Mike Reviews Shows Considered To Be Stinkers – WCW Halloween Havoc 2000 (29th October 2000)
By Michael Fitzgerald on 30th October 2021
Back with another Stinker Review, as I watch a show that has a reputation for being mince and then decide if that reputation is deserved or not. Next month will be another reader request and there’s still time to put suggestions either in the comments or via email to [email protected]
This show was poorly received back in the day, so much so that it almost broke poor Scott Keith and he was moved enough to declare the worst pay per view of the entire year. Still though, maybe time has been a bit kinder to it and it isn’t quite as awful as Scott said? I mean, it almost certainly is like, but I’ll give it a chance at the very least…
The event is emanating from Las Venturas, San Andreas on the 29th of October 2000
Calling the action are Tony Schiavone, Stevie Ray and Mark Madden
We see fans predicting who is going to win between Goldberg and Kronik later. No one picks Kronik.
WCW World Tag Team Titles
Champs: Mark Jindrak and Sean O’Haire Vs Kidman and Mysterio Vs The Boogie Knights (Alex Wright and Disqo Inferno)
Jin-Haire are cocky young Heels at this stage, whilst Boogie Knights would appear to be kind of tweener whilst Kidman and Rey come across as babyfaces. Still, it’s WCW in 2000, so who the heck really knows? Konnan joins the commentary desk for this one, and he’s entertaining, even if he does tend to just bury folk, which feels a little bit counterproductive to me.
This one actually has a lot of good action in it and the crowd is pretty into it as well. It’s mostly like one of those ROH Scramble matches, in that it’s all about guys coming in to hit MOVEZ and psychology is kind of at a premium. That might put some people off, but I’m okay with those sorts of matches in moderation, so I’m digging it.
There are some good near falls, with a few moments where the less experienced lads’ timing is off a bit, but there are also some great moments, such as when The Champs fling Kidman into the ring from outside. Kidman got some AIR on that and it looked incredible. We get some dives following that, as everyone is going all out to have a fun opener here. Eventually O’Haire caps everything off with a big Seanton Bomb on Disqo for the three.
WINNERS AND STILL CHAMPIONS: JINDRAK & O’HAIRE
There were some moments of sloppiness but the match itself was entertaining enough that I was willing to overlook it and have fun. It was a good opener to be honest
The Heels try a beat down following that, but Sgt A-Wall of the Misfits in Action funs down to make the rescue as he has a Hardcore Title match next. Konnan seemingly got hurt in that fracas at the end there, which might be an issue because he’s supposed to be in a match later.
WCW Hardcore Title
Champ: Reno Vs Sgt A-Wall
Reno was Big Vito’s brother (In storyline anyway, I’m not sure it was a shoot) and was in a faction with O’Haire and Jindrak called The Natural Born Thrillers. A-Wall had been just The Wall (It’s The Wall Brother!) but he’s gone babyface and teamed up with The Misfits in Action, so now he’s got a retooled army styled name.
This is your standard hardcore match, as they hit each other with weapons and brawl around ringside. They blow through a lot of stuff, with A-Wall going through a table in the opening seconds. I kind of hate hardcore matches that do stuff like that, as going through a table should be a match winning move and it kind of cheapens it if you have someone just shake it off right at the start of the match only to then do more wrestling.
A-Wall is pretty over with the crowd, so the match has some heat to it at least, but it’s not like it really tells much of a story or anything. It’s just dudes hitting each other with stuff, which can be entertaining to a certain degree but there was probably a bit too many matches like that during this era and this match doesn’t really do much to differentiate itself between other bouts in the genre.
More tables get involved, with A-Wall giving Reno a pretty impressive back suplex off the ramp through a stack of two of them, which is something that looks good but also looked pretty safe as well due to the tables breaking Reno’s fall. A-Wall annoyingly just picks Reno up so they can keep fighting though. At least try and win the match with a pin attempt or something!
We head backstage after that to break more tables, as this match has definitely passed the peak now and they’re starting to lose the crowd a bit as well. It’s the second match on the card guys; I think a suplex through two tables is a suitable point at which to take it home. Eventually Reno catches A-Wall with a Roll of the Dice (Last Rites) on a laid down table outside the ring and that’s enough for three
WINNER AND STILL CHAMPION: RENO
I liked it well enough up to certain point, but then they went for too long and lost the crowd, at which point it outlived its usefulness for me. Your own personal mileage may vary depending on what sort of wrestling you like
Reno and his Thriller buddies Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak do a Heel beat-down on A-Wall following the match until A-Wall’s buddies of Cpl Cajun and Lt Loco run down for the save.
Earlier today, Shane Douglas sucks up to The Natural Born Thrillers. These guys are all over this show for some reason.
Last Wednesday on Thunder, Goldberg accidentally Spears the ring post and appears to have hurt himself. Goldberg hasn’t arrived at the building yet.
Backstage, Kronik is trying to get the commission doctors not to clear Goldberg for later.
Chuck Palumbo and Shawn Stasiak Vs Cpl Cajun and Lt Loco
Cajun is Lash LeRoux and Loco is Chavo Guerrero Jr. The crowd doesn’t really seem to care much about this one, but it’s not like it’s a bad match or anything. Everyone outside of Chavo was still pretty green at this stage, so there are moments of sloppiness as a result, but they work the formula okay for the most part, with them even working in a story of Palumbo and Stasiak not getting on.
They are hyping the heck out of WCW Backstage Assault on this show as it was coming out a couple of days after. Personally I don’t like that game because I’m not a massive fan of wrestling games that don’t take part in a ring. I’m fine with brawling backstage, but I don’t want the whole game to be back there. I would have preferred them to have just done WCW Mayhem 2 and tried to iron out the kinks, rather than ripping things up and starting again from scratch with a new game.
Anyway, the Heels work some heat on Loco and he sells it well before making the hot tag to Cajun, who is barely able to get motoring before they cut him off as well. I’m not being funny guys, but this match did NOT need a double heat segment. It’s an unannounced throw away match on a pay per view undercard. Go 6-8 minutes, work the formula and take it home. You don’t need to try and get cute with RnR styled double heat spots.
Things kind of fall apart when Loco gets the second hot tag, with everyone going at it in the ring but the timing being pretty off. The finish is cleverly done though, as Palumbo tries to Super Kick Cajun, but Cajun does the splits to duck it and Stasiak ends up taking it instead, leading to Loco getting a Tornado DDT for the pin, at which point it’s TO THE BACK for the next segment.
Went too long and was sloppy in places, but it was mostly fine. Not really pay per view calibre but WCW didn’t really have the deepest of rosters at the time and at least they were trying to give some younger guys some opportunities
Konnan is backstage, where he says he’s going to wrestle even though he’s still hurting. Kidman and Rey both wuss out of taking his place because they wrestled earlier. Heck of a pair of babyfaces there!
Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson Vs Konnan and Tygress
Torrie is basically playing the Francine role here after ditching Kidman in the summer. She’s dressed as Wonder Woman and, despite being blond, she wears the outfit well. Douglas says he’s going to Franchise Tygress’ ass. Heck, you’d probably sell quite a few lunchboxes if you stuck her derriere on them!
Everyone is actually working really hard in this one to have a good match, even though Douglas and Konnan are both walking wounded and the two lasses don’t really know what they’re doing. Douglas and Konnan manage to get them through it as best as they can though, and it’s nowhere near as awful as you might expect it to be. The sections with Torrie Vs Tygress are pretty rough, but the other combinations are fine.
Douglas lamps Tygress right in the gob for the cut off at one stage, drawing a genuine Heel reaction from the crowd in the process, and that leads to the Heel team working her over. Torrie is really bad at this stage in his career (although in fairness I thought she improved a bit in her WWE days and could kind of work a match after a certain point) so she doesn’t do much and Douglas mostly works the heat, which just looks odd to be honest.
Tygress sells pretty well actually and the crowd is into Konnan’s hot tag when she is able to evade Douglas long enough to tag Konnan in. Things break down following that, with everyone going at it in the ring and the women getting kind of lost as result. Konnan and Tygress hit Douglas with a double face buster not too soon after though and that’s three, at which point it’s TO THE BACK!
WINNERS: KONNAN & TYGRESS
This wasn’t very good to be honest, although it did have some energy to it and everyone put the effort in, so I’ll be lenient
Mean Gene Okerlund is backstage with David Flair, who is still wearing a UK Nitro shirt from when they toured there in the spring of 2000. I was actually at one of the shows in Manchester, where David lost to the Wall in something like two minutes. David Flair says he’s going to collect some blood from Buff Bagwell tonight so he can prove that Bagwell is the father of Stacy Keibler’s unborn child. Because WCW
DNA First Blood Match
David Flair Vs Buff Bagwell
This was such a weird feud. Buff is the babyface here, even though he’s the one who supposedly boffed an engaged woman on the side and is now refusing to give a blood test because he doesn’t want to be saddled with the baby. If this was the Steve Wilkos Show he would have launched about two chairs into the wall by now and would have told everyone to get the heck off his stage!
David Flair could do the crazy person character work by this stage, but he just could not back it up in the ring whatsoever. He just always looks lost in there, like his brain is trying to process every single thing he has to do before he does it. He’s the exact opposite of being a natural in-between the ropes. It honestly is like he’s some kind of wrestling robot that has been programmed to do the same generic spots every time.
David actually does some of his dad’s trademark spots at certain points, and it’s kind of entertaining to be honest. Buff is supposed to be the babyface but he’s so outrageously unlikable that this feud may as well be a Heel Program in my opinion. Buff clobbers David with a chair after about 5 minutes and then hits the Buff Blockbuster, which is enough for the win as David is now bleeding.
WINNER: BUFF BAGWELL
I got a kick out of David doing his dad’s spots. Outside of that, it was a pretty miserable match, with Buff not even remotely looking like he was even trying, which just killed it right out the gate. It’s a stupid storyline and that point only gets rammed home when the wrestlers can’t even pretend that they think otherwise
Lex Luger beats Buff Bagwell up after the match for some reason, and they’d be teaming up as Totally Buffed soon anyway, just making it all the stranger. Buff bleeds from the mouth as a result of that and David takes a sample. I have no idea what the eventual payoff was for all of this and I don’t care to find out. I think Vince Russo or Ric Flair were going to be revealed as the father of the baby eventually but the storyline ended up getting dropped before we could get that reveal.
Meanwhile, Goldberg arrives, but he looks woozy.
Pamela Paulshock is with Scott Steiner and Midajah. Scott Steiner doesn’t care that Goldberg is in the venue, because he’s wrestling Booker T for the World Title tonight and that’s what everyone should be focusing on. There will be pain tonight according to Steiner.
Three Round Kickboxing Fight for the position of WCW Commissioner
Above Average Mike Sanders w/ Palumbo and Stasiak Vs The Cat w/ Miss Jones
Sanders was pretty bland in the ring but he could cut good promos, so they decided to make him a Heel authority figure and put him in the Cruiserweight division so he could take on more exciting workers. It was actually a shockingly smart way to book someone by WCW’s standards. Ditto for The Cat, who couldn’t really wrestle but could work the mic, so they made him a babyface authority figure that would come out and dance.
Miss Jones is not the character from Rising Damp, but instead The Cat’s assistant/love interest. This is a worked kickboxing match, so I’m not really sure how to review or rate it. Thankfully they aren’t doing it traditional style with glass on their fists like they did in the movie Kickboxer. This is much more Cat’s wheelhouse than it is Sanders’, so Cat mostly dominates as a result.
Sanders actually wants the towel to be thrown in at one stage, but Stasiak refuses in order to continue the storyline about him not getting on with his stablemates. Shane Douglas ends up coming down to help Sanders, likely in order for a favour should Sanders win the commissionership. Sanders is pretty funny selling this beating actually. Eventually Palumbo and Stasiak distract the ref and Douglas hits Cat with a chain. Cat gets up from that, but then brawls outside of the ring with Douglas and gets counted out anyway.
WINNER: MIKE SANDERS
I was willing to give this one a pass because the crowd was digging it for the most part and Sanders was entertaining when it came to getting his butt whipped, but the finish was so incredibly lame. Cat can get knocked out from a chain shot guys; you don’t need to “protect” him in the wacky comedy kickboxing match with the count out loss instead
Goldberg tells the doctor that he’s wrestling tonight regardless of his injury.
Mean Gene is with Kronik. They were doing an APA styled gimmick where they would beat people up for money, with their big slogan being “Breaking Necks & Cashing Cheques”. In my younger mark days I actually quite enjoyed the act and I was kind of hoping we’d get them taking on The APA when the InVasion happened, but I don’t think they were around long enough for that to happen. Anyway, Kronik say they’ll give Goldberg till the end of the night to get cleared, but either way they’re going to win tonight.
Vampiro Vs That 70’s Guy Mike Awesome
Vampiro had spent a large chunk of 2000 feuding with Sting and this rivalry was the first proper one he’d had since that one ended, and I think he ended up getting injured here and then didn’t wrestle in WCW ever again. Awesome had come in as “The Career Killer”, where he’d powerbomb people through tables and come across as a monster, but WCW decided that gimmick wasn’t good enough and instead made him start dressing as a 70’s throwback. Because WCW
Awesome was supposed to be facing the WCW Champ on Nitro, so Vamp challenges him to put that shot on the line here, which Awesome agrees to, giving this match some bigger stakes at least. They quickly brawl into the crowd here and essentially have an ECW match, with a fan actually getting involved at one stage, leading to both Vamp and Awesome clobbering him before heading back down to ringside. Well, that was pretty horrible I must say.
The ECW tribute continues with a chair duel inside the ring, which leads to Vamp doing a Van Daminator for two. I’m not sure why there are No DQ’s in this one all of a sudden, but there doesn’t appear to be. Was this during the period in WCW history where they stopped having DQ’s unless the match in question required one, in which case they magically existed again?
This match is sloppy as all heck, as they are not so much on different pages as they are in different libraries, and the match is pretty much a mess as a result. I know it has a bit of a cult following on certain sections of the internet, but I’m just not seeing it. There is a moment in the match where Vamp knocks Awesome down and then spends an age looking under the ring for something before coming up empty handed and going back in to take a clothesline, that he doesn’t bump for properly.
The match apparently becomes Falls Count Anywhere for some reason at one stage, as Awesome gets a sit out powerbomb on the mats outside for two, which leads to both men heading into the ring again for a terrifying big Awesome Bomb off the top rope, which I think was the move that legitimately put Vamp out for a while. We don’t get much time to focus on that devastating finisher though, as its TO THE BACK!!
WINNER: MIKE AWESOME
Yeah, this wasn’t good I’m afraid. I was kind of hoping it would be but it was a sloppy aimless brawl between two guys who had absolutely zero chemistry together
Mean Gene is backstage with The Misfits in Action. Hugh G. Rection (Bill DeMott) has a chance to win the Canadian Title and Major Gunns back tonight. Rection tries to cut a fired up promo but he sounds nervous more than anything else.
We head back to the ring, where Vampiro is being tended to following that Awesome Bomb. He looks out of it and was in a rough shape for a while as a result. He gets a nice reception from the crowd at least.
WCW Canadian Title
Champ: Lance Storm and Jim Duggan w/ Major Gunns Vs General Hugh G. Rection
Storm had won the United States Title and had renamed it. He had also added Major Gunns to his entourage against her will, but The Misfits can win her freedom tonight, along with Storm’s belt. Duggan going Heel and aligning with Canada was actually a pretty fun little twist, but that also meant he had to wrestle as a Heel and that just wasn’t happening in 2000.
This match has the cheapest of cheap heat with the Canada Vs USA thing, but honestly I’ll take whatever I can get at this stage. It’s actually not a bad match to be honest, with Storm bumping all over the place to make Rection look good whenever he’s involved and the crowd mostly being into the action and the story being told.
Rection gets to do the babyface shine to start, but then he gets cut off and worked over by the Canadian team, and he sells that well. The flaws in Duggan’s work kind of become extenuated when he’s forced to work some heat to be honest, and he still keeps yelping “HOOOOOO” whilst doing it too, which just doesn’t work with a Heel character because you don’t want a catchphrase that encourages people to cheer along with you.
As a babyface Duggan could sell for a bit and then make the comeback and it would expose his lack of offence far less. Rection eventually makes the comeback following some Heel miscommunication and that leads to the referee getting bumped as well. Duggan gives Rection a piledriver following that, but the delay caused by the ref having to recover leads to the kick out. Elix Skipper tries to help his stablemates but Gunn hits him with the Canadian flag to stop that. Storm argues with Gunns, which allows Rection to Moonsault Duggan for three and the Title.
WINNER AND NEW CHAMPION: HUGH G. RECTION
It fell apart a bit in the closing stages, but it was a mostly decent match with a crowd pleasing result, so I’ll take it
Storm seethes in the aisle following that, but he wasn’t pinned so the door is left open for a rematch.
WCW Mayhem commercial.
Pamela Paulshock is with Jeff Jarrett, who says we’re going to see Sting fight the demons of his past tonight. Oh no, it’s THAT match?!?!
Jeff Jarrett Vs Sting
Jarrett questioned Sting’s commitment to the wrestling business, thus setting up a feud between them. This match is pretty infamous for what they do with the booking, as it starts out as a pretty entertaining brawl and then becomes very silly very quickly. See they have five different people come down to the ring throughout the match dressed as previous iterations of Sting, with 80’s Sting, Sgt Pepper Sting, Wolfpac Sting, “Current” Sting and Future Sting all making an appearance at different stages throughout the bout. We know it’s Sting from the future because he’s bald.
It’s just so very silly and I think a lot of the crowd don’t even get what is going on either. As funny as it is to see Sting have to fight different versions of himself like he’s Kang or something, it just doesn’t work and it makes the match just feel like a bad comedy bout. Jarrett ultimately gains nothing from it either, as not only does he get clobbered for the majority of the match but so do all of his fake Sting lackeys, making him not only look like an ineffective fighter in his own right but also a poor judge of character when it comes to selecting allies.
I can describe the match easily. Sting batters Jarrett, a fake Sting comes out, Sting batters them as well, repeat. Jarrett does get to briefly work a little bit of heat, but it doesn’t last very long and we’re soon back to the previous chicanery. We don’t even get the logical Flock Finish payoff either where Sting gets so distracted beating up the lackeys that Jarrett is able to pounce and hit his finisher for the semi-clean ending. Instead one of the fake Stings hits the real Sting with a guitar and Jarrett picks up the pin with a guitar shot of his own straight after. If they were trying to make Jarrett look like a top guy on Sting’s level here then they failed miserably.
WINNER: JEFF JARRETT
LOSERS: THE REST OF HUMANITY
This match outright offended me actually. Not only was the booking really stupid but it also torpedoed any chance the match had of actually being good. It’s Jeff Jarrett and Sting for goodness sake. Just give them 10-12 minutes and let them have a match where Jeff Jarrett wins clean with his finish. It’s not going to hurt Sting, it’ll be a better match and Jarrett might actually have got some semblance of a rub from it all. Instead we had this horrific dog and pony show with a lame finish to boot. The referee counting the pin when they are shards of two guitars strewn about the canvas was just ridiculous as well
Pamela Paulshock is with WCW Champ Booker T. He says Scott Steiner needs to learn the difference between deserving the belt and earning it. He also says that he’s going to buy Goldberg some time by going on next instead of on last.
WCW World Title
Champ: Booker T Vs Scott Steiner w/ Midajah
Booker had been a pretty weak Champion to be honest, with him often getting clobbered and outsmarted. Steiner had been getting the monster push since the summer and had defeated Goldberg at Fall Brawl to put himself into Title contention. He hadn’t been the easiest guy to work with backstage and would end up getting into a real fight with DDP before the year was up, but he was also one of the main legitimate stars WCW had left, so they pushed him regardless.
This was one of the rare instances of a genuine home grown WCW stars feuding their way up the rankings together, as they faced each other for the Tag Team, TV, US and World Titles over the course of a four year period. The matches were usually good too, and it was kind of fitting that the last ever Nitro featured them having a match with one another. This match is more about advancing the storyline than anything else though, which is probably why they didn’t close with it.
Steiner essentially destroys Booker for the entirety of the match, not unlike how Brock Lesnar would murder people during his Suplex City days, with the idea being that Steiner is angry that they’ve brought the match forward and he’s taking it out on Booker as a result. Booker bravely hangs on, but he’s actually drawing some boos by the sound of it, which may have been some backlash to how he’d been booked as Champion. Matches like this probably didn’t help to be honest.
It’s one of those matches where it works great as an opening chapter where you then have Booker come back to finally topple the monster down the line, which he would eventually go on to do on that final Nitro. I can imagine fans at the time kind of feeling ripped off by it though if you didn’t know where the story was going. If Booker had actually been booked as a strong Champion prior to this though then this match would have been super effective at making Steiner look like a beast.
Booker does get the occasionally flurry of offence in, but it always leads to Steiner regaining control again and putting more of a whupping on the Champ, with Booker all selling it really well. It finally looks like Booker might be able to get some momentum going, only for Steiner to then destroy him for the DQ in a super cheap ending. I don’t know why they didn’t just have Steiner win the belt to be honest, especially as he destroyed Booker to win it at Mayhem the next month anyway.
WINNER BY DQ AND STILL CHAMPION: BOOKER T
This was just starting to look like it was going to get good and then they took it home with the lousy finish. As a Nitro Main Event to build to a rematch on pay per view this would have been fine, but on pay per view it really needed to have a finish, either with Steiner winning the belt or Booker getting a last gasp roll up or something to retain, setting up a Steiner beat-down afterwards or something
Steiner destroys a bunch of people after that for good measure.
Kronik (Brian Adams and Bryan Clarke) Vs Goldberg
Goldberg’s career is on the line if he loses here due to an edict from Vince Russo. Goldberg gets cleared at bang on zero hour, so we will get a match after-all. This is pretty quick, as Goldberg survives Kronik’s offence and eventually picks up the win with his usual array of big moves. It’s not really pay per view Main Event worthy, but it’s a fun Goldberg match in front of a crowd who likes Goldberg, so it’s pretty hard to screw that up even for WCW.
Goldberg barely has time to celebrate before the show ends.
Is It Really A Stinker?
After the first three matches I was thinking the show might be okay if some of the bigger matches delivered, but not only did the majority of those matches not deliver but some of them outright defecated the bed, so the show ends up being a Stinker after a somewhat promising start. You watch shows like this and it becomes pretty clear why WCW ultimately died, and sadly companies like TNA didn’t learn the lessons from it either. It felt like watching a terrible Russo Era episode of Impact at certain points actually.
Final Rating: Stinker
Shows scored on a scale of Stinker/Stinky/Odourless/Pleasant/Fragrant