WCW Halloween Havoc ’92

Live from Philadelphia, PA

Airdate: October 25, 1992

Attendance: 7,000 (4,800 paid)

Hosted by Jim Ross & Jesse “The Body” Ventura

Can Chono/Rude II live up to the hype? How will Simmons fare against Barbarian? What will be the result of "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" and will Sting give Roberts his comeuppance? Let's find out!

Tony Schiavone and Bruno Sammartino welcome us to the show. While they describe the "Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal" match, a list of potential matches is shown. They then discuss the WCW World title match as Cactus Jack provides a training session for the Barbarian.

We then revisit WCW Saturday Night when Rhodes and Windham argued and slapped one another (aired 10/10, taped 10/5). Following that, we revisit the 10/17 episode when WCW Executive Vice-President Bill Watts threatened to pull Rude out of the NWA World title match if he didn't defend the US title against Nikita Koloff on this show.

Outside Rude's locker room, Missy Hyatt knows absolutely nothing. There's a shock.

Match 1 (six-man): The “Enforcer” Arn Anderson, “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton, & Michael “P.S.” Hayes versus Z-Man, Shane Douglas, & Johnny Gunn


Rating: ***

Summary: Intriguing opener as the Philly faithful despised the babyfaces and rooted for the heels. For example, Arn played to them often and received a favorable response each time.

Hyatt remains outside Rude's locker room and asks Harley Race for access. To her dismay, he denies her request.

Schiavone and Sammartino claim shenanigans.

Match 2: Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat versus “Flyin’” Brian Pillman


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: Pillman tried to outfox the fox which is never a good idea. Great match!

From the locker room, Long interviews Chono with Hiro Matsuda, Kensuke Sasaki, and NWA President Seiji Sakaguchi. Matsuda states that Sasaki will be one of two referees for the NWA World title match.

Schiavone then interviews Watts who mentions that Race will be the second referee in the NWA World title match. Watts then notes that Terry Gordy has been suspended indefinitely for breach of contract. What Watts failed to mention was that Gordy had ties to AJPW and wouldn't wrestle for NJPW despite the contract stipulation. Nonetheless, Steve Williams has chosen "Stunning" Steve Austin to replace him. Furthermore, Rude has designated Big Van Vader to substitute for him in the US title match. What? Italian Stallion wasn't available?

Match 3 for the WCW US title (no-DQ): Big Van Vader (champion w/ Harley Race & "Ravishing" Rick Rude) versus Nikita Koloff


Rating: **

Summary: This match marks the final supershow appearance of the "Russian Nightmare." Either during this match or their series in the following weeks, Koloff suffered herniated disks in his neck which ultimately led to his retirement. His final TV appearance happened on WCW Worldwide when he lost to Vader during Ventura's Strongest Arm tournament.

Promo airs for Starrcade '92. It will be LIVE on PPV on 12/28. Order NOW!

Backstage, Long interviews Williams and Austin.

Elsewhere backstage, Hyatt interviews Windham and Rhodes.

Match 4 for the NWA/WCW World tag team titles: Barry Windham & the “Natural” Dustin Rhodes versus “Dr. Death” Steve Williams & “Stunning” Steve Austin


Rating: ***1/2

Summary: What a convoluted finish to an otherwise entertaining tag match. Seriously, I don't get why neither team played to the Philly faithful. The only time the crowd reacted was Austin's brief celebration. The lack of crowd support along with the aborted Dusty finish hurt the match while the workrate helped the match tremendously.

On the podium, Schiavone interviews Vader, Race, and Uncle Paul. Speaking of Uncle Paul, he mentions that he gave Vader and Race "half of the winner's purse." While he flaunts his ego, Madusa interrupts much to Uncle Paul's chagrin. He then berates Madusa in an extremely misogynistic way. To insult her further, he tells Madusa that "the other hooker had a previous obligation."

He then F-I-R-E-S Madusa diminishing her intelligence in the process. When Uncle Paul strikes her, Madusa delivers a standing side kick knocking him down. She then pummels Uncle Paul until officials separate them. As he grabs the microphone, Uncle Paul calls her a "bitch" and wants to beat her "with one hand tied behind (his) back." She then chases him off the stage calling him a "bastard." Nuclear segment!

HOT TAKE: First, this awakened the Philly faithful from a deep slumber and was the most entertaining part of the show thus far. Second, is it me or does Uncle Paul shine in Philadelphia? Hmmm...it's like he belongs there for some reason.

As the wheel rises to the podium, Sting spins it, and "Coal Miner's Glove" represents the stipulation for the unsanctioned main event. Let that simmer for a moment...

Rating: DUD

Summary: This is one of the worst World title matches in pro wrestling history. Unlike in Tokyo, Chono never leaves his feet except for a sunset flip. Rude then bores the Philly faithful to tears with rest holds. To make matters worse, the Dusty finish screws over not only the Philly fans but also the PPV customer. What's WCW thinking? Better options exist to protect Rude than this. Any points for psychology used by each wrestler (Chono-back/Rude-neck) get nullified by the god-awful finish.

After the match, Sasaki and Race shove one another until Sasaki slams Race. Meanwhile, the Philly faithful eats it up with a spoon. Sasaki then dropkicks Rude and clotheslines him over the top rope to the concrete floor. To completely overshadow both World title competitors, Sasaki clotheslines Race to a raucous ovation. Following a suplex, Race seeks refuge elsewhere. How pointless!

Promo #2 for Starrcade '92 airs.

We then see taped footage of Cactus Jack breaking cinder blocks over Barbarian's back.

Match 6 for the WCW World title: Ron Simmons (champion) versus the Barbarian (w/ Cactus Jack)


Rating: *

Summary: Definitely not as bad as the previous match but certainly not World title material. Methinks the Simmons as champion experiment has failed. GET THE TITLE OFF HIM STAT!

Schiavone and Sammartino interview Erik Watts. Simmons joins Watts, and they embrace. In his effort to elevate Simmons, Sammartino congratulates him on the victory. Putting it mildly, Philly does NOT like Erik Watts.

Match 7 (coal miner’s glove/unsanctioned): Sting versus Jake “The Snake” Roberts


Rating: *1/2

Summary: Here are my two cents on the stipulations:

  1. A coal miner's glove match was antiquated but unique in 1992. First blood and barbed wire matches were not going to happen because Sting had already bled at Great American Bash '92, and PPV companies wouldn't authorize a barbed wire match. Steel cage matches, although rare, wouldn't have drawn as well as expected.
  2. Had the stipulation for the match been set before the PPV, the Philly faithful may not have chosen to attend the show. The mystery behind the stipulation translated to both the biggest paid crowd for a WCW show in '92 as well as a big buyrate.

As far as the match goes, Roberts had three moves—knee lift, short-arm clothesline, and DDT. Trying to sustain a main event match with those limitations caused the match to suffer. Since it was a grudge match, I didn't expect Sting to apply submission moves, but the wrestling in the match was merely confined to Sting's shoulder work. It took an actual snake bite to effect a pinfall. Ponder on that one.

After the match, Roberts has tremendous difficulty separating the snake from his face. Eventually, he removes the snake, and Cactus pulls him backstage for medical attention. This match marks Roberts' sole WCW supershow appearance because Roberts sought treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic on 11/10. Ultimately, that led to his release.

Conclusion: Where to start? First, three of the first four matches are worthwhile. If you absolutely need to see Koloff's last supershow match, add the fourth. However, secondly, and more importantly, the last three matches stunk on Melba toast because the NWA match was a chore to watch and an unmitigated disaster. Also, the WCW World title match was anything resembling one while the main event wasn't a thrilling gimmick match whatsoever. I can only hope that Clash XXIL and Starrcade '92 make me forget this dreck.

Buyrate: 0.90

Stay tuned for WWF Saturday Night’s Main Event XXXI!

Comments? Suggestions? Send them to me at rsg@rockstargary.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstargary202).

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