Halloween Havoc comes to us live from the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The usual hype and promos preceed the action. Our hosts are Tony Schiavone, Bobby Heenan and Mike Tenay.
The arena is sold out and the Halloween set in the entryway is spectacular.
We get started with a little Nitro Grrrrls action in the ring. They are in white and silver lamee. Cut to Mean Gene for a few words and then an interview with Rick Steiner. Sounds like Steiner has some new music for the occasion. He vows to teach his brother a lesson then Buff Bagwell shows up. He says that everybody is sick of Big Papa Pump and wants Rick to let him watch his back. Gene mentions that JJ Dillon might have to render a decision. Rick doesn't know if he can trust him but Buff swears that he can. Rick agrees - could be a mistake.
Raven vs. Chris Jericho - TV Title match - Raven comes out first and slumps in the corner as Jericho makes his entrance.
Raven makes a speech about his recent losing streak. He calims it isn't his fault, of course. He says he wasn't informed about this match ahead of time so he's decided not to wrestle. Jericho grabs the mic as Raven walks away. He says he doesn't really want to be here either but his fans expect a show. Then he taunts Raven about losing the Flock then calls him a loser. That brings Raven in with a vengence. As usual, Jericho is surprisingly nimble and manages to thwart Ravens attack. Moments later, however, he is clotheslined out of the ring. Raven follows him out and suplexes him onto the steps - then flings him into the other steps at the next corner. Back in the ring, Jericho reverses a whip and hangs his opponent up on the top rope. Then he drop-kicks him to the floor. Jericho tries to throw a plancha, but Raven sidesteps and Jericho takes a header into the railing. He is again rammed into the steps but he gets right up and throws Raven into the rail. Back in the ring, Jericho is in control until his opponent thumbs his eye then uses his discarded shirt to choke the Champ. He grabs a sleeper but Jericho suplexes out of it, hits a senton splash then exposes the turnbuckle on one side. he tries to send Raven into the steel but Raven reverses him to the opposite corner then sends Jericho into the exposed buckle. Jericho comes right back and in a flash he has the Liontamer - but Raven scrambles to the rope and forces the break. Jericho is livid and distracted - Raven gets his DDT - but Jericho kicks out. Now they exchange pin attempts. They are on their feet and Jericho is flung to the ropes just as Kanyon mounts the apron. They hit chest to head and Jericho is grabbed for another Evenflo - but he reverses the move to a Liontamer on the rebound and gets the submission victory.
Hogan and Bischoff show up in the entryway to rant. Usual crap - they show some clips of Hogan beating on his nephew - the Warrior's a coward, yatta, yatta...
Wrath vs. Meng - the battle of the Titans - hard to tell how this one will go. They've been pushing both as unbeatable. The match really starts on the floor because Meng won't let Wrath into the ring, so Wrath drags his opponent out and starts beating on him. He gets the upper hand and returns to the ring where he makes the mistake of ramming Meng's head ino the corner. No effect. He gets a flying clothesline and goes for a pin but gets a two. Next he tries it again. Still no luck. He goes for the Meltdown way too early and Meng twarts it easily. Now Mng has the advantage and whips him piller to post. Wrath reverses in the corner and buries the knee. Meng comes back with a jab to the throat and turns the tables again. He pounds his opponent down then rams him in the corner with a clostheline followup. He gets another flying shoulder block then struggles to put Meng into the Meltdown. He gets it and the pin.
Kidman is in the back with Lee Marshall being interviewed for the Internet fans.
Juventud Guerrera vs Disco Inferno - Cruiserweight contenders match - Disco has the weight advantage here - in fact I doubt that he is truly a cruiserweight. He attack on the bell and takes the immediate advantage. The winner here will face Kidman for the belt later tonight. Juventud takes to the air to turn the tables - both guys are wrestling very aggressively. Disco is whipped and rebounds with a back elbow but then Juvey kncks him out of the ring and then hits him with a flying Frankensteiner on the outside. Back in the ring, Disco retakes the initiative but is pausing to bump and grind. Still he holds onto the advantage. A sloppy cover helps him not at all. He grabs a reverse chinlock but Juvey struggles feet and escapes. Juvey is flying again and holding the afdvantage handily. Both guys tumbl to the floor and Juvey ends up on top. He rolls Disco in then they struggle for position - Juvey gets another Frankensteiner. Disco comes right back - they struggle again and Disco hangs his opponent up on the top rope. Both are down but Disco recovers first and stops to dance again. He fails to get a pin then downs Juvey again. The match see-saws and Disco ends up reeling and then falling onto Juvey's lower abdomen. The referee asks him if he is all right! Disco is looking cocky as he takes way too long climbing to the top. He pauses to dance some more at the top and gets upset by the recovered Guerrera. Juvey dominates for several exchanges but eventually puts himself into position for Disco to get a piledriver and the pin.
More Nitro Grrrrls in the ring - in cowboy attire.
Scott Steiner comes out to tell us some lies. Usual rant. Throws in some gratuitus slams aimed at Bagwell and his mother. He proposes a tag match with Buff and Rick vs him and the Giant for the World Tag Team Titles! JJ Dillon comes out and makes sure he's clear on things. He wants a stipulation that Scott will face Rick one-on-one for 15 minutes after the tag match. Scott agrees.
Fit Finley vs. Alex Wright - European grudge match - Bobby and Tenay inform us that it was Finley who ended Wright's father's wrestling career. Wright is cautious to start the match. Shying away from an immediate lock-up. Finley bulls him into the corner then makes a clean break. They finally lock up and Finley downs his opponent with an arm bar. Wright escapes with a face rake. Finley hits a big uppercut but Wright roars right back with a little of the same and then puts the boots to Finley. He drops to the mat and catapults Finley under the bottom rope. Finley comes right back and gets a clothesline then applies a modified surfboard. He tosses Wright to the floor and follows him out, pounds on him then rolls back in. Wright gets to his feet and grabs Finley's feet as he gets to close and drags him out. Finley comes out ready and drops Wright onto the railing but Wright is right back in the ring. They struggle in the ring and Wright manhandles his opponent. He goes for a missle drop-kick and misses but springs right back to his feet. Finley rushes the corner and hits the post with his shoulder. Wright grabs a reverse neck breaker and takes the pin.
Lodi vs. Saturn - joke match - Saturn wears a new outfit to the ring. A beret and chainmail added to his usual attire. Saturn grabs the early advantage but Lodi gets lose in order to bring back his signs which are being hauled away by the ring attendent. He comes back in and is immediately trounced. He rolls out and calls time - displays some of his signs then returns for some more beating. Again he rolls out to collect his signs then starts to leave. Saturn chases him back into the ring - Lodi gets his only offense (a couple of axe handles) then gets DDD'd and pinned.
More Nitrooo Grrrrls up in the entryway.
Dico Inferno vs. Kidman - Cruiserweight Title match - Disco hasn't had much time to recover from his earlier match. The contest starts out very fast but then Disco backs off to halt Kidman's momentum. It does him little good as Kidman is determined to keep the pace up. The Champ seems to be trying to mat wrestle his opponent but flies when he needs to. Flipped out to the apron, he comes back in with a flying head scissors. Disco recovers quickly and finally gets a chance to assert his superior size and take the advantage. Kidman comes back by taking to the air but Disco ducks and sends him sprawling on the floor. He follows him out and gets bulldogged - but Kidman hurts his hip as well. He rolls Disco into the ring then climbs the corner and flies...and misses. Disco tries a cover but fails and then grabs a reverse chinlock. Kidman fights to his feet and escapes, drives Disco to the corner and lays in the boots, then whips him and gets a bulldog on the rebound. Both guys are down. Both recover - Disco reverses a whip and elevates the Champ so that he falls on his face to the mat. Disco is looking cocky, he pauses to dance then grabs Kidman and kicks him in the corner. He stops to pose some more but goes back and gets a belly-to-back. He taunts Kidman which gets him a flurry of punches to the stomach until he rakes Kidman's face. Again he poses. He scoop slams Kidman then climbs the corner, dances at the top for a moment then misses the splash. Kidman gets a powerbomb but fails at the pin. He follows with a powerslam then goes fo a drop-kick and misses. Disco goes for a piledriver but Kidman thwarts it - he goes for it again and gets it but can't follow up. When he does, Kidman gets a shoulder up. Kidman comes back with a bulldog but Dusco rverses the field and turns it into a suplex and then a gourd buster. Still no cigar. He goes fr the piledriver again, but throws in a little macarena action and gets dumped. Kidman gets the Shooting Star and the pin.
The Giant/Scott Steiner vs. Buff Bagwell/Rick Steiner - World Tag Team Title match - the Giant dominates the early going and pretty well ties up both of the challengers. Once Rick is down - Scott comes in and starts beating on him. Rick recovers rather explosively after an atomic drop and just levels his brother. At this point, Buff wants to tag in. Rick gives it to him and they start a doubleteam - but then Buff turns on his partner (why did I see this coming..?) then runs from the ring. Rick continues the match on his own against Scott who puts him down then starts posing. He tags the Giant in. The Giant takes his time squashing his smaller opponent then tosses him to the floor. Scott is waiting there to get in some licks then rolls him back in. The ays a game with the referee, pretending to pin Rick then pulling him up. Scott tags in and Rick comes to life. Scott has to use a low blow to recover. Scott holds his brother while the Giant goes clumsily to the top and tries a missle drop kick - Rick ducks and Scott takes the blow. Rick rolls him up and gets the pin. Rick Steiner has just won the Tag belts!
Scott tries to leave with the Giant but Rick drags him back. The Giant tries to grab Rick but is kicked off. Rick hauls his brother back into the ring and goes to work on him. He dominates him until Scott hits a low blow again. Now it is all Scott for a while then Rick comes back with a powerslam. Suddenly a guy in a Bill Clinton mask appears ringside and attacks ringside officials. Stevie Ray is there and hands him his blackjack. The costumes one enters the ring and knocks out the referee then pulls off his mask. It's Bagwell. Scott goes for the pin and Buff counts using the unconscious referee's arm. Rick kicks out. They try the same thing again and fails a second time. They start a doubleteam but Ricks ducks it and downs Scott. He hangs Buff up on the top rope then downs Scott again and pins him. Nick Patrick runs in and makes the count.
Scott Hall vs. Kevin Nash - Hall comes to the ring with a drink in his hand as usual. He attacks his former partner as soon as he is in the ring and knocks him out to the floor. He is showing no sign of drunkeness now. Out on the floor he brains Nash with a microphone then wraps the cord around his neck. The referee protests and Hall releases him then decks him. Back in the ring he takes the mic again - he is slurring his words a little as he taunts Nash. A trainer is trying to stop the match but Nash returns to the ring. Hall is all over him now, downing him repeatedly. Nash is reeling and defensless. Hall goes for the Outsider Edge but Nash shoves him away. Hall pushes him to the corner and climbs up to beat on him. Nash shoves him off teice then invites him to take his best shot. Hall is momentarily confused then goes at it. Nash absorbs it then comes back with a pair of whips and a sidewalk slam. Both are down, then get to their kness and start slugging it out. They fight to their feet and continue to slug it out but Nash is gaining ground now. Nash goes for the Jack Knife but Hall avoids it and leaves the ring. He returns cautiously. They hook it up in the center and Hall is shoved off by Nash's superior power. Hall grabs an armbar and paintbrushes the back of Nash's head. Nash lifts a knee to the midsection then starts working on Halls back. Hall is failing fast now. The referee gets between them for a moment. Nash continues to pound on him in the corner, telling him "Have another drink buddy..." Hall collapses then is dragged up to his feet. Nash pantomimes taking a drink then punches Hall down. Now Hall is staggering and swinging with no strenghth at all. Nash downs him then waits while Hall rises. He adminsisters a Jack Knife - then asks the fans if they want to see another one. He says "I think he'll have a double..." and execues the second one. Nash stands over hi and gives him a crotch shot gesture. Then he leaves the ring and is counted out. Hall wins the match by count-out.
Bret Hart vs. Sting - US Title match - Sting sports a goatee and his bat. Hart wisely leaves the ring until he puts the bat away. Sting goes out after him chases him back in but Hart scoots out the othe side. Sting follows him out to the aisle but the referee is having none of this. Sting returns to the ring to wait for his opponent. The bell rings as Hart returns, then Hart leaves the ring again ad jaws with some of the crowd. He circlesthe ring and then climbs in - only to climb out again. Sting's had enough, he goes out and brings Hart back in the starts pounding on him as the crowd counts. He hits a clothesline then a right cross to deck him again. He continues with an atomic drop. Backed into the corner, Hart fights back with punches and a finger to the eye. He gets a DDT. He attacks the eyes again then gets an atomic drop of his own. Sting is down. Hart drops a headbutt into the lower abdomen. He continues with his standard attack - working mostly on the back of his opponent. He tries a token cover - no pin. He grabs a reverse chinlock then releases it and goes back to work on the back. Sting gets an inside cradle and almost gets the pin. Hart is right back on him with a Russian Legsweep. Sting suddenly recovers and twists a missed drop-kick into a Scorpion. They are at the ropes and Hart escapes. Now Sting is back in charge - they criss cross and Hart goes into his possum act - pretending to have hurt his knee. Sting goes to attack but the ref restrains him. Hart uses the distraction to dig a weapon out of his tights. Sting clotheslines it and the brass knuckles go flying. Now Sting has them and tries to use them but the ref restrains him again. Hart gets a low blow from behind. Hart is back in the saddle. h pounds on him then tosses him to the floor. They start brawling upp the aisle with Hart getting in all the shots. He stops to jaw with the crowd for a moment then drops Sting on the railing. Back in the ring, Hart is still in control. He's holding Sting on the apron. Sting tries a back elbow but gets the referee and downs him. Hart puncuates it with a legdrop on the referee. Sting is back in the ring and taking charge of things. Hart gets away and tries to climb the top. Sting catches him there and gets a superplex - Harts lands across the legs of the referee. All three are down and out. Hart gets to the corner- Sting throws a Stinger splash but overshoots and hits the ringpost. Hart gets the bat and waffles him twice. Then he climbs the corner and uses the bat from a flying move. Sting is unconcious in the ring. Hart revivs the referee and secures the Sharpshooter on Sting and gets the win.
Sting is face down motionless in the ring. The stretcher is brought out and he is hauled away. This halts the program for several minutes. He is bleeding but seems to be responding to questions as they take him up the aisle and to the ambulance.
Hollywood Hogan vs. The Warrior - the return match after eight years. Hogan wears a feather boa ala Ric Flair to the ring. We see some more footage of his humiliation of his nephew last week. Warrio appears and runsto the ring.Full rope shake - the whole nine yards. If these guys can put on a good match - this will go down as one of the best pay-per-views this year. The Warrior again declines to remove his duster as Hogan stalls on the outside. Hogan returns to the ring and is all jaw. He tries to attack as the referee checks the Warrior but he gets flattened. Finally the Warrior removes his ring attire. Hogan opens with a feint and a knee to the gut then grabs an armbar. Warrior reverses it and Hogan escapes and rolls out to the floor. Obviously this will be nothing like the last match they had. The Warrior wants a test of strength. Hogan feints again and muscles him into the corner. He starts pounding on him again - laying in the knee - then grabs a knuckle lock. Warrior is on ghis knee and Hogan continues to stomp away as he holds the knuckle lock. Warrior forces his way to his feet but Hogan kicks him down again. Hogan is laughing. Warrior struggles up again, Hogan changes t a full arm drag then they go into a criss cross. Hogan pauses and gets a scoop slam - he starts to celebrate to quickly and the Warrior returns the favor. Hogan rolls out of the ring. Warrior follows and starts ramming him into the railing. Hogan comes back with a rake of the face but the Warrior isn't stopped - he slams Hogan head first into the ringpost. Back in the ring, Hogan runs the referee down the drops a knee on him. He signals for reinforcements. The Giant runs down and tries to put a foot in Warrior's face but gets Hogan. The Warrior fights off more intruders. He goes for a cover but the referee is down. Hogan blindsides him as he checks the referee then tries a pin - ts but Hogan only gets two. Hogan whips the Warrior with his belt then chokes him. He whips him again. Warrior's face paint is all scraped off. Hogan slams him then misses with two elbow drops. The Warrior flies through the air but misses his target. They trade blows and Hogan gets decked. Now Warrior grabs the belt and whips Hogan. He wraps his fist and punches Hogan as he rises. Hogan is bleeding in the corner as he takes out a baggie with powder and a lighter. He tries to use it but fails. The Warrior is in control until Hogan hits a low blow. He follows with a leg drop and goes for a second one but misses. Horace is in the aisle with a chair. The Warrior is "Hulking up" and runs Hogan down twice. Eric Bischoff distracts the referee as Horace enters the ring frm the other side and whacks the Warrior with the chair!! Hogan gets the pin.
Horace pours lighter fluid on the Warrior and Hogan starts to light it but security intervenes and then...my cable went out. It's eight o'clock and my cable company has turned off the show!!!
Goldberg vs. Diamond Dallas Page - World Title match - after ordering the replay I got the show back - I'll have to complain to my cable company about this if they try to charge me for it.
DDP comes in aggressive and they end up rolling around the mat and then falling out to the floor. Back in the ring, Goldberg dominates but DDP is holding his own. He goes for the Diamond Cutter but Goldberg just tosses him our of the ring. Page is back in a trying everything but his is just being out muscled. Page gets a smash to the corner and then a Rusian leg sweep and actually gets a two count on the monster. He grabs a front face lock and semi-neutralizes his opponent but Goldberg tosses him off again. DDP rises and gets his face forearmed. They struggle some more and neither is really on top. DDP is throwing everything but the kitchesn sink and Goldberg is just shrugging it all off. The Champ goes for the spear but Page sidesteps and Goldberg hits the post and falls to the floor. He moves slowly getting back into the ring. DDP hits him with a flying clothesline. Again Goldberg makes a comeback but DDP is going for the Diamond Cutter again. Suddenly the Champ hits the spear! But he is hurting in the shoulder. Both are down. Goldberg recovers first but can't get the Jackhammer because of his shoulder. He tries a second time and Page turns him around and hits the Diamond Cutter!!! But again they are both down. They recover together and Goldberg muscles Page into the Jackhammer and then gets the pin. Afterward they embrace and that's the end of the show.
by Earl Oliver
Needless to say, there has been plenty of reaction to Joseph Holt's last From the Top Rope... column in which he took the WWF to task for presenting their "hostage drama" storyline last Monday. You can read some of the more pithy comments on the Solie's Mailroom page.
All of this controversey got me to thinking about the meaning of the words creativity and innovation and how they apply to this "sports entertainment" we call professional wrestling. It struck me that, as a wrestling promoter, creative and innovative are two of the words frequently applied to Mr. McMahon - but how accurate are those descriptions?
This reminds me of another famous supposed innovator - this one in the computer business. Bill Gates, Chairman of Microsoft Corporation.
When you think about it, Gates and McMahon have a lot of things in common, including the commonly held descriptions of each as being creative and innovative. Indeed each goes to great pains to identify himself as such.
When Gates was sued by the Justice Department for unfair business practices (a suit which is still being tried) his public defense was (and is) that the lawsuit was a "bad idea" because it would "punish Microsoft for being creative and innovative..." - and that the suit itself would contribute to the stifling of those qualities.
Similarly, when McMahon filed suit against Turner Corporation for supposedly implying that Hall and Nash were still working for Titan (when in fact they worked for WCW) - his opening statement included the phrase "The WWF, which is known for innovation and creativity in storylines..."
Those of us in the high tech industries (I work for a major electronic printing company) know the real story about Gates. For years now, Microsoft has operated under one general principle. Don't let anyone else succeed at Microsoft's expense.
Gates has had several strategies of pursuing these ends:
2) Use your leverage to discredit the competitons products - the most blatant example of this involves Netscape, which brought about the Internet explosion by developing the Mozilla web browser into what is now called Navigator. For several years, Microsoft poo pooed the whole concept of the Internet, insisting that it would never be of major importance in the scheme of things. Eventually they found that this argument was no longer helping their cause so then they turned to their third strategy...
3) Create a similar product and use your leverage to drive your competitor out of business - this is what Microsoft is on trial for, by incorporating their Internet Explorer browser into their operating system in an attempt to effectively cut Netscape off from about 85% of the computers in the world. A similar suit is pending regarding Microsoft's use of the Java programming language. In that case they took the language - which is supposed to be a universal operating system - and created their own "flavor" which will only works with the Windows platform.
I know, I know...I'm getting off the track - or am I?
In the mid-eighties, when wrestling promotions like WCCW and Mid-South were presenting some of the most entertaining wrestling product around - Vince McMahon was raiding the stables of these and other smaller promotions in order to build up his company. At the same time he was putting together national syndication deals to present his product all over the country on television. Using this national exposure as leverage he frequently went into local territories and scheduled cards on the same night as the competition in order to depress their gates (no pun intended).
The eventual result was of these and other underhanded tactics was that most of the territorial promotions were driven out of the business because they weren't able to compete with the WWF machine. Meanwhile, most real wrestling fans during the mid-to-late eighties would tell you that WWF wrestling was a joke compared to what was happening in those territories (including the WWWF) a few years before.
One of McMahon's "innovations" was the concept of copyrighting wrestler's characters so that talented atheletes were constrained from taking their acts into other promotions (ask Ed Leslie, or Kevin Nash about that sometime - Leslie contends that his Brutus Beefcake name and character were wholly his own creations which McMahon then copyrighted so that Leslie couldn't use them. Nash contends that he was known as "Big Daddy Cool" back in his high school and college days - once he left the WWF, McMahon gave that apellation to Glenn Jacobs aka Kane).
So I am willing to concede that Vince McMahon has been an innovator. He took wrestling to the mainstream and turned it first into a circus, and later into a combination cop show and soap opera.
Yes, it was innovative...the question is - is it wrestling?
Creativity is something else, and I will not concede that quality to the WWF these days. There was a time when what McMahon did might have been considered creative - if creativity means presenting wrestlers as polka dotted plumbers, rock stars, matadors, Road Warrior clones, IRS Agents, Voodoo Priests and the like.
The three McMahon "creations" that I would cite as having the greatest success would probably be "The Million Dollar Man", The Undertaker" and "Goldust" - each in their own way were pretty lame as characters, but came to life as portrayed by very talented wrestlers and actors.
Interestingly many of the more successful of the so-called "WWF creations" came to the promotion fully formed. Wrestlers like Andre the Giant, Roddy Piper, Greg Valentine, the (real) Road Warriors, Sgt. Slaughter, the Iron Sheik, the Rockers, the Steiner Brothers, the Brainbusters, the One Man Gang, King Kong Bundy, Jake "the Snake" Roberts, Black Jack Mulligan, "Bam Bam" Bigalow, the Powers of Pain, the Nasty Boys, Dino Bravo, Ric Flair, Rick Rude, the Ultimate Warrior, Hulk Hogan (yes, I said Hulk Hogan) and a host of others, needed no "tweaking" by McMahon's "creativity" to make them successful. They were there, ready made for McMahon to exploit - and if genious can be ascribed to him, it would be in the area of exploitation.
Other very talented performers, like the aforementioned Dusty Rhodes, Steve Keirn (Skinner), Tony Anthony (another wrestling plumber), Barry Windham (the Widowmaker?), and even Steve Austin (the Ringmaster..? Please!) were saddled with ridiculous characters in order to disguise their pasts in other promotions, and they did not succeed. (Of course, Austin did succeed, but it was after he took charge of his own character - again McMahon's talent at exploitation came into play).
And now WWF fans are citing DX, Val Venis and "Stone Cold" Steve Austin as examples of this vaunted McMahon creativity. Certainly, that is not the term I would apply to what the WWF has been doing in the last year or so.
In fact I would call it sensationalism at the expense of creativity.
At least that's the way I see it...
Editor, Solie's Wrestling Newsletter
This page is a personal tribute and is in no way connected to any of the wrestling promotions mentioned on it. It is dedicated to the Dean of Wrestling announcers, Gordon Solie. Copyright 1998 - Jump City Productions