stiff shots to the head and Sid is down to his knees. Goldberg continues wearing him out before Sid starts to fight back himself. Goldberg chokes him in the ropes and sends him into the corner. Sid comes out and Goldberg drops him with a clothesline. Sid is bleeding badly at this point and Goldberg keeps looking at the referee like he should be stopping the match. Sid tries to mount a comeback, but Goldberg takes him down again. Goldberg continues to keep him isolated in the corner, but Sid starts to fight back. It’s short-lived and Goldberg continues to beat him up. Sid falls to his knees and the referee calls for the bells and Goldberg is declared the winner after 7:11.
Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: Goldberg
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This two beat the hell out of each other. It started from the time the bell sounded and ended when Sid couldn’t “continue”. He got right back to his feet after the match ended and I felt like this was two poor match finishes in a row. I didn’t like the way they just ended it flat. Sid could have looked more dominant, but this was Goldberg’s first taste of gold in a while.
After the match, Rick Steiner hits the ring and wants to help Sid but the referee gets in the way.
They show a clip from Flair and Kimberly in a hotel room on Nitro, which lead to the strap match tonight.
Sting comes back to the ring and says that he did not come to Las Vegas for a night off. He says he came to Vegas for a fight. Sting says if there is anybody that wants a fight tonight then come on down to the ring. Give me a break with this stuff.
Diamond Dallas Page (w/ Kimberly) vs. Ric Flair
The normal rules are that you have to drag your opponent to all four corners, but this will be a regular singles match with a strap around the wrist.
Flair tries to keep Page at bay on the outside so it can’t get into the ring and put the strap on his wrist. He gets in the ring and the bell sounds with the two trying to get the early advantage. Page gets him in the corner and starts pounding on him, but Flair soon turns it around and hits some chops across the chest. Both men go to the outside and Flair pulls Page into the post. he whips Page across the back as they made their way up the entrance. Page takes advantage and hits Flair across the chest with the strap. He sends Flair into the fans and they start pounding on each other out there. Flair hits some chops and both men start working their way up the steps among the fans. Page comes back and drives the strap across the back of Flair. Flair comes back with some chops as they work their way back to the ringside area. Flair sends him over the railing and kisses Kimberly as he comes back over. Page hits him from behind and continues whipping him across the back. Page throws him into the railing and he is now busted open. Page continues to strap him on the outside and chokes him with his boot.
Flair tries to come back with some chops, but Page maintains control and Flair is down on the floor. They go to the announce desk and knock the headsets off the guys before finally getting back in the ring. Page signals for a Diamond Cutter, but Flair hits him with a low blow. Flair gets back to his feet and whips Page across the back before choking him in the corner with it. Flair hits some chops and Page can’t go anywhere. He hits a low blow on Page that looked like it hurt pretty good. Flair pulls him over and hits him with a clothesline. Flair drops a knee across the chest of Page before working him over to the ropes and working on the knee. He drops a few knees to keep Page grounded and then he gets him in the Figure Four Leglock. Page gets to the ropes and Flair is forced to break the hold. Flair punches Page repeatedly, but Page gets up and bites Flair before hitting a low blow of his own. Page parades Flair around the ring before hitting The Diamond Cutter. He covers Flair, but the referee lets up before three. Page shoots him a look and he calls for the bell and declares Page the winner after 12:49. He hits the referee with a Diamond Cutter for good measure.
Winner: Diamond Dallas Page
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: Third match in a row that had an ending that seemed screwed up. The referee was coming down for three, but stopped for whatever reason. In the WWE, they teach you to count for real and whatever happens, happens. These endings have really taken away from these matches that normally should have been really solid. This was good, but the strap stipulation limited what they could do.
David Flair comes down to help his father, but Kimberly cuts him off and throws a pipe into the ring for Page. He hits Flair with a low blow before beating up David and hitting him with a Diamond Cutter in the ring. They take Flair out on a stretcher, but he gets beat up outside of the ambulance by The Filthy Animals who were lying in wait. They shove Flair in the ambulance and drive away with him.
WCW Heavyweight Title Match
Sting (c) vs. Goldberg
At least they tried to make up for earlier here, but stuff shouldn’t be booked like that. It makes the title look like it means nothing at all. Also, the title is not on the line in this one.
Sting goes outside before the bell sounds and is waiting for the referee to come down to the ring. The referee slides in and the bell sounds. They lock up and Goldberg works him over to the corner. He hits some high knees and some shots to the head. Goldberg continues to pound on him and works him out of the ring. Goldberg comes out after him and drops an elbow across the back of the head before throwing him into the announce table. Sting ducks under a right-hand and Goldberg hits the post. He rolls Goldberg back in the ring and comes off the top with a splash. Sting comes back and spears Goldberg, but Goldberg quickly gets back to his feet and hits a sidekick. Goldberg misses a spear and Sting hits three Stinger Splashes in the corner. They leapfrog each other before Goldberg spears Sting out of his boots. He sets him up and hits a Jackhammer to win the match after 3:08.
Winner and NEW WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Goldberg
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars
Collective Thoughts: This is the most entertaining 3-minute match you might see. It was back and forth and both men got some stuff in. At the beginning of the match, they said it was a non-title match. When Goldberg wins, though, the referee hands him the belt and he is declared the new champion. They really had this much drama around their world title and it’s all based on poor booking.
After the match, Sting disputes the decision before dropping the referee with a Scorpian Death Drop.
Overall Show Rating: 4 out of 10
Some of the booking decisions on this show were out of this world. The matches at the main event level that took place in the last hour all had screwy finishes that looked so bad. Whether it was someone just laying down, a missed third count, or a match ending due to blood loss, it just looks so bad. This was not a good start to the Russo era and I have something for those who are following along, it doesn’t get any better. There were some bright spots on the show, and I actually enjoyed the main event despite being as short as it was. The confusion around the title change was really something.
What did you think of WCW Halloween Havoc 1999? I doubted you loved it, but how much did you hate it? Hit me up over @collectiveheel on Twitter to let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.