Welcome to another installment of 31 Days of Halloween! This is our chance to set the mood for the spookiest and scariest month of the year as we focus our attention on horror and Halloween fun. For the month of October we’ll be sharing various pieces of underappreciated scary books, comics, movies, and television to help keep you terrified and entertained all the way up to Halloween.
Ah, Halloween Havoc, one of World Championship Wrestling’s most marketable and beloved pay-per-views. The annual October event ran from 1989 till WCW’s closure in 2001, with the final Halloween Havoc broadcasting in 2000; or so we thought. With the first WWE produced Halloween Havoc coming up on the October 28 episode of NXT, I thought it would be a good time to go back and revisit some of the Halloween Havoc’s of yesteryear.
Overall, I found there were 12 shows with main events that were down right awful and have aged like milk, whereas others were great and have lasted the test of time. With that in mind, join me as I rank every WCW Halloween Havoc main event from worst to best.
12. Goldberg vs. KroniK- Handicap Elimination Match (2000)
There really isn’t much to say about this match as it followed the standard Goldberg formula at the time. Bell. Spear. Spear. Jackhammer. Pin fall (x2 for both members of KroniK). This match lasted a whole four minutes, with Goldberg winning. Obviously.
11. Goldberg vs. Sting- World Heavyweight Championship Match (1999)
Much like the main event from Halloween Havoc 2000, the main event in 1999 followed almost the exact same formula. Goldberg answered World Heavyweight Champion Sting’s open challenge and beat him clean in about four minutes. What was blatantly announced as a non-title match resulted in a title change for some reason.
10. The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan- World Heavyweight Championship Match (1995)
The main event of Halloween Havoc 1995 saw World Heavyweight Champion Hulk Hogan defend his championship against The Giant. This was a painfully slow match that ended in a disqualification when Jimmy Hart attacked the referee. If this is where the night ended, this match might have been ranked higher on this list. However, this was WCW and nothing was ever that simple.
In a post-match beatdown by the Dungeon of Doom, the Giant and the Yeti performed a double bearhug on the Hulkster in what is probably the most awkward wrestling moment that I have ever personally seen. Seriously, I wish Seth Rollins was sitting next to me to take out of my eyes a la Rey Mysterio. To make matters even worse, The Giant won the belt via DQ and was stripped of the title the next night on Nitro. At least the event had monster trucks, if that’s more your style.
9. Sting vs. Sid Vicious- World Heavyweight Championship Match (1990)
The second ever Halloween Havoc had Sting retain his World Heavyweight Championship match against Sid Vicious. This match isn’t necessarily bad persay, but I personally just had a really hard time getting into it. Sid Vicious does nothing for me and this match just plodded along for 12 extremely long minutes and had an awful finish with a fake Sting. I wouldn’t add this match to any list of must-see matches.
8. Sting vs. Jake “The Snake” Roberts – Coal Miner’s Glove Match (1992)
1992 saw the introduction of the Halloween Havoc’s “spin the wheel, make the deal” tagline where a wrestler spun the wheel to determine the match stipulation of the night. In 1992, we saw Sting spin the wheel and land on a coal miners’ glove match! A coal miner’s glove match..?! Okay then. The match was actually pretty entertaining as Jake Roberts and Sting really are some of the greatest in-ring psychologists of all time. The reason this match ranks as low as it does is because the stipulation was only used in the final seconds of the match. Sting managed to grab the glove and hit Roberts which caused the king cobra in his hand to bite him in the face. That moment is easily the scariest main event moment in this entire list for yours truly. I. Hate. Snakes.
7. Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons – Two Out of Three Falls World Heavyweight Championship Match (1991)
The main event of Halloween Havoc 1991 saw Lex Luger retain his World Heavyweight Championship against Ron Simmons in a Two out of Three Falls match. Watching this match really shows how much WWE dropped the ball with Ron Simmons. The dude can wrestle! While the match quality itself wasn’t bad, it just has not aged well at all. One decision was decided because of an over-the-top rope disqualification. Remember those? Again, this match wasn’t bad, just almost too outdated to really enjoy it like one should.
6. Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader- Texas Death Rules Match (1993)
This was an overbooked headache. The physical action brought on by Vader and Jack was great, but the stipulation of the match was more detrimental than beneficial. The whole purpose of a Texas Death Match was to incapacitate your opponent to not only get a pin-fall, but to where they couldn’t answer a ten-count immediately after. The action was great, but the continuous stop-go, stop-go, stop-go was less than desirable. Felt like WCW was overbooking a match that could have really been great.
5. Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs ‘Rowdy’ Roddy Piper – Steel Cage Match (1997)
This match wasn’t bad! This steel cage match was the result of a year-long build between Hogan and Piper who had returned at the end of Halloween Havoc 1996. While it was fairly obvious that Hogan and Piper weren’t as young as they used to be in their previous encounters, they still put on a pretty good scrap here. While I was a little confused as to how the wrestlers were able to wrestle outside of the steel cage for a while since I’m so used to WWE Steel Cage matches, the ending was good and the right guy won for the time. Bonus points for the Savage/Hogan beatdown on a fan who rushed the ring after the match.
4. Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage – World Heavyweight Championship Match (1996)
This was another good match. Even though Macho Man and (the newly heel Hollywood) Hogan may have had legit beef outside of the ring, they had great chemistry inside it. They were able to easily feed off the energy of the crowd and story to deliver a match worthy of the main event. Sure, one could argue that this had too much outside interference from Miss Elizabeth and The Giant, but it worked this time.
We’re down to the final four main events and this is the first one that I would actually recommend watching. You can’t go wrong with Savage and Hogan.
3. Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page – World Heavyweight Championship Match (1998)
Once again, we have Goldberg in the main event. And once again, we have the standard Goldberg formula for the end of a match. But, this match just felt different. First of all, the live audience was absolutely ready for this match. Both Goldberg and DDP received a monster reaction during their entrance to the point that I don’t know who was face and heel. DDP managed to hit the Diamond Cutter on Goldberg for one hell of a pop. From bell to bell, everything worked. This is the kind of energy I miss from the current product and it’s worth taking 10 minutes to see what I’m talking about. Thank the stars that the main event wasn’t the Hogan vs. Warrior rematch. If you know, you know. If you don’t, good.
2. Ric Flair & Sting vs. The Great Muta & Terry Funk – Thunderdome Cage Match (1989)
The first Halloween Havoc main event was also one of the best. In tag team action, World Champion Ric Flair teamed with young upstart Sting to take on The Great Muta and Terry Funk. Even though this match is dated and not the most exciting from an in-ring perspective, this match was still really good. Flair, Sting, Muta, and Funk are legends and it’s easy to see why in this match. They had the crowd eating out of their hands with every chop, dropkick, and headlock. I had never seen a Great Muta match and I was so impressed I looked up more of his work. The ending was a little rushed and the Thunderdome wasn’t utilized as much as it probably could have been, but that doesn’t take anything away from this match. It was just great.
1. Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan – Career vs. Career Steel Cage World Heavyweight Championship Match (1994)
The main event of Halloween Havoc 1994 is hands down the best main event match of any Halloween Havoc event. You’ve got Ric Flair vs. Hulk Hogan, two of the all-time greats, in a career vs. career steel cage match for the Word Heavyweight Championship. Even with little to no background knowledge of the match walking in, it was not hard to pick-up on the importance of what’s about to happen. Imagine not being a wrestling fan walking in to Cena/Punk at Money in the Bank 2011. You didn’t need to really know the story walking in to know that the match was important and that you were getting ready to witness something special. This match had the same appeal to it, almost twenty years earlier.
The longer the match went, the more desperate you could see Ric Flair getting. Every minute detail to this match’s storytelling continues to prove why Ric Flair is one of the best of all time. Sting, Sheri, handcuffs, Mr. T — it all works! I would highly recommend giving this a watch. You will not be disappointed.
Well, there you have it. All the Halloween Havoc main events ranked from worst to best. What do you think? Let me know if you agree or disagree in the comments. You can also catch NXT’s first Halloween Havoc live on Wednesday, October 28 on the USA Network.
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