October 27, 1991
Live from Chattanooga, TN
Announced attendance: 8.900 (capacity: ca 11.000)
PPV buyrate: 120.000
Welcome everybody to my review of WCW’s Halloween Havoc 1991, featuring a strange yet unique opening “chamber of horrors” match. Ron Simmons looks to make history by becoming the first-ever black World Champion, as he challenges reigning WCW Champion Lex Luger in the main-event. Plus, a battle of two future Attitude Era popular megastars takes place over the TV Title, with not-Stone-Cold-yet Steve Austin defending against the future controversial “Goldust”, Dustin Rhodes. That and much more.
The champions in WCW heading into this event:
- WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Lex Luger [105th day of his reign] – previous champion: Ric Flair, before it was vacated
- WCW United States Heavyweight Champion: Sting [63rd day of his reign] – previous champion: Lex Luger, before it was vacated
- WCW World Television Champion: ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin [146th day of his reign] – previous champion: ‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton
- WCW World Tag Team Champions: The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko) [52nd day of their reign] – previous champions: The Steiners, before it was vacated
- WCW United States Tag Team Champions: The Patriots (Todd Champion & Firebreaker Chip) [76th day of their reign] – previous champions: The Fabulous Freebirds
- WCW World Six-Man Tag Team Champions: The York Foundation (Richard Morton, Terrance Taylor & Thomas Rich) [19th day of their reign] – previous champions: ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk, Dustin Rhodes & Big Josh
- WCW Light Heavyweight Champion: inaugural champion to be crowned on this show!
Enjoy the review!
The hosts are Jim Ross & Tony Schiavone
Eric Bischoff greets multiple WCW wrestlers arriving before the show, which ends with Barry Windham being injured by the Enforcers and taken to the hospital
Chamber of Horrors Match (4 vs. 4) – Sting, The Steiners (Rick & Scott) & El Gigante vs. Big Van Vader, Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher & The Diamond Studd
The ring is surrounded by an electrified cage, and the goal is for a wrestler to place one of his opponents in the FATAL CHAIR OF TORTURE before finishing him off by pulling the energy switch. Nope, not making any of this up, I swear! Sting doesn’t even finish his entrance, going after the man who tried to take him out of WCW for good, Abdullah. Big brawl to start, as we get a taste of the “refer-eye”, a camera that the referee holds in his head throughout the match. Not making this one up either. Suddenly, some masked geek comes out of a casket, only for Scott Steiner to dispatch him rather quickly. What a mess already, and we’re barely even a minute into it. Next up, they kinda walk around and pretend to choke away in the corners like this is a battle royale or something. Sting clotheslines Vader out of the ring after three tries and follows him out with a dive, finally waking up the crowd. Just as we get another look at the brand-new technological innovation that almost changed wrestling forever, the REFER-EYE, the second mini chamber containing the actual chair required for the finish comes down and nearly squashes Foley, who barely rolls away at the last second. After a brief pause to let the chamber make its grand entrance, the match resumes as Rick dumps Vader with a Steinerline. This whole thing is indeed… unique.
Rick rams Cactus’ face into the cage a number of times, and Foley is busted open. Because of course Mick Foley will kill himself to get his stuff over, even if it’s the goddamned chamber of horrors. Suddenly another masked jobbers appear from another caskets, but they do nothing and get abused in short order too. What the fuck is the whole point of this? Foley takes an insane upside-down bump onto the cage off an irish whip by Sting, apparently determined to carry this match on his back for eight people. Now there’s one bump he could’ve saved. Sting gets put in the chair by Studd, who I had honestly forgotten was apart of this match, but Scott Steiner prevents him from finishing the job. Meanwhile, Jim Ross openly says on commentary that this match is hard to call and apologizes, which is code for “sorry folks, this sucks and we know it”. I guess bowling shoe ugly was still a few years away. Sting and Abdullah start bleeding in the middle of the confusion as well, and Jack climbs the cage near the lever switch. Abdullah puts Rick in the chair and asks Foley to pull the switch, but Rick explodes with a belly-to-belly onto the chair, and Foley electrocutes his own partner to give the babyface team the win at 12:33. After a few minutes of being unconscious, Abdullah gets up from the chair and beats up everybody in front of him, including Foley.
- Rating: I apologize if you find my rating incredibly generous, but I don’t give away negative star ratings. DUD
PN News & Big Josh vs. The Creatures (#1 & #2)
The Creatures are nothing but your masked jobbers of the month. PN News literally runs over one of them with his belly, before Josh uses News’ shoulders to launch himself into the other guy. Big Josh follows it up with a German and he chops away, but the other guy gets involved so he gets thrown around as well. Back to PN News for a fisherman suplex (the not-so-perfectplex) and then Josh with a belly-to-belly. He picks him up to hit a razor’s edge, but he still doesn’t want the cover. Alright we get it, you can beat up jobbers, now pin the damn guy so we can move on with the show. He adds a splash, but PN News wants to do one as well. Josh obliges and the squash is finally over at 5:16.
- Rating: A five minute squash match on pay-per-view. About as good and interesting as it sounds. 1/4*
‘Beautiful’ Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor(w/ Alexandra York)
RIP Bobby. This will actually be my first time reviewing a Bobby Eaton match since his recent death this summer. Lockup gets things going, with Taylor celebrating a couple of early armdrags as if he won the Olympics. Eaton blocks another one and responds with a few armdrags of his own, as Taylor bails. Back in, Bobby clocks him with a big left, but Taylor manages to dump Eaton and send him into the stairs, only for Eaton to backdrop him over and into the crowd. Back in, Eaton gets a right hand for two before working a wristlock. Taylor escapes and goes for an armdrag, blocked by Bobby who grabs Taylor’s arm and turns it right back into the wristlock – slick! Taylor uses his own head to escape the hold with a jawbreaker and takes the fight to the ramp, where Bobby catches him with an atomic drop followed by a slam. He then goes up for a flying knee and connects. Bobby throws Taylor back inside, who catches Eaton coming in on the apron and sends him into the post, before sending him flying into the railing with a high knee to the back. Back in, a Flair-like kneedrop gets two. Taylor proceeds to dump Bobby once more, adding more punishment to the back with a sitout-gutwrench powerbomb on the ramp. Bobby crawls back inside right into a number of quick knees to his injured back. A powerslam by Taylor sets up a flying splash, but it only gets two.
Taylor works the back some more with a chinlock, which Eaton is able to fight out of, but his back is too hurt for him to capitalize and Taylor dumps him again. Bobby breaks the count-out at 8 and he gets a sunset flip for a very close nearfall, only for Taylor to take back control with a clothesline. Taylor continues to smartly go after the back, this time working a camel clutch. Eaton escapes that, and also out of a sleeper (with a jawbreaker of his own, returning the favor), but Taylor gets his knees up to block a splash. Taylor goes up for a hanging splash and now it’s him who eats some knees, as Bobby finally makes the comeback. Taylor looks to block Eaton’s series of punches in the corner with an atomic drop, only for Bobby to reverse that reversal and hit a suplex for two. Swinging neckbreaker follows and Eaton is thinking Alabama Jam, but Taylor climbs up and meets him there. However, Beautiful Bobby knocks him right back down, and finishes with the Alabama Jama at 16:00.
- Rating: I said earlier it was my first time reviewing a ‘Beautiful’ Bobby match since his passing a few weeks ago, and it turned out being a really good one. Bobby had already delivered one of the matches of the year a couple of PPVs before with Arn Anderson over the TV title, and while this one wasn’t on that level, it was a fantastic midcard match. I loved how they built Bobby’s comeback and kept milking the hell out of it by having Taylor constantly going after the injured back. Great work from both men. ***1/2
Johnny B. Badd(w/ Theodore Long) vs. Jimmy Garvin(w/ Michael Hayes)
We got a weird heel-versus-heel scenario here. Hayes was actually the one originally scheduled to face Johnny here, but he’s got an injured arm and was thus replaced by Jimmy Jam. Lots of stalling and posing to start, but the crowd eats it all up and clearly sides with the Freebirds, so they’re the faces-in-peril here. Criss cross and they fight over a hiptoss, won by Garvin who sends Johnny flying over the top rope, which should be a DQ but the referee conveniently ignores it. Take a drink! Hayes adds a cheapshot with his “injured” arm and winks at the camera, obviously showing he faked it. Back in, Garvin gets the upper hand once more, and Badd bails to talk some strategy with Teddy Long. Back in, Badd finally turns things around with a clothesline. Garvin makes the ropes but Long distracts the ref, and Badd chokes away. Badd adds another clothesline and he goes up for a half-assed flying sunset flip that gets two. Johnny goes up once more, this time with a flying elbowdrop for two more. He goes up a third time, and this time Garvin catches him with a punch to the midsection in mid-air. Johnny misses a charge and is sent flying, as then they both go for a leapfrog at the same time and noggins are knocked. Johnny’s left is blocked by Garvin, who hits the DDT instead, but Teddy has the referee distracted. That causes Garvin to go after him, which ultimately gives Johnny more than enough time to hit the KO punch for the win at 8:16, with Teddy knocking Garvin’s foot off the ropes.
- Rating: This was never going to be a technical masterpiece, and I definitely wasn’t expecting one coming in. With that said, I did find this match entertaining, with a very hot crowd that definitely made it more fun to watch. **
WCW World Television Championship – ‘Stunning’ Steve Austin(c)(w/ Lady Blossom) vs. Dustin Rhodes
Lockup is won by Dustin to start, with Austin taking a second to regroup. Austin gets a takedown and works the leg, which Dustin blocks and turns into a half crab, but Austin makes it to the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Fast criss cross sequence sees Dustin hit a clothesline followed by a dropkick for two. Side headlock by Dustin is smoothly transitioned by Austin into a headscissors, and we get a stalemate. Now it’s Dustin who turns an Austin side headlock into a headscissors, and they get into an awesome submission reversal sequence. Dustin criss crosses into a hiptoss but Austin can’t follow up with an elbowdrop. Dustin fails to catch him with an O’Connor roll too, but does manage to dump Austin over the top rope with a clothesline. No DQ obviously, so TAKE ANOTHER DRINK! Back in, Dustin predicts a telegraphed backdrop with a knee to Austin’s head and he’s thinking bulldog, but Austin blocks it. Dustin works the count a couple of times with a headlock, and we get the “ten minutes remaining” announcement. Dustin gets a crossbody for two and he goes for the headlock again, but Austin pushes him into a headscissors by the hair. Dustin escapes and he goes for yet another crossbody, but this time Austin moves out of the way and Dustin’s sent flying all the way to the floor. Austin follows him and slugs away on Dustin, who’s bleeding.
Macho Stunning Steve follows it up with a flying double axehandle before throwing Dustin back inside, where he goes to work on the cut. Gutwrench suplex gets two. We learn there’s five minutes left on the clock, while Austin works a rope-assisted headlock, until the ref catches him and forces the break. Rhodes shows some life and tries to make his comeback, but Austin grabs the ropes to block a monkey flip and turns him inside out with a big clothesline for two. Four minutes remaining and Austin goes for a slam, but Dustin cradles him for two. Austin reverses it into his own for two, but Dustin reverses it back and gets two more. Dustin moves out of the way of another big Austin clothesline, and hits one himself for two. Dustin knocks himself out on a missed dropkick and Austin gets two. Austin chokes away on the ropes and Lady Blossom adds a few bitchslaps just to add insult to injury, with three minutes left to go. Austin misses a blind charge and gets caught on the ropes, opening the door for Dustin’s big comeback. Atomic drop into a clothesline, but Austin’s on the ropes. Dustin sends Austin into the railing to make him bleed as well, and then throws him back inside for a powerslam that gets two. Dustin slugs away on the bloody Austin and the bionic elbow gets a nearfall. One minute left. Dustin slugs away in the corner and knocks Austin silly, with just 30 seconds to go. He goes up for a flying clothesline, but the time expires before the pinfall as Austin retains via time-limit draw at 15:00.
- Rating: Great match between two young wrestlers with an incredible future in the wrestling industry. Fantastic sequences of smooth mat-wrestling, as well as submissions and pinfall trade-offs between the two. Very good TV title match that showcased not one, but two promising young midcard wrestlers. ***1/2
THE ONCE INCREDIBLE YET NOW A JOBBER BECAUSE HE REFUSED A SALARY CUT OZZZZZZZ vs. Bill Kazmaier
Well, here’s one that certainly promises to bring this PPV back to shite territory. Kazmaier works a sloppy headlock before Oz no-sells a shoulderblock. A clothesline takes him down, but a slam is again no-sold. Suddenly this turns into Hogan vs. Warrior II with an extended test of strength, only without the crowd participation because not one single soul makes any kind of noise in the arena. You’d think they’d call an audible an move on to something else, but nope. They stand around until Kazmaier gets a hiptoss out of the corner, to crickets. Ouch. That’s your cue to go home, guys. Nash pulls out a backdrop suplex(!!!) for two, but then he goes right back to the slugs as this just keeps going. Billy the Dragon skins the cat back in and makes the comeback before ending Oz with the WORLD’S STRONGEST torture rack at 3:59.
- Rating: Jim Ross: “it was effective, but it wasn’t pretty”. Not sure about the first part, but the second part describes this match better than I could. DUD
Van Hammer vs. Doug Somers
Van Hammer completely forgets what to do in his first move of the match, settling for a clothesline instead. Powerslam and a backdrop set up an elbowdrop, followed by a powerslam. Hammer sets up for the finish with a “we will rock you” like-clap, before nearly dropping the poor guy on his head off a slingshot suplex. That ends the worst and least effective squash match I have ever seen at 1:13.
- Rating: One would think a 70 seconds squash match with five moves would be way too simple and too short to suck. One would be wrong. DUD
Inaugural WCW Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament Final Match – Flyin’ Brian vs. Richard Morton(w/ Alexandra York)
Morton scores with an armdrag to start but soon bails to the outside and goes to the computer already. Back in, Morton cheapshots him but a second armdrag is blocked by Pillman, who then slams Morton followed by a spinning wheel kick. And Morton takes another powder. Pillman fakes a high crossbody and instead delivers a flying double axehandle for two. Brian gets a couple more nearfalls with basic wrestling moves, until Morton turns a side headlock into a headscissors. Brian fights back with a number of armdrags, and back to the side headlock goes Pillman. Morton escapes with an elbow smash, but Pillman cuts him off and once again goes back to the side headlock. Yeah, heel Ricky Morton just doesn’t do it for me. Morton turns a charging Brian’s leapfrog into an atomic drop and he goes to work on Pillman’s injured shoulder. However, Morton gets too cocky and Pillman nearly surprises him with an O’Connor roll that gets two, but Morton immediately cuts him off with a clothesline. Morton punishes the arm some more with submissions, with Brian not being able to make a comeback. Jim Ross cracks me up with the line of the night, ‘every seat has been sold’, despite their announced attendance number being 2.000+ seats away from the venue’s capacity. Pillman finally brings some life to this surprisingly dull match after hitting an enziguiri and throwing some nice chops. A double shoulderblock ends up sending both guys to the outside, where Morton manages to send Pillman’s injured shoulder into the post. However, Morton takes too long getting back inside, with Brian being already up on the top rope when he does so, surprising Morton with a flying crossbody for the win to become the inaugural champ at 12:45.
- Rating: Holy moses, what in the hell happened here? These two just didn’t click at all, delivering a slow-paced match (and not a very good one at that) instead of the exciting fast-paced little sprint that they probably should’ve, 100x more fitting of the ‘light-heavyweight’ style. For my money, this is one of the more disappointing PPV matches of the entire year. Yikes. *1/2
‘WCW Halloween Phantom’ vs. ‘Z-Man’ Tom Zenk
If that ravishing moustache doesn’t tell you who the ‘Phantom’ is, I don’t know what will. The Phantom, ahem, rudely jumps Zenk before the bell to get an unfair advantage. Rud… I mean Phantom nearly takes Zenk’s head off with a clothesline before dropping some knees. Zenk tries to make a comeback but his dropkick is no-sold, and Phantom finishes with the Rude Awakening at 1:27. If that ravishing finishing move doesn’t tell you who the ‘Phantom’ is, I REALLY don’t know what will.
- Rating: Just a squash really, but a fun one because of who was involved. 1/2*
WCW World Tag Team Championship – The Enforcers (Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko)(c) vs. The Patriots (Todd Champion & Firebreaker Chip)
Zbyszko and Chip fight over an abdominal stretch to start, with Zbyszko losing and immediately tagging out, humiliated. Arn can’t get the upper hand against him on the mat either, and he bails. Then AA complains to the ref that it only happened because Chip has too much oil on his body. That is a guaranteed extra 1/2* right there!! Back in, Todd gets the tag and he goes to work on the arm. Arn takes back the upper hand for a second and pounds him down, but gets overpowered and sent over the top rope to the floor. Yep, you know what that means, don’t ya? TAKE ANOTHER DRINK! Arn is thinking piledriver on the floor, but Todd backdrops him out and works a bearhug back inside. Zbyszko comes in and tries to interfere, and instead both the Enforcers eat a double clothesline from Todd. These certified legends are out here killing themselves and trying everything to get these couple of kids over, yet fast forward 30 years later and their tag team doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. Nothing screams ‘nope, you didn’t make it’ more than that! Back in, Arn dumps Todd over the top rope behind the ref’s back – THE ULTIMATE HEEL DICK MOVE – to finally put the Enforcers in control. Powerslam followed by a neckbreaker by Zbyszko gets two. More classic tag wrestling by the Enforcers until Todd makes the ice-cold tag to Chip. He runs wild for a while until chaos ensues and IT’S BREAKING LOOSE IN TENNESSEE, and AA’s spinebuster ends him at 9:51.
- Rating: Technically there was nothing particularly wrong about this match. However, when the crowd doesn’t give a crap about the babyfaces during a tag team match you’re pretty much doomed, as it kills the whole flow and body of the match. This was an example of that. *1/2
Paul E. Dangerously reveals his plan to end Sting
Paul E reveals he has the right man to bankrupt WCW (not that they needed much help in that department!) and finish Sting’s career. No, it’s not the Black Scorpion, don’t worry. That person is the masked ‘WCW Halloween Phantom’, who takes his mask off and is revealed as ‘Ravishing’ Rick Rude. What a shock!! Rude cuts a fantastic promo to introduce himself to the WCW audience, before telling Sting that he’s coming after his US Heavyweight Title. This would mark the start of Paul E’s stable, the Dangerous Alliance.
Main Event – 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match – WCW World Heavyweight Championship – Lex Luger(c)(w/ Harley Race & Mr. Hughes) vs. Ron Simmons(w/ Dusty Rhodes)
Simmons gets a great ‘All-American’ babyface video package, showing him training to get ready for the match of his life. Hard lockup goes nowhere to start, and we get a stalemate. Luger with the first takedown into the side headlock, headscissors by Ron, and another stalemate. Simmons suddenly explodes out of the corner and tries a dropkick, but Luger hangs on to the ropes and Ron knocks himself out. That allows Luger to take over with a running elbow, and he slugs away. Ron faceplants Luger and goes for the comeback, hitting a clothesline and a powerslam to set up the spinebuster for the first fall at 4:54.
Lex Luger 0-1 Ron Simmons
The second fall starts with Luger trying a suplex, blocked by Simmons into his own suplex followed by a backdrop. Luger rakes the eyes to try and turns things around, but ends up eating an elbow on a blind charge and Ron hits a bulldog for a great nearfall. Inside cradle gets two more. Luger tries to cut him off by dumping him to the floor, but that only gets Ron more fired up, getting two with a sunset flip followed by a clothesline. Luger dumps Simmons to the floor once again, but this time he does get the upper hand and he pounds away. Choking follows and gets Dusty all worked up on the outside. Luger with a powerslam gets two. Luger starts having back problems due to the spinebuster earlier, but he still manages to hit a clothesline out of the corner for two. Suplex gets two. Luger goes to the chinlock with some rope-assistance, but Simmons fights out and gets a close nearfall with a roll-up. Backslide gets two but Harley trips up Ron and holds his tights while Luger charges, causing Luger to go over the top rope while Simmons does not, which gives Luger the second fall via DQ at 15:00.
Lex Luger 1-1 Ron Simmons
Luger takes over with a cheapshot to start the final fall, but Ron no-sells one of Luger’s punches and the crowd goes insane. Simmons runs wild and slugs away in the corner to make the comeback. Luger tries to atomic drop him out of the corner, but Ron blocks it and clotheslines him for two. Backdrop gets two more. Ron with an atomic drop and up top for a superplex that gets a great nearfall. Powerslam sets up the flying shoulderblock, but fortunately for Luger the impact sends him to the floor instead. Simmons follows him but ends up eating post on the outside, putting Luger back in the driver’s seat. Back in, Luger hits the Attitude Adjustment piledriver for the third fall and the win to retain at 18:59.
Lex Luger 2-1 Ron Simmons
- Rating: It started off a bit too slow and the first fall ended rather quickly, but overall this was a very good main-event with great action and plenty of false finishes that got Ron Simmons more over with the people with every passing minute. Good stuff. ***1/2
END OF THE SHOW
Final thoughts: Three quality matches saved a rather lifeless PPV, full of squashes or people screwing up 90 second matches in the undercard. I would strongly recommend skipping everything, especially the fucking Chamber of Horrors (good lord), and watching Austin/Dustin, Eaton/Taylor and the Luger/Simmons main-event. Thumbs in the middle leaning down for Halloween Havoc ’91. Very low & generous 5/10
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To know more about my point system click here
|Lex Luger||3.5||1||1||+1 for retaining a title|
+1 for winning two falls
-0.5 for losing a fall
|Steve Austin||3.5||–||–||+1 for retaining a title||4.5|
|Flyin’ Brian||1.5||1||–||+2 for winning a title||4.5|
|Arn Anderson||1.5||1||–||+1 for retaining a title|
+0.5 for winning the fall
|Larry Zbyszko||1.5||1||–||+1 for retaining a title||3.5|
|Ron Simmons||3.5||-1||1||+0.5 for winning a fall|
-1 for losing two falls
|Johnny B. Badd||2||1||–||–||3|
|PN News||0.25||1||–||+0.5 for winning the fall||1.75|
|Firebreaker Chip||1.5||-1||–||-0.5 for losing the fall||0|
|Big Van Vader|
Abdullah the Butcher
The Diamond Studd
Thanks so much for your time as always. Don’t miss the next reviews here on the blog, including WWF Survivor Series and WCW StarrCade, as we get closer and closer to the end of 1991. Until then, stay safe!