WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 | WCW Sunday Night RetroView

With Halloween steadily approaching, I decided it’s the perfect time for my next WCW RetroView. So, with that in mind, today we are looking back at WCW Halloween Havoc 1998. This show is mainly remembered for two matches. 

First, the long (not really awaited) WrestleMania VI rematch between Hollywood Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior. Which turned out to be an absolute stinker, but more on that later. Secondly, the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match between Diamond Dallas Page and Goldberg. Arguably Goldberg’s greatest match, it was unfortunate at the time the pay-per-view feed cutoff right at the start of the match. Hogan-Warrior going longer than planned along with WCW’s lack of communication with pay-per-view providers caused this major blunder.

Halloween Havoc (1998) - Wikipedia
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Fans were able to watch the match the following night on Nitro. But this was just another moment on WCW’s downward spiral and eventual demise. So now, on to the show. The opening hype video is super dramatic, complete with an epic soundtrack. It features clips of the buildup for the Hogan-Warrior, Page-DDP, Bret Hart-Sting and Scott Hall versus Kevin Nash matches.

The MGM Grand in Las Vegas is a great venue for a pay-per-view and Tony Schiavone, Mike Tenay, and Bobby “The Brain” Heenan welcome us to the show. Tony Schiavone is quick to hype up the Hogan-Warrior match, saying…

“Tonight, is the biggest return match in pro wrestling history.”

After the Nitro Girls entertain the crowd, Mean Gene Okerlund interviews Rick Steiner, the interview is interrupted by Buff Bagwell who proclaims he has Rick’s back when he takes on his brother Scott.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
WCW Television Championship Match
Chris Jericho © vs Raven

10 Greatest WCW Halloween Havoc Matches – Page 5
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Raven enters first from the bowery and has dubbed in music used while he was in the WWE. Coming out with no music fit Raven so much better. The announcers make mention to Raven’s losing streak and recently losing his flock. Jericho comes out next to “Break down the Walls,” and I got to say that’s quite annoying, in my opinion considering he never had that theme in WCW. Raven complains about not being given time to prepare for this match and attempts to leave. Jericho’s taunts bring Raven back to the ring.

After whipping Raven with his own leather jacket, Jericho’s early momentum is stopped when Raven clothesline him over the top rope. On the outside Raven utilizes the steel steps to his advantage. The fight continues around the ring with both men utilizing their surroundings to gain the upper hand. Back in the ring a turnbuckle gets exposed which Raven eventually sends Jericho into headfirst. Unfortunately, this only gets him a two count. 

After a great series of counters by both men, Jericho locks Raven in the Lion Tamer. Only the ropes save Raven’s chances. Raven eventually hits the Even Flow DDT, but once again, only gets a two count. Jericho brings an end to this highly entertaining match when he locks Raven in the Lion Tamer for the second time. This time Raven submits, continuing his losing streak. 

Winner – Chris Jericho

Following the opening match is an appearance by Eric Bischoff and Hollywood Hogan. The nefarious duo brag about Hogan and how he’s going to be the Warrior. It’s your basic n.W.o promo that had long worn out its welcome by this point.

Meng vs Wrath

The Best And Worst Of WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
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Simply put this a match between two monstrous men. Meng attacks Wrath before he can enter the ring and the fight quickly spills to the floor. Wrath hits an impressive front flip on to Meng on the outside.

These two go back and forth hitting each other with everything they have. In the end Wrath gets the upset win after a pump handle slam.

Winner – Wrath

Billy Kidman is shown next talking with the WCW website crew about his potential Cruiserweight Championship Match.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
Disco Inferno vs Juventud Guerrera

Throwback Thursday: WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc '98, As Seen on WWE Network | WWE Network News
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The winner of this match gets a shot at Billy Kidman’s Cruiserweight Championship later in the show. Disco enters first to a surprisingly loud ovation. A mask-less Juventud enters second. 

Disco uses his size advantage to control the match early. Juventud responds with speed and his high-flying offense. It’s a true contrast in styles that eventually goes Disco Inferno’s way after hitting an impressive jumping pile driver.

Winner – Disco Inferno

After a vintage rambling promo from Scott Steiner, we move on to the next match.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
Alex Wright vs Fit Finlay

Throwback Thursday: WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc '98, As Seen on WWE Network | WWE Network News
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Contrast of styles and personalities in this one. The tough and tumble Fit Finlay and the German dance machine in Alex Wright.

Sidenote: WCW tried its hardest to get Alex Wright over. 

Wright’s athleticism keeps Finlay off balance early, but eventually bruiser Finlay slows things down with a variety of submission holds.

As the match progresses Wright shows some tenacity, meeting Finlay’s hard strikes with his own. Finlay’s attempt at driving his shoulder into Wright in the corner ends up costing him the match, and seizing the opportunity Wright hits him with a neck breaker for the win.

Winner – Alex Wright

Ernest, “The Cat” Miller, is shown being interviewed by Lee Marshall. So naturally, the undefeated Miller is easily annoyed by Marshall. 

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
Lodi vs. Saturn

The Best And Worst Of WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
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Saturn comes out with a new look. Gone are the jeans ragged jeans shorts. Replacing them are more traditional gear and a beret referencing his time as an Army Ranger. This is the definition of a squash match as Lodi barely gets in a lick of offense. Saturn finishes the match with the Death Valley Driver. 

Winner – Saturn

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
WCW Cruiserweight Championship Match
Billy Kidman © vs Disco Inferno

Throwback Thursday: WCW/nWo Halloween Havoc '98, As Seen on WWE Network | WWE Network News
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Billy Kidman gets the advantage on the early exchange, sending Disco reeling with a drop kick. The two trade technical holds and moves but each time Kidman seems to gain the edge. Disco steals the advantage after hitting Kidman with a drop toe hold onto the bottom rope. Talking a lot of trash when in control, Disco finds out by the end how good Kidman was in his prime. Kidman gets the win with his always impressive Shooting Star Press.

Winner – Kidman

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
WCW Tag Team Championship Match
Scott Steiner & The Giant © vs. Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell

Big Show & Scott Steiner vs. Rick Steiner & Buff Bagwell: Nitro, October 26, 1998 | WWE
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If Rick and Buff win, then Rick gets his singles match with Scott who betrayed him months earlier. The actual tag champs heading into this match are The Giant and Scott Hall. But the nWo always made rules up as they went.  It needs to be noted, Buff Bagwell and Rick Steiner look completely awkward together.

After some posturing by Bagwell and Scott Steiner the match begins. The Giant and Rick begin the match with the Giant using his size to gain the early advantage. Scott tags in and begins his assault on his brother. Rick eventually turns the tide to a boisterous ovation from the crowd.

Bagwell gets Rick to tag him and pulls off the least surprising heel turn of all time. He attacks Rick, celebrates with Scott and the Giant before heading to the locker room for reasons never explained. Now two on one, Rick plays the valiant outnumbered hero perfectly before getting the shocking victory.

The Giant’s missile drop kick from the top turnbuckle hits Scott when Rick moves out of the way. Rick hits the bulldog from the top rope on the Giant for the win.

Winner – Rick Steiner

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
Rick Steiner vs Scott Steiner

Retro Reviews: WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 – TJRWrestling
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Upset at the loss, Scott and the Giant try to head to the locker room, but Rick won’t allow it. He drags Scott back to the ring before fighting off the Giant. As Rick pummels Scott the crowd erupts, loving every second of it. A low blow by Scott puts an end to Rick’s momentum. 

Scott begins his aggressive assault complete with choking his brother with the ring rope. However, the momentum fades quickly after Rick nails Scott with a vicious clothesline and belly to belly suplex. Then for some reason a guy in a suit and mask, who turns out to be Buff Bagwell, comes out of the crowd.

Buff uses a slap jack given to him by Stevie Ray to attack Rick and the referee. He then tries to force the ref to make the three count, but each time Rick kicks out at two. After fighting off both men, Rick hits the bulldog on Scott as another ref enters the ring to make the three count.

Winner – Rick Steiner

Up next we get a video package showing the history of Scott Hall and Kevin Nash in the nWo and their recent break up.

Scott Hall vs Kevin Nash

The Best And Worst Of WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
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Hall stumbles out of the locker. 

Side note: This was when WCW was playing up Hall’s real drinking problem and it’s a real bad look. 

Nash comes out second, obviously annoyed with the state of his former friend. Hall goes on the attack before the bell, catching Nash off guard. This isn’t a wrestling match, its a fight. Hall utilizes a cable near ringside to choke Nash then the fight continues around the ring. 

With Nash reeling on the outside, Hall gets on the mic and verbally taunts his former tag team partner. Nash refuses medical assistance and re-enters the ring. Hall continues the attack with a plethora of right hands. As the assault continues, Nash keeps telling Hall to bring it on. 

When Nash finally gains the momentum he hits Hall with his patented sidewalk slam. Then, with the control of the match, Nash begins a slow methodical beat down of Hall. Nash delivers two jackknife powerbombs and a trio of crotch chops directed at Hall before walking away from the match. A simple ten count gives Hall the lackluster victory. 

Winner – Scott Hall

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
WCW United States Championship
Bret Hart © vs. Sting

Sting vs. Bret Hart: Halloween Havoc 1998 | WWE
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Bret comes out first and once again I have to say, it’s still weird seeing him in WCW. The announcers talk up the similarity between the Sharpshooter and Scorpion Death Lock. Sting comes out next, red face paint and all. As weird as it is seeing Bret Hart in WCW, it’s even weirder seeing Sting affiliated with the nWo in any form. 

Bret begins the match by stalling, playing a bit of mind games with Sting. Eventually Sting tires of waiting and chases Bret down the aisle. Back in the ring Sting pummels Bret with punches in the corner, a big clothesline and right cross. When Bret takes control he focuses his attack on Sting’s lower back. 

What was built up as a race to see who can apply their submission hold, escalates into a full-on brawl. With referee down, Sting connects on a Stinger Splash to a prone Bret Hart in the corner. But, he over shot the move and his head connected with the metal turnbuckle post. With an incapacitated Sting at his mercy, Bret hits Sting with his own baseball bat a handful of times. Afterwards he applies the sharpshooter which an unconscious Sting can’t fight off. 

Winner – Bret Hart

Hollywood Hulk Hogan vs The Warrior

Retroactive Reconstruction: Hogan vs Warrior, the REMATCH - Cageside Seats
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Schiavone continues to try and hype this match up saying…

“This is the return match people have been waiting almost a decade for.”

Hogan enters first complete with white boa, but no Eric Bischoff.  Warrior comes out and receives a solid ovation. His sprint to the ring is not nearly as frantic as it once was.

The match begins with Warrior shoving Hogan into the corner. Hogan’s shocked reaction is hilarious. The two lock up and the debacle begins. What follows is a clunky, slow-paced battle of over-inflated egos. Hogan uses all his heel tactics and Warrior continuously fires up.

Eventually the ref takes a shoulder from Hogan allowing for nWo shenanigans. First the Giant comes out, but he accidentally takes Hogan out with an errant kick. Vincent comes out next and is quickly dispatched by Warrior.

After almost 15 minutes this match thankfully comes to an end. The finish is an absolute comedy of errors. First Hogan’s fireball sets off in his own face, causing the two to adjust on the fly. Hogan gets the win after his nephew Horace, who the nWo just recently beat down, hits Warrior with an embarrassingly lack luster chair shot.

Winner – Hollywood Hulk Hogan

After the match Horace douses Warrior with lighter fluid but WCW officials intervene before the nWo can set Warrior ablaze.

WCW Halloween Havoc 1998
WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match
Goldberg (C) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

The Wrestling Insomniac: The Matches of Halloween Havoc (1995-2000)
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Michael Buffer rings in the main event as he always did back in the glory days of WCW. Diamond Dallas Page enters first to a heroes welcome. He truly was WCW “People’s Champion.” Then it’s time for Goldberg’s entrance, which in 1998 was a sight to be seen. Crowd erupts in “Goldberg” chants, security guards lead him out of the locker room.

The pyro surrounding him in front of the Halloween Havoc entrance is iconic. Entering this match his undefeated streak had reach 154-0. Tenay does a masterful job hyping the match-up…

“It’s the unpredictable nature of the Diamond Cutter against the Jack Hammer.”

He also references their history and the fact that DDP was instrumental in bringing Goldberg to WCW. Next, the two meet in the middle of the ring for some early trash talk. From here Goldberg shoves DDP into the corner three times in a row.

The atmosphere of the crowd is electric, obviously hyped back up after the Hogan-Warrior debacle. Each time DDP looks for an attack, Goldberg is ready to avoid it. Page’s first attempt at the Diamond Cutter is shoved away by Goldberg.

As Page rethinks his strategy on the outside, Bobby Heenan does a masterful job providing an idea of what DDP is thinking. Finally, DDP gets the edge by dropping Goldberg neck first on the top rope.

He follows with a handful offensive moves, bringing us our first two count of the match. However, the momentum is short-lived when Goldberg uses his power to shove DDP away again. Then, Goldberg surprises the announcers with multiple arm bar attempts.

After an elusive DDP avoids Goldberg rushing into the corner, the match really picks up. DDP hits a diving clothesline from the top turnbuckle for an even closer two count. A one-armed DDT by DDP gives him the confidence to call for the Diamond Cutter.

But the second he turns around his hit by a vicious spear by Goldberg. With an injured arm, Goldberg goes for the JackHammer, but DDP counters it beautifully into the Diamond Cutter.

The moment that makes you a wrestling fan | Critical Club: Fire Pro Wrestling Universe
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The crowd goes absolutely berserk as do the announcers. After an eight-count with both men down, DDP crawls over for the cover. Goldberg kicks out, giving us an amazing false finish. DDP gets Goldberg up for a suplex, but this time “Da Man” counters it into a Jack Hammer for the 1-2-3.

Winner – Goldberg

After the match the two heroes raise their hands together to a rousing ovation.

Solid opening match and a spectacular main event for a show that had lots of potential. Join me next time when I pick another WCW pay-per-view extravaganza.