Friday, October 7, 2011

Boo: Double Vision

By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

By the time the second installment of Halloween Havoc rolled around, a lot had changed in WCW. At the 1989 pay per view, Sting and Ric Flair teamed up as the company's top two baby faces.  Flair was the champ.  But it didn't take long for him to turn on Sting and drop the WCW title to the Stinger.

Flair was sidetracked in a tag team title feud with Arn Anderson, challenging Teddy Long's team of Doom.  Sting was set to defend against Anderson and Flair's fellow Horsemen  member Sid Vicious.  Sting was also being tormented by The Black Scorpion while this match was being set up.

The show started off with good ol' JR and Paul E. Dangerously dressed in costume.  The opening contest was an upset victory for Ricky Morton and Tommy Rich over the Midnight Express.  The Southern Boys did run interference and helped the faces win.

Look out Sting!
Next was an extremely cheesy vignette with Sting and Black Scorpion.  JR and Paul E. oversold this skit, with Paul being borderline annoying.  It's the one with the female fan and Scorpion disappearing and reappearing.  Lame sauce.

Renegade Warriors, Chris and Mark Youngblood made their WCW PPV debut on this show against Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin, the Freebirds.  Little Richard Marley was in their corner.  (He was once Rocky King)  The Birds won this one with some help from LRM.

An interview with the Horsemen minus Barry Windham... interesting.  Of course if you've seen this show you know why that is.  We'll get to it, be patient.  Love classic Flair and AA.  Woooo!

Third match, and it's the third tag team matchup.  The Nasty Boys challenging for the U.S. tag team titles.  Remember when there were enough tag teams to have two different titles.  This is another moment, I don't remember the Nastys being in WCW PRIOR to their WWF run.  I knew they wrestled in the AWA.  I thought they jumped from there to the WWF.  Anyway, the Steiners retain with a sloppy Frankensteiner, but that move is still really awesome.  Scott Steiner was so much better in my opinion before he became "Big Poppa Pump." Right after the match Scott was attacked during an interview by the Nasties who were dressed like concessionaires.  How did they change so quick?

Fourth match is ANOTHER tag team match.  This one is the world tag team title match.  Horsemen vs. Doom.  Anderson was the TV champ then, forgot that too.  Interesting they sidelined Flair for a tag team title feud.  SmackDown! General Manager Teddy Long is accompanying Doom for this one.  This match quickly went from wrestling to fighting and ended in a double count out.  This of course took us to Starrcade for the St. Louis Street Fight between the two teams.  Although Flair would be "hurt" and replaced by Barry Windham that night.

Stan Hansen and his mouth full of tobacco threaten Lex Luger.  Dude, he's as bad as Skinner.  Gross.  Hansen was a man of his words that night and beat Luger.  Back then I knew little of Hansen and was disappointed that he won the title.  I do recall his run as AWA world champion, so I knew who he was.  Yes, I will admit it, I was a Lex Luger fan back then.  Ref bump and a cow bell from Dan Spivey helped Hansen here, although he pinned Lex cleanly.  Luger ended up regaining the belt two months later at Starrcade.

Title match is set to begin, with Missy Hyatt joining the broadcast team.  I just realized I'm watching this on a DVD where some of the matches are cut, so ignore the comments about all the tag team matches.  There were several singles matches, most of which I question why there were on PPV, and understand why WWE left them on the cutting room floor.  No offense Brad Armstrong, J.W. Strong, or Moondog Rex.

Sid is pretty much a brawler, nothing too exciting out of this match.  Actually a weak main event in terms of wrestling. Sting did a good job.  I always liked the Beach Bum version of the character more than any other.  The action spilled out of the ring several times.  Flair and Anderson distracted the ref as Sting and Sid fight to the back.  Then they return and Sid pins Sting when Sting can't bodyslam the big man.  Sid is even introduced as champ.  But the celebration is cut short when the real Sting returns to the ring with ropes tied around him.

Sting splashes Sid and pins him.  But before all that, WCW did a fireworks display and dropped a bunch of orange and black balloons.  I think it was premature because it all happened BEFORE Sting one.  Of course it was revealed that the Sting who was pinned was actually Sid's fellow Horsemen Barry Windham.  It was an extremely sloppy execution.

Barry "Sting" Windham
They never really said it was Barry that night, JR speculated that it was.  With all the Black Scorpion hype and the tag line "Terror Rules the Ring" I didn't find anything other than Sid's performance and the lame finish terrifying.

Other notes from the show, Kevin Nash was a part of the pay per view.  He was kind of like Glenn Jacobs searching for the right gimmick.  At Halloween Havoc he was "Steel" and one half of the Master Blasters.  It's one of many gimmicks he played before finding success in the WWF as Diesel.

Fire up the grill, we're having Southern Fried Butcher at the 1991 installment of the show.  That review is coming up soon.

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