WCW Halloween Havoc
Our first image of the night is our commentators, standing up at their booth. Eric Bischoff is dressed as Dracula, Dusty Rhodes is dressed in skimpy biker leathers and Bobby Heenan, in an ill-fitting black wig and with a flimsy plastic band holding two bolts to his neck, looks utterly miserable.
Eric Bischoff: “Hello, everybody, I’m Eric Bischoff, welcoming you to the Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan and WCW Halloween Havoc!”
Dusty Rhodes: “Can you feel the electricity in the air, Bobby?”
Bobby Heenan: “...”
Eric Bischoff: “... Well, we’ve got quite a show in-store for everyone here, and all of you at home. Including, battlebowl four and a world heavyweight championship match!”
Dusty Rhodes: “It’s world championship wrestling, baby!”
Eric Bischoff: “You’re right, it is!”
Heenan’s the first to take his seat, just before a video package starts playing.
Video Package: A video plays, highlighting the Four Horsemen, Jushin Thunder Liger, Madusa, Bull Nakano and the Giant.
Gary Cappetta: “Our opening contest is the penultimate lethal lottery qualifying match! As way of introduction for our team of mystery men, allow me to direct your attention to the crypt!”
A large screen, off centre from the entrance ramp, comes alive with this announcement. Licensed clips from Asahi Pro Wrestling play, accompanied by some generic rock music; a deluge of kicks and flips.
Gary Cappetta: “From the land of the rising sun… Lance Storm and Kaz Hayashi!”
The two rush down to the ring, receiving a modest pop.
Gary Cappetta: “And their opponents… first, from Cincinnati, Ohio… Brian Pillman!”
After a few moments, when the initial pop has died down, the lights go out and a howl reverberates around the arena. A video plays to accompany it; a shadowy animalistic figure darts back and forth across the screen. It’s a werewolf, animated in the ‘Gargoyles’ style. As it lunges for the camera, the video transitions to a standard clips package showcase for Pillman.
He comes out, looking lary and pumped up, wearing red trunks with a werewolf’s head on the back.
He walks halfway down the entrance ramp before stopping and looking back, as the music and video fade out.
Gary Cappetta: “And his tag team partner… from Japan… the Black Tiger!”
Eddie rushes out in his gear (cape and all), to some generic synth rock.
The match that ensues is fast-paced and energetic. It includes some shine for Eddie, who dives into both of his opponents at ringside. Otherwise, the match is quite competitive, but Eddie and Pillman have a pretty definitive edge all the way through.
Opening Match: Brian Pillman and the Black Tiger defeat Kaz Hayashi and Lance Storm in sixteen minutes and thirty seven seconds, to advance to the battlebowl battle royal.
After the match ends, Eddie extends his hand to Pillman but gets decked for his trouble.
Second Match: Arn Anderson and King Kong Bundy defeat Chris Adams and Dan Spivey in eleven minutes and four seconds.
Eric Bischoff: “Well, there we have it folks. We now know the names of every participant in battlebowl four!”
Dusty Rhodes: “Every man for themselves and every woman - uh - it’s gonna’ tear the house down, baby.”
Eric Bischoff: “Indeed, but before all that, we’ve got a very special look at Starrcade ninety five.”
Promotional Package: A video plays detailing the venue for Starrcade ‘95 and advertising VIP tickets, with footage from a backstage fan-event held at Fall Brawl that included autograph signings and photo shoots with various wrestlers. It also advertises the November edition of WCW magazine which will have further details and a pull-out poster of Brian Pillman and Madusa labelled ‘Stars of 1996’.
Eric Bischoff: “I’ve just got word… ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is in the back with Alexandra York. Let’s see what hear what she has to say…”
Bobby Heenan: “Gene?”
Eric Bischoff: “Huh?”
Tony Schiavone is standing beside Alexandra York. The Giant is stood behind her, breathing heavily and looking angry.
Tony Schiavone: “Miss York, your organisation has made quite a splash in the world of professional wrestling, recently. Would it be fair to attribute that to your acquisition of this seven foot beast of a man, the Giant?”
Alexandra York: “I think it would be, Tony. He’s the united states champion and his record speaks for itself.”
Tony Schiavone: “Are you confident he’ll win the battlebowl tonight?”
Alexandra York: “More than confident, Tony. He’s built for destruction and he’s just getting started. He’ll win tonight just as he’s going to win at world war three.”
Tony Schiavone: “Indeed, world war three. That’s November twenty sixth in Norfolk, Virginia. He does have a position in the unprecedented three-ring battle royal set to take place. I have to say, even if he wins tonight, that match is a whole other kettle of fish.”
Alexandra York: “I don’t think so, really. His victory tonight should be taken as a sign of things to come. Think of the battlebowl as his election, and world war three as his inauguration.”
Tony Schiavone: “A pleasure speaking to you, miss -”
The Giant: “Warrior! You think you can beat me?! All of you chumps are gonna learn the hard way that… I… won’t… ever… lose!”
Third Match: Mascara Magica pins Booker T (with Sherri Martel) in eleven minutes and eighteen seconds.
Eric Bischoff: “It’s just about time for the battlebowl match, but before then, I’d like to get your thoughts. Gentlemen, who’s winning this thing?”
Bobby Heenan: “Lex Luger, no question.”
Eric Bischoff: “Dream?”
Dusty Rhodes: “Ooh, that’s a hard one. But I think, when push comes to shove, the dog’s gettin’ off that leash, baby.”
Eric Bischoff: “...”
Bobby Heenan: “...”
Eric Bischoff: “Well, then… let’s get down to the ring.”
Gary Cappetta: “Ladies and gentleman, our next event of the evening is the two-ring battle royale, battle bowl four!”
The lights go down and Cappetta moves to the the ring closest to the ramp. Before the lights come up, the crypt buzzes to life with a short animated feature; every conceivable member of the monster mash - and a few inconceivable ones - shamble on screen from either side and duke it out. Limbs are flying everywhere, but there’s no blood. Eventually, the gigantic cyclops stands triumphant, in a pool of gunk.
The lights come up, and our competitors walk down the ramp, Luger leads the procession, and the Giant is the last out, as they make their way to the ring furthest from the ramp.
Once most of them have clambered in, Cappetta pipes up.
Gary Cappetta: “The rules for this contest are simple. All sixteen men will start in the first ring. The goal is to throw your opponents into the second ring. Once a man has entered the second ring, if he is thrown over the top rope and down to the floor, he can be eliminated from the match.
When only two men remain - that is, one in the first, and one in the second - they can compete in both rings until their opponent is eliminated from either. The last man left will be declared the winner of battle bowl four.”
Cappetta hurries out and the bell rings. The first ring erupts into chaos, and Baxter Golden is immediately thrown out of the ring, and down to the floor.
Eric Bischoff: “Remember, that’s not an elimination, folks. He can re-enter the first ring if he chooses - yes, that’s what he’s doing.”
Dusty Rhodes: “It’s thinning time, Tony!”
Eric Bischoff: “Uh…”
The brawl doesn’t seem to be going anyone’s way, in particular, as attempts to eliminate various wrestlers are regularly interrupted. Of note, the Giant is kept from doing much damage by the spontaneous team of Black Tiger, Bob Backlund, Lex Luger and Bobby Fulton.
Luger backs away from the effort however, and the Giant overpowers the other three. Lex taps Arn on the elbow, who does the same to Pillman and they all… eliminate themselves and enter the second ring.
Eric Bischoff: “What’s this?”
Bobby Heenan: “It’s smart, is what it is.”
The Giant tosses Fulton over and the three horsemen descent upon him, stomping mudholes in him before hoisting him up and throwing him out.
Gary Cappetta: “Bobby Fulton has been eliminated.”
The Warrior knocks Slater and Golden into the second ring, and they receive the same treatment.
Gary Cappetta: “Baxter Golden and Richard Slater have been eliminated.”
With room to breathe, the horsemen taunt the crowd and prat around. The first ring shows no signs of clearing as the Giant tries to toss the Warrior, who hugs the ropes for dear life. He gets a dropkick to the back of the knee from Madusa, which sends him reeling.
Bob Backlund rushes over to take advantage, managing to pick up the wounded Giant for a few seconds before collapsing under the weight. Meanwhile, the Warrior is dragged into the second ring by Arn and Luger.
They try to toss the Warrior out but he struggles too much and breaks free. Preoccupied with beating him back down, the horsemen fail to notice the Black Tiger being thrown into their ring by Bundy.
Eddie takes the fight to Pillman immediately and Arn breaks away from the Warrior to help out. Meanwhile, Madusa and the Patriot work over the Giant, trying to keep him off his feet.
Gary Cappetta: “Brian Pillman has been eliminated - uh, the Black Tiger has - uh - and Arn Anderson have been eliminated!”
The three men tumble to the floor in a huge clusterfuck after Arn charged Tiger but ended up catching them both and rocking out after them. In the first ring, a one against all spirit has developed, with Bundy taking on Bagwell, Cobra, Backlund, Alex Wright and the Patriot.
Madusa is trying helplessly to keep the Giant down, with forearms to the face and kicks to the gut. Soon enough however, as Bundy tosses Cobra into ring two, the Giant gets to his feet and knocks Madusa down with a massive chop.
The Warrior has Luger in his sights and he rushes across to the man teetering on the ropes. It’s a ruse, however, and Luger ducks down, pulling the top rope with him, and the Warrior goes sprawling onto the floor. Cobra tries his luck as Luger poses but he overshoots as well.
Gary Cappetta: “Cobra and the Warrior have been eliminated!”
As the Giant occupies himself with stomping Madusa’s right arm into oblivion, Bundy has the tables turned on him and is thrown into the second ring by his assailants. He gets to his feet only to walk right into a clothesline from Luger moments later.
Gary Cappetta: “King Kong Bundy has been eliminated!”
At this point, Eddie and Pillman are brawling on the outside and the swarm of referees can’t break them up.
After Madusa is tossed over, she receives another round of stomps on her right arm from Luger before an unceremonious dumping. The Giant is assaulted by the Bundy slayers in short order but staves them off and throws Bagwell and Backlund over.
Gary Cappetta: “Madusa has been eliminated!”
Bagwell and Backlund are struck by a double clothesline that sends the former tumbling to the floor.
Gary Cappetta: “Marcus Bagwell has been eliminated!”
Backlund hangs onto the ropes, for dear life however, and Luger becomes frustrated after a solid minute of kicking and shoving. He’s forced to quit when Alex Wright is thrown into the ring. Meanwhile, the Patriot and the Giant are going back and forth along the ropes but neither one seems to have the edge.
Backlund and Wright try to double team Luger but they can’t quite get a rhythm going and, soon enough, Luger has the upper hand.
Gary Cappetta: “Bob Backlund and Alex Wright have been eliminated!”
Luger takes the time to relax at this point, as Del dukes it out with the Giant in ring one. Eventually, the Giant is able to get the best of the Patriot through a display of raw power that sends him flying. Luger wastes no time in capitalising, beating Del down and dumping him out.
Gary Cappetta: “The Patriot has been eliminated, and we are down to two men! Lex Luger may enter ring one freely and eliminations can now occur from either ring!”
Luger scrambles through to ring one to take advantage of an exhausted Giant, who is propping himself up on the ropes as he tries to catch his breath. Lex kicks his shins out and he flops to the ground.
Bobby Heenan: “Yes! Yes! Do it, Luger! Teach that bastard a lesson!”
Luger tries to heave him up and out but only manages to get them both tangled up in the ropes. With the fight between Eddie and Pillman on the outside now broken up, Arn - the only eliminated wrestler still at ringside - wanders over to the action. He pulls the Giant’s hair and tries to help Luger toss him.
He gets an elbow to the face for his trouble and crashes to the floor. With the Giant back in control, he drags Luger to the centre of the ring. Luger thumbs his eye to regain control and lathers him with chops. The Giant doesn’t budge, however, and returns a massive chop of his own which sends Luger reeling.
A desperation dropkick is brushed away casually and the Giant puts his right hand firmly around Luger’s neck as he gets up. Luger’s standing upright for about a second and a half before the Giant sends him right back down again with a chokeslam.
Luger crawls over to the ropes, gasping for breath and using them to prop himself up. From out of nowhere, the Giant follows up with a lariat.
Gary Cappetta: “The Giant has won the battlebowl!”
Dusty Rhodes: “I told ya, baby! I told ya!”
Fourth Match: The Giant defeats Lex Luger, the Patriot, Alex Wright, Bob Backlund, Marcus Bagwell, Madusa, King Kong Bundy, Cobra, the Warrior, Arn Anderson, Brian Pillman, the Black Tiger, Richard Slater, Baxter Golden and Bobby Fulton in forty one minutes and forty six seconds
Heenan looks despondent.
Eric Bischoff: “So, there we have it, the winner of battle bowl four is none other than the Giant.”
Dusty Rhodes: “I’m gonna’ say it right now, tonight!”
Eric Bischoff: “Go on.”
Dusty Rhodes: “I think the Giant’s walkin’ into Starrcade as world’s champion!”
Eric Bischoff: “Well, how about that? Bobby, is a world title match on the cards for the Giant?”
Bobby Heenan: “... Ha.”
Eric Bischoff: “Brain?”
Bobby Heenan: “He’ll have to do a lot more than… win a… a… such a preposterous match type. I mean, what were the rules? Why were there two rings?”
Eric Bischoff: “Well, I -”
The sound cuts out. We get about nine seconds of the men talking with no sound until a video package cuts them off and sound returns.
Promotional Video: A video plays hyping up merchandise, house show tours and the like. It also includes a promise that TBS has an exciting announcement to make in a few weeks’ time. Most of the focus is on a new action figure line of; Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Sting, Lex Luger, Davey Boy Smith and the Giant.
Fifth Match: Johnny Ace defeats One Man Gang in seven minutes and thirty nine seconds.
Eric Bischoff: “Folks, we’ve still got two world championship matches left to go. But, first up, we’d like to take you back to the October sixteenth edition of Nitro.”
Bobby Heenan: “Oh, this should be good.”
Nitro Recap: Clips from Madusa’s loss to Bull Nakano play, along to audio from Madusa’s post-match interview. The video ends with some hastily edited shots of Madusa’s right arm being targeted by Lex Luger and the Giant.
Eric Bischoff: “Can Madusa regain her title?”
Bobby Heenan: “Of course not, if she couldn’t defend when she was at a hundred percent, how could she win now?”
Eric Bischoff: “Sometimes people pull off the seemingly impossible, Bobby. Maybe she’ll rise to the challenge.”
Bobby Heenan: “And maybe she won’t. Maybe she’ll pout and cry and demand another rematch, when she loses this one.”
Gary Cappetta: “The following contest is a one fall match, with a forty five minute time limit, and it is for the women’s world championship!”
The lights go out, again, and the Crypt’s video screen blares to life again. An animated short plays, featuring a man walking into a cave and being turned to stone by a shrieking Gorgon.
When it shuts off and the lights come back on, Madusa walks down the ramp. She’s wearing tape around her right forearm and she’s changed her gear; from the red, white and blue two piece she was wearing earlier, to an orange singlet with a large Gorgon figure painted on the left hand side.
She avoids using her right hand to pull herself through the ropes, instead holding it to her chest.
Gary Cappetta: “And her opponent, from the land of the rising sun, she is the women’s world champion… Bull Nakano!”
The opening few minutes are a complete rout, as Madusa spends most her time trying to evade Nakano, without much luck, and getting no offence in whatsoever.
Nakano goes after the injured arm without compunction, and Madusa doesn’t help herself; several of the blows come from gut kicks that only connect with the challenger’s arm because of the awkward way she’s holding it.
Madusa’s biggest opportunity to shift the momentum of the match comes at around the ten minute mark, as Nakano drags the injured arm over to the ropes and uses both of her hands to pull against the top rope. Madusa cries out until the referee gets up to four, and she realises that Bull has left herself open.
Madusa peppers the side of her face with several loud strikes from her left forearm. They’re broken apart and Madusa has time to compose herself, retreating to the far corner. She’s canny enough to avoid a charge from the champ, who goes crashing into the turnbuckle.
As Bull rebounds into the centre of the ring, Madusa breaks into a charge of her own, knocking Nakano down with a flying shoulder tackle.
Both women get up at the same time, but Nakano stamps on Madusa’s left foot, causing her lose her balance and collapse back down.
With Madusa on her knees, the champ can’t capitalise soon enough and she launches a barrage of kicks to the chest. Madusa blocks the first few with her forearms but drops her right when the pain becomes too much to bear.
Now unguarded, Madusa chest takes a beating and the last of Nakano’s kicks is to the head. She follows it up with a cover. One, two… no!
Bull throws a tantrum after this, whipping Madusa around the ring by her hair a few times and screaming at the commentators for good measure. After kicking Bull away and thwarting the champ’s fourth attempt, Madusa pulls herself up by the ropes only to be caught in a waist lock, transitioned seamlessly into a release German suplex.
1-2-3. Ding, ding, ding.
Sixth Match: Bull Nakano defeats Madusa in twenty six minutes and thirteen seconds.
Promotional Package: A video plays, chronically some of the highlights of Bret and Davey’s time in Japan, along with clips from some of Liger’s matches. Considerable effort has been made to ensure no footage of Hogan has found its way in. The video ends with an advertisement for Asahi Pro Wrestling and the December edition of WCW magazine, which promises a four-page feature on the company’s top stars.
A timing error means that we go straight to ringside, with Liger already halfway down the ramp. He does a lap around the ring, slapping hands before entering and posing on each of the turnbuckles in turn.
Gary Cappetta: “And his opponent, from Charlotte, North Carolina, he is the heavyweight wrestling champion of the world… Ric Flair!”
Flair comes out in orange robes, with black feathers, strutting down the ramp. He takes his time, which Liger milks for all its worth, beckoning him to enter the ring, then shaking his head and sighing with his shoulders.
When Flair eventually does decide to join his opponent, he swaggers up to him and howls into his mask. “Woo!”
He’s popped in the jaw, and sent reeling. Ding, ding, ding.
Liger dominates the opening few minutes, and Flair always seems a second too slow. Liger whips him into the ropes, hits him with a dropkick on the rebound and then applies a Boston Crab. Flair crawls to the ropes for the break, and they repeat a similar routine a few times.
The pace slows after the fourth rope break, however, when Flair pulls himself out of the ring altogether. He teases walking out but Liger catches him with a springboard dive to the outside. They get back into the ring at about the same time, but Liger’s the first to his feet.
He tries to drag the champ up but gets a shot to the groin in response. Nick Patrick chews Flair out for it but Naitch doesn’t care at all, and taunts the crowd (they eat it up).
Flair tries to apply a figure four but takes too much time having fun with it and Liger kicks him away. As soon as the challenger gets up to his feet, however, he’s meant with a barrage of chops from Flair - who’s getting red-faced.
After the fifth chop, Liger blocks him and knocks him down with alternating kicks to sides of Flair’s legs and his torso.
Flair starts begging off at this point, as he scrambles over to a corner post. Liger looks at him, with his head tilted in bemusement. He turns to the crowd, for a raw of approval, before descending on Flair. He yanks him up and whips him to the opposing corner.
Flair stumbles over it and out onto the apron. He tries to run across but get’s a dropkick instead and tumbles to the outside. Liger goes out to join him, and the ref starts counting them out.
Liger pulls Flair up but the champ fights out of the hold with a flurry of chops. Liger returns the favour with a series of forearm shots that knock Flair loopy. He rolls the nature boy into the ring but Flair gets off a desperation kick to Liger’s head as he does so.
Now, with Liger knocked against the ringside barricade, and Flair having just crawled to the centre of the ring, Nick Patrick is up to nine.
Just before the ten, Liger vaults into the ring and scrambles after Flair. He gets him up and in a… sit-out powerbomb for one, two and… no!
After a few tense moments, where both men found their feet again, Arn Anderson comes bolting down the entrance ramp. He dives into the ring and, with Liger not knowing what to do, and Nick Patrick trying, ineffectively, to remove the invader, Arn whispers something in the champ’s ear.
Flair seems to consider it before nodding, with a smirk plastered over his face. The two horsemen leave the ring, go up the entrance ramp, and through to the back.
Nick Patrick counts to ten and the commentators go into panic mode.
Main Event: Jushin Thunder Liger defeats Ric Flair, by countout, in thirty one minutes and nine seconds.
Dusty Rhodes: “What’s goin’ on!? What’s goin’ on!? Why’d he do that, Bobby!?”
Bobby Heenan: “Well, I - I - I - uh, he - he must be injured. Yeah, he - he - must’ve suffered some kind of injury.”
Eric Bischoff: “You really believe that, Brain?”
Bobby Heenan: “We can - we can review the footage tomorrow. I’m sure it’ll back that up. I - I guess Anderson must’ve seen something we didn’t.”
Dusty Rhodes: “I’m not gonna’ stand for this one, baby!”
Dream gets up from the commentary booth and marches awkwardly up the entrance ramp and through to the back.
Eric Bischoff: “Uh, well, this has been world championship wrestling. Happy halloween and, remember to tune into Monday Nitro, live tomorrow night!”
And, we’re off the air.