WCW: Halloween Havoc 1997

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WCW Halloween Havoc
October 26, 1997
Las Vegas, NV
MGM Grand Garden Arena

The current WCW champs were as follows:
WCW World Champion: Hollywood Hogan (8/9/1997)
WCW U.S. Champion: Curt Hennig (9/15/1997)
WCW World Tag Team Champions: Rick & Scott Steiner (10/13/1997)
WCW World Television Champion: Disco Inferno (9/22/1997)
WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Eddie Guerrero (9/14/1997)

Your hosts are Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby Heenan.

  • Ultimo Dragon vs. Yuji Nagata (w/Sonny Oono)

Nagata is Oono’s latest hitman in his quest to get rid of Ultimo Dragon. Mike Tenay joins us for the first three matches that are “hard to call”, I suppose. Dragon stays a step ahead to start and wins a shoulderblock battle. Nagata fires back with a capture suplex to draw some boos. Dragon headstands on the top turnbuckle and delivers the Signature Kick Combo. Nagata wisely tries to keep Dragon grounded with chinlocks. Piledriver gets two. Nagata explodes with some kicks, but Dragon channels some FIGHTING SPIRIT and catches one to take Nagata over with a Dragon Screw. As Nagata escapes to the floor, Dragon comes after him with a pescado only to be kicked in the gut on the way down. Hey look, Raven and his goons are coming down to sit in the front row. Life sucks, but they can afford front row seats to every WCW event. Meanwhile, Dragon reverses a whip into the guardrail on Nagata and follows up with the Asai Moonsault. VINTAGE ULTIMO DRAGON! Back inside, Dragon can’t hit the Cartwheel Elbow in the corner, but can deliver the Sunset Flip Powerbomb out of the corner for 1-2-NO! Flying Moonsault scores another nearfall. He looks to finish with the SUPER HURRACANRANA, but Nagata elbows him back and jerks Dragon’s arm down across the STEEL turnbuckle connector. Tenay tells us that Dragon has had some problems with bone chips in his elbow that maybe Nagata knows about. He goes to work on Dragon’s arm and tries to knock him silly with a release belly to belly suplex for two. NAGATA LOCK and the DRAGON SLEEPER are traded, but Dragon’s arm won’t allow him to properly keep the hold. Dragon fires back on Nagata with some kicks and looks to finish first with the SUPER HURRACANRANA and then the DRAGON SLEEPER, but Nagata easily escapes the hold and drops down into the Fujiwara armbar for the quick tapout. (9:54) Good match though playing off Dragon’s supposed elbow injury. After the bell, Nagata holds up Dragon’s injured arm for a bicycle kick from Oono. HI-YA! Oono hand delivers a money envelope to Yuji. Strong showing from Nagata here. You would think it would lead a push, right? He runs through other TV title contenders over the next few weeks and you would think that would go somewhere, right? ***½

Over at the WCWwrestling.com chat table, Jacqueline jumps the table to get at Disco Inferno.

  • Chris Jericho vs. Gedo

This was an unadvertised match. Tenay describes Gedo as a fan of 1970s southern brawling, which allows Dusty Rhodes chime in on. He has wins in Japan over Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho, and even Syxx! New Japan fans are very familiar with Gedo as an on-screen character as part of the CHAOS stable and as co-bookers of the promotion with Jado in the 2010s – although he made his mark as a wrestler in both FMW and WAR promotions. The history between these two stems from their feud in WAR back in 1995 when Gedo defeated Jericho in a tournament to determine the first ever WAR International Junior Heavyweight title, which is one of the eight different titles that made up the J-Crown that Ultimo Dragon held in late 1996.

OKAY! The match. After the initial lockup that winds up taking Jericho back into the corner, Gedo slaps him one good time and snickers over it. Hammerlocks and wristlocks are traded, but Jericho decides some kicks would work better. After some jawing with the Las Vegas tourists, Gedo rolls back in to be met with a back elbow. Hourglass suplex from Jericho gets two. Gedo wants to toss him out, but Jericho skins the cat. Gedo sends him out anyways with a clothesline. Back inside, Gedo catches Jericho with a pair of powerslams. Jericho drops back on a Sleeperhold and delivers the Double Powerbomb, which might be one of the earliest instances we’ve seen of that move from him in WCW. That gets two. He looks for the JERICHO SPIKE (super frankensteiner), but flubs that one real bad. How Jericho didn’t break his neck is just luck beyond measure. You would think the match would take a much slower pace now, but Jericho tries a pescado on Gedo only to be met with a kick. Back in, Gedo blocks a victory roll and gives Jericho a kneebreaker off his shoulders. Here comes a missile dropkick from Gedo, but Jericho sidesteps the impact and locks in the LIONTAMER for the tapout. (7:18) As Jericho rolls out and gets some pats on the back from his fans, you can see there’s a cut on his forehead and his nose looks busted to bits. Gedo would have only a few more matches in WCW before strictly staying over in Japan. They do work pretty well together, but I think some plans may have changed once the Jericho Spike went wrong. **½

Gene Okerlund is back in the locker room with Debra. If Mongo wins against her mystery opponent, she must return to the kitchen where she belongs. Gene naturally asks her who the opponent is. She says the rumor mill has been saying that it could be Jeff Jarrett after all, it could be Michael Cook (?), and it could be even Steven Seagal! HAHA. YES. Well, Steve McMichael comes over shouting and demands the diamond ring and all those credit cards she has. Debra says she has earned those things putting up with Mongo and his family. Gene thinks this should be settled in a court of law – perhaps not here or in the ring.

mongo_vs_seagal

  • Title vs. Mask: WCW Cruiserweight Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Incredibly loud “Eddie sucks” chants. He tells Rey that he’s going to beat him and take the mask right off his face. Eddie goes to punch Rey, but Mysterio ducks and fires back. He tries a quebrada, but gets caught and armdrags Eddie away. Monkey flip takes Eddie over and now Rey puts him on the floor. He tries a fake dive and lands on the apron, but Guerrero yanks him down onto the floor! The dude is just MEAN. As if that wasn’t mean enough, Eddie grabs Rey and runs him head first into the steps. Back inside, the Hilo connects. Rey is on the move with a dropkick and tries a handspring into something, but Eddie grabs him in mid-air and drives him with a back suplex. Brainbuster and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker score nearfalls on Mysterio. As if the moves themselves aren’t impressive, the impact at which Eddie delivers them make them mean that much more. You’ve seen Eddie do those moves a thousand times, but it makes you feel something more when he does them in this match. An abdominal stretch allows Eddie to rip at Mysterio’s mask which is part of his purple body suit. Fans of WCW/NWO Revenge will remember the gear. Mysterio never hiptosses this hold away and instead receives a pumphandle backbreaker. Guerrero tries to hold down Rey down for a pinfall, but Mysterio manages to escape and leap onto the top rope for a QUEBRADA DDT. Holy crap. Tony says that was one for the highlight reel for the year. Just poetry in motion. Mysterio wants to fly out on the floor and Eddie knows it, so he quickly gets back in the ring and dropkicks Rey down when he lands on the apron. Guerrero whips Rey into the guardrail and brings him back inside for the camel clutch. Another hold he can easily rip at the mask. He switches over to the Gory Special, but Rey manages to get loose and armdrags his way out. Eddie swats away a dropkick though and then dropkicks Rey in the back of the head. Just nasty.

Canadian backbreaker leads to a bow and arrow submission. When Guerrero gets bored with that, he whips Rey in for a jumping back elbow for two. They trade blows over in the corner – which of course Eddie wins – and then tosses Rey into a tree of woe on the opposite side. Eddie builds up to a baseball slide, but Mysterio sits up and Guerrero posts his balls. As Guerrero rolls out to regroup, Mysterio is perched up on the top turnbuckle and planchas down onto Eddie. Back inside, Rey avoids another tilt-a-whirl backbreaker and catches Eddie with a jumping hurracanrana for 1-2-NO! Eddie runs him down with a clothesline, but then Rey goes on the move again and twists through the ropes into a headscissors that takes them both over the top rope and to the floor. Rey finally gets that somersault plancha, but this time HE UPS HIS GAME as he keeps going and twists Eddie around into a headscissors. Back in the ring, Mysterio continues his offensive ways with a corkscrew moonsault off the top for two. Split-legged moonsault hits knees allowing Guerrero to hit that DISGUSTING powerbomb for 1-2-NO! Eddie starts to show some frustration. He runs Rey into the corner and calls for a charge, but Rey launches him into the corner. Spinning heel kick takes Eddie down as Mysterio calls for the Springboard Hurracanrana. Eddie sees it coming and catches Rey with a backbreaker! That’s just cruel. Mysterio still manages to roll away from the Frog Splash. Eddie somersaults away as well, but catches Mysterio charging in the corner and launches him onto the top turnbuckle. Mysterio gets his feet taken out from under him as Eddie looks to end this with the Splash Mountain. Instead, Mysterio counters with a Hurracanrana and gets the HUGE upset victory to recapture the cruiserweight belt. (13:51) One of the greatest performances of my generation. Not just all the fancy highlight reel moves, but the way in which they were all executed to perfection. Eddie gives one of the best heel performances I’ve ever seen. He took everything to another level. Not saying that this was a broomstick match by any means, but all Rey Mysterio had to do was follow his lead. If you could find anything wrong with this match – and I’m open to criticism – I do not think you will win the argument. *****

Okay, so I doubt I will get that *lengthy* in my recaps as I just did for the last match with the rest of these matches on this review. If you know the rest of this card, that shouldn’t shock you.

Gene Okerlund tells us we need to call the WCW Hotline (1-900-909-9900) to find out who the nWo is adding their organization next!

Let’s go to Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan backstage. On Hogan’s behalf, Bischoff tells us that WCW has not been able to provide a safe working environment for their champion lately – an obvious dig at Shawn Michaels. Therefore, Bischoff says it’s not so much that Hollywood Hogan is in danger, but that the fans are in danger. There’s people coming out of the stands, cages around ringside – too many possibilities that a fan could get hurt! So for that reason and that reason alone, Hollywood Hogan will not be wrestling tonight against Roddy Piper unless WCW provides them with a contract that states Sting will not be allowed in the building any way, shape, or form. Hulkster is just looking out for the fans, brah! Hogan knows Roddy Piper is praying that JJ Dillon won’t do anything about this. Hollywood says he’s already on his way out. JJ Dillon will then be run out of WCW for denying the fans the Hogan-Piper cage match. Either way, the nWo wins because Hogan will beat up Piper at some point anyway and take his WCW world title back. Bischoff really just can’t wait to party in Las Vegas. That’s all it is.

  • Steve McMichael vs. Alex Wright (w/Debra)

Anybody disappointed that it’s just Alex Wright? I guess at the time he was supposed to taken seriously, but I don’t know. Wristlocks are traded, but enough of that because Mongo wants a slam. Back inside, Wright powers out of a headlock and armdrags McMichael down. More wristlock stuff goes nowhere. Wright catches Mongo with a shoulderblock and puts the boots to him. Mongo wakes up and starts slamming and punching until he runs into a boot in the corner and takes a spinning heel kick. Next thing you know, Mongo counters a tombstone from Wright into the MONGO SPIKE. Meanwhile, Bill Goldberg has jumped in the ring as Debra missed her cue to be up on the apron. SPEAR and JACKHAMMER to Mongo. Debra is just awful at this distraction thing. Funny how it’s really the only thing she’s known for when she joins the WWF. She’s back on the floor while Goldberg is lifting Mongo up for the Jackhammer, so the ref just looks like a complete buffoon. Goldberg tosses Wright on top of Mongo and crawls out as ref Charles Robinson counts three. (6:32) Just bad interference. Afterwards, Debra hands over Mongo’s Super Bowl ring to Goldberg. Well, Debra got her way. Wright walks over to Goldberg for a handshake only to get punched in the face and sent into the ring for the same treatment Mongo received. What they were going for though made Debra look like a genius even if her execution left a lot to be desired. Crowd digs it too. This guy is not a monster heel as we will quickly see. There’s already a smattering of Goldberg chants amongst some silly boos. ½*

Elsewhere, Randy Savage and Elizabeth cutting a promo on DDP. He starts to say something about Hollywood Hogan’s situation, but soon realizes it doesn’t have anything to do with him. HA. Savage says DDP is a marked man. When he’s finished with him, he’s going to celebrate with a six pack of slim jims. Yeah, and then spend the rest of the night on the toilet. SNAP INTO IT. OOH YEAH. Page will have a glimpse of greatness, but then it will be gone because he couldn’t handle it. DDP is nothing compared to the Macho Man Randy Savage. Elizabeth thinks DDP on his best day couldn’t beat Randy Savage and his best bet is just to leave the arena. The danger factor and the risk factor is going to be sky high, DDP. Tonight, Savage doesn’t really care about hurting himself when he’s hurting Page. Savage feels he made the monster and tonight he destroys the monster. It’s a gamble, but we like gambling, don’t we Elizabeth? YES WE DO.

  • Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline

Disco is the TV champ, but apparently women can’t be TV champions. It also gives away the finish. He spends the first FOUR minutes ducking Jacqueline. Since Disco feels he can’t beat up a woman, there’s nothing he can do. She chases him in and out of the ring and gets a big sunset flip for 1-2-NO! To create separation, Disco gives her a drop toehold. Looked like we almost had a wardrobe malfunction, but no. Disco spends another minute or so ducking Jacqueline. She catches him when he’s distracted by a fan or something and beats him down. Disco heads out and starts up the aisle only to get beaten back to the ring. Jacqueline can’t shoulderblock him down. Disco looks for a hiptoss, but she lands on her feet and beats him to the corner. Disco yanks her out and gets his balls posted. She even gives Disco a suplex on the floor. Back inside, she pounds Disco some more and hits him hard with a couple clotheslines. Out of nowhere, Jacqueline delivers a Hurricane DDT. She tries a flying body press, but Disco rolls through for 1-2-NO! As he’s complaining to ref Mickey Jay, Jacqueline sneaks over and rolls up Disco for the win. (9:41) Lots of stalling, but you have to hand it to Disco for virtually doing nothing for ten minutes and the thing not ending up being a total stinker. Is it a workrate masterpiece? Absolutely not. It was definitely different. *

  • WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair

As if this needed any more heat, Hennig wears Flair’s red robe with the sleeves torn off to the ring. On the other hand, Flair doesn’t wear a robe at all and sprints to the ring to get at Hennig. Flair immediately starts chopping and goes for the leg. He’s in total control for the first few minutes. He takes his robe off Hennig and puts it on to a HUGE reaction. Funny, it’s normally when Flair takes something off that people get riled up. That came out wrong, but you know what I mean. Hennig catches Flair with a clothesline out of the corner and delivers the Hennig Neck Snap. Now Hennig takes Flair to school and looks to take out the leg to prevent the Figure-Four. Hennig then beats Flair in the corner and the Ray Stevens bump takes Flair to the floor. After some ringside violence, Flair chops Hennig back into a corner. Hennig cuts him off with a sleeper, but Flair counters with a back suplex. Still pretty beaten up, Hennig drags Flair over to a corner and places his head up against a ringpost. Hennig finds a chair to clean Flair’s clock, but Flair moves at the last second. Flair makes him pay with a big chop and a series of punches to the skull. Catapult to the ringpost! The fight continues until Hennig decides to take his belt (which is the WCW cruiserweight belt by the way) and go home. Flair beats him up the aisle and delivers the Rolling Knee Drop. Back inside, Hennig catches Flair with the knee lift and wants to deliver the HENNIGPLEX on the US title. Flair counters with a suplex of his own, but misses the belt. Hennig sells like he did anyways. To make a point that this wasn’t about winning any championships, Flair puts Hennig in the tree of woe, puts the belt over Hennig’s face, and gives him one good stomp to get DQ’ed. (13:58) Pretty fun revenge match with a fitting finish. A part one, of course. Flair will always make a better heel, but babyface Flair is at his best when he has motivation for violence – and this is one of those periods. The Flair/Funk feud in 1989 comes to mind as a better example of when babyface Flair works. Flair decks ref Billy Silverman and continues to stomp Hennig. Refs come out to help out as Vincent and Konnan head down to pull Hennig away to safety. Hennig is holding his face the whole way out. **½

Randy Savage is talking to Mark Madden and some other guy over on the WCWwrestling.com website.

Over to Gene Okerlund, JJ Dillon makes his return to TV. He tells us that no matter what Hollywood Hogan and Eric Bischoff have to say, the cage match between Hogan and Piper is going to happen as advertised. Eric Bischoff comes out to tell JJ Dillon essentially, “NAH UH”. That’s when Dillon pulls the contract they asked for out of his jacket pocket. Bischoff says it doesn’t matter because Dillon doesn’t have the authority to do that. Dillon says if Bischoff sees Sting tonight, it will only be in his nightmares. Before leaving, Bischoff demands that if Sting shows up tonight in the main event, the nWo gets Monday Nitro from now on.

  • Special Ref: Larry Zbyszko – Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall (w/Syxx)

Larry Z tells Hall to get rid of the toothpick. Hall acts like he’s going to throw it in Lex’s face and sends it flying into Zbyszko’s face instead. Hall laughs it up, but turns around into a right hand from Luger. No one can do more with a toothpick than Scott Hall. They take turns trading basic holds to show that Larry Z will call it down the middle and not show any favoritism to either man. Luger twists Hall around while he’s having his arms pulled back. Knowing Lex was having some trouble there, Larry Z wasn’t as quick to call for a break when Hall gets in the ropes. Over to the corner, Luger ten-count punches Hall only to be taken down with an inverted atomic drop and a running clothesline. He chokes Luger in the ropes up to the five count when Larry Z balls up his fist ready to deck Hall. While Larry Z backs up Hall, Syxx threatens Luger with a right hand. Zbyszko manages to catch him and threaten to send him out. Hall kicks at the ribs and delivers a Fallaway Slam for two. Sleeperhold is applied, but Luger fights out with a back suplex. After a count of seven, Hall drapes an arm over Lex for two. Hall tosses Luger out to the floor and then beats him up on the apron. Larry Z gets to the point where he has to back Hall off Luger. They start shoving each other, which ends with Hall taking a ride over the top rope to the floor. Whoops. Out comes Eric Bischoff. Larry Z threatens him with a right hand, but then just boots the coward off the apron instead. Both guys are back in the ring at the count of seven. Luger wins a slugfest and runs Hall down with a clothesline. Series of inverted atomic drops leads to the Bionic Elbow. Time for the TORTURE RACK, but Bischoff distracts Larry Z while Syxx kicks Luger in the back of the head. OUTSIDER’S EDGE and the reluctant pinfall ends this thing at 12:39.

Seeing all these goons celebrating around ringside and that Luger was definitely in control until his back was turned, Larry Z demands to see the replay on the video screen. Match continues or Hall will get counted out. Hall returns to the ring to get into a shoving match with Larry Z only to get shoved back into the TORTURE RACK for the submission. (14:35) Now Hall pinning Luger SHOULD have been the finish. It’s way more conflicting and intriguing if Zbyszko had to count Luger’s shoulders to the mat than to call the bell on Scott Hall – especially if it leads to Larry Z coming out on top in the end at Starrcade over Bischoff. BUT NOOOO. Anyways, Syxx kicks Zbyszko and Luger only to get caught in a guillotine choke by Larry Z – a move taught to him by Gene LeBell says Tony. Syxx’s arms flailing selling the hold is pretty awesome. Bischoff saves the day by stomping Zbyszko on the head. Hall nails Zbyszko from behind and holds him up so Bischoff can kick him down. Bischoff puts a foot on Larry Z’s chest and poses while Hall counts the pinfall. Syxx is still selling the guillotine choke on the way to the dressing room. **

World War 3 ad – take a look, NOW!

  • Death Match: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage

DDP’s ribs are taped. No surprise there. The rules are simple: there are no rules, but the only way to win is beat your opponent down until he cannot answer the ten count. Lots of in and out of the ring brawling to start because this is a BLOOD FEUD. DDP catches Savage with a swinging neckbreaker and tries the Diamond Cutter to no avail. Savage escapes out to the floor only to be met with a pescado from Page. That’ll do a number on your ribs. After Savage gets sent into the guardrail right over by Raven and company, Savage snaps DDP’s neck on the top rope and delivers the Flying Double Sledge to the floor. They take it into the crowd and all the way to the Halloween Havoc set. Savage gets whipped into some styrofoam tombstones and coffins. Page picks up another piece of the set and breaks it over Savage’s head.

Dusty – “HE WOBBLE-LEGGED HIM! DID HE WOBBLE-LEG HIM? HUH? I LIKE DIS! HE WOBBLE-LEGGED HIM! HE PICKED UP THE WAITRESS TRAY AND BUSTED HIM WITH IT! OH MAN!”

Tony – “The waitress tray? I don’t see a waitress anywhere!”

Bobby [to Dusty] – “You’re talking from experience, huh?”

Dusty – “I’m telling you, yeah. I’ve used one a couple times.”

Savage is up at seven. Time to get back to ringside, guys. Savage manages to reverse a whip into the guardrail. He then sends Page into the steps as well. One time wasn’t enough though as DDP bounces his face off the steps again. When DDP starts moving, Savage tosses him in the ring and roughhouses the camera away from cameraman Jackie Crockett. As he goes to whack DDP, the feet come up and Savage eats the camera. As the ref starts to count, Elizabeth appears with another plastic tray she probably found in catering and breaks it over ref Mickey Jay’s head, which is strange and awesome because she never gets *this* involved. She walks over to DDP and starts choking him with a cable! AWESOME. Of course Dusty calls it an extension cord. Showing off her butt floss, Kimberly rushes down to ringside to save her man. This is *SO* rasslin. Although Elizabeth isn’t very good at slapping people, Dusty goes into JR mode before it became a thing by repeating the same word “catfight” over and over again for effect. Kimberly grabs Elizabeth by the hair and takes her back to the locker room. A trainer takes a still KO’ed Mickey Jay to the locker room as ref Nick Patrick comes out to replace him. Hmm, this smells fishy. DDP punches back, atomic drops, and Pancake Slams Savage. DIAMOND CUTTER? NO! Savage hooked the top rope. With very little impact, Savage delivers the MACHO ELBOW to the ribs. Savage tries again and this time gets a second wind to hit his target. DDP is up right before the ten count. Savage knees him into the corner and goes to slam him, but Nick Patrick gets wiped out as Page hits the DIAMOND CUTTER. Both guys are up at eight. Savage avoids a second Diamond Cutter and low blows Page – causing him to crash through the ropes to the floor. While Savage has a hold of Patrick (even though there’s no rules), a fake Sting (clearly Hollywood Hogan) walks out and blasts DDP in the ribs with a bat to keep DDP down for the ten-count. (18:09) DDP ends up doing a stretcher job out of here. Savage decks Nick Patrick to show that there’s no shenanigans going on there. I wonder what the effect would have been if Hollywood Hogan had just come out and whacked DDP in the ribs with a bat instead of having to put on the Sting gear. What difference does it make at this point? No one is buying it when a Sting character does something detrimental to WCW. Just stop it already. Anyways, this was a great fight and unfortunately the final outstanding match of Savage’s career due to the ridiculous risk he takes at the end of this next match. SPOILER ALERT. ***

  • Cage Match: Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

The WCW world title is not on the line because that title is saved for Sting and Roddy Piper has to win every time he faces Hogan in WCW. ANOTHER SPOILER ALERT. Piper does carry the belt with him to the ring though. As for the cage, it’s different than your typical WCW cage. It’s more like the Hell in a Cell without a roof where you have a ringside or the old Memphis cage when Tommy Rich came up from under the ring and helped Austin Idol against Jerry Lawler back in 1987. No rules or ways to win are mentioned that I ever heard. Lots of biting and such from Piper to start. Hogan is trying to leave, but Piper won’t let him. He sends Piper face first into the cage and tries to get through the door, but Piper goes out with at the same time to cancel out a decision. Piper gets the door slammed on him a few times and then Hogan drops his balls straight down on the guardrail. Hogan looks like he’s going to leave, but gets scared when he sees a fake Sting. Back in the cage, Piper and Hogan punch one another while they both climb up the cage walls. Well, that goes nowhere. Another Sting comes down and stands by other one. Hogan whips Piper with his weightlifting belt and punches Piper square in the face before trying to climb out. BUT THE DOOR IS RIGHT THERE. One of the fake Stings points the bat at him from the floor to keep Hogan from climbing down. More Stings appear from all over the arena. Now Piper is punching Hogan as they sit on the rim of the cage. Back down to the floor, Hogan looks to be busted open. Hogan gets choked with his own t-shirt, but then nails Piper with the WCW world title. A pair of LEGDROPS and all of a sudden ref Randy Anderson comes in the cage and counts 1-2-NO! At this point, Hogan can’t do anything more. He waves to the back as Randy Savage sprints passed the Stings and climbs up the cage wall. He comes down with a Flying Double Sledge, but Piper moves and Hogan gets wiped out. Savage clearly blows out his knees – thus ending any career those knees had left to give. Piper throws him out and slaps the SLEEPERHOLD on Hogan as he passes out to give Piper the win. (13:37) While Piper has to fight off Savage again, Eric Bischoff and one of the fake Stings get inside the cage. Bischoff wakes up Hogan and tosses the fake Sting aside. Hogan and Savage now handcuff Piper to a cage wall so they can wail away on him without a fight – essentially daring the real Sting to come to the rescue so that the nWo can get what they want: Monday Nitro.

A plant – I MEAN, fan in a Sting mask and t-shirt jumps the rail and climbs inside the cage, but he’s intercepted by the fake Sting. The camera was on him as he was jumping the rail. Come on now. No one watching on TV could be buying this. Doug Dellinger is just standing there watching him. When the fan gets away from the fake Sting, Hogan and Savage take him into the ring to punch and kick him. Now Schiavone is showing sympathy saying the fan didn’t deserve to get beaten up that way because he just wanted to help Roddy Piper; going against the unconditional “no-no” of every professional wrestling promotion on the planet: no fans allowed in the ring while the show is going on. Finally, Doug Dellinger and some other random security dudes get him away from Hogan and Savage to carry him out. Back to pummeling on Piper until they cut away to end the show.

So Piper wins the battle, but not the war. This was not a good cage match. Just lots of pointless climbing, the rules were never really clear, and just a bunch of typical Piper-Hogan action. Their best years of wrestling each another were left behind in 1985. End of story. ½*

Final Thoughts: In a lot of ways, it’s the end of an era for WCW. The Piper-Hogan feud is technically over. While they will wrestle each other in some capacity multiple times next year, it’s never the main attraction like it was here for the past YEAR. The eight-month long DDP-Savage feud has come to an end as they have very little interaction with each other from here onward. Despite main eventing PPVs and winning another world title, Savage leaves WCW for a while to nurse his knees after the Great American Bash while 1998 solidifies DDP as a franchise player. Of course though, he was never the same after this event.

Say what you will, you could make an argument that Halloween Havoc 1997 was the best PPV of that year for WCW. To me, Bash at the Beach is really the only other strong contender, but I think this show was laid out better and had a stronger second half than Bash at the Beach. Plus, there’s a perfect Rey-Eddie match. The last two PPVs of 1997 are known to suck, but you never know. Thumbs up for Halloween Havoc.

Top Five WCW PPVs of 1997 (so far)
1. Halloween Havoc (Rey-Eddie, Nagata-Dragon, DDP-Savage III)
2. Bash at the Beach (Six-man lucha, Jericho-Dragon)
3. Spring Stampede (Rey-Dragon, DDP-Savage I, Benoit-Malenko)
4. Slamboree (Regal-Dragon, Benoit-MENG, Jarrett-Malenko)
5. Fall Brawl (Jericho-Eddie, Jarrett-Malenko, Mortis/Wrath-Faces of FEAR)

Bottom Five WCW PPVs of 1997 (so far)
5. UnCeNSoReD (Team nWo-Team WCW-Team Piper, Rey-Iaukea, Heat-PE)
4. Great American Bash (Greene-Mongo, Morrus-Konnan)
3. Superbrawl VII (Hogan-Piper II)
2. Souled Out (Hogan-Giant III)
1. Road Wild (everything)

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Posted on March 13, 2015, in WCW and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. One minor correction: This PPV was held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

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