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Vader vs Cactus Jack (WCW Halloween Havoc 10/24/93, Texas Death Match)

WCW Halloween Havoc October 24 1993 New Orleans Vader Cactus Jack Texas Death Match 3.25*

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#1 Loss

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:24 PM

Talk about it here.

#2 Loss

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 08:18 PM

The visual of Vader coming out of his grave is pretty memorable. But aside from that, this match doesn't really hold up well, even if it looked really good at the time. Regal/Davey Boy and Rude/Flair both had more heat, and there is quite a bit of downtime and some contrived setup for some of the spots and the ending was sort of botched. It's brutal and they both worked hard, so it's not entirely bad, but it's not a classic match.

#3 Ditch

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Posted 21 June 2011 - 10:02 PM

This is one of a huge number of '90s matches that I watched for the first time well after the fact and was baffled by the praise. I still don't get it.

#4 Jason Mann

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Posted 16 October 2012 - 10:33 AM

Most memorable moment for me: Jesse Ventura saying that he and Tony are being sprayed with blood while Cactus and Vader are brutalizing each other in the corner. This was plenty vicious, though the odd ending certainly knocks it down a few pegs.

#5 El-P



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 04:01 AM

I don't like the Texas Death Match gimmick at all anyway, it always kills the flow of a match and unless you are a godlike babyface like Onita who can play Rocky to perfection, it never works. Plus here they really don't use the gimmick well at all, not doing any dramatic 10 counts. The work is fine and brutal, but they had much better matches on Saturday Nights. The ending is brutal and stupid. The booking of the three big singles matches on this show was pretty bad. (On a side note, I don't get why this made the set when the excellent Orndorff vs Steamboat, which was the best match on the card and nearly a WCW MOTYC didn't.)

#6 Loss

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 05:39 AM

(On a side note, I don't get why this made the set when the excellent Orndorff vs Steamboat, which was the best match on the card and nearly a WCW MOTYC didn't.)

That match has no rep, while Vader/Cactus had a strong rep for a long time. That's the main reason.

#7 El-P



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Posted 01 November 2012 - 07:29 AM

Understood. I checked out Da Meltz ratings for the show, and it's all over the place. Vader vs Cactus gets ****3/4 (ridiculous), Flair vs Rude gets ***1/4 (not even a good match) and Nasties vs Scorp/Bagwell gets ***1/2 (*good* match but I would go no further). Meanwhile, Regal vs Bulldog gets **3/4. Hum, what ?

#8 Zenjo


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Posted 31 October 2013 - 10:21 PM

Wow did this ever NOT deliver. I remember that I moderately liked it on first viewing. Not anymore. The work wasn't any good and the format sucked. The way they were trying to explain the rules beforehand was laughable. I can understand having pinfalls and then a 10 count immediately afterwards, but not with a 30 second rest period.

#9 Kevin Ridge

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 06:55 PM

Not a fan either of the gimmick in the first place. Too many falls. I enjoyed Jesse just randomly questioning the use of the word "rest period" between falls of a match where guys are beating the crap out of each other. Yeah it is not exactly just relaxing there on the ground. Wish they went with another gimmick as the "rest periods" hurt flow of match. Tony has never seen a stun gun before apparently as he couldn't tell what Harley had in his hand. Dave Penzer, "Vader rose to his feet first. *pause* He wins the match, the Texas death match. Here is your winner *pause* Vader". Penzer struggling to get through the announcement. Buffer would have done better.

#10 PeteF3

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 01:45 AM

Mercifully Capetski handles the intros and rule explanations to this and not Buffer. Schiavone is STILL clinging to the amnesia bullshit, and it's way past the point that we can blame this on bad internal communication. Cactus has been making it clear in interviews YOU conducted, Tony. You've had a good year behind the mic, quit ruining it with this 1999-levels-of-indifference crap. I don't mind Texas Death Matches, but I don't like 30-second rest periods either. Just start counting. Those breaks give this a really disjointed feel, though the action is about the stiffest you'll ever see in North America. A lot of it's masturbatory and needlessly dangerous and downright masochistic--as revealed in his first book, that backwards bump on the entrance ramp was a deliberate attempt by Jack to end his own career and cash in on a Lloyd's of London policy--but I can't say it wasn't effective at drawing me in. Jack, when he's on, is still something fresh and invigorating in a totally sterile company. Another cheap stupid ending badly executed--this show had Dusty's fingerprints all over it in the worst possible sense of the term. I actually liked the body of this more than anyone else here, but the finish wasn't satisfying for anybody.

#11 drew wardlaw

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Posted 19 October 2015 - 08:53 PM

As a child this felt different to me than like Jack vs Sting or certainly Vader vs. Sting. It felt much bigger and scarier and I LOVED them going to the entrance set up. As an adult I still really enjoy this. It's really arbitrary which of these kind of garbage matches I choose to like, maybe it's nostalgia, but for this match all I wanted was to see these two try to hurt each other, and that's what I got. Thoroughly enjoyable.

#12 garretta

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 04:10 PM

I don't know what to make of this. First of all, why wasn't this a title match? Why wouldn't Cactus want to take the one thing away that Vader treasures most in the world? Why go through all of this for nothing tangible? Crazy is crazy, but sometimes the Cactus Jack character is truly stupid.


Jesse had it right: This was a fight, not a match. Worse yet, it was an ECW-style weapons-fest. There was so little man-to-man brawling that it was hard to tell who was the tougher man, which is supposed to be the point of matches like this. Any fool can use objects and take bumps like these two (particularly Mick) did; it requires no skill, only a willingness to die for the so-called business. Don't get the wrong idea; I'm fine with a few chair/table shots and a "Holy shit" bump or two in a match like this, but not ten or twelve apiece like we got here. Even Harley got into the act with the DDT he took on the ramp afterward, which he had no business taking, particularly after he'd just been seen taking the exact same bump the night before. Even Tony and Jesse were shocked and/or disgusted by what they were seeing after a while, and who could blame them?


Not only was the finish wrong, the layout of the falls was wrong. I don't care if falls supposedly don't count in a match like this, they're still being scored, and Cactus pinned Vader no less than three times, all of them with ease. Vader got just one fall, and only won the match because Harley and his Tazer got involved at just the right time. That's supposed to be a World champion? That's supposed to be the toughest man in the business? Bullshit. The only thing saving the Flair-Vader feud is that Flair didn't exactly cover himself in glory against Rude either. I don't know how in the hell WCW's going to promote this feud as anything worth watching between now and Starrcade, but it'll sure be interesting to find out.


My two favorite spots in the match were both courtesy of Nick Patrick. The first one is when he refused to go down into Vader's grave to count a potential fall. Somebody must have told him to go, because he can be heard loudly and adamantly refusing; even Tony has to mention it. The second is when one of the guys throws a table into the ring. Nick goes to toss it out, remembers the rules of the match, makes a visible "what the hell" body gesture, and sets the table up in the corner so the guys can use it to their hearts' content. God bless you, Nick, you made some of this slop worth watching.


I think the rest period before the ten-count is designed to protect against guys getting accidentally knocked out and ruining the overall finish. It wouldn't have mattered here since the match was non-title, but WCW would have felt foolish if they'd had to put the belt on Cactus because Vader got himself knocked out legit and couldn't continue a title match, and with the MGM/Disney tapings, they could have stood to lose a lot of money if they'd had to edit or scrap shows already in the can. 


I didn't know Mick was out to end his career that night. He must have changed his mind at some point, because he's still there nowadays although a good many people would prefer that he go far, far away.


Jesse had plenty of good lines, since there wasn't a whole lot of strategy to get over in a match like this, but my choice for Line of the Night states the obvious: "The one good thing about this match is that these two guys were already ugly; they can't possibly get any uglier."


I understood Tony dressing up as Jesse (and he didn't look bad either), but was Jesse really supposed to be a doctor? I honestly don't recognize that as a doctor's outfit of any sort.


That was Cappetta announcing Vader as the winner at the end, not Penzer.

#13 Mattsdmf

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 12:13 PM

This match has really stuck with me over the years. While I do think the rest periods did take away from the flow, if only the Last Man Standing gimmick was around back then. I loved how this match really did feel like something you'd see on Halloween as they used the PPV set well with that image of Vader coming out of the fog filled grave. I thought some of the bumps Cactus Jack took were maddening.

#14 Superstar Sleeze

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 09:10 PM

WCW World Champion Vader vs Cactus Jack - WCW Halloween Havoc 1993 Texas Death Match


During the first half of this, I was like what was everyone bitching about, but then just ran out of gas and God did that finish sucked.


The first half was red-hot, hate-filled brawling. Vader, fucking Vader of all people, was looking like he was just trying to survive the onslaught of Cactus Jack. Jack really brought the offense, nasty chair shot and loved him taking the fans camera and cracking Vader in the head. Vader was just throwing wild haymakers. He was fucking vicious. He busted Cactus open in the face. Nasty. Love how Cactus just kept coming and the suplexes on the ramp were great. The grave site stuff was great. Vader ascending from his own grave with blood was a great visual. The lariat was a great first fall for Cactus and I LOVED the Cactus Elbow from the ramp to the floor for the second fall. The 30 second rest periods really didn't feel that long.


Then they just ran out of steam. Everything felt in slow motion and all that hate and urgency dissipated. The table spot was good. Cactus sunset flip to the floor and Vader missing his butt splash was a cute way for them both to incorporate their spots. Cactus nearly dives trying to do a somersault over the railing and Vader takes command is merciless. Wicked chair shot. DDT on chair. Then the match gets convoluted. Foley is up before the rest period he somehow scores a fall even though he was basically fucked but Harley hits with a taser and since he does not get up, but Vader does. What the fuck?


Honestly, thought the first half they were well on their way to one of the best US brawls of the 90s, but just ran out of steam and that finish just screams WCW. So bad. ***1/2

#15 soup23

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Posted 24 May 2017 - 12:52 AM

I always want to like this match more than I do and it does fool me in the beginning because it starts really hot like Marty says. I would say the match peaks with Vader coming out of his grave bloodied up and then sputters there to the finish. And woof at that finish. It felt incredibly hokey and lame and that Jack was a goof for not laying out Harley knowing he was bound to intervene at some point. A very good match but one where you feel like a classic was needed to justify some of the nonsense of the angle beforehand. ***1/ 2

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: WCW, Halloween Havoc, October 24, 1993, New Orleans, Vader, Cactus Jack, Texas Death Match, 3.25*

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