(All screen captures are the property of World Wrestling Entertainment)
October 29, 1995
Joe Louis Arena
News & Notes: During the summer, Hulk Hogan made a trip to the Dungeon of Doom’s lair. He teleported inside and was shocked there were no Hulkamaniacs there. Hulk was equally surprised to find the water was—not hot. Then, Kevin Sullivan confronted him and the Giant choked Hogan. I covered what happened at Fall Brawl in my last WCW review. Since then, the Giant attacked Hogan again. Hulk appeared on Nitro in a neck brace. He did an interview and walked around ringside greeting fans. An old woman in a babushka threw powder in Hogan’s face. Mean Gene said, “There’s a woman! With a cane!” It was no woman. It was Kevin Sullivan in drag. WCW sure loved that trick. The Dungeon of Doom attacked again. They snapped Hogan’s neck a second time and did the unthinkable. Sullivan shaved Hogan’s mustache! The sacrilege was enough to cause a change in Hogan. He appeared a week later in all black. Hulk claimed he went to the dark side. It was a trial run for his future heel turn.
Hogan also wanted revenge for his motorcycle. The Giant ran it over with a monster truck before Fall Brawl. Hogan vowed to build his own truck, so WCW booked a Monster Truck Sumo Match for Halloween Havoc. Then, they announced Hogan would defend his WCW Title against the Giant in the main event. The Dungeon spoke of an insurance policy for the match. The Master claimed he went to Tibet and found a yeti. A giant block of ice appeared on Nitro. At the end of the program, it exploded and we got a brief glimpse of the creature. It didn’t look like a yeti. Also, someone told Tony Schiavone to pronounce it yeh-tay. He said it that way every time. They ribbed poor Tony.
The show opens with spooky music and even spookier Microsoft clip art. The moon is full. Motown has gone mad! The Giant has a jones for destruction. His evil back-cracking ways opened a ghastly gate for Hulk Hogan. Now, Hogan turned to the dark side to face the Dungeon of Doom. The narrator tells us to shudder at the thought of their monster trucks. Someone might not survive! If they do, they will face each other in the ring. Death! Destruction! MONSTER TRUCKS!! It’s Halloween Havoc!
Tony Schiavone welcomes everyone to the most excitement you can find in this sport. He doesn’t tell us if it’s the greatest night in history. I need to know! He says Hulk Hogan has arrived in a monster truck. He will do battle not once but twice with the Giant. Heenan claims the trucks made the building shake, despite being next door. They also show footage of the trucks charging at each other. Tony calls it playing cat and mouse. Then, Tony announces Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman attacked Ric Flair. He has to tell Heenan not to laugh. Bobby says Ric doesn’t have a friend in the world. He asks if there is an update on Flair’s condition. Tony doesn’t know, but it might put the tag match in jeopardy. On a side note, Tony also asks Heenan why he was eating sushi. (I’ll explain that storyline in a future review.)
Next, they recap the Johnny B. Badd/DDP feud. At Fall Brawl, Badd won the right to face Sting for the U.S. Title. However, Badd no-showed the match. They gave him two opportunities. Brian Pillman ended up replacing him. Badd arrived at the end of the program. He explained he had a flat tire. Based on Johnny’s appearance, he changed the tire with his face. DDP appears and mocks Badd for missing his opportunity. Page said it should have been him. Max Muscle then ruins the entire thing. He laughs at Badd having four flat tires. Johnny says, “How did you know it was four flat tires? I said a flat tire!” He then punches DDP in the jaw.
TV Title Match: Johnny B. Badd vs. Diamond Dallas Page (c) (w/ The Diamond Doll & Max Muscle)
Notes: They booked a match between these two on Saturday Night, but DDP blindsided Badd. He even stole Johnny’s Badd Blaster. That dastardly fiend! The attack upset Kimberly. She’s tired of DDP’s crap. Rumors spread saying DDP’s fortune was Kimberly’s money. Page lied about winning it. You can tell she’s reaching a breaking point.
DDP carries the Badd Blaster to the ring and shoots it into the crowd. Badd enters the arena with his back to the camera. You think he’s showing off his cape, but it’s a swerve! The man in the aisle is a decoy. Badd jumps the guardrail and attacks DDP from behind.
The Match: Badd surprises Page with knee-lifts until he regroups. Then, they brawl into the crowd and Badd places a bucket on DDP’s head. Johnny controls the match with arm holds and takedowns. DDP uses hair-pulling, so Badd does the same. But, Page takes control by reversing ten-punches in the corner. He attacks Badd with elbows and nails a pancake. Page also uses multiple chinlocks. Dallas yells orders to Max, who distracts the ref. This allows Page to choke Johnny with wrist tape. Badd rallies and gives DDP atomic drops. He follows them with a flying head scissors. It gets a 10 from Kimberly. Badd uses a sit-out powerbomb next, but Page responds with a DDT. He then attempts a Diamond Cutter. Badd blocks it. The fight spills to the floor again. Badd fakes out Page on a dive and nails the Badd Day. Max grabs Badd to stop the rally. Page almost collides with his bodyguard. Johnny uses the distraction to dropkick them into each other. Max then interferes again, but he hits DDP by mistake. It allows Badd to cover for the win.
Thoughts: This was a solid match. It dragged a bit in the middle, but they finished strong. DDP controlled much of the match. He only lost because of Max, so he doesn’t look weak in defeat. Plus, there was good storyline work in the bout. If they shaved a few minutes off the match, it would have been better. But, it was decent none-the-less.
Winner: Johnny B. Badd (New Champion) (17:01)
Badd celebrates with the belt while Kimberly looks pleased. Heenan wonders why she’s smiling. He says she will be out of work by the end of the night. Then, Tony and Bobby discuss the monster trucks and the Giant’s debut. Tony claims everyone knows Hogan can drive. Heenan questions that statement. Bobby also thinks both trucks will fall off the building and explode.
Macho Man Randy Savage vs. The Zodiac
Notes: Luger and Savage continued their animosity after Fall Brawl. Luger put his WCW career on the line for a match with Savage and cheated to win. Sting attempted making peace between them, but it didn’t work. He then suggested they compete in matches at Halloween Havoc. If they both win, they face each other later in the night. I’m not sure how that helps. No one ever accused Sting of being a genius. That’s obvious later in this show.
They booked Savage against Kamala. WCW paid Kamala on a per-appearance basis, but he wanted a full-time contract. When they didn’t offer him one, he left the company. The Zodiac replaced Kamala in this match. I should also point out Savage taped his left arm. He worked through an arm injury during this time.
The Match: Savage jumps the Zodiac, but a drunk fan enters the ring. Randy Anderson tackles him while Savage and Zodiac brawl to the floor. WCW officials arrive to handle the situation. Meanwhile, Randy and Zodiac take turns ramming each other into the rail and the post. They return to the ring once it’s clear and Zodiac misses a diving splash. Savage uses the opening to nail a flying elbow for the win.
Thoughts: This match was a squash. It would have been shorter without fan interference. That guy was the only interesting part. It was forgettable and pointless.
Winner: Randy Savage (1:30)
Mean Gene plugs the WCW Hotline. He overheard Jimmy Hart speaking with someone he used to manage in another wrestling federation. Then, he welcomes Johnny B. Badd. Johnny foreshadows his future as a motivational speaker. He speaks about overcoming adversity. If you believe, you can achieve! Dreams come true! Gene praises Badd for capitalizing on DDP and Max’s mental mistakes. Badd says it’s his intestinal fortitude. He then screams he’s a bad man and leaves. Gene invites him back because he has more. Gene wants to get Greek food with him. Johnny offers to pay. Gene also promises to sing “Tutti Frutti” at karaoke. Badd lies and says he wants to see that. Why didn’t we get a segment showing this dinner? WCW dropped the ball.
Then, they recap the Hawk/Kurasawa feud. Hawk & Sting defeated Meng & Kurasawa at Clash of the Champions. But, Kurasawa broke Hawk’s arm after the bout. They did this so Hawk could take time off to heal an arm injury.
Kurasawa (w/ Col. Parker) vs. Road Warrior Hawk
Notes: Kurasawa is a former Olympic wrestler named Manabu Nakanishi. NJPW signed him to a contract and sent him to the United States to hone his skills. Young wrestlers traveling abroad was an NJPW tradition. WCW gave him Col. Parker as a manager. I’m surprised they didn’t use Sonny Onoo. He manages all the other NJPW talent in the company. On a funny note, Hawk’s shoulder spikes catch a bit of the tinsel from the entrance curtain. You can see it hanging when he poses on the turnbuckles.
The Match: They immediately brawl and Hawk nails a shoulder tackle and a neckbreaker. He follows them with chops and kicks before growling. Heenan says it sounded like a fat girl sitting on a bean bag. Then, Hawk misses a corner charge and Kurasawa attacks his arm. Hawk responds with a gut-wrench suplex and a powerbomb. Kurasawa takes control when Parker trips Hawk. But, he misses a flying elbow. Hawk sends Kurasawa to the floor and nails Parker with a jumping clothesline. That was a mistake. Kurasawa uses the opening to ram Hawk into the post. They return to the ring where Kurasawa lands a Samoan Drop. He then covers while Parker holds his feet for leverage. It’s enough for the win.
Thoughts: The match had the potential to be a good hoss fight, but it was too short. I like what I saw. I wanted more. Kurasawa had some hard-hitting matches on Nitro. Plus, you know Hawk will provide some high-impact offense. If they gave these guys a few more minutes, it would be enjoyable. WCW paced this PPV in an odd way. Some matches get too much time. Others don’t get enough.
Winner: Kurasawa (3:15)
Tony and Bobby recap the match while Hawk celebrates despite losing. Heenan doesn’t care Kurasawa cheated. He’s more concerned about Parker’s prized hat.
Then, Gene is backstage. Randy Savage paces the floor while Okerlund explains the situation. Savage says it’s one down and one to go. He also jokes about audience participation in the match. Randy then calls out Hogan for comments about him. He says he can beat Hulk. Gene tries asking a question, but Savage yells, “YOUR MUSTACHE IS CROOKED!!” Randy’s words hurt Gene, so he tells Randy his beard is out of line. Savage says that’s okay. He then refocuses and promises to beat Luger. Gene would rather talk about monster trucks. Savage says, “My curiosity is killing me. Just like a cat would be killed by the curiosity. Yeah!” Well said, Randy. He follows that by saying friendship is friendship and business is business. Hogan drew the line in the sand. He’s just following it. Savage then ends the promo saying he will be a participant and he’ll watch through the video scope! Yeah! This was glorious. You have to watch this promo.
Sabu (w/ The Sheik) vs. Mr. J.L.
Notes: Mr. JL is Jerry Lynn under a mask. I’m unsure what his gimmick is other than a masked mystery man. WCW must not have liked his face. He’s facing Sabu. He debuted on Nitro, and they disqualified him for using a table. WCW wanted to show Sabu’s chaotic nature. Sabu’s uncle, the Original Sheik, accompanies him. Sheik carries a scimitar, but he doesn’t use it. Meanwhile, Heenan speculates what JL means. He suggests it’s jerk at lunch.
The Match: Sabu slides into the ring, but JL gives him an enziguri. They brawl to the floor where Sabu nails an Asai Moonsault. He clips his uncle in the process. Sabu follows with a somersault plancha, but he misses. JL answers with a flying cross body to the outside. Then, Sabu misses a moonsault, but JL hits one. JL continues with a sit-out powerbomb. However, JL misses a corner charge. Sabu uses the opening to nail a slingshot leg drop. JL responds with a German suplex in the corner. JL then climbs the turnbuckles, but Sabu crotches him. He gives JL a victory roll off the top rope! It’s not enough and JL dropkicks Sabu out of the ring. But, Sabu catches him at the ropes and lands a split-legged moonsault for the win.
Thoughts: This was fun, but it was rushed. There wasn’t time for selling. They packed ten-minutes of action into a few minutes. I want to see a longer match between them. That won’t happen. Sabu leaves WCW within weeks. It wasn’t meant to last. JL will remain a little longer.
Winner: Sabu (3:25)
After the match, the Sheik throws a fireball in JL’s face. Tony calls it vintage Sheik. A young Michael Cole takes notes. The fireball astounds Heenan. He wants to know how Sheik did it. Tony doesn’t know. Then, Tony recaps the Giant’s appearances. He mentions the Giant throwing Andre’s shirt at Hogan. He also talks about Giant choking Hogan in the Dungeon’s cave.
The Master is in the arena. He’s there to scream some nonsense. He says the moon is full over Detroit. The stars are aligned. It’s a new day in Tokyo and Peking. But, there will be a total eclipse. So, turn around bright-eyes! He promises his Sullivan will walk upon the galaxies because of the insurance policy. That insurance policy is The Yeti! The Taskmaster tells Hogan the insurance policy is there. It’s written from the bones of Anaris. What does that even mean? He claims Hogan’s evil is out of control because he wears black. Then, Sullivan yells about their monster truck being the strongest. He tells Hogan he has no friends. Sting, Savage, and Luger are vultures clicking at his heels. The Master pats him on the hand to show his approval. This was ridiculous and I loved it.
Mean Gene asks for an interpretation of that last segment. Then, he introduces his guests. During the first episode of Nitro, Gene announced Mike Hill won a Harley Davidson. Maniac Mike is at Halloween Havoc to collect his prize. He brought his disturbingly young Asian fiancée with him. She looks terrified. Blink if you need help, lady! Hulk Hogan and Tony and Dorris from Carlini’s Harley Davidson are also there. Hogan says Maniac Mike inspires him. Hulk then calls Tony Carlini Cadillac Jack. He threatens to twist his arm to get some extra chrome on the bike. Tony says they can do that. Dorris also presents Mike with some merchandise. She invites him to the store for some other extras. Gene reminds Hogan of losing his motorcycle. Hogan laments the loss and touches the seat of the Harley. He says that’s the only thing he will touch lightly tonight. Gene uses the opportunity to ask Dorris if he can touch her seat. Easy, Gene! Hogan reels him in by yelling at Gene. He tells him he’s worried about nothing because Cadillac Jack is in his corner. Hogan also threatens to lay the Giant next to his father in Detroit. First, that’s threatening murder. Second, they buried Andre in France. Gene then talks about the next PPV, but Hogan does a bicep pose in front of Gene’s face. Gene sounds annoyed.
They show a commercial for the next event. WCW declares war. It’s World War 3, which involves a three-ring 60-Man Battle Royal. Tony says there will be a giant in each ring. The winner will receive a WCW title match. Then, Heenan tries mocking Mike Hill for living in a trailer park. He flubs his lines. Tony makes fun of him, so Heenan threatens to punch Tony.
Lex Luger vs. Meng (w/ The Taskmaster)
Notes: As I mentioned earlier, Luger gets his match with Savage if he wins this bout. During Luger’s entrance, Tony talks about Luger facing Shark on TV. Meng attacked Shark to cause a DQ. This fueled speculation Luger was working with the Dungeon. The Dungeon only attacked Luger once. The Giant chokeslammed him, but Sullivan berated him for it. It’s a convoluted storyline. I get the idea. The execution is sloppy.
The Match: Luger attacks first and gives Meng a sloppy catapult. Meng responds with kicks, but Luger sends him to the floor. Lex attacks Meng’s arm, so Meng answers with chops and biting. Meng then takes control when Luger misses a corner charge. He nails Lex with a shoulderbreaker and a piledriver. He wears down Luger until they collide on stereo cross bodies. Meng recovers and sends Luger to the floor. He keeps him at bay while Sullivan whispers to Lex. When Luger returns, he fights Meng at the apron. Lex suplexes him into the ring and nails clotheslines. He also hits a powerslam, but Meng fetches the golden spike from his boot. He nails Luger in the throat and covers him. Sullivan enters the ring and taps Lex with his boot. Nick Patrick considers it enough for a DQ.
Thoughts: The match was slow and dull. It was punching and kicking. I don’t know why this needed thirteen minutes. The pacing for this show is all wrong. It also doesn’t help it had a weak finish. If that’s how they ended it, why not make it shorter?
Winner: Lex Luger (by DQ) (13:14)
Meng is confused. He shoves Sullivan, but Kevin explains they want Savage and Luger to fight. Heenan says it doesn’t make sense. He’s not wrong.
Gene is backstage with The Giant. He looks strange in a gray jumpsuit. Gene talks about the monster truck match. He speaks about the weight of the trucks. Art Donovan would be proud. Then, Gene asks for the Giant’s thoughts. The Giant grabs Gene’s hand to pull the mic closer and Gene cries out in pain. Giant says if Hogan has the guts and heart to show up, he’ll push him off the roof. Then, what’s left of Hogan will hand him the belt. Gene complains about his hand before mentioning the WCW Title Match. The Giant says Hogan will get the beating of his life if he lives. Giant then says, “WCW Heavyweight Championship on the belt! Hogan, you’re mine!” The Giant leaves while Gene hypes the upcoming matches.
Sting & Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson & Flyin’ Brian
Notes: Fans throw trash at Arn & Pillman during their entrance. A piece nails Arn in the chin. Arn doesn’t flinch. He reaches up and wipes his face without missing a beat. Meanwhile, Pillman tells the cameraman everyone is worthless and weak. Then, Sting arrives alone. Tony says Flair is receiving medical help, but they don’t have an update. Heenan says Flair would be in the ring if he could. The fans chant we want Flair.
The Match: Sting fends off some double-teaming and makes both men regroup. Pillman yells at the cameraman. Sting then evades both men and takes them down again. Pillman enters the match and slaps Sting. He lures Sting to the floor, but Sting evades the trap. Then, Pillman offers a handshake. Sting boots him in the gut and nails a press slam. Arn returns. Sting catapults him into Brian and launches Pillman onto the guardrail. However, Arn takes control by ramming Sting against Brian’s head. Sting is in trouble, but Flair arrives! He’s dressed in street clothes, and his head is bandaged.
Ric stands in the corner and cheers Sting while Arn & Brian double-team him. They attempt a Rocket Launcher, but Sting raises his knees. Arn & Pillman cut off Sting’s tag attempts before Arn puts Sting in an abdominal stretch. Brian also uses a Half Crab. Both men assist with leverage. They use more double-teaming and holds until Sting rallies. Arn cuts him off with a spinebuster. Then, they work on Sting’s leg. Flair tells Sting to stand tall. He rallies by ramming Arn & Brian’s heads together. This opens the door for Sting to tag. Flair enters the match and struts before—punching Sting in the face. All three men attack Sting, so the ref calls for the bell.
Thoughts: This was great. It was storytelling at its best. They drew in the crowd with the drama. They reacted well to the swerve. You could see it coming, but that didn’t ruin the moment. Arn Anderson accomplished his goal. He brought back the old Flair. Now, we get a Horsemen reunion that is far better than the last one.
Winners: Sting & Flair (by DQ) (17:09)
Sting fights valiantly, but the numbers are too strong. Arn holds him while Pillman and Flair throw chops and punches. The refs try stopping them. Ric attacks the referees. Tony is appalled. Heenan loves it.
Mean Gene is in the aisle. He calls it disgusting. But, he’s not too disgusted to plug the hotline. Gene stops Flair, Anderson, and Pillman for a word. Ric says it’s time to go to school. He teaches some lessons. You don’t jump on Double-A. You don’t play around with Flyin’ Brian. You never mess around with the Nature Boy. And, you don’t walk talk and breathe unless the Horsemen want you to. Anderson then says be careful what you ask for. He calls the fans bloodthirsty for wanting this. Flair ends the promo by saying reunited and it feels so good. They leave while Gene calls it the worst thing he’s ever seen. He wants an update on Sting’s condition.
Tony wonders how long the plan has been in effect. Heenan says these men have to be together. He calls Sting a sacrifice and laughs about it.
Mike Tenay calls it a perplexing situation before introducing his guest. He’s with Lex Luger, who is wearing his trusty towel. I see Lex read The Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Tenay recaps Luger’s match and asks him for his thoughts. Luger also thinks things are perplexing. He believes forces want his match with Savage to happen. He doesn’t know why. Luger isn’t sure he’s 100%, but he promises to be all over Savage. Lex then says he stated his goal from day one. Savage and Hogan can commiserate all they want. Lex will be WCW Champion, and he will go through Savage to get there. Lex believes this is the biggest match of Savage’s career. I doubt that. He then claims the Total Package gets what he wants. He wants to take Savage apart piece by piece.
Tony and Bobby talk about the Monster Truck Match. Heenan calls Hogan a disgrace and says Hogan will get what he deserves. Then, they recap the Hogan/Giant feud. We see clips of the Giant throwing a shirt at Hogan and attacking him. They also show footage from Fall Brawl. The Giant ran over Hogan’s motorcycle, so Hogan vowed to get his own monster truck for revenge. Next, they show the Giant’s path of destruction on Nitro and the shaving of Hogan’s mustache. Hogan returned dressed in black. Finally, they show the Yeti breaking out of the block of ice. The narrator talks about the Monster Truck Match. They show a graphic of the trucks morphing into Hogan and The Giant.
Next, Eric Bischoff interviews Bob Chandler. He built Hogan’s monster truck. He says they used a racing engine. It runs on alcohol. Something tells me the WCW creative team does too. Then, Heenan asks about the size and weight of the truck. He’s amazed by Bob’s answers. Bischoff says he wants to talk to Bob about torque and body modifications. Are we still talking about monster trucks? Eric doesn’t get his wish because it’s time for the match.
Monster Truck Sumo Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant
Notes: Some guy with a mullet explains the rules. The trucks are connected. The winner has to push the other truck out of the circle. Both axles must cross the plane. Also, charges surround the circle. They will explode if touched. If it doesn’t disable the truck, they must continue. The Giant and Hogan yell at each other before entering their trucks. Mullet Man then welds the trucks together in a matter of seconds. Doesn’t welding take longer than that?
The Match: The two trucks push back and forth. They show footage of Hogan and the Giant driving, but you see the real drivers in the wide shots. Bischoff tries making it sound exciting. It doesn’t work. He implies they might fall off the edge of the roof. Chandler says he expected Hogan to be slow. Heenan is quick to jump on the joke. Hogan’s back axle breaks the plane, but it’s not enough. Then, the Giant pushes Hogan into a charge. Fireworks explode. However, Hogan rallies and pushes the Giant out of the circle.
Thoughts: This was boring. The novelty wore off within seconds. It’s uninteresting watching two trucks push back and forth. Bless him, but Bischoff couldn’t make it exciting. He tried. The crowd did react for the finish. They probably were glad it ended.
Winner: Hulk Hogan (5:00)
The Giant exits his truck and chases Hogan to the edge of the roof. They fight and the Giant chokes Hogan. They move onto the ledge and Hogan breaks Giant’s grip. However, the Giant stumbles and falls over the edge.
Hogan panics and runs for help. Bischoff is shocked. Bob Chandler looks like he has deep regrets for being part of this. Heenan asks if he fell off the parking lot side or the river side. Eric says it doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure that would matter. Bischoff then leaves to handle the situation.
Macho Man Randy Savage vs. Lex Luger
Notes: Tony returns to commentary. He tries talking about this match, but Heenan is freaking out. Tony says they might not have a WCW Title Match. You don’t say!? Heenan demands to know what happened. He sounds emotional. Tony wants to discuss the match. Heenan has none of it. Meanwhile, Luger offers Savage a handshake, but Randy attacks him.
The Match: Savage whips Luger into the corner, but Lex nails a clothesline. Then, Jimmy Hart approaches the ring. Luger stomps Savage and chokes him with his boot. He dazes Savage, who swings at the ref. Lex then sends Savage to the floor and gives him a jumping axehandle. But, Randy reverses Luger into the rail and the steps. They return to the ring where Savage attempts a flying axehandle. Luger punches him. However, Jimmy Hart climbs onto the apron and distracts the ref. Savage spots this, so he whips Lex into Jimmy. This allows Savage to land a flying elbow for the win.
Thoughts: This wasn’t much of a match. It was punching and kicking before a disappointing finish. It didn’t make much sense, especially knowing what happens later. WCW has interesting story ideas. Their execution is poor. The bout was an afterthought. The commentators spoke more about the Giant situation.
Winner: Randy Savage (5:23)
Tony says Michael Buffer will announce the main event. Heenan doesn’t care. He wants answers. He starts leaving, but Bobby returns to his seat. He’s angry he can’t get answers with all the phones and walkie-talkies. Bobby talks about going far back with the Giant’s father. Then, they show another recap of the Giant’s fall. Bobby accuses Hogan of faking concern. He then begs for information. Tony tries hard not to break character.