Thursday, 4 June 2020

PPV REVIEW: WCW Halloween Havoc 2000

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Event poster
October 29, 2000 
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Paradise, Nevada

Since 1989, Halloween Havoc it had given us plenty of incredible moments.  Who could forget the all-time classic between Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio Jr. back at Halloween Havoc 1997?

Yet it had also given some absolute garbage like the Hulk Hogan/Warrior clash from 1998, and the legendary crapfest that was the Chamber of Horrors from 1991.

It had also given us that iconic set design with the giant pumpkin and graveyard, the WCW debut of Rick Rude and the infamous Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal debacle between Sting and Jake Roberts.

For better or worse, Halloween Havoc had been a staple of World Championship Wrestling's annual PPV calendar and a favourite among fans of the Atlanta-based outfit.








Now, tonight, it was bowing out, not with a bang but with a whimper. Gone was that memorable set, gone were the likes of Hogan, Eddie, Roberts and countless other stars.

In its place were Kronik, terrible booking, and a set so bland it could have come from any random houseshow.

Join me, dear readers, as we head to Paradise, Nevada for the final ever Halloween Havoc show.

It's All Hallow's Eve

Tonight's show began with members of the crowd being interviewed and giving their predictions on tonight's winners.

Sadly, nobody declared that anybody would win "whether they wanted to or not."

This was followed by the standard sub-par WCW video package which built up the spookiness of Halloween and told us that tonight was the night for the unexplained, unexpected and unpredicted.

I hate to be picky, but aren't unexpected and unpredicted the same thing?


Anyway, last month, at Fall Brawl 2000, a Halloween Havoc 2000 promised us that Sting would undergo some huge change at this event.

There was no mention of this in the opening video and, to be honest with you, I doubt there will be at any other point on this show.

Live in the arena, we discovered that WCW had done away with that awesome giant pumpkin and graveyard set that had been one of the coolest things about the Halloween Havoc event.

After a welcome greeting from Tony Schiavone and his colleagues Mark Maden and Stevie Ray, it was onto our opening match.

World Championship Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Three-Way Dance
WCW Tag Team Champions Mark Jindrak & Sean O'Haire vs. Boogie Knights (Disco Inferno & Alex Wright) vs. The Filthy Animals (Rey Mysterio Jr. & Billy Kidman w/ Konnan)

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Sean O'Haire and Mark Jindrak defended the WCW tag team titles
Alex Wright and Disco Inferno had previously tagged together in 1998 as The Dancing Fools, with their sole highlight being an absoutely atrocious bout against The Public Enemy at Road Wild 1998.

Now, for better or worse, they were back, and going up against Mark Jinkdrak & Sean O'Haire and Rey Mysterio Jr. and Juventud Guerrera in this solid opener.

WCW may have been a train wreck at this stage of the game, but this fast, fun, and furious contest was proof that they could still occasionally get something right.

After an enjoyable back-and-forth battle, O'Haire planted Disco with the Sean-ton Bomb to retain the gold for his team.
Your Winners and Still WCW Tag Team Champions: Mark Jindrak & Sean O'Haire

Post-match, Alex Wright joined the champions in laying waste to the Filthy Animals until Sgt. AWOL ran in to clean house.

This was the old ECW tactic of having guys run in and then immediately starting their matches. AWOl was in action next as a badly-hurt Konnan was carried backstage.

World Championship Wrestling hardcore Championship
WCW Hardcore Champion Reno vs. Sgt. AWOL

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Reno defended the WCW hardcore title against Sgt. AWOL
This one was pretty similar to every WCW hardcore match you've ever seen, and I don't mean that as a bad thing.

Lots of fun weapon stops and random brawls around the arena made this an enjoyable bout, even if there was one moment that was a little hard to believe.

Towards the end of the match, the two brawled backstage where AWOL picked up one of those huge, old-school box computer monitors and threw it Reno like it was nothing.

This would have been impressive if the computer monitor wasn't clearly fake and not attached to anything.

After a good effort, Reno hit whatever his finisher was called onto AWOL and kept his title.
Your Winner and Still WCW Hardcore Champion: Reno

Afterwards, Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak ran out and helped AWOL continue beating down his opponent until AWOL's Misfits in Action Lieutenant Loco and Corporal Cajun ran down to the rescue.

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Shane Douglas talks to the Natural Born Thrillers backstage
We then went backstage where Reno, Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak were standing with their Natural Born Thrillers teammates wearing different clothes, different hairstyles and much less sweat than they had been less than half a second earlier.

As they stood around being spoken to by Shane Douglas, it seemed very much like a classic WCW continuity error until someone in the production truck was smart enough to hastily put an "earlier today" graphic on the scene two seconds before it ended.

After about two hours of idle patter from the announcers, we once again went backstage. This time, we saw Kronik telling the State Athletic Commission that Goldberg was injured and that they probably shouldn't clear him to wrestle later.

If you hadn't figured it out, Bryan Clarke and Brian Adams were set to face Big Bill later on in the show.

The Perfect Event ('Perfectshawn' Shawn Stasiak & Chuck Palumbo) vs. The Misfits in Action (Corporal Cajun & Lieutenant Loco)

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Chavo Guerrero puts a hurting on Chuck Palumbo
Stevie Ray: "Mark Madden, why did you say that Guerrero has chubby toes?"
Madden: "What? I didn't."
Stevie: "Yes you did, on national TV!"
Madden: "I said Chavito!"

OK, that was funny, and probably more interesting than anything that happened in this match.

When they weren't getting confused about the size of Chavo's piggies, the announcers told us that this was a special bonus match that had been booked a result of the fall out from the previous match.

Clearly, the company had a lot of time to fill because this seemed like it went on for a much longer than your average throw-away filler bout.

As matches go, it was a decent if rather lifeless affair which the Misfits won thanks to a Tornado DDT courtesy of old Chubby Toes.
Your Winners: The Misfits in Action

Out in the back, Konnan sold the injury he’d received at the hands of Jindrak and O’Haire earlier on the show.

After some random dude told K-Dog that he wouldn’t be able to compete, his buddies Rey Mysterio and Billy Kidman said that they would volunteer to take his place but, you know, they’d already wrestled once tonight and that was enough.

Mixed Tag Team Match
The Franchise Shane Douglas & Torrie Wilson vs. Konnan & Tygress

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Torrie Wilson teamed with Shane Douglas to face Tygress & Konnan
In the spirit of Halloween, Torrie Wilson came out dressed in a Wonder Woman costume and looked incredible.

Standing by her man, Wilson grinned and smirked like a cocky heel as The Franchise cut his usual pre-match promo.

Douglas was a perfect asshole here, which is exactly what a heel should be. In his promo, he made clear that he’d paid off Jindrak and O’Haire to take out Konnan but that he and Torrie were still more than ready to take on Tygress on her own.

To her credit, the former Nitro Girl was in the mood for a fight.

Storming to the ring, she told the duo that even though Konnan hadn’t been cleared, she was going to take them both on by herself.

The match started, the heels took control and about a minute later Konnan ran in, immediately forgetting all about the earlier attack and wrestling as though nothing had happened. Presumably, this was supposed to generate a big pop from the crowd but it was instead met with total apathy.

Likewise, the match itself was nothing to get excited about, but my goodness did Torrie Wilson look good.

In the end, she and Shane got beat when the latter ate a Double Stuff Buster.
Your Winners: Konnan and Tygress

Out in the back, David Flair promised to beat Buff Bagwell so bad that he would be able to take his blood and give it to the two men in white coats standing behind him.

The idea was that the blood could then be used in a DNA test to prove that Buff Daddy was Stacy Kiebler’s baby daddy.

DNA Match
Buff Bagwell vs. David Flair

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - David Flair brought some scientists to test Buff Bagwell's DNA
DNA match = First Blood Match.

As you might expect, this wasn’t an exciting match, but it certainly wasn’t terrible either.

Buff was over with the live audience and that was enough to make his ass-whooping of David Flair a fairly enjoyable sight.

For his part, Flair Jr. did a pretty solid impression of his more famous father and proved that even though he’d never be a great wrestler, he was pretty good at selling a beating.

After a few minutes of Bagwell dominating the action, he bust David open with a chair then hit him with the Buff Blockbuster for good measure.
Your Winner: Buff Bagwell

Post-match, Lex Luger came out for a heel turn which you could see coming the moment he walked out.

The Total Package hit his former friend so hard that he bust his lip open, allowing Flair to steal a blood sample and rush it backstage to his doctor friends.

As he was doing this, cameras caught Bill Goldberg arriving around the arena.

Scott Steiner is a Genetic Freak

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviews Scott Steiner
Backstage, Scott Steiner was so annoyed about people not realising that size matters that he kept tripping over his words in a typical Steineresque promo.

With Midajah by his side, Big Poppa Pump ranted to Pamela Paulshock about how much of a genetic freak he was and how badly he was going to beat Booker T.

This might not have been a classic Steiner promo, but the numbers did add up and they spelt some entertaining stuff from the Big Bad Booty Daddy.

Kickboxing Match
WCW Cruiserweight Champion Mike Sanders (w/ Chuck Palumbo & Shawn Stasiak) vs. Ernest ‘The Cat’ Miller (w/Ms Jones)

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Mike Sanders faced Ernest 'The Cat' Miller
Fed up of sharing the WCW Commissioner role, this special three-round kickboxing match would determine which man got full custody of the title.

Before the bell, Mike Sanders promised to destroy Ernest Miller, but The Cat simply called him a bitch and proceeded to whoop his ass for three rounds straight.

Poor Sanders didn’t land a blow but still managed to win the match after Shane Douglas interfered.

The Franchise drilled Miller with a steel chain but Cat got up before the count of ten and beat up Shane on the outside.

The referee counted him out and this one was over.

As non-wrestling matches go, this wasn’t bad. In fact, I’d rather have than any number of the worked boxing matches pro wrestling has subjected us to over the years.
Your Winne: Mike Sanders

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Mean Gene interviews Kronik
Backstage, Goldberg told the representatives from the Nevada State Athletic Commission that even though he had been feeling ‘a little dizzy since Monday [Nitro],’ there was no way they could stop him from competing tonight.

In response, Kronik gave a cringe-worthy interview to Mean Gene Okerlund in which they claimed not to care whether Goldberg wrestled or not.

Either way, they’d get paid, and that was all they cared about.

‘That 70’s Guy’ Mike Awesome vs. Vampiro

The following evening on Nitro, Mike Awesome would have a world title shot against the winner of tonight’s Steiner/Booker match.

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - That 70s Guy Mike Awesome faced Vampiro
Before then, Vampiro challenged him to put said title shot on the line. Being the babyface, That 70’s Guy agreed then proceeded to have the worst match of his WCW career so far.

Since he joined the company back in April, Awesome had produced one great match after another.

Vampiro wasn’t exactly the worst wrestler in the world either, but when they worked together tonight it came off as though both men were either drunk, asleep or just couldn’t be bothered.

Early on, they went on a walk through the crowd where their recklessness caused a female steward to get knocked off her chair.

Then, an over-eager fan pounced on Awesome and got murdered by the security guards as the two trained wrestlers changed their minds about being in the audience and went back to the ring.

There, the two continued to engage in a disappointing, disheartening match which somehow became a falls count anywhere match without ever being announced as such.

A table came into play, then Big Mike hit an Awesome Bomb on the outside and the referee counted a near fall.

Back in the ring, a top rope Awesome Bomb finally ended things.

To be fair, that last move looked amazing, but everything else before it was really, really off.
Your Winner: Mike Awesome

Out in the back, General Rection told Mean Gene that not only was he going to beat Lance Storm, but he was going to do it for everybody, for his Misfits in Action cohorts who were standing next to him, for Hugh Morrus and for Bill Demott.

The MIA leader had a serious case of ‘Three Faces of Foley’ syndrome going on.

World Championship Wrestling United States  Canadian Championship Handicap Match
WCW Canadian Champion Lance Storm & Hacksaw Jim Duggan (w/ Major Gunns) vs. General Rection

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Lance Storm teamed with Jim Duggan to face General Rection
Despite the ridiculous name, Rection was getting a big push around this time and was positioned as the valiant babyface forced to overcome the odds.

The match was a step below the usual quality of a Lance Storm match,  but compared to the earlier Awesome/Vampiro debacle, it was actually a lot of fun.

As the finish approached, Major Gunns finally stood up to a Team Canada who she had been forced to join several months back.

The blonde beauty (who genuinely was one of this writer’s favourite things about WCW 2000) stopped Elix Skipper from interfering and kept Lance Storm out of the action so that Rection could hit Duggan with his patented moonsault.

One three count later and the future WWE trainer had his first -and I’m sure only- taste of gold on a major stage.
Your Winner and NEW WCW United States Champion: General Rection.

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviewed Jeff Jarrett
Before the next match, a commercial aired for the second and final Mayhem PPV. Fittingly, the ad portrayed Scott Steiner as an insane person.

Out in the back, Jeff Jarrett called Pamela Paulshock a "blonde slapnut" and promised her that tonight, he would turn Sting from a "has been" to a "never was."

I'm not quite sure on the logic of how you turn something that once was into something that never was.

Then again, this was a company who had seemingly abandoned logic altogether about two years earlier, so I don't know what I'm complaining about.

Jeff Jarrett vs. Sting

I'm pretty sure there will be some people who hate this match. There will be people who call it overbooked nonsense and people who want Vince Russo's head on a stick for it.

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Fake Stings showed up to batter the real Sting
Not me, I was very entertained by what was essentially a Sting career retrospective in match form.

After brawling with Jarrett for a minute or so, the WCW Icon was first confronted by a dude dressed as original blonde surfer Sting. You know, the one from the action figures.

Sting took care of him with a Scorpion Death Drop at the entrance, but before long a second imitator turned up, this one from his Sgt. Pepper phase. A little while later, Wolfpac Sting turned up. Both of them got beaten up and Death Dropped on the entrance, but we weren't done there.

Back in the ring, Crow Sting tore through the canvas and dragged Sting beneath the ring. Only WCW would do the whole ripping-a-hole-in-the-ring spot with two matches left to go on the card.

Anyway, real Sting emerged from beneath the ring with his tormentor now sporting a bloody nose. Finally, a fifth Sting, this one representing the Icon in his current form, descended from the rafters.

Sting took care of him, hitting him with a Scorpion Death Drop through the announce table to an amazing, stoic response from Stevie Ray:

"He's dead, Tony. Tony...He's dead."

Sting also took care of the bloody Crow Sting again after the faker waffled him with a guitar to no effect.

Finally, Jarrett had a much bigger impact with his guitar and won the match.

I don't care what you say, that was a lot of fun even if it did make Jeff Jarrett look like a total chump who could only beat Sting with the help of five guys and a guitar.
Your Winner: Jeff Jarrett

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Pamela Paulshock interviews Booker T
Backstage, WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T was interviewed by Pamela Paulshock and said: "Scott Steiner, I'm coming for you."

Fortunately, he refrained from dropping any n-bombs this time.

The champion also tried to explain as to why the world title fight wasn't the last match on the card, claiming that he'd bumped it up earlier to give a hurt Goldberg more time to prepare.

Credit where it's due, that wasn't the worst idea from a kayfabe standpoint.

World Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship
WCW World Heavyweight Champion Booker T vs. Scott Steiner (w/ Midajah)

Scott Steiner only discovered that he wasn't main eventing the show when his music started playing. Visibly angry about the situation, The Genetic Freak beat-up road agent Ricky Santana on his way to the ring.

When he got there, he and Booker put on a decent but unspectacular main event.

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Scott Steiner challenged Booker T for the World Heavyweight ChampionshipUnlike the World Wrestling Federation, where main event matches were always dramatic epics that went above and beyond the norm, World Championship Wrestling rarely treated the in-ring presentation of their top tier bouts as anything special.

Still, this was Steiner and Booker T, two men who had waged war with one another countless times over the years and who knew each other perhaps as well as any two men on the roster at the time.

Together, they gave us a decent effort, but then the whole thing was ruined by typical WCW booking.

Playing up to the fact that he was a bit of a lunatic, Steiner attacked referee Charles Robinson. When Scott Armstrong ran in to take over, he got attacked too. Finally, Slick Johnson came in and threw the whole thing out.
Your Winner via Disqualification and Still WCW Champion: Booker T

Post-match, Steiner single handily took out an entire security crew by clobbering them with a lead pipe as they entered the ring like he was playing a game of real-life whack-a-mole.

That was stupid. You could understand the champion intentionally getting himself disqualified, but by this logic, Steiner was either too stupid to understand the consequences of actions or he cared so little about becoming champion that it didn't matter, in which case what was he doing in a title fight in the first place?

Handicap Match
Kronik (Brian Adams & Bryan Clarke) vs. Goldberg

WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 - Kronik try to put Goldberg through a table
Since their debut in April 2000, Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke had gone from being a marijuana joke to being straight-up ass-kickers and one of the most popular acts on the roster, to being a knock-off of the A.P.A's 'Muscle for Hire' gimmick to, finally, being cannon fodder for a last-ditch effort to reestablish Goldberg's star power.

After a video told us how the duo were all about 'breaking necks and casing cheques,' the two marched to the ring where Adams declared that there would be no match tonight.

Goldberg, however, had other ideas.

Backstage, the Nevada State Athletic Commission representative told Doug Dillinger that Bill was good to go. The head of security then banged on Goldberg's locker room. The main eventer emerged, marched to the locker room, and destroyed one of the company's last biggest acts in about three minutes flat.

It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good either.
Your Winner: Goldberg

In fact, that probably sums up WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 as a whole:

It wasn't awful, but it was far, far, from being any good.







The opening tag team match was the best thing on the show by a mile, and for the first twenty minutes or so you got the feeling that the Halloween Havoc brand might be going out on a high note.

Alas, as the night went on, things got much, much worse.

Sure, there were a few bright spots and sure, the whole 'Many Faces of Sting' thing was entertaining, but make no mistake about, even if you knew nothing about the history of professional wrestling, you could tell just by watching this show that this was a company in deep, deep trouble.



For other year 2000 pro wrestling reviews see:
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