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  #11  
Old 11-01-2017, 07:14 PM
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It probably had at least something to do with just how much power Hogan had behind the scenes in WCW, coupled with someone, no clue who, doing their best to remind everyone that the big payoff to all of this nonsense was Sting beating Hogan and the nWo.
And boy, did WCW beat us over the head with "Sting is going to destroy the nWo."

The Sting Army appeared far too often and frequently did little and were even belittled by Hogan and co. None of the nWo were taken out. Sting had little to do with the internal troubles of the nWo.

And then Sting didn't destroy the nWo... Jesus.
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  #12  
Old 11-05-2017, 03:22 AM
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Oh I think I’m going to have to get in on this.

So it’s 1997 WCW and that means the NWO is running wild. Like, crazy wild. Like the wild when you’re in your mid 30s and still think you’re cool enough to hang out with college students. Basically EVERYTHING is building towards Starrcade in two months, making this show, which seemingly would usually be one of the biggest shows of the year, into something far less interesting. The main event is Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper in a cage, non-title of course, with a great secondary main event of Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage in a Las Vegas Death Match (Last Man Standing). Let’s get to it.

I’ll be doing this in a similar style to a review but it won’t be quite as formal.

Halloween Havoc 1997
Date: October 26, 1997
Location: MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Attendance: 12,457
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, Bobby Heenan

Ok so maybe a little bit formal.

Yuji Nagata vs. Ultimo Dragon

Holy sweet merciful goodness I could not stand Nagata. I know he’s the angry grandpa in New Japan today but I was bored to death and back by him in 1997. Basically Dragon was betrayed by manager Sonny Onoo (thankfully a name lost to time as he was pretty worthless, along with borderline racist), who brought in Nagata as his new protege. Nagata wrestled a submission style which didn’t quite mesh with Dragon’s not quite high flying, making for quite an uninteresting opener. Dragon tapped to an armbar, killing whatever interest the crowd had. It was good enough though and that’s what matters most.

Rating: C+. He’s still boring.

Chris Jericho vs. Gedo

This was a bonus match and Gedo is now the booker for New Japan. It’s another styles clash here as Tenay explains that Gedo is a fan of southern style brawling from the 1970s and emulates Dusty Rhodes. Now picture that against CHRIS JERICHO and wonder why the match is such a mess. The best (in a way) remembered part of this match is Jericho heading up top for….something and nearly killing Gedo in the process, more or less turning it into a Styles Clash. Jericho eventually won with the Liontamer.

Rating: C. At least Gedo didn’t, you know, die.

Cruiserweight Title: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio

Eddie is defending and this is mask vs. title. I’m not sure what there is to say about this match other than it might be the best WCW match ever. Seriously, it’s that good and well worth going out of your way to see. These guys just go nuts out there and since they’re two of the best of all time and work insanely well together, the result was pure magic. The fans HATED Eddie coming into this and wanted nothing more than for Rey to beat him once and for all.

The problem with this match is what else was going on in the same year. Somehow, as great as this match was, it might not have even been the match of the month as Undertaker and Shawn Michaels blew off their feud in the Cell a few weeks earlier. Throw in the Bret Hart vs. Steve Austin submission match and it might be the third best match of the year. You could make a case for it being at the top though, and I can’t say I’d argue against it that strong.

Rating: A+. Go watch this.

In a four minute segment, Eric Bischoff and Hogan demand that Sting be banned from the building before Hogan will get in the cage. I still have no idea why we had to have these segments during the pay per view. We’re not paying for a TV segment here so get on with the higher quality stuff. Then again, it’s kind of hard to complain after that match.

Alex Wright vs. Steve McMichael

This however is much easier to complain about. Debra McMichael is managing Wright, basically in an attempt to get back at her husband Steve. The match is standard Nitro fare, meaning it’s not very good and has no business on this show. It’s not entertaining, it’s not good, and it’s completely ignored by the announcers. The important thing here though is the ending, which saw Goldberg, who had debuted about a month earlier, lay McMichael out to give Wright the pin. That would be Goldberg’s first feud before he was completely changed into the Goldberg you know/possibly tolerate/possibly can’t stand.

Rating: D. Just a TV match with an ending to set up a feud.

Disco Inferno vs. Jacqueline

If you’ve never heard my opinion on Jacqueline, we’ll simplify it to saying I wouldn’t mind if she was used as a speed bump on 34th Street in the Bronx. This was supposed to be for Disco’s TV Title because people would be interested in Jacqueline fighting for men’s titles for reasons I don’t quite comprehend. They did this a few times and it was never any good, much like this match. It’s mainly Disco running away in fear until Jacqueline rolls him up for a clean pin. On a champion. On pay per view. And no, people still didn’t care.

Rating: F. For so many, many reasons.

US Title: Curt Hennig vs. Ric Flair

Flair is challenging but this is about revenge as Hennig turned on the Four Horsemen at Fall Brawl, slamming the cage door on Flair’s head. Oh and he stole Flair’s robe through because he’s a dirty thief. For some reason Hennig brings out the Cruiserweight Title instead of the US Title, which is one of those things that only WCW could manage to botch.

It’s a completely watchable match as you know these two are capable of having. Flair has Hennig in trouble but hits him with the belt for the DQ because he cares about hurting Hennig more than getting the win. This was a great emotional performance from Flair but the ending hurt it a lot.

Rating: B-. These two were always going to have a solid outing and this was no exception.

We continue the Hogan/Bischoff/Sting stuff as Commissioner JJ Dillon brings out a notarized contract, guaranteeing that Sting won’t be here. Bischoff wants Nitro if Sting shows up. This couldn’t be more filler if there was a big screen saying FILLER and it’s getting annoying.

Lex Luger vs. Scott Hall

Again, because it’s WCW, this is all about the guest referee: Larry Zbyszko (which I can spell without looking it up). Larry and Hall had an issue back in the AWA which was never actually specified, but every WCW fan watched the AWA right? Anyway Larry wants to fight Hall and is tormenting him until we actually get there.

It’s about what you would expect as Larry keeps calling it fair but gets tricked into allowing cheating, but there’s a moment in this match that might be among the all time dumbest ever. Hall grabs a surfboard and cranks on both of Luger’s arms. Luger spins out and gets behind Hall….WHO DOESN’T LET GO OF LUGER’S ARMS AND HAS TO GO TO THE ROPES FOR THE BREAK. This guy was good enough for the ladder match but he can’t figure out that he’s keeping himself in pain.

Anyway Syxx comes in and cheats to give Hall the pin but Larry restarts the match until Syxx comes in for the DQ anyway, making the pin pretty worthless. Of course Bischoff comes in and lays out Larry because the world was waiting for that match, which Bischoff would dominate as well.

Rating: D. That surfboard spot is all you need to know.

Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy Savage

This is one of the feuds that you often hear cited as one of WCW’s best and it’s no surprise. It actually got Page WAY over as a main event star and the matches were all really good too. This is last man standing and is another match worth watching if you have the chance. Page debuts the taped ribs here, which would become a trademark for years to come. A fake Sting (Hogan) attacks Page to give Savage the win. I’ll let you watch it yourself for the details. Oh and Liz and Kimberly looked GREAT here. That’s always a major plus. Or two plusses here.

Rating: A-. That’s about average for these two.

Hollywood Hogan vs. Roddy Piper

And of course this has to be here to waste our time at the end. They’re both old, they’re both terrible, a bunch of Fake Stings come in, Savage comes in and misses an ax handle off the top of the cage, and the match is a disaster. Hogan might have been a top star but he just didn’t have it anymore at this point and hadn’t for years. The match is terrible as Piper was more insane than anything else at this point and I really didn’t need to see him in a ring, let alone beating Hogan in a main event (via sleeper).

Rating: H-. About as bad as it got this year, which is covering A LOT.

Post match a fan (which was probably a plant but you never know around here) runs in and gets beaten down by Hogan and Savage.

Overall Rating: B-. The good is outstanding and the bad is Hogan vs. Piper. Check out the two great matches but skip the rest.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2017, 04:40 AM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2017, 02:57 PM
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I didn't even notice the belt botch. Mind you, I've no idea what the belts in WCW were supposed to look like (with one obvious exception). My theory would be that it was one of those times a backstage rib escapes the backstage to the amusement of absolutely nobody. Or Hennig was out of his mind on coke, whichever.

The Jacqueline (actually I think there's a 'Y' in there somewhere) versus Disco match would have been improved if either a) it was considerably shorter, b) Jacqueline got in some better offense than some awkward looking armdrags or c) both. I stand by my enjoying it - largely because Disco is an absolute goof - but there are obviously much, much better adverts of intergender wrestling out there.

Now's as good a time to announce the next pay-per-view as any, at KB's request:

WWF Survivor Series 1987

Deadline: 28th November
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  #15  
Old 11-05-2017, 03:17 PM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
Not that I've ever heard of. There's always the chance his luggage was lost or something. That's a big, big reason why WWE does their titles so differently. The belts you see on TV are collected at the end of the night. They'll have a far less expensive/less flashy version to take with them, just in case. The ones for TV are called Hero Titles.
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  #16  
Old 11-05-2017, 06:17 PM
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Halloween Havoc 1997

You know, I had planned on doing a review in the typical style of KB but time has not been my friend as of late and I just haven't gotten around to it. In fact, it was a minor miracle that I was able to find the several hours to get the PPV watched... Nevertheless, I got there in the end and, well, I am not quite sure what to make of it all quite frankly.

You see, I was never a WCW fan in the first place. In 1997, I was 7 years old and not really in the clutches of wrestling at that point. In fact, it was about 3 or 4 years later that I became a wrestling addict. That attraction really came along with the Attitude Era of WWF and a TV deal with a free-to-view TV channel in the UK. The truth of the matter is that the WWF was more accessible to someone like me when I was 7 years old and WCW just, kind of, existed outside of the periphery of my TV consumption.

Still, in preparation for watching this event – an event that I had never seen before – I looked up the match card before watching. And that is where my first point comes from; WCW had such an embarrassment of wrestling riches back in these days that it is almost ridiculous to think that they could squander such a huge array of talent. At this PPV, you had the likes of Sting, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Mr Perfect, Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio, Ric Flair, Randy Savage, Scott Hall, DDP and Lex Luger. That's a who's who of wrestling greatness, quite frankly. The fact that WCW went from strength to strength with these names in their roster is no surprise The great surprise is how they let it get so bad that they had to fold. We all know the reasons but back in 1997, they had all the tools to really go the distance and they buckled. And that brings me on the next point...

This PPV exists in peaks and valleys, in terms of quality. The Cruiserweight match is incredible and probably the match of the PPV. The match between DDP and Randy Savage is also brilliant and takes the Cruiserweight match all the way in terms of competition. The good on this card is simply fantastic, it truly is. For someone who never really caught a lot of WCW and who didn't really know what it was all about, this was a truly eye-opening experience. I said it before but WCW was stacked with talent. So much so that all of the matches could have been very good on this card. But when it is bad, it is truly bad. So much has been said about the main event but words don't even do it justice. It is truly ridiculous. Terrible, even. I actually watched it twice and neither time it made sense. Really, really bad.

So that's it really. Coming from someone who doesn't have a lot of history with WCW, this review should be taken with a pinch of salt. I don't know what the average PPV looked like for WCW but this seemed very average in places. Like I said, there are two matches that really liven the PPV up and a couple of matches that kill its momentum. It's a shame really. After looking at the card, I was more than prepared to give this a fair shot. But that main event... Boy, oh boy.
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  #17  
Old 11-10-2017, 06:06 AM
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I knew Hennig came out with the wrong title. Was it ever explained why he came out with the wrong title? Like I know Hennig had substance abuse issues, but why would he have the wrong title?
It's not the only time that Hennig had the wrong title either.

When he beat Tito to win the IC title tournament, he was presented with a tag title belt.

Was that the Warrior refusing to hand back the IC belt after beating Hogan for the world title?
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