Throwback Thursday: The Best of WCW Halloween Havoc on WWE Network

October 1, 2015 by Brock Allen

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Throwback Thursday: The Best of WCW Halloween Havoc

For 12 years the highlight of October for wrestling fans everywhere was WCW’s Halloween Havoc. No event seemed to capture a season or theme any better than Havoc. It’s been nearly 15 years since the final Havoc event of Oct. 24, 2000 but time has done little to erode the soft spot many fans still have in their wrestling hearts for Halloween Havoc.

WCW Halloween Havoc - Stage

With Halloween around the corner Throwback Thursday on takes a trip through WWE Network‘s vault to look at 10 of the best matches from WCW’s October classic.

NWA United States Heavyweight Championship – “Open Challenge Match” (WATCH)
“Flyin'” Brian Pillman vs. “Total Package” Lex Luger(c)
NWA-WCW Halloween Havoc ’89 October 28, 1989

Debuting on the June 30th edition of Power Hour Brian Pillman, ever the underdog, rapidly rose up the ranks. On the Sept. 30th edition of WCW Pillman accepted Luger’s open challenge for the U.S. title for Havoc ’89 and the rest is history. This match put Pillman’s name on the map on a national scale and proved that Lex Luger was a true superstar in the making in a career-defining match for both men.

“Thunderdome Cage Match” (WATCH)
Special Referee: Bruno Sammartino
The Great Muta(NWA World Television Champion) & Terry Funk w/Gary Hart vs. Sting & “Nature Boy” Ric Flair(NWA World Heavyweight Champion) w/Ole Anderson
NWA-WCW Halloween Havoc ’89  October 28, 1989

WCW Halloween Havoc - Thunderdome Cage Match

On the heels of a classic encounter at Great American Bash ’89 this match attempted to end the war between Ric Flair and Terry Funk. Luckily for fans “Thunderdome” did no such thing. With Bruno Sammartino as the hometown, impartial referee and four of the greatest wrestlers of all time this match delivered in spades. To win one of the “designated terminators”, Ole Anderson or Gary Hart, had to throw the towel in on their own team, a feat both men said would be impossible. Years ahead of its time “Thunderdome” was as violent and brutal as advertised, even with the “electrified” gimmick falling short.

Singles Match (WATCH)
Terrence Taylor w/Alexandra York vs. “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton
WCW Halloween Havoc ’91: Chamber of Horrors October 27, 1991

A simple “Top 10” match between #7 ranked Bobby Eaton and #10 ranked Terrence Taylor of the York Foundation ended up in thick competition for match of the night. This one is “Southern rasslin'” at its best. With incredible psychology and pacing this match finds a perfect balance between brawling and wrestling and is a true Havoc standout.

WCW World Television Championship (WATCH)
“The Natural” Dustin Rhodes vs. “Stunning” Steve Austin(c) w/Lady Blossom
WCW Halloween Havoc ’91: Chamber of Horrors • October 27, 1991

WCW Halloween Havoc - Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin

By October 1991 Dustin Rhodes and Steve Austin were rising stars in WCW. This match, though a draw, is as exciting a match as has ever taken place at Halloween Havoc. Some fans view the TV title as cumbersome prize but these two worked as if the World title were at stake. An excellent, bloody, gritty match that was but a glimpse of the greatest to come for both athletes.

Finals of the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship Tournament (WATCH)
Richard Morton w/Alexandra York vs. “Flyin'” Brian Pillman
WCW Halloween Havoc ’91: Chamber of Horrors • October 27, 1991

Before the Cruiserweight title on the mid- to late-90s there as the WCW Light Heavyweight Championship. An historic match in the annuls of pro wrestling, this was the finals of a 7-man tourney also involving Mike Graham, Brad “Badstreet” Armstrong, Johnny Rich, Joey Maggs, & Terrence Taylor. Though the title would become inactive 311 days later Pillman used the title to not only elevate his own career but the evolving junior heavyweight style as a whole, making Jushin “Thunder” Liger a household name along the way. The “Refer-Eye” gimmick aside this is a classic encounter.

Spin the Wheel Make the Deal: Non- Sanctioned, Non-Title Texas Death Match” (WATCH)
Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader(WCW World Heavyweight Champion) w/Harley Race
WCW Halloween Havoc ’93: Spin the Wheel Make the Deal • October 27, 1993

WCW Halloween Havoc - Cactus Jack vs. Vader

There’s not much that needs to be said about this one. This match was and remains to be one of the most violent, chaotic matches in the history of PPV wrestling. Being a non-title match did nothing to diminish the intensity of this fight. A classic wrestling war if there ever was one, this was ECW before ECW was cool.

WCW Cruiserweight Championship – “Mask vs. Title” (WATCH)
Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Eddie Guerrero(c)
WCW Halloween Havoc ’97 • October 26, 1997

This one is not simply the greatest Crusierweight title match in the history of the title but is one of the greatest title matches of all-time. On par with the legendary Savage/Steamboat WrestleMania III encounter, this is a match enhanced by multiple viewings. Though both would go on to compete for bigger and better titles this match remained the mark against which the rest of their careers, for better or worse, would be measured.

Las Vegas Sudden Death Match” (WATCH)
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Randy “Macho Man” Savage w/Miss Elizabeth
WCW Halloween Havoc ’97 • October 26, 1997

WCW Halloween Havoc - Miss Elizabeth Choking DDP

This feud revitalized Randy Savage’s career and made DDP a bonafide superstar. This was the rubber match after DDP won the “No Disqualification Match” at Spring Stampede ’97 and Savage took the “Falls Count Anywhere Match” at Great American Bash ’97. This “Last Man Standing” variation was every bit as physical and chaotic as the first two matches.

WCW World Television Championship (WATCH)
Raven vs. “Lionheart” Chris Jericho(c)
WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc ’98 • October 25, 1998

Well into his 112-day reign as TV champ Chris Jericho was an ever-rising star in WCW when he met the hardcore legend Raven at Havoc ’98. Hardcore fans expected a classic and were not disappointed as Jericho and Raven fought in and out of the ring in a great match that has stood the test of time.

WCW World Heavyweight Championship (WATCH)
Diamond Dallas Page vs. Goldberg(c)
WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc ’98 • October 25, 1998

WCW Halloween Havoc - DDP vs. Goldberg

DDP won the 9-man, 3-team “WarGames” the month before to earn this title match. No one knew going in that this match would be the classic it became. The event ran long, however, and few PPV buyers even got to see the match as the feed was cut by various providers in the bout’s opening moments. A nationwide audience got to see the bout the following night, though, when WCW re-aired the match free of charge. While this was one of many classic matches DDP had in 1997, this was arguably Goldberg’s finest hour in a wrestling ring.

Final Thoughts:

Over the course of 12 years WCW’s Halloween Havoc provided fans with the good, the bad, the ugly, and the horrific of pro wrestling. After 15 years the name Halloween Havoc still congers memories of WCW’s past glories and a longing for yesteryear. Though WWE may never revive Halloween Havoc for anything outside the WWE Network that won’t stop fans from clamoring for its return. With as rich a history of any WCW PPV, Halloween Havoc will, like the zombies and vampires of the season, live on forever thanks to the WWE Network.

WCW Halloween Havoc - Stage

That’s it for this week’s TBT. As always, thanks for reading. If you’re a WWE Network subscriber check out the matches, see them for yourself, and let us know what you think below.

Until next week, see ya at ringside!

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  1. David says:

    I watched Halloween Havoc 2000 couple months back since I was in a mood for some terrible WCW…and boy, what a stinker. I think this was probably the worst ppv WCW ever produced right there with Uncensored 2000 and New Blood Rising. I thought Sting vs. Jarrett had potential but was a mess with all the run-ins with the fake Stings, just typical Vince Russo booking.

    Steiner vs. Booker T was probably the MOTN, but really thats not saying much and they had a much better match at Mayhem the following month.

    Its actually quite fun to go back and relive these trainwreck WCW shows

  2. R&REXPRESS#1 says:

    Seriously, this would make one badass dvd & blu-ray set….maybe 2016?

    • Jeff Copeland says:

      they need to do another best of dvd. cause so far starrcade and great american bash dvds solded really well. i wanna see even a thunder dvd LOL xD but ppv wise i would go with halloween havoc next or even superbrawl since thats one of the other longer ppvs with history

      • Brad Attitude says:

        The only matches from The Best of The Great American Bash set missing were the Benoit matches like Best of Seven Series vs. Booker T and The Falls Count Anywhere Matches vs. Kevin Sullivan.

  3. Brad Attitude says:

    My Best of Halloween Havoc would be:

    ◾Thunderdome Match: Ric Flair and Sting vs. Terry Funk and The Great Muta (Halloween Havoc 1989)
    ◾NWA United States Championship Match: Lex Luger vs. Stan Hansen (Halloween Havoc 1990)
    ◾NWA World Tag Team Championship Match: Doom vs. Ric Flair and Arn Anderson (Halloween Havoc 1990)
    ◾Tournament Finals to Crown the First WCW Light-Heavyweight Champion: Brian Pillman vs. Richard Morton (Halloween Havoc 1991)
    ◾Chamber of Horrors Match: Sting, El Gigante and The Steiner Brothers vs. Cactus Jack, Big Van Vader, The Diamond Studd and Abdullah the Butcher (Halloween Havoc 1991)
    ◾Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat (Halloween Havoc 1993)
    ◾Texas Death Match: Cactus Jack vs. Big Van Vader (Halloween Havoc 1993)
    ◾Sabu vs. Mr. JL (Halloween Havoc 1995)
    ◾Ric Flair and Sting vs. Brian Pillman and Arn Anderson (Halloween Havoc 1995)
    ◾WCW Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. The Giant (Halloween Havoc 1995)
    ◾WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match: Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Dean Malenko (Halloween Havoc 1996)
    ◾Chris Jericho vs. Syxx (Halloween Havoc 1996)
    ◾WCW World Tag Team Championship Match: Harlem Heat vs. The Outsiders (Halloween Havoc 1996)
    ◾WCW Championship Match: Hollywood Hogan vs. “Macho Man” Randy Savage (Halloween Havoc 1996)
    ◾WCW Cruiserweight Championship vs. Mask Match: Eddie Guerrero vs. Rey Mysterio Jr. (Halloween Havoc 1997)
    ◾Las Vegas Sudden Match: “Macho Man” Randy Savage vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Halloween Havoc 1997)
    ◾Kevin Nash vs. Scott Hall (Halloween Havoc 1998)
    ◾WCW United States Championship Match: Bret “Hitman” Hart vs. Sting (Halloween Havoc 1998)
    ◾WCW Championship Match: Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Halloween Havoc 1998)
    ◾WCW Championship Match: Booker T. vs. Scott Steiner (Halloween Havoc 2000)

    Bonus Exclusive Matches:
    ◾NWA and WCW Tag Team Championship Match: Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Williams and “Stunning” Steve Austin (Halloween Havoc 1992)
    ◾WCW Championship Match: Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair (Halloween Havoc 1994)
    ◾Eddie Guerrero vs. Perry Saturn (Halloween Havoc 1999)
    ◾Strap Match: Ric Flair vs. Diamond Dallas Page (Halloween Havoc 1999)

  4. Brad Attitude says:

    did u seriously get rid of Fantasy Concept?!? What the hell !!!!!!!!

  5. Jeff Copeland says:

    just seeing this reminds me thank god i got 2 havocs on tape 1998 and 95 classics xD!!! sighs kinda sad really only wcw ppv that ever returned was great american bash. why not halloween havoc or superbrawl something ppvs just have no magic anymore like they used to.

    • attitude.era.4life says:

      While I’m more a WWF fan than WCW, I totally agreee with you: the ppv/event product of today, is totally lacking the crazy excitement and unpredictability that was significant for the mid-90’s up to 2000’s.

      Great entertainment value spots are getting fewer for every year..the last time I recall experience a true shock spot was Jericho entering the Rumble in 2013.

      And biggest great-match feel for me in recent memory, was Shield vs Wyatts at Elimination Chamber 2014..

      I tried the Network, but since I already own the complete WWF/E catalogue up to 2012, + the few I find interest in beyond, and WCW and ECW product is enough for me on the DVD/Bluray releases, and I certaintly do -not- connect with the reality-products they produce, I do not need to subscribe..

      But it is certaintly great finally to have checked out the likes of WCW and ECW ppv’s, since I never watched for example Halloween Havoc shows. But still, absolutely more magic than todays product, for sure.

      • Jeff Copeland says:

        yea that 2013 rumble with jerichos return was a big shock and really that was last big shock, and i do agree shield vs wyatts at the chamber was a good match should of been a chamber match but still good.

        so far there feud this year ehhh