WCW Halloween Havoc 1989 (10/28/1989)- Philadelphia, PA
Z-MAN vs. MIKE ROTUNDA- 5/10
Decent match. Rotunda came off vicious and the crowd was very into Z-Man’s offense.
BRUNO SAMMARTINO PROMO- Bruno cut a short promo about having to referee tonight’s main event.
THE SAMOAN SWAT TEAM & THE SAMOAN SAVAGE (w/Sir Oliver Humperdink) vs. “DR. DEATH” STEVE WILLIAMS & THE MIDNIGHT EXPRESS (Bobby Eaton & Stan Lane) (w/Jim Cornette)- 7.25/10
JR tells us that Oliver Humperdink has “regressed the Samoans to their tribal state.” WOW. Talk about racist. Well… the racism of the gimmick aside, this match was great. The Midnights both played babyface in peril and Doc played the role of the Samoan version of Kryptonite. The crowd was so completely into this match it’s not even funny. Cornette popping Humperdink got one of those pops that just blows the roof off of the building.
TERRY FUNK & GARY HART PROMO- decent. Gary tells us that the head of the J-Tex Corporation will be at ringside tonight.
TOMMY RICH vs. THE CUBAN ASSASSIN- 3.75/10
An en match with a lame-looking finish that really served no purpose at all.
FREEBIRDS PROMO- decent
NWA WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: The Fabulous Freebirds(c) (Michael Hayes & Jimmy Garvin) vs. The Dynamic Dudes-4.5/10
Even with Cornette in their corner, the notoriously smarky Philly crowd boos the Dynamic Dudes out of the building. Shane's sloppiness early on probably didn’t help. Don’t worry, Shane. I’m this will be the last time you’re ever booed in Philly. The Freebirds, of course, got a huge pop. JR tries to make up for the earlier racism by giving a short public service announcement about how all of the kids watching at home should be like Shane and Johnny and make sure that they finish their education before starting a career.
The match itself was okay,(occasional sloppiness aside) but odd to watch because the fans were booing the hell out of the babyfaces doing their traditional babyface spots. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a hot tag get booed before. Johnny and Hayes seemed to have some miscommunication about if the DDT was supposed to be countered or not, because Johnny seemed to block it, but then immediately fell down and started selling.
STEINERS PROMO- Someone please remind me how these guys became major stars despite their horrible mic skills.
THE STEINER BROTHERS vs. DOOM (w/Woman)- 5.75/10
Oh yeah. It’s because they’re badasses in the ring.
A good match that dragged on a bit too long. Some good babyface in peril stuff, but they shined the Steiners WAY too hard in the beginning that the heat had to last so damn long to not make Doom look like chumps.
LEX LUGER PROMO- okay
NWA UNITED STATES TITLE MATCH: Lex Luger(c) vs. Brian Pillman- 6.5/10
ROAD WARRIORS PROMO- good, aside from Hawk saying that the Road Warriors have been underdogs their entire lives. That might be the least believable thing I have ever heard on a wrestling show.
THE SKY SCRAPERS (w/Theodore Long) vs. THE ROAD WARRIORS (w/Paul Ellering)- 4.75/10
This was an okay big man match which ended when one of the Sky Scrapers hit one of the Road Warriors with a giant golden key Teddy Long was carrying around with him for some reason. Being the Road Warriors, though, they have to come out on top, so Hawk gets the key and hits the heels with it, eliminating all of the heat the Sky Scrapers just got.
FLAIR, OLE, AND STING PROMO- Ole was good. Sting and Flair were laughably bad. Sting started off his promo with “it’s Halloween, and it’s going to be full of Havoc.” Yeah. That bad.
THUNDERCAGE MATCH WITH BRUNO SAMMARTINO AS SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE: Ric Flair & Sting (w/Ole Anderson) vs. Terry Funk & The Great Muta (w/Gary Hart)- DUD!
The gimmick here was that the walls of the Hell in a Cell style cage were electrified and the match could only be won when one of the corner-men threw in the towel. Before the match even started, Terry Funk started to climb on the cage, and JR covers for this by telling us that the electrical wires are at the top, and therefore the metal cage is only electrified at the top. Yup… apparently JR’s whole PSA before about telling kids how important it is to finish their education like the Dynamic Dudes did is because JR has always regretted completely failing high school science.
Apparently something on top of the cage had caught fire, so Muta (also climbing the cage) went to go put it out with his green mist. This was hilarious. The thing that caught fire was one of the things they decorated the cage with. They were supposed to be Halloween decorations, but they seemed to just be random things, including a random rope that Flair and Sting both swung on at one point. Sting’s spot with it was pretty cool, as he swung on it and gave Funk a dropkick, but the camera was too busy focusing on Flair having Muta in the Figure Four for us to really see it.
This being essentially an I Quit match (well… more like an “I Quit For You” match), Flair naturally lets Muta out of the Figure Four for no reason at all. Muta then proceeded to no-sell the Figure Four. Muta kicks Flair in the back of the head while Funk used the aforementioned rope to tie Sting’s leg to the cage. The heels then proceeded to beat the crap out of Flair while Ole tried to untie Sting. Once he was untied, Sting did a very cool crossbody from off the cage wall into the ring.
The babyfaces then started to win and we got the finish. Flair held Funk in the Figure Four while Sting hit him with multiple splashes from the top rope. Sounds cool, right? Well it would have been if some idiot backstage hadn’t decided to have Gary Hart accidentally throw in the towel when he got hit by Ole. Yes, you read that correctly: an accident at ringside leads to THE HEELS being screwed. WHAT THE F*CK?! Muta tried to make the save by assaulting the referee, but the ref ducked Muta’s chop and punched him out. I was furious about this for a few minutes until I remembered that the ref was Bruno. That is how irrelevant Bruno was here.
This match was horrific. A twenty five minute match involving these four wrestlers… and I was ready for it to end after ten. I almost feel kind of bad giving this a dud because Sting did one or two really cool things here and Funk sold very well, but between the goofiness, the plodding, boring nature of the match, the failure of the gimmick, the fiasco with the Flair-Muta Figure Four, and the idiotic finish, I really have to give it a dud. Oh… and the promised revelation of the leader of the J-Tex Corporation never happened.
The biggest strike against it is the failure of the gimmick. Both teams' promos talked up how the cage would be electrified, but when we got to the actual match, someone only sold it as if it was electrified ONCE (Muta… and that might honestly have just been an accident). Not even JR’s idiotic explanation of just the top of the cage being electrified works here because Terry Funk was swinging from the top of the thing with no problem. These are four extremely talented wrestlers, but somehow they managed to put on a match that f*cking sucked.
Overall, a bad show from WCW. This felt more like a Clash of the Champions that it did an actual PPV. This show would have likely been completely forgettable in wrestling history if not for the debut of Doom, the Philly fans reactions in the tag title match, and the fact that the combination of Ric Flair, Terry Funk, Sting, and the Great Muta managed to somehow put on the worst match on a wrestling show.