Our weekly Chairshot Classics WCW PPV series continues with Halloween Havoc ’94!
Open: Tonight is the night, Hulk Hogan is putting his career on the line in his title defense against Ric Flair. There’s a lot of history in Detroit, and this will add another chapter. Sting is not on the Halloween Havoc card, but he is the first guest on WCW Hotline if you want to find out why. T. Graham Brown performs the National Anthem, and we’re underway.
Match #1 for the WCW World Television Championship: The Honky Tonk Man vs. WCW World Television Champion Johnny B. Badd
Badd immediately backs HTM into the corner swinging with lefts and rights. Collar and elbow, HTM grabs the wrist lock and pounds on the tricep. Badd counters and pulls him all the way down to the mat. HTM cowers to the ropes and buys some time. Collar and elbow, side headlock and a closed fist punch by HTM. Badd ducks a straight right and receives an atomic drop. Badd messes up HTM’s hair, blocks a right and throws one of his own. HTM bails out to the floor and slows it down. They lock up, HTM with a knee to the gut and he throws Badd into the turnbuckle. Snapmare by HTM and Nick Patrick warns him about closed fists.
Knees to the chest by HTM, Badd fights back with uppercuts. HTM lures him into the corners and throws a knee. He sends Badd for a back elbow and taunts for the crowd. Double ax handle to the gut and a reverse chin lock by HTM. Badd works up to his feet, breaks the hold, hits a shoulder block but runs into a big knee on the 2nd effort. HTM chokes Johnny on the bottom rope and the ref breaks it up. To the ropes, HTM tries a back body drop, Badd reverses into a sunset flip for two. Badd with some body shots, but HTM slows it with a knee. Snapmare and back to the reverse chin lock as we hit the half way point in the 10 minute time limit. Badd hulks up, throws some elbows and lifts him for a couple scoop slams, but HTM moves away from an elbow.
He tries a cover and the champ kicks out. Back to the chin lock for Honky Tonk Man. He tells the fans to shut up as they get behind Johnny. Badd throws elbows, but HTM sets up for the Shake Rattle & Roll. He wastes too much time and Badd back drops him. HTM is up first but Johnny fights from his knees, clubs him in the corner and sends him for an Irish whip. He charges but HTM moves and Badd tumbles to the mat. He tries a cover but Nick Patrick catches him using the ropes for leverage. Badd is dumped to the floor and he gives chase. From the apron, a double ax handle across the back. Badd is rolled back in, snapmare and a reverse chin lock by HTM.
Badd gets psyched and gets his feet but gets a knee across the kidneys. HTM moves in, but Badd is ready for him. He throws HTM’s head into the turnbuckle and climbs to the 2nd rope for a series of rights as there is only 1 minute left. Badd with a combo and a knee lift. To the ropes and Badd hits the big elbow. HTM ducks the Kiss That Don’t Miss and reverses with a belly to back suplex. Both men are slow to move, HTM finally chokes him. Tempers flare and they pummel one another as the ring announcer counts down the final seconds. We have a draw.
Winner: Time Limit Draw
- After The Bell: Badd poses with his belt in the corner, HTM tries lifting him for an atomic drop but it does no damage. The TV champ pummels Honky Tonk Man some more until he bails out to the floor.
- EA’s Take: This one makes me chuckle a little only because it’s well documented that Honky Tonk Man had an infamously bad time getting along with Eric Bischoff. So if you don’t want to miss HTM in WCW, don’t blink. Pretty standard stuff until the aggression at the end. I could see a rematch, but I’m pretty sure the man most known for his long Intercontinental Title reign doesn’t make it to Starrcade. Bischoff has even called Honky his favorite firing during his time running WCW, to which Honky takes as an honor today.
Video: We relive the events at Clash of Champions when Hogan was attacked by a masked man, but still faced Ric Flair. The masked man returned during the main event, he and The Nature Boy took plenty of liberties with the WCW World Heavyweight Champion. On October 9th, we found out there was more than one masked man as Hogan tried to fend them all off. Flair took advantage and did more damage to the knee. Later in the month, Ric Flair was seen in Chicago with Mr. T, the man who will be the special guest referee tonight.
Match #2 for the WCW World Tag Team Championships: Pretty Wonderful (‘Pretty’ Paul Roma & ‘Mr. Wonderful’ Paul Orndorff) vs. WCW World Tag Team Champions Stars & Stripes (The Patriot & Marcus Alexander Bagwell)
Patriot and Orndorff at the start, they lock up and jockey around the ring for position before a rough break up. Another lock up, double leg pick up by Orndorff, they roll around the mat and trade rights. Roma charges in and Bagwell responds, a bad-blood melee as all four men brawl. Orndorff and Patriot take it to the floor and Bagwell clotheslines Roma out to the other side. Patriot rolls Orndorff back in the ring, climbs to the top and comes off with a chop. Orndorff is dropped by a left but he hastily crawls over to tag in Roma.
He and Patriot lock it up, Patriot twists the wrist and tags in Bagwell. Marcus with a chop from the turn buckle and he stays on the wrist. He cranks away, Roma responds with a forearm and a scoop slam. Pretty Paul races to the top turnbuckle and dives with a closed fist. To the ropes, Bagwell ducks clotheslines and hits a crossbody for two. Arm drag and holding with an armbar is Bagwell. He makes the tag to Patriot and they score a double hip toss. Patriot cranks the arm as Roma reaches for his partner but he can’t get there. Quick tag to Bagwell who comes off the top rope with a sunset flip, Paul kicks him in the face. Roma takes control with knee to the gut and tags in Mr. Wonderful. Bagwell greets him with a drop toe hold and a wrist lock.
Orndorff drops to his knees. They hit the ropes, Orndorff leap frogs but runs into a scoop slam. He is quick up, but he gets another. Running clothesline by Bagwell and Wonderful rolls out to the floor. He slows it down and rolls back in. Side headlock takedown by Orndorff and he tags in Roma who drops some elbows. Roma sends Bagwell for the ride and catches him in the gut. He drives the knee into the chest of Bagwell and tries to bait Patriot. Pretty Wonderful take advantage with a double team, and Roma taunts Patriot. This gives Bagwell a chance to come back with some forearms and he tags Patriot. He clubs away and throws Roma into the turnbuckle. An Irish whip and a running charge, Patriot makes the cover and Roma kicks out.
Back to the wrist for Patriot and he works it into a hammerlock. He works him down to the mat and drives his knee into the arm. Tag is made to Bagwell and he continues abusing the arm. Roma grabs the trunks and drags him into the turnbuckle. He makes a tag to Orndorff as Pretty Wonderful shows good teamwork. Wonderful stomps the body and sends Bagwell to the ropes for another big kick to the gut. An elbow with theatrics by Orndorff and the crowd gets a small pop. Bagwell tries fighting from his knee, but Orndorff stays in control. Another tag Roma, Orndorff holds Bagwell in place so Pretty Paul can land a top rope chop. Roma cuts off the ring and clubs Bagwell’s neck. Kicks in the corner, Bagwell fights with forearms.
Into the ropes, Roma stops short and punts Bagwell in the face. High elevation elbow drop by Pretty Paul, Bagwell kicks out at two. Roma lifts Bagwell for a back breaker and poses. He’s slow to cover and Bagwell kicks out. To the ropes again and Roma leaps for a drop kick. Irish whip, Bagwell climbs to the 2nd turnbuckle and surprises Roma with a crossbody and a two count. He’s low on energy as he reaches for Patriot, Roma bearhugs him on their knees. Bagwell works to his feet but Roma brings him to Wonderful’s corner and makes the tag. Orndorff sends him for the ride and copies Roma’s drop kick. An elbow to the gut and he grabs a front facelock. Bagwell fades but the crowd gets behind him. He lifts Orndorff but can’t get anything out of it, knee lift by Wonderful.
To the ropes, Roma takes a cheap shot to the kidneys and Orndorff follows with a clothesline. Orndorff stomps away and drives Bagwell head first into the mat. Orndorff sets up, but Bagwell blocks the vertical suplex and counters. He tries a cover but Orndorff kicks out. Knee lifts by Orndorff, Bagwell counters a snapmare into a backslide and Roma makes the save. Irish whip by Orndorff and he runs into a boot, Bagwell leaps on his back with a sleeper hold. Roma runs in to make the save again, Patriot takes care of him. All four men brawl, Bagwell and Orndorff are legal. Scoop slam by Patriot on Roma and a knee lift on Orndorff from Bagwell. Stars and Stripes runs both men down with clotheslines.
The ref is concerned with Patriot and Roma on the apron as Bagwell hits a fisherman’s suplex in the middle of the ring. He corals Patriot as Roma heads to the top rope. He hit Bagwell with a top rope elbow and Orndorff turns the pin. The ref turns around and makes the count, Pretty Wonderful win back the belts.
Winners and NEW WCW World Tag Team Champions: Pretty Wonderful (Orndorff/Top Rope Elbow)
- EA’s Take: This is the 2nd time Bagwell has been in an up-and-coming tag team, losing back-to-back title matches on PPV, but actually entering this match as champion. I feel like the same thing happened to the American Males as well. You have to wonder what gives? He was over with the fans and plenty athletic during these years. Did they cap his ceiling too low for too long? Textbook tag team wrestling in this one, great pace, and although the babyfaces got screwed, Pretty Wonderful still looked plenty strong through much of the match.
Backstage: ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund is joined by ‘Nature Boy’ Ric Flair & Sensuous Sherri. Sherri looks excited, Flair is already planning the greatest celebration in wrestling history for when he puts away the so-called #1 wrestler of all time. He tells Hogan that it all comes to an end tonight, courtesy of him. Don’t look at old videos or anything other than what happens tonight. Sherri says the price is right, they have a gameplan and they’re ready to go.
Video: Dissent between brothers Kevin Sullivan & Dave Sullivan occurred over Dave’s buy-in of Hulkamania.
Match #3: Kevin Sullivan vs. Dave Sullivan
They waste no time, a back elbow knocks Kevin out of the ring. Dave gives chase but Kevin baits him. Chops in the corner by Kevin followed by a standing clothesline. Dropkick by Kevin, but Dave blocks the turnbuckle shot. Kevin eats the corner 10x. Running clothesline by Dave, he sends Kevin for a back body drop. He pursues and Kevin dumps him to the floor through the middle ropes. Kevin sends Dave into the ring post and returns to the ring. He crawls to the apron and Kevin gives him a hard time getting back into the ring. Dave fights from his knees, Irish whip but Dave runs into a boot. Bronco buster on the ropes by Kevin.
Snapmare by Kevin and a stomp across the head. Kevin bails out and grabs a Hogan bandana, he chokes his brother with it and gives a gut stomp. Another double stomp, he calls for the crowd and heads for the top. Dave catches him with a gorilla press and turns the tide, choking Kevin with the bandana. He whips Kevin for a lariat. He whips him again and hits a big boot. Kevin takes the bandana and kneels in the corner showing that he could put it on and make up, Dave doesn’t know whether to buy it and Kevin cheap shots him. Out to the floor, the brothers exchange shots. Dave hits the ring post and rolls back in the ring. Kevin doesn’t beat the ref’s count back into the ring, and we have a count out.
Winner: Dave Sullivan (Count-Out)
- EA’s Take: I guess this is an early seed of what ultimately becomes The Dungeon of Doom and Sullivan’s ploy to end Hulkamania. For a five minute match between a 45-year old Kevin Sullivan and his 37-year old, kayfabe brother who honestly wasn’t much of a worker (he was also ‘The Equalizer’), it obviously didn’t steal the show, but it wasn’t a bad little storyline match.
Video: We revisit Arn Anderson’s turn on Dustin Rhodes in his match against Terry Funk & Bunkhouse Buck at Bash at the Beach.
Match #4: ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes vs. ‘The Enforcer’ Arn Anderson w/Col. Robert Parker & Meng
They measure and lock up, Rhodes with position in the corner and we have a clean break. Collar and elbow, Double A with a side headlock, they hit the ropes, Anderson reverses a hip toss, Rhodes immediately scissors his head on the mat and they break it off for a restart. Anderson claims Rhodes pulled his hair. Collar and elbow, Anderson chains into a hammerlock, reversed by Rhodes with a snapmare. Anderson complains to the ref again. Collar and elbow, Rhodes with position on the ropes and Anderson cheapshots on the break. Rhodes responds with a right that knocks Double A to the mat.
Rhodes with an Irish whip, he catches Anderson’s boot, hits an atomic drop and a lariat from the back. The Natural heads for the top, Anderson trips him up and sets up for a superplex. Rhodes blocks with a headbutt and hits a top rope clothesline, Anderson kicks out. Irish whip from Rhodes, he measures but Anderson catches him with an elbow first. Anderson to the 2nd rope, Rhodes puts the boot up but Anderson stops short and drops an elbow. The Enforcer kicks away at the hamstring, looks for a figure four but Rhodes kicks him through the middle rope out to the floor. The Natural gives chase and rakes his back, Anderson tries turning the table but ends up punching the ring post.
Back to the ring, Rhodes drives him into the turnbuckle and gets two on a schoolboy. Rhodes on the attack with a modified wristlock, using his knee for extra leverage. Anderson tries using the hair but Rhodes hangs on, he drops Arn to the mat and drops a leg across the bicep. Rhodes moves into an arm breaker submission, using his boot on Anderson’s neck. He drives the knee into the elbow and sends Arn for an inverted atomic drop. He goes for a big lariat, but Anderson uses his momentum to send him over the top rope and to the floor. Back to the apron, Anderson drops a forearm across the check and puts a boot to him.
To the ropes, Anderson measures a gut shot and tries a couple covers, The Natural kicks out. Anderson tries dropping the knees, Rhodes body scissors him but Anderson walks him to the bottom rope and catapults Dustin. They exchange shots and Dustin rakes Anderson’s eyes across the top rope. They continue to go toe to toe, to the ropes they each hit a clothesline and both men are slow to get up. Back to their feet, both wobbly men exchange fire. To the ropes Dustin puts a boot to the gut and comes off the ropes with a big boot. He sends Anderson for a big lariat but Arn kicks out. He sends Anderson again, sets up for a back body drop, Anderson tries to counter with a DDT but Rhodes holds the top rope.
Dustin drops a quick elbow and Anderson kicks out at two. Rhodes hits a hot shot across the top rope, he drops his knee pad as he goes for a knee drop across the arm. Arn moves and Dustin is hurt. Arn tries a piledriver, Rhodes blocks, he reverses with a backbody drop but Anderson holds on for a sunset flip. He may have had three but the ref catches Anderson holding the ropes for leverage. The Enforcer argues and Dustin catches him in a roll up.
Winner: ‘The Natural’ Dustin Rhodes (Roll-Up)
- After The Bell: Anderson is enraged and ambushes Rhodes, including a DDT.
- EA’s Take: “This is wrestling *clap clap, clap-clap-clap*”. I knew we’d get a smart match between these two. Seriously though, if you want an example of how to put on a great 10-minute, one-on-one wrestling match despite it not being glittered with a belt on the line, a special gimmick or stipulation, high spots, hardcore shots, outside interference or over the top pomp and circumstance, this match should go on your ‘recommended’ list. Obviously all of that other stuff belongs on the card, I’m just saying it’s truly an art to put on such an engaging, straight-forward match without any added razzle-dazzle. Two absolute pros.