Monday 27 February 2017

WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 Review

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Good evening creatures of the night to another coma-inducing edition of Seanomaniac Wrestling Reviews! Why did I make fun of myself? Because nobody likes a show-off, where was I? Ah yes, WCW Halloween Havoc of 1997! Off the back of a disappointing Fall Brawl and War Games match, we have Halloween Havoc featuring DDP vs Savage, Hall vs Luger, Flair vs Hennig & Hogan vs Piper in a steel cage. Again, WCW taunts me with a card that has a lot of potential but will it fall into the same traps as most other pay per views leaving me dissatisfied and wanting to rip my hair out? Let’s find out!

Opening Promo

All about Piper vs Hogan inside a steel cage. Hogan and Piper are both gold on the microphone so it’s a good hype package ladies and gentlemen. I must mention the stage design, WCW killed it when it came to Halloween Havoc. The stages always look so much fun, Dusty Rhodes is back on commentary, I will be honest, I would prefer Zbyszko

 Yuji Nagata W/ Sonny Onoo vs Ultimo Dragon

Nagata is on his excursion from NJPW which brings him to WCW. Nagata is a hired gun of Onoo who wants to take down Dragon. Dragon wants to kill Onoo, these two could have a fun match. Side headlock by Nagata, shoulder block and nobody moves, shoulder block by Dragon. Dragon trips up Nagata but Nagata takes the back and nails a t-bone suplex. Nagata whips Dragon in the corner, headstand mule kick from Dragon and a kicking rush from Dragon. Nagata catches Dragon with a sleeper, Nagata rips at the face of Dragon to boos from the crowd. Dragon counters a sleeper with a back suplex.

Nagata is up first, big stiff kicks from Nagata. Camel clutch from Nagata, piledriver from Nagata for a two count. Dragon blocks a suplex momentarily but Nagata connects at the second attempt. Reverse chinlock from Nagata, Nagata switches to stepping on the throat of Dragon. Stiff kick to the chest drops Dragon, Dragon asks for more from Nagata. Dragon catches the leg and nails a dragon screw legwhip and starts kicking Nagata all over. Dragon attempts a plancha but Nagata kicks Dragon in the ribs. Dragon whips Nagata into the guard rail and nails an Asai moonsault. Camera pans out to Raven & his Flock.

Handspring elbow in the corner is blocked by a knee from Nagata. Dragon has Nagata on the top rope, sunset flip powerbomb from Dragon. Scoop slam to Nagata, beautiful moonsault for two. Dragon chops Nagata and sets up for his frankensteiner, Nagata elbows Dragon off and Nagata grabs the arm of Dragon and sends it into the metal part of the turnbuckle. Nagata works the arms with kicks and holds, belly to belly by Nagata. Nagata Lock in the middle of the ring, Dragon inches his way to the ropes. Dragon slides out of a powerbomb for a Dragon Sleeper, Nagata squirms to the ropes. Enzuigiri by Dragon, both men are down in the middle of the ring.

They duke it out on their knees, Dragon wins the exchange. Kicking rush from Dragon, Dragon sets up for the frankensteiner. Dragon scores but is favouring the arm, one-armed Dragon Sleeper but Nagata counters for a Fujiwara armbar. Nagata wears out Dragon after the match, Onoo laughs it up before nailing a huge kick to the arm of Dragon.

Good showcase for Mr.IWGP, Nagata looked good in there with Dragon. They told a good story, hit their signature spots. I am glad to see Dragon getting good reactions from the crowd, Dragon is one hell of an athlete and sold well in this match. Finish went with the story of the match, it was solid. A good choice of opening match from WCW.

Winner: Nagata over Dragon via Fujiwara Armbar!

Gado vs Chris Jericho

Two wrestlers who know one another very well from their days in WAR in Japan. Gedo now books New Japan while Jericho is the most over man on the Raw roster thanks to his list. They start off with a wrist lock from Gedo, Jericho reverses the hold for a hammerlock. Hammerlock from Gedo, Jericho counters with kicks and a spinning sole butt. Huge slap from Jericho and Gedo powders to the floor. Jericho attacks Gedo as Gedo re-enters the ring, back elbow from Jericho. Snapmare into a pin, two count for Jericho. Jericho chops Gedo and nails a shoulder block, Gedo sidesteps Jericho. Jericho skins the cat but Gedo clotheslines Jericho to the floor.

Powerslam by Gedo, cover and two. Sleeper by Gedo, Jericho stands up and drops Gedo onto the mat. Clothesline by Jericho, Gedo tries a hurricanrana but it’s a double powerbomb from Jericho. Two count, knee to the face by Jericho. Jericho tries a super hurricanrana but it all goes assways, Gedo powders as Jericho tries for a plancha. Gedo dodges with a dropkick to the ribs of Jericho. Gedo lands on his feet from a German suplex, Jericho tries for a victory roll but Gedo drops Jericho knee first. Jericho swats away Gedo as Gedo tries a missile dropkick. Liontamer and Jericho wins the match.

They replay the botched frankensteiner, nice one WCW. Seemed like an offense exhibition for Jericho, not a lot of heat to the match at all. Gedo looks like someone who needs to go through puberty, bless his fat little face. These guys are both very good but this match was not good.

Winner: Jericho over Gedo via Liontamer!

(WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match) Rey Mysterio vs Eddie Guerrero © (Title vs Mask Match)

Eddie became a heel after becoming back from injury and just oozed personality. After defeating Jericho for the championship, Eddie faces his first challenger in Mysterio. Mysterio grabs a side headlock, springboard hurricanrana into an arm drag, Mysterio crossbodies Eddie to the floor. Mysterio looks for a suicide dive but Eddie trips Mysterio and Mysterio lands hard on the floor. Eddie shoves Mysterio into the steel steps and in the ring, nails a slingshot hilo across the back of Mysterio. European uppercut by Eddie, Irish whip is reversed by Mysterio, dropkick by Mysterio.

Mysterio looked for a handspring elbow but Eddie counters for a back suplex. Suplex and a cover by the champion, two for Eddie. Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for two, Eddie is frustrated. Eddie rips at the mask of Mysterio, abdominal stretch and ripping at the mask by Eddie. Pumphandle-like backbreaker by Eddie, cover and a two. Mysterio counters a press pin for a springboard DDT, disgustingly quick from Mysterio. Dropkick by Mysterio, Mysterio readies himself for a tope, Eddie slides into the ring and dropkicks Mysterio. Eddie whips Mysterio into the guard rail. Camel clutch by the champion and more mask ripping.

Gory Special by Eddie, Mysterio fights out with an arm drag but Eddie cuts off Mysterio with dropkick. Nasty backbreaker by Eddie, bow & arrow submission hold by Eddie. Leaping calf kick by Eddie for a two count, uppercuts in the corner by Eddie. Mysterio battles back with forearm shots, chops and an Irish whip goes wrong as Eddie throws Mysterio into the corner for a tree of woe. Eddie misses a dropkick as Mysterio pulls himself up and Eddie lands groin first on the ringpost. Crossbody by Mysterio to the floor, Eddie is flung into the ring. Irish whip, hurricanrana by Mysterio for a two count. Eddie fires back with a clothesline, Irish whip but Mysterio springboards out of the way and 619s Eddie for a hurricanrana to the floor, Mysterio nails a somersault flip into a hurricanrana on the floor.

Corkscrew moonsault by Mysterio, two count for the challenger. Scoop slam by Mysterio, split-legged moonsault is blocked with the knees by Eddie. Powerbomb and pin for two, Eddie picks up Mysterio and charges into the corner. Mysterio hotshots Eddie into the top turnbuckle and nails a spinning heel kick. Mysterio motions for The West Coast Pop, Eddie counters mid jump for a backbreaker. Eddie motions for The Frog Splash, Mysterio dodges and both men fight to the top turnbuckle. Eddie looks for a Samurai powerbomb and Mysterio counters for a hurricanrana, Mysterio wins the match.

Unbelievable match, these two were on fire in this match. It had intensity, drama and so much excitement. Mysterio nailed moves here that some people cannot pull off to this day. Eddie is a tremendous heel, I love everything about the man, every facial, bump and move is fantastic. Mysterio is a great babyface in peril, Mysterio was selling his ass off. That finish was awesome, plain and simple. That was perfect wrestling as far as I am concerned.

Winner: Rey Mysterio over Eddie Guerrero via Hurricanrana!

Bischoff/Hogan Promo

Bischoff returns to pay per view, I think it’s been at least five pay per views since I have seen the master of The NWO. Bischoff does not want Hogan to wrestle tonight and Hogan will not wrestle unless WCW can guarantee that Sting will be nowhere near the building. Hogan runs down Piper and Sting while claiming to have made wrestling. A little long for my taste but good stuff from Hogan and Bischoff

 Mongo vs Alex Wright W/ Queen Debra

Originally, Jeff Jarrett was meant to face Mongo for The United States Championship but Jarrett jumped ship to the WWF and plans had to change. Curt Hennig has the championship and will be defending against Ric Flair and Debra is in Wright’s corner as Jarrett is no longer with the company. Wright attacks Mongo and wrenches the arm, Mongo reverses the hold. Scoop slam by Mongo, cover and a two count. Wright powders and slowly re-enters the ring. Lock-up and side headlock by Mongo, Wright arm drags Mongo and dances.

Standing switch into an arm lock by Wright, stomps to Mongo’s chest. Irish whip and more attacks to the arm. Mongo reverses the hold and Wright is down, more knees to the arm of Wright. Uppercuts by Wright and Mongo is down, Side headlock by Wright, shoulder block by Wright. Hiptoss by Mongo, scoop slam. Right hands by Mongo, stomps and elbows by Mongo. Wright takes control with a spinning heel kick. Mongo grabs Wright for The Mongo Spike, Debra distracts the referee and here’s Goldberg. Spear by Goldberg and a Jackhammmer, Wright is thrown on top and Wright wins the match.

Trash, trash from Wright and Mongo. No story to the match, no flow, no chemistry and no reaction from the fans. Referee turned around while Goldberg was killing Mongo. DUD!

Winner: Wright over Mongo via Jackhammer by Goldberg!

Macho Man/Elizabeth

Macho Man explains that DDP is a marked man while muffing some stuff that the mic does not pick up. That’s unfortunate because Savage’s promos are always entertaining.

Disco Inferno vs Jacqueline

The television champion is up against a woman, I have no idea how this match came to fruition. Jacqueline was portrayed as a man beater in the same way we would look at Chyna except Jacqueline would be in the ring fighting a man almost two years before Chyna would step into the ring. Anyways, Jacqueline is one tough woman but to believe her to be a challenge to Disco is laughable. What makes it worse is Disco is a champion.

Disco stays away from Jacqueline, this continues for at least two minutes. Jacqueline chases Disco, sunset flip by Jacqueline for two. Drop toehold by Disco, Disco powders to the floor. Arm drag by Disco and more stalling. Disco eats a forearm and shots from Jacqueline. Disco walks to the back, Jacqueline gives chase and clotheslines Disco. Irish whip by Jacqueline, shoulder block and it does not knock Disco. More kicks and forearms from Jacqueline, Disco begs for mercy and tosses Jacqueline to the floor. Jacqueline lands on her feet and pulls Disco into the ringpost groin first. Jacqueline suplexes Disco on the floor, more forearm shots in the ring.

Massive clotheslines by Jacqueline, floatover DDT by Jacqueline. Jacqueline is on the top rope. Crossbody by Jacqueline, Disco rolls through but it is a two count. Jacqueline rolls up Disco and gets the win. DUD!

Winner: Jacqueline over Disco Inferno via schoolgirl!

(WCW United States Championship Match) Curt Hennig © vs Ric Flair

Hennig had debuted in WCW with little fanfare due to some poor matches with DDP. Hennig took the place of Arn Anderson in The Four Horseman after Anderson’s abrupt retirement. Hennig would be on Team Flair for The War Games Match at Fall Brawl and Hennig would turn on Flair and The Horseman joining The NWO. Flair was understandably pissed and the two battle it out tonight of the championship.

Flair sprints to the ring and punches and kicks the shit out of Hennig. Hennig  is smashed into the guard rail and tries leaving, Flair smashes Hennig into the guard rail. Flair trips Hennig and smacks the leg off the ringpost. Flair grabs a chair but Hennig escapes the chair blow. Chops and punches by Flair, Flair struts and is in control of this match. Irish whip in the corner by Flair, Hennig explodes out with a clothesline, snap-over neckbreaker by Hennig. Hennig drops Flair and works the leg of The Nature Boy. Flair battles back but Hennig goes to the leg, Flair rakes the eyes of Hennig.

Hennig nails a huge forearm blow for two, Hennig targets the head of Flair before chopping Flair. Flair asks for more from Hennig, Flair flip and Flair is on the floor. Hennig stomps all over the leg. More closed fists to the head by Hennig, Flair battles back with chops. Side headlock and a shoulder block by Flair, Hennig applies a sleeper. Flair counters with a back suplex, Hennig powders and drags Flair to the ringpost. Hennig looks to smack Flair’s head against the ringpost with a chair, Flair dodges the fatal blow. Flair chops Hennig with a huge chop, right hands to the face of Hennig.

Hennig is whipped into the guard rail, more chops by Flair. Flair catapults Hennig into the ringpost. Right hands by Flair, Hennig is on dream street. Hennig has Flair in the ring but Flair eye pokes Hennig, more chops floor Hennig. Hennig grabs his championship to leave but Flair gives chase, Hennig has the cruiserweight championship though, must have forgotten his own championship. Knee lift by Hennig, Hennig looks for a Hennig Plex on the chair but Flair blocks the suplex and suplexes Hennig on the championship. Flair has the belt, Hennig is in the tree of woe and Flair stomps the belt into Hennig’s face. Referees come out and Flair continues attacking Hennig.

I liked the start of the match, Flair coming down to manhandle the man who tried to end his career. Everything else, was a disappointment. So, the commentary team focus on Hogan vs Piper and whether Hogan will wrestle tonight while ignoring Hennig working over Flair’s head. About the head, Hennig works the leg for the first half of the match and then it looks like it clicks in Hennig’s head “Flair is supposed to have a concussion, I should attack the head”. The intensity and heat were not there and the finish was so lame, Flair stomps the belt on Hennig’s face once and we are meant to believe Flair has got revenge on Hennig. Not even close, not my cup of tea.

Winner: Hennig over Flair via Disqualification!

Mean Gene & Eric Bischoff

JJ. Dillon claims Hogan will wrestle, Bischoff says Hogan will not wrestle and Dillon shows Bischoff that Dillon has power and the cage match is official. Bischoff continues to piss and moan, Bischoff complains about Sting.

Lex Luger vs Scott Hall (Larry Zbyszko = Special Guest Referee)

Hall has been having problems with Zbyszko, Zbyszko had cost Hall a match against DDP & Luger at Fall Brawl. Now, Hall will battle Luger with Zbyszko as the referee. This match could not be poorer than that tag match. Luger is an afterthought in this match from what I gather from the commentary, it’s all about Zbyszko and Hall. Toothpick into the eye of Zbyszko, Luger clotheslines Hall. Lock-up, Hall pushes back Luger and chokes Luger. Zbyszko stops Hall cheating and we reset, another lock-up. Luger pushes back Hall, Zbyszko gets a clean break from Luger. Side headlock by Hall, Luger breaks free and has a top wristlock before Hall uses the hair to apply the side headlock.

Lock-up, shoulder thrusts by Hall. Luger reverses the hold and wrenches the arm of Hall. Hall comes to the ropes and Luger has to break the hold. Hall asks for a test of strength, kick to the mid-section and surfboard hold by Hall. Luger reverses the hold, Hall makes it to the ropes. Luger unloads with right hands on Hall in the corner, inverted atomic drop and clothesline by Hall. Hall chokes Luger on the rope, right hands to the back by Hall. Corner clothesline by Hall for two, fallaway slam by Hall. Cover and another two for Hall, Irish whip and a sleeper by Hall. Back suplex by Luger out of the sleeper, both men are down. Hall drapes an arm over for another two, Hall is in Zbyszko’s face. Hall kicks Luger to the floor, Luger climbs to the apron and Hall knocks Luger into the guard rail.

Hall tees off on Luger, Hall and Zbyszko get into a shoving match. Zbyszko back drops Hall to the floor, Bischoff is on the apron and Zbyszko kicks Bischoff to the floor. Both men crawl into the ring, Luger unloads on Hall. Huge lariat, inverted atomic drops by Luger. Huge forearm shot and Luger calls for The Torture Rack. Bischoff is with Zbyszko, Syxx nails Luger from behind. Outsider’s Edge by Hall and Scott Hall wins the match. Zbyszko hesitates on the final count but Scott Hall is your winner and Zbyszko raises Hall’s hand.

However, Hall’s win is overturned as Zbyszko watches a replay of Syxx helping Hall win the match. Hall charges in and gets caught in The Torture Rack. Bischoff, Syxx and Hall beat up Larry Zbyszko. Bischoff poses with one foot on top of a fallen Zbyszko.

Entertaining match, not a whole lot going on in the ring. Hall was entertaining, works the crowd almost as good as Hogan. Not crazy about a match between Zbyszko & Hall or Bischoff but it looks like it could be leading to that down the road. I feel for Luger being an afterthought in this match, the man was super over throughout 1997 and with Sting appearing here and there, Luger had to carry a lot of pay per views but it looks like Luger is not going to be a big deal in the months to come which is sad.

Winner: Luger over Hall via Torture Rack!

(Las Vegas Deathmatch) Randy Savage W/ Miss Elizabeth vs DDP W/ Kimberley Page

A feud with so much promise comes to an end. It began with Savage ignoring the rising star of DDP, Savage would expose the fact that Kimberley has posed for Playboy. DDP and Savage brawled, trash-talked and tore it up for months. DDP won the first match in his first pay per view main event, Savage won the return match and the subsequent poor tag team matches. However, this is the rubber match for the two, there can be only one winner. The match is over when one man cannot answer the count of ten.

DDP jumps to the floor and attacks Savage, Savage pokes the eye and works the injured ribs of DDP. DDP smashes Savage into the guard rail, DDP snapmares Savage with Savage’s own shirt, stomps to Savage’s ribs. In the ring, Savage dives on top of DDP, hotshot manoeuvre by Savage. Left jabs from Savage, Savage stomps the ribs and steps on the face of DDP. DDP springs up and stomps Savage, rights and lefts stagger Savage. Irish whip into the corner, Savage puts up a boot and we have a double knockdown. Neckbreaker by DDP, Savage slips out of The Diamond Cutter and powders to the floor. Plancha by DDP, DDP holds his ribs in pain but continues to go after Savage.

Savage hotshots DDP as DDP falls to the floor, double axe handle from the top rope by Savage on DDP’s ribs. Savage clotheslines DDP into the crowd and The Flock. Savage chokes DDP among the people, another double axe handle by Savage. DDP and Savage are by the stage, DDP Irish whips Savage into the tombstones on the stage. DDP slams Savage through a prop casket, Dusty Rhodes is going mad on commentary, it’s hilarious. Anyways, Savage answers the count at seven. DDP kicks Savage back to the ring, Savage reverses an Irish whip and DDP meets the guard rail. DDP is hurled into the steel steps twice hard by Savage.

Savage attacks a cameraman and steals the camera, DDP kicks the camera back into Savage’s face. Elizabeth is on the apron and the referee is waffled with some sort of lid, Elizabeth chokes the life out of DDP with a camera cord. Kimberley makes the save by dragging away Eilizabeth. New referee, Savage eats a punch from DDP. DDP is fighting on pure guts alone, inverted atomic drop and front slam. DDP calls for The Diamond Cutter, Savage holds onto the ropes to avoid the cutter. Savage climbs to the top rope, The Elbow connects on the ribs of DDP. Savage is up while DDP is still not moving. Scoop slam by Savage, Savage climbs high again. Elbow Drop connects for a second time.

DDP pulls himself up at nine, Savage looks for a scoop slam and DDP’s feet hit the referee by accident. DDP slides out of the scoop slam, Diamond Cutter by DDP! The referee is up, the count has begun. Both men inch their way up, DDP looks for The Diamond Cutter. Savage counters for a backslide and a low blow, Savage has the referee distracted and “Sting” nails DDP in the ribs with his baseball bat. Savage wins as DDP cannot answer the ten count.

Good match, a lot of intensity but I believe it is hurt by the finish. I think DDP had to win this feud, I do not think there was any other way to go for this feud especially if DDP is to grow as a star. The action was great, the Kimberley & Elizabeth spot was great. The camera spot was fun and Savage dropped two elbows on DDP. DDP survived showed tremendous heart so I thought what a story it would be for DDP to survive the elbow drops and beat Savage with The Diamond Cutter. But it was not meant to be, instead we got a cheap finish with a fake Sting assaulting DDP and costing DDP the match. I do not think DDP looked better coming out of the end of this match and I believe the wrong man won this match.

Winner: Savage over DDP via Sting baseball bat attack!

(Steel Cage Match) Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs Roddy piper

Hogan returns to pay per view for a non-title match against Piper, it is also Piper’s return to pay per view so how did these two cross paths once more? I have no idea to be honest with you, it is Piper’s one year anniversary with WCW. Piper debuted at the last Halloween Havoc, Piper carries Hogan’s belt to the ring over his shoulder, Piper looks less intimidating without his beard. WCW’s cage looks more like a Punjabi prison match cage, looks like this match will have pin-falls and submissions. Hogan runs from Piper to begin the match, Hogan tries scaling the cage and Piper bites the leg of Hogan and Hogan is down off the cage.

Right hands by Piper, more biting from Piper. Hogan begs for mercy, eye poke from Piper, atomic drop by Piper. Double ear clap by Piper, Piper slaps the head of Hogan who crumbles to the floor as Piper pummels Hogan. Low blow by Piper, Hogan rams Piper into the cage. Hogan asks for the door to be opened, Piper is stomped. Piper spears Hogan out of the cage, the match continues as Hogan slams the door on Piper’s head repeatedly. Piper is crotched on the guard rail, Hogan decides that enough is enough. Sting is in the rampway but is it the real Sting? Piper attacks Hogan and slams the door on Hogan’s back.

Sting is making his way to the ring, Hogan is out on the floor. Right hands by Piper, Hogan rakes the eyes and Piper meets the cage with his face. Hogan tries climbing away, Piper batters Hogan down. They are both climbing the cage, there are two Stings in the aisle way. Hogan whips Piper with his strap, Hogan stomps Piper in the corner. Right hand floors Piper, Hogan slaps Piper over and over before posing. Hogan tries climbing again, Hogan is almost over but a Sting is blocking Hogan. Piper has Hogan on the cage, right hands by both men. More Stings are coming into the arena, Hogan is climbing into the ring. Piper is almost free, Hogan is dragging Piper back into the cage.

Hogan and Piper are in the ring, Piper chokes Hogan with his shirt and Hogan wallops Piper with the world championship. Hogan rams Piper’s head off the mat, Leg Drop by Hogan. Make it two and Piper survives, Hogan is in shock and Hogan calls for reinforcements. Here comes Savage and Savage drops a double axe handle from the top of the cage and hits Hogan by accident. Sleeper by Piper and Hogan fades. Piper wins but here comes Savage. Bischoff is here, Hogan cracks Piper with the championship. Bischoff has handcuffs, Piper is handcuffed to the cage. Hogan and Savage beat up Piper.

A fan has entered the ring, fake Sting takes down that fan. Hogan and Savage beat the piss out of the fan, security is all over the ring. That’s the end of the pay per view folks!

Another trash main event from WCW, the cage was a mostly non-factor in the match. Piper and Hogan brawled and brawled and brawled and brawled, that’s all. You had the army of Stings, one got knocked out and it never led to anything so what was the point? Then, you have the fan come in and get his ass stomped by Hogan & Savage so all the eyes are taken off the hero Piper who just scored another win over Hogan and we have Piper chained to the cage with nobody touching the man. No focus, a waste of all these Stings, Hogan in the main event is killing me and I still have to stomach a hell of a lot more from this company.

Winner: Piper over Hogan via Sleeper!

WCW’S Halloween Havoc of 1997 was an average show at best. I did enjoy DDP vs Savage and Eddie vs Mysterio, the latter might be the best match of both men’s careers but everything else was like pulling teeth at times. Jericho’s match was a squash, Disco vs Jacqueline and Mongo vs Wright were horrific, Flair vs Hennig fell flat as did Hall vs Luger and that main event was such trash, I mean I do not even want to talk about it anymore. I will say this though, Randy Savage is a crazy man and how he did not break both his legs jumping that high off the cage I have no idea but that’s it from me, this show has two matches worth seeing and the rest you can give a miss. Remember: There’s always another night!

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