It's been five months since Scott Hall came out on a telecast of World Championship Wrestling and made his statement. Now, in October '96, the new World order is unquestionably a force against WCW, as they seem to be winning almost all of the battles against their foes. With a growing membership of former WWF stars, the war was truly in full swing... and WCW was losing. Can Randy Savage stop the bleeding? Let's get to it!
WCW Halloween Havoc '96 |
Posted by the Accelerator, April 2nd, 2013
- The cover of this video shows "Macho Man" Randy Savage next to "Hollywood" Hulk Hogan, with the catch-line stating "A Night of Terror You'll Never Forget!" I'm scared that could mean some of the wrestling, but we shall see...
- We have another impressive entry video, talking all about the nWo. It shows some of their biggest moments, put together around an interview with President Eric Bischoff, who says that the "one singular mistake I ever made was bringing Hulk Hogan into WCW. Hogan and the rest of you thugs, that's all you are, you're thugs. You want to come in here, you want to try and stop WCW?" We see clips of "Macho Man" Randy Savage in his battle against the nWo, including some of the things that Hogan did to Elizabeth.
- The announcers are Tony Schiavone, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, & Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
- Schiavone calls the title match tonight "the most important ever". That might be over-selling it a bit, although I'm sure it's definitely important. Rhodes talks about fighting for tradition. Heenan talks about how the nWo has taken Savage's money, brain, and heart from him, so, basically, Savage has nothing left to lose. I always love Heenan's additions to these shows.
Rey Mysterio Jr(c) vs. Dean Malenko, WCW Cruiserweight Title Match:
Backstory: Long story here, but not that hard to sum up. Malenko was the previous Cruiserweight Champion, but had lost the title to Mysterio back on a July Nitro. Since then, Malenko's been intent on regaining the gold, but came up a foot short against Mysterio at Clash of the Champions 33 (Malenko got the pin, but Mysterio's foot was on the ropes). Malenko has gone even more intense now, becoming somewhat of a major heel as he even unmasked Mysterio at one point on a WCW Saturday Night, with Schiavone having to cover up Rey's face from the fans. Now, they meet again, in their long-running feud.
The Match: "The Professor" Mike Tenay joins the three announcers, as he always does with these cruiserweight matches. Malenko attacks Mysterio before the bell, and quickly goes for the Texas Cloverleaf, with Mysterio managing to escape. We have some great back-and-forth moves, with Mysterio eventually sending Malenko from the ring, and then, of course, leaping over the ropes and taking Malenko down. He also grabbed his stolen mask back and managed to switch out masks in the ring without being seen, a nifty move.
A mistake by Mysterio allowed Malenko to come back and assault the knees of Mysterio, working to set Mysterio up for his finisher. For several minutes, Malenko destroys Mysterio's knees, keeping him grounded. Numerous submission holds get used, a very smart strategy against a high-flyer. Mysterio has his own comeback sequence, with some incredible pinning combinations that nearly put Malenko away. There's also the high-flying, including a springboard twisting corkscrew to the outside onto Malenko. Near the end (almost 20 minutes later), we have numerous close 2-counts where the fans bite, from Mysterio's hurricanrana pin to a great Malenko powerbomb pin. At the end, Mysterio and Malenko fight on the top turnbuckle, and Malenko blocks Mysterio, comes off with a spinning top-rope powerbomb, and that's it. We have a new champion in Dean Malenko.
Ace Thoughts: Some amazing moves in this one, and I love seeing these long cruiserweight bouts. Yeah, I miss them, I admit it. This would be the start of a rough time for Mysterio, who would not win another pay-per-view match for almost half a year after losing the championship. He would even go through a rough run in early '97 of losing constantly to Prince Iaukea. Malenko, on the other hand, would stay at the top of the cruiserweight division, going into feuds with Ultimo Dragon and others for the belt, until the nWo came-a-calling.
- Lee Marshall is in the back, where it's announced that Ric Flair would not be competing tonight against the Giant. Instead, former WWF 'star' Jeff Jarrett was taking his place, with Jarrett talking about how great he and Flair are. Flair shows us as well, talking about how the ladies will be lining up for Jarrett. He also thinks Savage will beat Hogan later that night.
Eddie Guerrero vs. Diamond Dallas Page, BattleBowl Ring Match:
Backstory: This feud's been going on for months now. Back at Slamboree '96, DDP won the BattleBowl, and had defended the ring on a few occasions. He lost the ring to Guerrero at Clash of the Champions XXXIII, and promptly sucker-punched Guerrero and injured him with multiple Diamond Cutters. Chavo Guerrero Jr temporarily took 'Uncle' Eddie's place, but lost to DDP at Fall Brawl '96, so now Eddie's back for some revenge, as well as his ring (which DDP stole).
The Match: Nick Patrick, complete with neck brace, is our referee for this match. You'd think that wouldn't matter, considering neither man is nWo, but it does seem to play a part. We have a back-and-forth contest at first, with the fans split between the two (despite the fact that DDP is the heel). As the contest continues, it becomes evident, even to the announcers, that Patrick is counting slower for Guerrero's pin attempts. He also gives a 2 count for DDP when DDP's legs were clearly using the ropes for leverage. However, when a tilt-a-whirl slam only gets 2, DDP angrily shoves Patrick, and Patrick shoves him back into a roll-up, nearly costing Page the match! So is Patrick dirty here or not? A few moments later, DDP offers a handshake to Patrick, apparently wanting to fix the issue between them, so are they friends now? I'm confused.
That, of course, doesn't take away that this is a pretty good match. The two men each get some great maneuvers down the stretch, with DDP landing a tremendous clothesline at one point. Later on, Guerrero does a crossbody off the top, smashing DDP. But that's about it for Guerrero, as DDP goes on an offensive domination, nailing Guerrero with a piledriver and a rotating powerbomb, both for 2 counts. Despite DDP being unhappy with the count again, he still finishes Guerrero with (a weak-looking) Diamond Cutter for the win. After the match, Patrick hands over the BattleBowl ring to Page, who celebrates.
Ace Thoughts: I've seen better from both men, but I've seen worse, too. The story goes that Guerrero injured his ribs during the contest, slowing him down somewhat. He did wrestle the next night on Nitro with taped ribs (and lost a match because of it), so you can debate whether or not it was kayfabe. Really, the whole Nick Patrick thing was distracting in this one, as he's the ref to hate, yet he was getting face pops for shoving DDP down. An okay match, but the confusion factor didn't help. Things were looking up for both men in the coming year, as Guerrero would win his first WCW championship (beating DDP in the finals of a tournament), while DDP would become the hottest sought commodity for the nWo (which would turn him face).
- We switch to a shot of Randy Savage, who's basically foaming at the mouth at the thought of tearing into Hollywood Hogan. Madness, indeed. Oh yeah.
- Mike Tenay is shown in the back interviewing the new WCW Cruiserweight Champion, Dean Malenko, who lets the world know that he will take on every challenger to his title.
- In an nWo interview, Ted DiBiase talks to the Giant, who is not that impressed with Jeff Jarrett refusing to join the nWo. He says not even Flair wants to get in the ring with him. Jarrett's going down, as every Horsemen is going to the glue factory.
Jeff Jarrett w/ Ric Flair vs. The Giant:
Backstory: The Giant had been a member of the nWo for a couple of months at this point, having betrayed WCW due to a monetary offer from DiBiase. He had been at war with the Four Horsemen, focusing on Ric Flair, as the Horsemen had declared war on the nWo. Flair, the leader of the Horsemen, had won the WCW United States Title, and was set to battle The Giant for the belt at Halloween Havoc. However, Flair tore his rotator cuff during the Japan/US All-Star Tournament, so a change in plan was necessary. The Giant attacked Flair at one point, beating him down and stealing the US Title. Flair, his injury now explained to WCW fans, found himself a replacement: Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett had just jumped over from the WWF due to a contract dispute, and had been sought by both WCW and the nWo. Jarrett chose the Horsemen, unofficially taking Flair's spot and setting up tonight's match.
The Match: Ironically, Jarrett could almost be seen as the bad guy here. The fans certainly aren't cheering for him, Horsemen or no. Jarrett should have joined the nWo, and maybe turned on them, rather than trying to come in and immediately be a face. Oh well. Nick Patrick is again the ref, and he raises the US Title as if the belt's on the line. Tony Schiavone does not take that well.
This match is your basic Giant match, with the smaller wrestler trying to use speed to survive, while the Giant is prepared to just toss his foe all over the place. Jarrett tries to get in some offense, utilizing a sleeper, which is a typical giant move. Of course, the Giant uses the corner to escape it. This match is very familiar. Of course, Patrick throws in an extra element, as he gets Flair to 'distract' him, enabling the Giant to use a low blow on Jarrett. The Giant beats on Jarrett for a while, but Jarrett eventually escapes a bearhug and gets back on the offense. A figure four attempt, though, fails, sending Jarrett out to the floor. Outside, the two fight again, with Jarrett again trying for the figure four (where it wouldn't have worked, a stupid move). When the Giant fights free, Flair comes from behind and gets his patented low blow, causing the disqualification. Afterwards, the rest of the Horsemen come out and show some solidarity, as the Giant decides to leave rather than fight them all.
Ace Thoughts: That wasn't an easy match to sit through, although, again, I have seen worse. Damn, I've seen some bad wrestling over the years, haven't I? Really, the only enjoyable part of this one was with the antics of Flair on the outside. The ending makes sense, keeping both men strong, and continuing the feud between the nWo and the Horsemen, two groups that were known for being fine with breaking the rules. Jarrett and the Giant would meet again a month later at World War III '96, to settle things between them.
- The announcers are pretty excited about how things went in the last match. talk about what's going to happen later tonight. Dusty guarantees something special is going to happen. He can smell it, and the Brain can feel it.
- We go to Ted DiBiase, Vincent, and Syxx in the crowd, representing the nWo. DiBiase acts like the Giant just got a monster victory (well, technically, he did win, so I guess Ted is right). One down, three to go for the nWo. They actually give a WCW guy, Jericho, some praise for being a fine athlete, but he's in the wrong place at the right time. Syxx is the best cruiserweight and will soon be the champion. Syxx says that "Jericho will be crucified for the sins of WCW, pal!"
Chris Jericho vs. Syxx:
Backstory: Jericho had only been with WCW for a month or two at this point, still playing the babyface (but getting hate from the crowd). That probably explains why he's put into a match against an nWo member. Syxx is even newer to the company, having come over from the WWF. He wrestled as the 1-2-3 Kid over there, thus explaining why he's now Syxx (1+2+3=6). He appeared for the first time in September, pressing a remote and releasing nWo propaganda from the ceiling and announcing his allegiance with the group. At this point, he was just beginning his 'war' with the cruiserweights of WCW. This is his first WCW pay-per-view match.
The Match: Nick Patrick is again our referee, which I believe makes three appearances already. We get a nice feeling-out period between the two wrestlers, as they start to get warmed up. Some nice moves by both men moving into the bout, including some nice reversals, leapfrogs, and spin kicks. We randomly get shown "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan and members of the Dungeon of Doom sitting at ringside. Not sure why they're there, but okay.
Things get interesting once Jericho gets knocked to the outside off the turnbuckle. Syxx comes out and beats on Jericho, smashing him into the railing, and then hammers him some more in the ring. Patrick is already telling Jericho that if Jericho wants to quit, he'll ring the bell. That's not suspicious at all. Syxx really dominates for a while, as the announcers speculate about the Dungeon of Doom being there to 'protect' Jericho from the nWo. Jericho finally comes back after dodging a Syxx attack in the corner, and starts getting in his own abuse, even as Patrick admonishes him. The crowd's still not cheering for Jericho that loudly, no matter what the announcers say.
Late in the match, Jericho continues to go for pinfalls after various maneuvers, but a supposedly-hurting Patrick is only able to give him 1-counts (or the occasional 2). A frustrated Jericho finally confronts him, but the distraction allows Syxx to get his spinning kick, and Patrick immediately drops and counts to 3, giving Syxx the victory. After the match, Jericho confronts Patrick, and Patrick runs for his life, leaving the ring and helping Syxx to the back.
Ace Thoughts: I probably expected more out of this than I should have, being that it was a 'story-line' match to start a feud. True, we got some good moves out of both guys, but I know both could do a hell of a lot better if Patrick hadn't been there. Sadly, this was just the beginning, as Jericho would begin feuding with Nick Patrick and would face him in an awful "One Armed" Match at World War III. Syxx would continue to concentrate on other cruiserweights, while helping with nWo business.
- "The Professor" Mike Tenay is in the back with Lex Luger, talking about how his feud with Arn Anderson has intensified after what happened at Fall Brawl '96. This speech grabs your attention, so let's go ahead and transcribe it:
And now Arn, you're going to see a Total Package that you've never seen before! You'll see a man that is going to come unglued! It's time for the Total Package, SOMEBODY, in WCW, to make a stand around here! I'm sick and tired of everybody running each other down, jumping on each other's backs! Well now, Arn Anderson, you're going to see a side of me... oh my gosh, Arn Anderson! You know what, I'm going to the ring right now with one intent, and I'm going to say it one more time. It didn't have to come to this, but Arn, I'm not only going to beat you, I'm not only going to Rack you, but I'm going to take you out, and I'm going to hurt you."
Luger leaves right after that, heading for the ring. Okay, not the greatest of promos, but it grabbed my attention *lol*.
Arn Anderson vs. Lex Luger:
Backstory: At Fall Brawl '96, Luger teamed with Horsemen Ric Flair & Arn Anderson against the nWo in a War Games match. Sting was also set as a partner, but trickery from the nWo caused Luger & the rest to not trust him. This led to Sting coming to the ring, laying out his imposter, but then leaving the WCW team in a 3-on-4 situation. Luger was beat down and placed in the nWo Sting's Scorpion Deathlock, and appeared to be out cold, causing referee Nick Patrick to call for the bell and give the win to the nWo. Afterwards, Anderson & Flair called Luger a quitter for 'giving up', leading to a lot of animosity between Luger and Anderson. Anderson would get in a sneak-attack on Luger at one point with a steel chair, injuring his lower ribs, and leading to tonight's match.
The Match: We start off with a stare-down, with Anderson getting a boot to the ribs to take control. He focuses on the ribs, but gets cocky, turning his back on Luger. Luger answers with a pose and starts going wild on Anderson, eventually taking them to the outside. Dusty makes sure to remind us the Dungeon of Doom are still at ringside, although they haven't done anything yet. Sullivan is very happy to shout for Luger to Torture Rack Anderson. Luger dominates for a while, even hanging Anderson out on the turnbuckle and kicking him repeatedly in the back. Just when it seems like Luger's in full control, though, Anderson reverses a whip and gets the spinebuster!! But both men stay down, hurting.
Anderson recovers first and sends Luger to the outside. The beating continues, utilizing the railings, and then eventually returns to the ring. Anderson's focus is fully on the back, smashing Luger and putting him in an abdominal stretch (using the ropes to help him). Schiavone talks about the new WCW referee, Mark Curtis, doing his job. Great to see Curtis in there, I hadn't even realized it, honestly; I was just happy it wasn't Patrick. Luger blocks a DDT attempt with the ropes and tries to come back, but after a couple of reversals, Luger gets whipped towards Curtis. He stops in time, but Anderson then hammers him from behind to knock him into Curtis, who goes down hard. On the outside, with the ref down, Anderson tries to use a steel chair, but gets blocked, with Luger catapulting Anderson into the turnbuckle. He suplexes Anderson on the outside, and then follows it up with using the chair himself!! After the brutal beating, Luger puts Anderson back into the ring and gives him the Torture Rack, with Curtis finally recovering to take Anderson's submission. After the match, with the Dungeon of Doom cheering him on, Luger refuses to release the Rack, until Curtis finally manages to get it broken up. Luger leaves, with Ric Flair & Jeff Jarrett coming out to check on Anderson's condition. Anderson eventually gets stretchered out.
Ace Thoughts: On the plus side, there was a lot of intensity between the two guys. On the negative, it just felt like the fans couldn't fully get behind it, since they expected to see these guys fighting against the new World order, not each other. I did like Luger's newfound violent streak, I just don't know if this was the match it was best used for. This was during the last part of Anderson's wrestling career, as he was already having major back issues that would eventually require surgery. He would continue wrestling for a few more months before being replaced in the Horsemen (with disastrous results). Luger would stay a top player in the war against the nWo, while his connection with the 'independent' Sting would continue to be a major plot point for the next few months.
- Lee Marshall is in the back with Harlem Heat and their managers, with Booker T quickly telling him to shut up. Booker T then talks about their group being a football team: Booker T as running back, Stevie Ray as nose guard, Sister Sherri at quarterback, and the Colonel, uh, just put this thing together. I guess that makes him the coach? Booker T talks about the nWo being wanna-be thugs that Harlem Heat will take care of. Stevie Ray says if they want some of them, they'll be waiting at the ring.
- The announcers talk about Arn Anderson being taken away from the arena in an ambulance. Ric Flair went with him, so two Horsemen are gone.
The Faces of Fear (Meng & The Barbarian) w/ Jimmy Hart vs. The IV Horsemen (Chris Benoit & Mongo McMichael) w/ Debra McMichael & Woman:
Backstory: The feud between the Dungeon of Doom and the IV Horsemen had been going on for some time, due to the issues between Chris Benoit and "The Taskmaster" Kevin Sullivan. Basically, Benoit had 'stolen' Sullivan's wife, Woman (which was actually a real-life switch), leading to a very violent feud between the two men that separated the two groups. Meng & The Barbarian had been teaming together for a while now as the Faces of Fear, and were members of the Dungeon, thus putting them against Benoit & McMichael tonight.
The Match: Honestly, Dusty Rhodes is annoying at this point. The guy is always a rambler, but he's in rare form tonight. We start with McMichael and Meng no-selling for each other, with McMichael getting the three-point stance strike to finally take Meng off his feet. Benoit and the Barbarian tag in, and the Barbarian is immediately dominating. Benoit soon comes back with his own moves, though, and then both men tag out, bringing us back to Mongo and Meng (that sounds like a band name, or maybe an animated series). By the way, Sullivan and the rest of the Dungeon are still sitting at ringside.
Meng and Mongo play sumo for a minute, with Meng conclusively winning it. McMichael answers with chop blocks for both men, but Meng puts him down with a sharp kick. McMichael gets beat on for a while, but a missed shot allows Benoit to get the tag. But the Barbarian makes a blind tag, and Meng reverses a whip to toss Benoit over his shoulder and into the Barbarian's arms for a powerbomb!! Hell of a move, and the crowd responds. Benoit's now on the receiving end of a beating from both men, as they tag in and out. Benoit tries to fight back from the turnbuckle at one point, knocking the Barbarian down, but Meng came over to drop Benoit on the 'buckle. The Barbarian then grabs him and LAUNCHES Benoit with an incredible released overhead super-plex!! Only Mongo saves Benoit from the pinfall. That was amazing!
A double top-rope headbutt nails Benoit, with Mongo again making the save. Schiavone talks about how there used to be a "One-Save" rule in these matches, but now a teammate can save as many times as possible. Informative! The Faces of Fear use another great team-up, with the Barbarian suplexing Benoit, while Meng leaps off the turnbuckle. And then, the Barbarian disappears, as Mongo runs around the ring and pulls Benoit most of the way out of the ring. As Meng tries to come after him, Mongo clocks Meng with his Haliburton briefcase, stunning him! Benoit then comes off the turnbuckle with his flying headbutt (somehow still standing after the beating he's taken) for the victory, as the Barbarian, for some reason, can't make the save.
Ace Thoughts: The Faces of Fear surprised me somewhat with this one, as I thought this was going to be a throw-away match. They came to show off, though, and Benoit certainly sold like crazy for them. The only problem I have with this match is the ending. Benoit just got brutalized for a period, with Mongo having to make the save on the pin several times. Yet at the end, Benoit's able to immediately capitalize on the briefcase strike and fly off the turnbuckle? Also, why did the Barbarian suddenly vanish from the action? I can see him in the background of the Meng briefcase hit, for some reason arguing with the referee... then he leaves the ring and just stays on the outside while Meng takes the headbutt and gets pinned? That definitely took something away from a great match. Oh well, at least I got to see a few impressive double-team maneuvers.
- After the match, the Barbarian 'reappears' and smashes Mongo with the briefcase. The rest of the Dungeon comes in, as Mongo gets a spike piledriver. Benoit fights all of the Dungeon, trying to get them away from Woman. Somehow, Benoit hangs in there with kicks and strikes, but soon the numbers are too much, even as Sullivan smashes Mongo a few more times with the briefcase. With Benoit being held, the Dungeon destroys him, and the announcers remind us that Anderson and Flair are both gone from the arena. Sullivan confronts Woman afterwards, reminding her that Benoit's not the man, Sullivan's the man. The Horsemen are laid out, as the Dungeon finally leaves. Obviously, the feud continues.
- We go to Ted DiBiase & Vincent, with DiBiase getting his math right: it's nWo 2, WCW nothing. Two down, two to go, and next is the World Tag-Team Titles match. There's nothing Harlem Heat can do about what's about to happen to them. The nWo zeroes in and does what they want to do. They get it done the first time, and Harlem Heat is first on the hit list. He then introduces Hall & Nash, the Outsiders.
Harlem Heat(c) (Booker T & Stevie Ray) w/ Sister Sherri & Colonel Parker vs. The Outsiders (Scott Hall & Kevin Nash), WCW World Tag-Team Titles Match:
Backstory: I've covered the coming of the new World order several times in previous reviews, but to give a shortened version of it, two of the founders were the Outsiders, Hall & Nash. This is their first WCW World Tag-Team Titles opportunity, as they got this shot against Harlem Heat for tonight. Harlem Heat won the belts from The Public Enemy a few weeks before, becoming 7-time World Tag-Team Champions, but now they've gone from heels to (semi)faces in the nWo/WCW war.
The Match: Both members of Harlem Heat are talking to the camera as they come down the aisle, with Schiavone pointing out that they already gave an interview in the back. They also talk about the 'failed' marriage between Sister Sherri and Colonel Parker. Even the Brain says they probably shouldn't both be at ringside, in case they're a distraction, since there's so much on the line. I can agree with that.
This one takes forever to get going. Lots of stalling. The Outsiders even steal the belts and pretend to wear them for a moment. Even after the bell rings, we still take a while. Apparently something happens off-camera between the fans, but we don't get to see any of it, other than a quick mention. For the record, these fans seem completely on the side of the Outsiders. Booker T and Hall eventually go at it, very slowly, eventually ending with Booker T 'illegally' throwing Hall over the ropes. Stevie Ray and the rest get in their licks before putting Hall back in there. Hall responds by spitting on Stevie Ray, and then tagging in Nash. The big men go at it, with Nash taking the control early with his usual moves in the corner. Stevie Ray comes back, and I am struggling with this one, especially with Harlem Heat being the ones to use dirty tactics (with the WCW announcers having to praise them for their illegal moves).
We move on in the match, with Harlem Heat tagging in and out a lot while getting some abuse on Hall. But Nash changes the momentum by hitting Booker T from the outside, allowing the Outsiders to take control. At one point, Hall lands his fallaway slam, which gets Sister Sherri up on the apron. Hall throws some sweat on her, so Sister Sherri slaps him! (Is that not a DQ, ref?) Hall responds by kissing her, to the joy of the crowd, but that allows Booker T to take Hall down temporarily. It doesn't last long, as Hall recovers and gets Booker T into the sleeper. Stevie Ray just watches, not interested in saving his brother. Booker T reverses the sleeper, and Nash at least starts to come in, but Hall gets free by racking Booker T on the ropes. Hall tries to use the ropes for a pinfall, but only gets 2. Late in the match, Booker T finally is able to make the hot tag to Stevie Ray, who uses power on both men, including press-slamming Hall into Nash. Nash goes out, and Harlem Heat works together to get a slam/Harlem Hangover combination. Things then get really slow, as Nash comes back in, with Colonel Parker greeting him by brandishing the cane. But Nash grabs him, and Parker saves himself by giving Nash the cane! Parker runs away, while Nash nails Stevie Ray repeatedly with the cane!! Meanwhile, ref Curtis has been distracted for WAY too long, so he missed the cane shots. After almost a minute, Hall finally rolls over and covers Stevie Ray, giving the WCW (soon to be nWo) World Tag-Team Titles to the Outsiders.
Ace Thoughts: Ugly, ugly match. The fans were never behind Harlem Heat, the wrestling was awful, and the ending took WAY too long to put together. This is really the worst match of the night, at least I assume so (still got one to go). The Outsiders' run as WCW/nWo World Tag-Team Champions would go on for almost a year after this match, keeping the belts with the nWo for a long time (although part of that was due to Eric Bischoff coming up with ways to give them the belts back after losing them). Harlem Heat, meanwhile, would deal with their issues with both Parker and Sherri, and stay as a team for another year, before Stevie Ray would turn on Booker T to join the nWo. Way down the line (years later), they'd reunite and get the belts for a few more reigns, but this defeat really sent them into a tailspin for a while.
- In the crowd, we see Hollywood Hulk Hogan with Ted DiBiase and The Giant (apparently Vincent's there too, I just don't see him until later). Hogan's haircut here is AWFUL, and even the announcers comment on it. He probably had to do it for a movie, but ugh. Hogan talks about just finishing a "Three Ninja" movie, as well as his "Santa With Muscles" movie. Since he's tired of bodyslamming Hollywood, he's here to take out the 'long-lost lovesick puppy', Randy Savage, oooh yeah. The three of them then head for the ring.
- Michael Buffer does the special introductions for the main event, as always. The referee is Randy Anderson.
Hollywood Hulk Hogan(c) w/ Ted DiBiase and The Giant vs. "Macho Man" Randy Savage, WCW/nWo World Heavyweight Title Match:
Backstory: When Hogan turned on WCW and formed the new World order, he did it by attacking Savage and pinning him at Bash at the Beach. Because of this, Savage has been hot for Hogan's head for months now. The two, of course, also have a WWF history, which makes Savage's (ex)wife, Miss Elizabeth, a key figure between them. There's still a question at this point if Miss Elizabeth will stay with Macho, or stay with the nWo, as she got a part in one of Hollywood Hogan's movies and apparently signed an oral contract with them on Nitro. Supposedly, though, she still has feelings for Savage.
Hogan's got Sting hair and a headband. Hilarious. Savage's music gets played too early, as Buffer's still announcing Hogan, so they stop it and re-start it after a minute. Hah. All the talk has been about Savage being almost out of his mind to get revenge on Hogan, but he sure seems to walk around with a strut. Aahhh, he was calling for his "Macho Man Monster Truck". *shaking head* Anyway, referee Randy Anderson wants the Giant to leave, but apparently DiBiase has some paperwork that will allow him to stay. Savage then asks for a mic.
Paperwork or not, Anderson threatens to just give the win via forfeit to Savage if the Giant doesn't leave, so Hogan whispers to him and sends him away. Of course, as soon as the bell rings, Hogan stalls, and then leaves the ring. He acts like he's just going to leave and get counted out, jawing with members of the front row. More stalling, with the announcers trying to cover it by wondering if Miss Elizabeth is in the building or not. Both back in the ring and then... more stalling, with Hogan 'cowering' through the ropes to avoid Savage. So the announcers talk about the monster truck. Yay.
Hogan and Savage finally connect, with Hogan competing with his sunglasses on. Soon, though, after a couple of short moves, Hogan's out of the ring again. I get the ring psychology, but Savage is supposed to be nuts at this point, isn't he? Why isn't he shoving the ref out of the way and taking it to Hollywood? And after I say that, Schiavone makes the same comment, with Rhodes talking about how Savage is 'focused'. We're about 10 minutes in now counting the intros, and there's barely been any action. FINALLY, Hogan gets a boot to knock Savage down, and now we've got some fighting, with Hogan in control.
Hogan beats on Savage for a time and even gives a weird-looking strut (made weirder due to his hair). After a prolonged attack, Hogan finally makes a mistake, and Savage capitalizes with a double axehandle off the top, which FINALLY dislodges the sunglasses! Hogan tries to beg off, but now Savage (wearing the glasses) gets in his shots, to the cheers of the crowd. He then 'scalps' Hogan, and it turns out Hogan was wearing a wig! I should have realized that, the hair was just too hideous. Savage puts the hair on himself, and honestly, it looks better with him *lol*.
Hogan seems to have had enough and tries to leave, but Savage chases him down in the aisleway, feeding him the toupee. The two fight up the aisle, with Savage in complete control. He goes for a steel chair and uses it, smashing Hogan with a chair!! The ref doesn't DQ him, and I'm not sure exactly why, but when Savage tries to use it again, Anderson stops him, allowing Hogan to take it away and hit Savage with it himself. Again, no DQ, so I guess each got one free chair shot. Nope, take that way, because Hogan uses the chair again (apparently this time DiBiase distracted the ref... because he needed to be distracted after seeing the first two strikes?)
Around this time, Miss Elizabeth suddenly appears, coming to ringside. She acts undecided, even as Hogan gets Savage back into the ring and chokes him. Hogan then tells Miss Elizabeth to get into the corner, distracted, allowing Savage to almost get a roll-up pin. We get a 'full moon' from Hogan when Savage grabs the trunks, holding onto him. The fans love it, but I could have done without that sight being in my memory. Savage eventually recovers, with Hogan distracted by Elizabeth again. Savage dumps Hogan outside and then chases him around, with Hogan using Miss Elizabeth as a shield. The fight continues, both in and out of the ring, and we again get Miss Elizabeth as a shield. Wow, they almost re-did a sequence there.
To continue the repetition, with Savage down, Hogan again moves off to talk to Elizabeth about owning her. The distraction (yet again) costs him, as he misses the leg drop. Miss Elizabeth then takes a foreign object away from Hogan, keeping him from using it. Hogan swings at Savage, but he nails Randy Anderson instead. He then takes down Savage, even as (nWo) referee Nick Patrick runs down, but so does Mark Curtis. In the ring, Savage gets Hogan with another scoop slam and goes for his elbow. Savage gets the elbow, but of course, Patrick refuses to count the 3, grabbing his 'hurting' neck. Savage takes out Patrick, but meanwhile, Hogan has recovered. Hogan tries to use a foreign object, but Savage blocks it and gets it himself, smashing Hogan with it! He goes for another elbow drop, but DiBiase stops it, so Savage grabs DiBiase. The Giant, though, runs down and attacks Savage. I'm not sure what happened to Curtis, really. The Giant chokeslams Savage outside, and then brings him into the ring. He gets Hogan to pin Savage, while DiBiase revives Patrick, who, of course, makes the quick 3 count to give Hogan the win.
Ace Thoughts: Completely predictable ending. That was just terrible. I said earlier that the tag-team match was the worst, but I think this one easily beats it for the most terrible fight of the night. If you're watching this show, take my advice and stop watching after the Horsemen/Faces of Fear match. Eventually, Savage turns on WCW as well and joins the nWo, so maybe this was the start of it (put on an awful match and make the fans pay, sounds like an nWo trick to me).
- Afterwards, the Giant brings out a container of ice water and pours it on Hogan, waking him up (while Savage leaves). Hogan celebrates his 'win', bragging about how he proved that he is the real King of Hollywood, but that all stops when the bag pipes start playing, and out comes "Rowdy" Roddy Piper! Hogan hides behind the Giant, apparently terrified of Piper (which makes no sense to me, but okay). Piper's got a mic, and he says he's not representing either organization, he's just there for a reality check. We have a conversation between the two about their movie careers, their previous fights, and more. Hogan gives Piper some credit, but then makes a crack about him squatting in his skirt, so there's still problems between them. Piper waves the World Title at Hogan, making him come back for it, and, well, Hogan leaves with the Giant, and that's it. Yeah.
Final Thoughts: Considering how good some of the other recent WCW/nWo pay-per-views have been, this one has to be seen as a major let-down. This should have been a brutal, brawling affair, considering how much Savage had been put through lately, but instead we got a stalling, barely-any-action kind of contest, with soap opera activities, a screwjob with the referee, and more. If I had bought this PPV live, I would be thinking about never buying another WCW PPV with that kind of ending. Sadly, things would just get worse from there in the coming months.