NWA/WCW Halloween Havoc 1990 Review (How Many Stings Are There?)

Welcome everyone to my review of the second annual NWA/WCW Halloween Havoc PPV. Featuring Ric Flair in a rare Tag Team Title match alongside Arn Anderson against Doom, two young athletes Sting and Sid fighting over the World Title in the main-event, Lex Luger putting the US title on the line against Stan Hansen and much more.

Here is the list of champions in NWA/WCW heading into this PPV:

  • NWA World Heavyweight Champion: Sting
  • NWA United States Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger
  • NWA World TV Champion: Arn Anderson
  • NWA World Tag Team Champions: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)
  • NWA United States Tag Team Champions: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)

Enjoy the review!

IMG credit: WWE &

The hosts are Jim Ross & Paul E. Dangerously
Live from Chicago, IL

The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane)(w/ Jim Cornette) vs. Ricky Morton & Tommy Rich
IMG credit: WWE &

This is the last match of the Midnight Express and Cornette in the company, as Corny and Lane finally got sick and tired of Jim Herd and left the territory just a few days later. Gibson was out hurt, so Rich is your Rock ‘n’ Roller-in-peril tonight! Eaton gives Morton a rare clean break only to then smash his elbow in the face. Eaton goes up but gets slammed off and then a criss cross sequence ends with Morton catching Eaton with a rana. Lane comes in with the usual double savate kick sequence to keep Morton in the Ricky Morton role! Slingshot clothesline into Eaton’s elbowdrop gets two. Morton makes a short comeback that goes nowhere and ends with him eating buckle on a blind charge. Lane dumps him and slams him on the ramp to set up Eaton for the Rocket Launcher, with Heyman going crazy for it on commentary! They throw him back in but it only gets a nearfall. Morton rolls up Lane and goes for the hot tag to Rich, but Eaton gets tagged in first and prevents it from happening by hitting a neckbreaker on Morton. Slingshot backbreaker gets two and then Cornette distracts the ref so Eaton can send Morton over the top rope for the ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE! Eaton tries to send Morton into the post but ends up eating a rana on the floor. Another roll up on Lane gets two more as the heels prevent the hot tag once more. Off to Eaton for the Alabama Jam, but they don’t want to put him away just yet. They set up for a second Rocket Launcher… but Morton gets his knees up. HOT TAG RICH! He comes in running wild and the Thesz Press on Lane nearly does it already, but Eaton saves the pin. The ME get the ref distracted which allows Cornette to hit Rich with the racket, until out come the Southern Boys dressed as Jim Cornette – great idea by a genius who had other genius ideas such as the Ding Dongs, you’ve probably Herd of him – and they distract Cornette which allows Rich to steal the racket and use it on Lane for the pin at 20:49.

  • Rating: This did not feel like it went on for 20 minutes, even though 98% of it was Ricky Morton rolling around the mat like a clinically dead man, which shows why he is the greatest ever at playing said role. On the other hand, the finish was what it was. This was a fantastic opener, and the Midnight Express leaving was a major loss for the company at this time, as they were clearly one of the greatest tag teams in the organization and the whole industry at this time. ***1/2

Meanwhile, Tony Schiavone interviews Sting. He mentions the title match against Sid until The Black Scorpion appears and takes a young Sting fan, which leaves Sting very confused. Ugh….

What Happened When on Twitter: "Costumes, a fake Sting, and of course "black  magic" from the Black Scorpion! This is not a rib. This is Halloween Havoc  1990! Vote now!…"
IMG credit: WWE
The Fabulous Freebirds (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin)(w/ Little Richard Marley) vs. The Renegade Warriors (Chris & Mark Youngblood)
IMG credit: WWE &

Hayes fixes his hair, moonwalks and stalls to start as usual. Mark chops away and Chris comes in with a flying double clothesline. The Freebirds turn things around and dump Chris so Richards can throw his own shots in as the crowd starts chanting for the Freebirds to hit the DDT because they don’t give two flying shits about the babyfaces. Garvin teases the DDT but Chris blocks it, which doesn’t impress the crowd. The Freebirds cheapshot Chris on the floor and then Hayes’ elbowdrop back inside gets two. Hayes goes up but gets slammed off, which sets up the “hot” tag to Mark that the crowd doesn’t react to whatsoever. Mark runs wild for a while until he goes for an O’Connor Roll on Garvin, as Hayes sneaks in and gives Mark the DDT which gets a big pop and allows Garvin to take the win at A WHOOPIN’ 17:28.

  • Rating: This was ridiculously long and just boring. The crowd didn’t give a crap about the babyfaces at all, yet the match just kept going on forever regardless. It went shorter than the opener yet it felt much longer. Bad match. *

Meanwhile, The Four Horsemen promise Ric & Arn will capture the tag belts while Sid will win the big World belt. Imagine that, Ric Flair and Arn Anderson taking a back seat to Sid LOL!

NWA United States Tag Team Championship: The Steiners (Rick & Scott Steiner)(c) vs. The Nasty Boys (Jerry Sags & Brian Knobbs)
IMG credit: WWE

This is going to be ugly one way or another! They get into a slugfest to start and it doesn’t take too long until Scott throws Sags off the middle buckle with an overhead superplex to a huge pop already. A double arm powerbomb by Scott is followed up with the Steiners’ Doomsday Bulldog for two, as Knobbs attacks Scott with a chair to the back of the head behind the referee’s back for two. That allows the Nasties to take control and Knobbs hits a powerslam for two. Gutwrench suplex gets two more. Knobbs works an abdominal stretch with some illegal assistance from Sags, until Scott decides he’s had enough and suddenly explodes his way out of it with a belly to belly. Rick joins the party with a few Steinerlines but he misses a blind charge and goes flying over the top rope and all the way to the floor. Meanwhile the Nasties hit a double spike piledriver on Scott until Rick comes in with the chair to clean house while the ref is again distracted removing Knobbs from the ring. Sags gets busted open and Scott gives him a backdrop suplex. Scott goes for the tag but Knobbs takes him down by the leg into a Boston Crab, which Scott powers out of WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD! Knobbs still manages to prevent the hot tag a second time and this time works a camel clutch. Scott reverses that as well and then Sags misses a blind charge, finally allowing Scott to make the HOT tag to Rick! He runs wild with Steinerlines on both Nasties and a belly to belly on Sags gets two. All of a sudden everyone gets in and the Nasties dump Rick while IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TULSA and Rick gets back in with a flying double clothesline to both heels back inside. Scott runs in with the FRANKENSTEINER on Knobbs for the pop of the night and the win to retain the straps at 15:24.

  • Rating: It’s like I said at the top of this match review, it was ugly in a good way. It was a stiff and hard-hitting match that didn’t always follow the rules and sometimes got a little bit sloppy in terms of execution, but it was exciting to watch. The Frankensteiner in the end in particular is a bit weird, as Steiner doesn’t get the move 100%, but it’s a fun street fight between four bulls. ***1/4

Meanwhile, the Steiners cut a promo on their win only to get attacked by the Nasty Boys dressed as staff workers. Good angle here until the Nasties left for the WWF a few months after this because… ahem… WCW never signed them under contracts to the promotion. What can I even say, it’s WCW…

NWA World Tag Team Championship: Doom (Ron Simmons & Butch Reed)(c)(w/ Theodore Long) vs. The Horsemen (Ric Flair & Arn Anderson)
IMG credit: WWE &

It will be quite interesting to see how the Chicago crowd reacts to this rare all-heels scenario. Simmons wins an early slugfest with Arn, forcing him to bail. Back inside Flair strikes Simmons with a cheap knee to Simmons from the apron back inside, allowing Arn to backdrop suplex Simmons. Simmons pops right back up while Arn’s showing off though, and a powerslam is saved by Flair. Teddy Long so he can bitchslap Flair followed by a WOOOOO to Flair’s face while he’s hiding behind Doom. What a weasely prick! Flair takes out his frustrations on Reed, kicking away at his knee and some cheapshots as Doom are apparently the faces-in-peril here. Hmmm that’s challenging. Reed fights back with a press slam but Arn comes in to save the day. Back to Flair for a shoulderblock… but he’s the one who goes down! Reed slugs away and just beats the living crap out of Flair with lefts and rights. Flair reaches for the tag but he falls on his face with a Flair flop in a hilarious bit. Whip into the corner sets up the Flair flip and the stupid cameraman gets taken out in the process. Why would you be up on the apron close to the buckle when Ric Flair gets whipped into it? Flair stalls for a while and back in makes the tag to Arn. Simmons gets tagged in as well and Arn quickly takes advantage of Ron’s inexperience, turning things around with a cheapshot.

Arn puts Simmons in a Boston Crab while Flair adds the classic Flair kneedrop in a great tag spot. Arn follows it up with the Spinebuster for a nearfall WITH AUTHORITY BY GAWD (with an actual BY GAWD from JR on commentary!) but the heels keep working over Simmons. Flair takes the rookie to school (WOOOOO) with the backdrop suplex and starts stomping on the knee, with Arn coming in to assist him. Flair locks in the Figure Four with Arn holding Flair’s hands for leverage, drawing Reed in to distract the ref and allowing Arn to get in and stomp on Ron’s leg while he’s in the hold. Awesome! Simmons eventually turns around and reverses the figure four, but thankfully for Flair he’s close to his corner and easily tags in Arn to keep them in advantage. Very smart tag team wrestling. Simmons makes a brief comeback attempt that ends up with him missing a dropkick, and Flair falls on his ass attempting a shoulderblock! Arn comes in anyway to prevent the hot tag as they want to keep the less experienced wrestler in there. Can’t argue with the strategy. That is until Simmons suddenly explodes with a flying shoulderblock and heeeeeere’s Reed! He beats up everything that gets in front of him, and then takes Arn’s head right off his shoulders with a flying shoulderblock while Arn’s attempting a piledriver on Ron, but Flair comes in to break up the count at two. Anderson with a nasty spike DDT on Reed, but now Ron saves the count. We get a pier six brawl as then both teams take the fight to the floor and eventually get double counted out at 18:20 to keep the belts on Doom.

  • Rating: Technically flawless, this was a fantastic tag team match. The whole dynamic of Doom playing babyfaces against Ric Flair was really weird, and the crowd took their time before getting into it at 100%. And then there’s also the lame non-finish. Apart from that, great match regardless. ***1/2

Meanwhile, Stan Hansen spits some tobacco and promises to end Lex Luger’s US title reign. Stan is so disgusting that it’s great.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship: Lex Luger(c) vs. Stan Hansen
IMG credit: WWE

Hansen attacks Luger before the bell but Luger fights back and forces Hansen to take a breather. Luger follows him out there and eats the post, only for Hansen to miss a blind charge back inside and Luger to slam him. Hansen cheapshots Luger and works a headlock but misses another blind charge and goes flying to the outside. That opens the door for a Luger comeback as he slugs away, but there’s no way he can beat Stan Hansen at his own game. Hansen brings him back down with a suplex followed by an elbowdrop for two. A kneedrop gets two more. Hansen goes up for some reason and obviously misses whatever he was going for, as Luger hits a dropkick and a suplex for two. Luger slugs away and again Hansen easily turns things around, pounding on him in the corner and even taking the referee down in the process as well. He’s thinking Lariat but Luger moves out of the way and actually hits his own for the pin… but there’s no ref. Cue the returning Danny Spivey to give Hansen the cowbell. Luger blocks that with a backdrop and sets up for the Torture Rack, but then the Lariat from out of nowhere ends the greatest US Championship reign of all time at 9:30. Maybe John Cena might have a thing or two to say about that (2015), but personally I’d go for Luger ’89-’90.

  • Rating: Simple yet fun match here. Hansen trying to cheat and being all nasty while Luger keeps fighting for dear life, with Hansen taking the belt in the end to set up a future rematch. Decent match. **1/4

Meanwhile, Teddy Long says Doom are through with Flair & Arn. No more rematches. Well there goes that babyface role from earlier down the toilet, thankfully.

Main Event – NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Sting(c) vs. Sid Vicious
IMG credit: WWE &

They trade taunts like this is SmackDown vs. RAW to start until Sid jumps Sting from behind to take over early on. A Sid backbreaker is no-sold by Sting who goes for the Scorpion Deathlock already, but Sid bails and talks some trash with a few fans. He misses a blind charge back inside as Sting proceeds to work an armbar, with Sid completely ignoring it and yelling at some fans instead. Oh god! Sting follows it up with a sunset flip. He can’t quite get it and Sid shows off, which allows Sting to actually do it for two. Stinger Splash already but Sid’s out of there and Sting eats the post. Sid dumps him and pounds away on the apron, until for some reason he turns his back and gets back in. Sting follows him with an impressive dive all the way from the ramp into the ring for two. Sid bails but Sting meets him outside with a pescado. Sting hits a bulldog back inside until all of a sudden out come Flair and Arn. Sid takes Sting all the way to the back while the ref’s distracted with the Horsemen. They get back in and Sting goes for a slam, but Sid falls on top for one… two… THREE(?????) to give Sid the belt at 11:50.

  • Rating: Well this was certainly memorable. Sting’s title reign was really short but at least it was cool while it la…

Actually never mind as the real Sting comes out with a rope tied to his arm during Sid’s celebration and he hits the Stinger Splash to retain at 12:38.

  • De Facto Rating: I could be here all day discussing this match and this memorable finish all day, but I think you’d be better served checking out one fan in the front rows with the most “WHAT THE FUCK” reaction I’ve ever seen! The story here is obviously that the Horsemen tied Sting in the back and Barry Windham came out dressed as Sting to give Sid the title, but the whole thing was just so weird. Plus it’s not like Sting’s title reign wasn’t already weird to begin with, with the whole Black Scorpion shtick and all that. The match was a mess anyway, with Sid being green as a pea and Sting being relatively inexperienced as well. What a mess. I’ll take what I can get here, Sting’s dives were cool. I guess. *3/4


Final thoughts: Overall thumbs in the middle, slightly leaning up for Halloween Havoc 90. There are obviously some really fun matches, particularly ME vs. Morton & Rich, Doom vs. Horsemen and Steiners vs. Nasties, but then there’s also the REALLY boring Freebirds/Youngbloods match and this mess of a main-event. Watch it for the good stuff, and maybe the main-event as well just to laugh at how this company treats the World title scene. And they wonder why Sting’s first title reign was not a success… Anyway, still a good show with some really bad stuff in the middle. 6/10

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Click here for more info about my point system.

WrestlerStar ratingsResultMain-eventingExtrasTotal
Scott Steiner3.251+1 for retaining a title
+0.5 for winning the fall
Rick Steiner3.251+1 for retaining a title5.25
Stan Hansen2.251+2 for winning a title5.25
Tommy Rich3.51+0.5 for winning the fall5
Ricky Morton3.514.5
Doom3.5+1 for retaining a title4.5
Sting1.2511+1 for retaining a title4.25
Ric Flair
Arn Anderson
Bobby Eaton3.5-12.5
Jimmy Garvin11+0.5 for winning the fall2.5
Jerry Sags33.25-12.25
Stan Lane3.5-1-0.5 for losing the fall2
Michael Hayes112
Brian Knobbs3.25-1-0.5 for losing the fall1.75
Sid Vicious1.25-111.25
Chris Youngblood1-10
Mark Youngblood1-1-0.5 for losing the fall-0.5
Lex Luger2.25-1-2 for losing a title-0.75

That’s all I got for you today, I certainly hope you enjoyed the review. Make sure you keep following the blog so you don’t miss any of the next reviews coming up, including WWF & WCW PPVs such as Survivor Series and StarrCade, and much more. Stay safe!