THE AUDIT: WCW HALLOWEEN HAVOC ’91 REVIEW FEATURING “THE CHAMBER OF HORRORS”

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Ian R. Singletary, your IRS man back again with another Audit. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday (and my own guilty pleasure), this week I’ll be reviewing another of WCW’s annual Halloween Havoc events. The first time around, I took a trip into the Black Scorpion’s evil world, and this time will be no different. We may be a year removed from the evil Black Scorpion, but 1991 brings something much more dangerous, much more evil, much more mind boggling. This time, we get a glimpse inside the deadly CHAMBER OF HORRORS, we get our first (and only) look at the MYSTERIOUS CREATURES, aaand we find out who the WCW HALLOWEEN PHANTOM is. Overkill for the holiday? Yeah, just a bit. This show utilizes the term “Card Subject To Change” to it’s very fullest, as there’s more match changes than you can shake a stick at… whatever that means.

WCW HALLOWEEN HAVOC ’91
“A NIGHT OF SUBSTITUTIONS”

Oh yeah, it’s Chamber of Horrors time, and I’m not just talking the opening match. There’s a few stinkers on this show. From the UTC Pavilion in Chattanooga, Tennessee, it’s Halloween Havoc ’91.

Reported attendance for the event was 8,900. And before we get going, here’s the listings for tonight’s show. I won’t give you headaches by posting all the original scheduled matches here, I’ll just post the matches that actually take place. However, as you read along on the “notes going in” you’ll see all the scratches and changes along the way.

* The Chamber of Horrors: Sting, The Steiner Brothers & El Gigante vs. Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader & The Diamond Studd
* WCW Heavyweight Champion Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons – 2 Out Of 3 Falls Match
* World Tag Team Champions Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko vs. US Tag Team Champions The Patriots
* TV Champion “Stunning” Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes
* Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Finals: Flyin’ Brian Pillman vs. Richard Morton
* The WCW Halloween Phantom vs. The Z-Man
* “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor
* Bill Kazmaier vs. OZ
* Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy “Jam” Garvin
* Big Josh & PN News vs. The Mysterious Creatures
* “Heavy Metal” Van Hammer vs. “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers

– The show kicks off with the holographic style opening as in year’s past, wrestling ghosts are floating in the cemetery, then there’s the “haunted house” surrounded by large cage and several wrestler’s spirits come flying by as we enter the front door.

SPOOOOOOOOKY! That’s some skerry-ass shit.

All of that brings us live to the UTC Arena with ringside announcers Jim Ross and Tony Schiavone. The ominous Chamber of Horrors Cage is already surrounding the ring.

Oh, but we’ve got some news! For some reason, new WCW bitch boy (and future head honcho) Eric Bischoff is standing by outside. In a pre-recorded segment, Eric is getting random interviews with the wrestlers as they pull up in their cars.

Cactus Jack and Abdullah the Butcher are the first to pull up. Abby is in a dress shirt and TIE. Wow, if that doesn’t kill the gimmick.

What is this, an awards show?

Up next is raggedy ass DDP and The Diamond Stud. As you can see by wardrobe, Page wasn’t exactly making the big bucks yet.

And they’re followed by baby face Dustin Rhodes & tweener Barry Windham. Does everyone travel in pairs?

So we’ve got some valets parking the cars, but when it comes to Dustin and Windham, Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko randomly appear. They grab Windham by his arm as he’s exiting the car and hold it against the door panel while Larry earns the nickname “The Crusher” as he slams the car door on the hand of Windham. Arn and Zbyszko run off like thieves in the night while Dustin checks on Windham. Barry gets in the passenger seat while Rhodes speeds off to take Barry to the hospital.

Okay, I hate to go on a rant before the fucking PPV event starts, but why the FUCK did the Enforcers (Arn and Larry) randomly attack Windham? I mean they are a heel tag team, Windham isn’t even a full blown baby face yet. Windham isn’t in a team so he bares no threat to the tag team titles, and last I checked Barry and Arn were cool with each other. This was a good way to pull Barry Windham out of the Chamber of Horrors match, of which he was supposed to be on the heel team, which was odd to begin with. I think in reality Barry truly did have an injury at this time, but the entire attack just seemed so random. I guess compared to the next ten years of WCW that this was a very minor thing in the realm of “WTF was that?” logistics.

So I guess even though Abby and Cactus arrived before the incident, somehow the Butcher knew Barry would be missing the Chamber match, because he acts as Windham’s replacement.

And all of that brings us back to ringside as we kick things off with the Chamber of Horrors match.

(Chamber Notes going in: Where to start, where to start? First, there are absolutely no issues brewing to lead us up to this epic encounter of 8 men locked inside a Steel Cage. Nope, not a single rivalry. Sting had some issues with Cactus & Abby, but neither of them were even announced for this match until right now. While Sting’s team had always been schedule to be him, El Gigante, and the Steiners. The entire heel team, except the Diamond Studd underwent changes. As you saw moments ago, VADER is now replacing Barry Windham for obvious reasons. Abdullah was added to this match after the recent firing/quitting of the One Man Gang, and Cactus Jack is replacing Oz as the two men have randomly flip-flopped their matches for tonight without any explanation or acknowledgement. Scott Steiner had been sidelined with the bicep injury and wasn’t even ready to return to full action, but he came back for this one, and how could you not. Okay, so now onto the rules of the match…. Ummm…. Uhhhh…. Well…. You see… When this match was first announced on TV, the rules were explained as something like the first team to completely escape the cage would win. HOWEVER, that was dropped after a week or so and the rules basically became a mystery. Much like most of their booking at the time, WCW began promoting a match that was built around question, sending Paul E. Dangerously and Missy Hyatt on weekly trips to try and locate the whereabouts of the mysterious Chamber cage and try to learn more about the match. Suspenseful, no? Well, to no success we now enter Halloween Havoc and we’re still confused of the rules. Sort of a reminder of the last WCW PPV Bash ’91 where the announcers had no clue what the rules of the opening Scaffold match were. Well, wait no further, ring announcer Gary Michael Capetta explains the rules of the match. All 8 men enter the cage and will begin to battle, there are no rules and several “instruments of torture” have been placed around ringside. At some RANDOM ass time in the match the “Chair of Torture” will lower from the ceiling. What the? Chair of Torture? The fuck outta here… So this chair of torture is a fucking ELECTRIC CHAIR. And apparently at some point in the match it’s just going to lower into the middle of the ring without any countdown or notice. I don’t know who makes that call. Anyway, once the chair is in the ring, you must strap your opponent into the chair and then ascend the cage and pull a level connected to the cage which will then electrocute, fry, and apparently murder your opponent. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Oh yeah, this shit has FIVE STARS written all over it! And if all of that wasn’t bad enough, we get the debut of the REFER-EYE CAMERA. More on that below. Now, onto the match.)


The Chamber of Horrors: Sting, El Gigante & The Steiner Brothers vs. Cactus Jack, Abdullah the Butcher, Big Van Vader, and The Diamond Stud

Okay, so before this thing gets going, I need to also point out that they picked THIS match to debut the brand new REFER-EYE Camera. This was a video camera mounted on the HEAD of referee Nick Patrick. It was sort of like a construction helmet with a built in camera resting on his skull. The idea is you’ll get the referee’s eye view (hence Refer-EYE), because the other camera angles aren’t as good or something. If that doesn’t sound stupid enough, let’s not forget this is 1991, not 2014, and the camera likely weighs a few pounds instead of a few ounces, then imagine running around the ring with that contraption tied to your head. They would run with this camera angle many times during the match, it personally made me sea sick. So, yeah, back to the match…

You may have noticed that Cactus Jack decides to come to ringside with a chainsaw, which is apparently legal. Well, there’s already an electric chair, somebody is going to fry tonight, so why not hack them up into pieces and sell the parts as memorabilia. Of course, Foley is too cheap to buy a blade for the chainsaw, so it’s basically worthless beyond the initial vroom vroom sound on the way to the ring. Jack ends up putting the chainsaw down on the ramp, and it never comes into use. Bummer. The U.S. Champion Sting is the last man out, and as he reaches the end of the ramp near the cage, the action starts both inside and outside the cage. If you were expecting a blow by blow account of this match, you’re going to be let down. It’s just 8 days walking around and hitting each other with crap. No real spots or anything, though a JOBBER in a mask jumps out of one of the coffins propped up in the cage. Scott Steiner puts an end to that quick, Scott beats the shit out of the masked jobber, and handcuffs him to the cage. Well, that was worthwhile. AND THEN IT HAPPEN!!!!! The electric chair contraption is lowered into the center of the ring! But there’s one problem!!! CACTUS JACK IS LAYING UNDERNEATH IT! Goofy ass Rick Steiner grabs hold of the chair and tries to force it down faster so that it will squash and presumably murder Cactus Jack. Foley ends up rolling out from under the chair just before it smashes him. Damn!

 

Okay, so the chair is in play now, you have to lock an opponent into the chair and pull the switch to electrocute him. Easy enough. Guys start bloodying it up, Abby, Cactus, and I believe Sting are now bleeding in this wild mess of shit.

And now what the fuck is this? Eight guys dressed in orderly clothes, white makeup, and baby powder in their hair, bring a stretcher out to ringside. Tony Schiavone aptly refers to these 8 jobbers as “the ghouls”. Meanwhile, in the cage, the Steiners are still taking advantage of that poor handcuffed jobber, slamming him on the coffin lid. At one point, Abdullah actually climbs the cage for no apparent reason. It served no purpose, but it was a sight to see.

The blood continues to flow from Cactus and Abby, while the rest of the guys just walk around punching, kicking, and landing low blows. Hey, Cactus is bleeding, that has to make this a five star match, right?

Well the “fun” has come to an end. Abdullah places Rick Steiner into the Electric Chair. Not sure if this will have any effect on Rick, as he seems like a guy who seeks shock treatment anyway. While Abby locks Rick into the chair, Cactus starts to climb the cage to pull down the lever to start the chair-a-frying. Check out the first picture below, the lever is actually already “ON”, as it was for most of the match.

Jack actually had to climb up the cage, switch it back to “OFF”, just so he could throw the switch “ON” again. I guess WCW has non-union electricians working for them, maybe a few wires are crossed.

So congrats to Jack for switching the lever back to “OFF” while the cameras were rolling. But wait, what’s this? Jack blatantly signals for the next spot and he shouts out BANG BANG to let the wrestlers know he’s in position, oh those wacky rasslers. Then RICK STEINER REVERSES ROLLS! Rick pops up and Belly to Bellies Abby into the chair, and that’s a WHOLE LOTTA BELLY. Jack now has to hang on the cage and face the fans for what seems like an eternity, while Rick gets Abby situated in the chair and locks him in with the wrist cuffs and the electric hat thingy.

AND JACK FINALLY PULLS THE SWITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

HOLY FUCK, I SMELL HAM!!!! CANADIAN BACON EVEN……………

Sparks and FIRE go shooting every which way, catching the canvas on fire, but somehow doesn’t shoot into the crowd. Real safe and smart. Wow, that was pure luck. That could have been a fast show.

So now Abby is dead, and Hepatitis free at this point…… presumably. Sting’s team captures the victory in 12:20.

Winners: Sting’s Quartet

Oh, but if you thought this shit was over, you’d be wrong…… DEAD WRONG. Get it, DEAD.. Wrong. Hahahaha—-hehe—uhhh—yeah.

Anyway, you may ask, what the hell else can you do after someone is electrocuted to death as a finisher. Well, I’m about to tell you. Vader takes a look at poor dead Abby, then Vader and Diamond Stud leave the ring. Heartless souls!!! But Abby’s buddy Cactus is there to check on things. Cactus screams and slaps Abby, hoping to revive his friend.

AND IT WORKS! IT’S ALIVE! Abdullah’s eyes pop open, and he jumps up. He’s Frankenstein! Abby is confused, and crazy.Abby begins attacking the GHOULS who were there to carry him away on the stretcher.

Abby lays them all out, and Cactus even helps out a little with the process. Abby and Cactus grab hold of each other and drag each other to the back. Holy balls.

(Post Match Thoughts: Never mind all the replacements, whoever got pulled from this match can consider themselves lucky. This match is remembered in wrestling lore, mostly for all the wrong reasons. I can’t really critique this thing as a wrestling match, because there was no wrestling involved. But even as entertainment, it’s more in the realm of Campy than Horror, or Sports related genres. Once the chair comes down, the wrestlers are basically forced out of the ring, and there’s really nowhere to have a “match”. Jobbers in coffins, jobbers in white paint, talented top stars being placed in immobile fighting grounds, and then you Electrocute your opponent to win. What a concept.  All of that aside, for the Campiness of it all, and ONLY the campiness, I might go *1/2. The concept is honestly funny, but they did a terrible job at executing this whole mess of cow flop. As anything Sports Entertainment related, this being the Halloween season I’d give it a Milk DUD.)

 

– Following that epic abortion of a match that was never to be seen again, we head backstage where Eric Bischoff has slipped into a generic looking Vampire costum, and he’s standing by with Missy Hyatt, who decided not to dress up for the holiday, and instead just dresses like her usual whore self. No complaints, just saying. Anyway, they start to wonder who the WCW Halloween Phantom is. So they don’t care who the masked guy was in the casket during the Chamber match, they don’t even pretend to care who these “ghouls” were that Abby and Cactus just murdered, nor do theyt even bother to segue into the next match by pondering the identities of the Creatures. Their sole concern is to figure out who the “Halloween Phantom” is that will be wrestling The Z-Man later tonight. Man this Phantom guy must be somebody important. So… The Southern Boys – Steve Armstrong & Tracy Smothers, pop in for an interview since they weren’t figured into the PPV, even though the likes of the Creatures, Doug Somers, Bill Kazmaier, The Patriots, and other were. It appears the Southern Boys have just randomly decided to turn heel, as they call out the U.S. Tag Team Champion Patriots. There ya go Boys, set your goals high. Tracy Smothers has some good lines, first mentioning that he doesn’t give “a hoot nor a heck” who the Phantom is. Tracy then wonders if the Pats colors are “Red, White, & Blue… Or just plane yella”. Nice. Just two more great workers that Dusty buried under his cartoons circa 1991.

 

(PN/Josh vs. Creatures Match Notes going in: The Creatures never appeared on TV before this, the only picture shown of them during the Havoc Control Room segments looked absolutely nothing like they look on this PPV. That’s all I’ve really got for you.)

See this girl above? That’s Christine Valver, she won front row seats after winning the PN News Rap Contest. “What’s that”, you ask? The person who wrote the best Rap Song for News to use for tonight’s Havoc would win free tickets and travel for tonight’s PPV. Check out the rap flow… “Word up, it’s Havoc ’91, we’re gonna take care of business and have some fun. And when the party’s over, hear the fat lady sing, PN and Josh are the freshest when they do their thing….” YO BABY YO BABY YO. That was it. That “rap” won free tickets to the PPV. I’m assuming there were very few entries for many reasons, but mainly because a white, chunky, teen female from 1991 won the contest, and also because that “rap” is just pathetic, even by ’91 standards. Somebody look her up on Facebook and see if she’s still free-styling lyrics.

PN News & Big Josh vs. The Creatures

WAIT! THE CREATURES JUMP JOSH AND NEWS! THEY BEAT THE SNOT OUT OF THE HEROES. CREATURE #1 PICKS UP PN NEWS ON HIS SHOULDERS! CREATURE #2 COMES SOARING OFF THE TOP ROPE WITH A CLOTHESLINE! DOOMS DAY DEVICE! THE CREATURES WIN IN RECORD TIME! THEY REMOVE THEIR MASKS, IT’S HAWK AND ANIMAL! HOLY SHIT, WHAT A CONCEPT.

TRICK OR TREAT!

Okay, so none of that really happened. But how cool would that have been, to watch that fat bowl of Jell-O bounce his ass off the mat and do the job. Instead, it’s just more Dusty booking as he uses this match as nothing more than a way to get some of his pet characters onto the PPV. The Creatures here are actually played by perennial (but talented) jobbers, Joey Maggs & Johnny Rich. So now to the real match. The entire match is dominated by the faces. The masked heels get 4 or 5 chances at offense, but they never do much more than a few punches. News hits a splash in the corner and throws a dropkick, then Josh hits an awesome looking German suplex. Josh works snug with his opponents, per his usual style, nailing a Creature with an awesome looking belly to belly suplex and then a sick looking Powerbomb version of the Razor’s Edge. Nice. Josh screws around with the Creature before landing his “Northern Exposure” Buttdrop, and tagging in News who lands the top rope Rapmaster Splash for the win in 5:15.

Winners: YO-BABY-YO-BABY-YO

(Post Match Thoughts: The Creatures never appeared on TV before or again, they had no build coming in, and the only thing mysterious about them is WHY this match even happened. I also don’t recall Josh and News ever teaming again beyond this match. I guess it was a way to get two more of Dusty’s 1991 gimmicks on the show, and add more suspense with this mystery pair of opponents. Mission failed big Dust. Match was okay for a squash, but that’s all it was, a squash. Creatures had a total of about a minute of offense, and that was just kicks and punches. I’ve seen jobbers get more offense on the Saturday Night show. 1/4* because PN News was able to look half decent in the little he did.)

(Eaton vs. Taylor Notes going in: No back story here either, just two very talented individuals being given time to shine on the PPV. Can’t argue with that. If you can get past the terrible ‘Computerized Man’ garbage, you should be able to enjoy this one!)

“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton vs. Terrance Taylor (with Alexandra York)

As you might suspect, these two start things off with several tie ups as they jockey for position. Taylor lands a couple armdrags early, but Eaton returns with his own and a nice clothesline sends Taylor outside. Taylor returns and nails Bobby with a right hand, but Bobby returns the favor with his right jab and Terry takes the bump. They fight to the floor, Eaton gets thrown into the railing, but he backdrops Taylor into the front row, then bops Taylor again with that right hook. Back inside, Taylor eats another right from Eaton and Bobby grabs a hammerlock. Taylor finally escapes with a jawbreaker and takes the match to the ramp! Terry regrets it though, when Eaton slams Taylor and delivers a TOP ROPE KNEEDROP ON THE RAMP! Eaton was the man.

Taylor takes over after he throws Eaton to the floor, then when Bobby tries to get back inside Taylor nails a high knee to knock Eaton off the apron and into the railing. Taylor reads the “computer program” for advice. UGH! The program works as Terry takes control in the ring. Back outside and Taylor executes a GUTWRENCH POWERBOMB ON THE RAMP! Damn, Bobby was great. Nobody else took a bump like that in those days except maybe Cactus Jack. Back inside Taylor hits a top rope splash for two. High spots are over, it’s chinlock time now. Bobby finally escapes but Taylor knocks him back to the floor. Eaton fights his way back into the ring with a TOP ROPE SUNSET FLIP for a near fall. And Taylor takes back over with another chinlock, but it’s turned into a Sleeper and Bobby breaks free with his own jawbreaker. Taylor tries a pump splash Vader Bomb in the corner but lands on Bobby’s knees. It’s comeback time for Beautiful Bobby, right hands, a suplex, and his patented swinging neckbreaker. Eaton goes up top for the Alabama Jam, but Taylor crotches him. Terry goes for a Superplex, but Eaton knocks him off. ALABAMA JAM CONNECTS and this thing is over in 16:02.

Winner: Beautiful Bobby

(Post Match Thoughts: The only thing that had me scratching my head, is when this match was first announced on TV it was billed as a “Prince of Darkness” match, or in layman’s terms, a “Blindfold” match. I assume it was supposed to go along with the Halloween theme of the program. Glad they abandoned that idea and let these two go at it. This was one of my favorite matches from early WCW years that got lost in the world of hidden gems. Eaton’s push continues on, while Taylor continues to fall down the ladder of success, but not without showing his talent in the process. Really good match, even if it was only meant as time filler. Glad these two were chosen as the men to fill that time. Good stuff, absolute show stealer in my opinion. ***3/4)

(Jimmy Garvin vs. Badd Notes going in: This is king of an odd one. The Birds had been heels up until now, but WCW was turning them face. Badd was also very much a heel, working the gay-heel heat meter, but both guys had their supporters. This is yet another match that has no purpose or meaning as a tweening member of the Birds goes into singles action against one of Dusty’s favorite new characters in Badd. What makes things all the more confusing is that Michael Hayes is scheduled to work as a heel later in the evening against Van Hammer…. or not. You’ll see in the caps that Hayes comes to ringside with a SLING on his arm to sell a shoulder injury, causing him to be pulled from his match with Hammer later on. But is that arm REALLY injured? Find out below.)

Well, if you were trying to figure out which wrestler to cheer for in this one, the Birds make their way down in complete Atlanta Braves apparel. I know WCW was based out of Atlanta, but I’m not sure what that has to do with people in Chattanooga. Tony explains that Chattanooga is close to Atlanta, so there ya go. The Braves were actually in the middle of Game 7 of the 1991 World Series during this PPV. They would lose to the Twins in extra innings after no score through the first 9 innings. Maybe the Birds will have a little better success here.

Jimmy “Jam” Garvin (with Michael Hayes) vs. Johnny B. Badd (with Teddy Long)

Badd shows off some nice agility early on, but a reverse hiptoss spot winds up Garvin tossing Badd over the top rope to the floor. Somehow that wasn’t a DQ. As Badd gets up on the floor, Hayes pulls his “broken arm” out of the sling and delivers his big right hook. Hayes then puts his arm back in the sling and winks at the camera. Back in the ring, there appears to be some miscommunication of spots and things get a little sloppy. Lots of body shots from Badd and then a chinlock applied with the knee in the spine of Garvin. Teddy Long distracts the referee so Badd can choke Garvin with a towel. Badd continues to show off his agility as he springs around the ring. Badd tries a flying sunset flip from the top rope, but the timing is bad. His form was awesome, but the delivery was completely off and sloppy as hell. Badd goes back up, but comes down into a left hand from Garvin. Badd reverses a whip into the corner and charges in, Garvin moves and Badd takes a comedic bump over the top to the floor, THAT WAS TERRIBLE. Badd ran two steps, stopped, then jumped over the top rope to bump. Back in the ring, both men collide, and I can’t tell if it’s on purpose or not. Badd misses the big left hook, and GARVIN LANDS THE DDT! But Teddy Long on the apron distracts the referee. Badd gets back up and hits the TUTTI FRUITTI punch and gets the three in 8:26. Garvin gets his foot on the rope during the pin, but Long knocks it back off.

After the match, Michael Hayes lays out Teddy Long for his interference.

Winner: He’s a Baaaaaaaaaaaad Man

(Post Match Thoughts: I have to give it to Marc Mero, he came out of the gate with this gimmick and did his damndest to get it over. He worked hard, but he was just so very green in the ring at this point, and it showed with a half dozen blown spots. Lots of blown spots made this match a bit of a mess, but both guys tried their best. *)

 

– Missy Hyatt, once again dressed as one of Jimmy Valiant’s “street people” is still searching for the identity of the WCW Halloween Phantom. Bobby Eaton just comes randomly strolling by (you’ll find there’s lots of random things on this show). Or maybe it wasn’t so random, maybe Bobby saw Missy in her working outfit and was looking for a little, ummm, nevermind. Apparently, nobody has taught Bobby not to walk through a live promo. For some reason Eaton is carrying a pumpkin in celebration of his match. I guess whatever floats your boat. Missy asks Bobby about the Phantom. Eaton barely acts like he even knows what Missy is talking about. He’s about to go have himself some chew and recreate the Stan Hansen spitting at the pumpkin promo from last year. Wouldn’t that have been cool? So, yeah, this Phantom guy. Oh, the suspense.

And now from Missy, to more cleavage. Lady Blossom cleavage.

 

(TV Title Match Notes going in: His daddy is the booker, so Dustin continues to get that baby face push to the moon. He’s made it to TV Title status, now he just has to secure the belt. But can he do it against the man who was destined from stardom upon his debut. )

That last picture there is of Dustin’s grandparents, not sure if it’s Dusty’s parents or in-laws. I certainly see a resemblance in Dusty and that mother, same bra size. Either way, they have much shittier seats than that Rap Contest Winner chick. And you thought Dusty believed in nepotism.

World Television Championship Match
“Stunning” Steve Austin (with Lady Blossom) vs. “The Natural” Dustin Rhodes

Dustin gets the better of Austin early with a flying lariat and a dropkick for a near fall. Dustin takes Austin to the floor with a clothesline, but since the momentum took Steve over, Rhodes isn’t DQ’d. Back to the ring, Dustin tries the Bulldog, but Austin blocks. Dustin grabs a side headlock on the mat and we get the old “heel grabs the tights and rocks the face back into a pinning situation” spot. Five minutes gone in this fifteen minute time limit match. Austin eventually counters with a head scissors, but Rhodes finds his way out. Rhodes goes for a high speed cross body and Austin ducks down, Dustin goes out to the floor. Austin goes outside and repeatedly punches Dustin until Rhodes begins to bleed. Bleeding from simple punches, what a concept. Austin pulls a Macho Man and hits Rhodes with a double axe handle off the top to the floor. Ooh yeah!

In the ring, Austin hits a gutwrench suplex for two and grabs a chinlock. Ten minutes gone. Austin has to break when he’s caught using the ropes, and Dustin makes his way back up. Rhodes misses a monkey flip and Austin clotheslines the hell out of the challenger. Both men try inside cradles, then Rhodes hits a Lariat but can’t get a cover. Rhodes misses a dropkick, and Lady Blossom slaps Dusting around. Austin misses a legdrop over the middle rope, again an old school Macho man spot. Rhodes lands his third Lariat of the match, but Austin gets hit foot on the ropes to stop the count. Back outside, Dustin throws Austin into the post and now Steve is also bloodied. Two minutes remaining!

Dustin gets two off a powerslam. BIONIC ELBOW, only gets two. He’s no Dusty. Dustin let’s off some elbows in the corner ala daddy, and then some dancing punches drops Austin. Rhodes goes to the top rope LARIAT OFF THE TOP. Referee counts it, one, two, no! Austin kicks out as the time expires. This one is a draw.

Winner: The result is a 15:00 Time Limit Draw

 

(Post Match Thoughts: Both men deserve the nickname Natural, because they both had natural talent. As much as I hated how fast and hard Dustin’s push was, he did work hard and would eventually deserve the spot he got, unlike most second generation stars who were pushed by their fathers. The blood seemed out of place, but I’m betting that was a Dusty call to “enhance” his son’s match. With only a couple years in the business for both guys, they looks good. This wasn’t a great match by any means, but it was a good little match. **1/4, that’s ** for the match and 1/4* for the boobs that were shown many times throughout the duration of the match..)

 

 

– WCW’s next PPV comes to you live, December 29th as they will present STARRCADE ’91, LETHAL LOTTERY AND BATTLEBOWL. Can’t wait to Audit that one!

 

 

(Oz vs. Kazmaier Notes going in: Another of those ‘card subject to change’ moments as Oz was switched out of the Chamber match in favor of Cactus Jack. With Cactus pulled out of this match it was only fitting that Oz would switch places with him. The sad part is, there was a little back story to Bill and Cactus, and call me crazy but that may have been an entertaining match. Instead, we get big Bill in here against a green Kevin Nash. The Oz character was on it’s last legs, already losing the manager, the intro back drop, and the shitty mask. Nash also moved away from the long gray hair to a short bleach blond look, but I’m doubting that will save this match.)

Bill Kazmaier vs. Oz

It’s a power struggle to start, but Kaz eventually wins a test of strength. Basic fundamental stuff follows. Kaz misses a charge and Oz nearly kills him with a back suplex on his head. Big Bill is sent out to the apron, but he SKINS THE CAT back in and takes out Oz with the Torture Rack since Lex isn’t using it anymore. This shit is over in 3:58. The Creatures lasted longer.

Winner: The Strongest Man In The World

 

 

(Post Match Thoughts: Well, that was…. short. The nifty skin the cat spot and impressive Torture Rack on the 7 footer couldn’t save this nothing match. DUD to the very definition. Oh, and for those wondering, Oz would soon become Vinnie Vegas, Kaz would soon retire. )

 

(Hammer vs. Somers going in: When Barry Windham gets takes out, he’s replaced by Vader. But when Michael Hayes gets taken out, he’s replaced by…. DOUG SOMERS. Not to rip on Somers, who had some success as the partner of Buddy Rose in the AWA, where the held the tag titles and had a memorable feud with Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. But Doug’s time had come and gone, he was looking a little soft in the middle, but he was a veteran journeyman who had recently been doing jobs for WCW, so if anyone could lead Hammer to a decent squash match, it’d be him, right? Well let’s find out.)

 



“Heavy Metal” Van Hammer
vs. “Pretty Boy” Doug Somers

Oh, the look on Doug’s face above says it all. After Hammer comes down the ramp, with his own personal jack hammer adding to the entrance, the match begins. Tony and Ross start dropping all sorts of words that were supposed to catch on, “Van-tastic”, “Hammer heads”, “Hammer rocks”, and some other bullshit. This match starts off with a blown spot as Hammer forgets to hit Somers as he’s coming off the ropes, then another blown spot when Hammer throws Somers into the corner so hard that Doug stumbles and falls into the buckle. Then Hammer starts the “We Will Rock You” beat to get the fans to stomp and clap. Hammer goes for his finisher, the “Hammer Rocks” slingshot suplex, but Hammer is already taking the bump to his back while Somers legs are just connecting with the top rope and it turns into more of a shitty brainbuster. Thank God it’s over, I’m sure Doug thought the same thing. 1:12

Winner: Van Shitty

(Post Match Thoughts: There was little doubt upon his debut, Van Hammer, in Dusty’s eyes, was to be the next “Sting”, if you weeeell.  Hammer came in with such pomp and circumstance, his own Music Video, quick squashes ala Magnum TA, they even gave his fans the name “Hammerheads” upon his debut, plus there’s no doubt the guy had the look. I can’t personally recall a Van Hammer promo, which means he likely wasn’t good in that department, but this guy was a long ways out from being ready for primetime. How do you work a 90 second squash and screw up half the moves? It wouldn’t be long before Dusty would realize his mistakes, that this guy was the drizzling shits in the ring. Maybe Hammer would have been decent upon his debut had it not been rushed, then again the guy had a decade to better himself, and never seemed to progress. Bill Watts ate Hammer up and shit him out, Hammer would make his last appearance for a long time after being killed by a returning Sid Vicious in 1993, and the crowd couldn’t have been happier. Oh yeah, this match… DUD, would have been better serviced for both men if it hadn’t even happened. Any longer and it would have been negative stars.)

– Comments from both Richard Morton and Brian Pillman before their World Light Heavyweight Title match. Pillman puts winning the gold over as a big deal.

 

(Pillman vs. Morton Notes going in: This is the finals of the WCW Light Heavyweight Title Tournament. Pillman had worked his way through a first round bye and Badstreet (Brad Armstrong) in the semis to make it here. On Morton’s end, it was victories over Johnny Rich and Mike Graham that brought him here tonight. One of these guys walk out the first ever WCW Light Heavyweight Champion. Can you guess who? Maybe Miss York’s computer can.)

How the fuck is she supposed to be reading that?

Oh yeah, and the REFER-EYE Camera is back, Bitches!



Light Heavyweight Title Tournament Finals
Flyin’ Brian vs. Richard Morton (with Alexandra York)

A feeling out process to start things out. This leads to Pillman getting the upper hand and lands a spin kick that sends Morton outside for some advice. Armbars and headlocks follow from both sides. Pillman surprises Morton with a rolling cradle for two, and then Morton right back on top with a falling clothesline, then we’re right back to the arm lock stuff. The continuing cycle of this match goes rest hold, Pillman escapes, couple of comeback moves, Morton cuts him back off, rest hold again. Pillman finally lands an enzuigii and chops the shit out of Morton’s chest. Both guys go outside and Pillman’s shoulder gets thrown into the post. Morton rolls back inside, Pillman climbs to the top rope and hits a surprise crossbody for the win in 12:41. That was an underwhelming match, with a shitty finish.

Winner: Pillman: 9mm

 

(Post Match Thoughts: This was another idea that was good on paper, but the execution was garbage. This was Dusty throwing Pillman a bone after burying him all year in favor of his son Dustin. The trouble is, when you don’t have a light heavyweight division of talent to begin with, you run out of matches and stories real fast, which means the interest dwindled real fast. Just look at the names in the tournament, Pillman was given a bye, Johnny Rich and Joey Maggs who are basically jobbers, Mike Graham a retired wrestler who made a brief return at this time, and Terry Taylor, who hardly looks like a light heavyweight. They were reaching to even find 7 guys. Luckily, Jushin Liger would make his way to the states by Christmas time to spark more interest. Timing is everything.

The timing in this match however, was so-so at best. Morton just did not work as a heel and this match just felt like one big rest hold. The finish was equally as stupid. I hope to never watch this match again. 3/4*

One good thing that came out of this match, this was the RETIREMENT of the REFER-EYE Camera. Two matches, and done. Wish I could say that about a lot of the other ideas Dusty had in 1991. I wonder if the Refer-Eye will be on one of the Tombstones at Havoc ’92?)

 

 

(Z-Man vs. The Phantom Notes going in: This WCW Halloween Phantom shit wasn’t really sold all that hard on TV, but it was consistently advertised. Apparently the Creatures are the Creatures, but this Phantom guy, he HAS to be somebody big. Z-Man draws the short straw against the Phantom, as Zenk generally does with new monster heels coming in. See: Vader, Big Van from Bash ’90, See: Hansen, Stan from Clash XII.)



The Z-Man
vs. The WCW Halloween Phantom

On his way to the ring, Zenk exclaimed that it was “Halloween Havoc Time”, and then proceeded to make the gay face shown above. The Phantom was out next in his hat and cape, half covering his face as he oddly strolled down the ramp. Phantom jumps Zenk to start the match and clotheslines Zenk’s head off. Phantom eats the Z-Man up. The masked man hits a stomach breaker, but telegraphs a backdrop. Zenk hits a dropkick but the Phantom just about no sells it. Lol, pathetic. Phantom comes back with a reverse Neckbreaker and gets the pin in 1:26. Tony Schiavone blatantly refers to the move as the “RUDE AWAKENING” and spoils the whole fucking thing.

Winner: The Colorblind Phantom

(Post Match Thoughts: Well, thanks to douche bag Tony Schiavone any suspense on the unveiling of the Phantom was thrown away by the viewing audience. Dusty must not have liked Zenk a whole lot to put him in this position, and it was funny (funny-weird, not funny-haha) seeing the Phantom shrugging off a dropkick from Zenk like he was Andre the Giant or some shit. This wasn’t just a squash, this was one of those “monster heel destroys the babyface jobber” style of squashes. Only the Phantom is no monster sized wrestler, and Tom is no complete jobber. But I guess the Phantom needed to get over big, and Z-Man is no big loss, so it makes sense. As for this match, it was basically a DUD, but given what was to come, I’ll give it 1/4* just because it’s building to an angle for later.)

(Tag Title Match Notes going in: The Enforcers won the titles in a tag team tournament final over Rick Steiner & Bill Kazmiaer at the September ’91 Clash of the Champions in TBS. The Steiners had to vacate the belts due to a biceps injury to Scott Steiner, and the Enforcers would take out Kazmiaer earlier on in the Clash show so that he wasn’t 100% for the match later on. After becoming the new champions to solidify themselves as a new top level team, Arn and Larry now meet the challenge of WCW’s Patriots. A supposed desert storm war veteran and firefighter. Supposedly there were to be more WCW Special Forces members, but thankfully it never came to fruition. Instead, Chip and Todd would get a strong push, like most of the 1991 characters. After coming into the company over the summer, The Patriots took the U.S. Tag Team Titles from The Freebirds back in early September. So what we have here is the World Tag Champions vs. The U.S. Tag Champions, with only the World Titles on the line.)

WCW Tag Team Championship Match
The Enforcers – Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko (c) vs. The Patriots – Todd Champion & Firebreaker Chip

Jim Ross tries to make sense of the Windham attack from earlier by stating Barry had stated he wanted to go for the tag titles “later on”. Yeah, that sounds threatening. The Pats are the US Tag Champions but their titles aren’t up for grabs. If the Pats look familiar to you, it’s because they worked as jobbers in WCW over the last couple of years prior. Zbyszko hooks Chop in an abdominal stretch, but Chip reverses. Can someone tell me what a Firebreaker is? Chip gets the better of Larry and the big Z complains to the ref about tights being pulled. Arn tags in and complains of Chip being too oily. Lol. Simple heat works. Champion tags in and Arn gets the advantage. Arn puts Todd on the apron and tries to bring him in “the hard way”, but Todd reverses and yanks Anderson out to the floor. Arn tries a suplex on the floor, but Champion backdrops him outside. Back in the ring, Larry tries some back jumping but Todd takes both Enforcers down.

Champion chases Zbyszko around the ring and misses a tag to Arn. The Enforcers take over after a double team. Zbyszko with a swinging neckbreaker for two. Todd comes back with an Atomic Drop on Anderson but misses another blind tag and Zbyszko sneaks in with a backbreaker for two. Chip finally gets the hot tag and drops both Enforcers. All four guys in, Todd hits Zbyszko with his flying reverse elbow but everything becomes a cluster fuck. Chip runs into Larry and turns around into Arn’s SPINEBUSTER and that finishes things in 9:54

Winners: Brainbusters V2.0

(Post Match Thoughts: Great concept going in with the World Champs taking on the U.S. Champs, unfortunately the Patriots were probably the worst U.S. Champs of all time, so it didn’t have as much excitement as it could have been in years past, like Horsemen vs. Midnight Express, or Steiners vs. Doom. This was an OK match, it had a TV show main event feel to it, but the Patriots were never a real threat to someone like the Enforcers. Just two more stars that Dusty handed gimmiks to in 1991 and failed. Arn and Larry held this together for what it needed to be. *3/4)

– Eric Bischoff is standing by with Paul E,. Dangerously, who promises to shock the core of WCW. Paul E. announces he went and got the first lady of WCW Madusa and told her to find the man who will take down WCW and make them pay for firing Dangerously as a WCW employee.

Paul wanted someone who will crush WCW’s stars and make WCW go bankrupt, and it all starts at the top with destroying Sting. But who did Madua and Paul find?

It’s the Halloween Phantom! But WHO IS the Phantom?

WHO IS THIS MASKED MAN??????????

IT’S RICK – FUCKING – RUDE, THAT’S WHO IT IS!!!!!!!!!

The Phantom unmasks to be “RAVISHING” RICK RUDE. For those watching at home, we already knew this thanks to asshole Schiavone. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, Rude has arrived to destroy WCW. Rude only cares about his women and his money, and WCW screwed Rude’s money man Dangerously. Now Rude is here for revenge. Rick wants titles, and he wants Sting!

Pretty hot debut for Rude. Speaking for a guy who didn’t read any sheets at this time, I had no idea this was coming until I saw Rude in the ring. Then this angle followed it up and it was just like WOW. Very cool stuff and they wasted no time sticking Rick into the main event position, and rightfully so.

– Time keeps ticking, so we’re not allowed much time to soak this in before we’re off to a video package on tonight’s World Title Challenger, Ron Simmons.

 

 

(WCW World Title Match Notes going in: After taking on Harley Race as his advisor and going heel to capture the WCW World Title at the Bash, Luger had received very little serious challenges. Simmons would bust out as his first serious challenge, though Ron really hadn’t earned it. They did some videos of Ron’s college time at Florida State to help get him over, they showed Ron in serious training, and if all of that wasn’t enough to take him seriously, Dusty Rhodes added himself as Ron’s advisor for this match. The idea was Luger had a former World Champ in his corner, so now Simmons countered that with Dusty. If building up Ron as possibly the first African American World Champion ever wasn’t enough of a race card, they played it up even further by making Race and Luger racists. During a press conference/contract signing Harley Race-ist (get it?) felt the need to inform Simmons that “boys” like him used to carry his bags. Luger also insisted that once Ron loses the World Title match, he could become his chauffer. Ahh, those outdated racist angles, what great heat. This match ends up being two out of three falls for some reason, I suppose it will be to give Simmons a win early to give the match more merit. We’ll see.)

WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
“Total Package” Lex Luger (c) (with Harley Race) vs. “All American” Ron Simmons (with Dusty Rhodes)

First Fall: Simmons gets the better of Luger to kick this off, but Ron misses a dropkick and Lex gets on top. Simmons counters a backdrop with a facebuster. Ron follows up with a clothesline, a powerslam, and the Simmons Spinebuster gets a quick, early, and decisive win in 4:52. Now we’ve established Ron can beat Luger, the fall was early and sudden and it gives Ron the advantage. All of this helps to develop the match and make the fans think Ron has that much more of a chance to walk out champion. Smart booking, but I hope this thing picks up.

– We’re between falls and Dusty and Race advise their men. Very much like a boxing match.

Second Fall: Simmons reverses a suplex to begin fall number 2. Simmons is all over Lex, and Luger is extra lethargic tonight. Ron with some near falls, but Luger throws him outside. Simmons right back in with a slingshot sunset flip for two. Simmons misses a running shoulder tackle and takes a spill to the floor. Now Lex takes over. Luger hits a powerslam but delays the cover and sells his back for some reason. Ron reverses a whip to the corner but runs into a big Luger clothesline, Lex gets a near fall. Chinlock by Luger and he uses the rope for leverage. Ron gets out of the hold, Lex misses a charge and Simmons with a roll up for two. Ron with a backslide for two. Ron goes for his big shoulder tackle, but Harley grabs his leg. Dusty comes over and unloads on Race outside. Luger charges at Ron in the ring and both men start to topple over the top rope, but Harley grabs Ron by his tights to keep him in the ring, and Luger goes tumbling out, causing Ron to be disqualified in 10:05.

– Ron gets screwed out of the second fall. Dusty inspires Ron by telling him he got here by pinning Luger in the first fall. Rhodes tells Ron this is the fourth quarter and to get it done.

Third Fall: Luger goes after Ron, but Simmons begins no selling and the crowd erupts. Simmons lays Luger out with a clothesline for a near fall. Ron stays on Lex and hits a SUPERPLEX, but he’s slow at the cover and gets two and a half. Simmons with a POWERSLAM and a SHOULDER BLOCK OFF THE SECOND ROPE! But Lex rolls to the floor! Simmons is right out after him and sends Lex into the railing. Ron props Lex up against the ring post and tries a Shoulder Block, but LUGER MOVES and SIMMONS POSTS HIS OWN SHOULDER. Both men roll back inside, and Lex hits the “Attitude Adjustment” piledriver for the shitty finish in 4:04.

Winner: Lethargic Lex

 

 

(Post Match Thoughts: Well, there goes Ron Simmons main eventer experiment #1, but it won’t be the last time he gets a go at it. There’s something about promoters and trying to find that one black athlete to push to the moon. So many times it’s been forced, and so many times it’s failed. For every Ernie Ladd there’s a Koko B. Ware, and for every Junkyard Dog there’s a Virgil. Not everyone can make it work. Ron Simmons would be one of the few to pull it off, though his momentum wouldn’t last over a great period of time due to injuries and whatnot, Simmons did receive an explosion of cheers when finally won the World Title nearly a year later during the Watts’ reign. The major issue here is that Lex Luger just looked pathetic. I don’t know if he was injured, or blown up, or what the deal was, but he didn’t come prepared to the big game. This would have made a fine Clash of the Champions main event, but it fell flat on PPV. It just didn’t have the zest it could have. A lot of that can be blamed on Luger, who did very little to see this match through. Ron tried really hard, and Harley Race was excellent in his part for the match. The third fall was surprisingly short, and like the Pillman/Morton match from earlier, the finishing moments of the match seemed very underwhelming. **1/4)

 

 

 

 

 

THE FINAL AUDIT:

Wow, I hadn’t seen this show in ages, many fond memories… Well A FEW fond memories anyway. This is a tricky Audit, but I’d expect nothing less from a WCW Halloween themed show. You have some middle of the road to decent matches like the TV Title match and the passable World Title match, but nothing really popped out as really good other than the Eaton/Taylor match that really served no purpose other than delivering a quality bout. The Chamber of Horrors was unique, and while it wasn’t a great wrestling match, it’s was pretty fun in campiness and I have learned to enjoy it. While not PPV caliber matches, I felt the World Tag and Heavyweight Title matches delivered on a “Clash” level, which means even though they weren’t great, they did their job and didn’t completely suck. The Light Heavyweight Title match was my least favorite on the show, only because it lasted much longer than all of the DUD matches, Pillman and Morton just didn’t click. Then there were all the DUD matches involving Dusty trying to get over all of his cartoon products, none of which made it past the Watts era except Johnny B. Badd. One big happening that stands out was the debut of Rick Rude and the return of Paul E. as a manager. Dangerously was such an amazing talker at such a young age to be thrown into such a big angle. Looking back, this was the start of the Dangerous Alliance, and it was such a shock to see someone from the WWF world appear in WCW, as usually it worked the other way. Rude gave WCW a big boost in credibility and turned up the main event division for sure. And while this should be remembered for the night the Dangerous Alliance was born, it’ll likely always be remembered as “that show where Abdullah got electrocuted”.

Havoc ’91 was one of the first WCW PPV’s I actually got to see live on TV when it actually happened, and it was also the first WCW PPV I got at my own house. I grew up in a WWF world at home, so watching a WCW PPV live up until this point was hard to come by. I guess because of that I’m a little bias. Havoc ’91 will always have a soft spot in my heart based on nostalgia of the times. I always think back in fondness, even if it wasn’t the greatest show. I think there’s enough decent stuff on here to justify giving this thing a mild thumbs up. I’d go a 5.5 out of 10 rating, that’s safe to call a ‘C’ rating . If you’ve never seen it, I’d say give it a watch, you’ll find enough stuff to entertain yourself for a while. If you need a guide of what to watch, I’d recommend the Chamber, Eaton/Taylor, Austin/Dustin, the Rick Rude stuff, and to a lesser extent Simmons/Lex and the World Tag match.

We’ll continue on with WCW as another Audit is already on the way… Til’ next time this is the REAL IRS, Ian R. Singletary, catcha later, tax cheats!

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