And the funniest Hogan face ever.Halloween Havoc 1995
Date: October 29, 1995
Location: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
Commentators: Bobby Heenan, Tony Schiavone
So we plow on through 1995 as I want to finish this year and get to the NWO stuff. Anyway this is a rather infamous show as we have a double main event: Hogan vs. The Giant for the WCW Title and Hogan vs. The Giant in monster trucks. Yeah I know what you’re thinking. Anyway, this is a show I remember kind of fondly from when I was seven. Now I’m 22 so let’s see how bad it really is. Also on here we have Sting and a freshly face Ric Flair vs. Arn Anderson and Brian Pillman, and we know that can’t go wrong at all right?
Also on the preshow, Paul Orndorff beat Renegade, the previously unstoppable machine, in about 80 seconds. Also we had three guys that had just recently signed with the company: Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. Sadly enough this show is only 15 years ago and of the five men mentioned in this paragraph, Orndorff and Malenko are still alive. Eddie died of heart failure despite being in great shape, Renegade and Benoit killed themselves, and Orndorff is so injured he can barely move. Wow indeed.
WCW really was hilarious with how overblown their Halloween stuff was. It’s pure camp and it’s hilarious. So Hogan has gone to the dark side, shaving his facial hair and wearing all black. Yeah whatever. Remember we’re still about 8 months from the NWO at this point. Hey a big arena is actually full! I’m stunned too. Oh I forgot: the truck think is on the roof of the building next door.
Flying Brian and Arn Anderson have apparently beaten up Ric Flair. That’s just amusing.
Tony wants to know why Heenan has been eating sushi. That’s actually foreshadowing.
We recap Johnny B. Badd and DDP. So if you remember the last show, Badd won a title shot against Sting. We have the match, but Badd is nowhere to be seen. Brian got the shot instead but lost. Badd showed up at the end of the show and says he had a flat tire. Gene says he could have called. Just whip out your cell phone the size of a brick and call Johnny. DDP showed up and said that he should have gotten the shot. His bodyguard says it must suck to have four flat tires. Johnny realizes something is up because he only said it was one flat tire so he punched Page. It was never explained WHY DDP would have messed with Johnny’s car but whatever.
TV Title: Diamond Dallas Page vs. Johnny B. Badd
Apparently Sting isn’t here yet so he doesn’t know what happened to Flair. Seriously, how do these people get away with being late to work all the time??? This is being written about two hours after Lockdown went off and Bischoff got to the arena at like 1030. HOW DOES HE HAVE A JOB??? Can you imagine if you showed up to work on a huge day two and a half hours late minimum?
A fake Johnny B. Badd comes out but the real one comes through the crowd to jump him. Tony says this started with a bang. That’s just amusing given what Page would become. Ok hang on a second. Earlier on we saw the two monster trucks dueling a bit. Apparently that was Hogan and Giant driving. So they just get together and ram trucks together? Also note that they were already welded together. Keep that in mind.
In a funny spot, Patrick asks Badd if he pulled DDP’s hair. Badd replies by shouting YOU MEAN LIKE THIS and pulls DDP’s hair. That’s just amusing. Heenan says everyone has been talking about the PPV, even the pilot on his plane. WOW. Tony says DDP likes controlling his matches. Wow I thought he liked getting his teeth kicked in. You can’t buy commentary like this.
And we hit the chinlock. Maxx Muscle slaps the mat while the fans are chanting for Badd. Yeah Page had a tendency to have stupid managers. We do some more stuff and hit another chinlock. At least there’s a theme to this match. Just to be clear: Bobby Heenan will NOT be managing the Detroit Tigers. Ok then.
After Badd makes another comeback, he throws Page to the floor with no explanation for the lack of a DQ other than that’s not the planned finish. He even busts out what would become the basis for the 619. Maxx Muscle interferes but screws up and the big punch ends this.
Rating: C. This was one of those matches that was just kind of there. It’s not particularly good or bad but rather just long. It’s not terrible by any means but it just happened. Badd vs. DDP would be a feud for a good while until he got fired/left for WWF as Marc Mero.
We talk about the monster truck thing to kill time.
Randy Savage vs. Zodiac
Zodiac has what would become Rey’s music soon. It’s Brutus Beefcake being able to only say yes or no. Yeah it didn’t work. I’m stunned too. Ok so apparently Luger and Savage have to win their matches earlier in the night to get a match with each other tonight. If just one wins then…nothing happens I guess. Well ok then. I love that rock version of Pomp and Circumstance.
Savage jumps him early and is dominating. A fan runs into the ring and stays in there for like 20 seconds with the referee just owning him. Security gets rid of him as Savage wins with the elbow in less than two minutes. This was supposed to be Kamala but he left the company. No one else noticed. Total squash so no rating.
Badd says that he believed he could do this and he did it. This is supposed to be emotional or something but it just isn’t. Gene mentions singing Tutti Frutti in a bar. It’s far funnier than it sounds.
Kurasawa vs. Hawk
This was an odd choice. On Clash of the Champions, Kurasawa broke Hawk’s arm and this is the rematch. No one got this feud or why Hawk was wrestling singles matches or who in the heck Kurasawa was other than a good movie makes. Hawk jumps him like you would expect him to as we get going. Hawk gets his one wrestling move, the neckbreaker.
Crowd is into Hawk if nothing else. He even busts out a powerbomb and a gutwrench suplex. Total dominance here. Parker interferes so Kurasawa can take over. He misses a top rope elbow and Hawk takes over again. He was in trouble for MAYBE 4 seconds. Big old clothesline puts the heel on the floor.
On the floor Hawk is rammed into the post, taken into the ring, Kurasawa hits two Samoan Drops and puts his feet on the ropes for the pin. I have been reviewing shows for over a year now and I have NEVER seen a match that made less sense. This was never mentioned again. Hawk destroyed him until that ending. No sense at all.
Rating: WTF. I have nothing else to say for that. Hawk looked like he was beating up a jobber and he loses? No rating again but dude, what the heck were they thinking here? Why did Hawk have a singles match here anyway? WCW continues to boggle the mind.
Savage says he’s going to make sure Luger wins. But let’s talk about Hogan instead.
Mr. JL vs. Sabu
JL is short for Jerry Lynn in case you didn’t know that. And yes, it’s the same Sabu. The reason he’s here is he’s the Sheik’s nephew and Sheik was the king of Detroit back in the day. Lynn is in a mask here. WOW it’s weird hearing Sabu being talked about by Tony. Also that sounds like La Parka’s future music but I’m not sure. Both guys are in purple which is odd to see. They do all kinds of flying around ringside with Sabu doing all kinds of crazy dives etc.
We even get a Bobo Brazil reference to make this even more off the wall. This is pretty good for today’s standards despite being sloppy, but for 1995 this was INSANE. I mean remember, WWF was running stuff like Mabel vs. Taker at this time so having Lynn vs. Sabu on a major PPV was ridiculous.
Sabu wins it with a moonsault and Sheik throws a fireball at Lynn and hits him in the mask. Ok then. Heenan freaks over this and wants to know how to do that. Don’t ask Hogan. He tried it once and it didn’t work at all.
Rating: B+. Somewhat above average match, but considering the timeframe, this was insanity. Rey was nearly a year away from changing the whole idea of what cruiserweight wrestling was, but everyone knew this kind of stuff rocked. Sabu can be passable when he’s not trying to do a garbage match, and this is an example of that.
We talk about Hogan/Giant for a bit and go to the Master’s Lair to hear from him and Taskmaster. I would ask how we get a camera and electricity in there, but it doesn’t need to be asked. Why is that you ask? BECAUSE THE LAIR IS IN THE ARENA. Ok, let’s think for a minute. We have Kevin Sullivan and his master, an old man, standing in the arena with no apparent protection. Is there a reason why Hogan isn’t out there bashing their heads in with a chair?
I mean, I get that his friends are all busy, but can’t he fight off an old man and Kevin Sullivan on his own? This is something that I mean when I say idiotic storylines that go beyond suspension of disbelief. I have no idea what Master is saying here. Something about an eclipse or something. I wonder if he looks like that at the airport. Oh we get a mention of the Yeti. We’ll get to that one later. And now let’s talk about the trucks. The fans are booing the heck out of this. Let’s end this now.
Lex Luger vs. Meng
So if Luger wins here, he gets Savage later. Ok then. The fans pelt Sullivan with garbage. I knew I always liked Detroit. During Luger’s entrance we get a HILARIOUS sight joke that if you know your history is great. There’s a graveyard set due to Halloween and one of the graves says Crockett. If you get that joke, it’s hilarious. If not, it means nothing at all. Meng gets his head rams into the buckle and….it works? Come on man, learn your stereotypes!
Luger was rocking the mullet at this point which is just amusing. Meng busts out a small freaking package of all things. Well that was unexpected. Luger works on the right arm. Wow that’s weird to type. I know the common complaint about guys like Cena is they only know five moves, but I think Luger might break that. He might only know four: punch, clothesline, slam, rack. Oh wait: he uses an atomic drop. Dang I thought I had him there.
Meng is a weird case as he was someone that they seemed ready to push for like 3 and a half years but they never pulled the trigger on. Odd as he could have been perfect for a quick heel run near the title. Not saying he should have gotten it or anything, but a run against a top face was certainly within the question. Oh yeah: the NWO happened. He hits a chinlock, which is better than the nerve hold I guess.
Apparently the Dungeon of Doom is recruiting Luger. Yeah I don’t remember it either. We talk about Heenan talking to Sonny Onoo. That’s more foreshadowing for Starrcade which was a very interesting show. We’ll get to that soon. Meng gets his Golden Spike and Sullivan runs in and kicks Luger to give him the win. Ok then. Apparently it’s a method of getting Luger to fight Savage. Ok then. Yeah it’s odd but it kind of makes sense in a way.
Rating: D+. Again, it’s long but not very good. Also the ending was just rather annoying. Not particularly bad, but it’s just there. Luger was boring as always, but this needed to lose about 4 minutes and it makes it FAR better. This wasn’t that interesting but it certainly was long.
Gene is with the Giant. He literally doesn’t make it up to his shoulder. That’s just amusing. Giant taking the mic and Gene’s hand with it is funny stuff as Gene tries in vain to get out of his grip. Giant is pretty funny here as he’s like 23 years old and about 100lbs lighter than he is today.
Arn Anderson/Brian Pillman vs. Sting/Ric Flair
So basically before Fall Brawl, Anderson and Flair had been fighting. Pillman gave Andersont he win by kicking Flair in the head. The next night on Nitro they had a rematch in a cage and Anderson and Pillman beat him down. Flair got Sting to help him, but Flair got jumped before the show so it’s a handicap match to start. Sting is US Champion here if that means anything to anyone at all.
Sting of course saw nothing wrong with this plan at all. The fans want Flair. Sting does a great job of fighting on his own for awhile but after about five minutes here comes Flair! He’s in street clothes and the fans like him. There’s a massive bandage over his head and Sting is in trouble now. The heels go old school and bust out a Rocket Launcher. Again, a few people will actually get that.
The idea here is that Sting can’t make the tag no matter how hard he tries. We get a stupid spot where Pillman gets a half crab. Ok, that’s fine. Pillman is pulling back on the leg to apply pressure right? Anderson reaches out his hand for extra pressure. One thing: Arn is pulling the opposite way. Wouldn’t that, like, take pressure off of Sting? Flair runs in for a save and gets a HUGE pop.
One thing though: he never actually gets a shot in on either heel. That doesn’t mean anything….does it? Sting is screaming for the NATURE BOY! Does Sting want to ride Space Mountain? This is fifteen years ago and Flair still has saggy man boobs. That’s amazing. Sting FINALLY makes the tag and the place erupts. Wait for it. Wait for it. FLAIR DRILLS STING! Sting snaps but he gets beaten down. Flair is of course fine as Gene waits on the ramp for Flair.
The two not named Flair hold up four fingers and Flair reforms the Horsemen. A guy named Benoit would be added soon. Pillman would be gone by about April though and they would replace him with Mongo a few months later. And we couldn’t get those four vs. Sting, Luger, Savage and Hogan in WarGames…why? Yes I know why but I like complaining.
Rating: B. This is ALL angle and while it’s predictable, it’s classic Horsemen. This was the right move to make as it all came off as a great angle and the whole thing worked very well I think. This is a lot based in taste for me so don’t go looking for a great match here.
I love the Horsemen and their shenanigans as this was a great throwback to the 80s with the group beatdown. Pillman never quite fit but Benoit certainly did so there we are. Also it’s funny seeing Sting get beaten down due to being an idiot. Sting vs. these two is hardly bad either.
Luger wants Savage.
We recap Hogan vs. the Dungeon. Basically it’s your standard Hogan vs. Monster and Giant hurts Hogan’s neck. They shaved his mustache and he started wearing black. This naturally started up a war of monster trucks. You see the connection don’t you? I mean it’s clear as day isn’t it? And then on Monday we did something that I don’t want to talk about for as long as I can so we’ll spare it for later.
We come back to the announcers’ table and Bischoff has replaced Tony since Tony had to go play with his hamster I guess. We talk to the guy that made the truck. Yeah no one cares. Apparently the truck weighs 11,000 pounds with 6 foot tall tires.
We go to the roof and a few things to note. First of all, Hogan stands about 7’8 apparently as he TOWERS over those “six foot tall” tires. Second, the rules are you have to get both sets of axels out of the ring, which is 100ft in diameter. Ok, fair enough. Third, we’re going to weld the trucks together. Pay no attention to the fact that they were welded together earlier (this was taped the night before but that isn’t mentioned).
Also for no apparent reason, in this ring we have two charges that will go off if you run over them. Yes, allegedly, on the roof of a building, there are BOMBS that will go off if a truck runs over them. The idiocy here is off the charts. Let’s get this over with.
First of all, we waste a few minutes welding the trucks together. Allegedly these trucks run on alcohol. So wait. There are BOMBS, as in EXPLODING FIRE, near alcohol based fuel? And this company made money??? Again, someone was PAID to make this up. That’s sad.
Oh and they have co-pilots so they’re only driving one set of axels. Hogan gets put halfway out but makes the save. Hogan’s truck has a flag kind of thing that is supposed to be the bandana I guess. One of the bombs goes off and my head hurts. Ah I think I know why Tony left: he has integrity. And Hogan wins of course. Somehow, the idiocy is just beginning.
Giant gets out of his truck and goes after Hogan, and the champ goes back towards the edge of the building. They fight some more up on the ledge and Hogan accidently knocks Giant OFF THE ROOF. Yes, this was on a major Pay Per View broadcast by a major wrestling company. Hogan’s acting here makes Mr. Nanny look like De Niro. The monster truck dude has to sit here and not break up laughing. That’s just awesome.
And after the apparent death of a wrestler, let’s have a match!
Lex Luger vs. Randy Savage
Man it’s a lucky thing they won their matches and that this is all they had left other than the main event isn’t it? And thus begins a grand WCW tradition of “we’re going to talk about something else entirely while this match is going on.”
Tony: For a minute let’s talk about this match. They make it about 8 seconds. This will apparently be on the front page of every newspaper in the world tomorrow. After some uninteresting wrestling, Jimmy Hart comes down for no adequately explored reason and Luger gets run into him. Elbow ends it.
Rating: F+. This was like 5 minutes long and I don’t remember any of it. That’s never a good sign. Just a total filler here as was the majority of the rest of WCW’s upper midcard around this time. There was this big mystery angle and all that jazz and it never went anywhere.
Heenan wants to know what’s going on and he leaves to go find out. We recap, as in reshow, the Hogan/Giant thing. Tony tries to keep from cracking up despite of Heenan’s overacting.
WCW World Title: The Giant vs. Hulk Hogan
They introduce Giant first but Hogan comes out instead, all in black and sans facial hair. Wow that’s odd to see. Was Hart being Hogan’s BFF ever explained? Giant of course walks out with no explanation at all. In what might be the funniest thing that I have EVER seen in wrestling, the camera shoots back to Hogan just in time for him to turn to the camera and blankly stare while his mouth hangs open in awe.
I laughed out loud for a LONG time. I mean the timing was better than you could have planned if you tried forever. This was hilarious stuff to say the least. Heenan sounds orgasmic over this. His hatred of Hogan stayed forever if nothing else. Hogan has black horns painted on his head. Uh….deep?
He can’t slam him though. Oh and Giant is allegedly Andre’s son. Heenan: Eat Hogan like you would eat villagers! Ok then. Giant hooks a test of strength once Hogan is on his knees already. You know that might be more effective if your muscles were flexing or if you had ANY torque on them.
Heenan says he’s never seen Hogan wrestle in anything other than yellow and red. Odd that he’s seemingly managed against him in blue or white tights but what do I know? Giant is destroying him here. Hogan makes a comeback to some SOLID face pops and knocks Giant to the floor. Taskmaster tries to get Giant to leave but Hogan, like an idiot, stops him. Giant gets a SWEET backbreaker. Hogan was WAY in the air for that and it looked awesome.
Heenan points out how stupid Giant is for not going for Hogan’s bad neck. Give the guy a break Bobby. I mean he just fell off the freaking roof! The bear hug goes on and Tony cracks me up by making it sound like it’s perfectly normal to come back after falling off a roof. Even in kayfabe this is ridiculous. With the paint knocked off Hogan’s head it looks like there’s a Triforce on it. And back to the bear hug. He powers out but walks into the chokeslam. He powers out of that too.
He Hulks Up and the usual puts Giant down, but the referee goes down too. The fans say Jimmy did it. Just to add to the stupidity of this match, when Hogan is yelling at Hart, you can see Giant stick his head up three separate times to see what’s going on. Even playing devil’s advocate and saying he’s playing possum, you don’t have a 7’ monster playing peek-a-boo!
Anyway, Jimmy hits Hogan with the belt but Giant saves him. And it’s bear hug time again. Luger and Savage come out. Luger of course turns heel and….here it comes. This is the thing I didn’t want to talk about all night. On the previous Nitro, the Master had said he had a surprise. At the end of the show, a random block of ice blew up and a mummy came out of it. Yes, I said a mummy.
They called him a Yeti, but he’s a large man wrapped in bandages and tape. What the heck would you call him? With Giant having him in a bear hug, Yeti comes up behind Hogan and more or less dry humps him without actually hurting him at all. It’s Reese from the Flock if you care who is under there.
Luger puts Hogan in the rack to something resembling a pop. They dry hump Savage and rack him too. Giant wins by DQ because he was Hogan’s manager when he hit the referee. They announce that the title can’t change hands on DQ.
OR CAN IT?
Yeah in this match, Hart slipped a clause in, stating that the title CAN change hands on a DQ, so the Giant is the champion. They would strip him of the title in like two weeks and put it up in the inaugural World War Three Battle Royal, which is complete nonsense as Hogan lost the title via a stipulation in a contract he signed without reading. That’s not Giant’s fault but whatever. Hogan and Savage are helped out to end the show. Heenan crying from happiness is funny.
Rating: D. This was a Hogan match with a big angle to end it and nothing more. Giant wasn’t capable of doing much here as he was just a 23 year old kid that had like 5 matches under his belt but he was 7’0 tall, athletic beyond belief and could talk. I’d push him hard like that too.
Anyway, this wasn’t that good but it was Hogan fighting a monster which was what he was best at so I can’t fault them there. A bit long with FAR too many bear hugs but to be fair Giant had no experience and no real style set yet. He would get a lot better. Yeah this was his WCW debut. I’d say this was fine given the circumstances then.
Overall Rating: F+. Uh…yeah. This show sucked and it sucked bad. The highlight of the show is EASILY the Horsemen thing. Outside of that it’s a bunch of WTF moments with bad wrestling mixed in. This just didn’t work at all and it came off really badly. The whole thing was about Hogan and Giant, which is fine, but the roof thing wound up going nowhere.
It wasn’t mentioned at all in the last 20 minutes of the show and it was never explained at all. In short, it wasn’t needed at all. Just a lot of stuff here that made no sense at all and it didn’t work. Bad show, but a ton of moments that are considered classic bad ones here.