Halloween Havoc 1996 | WCW Sunday Night Retro View

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen to my third WCW Retro View.  So far we have revisited WCW Hog Wild and Fall Brawl. Today we continue our trip back to the glory days of WCW with a look back at Halloween Havoc 1996. The war between WCW and the nWo has hit a fever pitch after the events of Fall Brawl. No one knows where Sting stands, WCW is full of in-fighting and the nWo continues gaining more power. 

Photo @Wikipedia

As with most WCW pay-per-views, we get a video package showing everyone what has led to this event.  It’s here Eric Bischoff proclaims the biggest mistake he ever made was hiring Hulk Hogan. The issues between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage are covered as is the question of where Miss Elizabeth loyalties lie. 

From here we cut to our three favorite WCW announcers, Tony Schiavone, Dusty Rhodes, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. It takes less than six minutes into the show for Schiavone to let us know that…

“Tonight’s main event is the most important World Title Match ever”

Dusty adds his two cents by eloquently stating that “There’s a fight in town tonight.” And the Brain emphasizes that the nWo has taken Savage’s money, mind, and heart.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Rey Mysterio Jr. (c) vs Dean Malenko

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Malenko enters first all business as always. In his possession is one of Mysterio’s masks that he stole from him on WCW Saturday night.  Mysterio Jr. enters next and the crowd meets him with loud applause. 

Side Note: The Halloween Havoc entrance setup is plain and simple the GOAT. The cemetery setting complete with tombstones is one of a kind!

Photo @ItsEmillioAmarosBlog

Mike Tenay joins the broadcast booth and lets everyone know the importance of masks in the world of Mexican Luchadors. Malenko attacks Mysterio before the bell and attempts an early Texas Cloverleaf but Mysterio escapes. The two engage in a beautiful sequence of counters until Mysterio sends Malenko to the outside with a tilt-a-whirl head scissors.  Before too long Mysterio recovers his stolen mask and dons the prized possession. Malenko’s submission acumen is on full display as he takes control of the match with various holds. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

A highlight of this is when he applies a sleeper hold and full-body leg scissors in efforts to slow down the speedy Mysterio. Near the end of the match, there are two fantastic false finishes. The first is a hurricanrana by Mysterio that garners a close two count. Following that is Malenko countering a second hurricanrana attempt with a powerbomb.

Mysterio goes to the top turnbuckle for a last-ditch effort to pull off something spectacular. This leads to his downfall as Malenko cuts him off, before hitting a gut-wrench powerbomb from the top turnbuckle. A simple three count later and we have a new Cruiserweight Champion.

Winner – Dean Malenko 

After our exceptional opening match, we head to the locker room for an interview with Jeff Jarrett and Ric Flair. Jarrett is stepping in for the injured Flair to take on the Giant.  Both men let it be known that Jarrett will take out the Giant tonight. 

WCW Halloween 1996
Battle for the Ring
Eddie Guerrero vs Diamond Dallas Page

Halloween Havoc 1996
Photo @Dailymotion.com

The feud between DDP and the Guerrero family continues. Eddie steps in to reclaim the Battle Bowl ring he won at Clash of the Champions. After the two trade slaps the fight spills to the floor. It needs to be noted the referee for this match is a neck brace wearing Nick Patrick. His ability to do his job fair and square is a recurring theme throughout the night.  These two have great chemistry together and it’s a shame they didn’t ever get the main event program together. 

Photo @WrestkubgCliqueWrestlingForums

They pull off a great sequence of roll-up pin attempts, each receiving a closer near fall. In the end, a spinning powerbomb leads to a Diamond Cutter and victory for Page. After the match, Patrick gives Page the supposedly missing ring as DDP proclaims he is still the… Lord of the Ring. 

Winner – DDP 

We cut to the back once again, this time it’s Mike Tenay and he brings in Macho Man Randy Savage. It’s time to name the grand prize winner of the Slim Jim Monster Truck drawing.  Congratulations go to Joan McHalich (no clue on the spelling) on winning the monster truck, hope that worked out for her. Savage also claims he’s ready to break Hogan in half.  From here we cut to Chris Jericho talking with fans online via Compuserve in another fantastic internet plug. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
Jeff Jarrett vs The Giant

Photo @RetroProWrestlingReviews

The Giant makes his way through the crowd led by nWo financial backer Ted DiBiase.  Jarrett enters second and brings out Flair as his cornerman. Early on Jarrett does a fantastic job avoiding the Giant’s offensive attempts. But, Jarrett’s attempt at a headlock gets him tossed by the massive nWo member. 

This is your basic cat and mouse style match where the big guys tries to get his hands on the smaller guy. Jarrett begins to wear down the Giant with a sleeper hold as he is attached to the big man’s back like a child. One big boot from the Giant kills Jarrett’s momentum. That’s when an enraged Ric Flair gets on a live mic and shouts 

“Get up Jarrett and kick his nWo ass!”

The fight ends up on the floor where Jarrett applies the figure four on the Giant. Jarrett’s submission attempt is thwarted when the Giant grabs him by the throat. As the nWo’s biggest member looks to chokeslam Jarrett on the ringside floor, Flair steps in and hits him with a low blow. The interference causes a disqualification giving the nWo win. As the remaining members of the Four Horsemen come to the ring, the Giant heads to the locker room.

Winner – The Giant


WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
Chris Jericho vs Syxx

Halloween Havoc 1996
Photo @Dailymotion

Syxx follows the Giant’s lead and enters through the crowd after telling Jericho he will be crucified for the sins of WCW. Jericho enters next and is in bread and butter babyface mode. This is Syxx’s wrestling debut for the nWo, before this, he just served as a supporting member of the group. The two feel each other out early on, both using creative counters showcasing how talented they are. Jericho ends the oneupmanship with a hard slap Dusty Rhodes describes as a slap with “bad intentions.” As per normal during these times, the cruiserweight matches always deliver and this is no different. 

Both men are able to get in some impressive offense. Highlights include Syxx’s educated feet and Jericho’s high risk, high flying maneuvers. Nick Patrick plays a part in the finish, after numerous slow counts for Jericho an argument between the two allows Syxx to get the win with a spinning heel kick. 

Winner – Syxx


Mike Tenay is back interviewing Lex Luger. The Total Package is set to take on Arn Anderson and tells the world he is upset that Arn blamed him for WCW’s loss at Fall Brawl. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
Arn Anderson vs Lex Luger

Halloween Havoc 1996
Photo @Dailymotion

Entering first is Arn Anderson decked out in a glorious denim vest. 

Side Note: The Four Horsemen theme is a top-five theme of all time. Listen to that glorious theme here

Luger comes out next and this is where we get our first mention of Sting. His most recent appearance on Nitro where he vaguely turned down the nWo’s offer to join them is mentioned. The cunning of Arn gives him a quick start but eventually, Luger’s power reverses the momentum. After an impressive gorilla press slam, Luger begins working over Arn’s back. Arn returns the favor after hitting the GOAT of spine busters before focusing on Luger’s back. This is a really physical match that gets even more brutal after the referee is accidentally taken out. Arn attempts to use a chair but Luger avoids the shot. 

After the world’s slowest catapult into the corner post, Luger uses the chair. Three vicious chair shots to Arn’s back makes him easy prey for the torture rack. With nowhere to go the enforcer submits. Luger continues the rack well after the bell, leaving Arn lying as he heads to the locker room. A concerned Flair and Jarrett make their way out and assist putting Arn on the gurney as he is carted off. 

Winner – Lex Luger


Lee Marshall is in the back telling fans to call the WCW Hotline to learn more about what’s going on with Sting. He then interviews the Tag Team Champions Harlem Heat and their odd-couple managers Col. Parker and Sister Sherri. The quartet let the nWo know they made a mistake messing with their business and will pay for it tonight. After the interview, Mongo McMichael and Chris Benoit defeated the Faces of Fear in a wild tag match. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
WCW Tag Team Championship Match
Harlem Heat (c) vs The Outsiders

Halloween Havoc 1996
Photo @WWE.com

Ted DiBiase once again introduces the nWo members as Scott Hall and Kevin Nash make their way through the crowd. The champs then make their way to the ring and you can feel how amped the crowd is for this match. This is one of those moments you can start to feel the support for the nWo really growing. Hall and Nash lift the tag titles in the air to a loud ovation. Booker T and Hall begin the match and Hall gets even more cheers when he tosses his toothpick into Booker’s face. These two trade moves and strikes before Stevie Ray is tagged in. 

In the ultimate act of disrespect, Hall spits in Stevie Ray’s face before tagging in Nash. We get a great stare down between the big men before Nash gets the advantage with his routine move set. All the Nash favorites are showcased. The knee to the gut in the corner, the elbow to the face in the corner, etc. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

These two teams show off just how good they are as pairs, with the momentum continually switching back and forth. Two of the more impressive moments come from Hall and Stevie Ray. First, Hall catches Booker T in mid-air before hitting his patented fallaway slam. Hall has always done this with smaller wrestlers, seeing him do it with a man Booker T’s size is quite the feat.

Stevie Ray follows this up with an impressive gorilla press to Hall, throwing him into Nash.  The champs eventually hit a Harlem Hangover and look to be on their way to retaining the titles. But, as the ref tries to get Booker T out of the ring, Nash enters with Col. Parker following. It’s here Nash forces Parker to give him his cane, and two headshots with the cane to Steve Ray leads to new tag team champions being crowned. 

Photo @Youtube.com

Winners – The Outsiders

Before the main event, we get a preview for the next pay-per-view, World War 3. The November event features 60 men battling in a three-ring battle royal to earn a shot at the Heavyweight Champion. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Hollywood Hulk Hogan (c) vs Macho Man Randy Savage

Photo @Youtube.com

Hogan enters through the crowd donning an obvious toupee that elicits numerous jokes from our WCW announcing trio. Savage comes out next and brings out his Slim Jim monster truck to show off to the crowd. 

Photo @Pinterest

Before the match, The Giant is forced to leave the ringside area by referee Randy Anderson. Schiavone ponders on whether Miss Elizabeth’s allegiance is with her heart and Savage or her pocketbook and Hogan. We get our basic Hogan heel match shenanigans to start the match as he stalls and avoids any physical contact. This gives Hogan the edge early, trash-talking the entire time he’s in control. A double ax handle from the top rope swings the momentum in Savage’s favor.

One hard right-hand knocks Hogan’s ridiculous toupee off his head. Savage is quick to put on the hairpiece taunting his bitter rival. The match makes its way to the ringside area where both men utilize a chair to their advantage. This is when Miss Elizabeth makes her way to ringside. Hogan, quick to use her to his advantage, pulls Elizabeth in front of him twice. Both times stopping Savage’s pursuit. 

Photo @Rockstargary.com

After Hogan hits his big boot, Elizabeth gets in the ring and protects Savage. This brief distraction allows for Savage to avoid Hogan’s leg drop. Once the referee is inadvertently taken out, Savage is on the verge of victory after hitting his beautiful elbow drop. Unfortunately for the Macho Man, the replacement referee is Nick Patrick. With Hogan out from the elbow drop, Patrick stops the three count, feigning his neck injury. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1996

The nWo numbers game rears its ugly head after Savage knocks out Hogan with a foreign object. A distraction from DiBiase allows for The Giant to chokeslam Savage on the floor.  The Giant proceeds to roll Savage back in the ring and place an unconscious Hogan on top of him for the three count. 

Winner – And still WCW World Heavyweight Champion, Hollywood Hulk Hogan

After the match, Hogan is woken up by a bucket of ice being poured on him. The nWo begin their post-match celebration promo when a roaring melody of bagpipes begin to play. Hogan reacts like he’s seen a ghost as Rowdy Roddy Piper slowly makes his way to the ring. 

Halloween Havoc 1996
Photo @Youtube.com

Piper and Hogan go back and forth about their history against each other. Piper drops this gem to prove his point…

“You didn’t bring all these people here, these people here made you!”

The show cuts off before the two are done with the verbal jousting, setting the stage for what’s to come at the end of 1996. 


With three Retro Views in the book, join me on the next edition of WCW Retro View when I look back at World War 3 1996, featuring WCW’s juiced up Royal Rumble concept.