What Happened When with Tony Schiavone & Conrad Thompson
Episode 12: Halloween Havoc 1993
Release Date: April 17th, 2017
Recap by: Dominic DeAngelo
Top Newsworthy Items:
Vader vs. Cactus Jack in the main event
Why did Ric Flair not get along with Rick Rude?
Tony does live commentary for the opening match
Tony does live commentary for the Nasty Boys match
Subjects covered (with timestamps)
(2:40) Tony & Madusa, Legends Of The Ring Fanfest
(8:40) Halloween Havoc 1992
(10:50) Wrestling Observer’s Review
(13:45) Who’s idea for “Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal” concept?
(24:35) Ice Train, Shockmaster & Charlie Norris vs. Harlem Heat & The Equalizer.
(33:55) Fun facts about the Rhodes family
(38:35) Klondike Bill’s grandson
(41:45) Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat
(44:25) Lord Steven Regal vs. British Bulldog
(48:15) Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin
(51:40) Sting vs. Sid Vicious
(56:30) Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair
(1:00:25) Why didn’t Flair get along with Rude?
(1:02:40) Vader vs. Cactus Jack
(1:12:00) Arn Anderson, Sid Vicious and scissors
(1:13:30) Tony does live commentary for the opening match
(1:45:35) Poll options for next week
2:40 Tony talks about Madusa and says how they were always very good friends and he’s always been good friends with women. He says nothing’s happened between her and him but they’ve always been good friends. He says Conrad has no chance of breaking up his marriage with Lois. Conrad plugs Tony’s appearance at Legends of the Ring Fanfest in Monroe, NJ on Saturday, June 10. Tony is all the way back in the wrestling fold. Tony is most excited to see Jerry Lawler, Teddy Long, Howard Finkel and Jimmy Garvin. This is his second Legends of the Ring and he looks forward to coming back. He’ll be in Philly sometime in Aug.
8:40 Halloween Havoc 1992 Feedback: tremendous feedback. Most out there loved it. He says people wished Tony would have done that back when it really happened. He believes broadcasters should be allowed to stir it up. The people that get offended are those that don’t attend comedy clubs.
10:50 The Observer gave it a 70% thumbs up (fan vote). Where did Tony place it? Big thumbs up, especially Cactus Jack vs. Vader. He thought Flair & Roode were very good. He thought Steven Regal vs. British Bulldog was good until Bulldog blew up, and also praised Buff Bagwell vs. Too Cold Scorpio. HH ‘93 took place in New Orleans rather than Philly? Why’d that make sense. Tony says since that was such a big event that it should be considered nationwide.
13:45 It was Dusty’s idea for “Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal” concept. What did the office think of the concept? Tony thinks the concept is great, but the Coalminer’s Glove match was a miss. It made no sense at all. Conrad thinks the match could have been a lot better if under a different format. The main event was considered the best match. Meltzer said match quality was good but the main event finish was the worst of them all. He considered the element of injury in the Vader/Foley match can become a growing concern. Tony think that Meltzer’s statement is a combo of Vader’s stiff Japan style and Cactus Jack’s extreme attempts. He considers that still a problem today.
24:35 Ice Train, Shockmaster & Charlie Norris vs. Harlem Heat & The Equalizer. Who is Tony’s favorite in this match? Stevie Ray – he and Tony were real good friends. Stevie was a big Dale Earnhardt fan while Tony liked Richard Petty. Stevie could always take a joke. Bischoff is dressed like a Confederate soldier and Charlie Norris is dressed like a Native American – how un-PC is this? Tony dressed as Jesse Ventura, which he did it as a rib. Tony thought he pulled it off and Jesse sold it well. One thing Conrad remembers that Jesse referred to himself as the busiest gynecologist on Bourbon St. (that was Jesse’s own statement). Tony says Jesse became a cult hero and it was a big deal for Tony to work with him. Tony thought Ice Train was a good kid and very respectful to the business. Tony doesn’t remember much about Charlie Norris. Dave Sullivan was the Equalizer, who was trained by Len Denton. Tony thinks that gimmick didn’t work for him. Dave didn’t come as a real brutal tough guy as he was one of the friendliest guys ever. Very good dude. How young does Booker T look here? When Tony saw Harlem Heat for the first time, it was in the prison gimmicks with chains. Jesse Ventura says he was offended by it. Even back then they knew it was wrong. They got rid of that quickly. Comes down to WCW not having good communication skills within the company. Thank goodness they got through that. Behind the scenes, The Shockmaster was a good guy, but what do you do after you fall through the wall? The fans still gave him the biggest pop in the match.
33:55 What was the relationship like with Dusty and Fred (Shockmaster)? They were in-laws. Cody Rhodes’ uncle is Shockmaster. So is Jerry Skaggs. Imagine that family reunion. Tony praises Michelle Runnels. Match went 9:45 after Shockmaster pins one of the members of Harlem Heat. Match gets one star. Everyone agrees this was the worst match on the card. You had green guys out there trying to work. Booker T was not one of the great stars as of yet. Stevie could talk, but wasn’t one of the great workers of the business.
38:35 Tony called a guy named Christopher to thank him for buying a t-shirt, who happened to be Klondike Bill’s grandson. He said his grandmother died in 2005. Tony has not offended the family. Chris has a “Klondick” shirt. How great is that?
41:45 Paul Orndorff vs. Ricky Steamboat. Match goes about 18:30 but goes to a count-out. The Assassin, who was Orndorff’s manager, headbutted Steamboat, giving Orndorff a count-out win. Tony says they probably put Assassin (Jody Hamilton) in there just for the finish. Match got three and a half stars. Do you really need a 1-2-3 finish? He thought the ending was a pretty good heat getter. Tony loved it.
44:25 Lord Steven Regal vs. British Bulldog. Match was a 15 minute draw. Meltzer was impressed with Davey Boy’s athleticism and Regal’s mat wrestling. The finish was wonky, but Peewee Anderson did a great job at handling the moment. Conrad and Tony both agree this was handled really well. Meltzer gave it 2 ¾ stars. Conrad didn’t realize that Bill Dundee accompanied Regal to the ring. Tony says the British Bulldogs were tremendous. He also says him and Regal stay in communication on a weekly basis. He says Regal never watches any of his old stuff because he can’t do it anymore. He also stays in touch with Regal because he has great jokes.
48:15 Dustin Rhodes vs. Steve Austin. Rhodes is in his full “Natural” gear and retains against Austin. Heat was lacking although match was good. Rhodes school boyed him for the win. 2 ¾ stars for the match. Finish was screwy, but Conrad enjoyed it for the nostalgia factor. Tony agrees. Any time he sees “Stunning” Steve wrestle he gets pissed because WCW effed it up. He became one of the biggest stars ever. Really missed the boat with Austin. He says sometimes you have to sit with the guy and ask him what he’s like. There’s a moment in the match where Austin talks smack to a fan so you get a bit of a Stone Cold moment.
51:25 Conrad says Tony is going to do live commentary for the opening match and the upcoming Nasty Boys match which they’re going to skip for now. Stay tuned.
51:40 Sting vs. Sid Vicious. Sting wins to give him the title of “The Franchise of WCW.” Sting wears a jean jacket. The phrase “Whoop there it is” is totally over. Sid is getting chants from the fans. Col. Parker tries to screw the match up for Sting, but accidently screws it up for Sid, which eventually leads to Sting getting the win. Match gets 2 ¾ stars. Conrad liked their older match better, while Tony likes this one better because he thought Col. Parker did a great reaction to the leg grab mishap. He liked this because it didn’t make Sid look weak and both looked strong. Robert Parker and Tony roomed together one time. They were on a west coast trip together and Tony got a suite hotel room once so him and Parker roomed up together.
56:30 Rick Rude vs. Ric Flair. Rude comes out after the announcers botch a world title explanation. Conrad says Tony didn’t do a poor job, but WCW effed it up. Roode is officially recognized as World Champion. He beats Flair by DQ after about 19:30 minutes. Two refs for the match, one being Terry Taylor who apparently turns babyface with an awful promo. Meltzer says this was the worst ending to any match on the card. Conrad thought this was a fun match. This was made to feel like a big deal. Roode pulls out a foreign object but Flair backdrops him out the ring. A photographer almost botches the weapon spot before giving the item to Flair so he gets DQed. Match gets 3 ¼ stars.
1:00:25 Tony wonders why Flair didn’t speak glowingly about working with Rude? Conrad says there are two schools of thought here, supposedly Flair and Rude had real life issues. There was lots of unrest on Rude’s side because he thought Flair was holding him down. Flair said Rude was drug-addled at the time and difficult to work with and was not easy to do business with. Tony understands that, but he thought the match was set up perfectly. The finish was crappy but Flair told the story of match well. Tony absolutely loved the match. He thinks it stinks that Flair and Rude did not get along, but they could sure work together. Conrad says Rude looked damn good with the big gold belt on.
1:02:40 Earlier in the show Vader spun the wheel to get a Texas Death Match, using classic rules. Incredible match with a bad finish when Harley Race used a stun gun. Both took some bad beatings, including unprotected chair shots and some brutal spots to the outside and through tables. Foley wrote in his book that he wanted a Llyods of London contract so he was going to take a real bad spot – that being Vader flat back bumping with Cactus on his back. Tony says that was the bump of the night. Meltzer gave the match 4 ¾ stars. Tony says as snug and tough as Vader was, in his prime he was one of the great big men in the business. Tony talked to Magnum T.A. and he talked to him about “the hook” in wrestling, which was Vader. “That guy was always legit.” Phenomenal match. One thing Tony remembers is that Jesse and Tony got covered in blood. One of his most memorable matches he remembered calling ever. That ramp bump was one of the greatest bumps ever. Vader was really punching the crap out of Mick. Legit punches. Vader was legit. Conrad says to go out of your way to watch this match.
1:12:00 After Havoc, the infamous confrontation between Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson with scissors. Was Tony there? No, but he was on the European tour with WWE when Koko B. Ware had the broken whiskey bottle. Tempers would always flare when the boys were in Europe. Tony says Arn had to be pretty soused and pretty pissed to get to that point and Conrad agrees.
1:13:30 Tony does live commentary for the opening match. Fire up WWE Network to the start of the PPV.
1:24:05 Tony does live commentary for the Nasty Boys match. Why was Marcus Bagwell pushed so soon? Because of his look. Tony found it odd that Teddy Long didn’t even get announced here.
1:42:25 Tony says Missy did a great job at playing the role of dumb blonde. Tony says Missy was fun to work with. Conrad continues to rag on Tony about Missy. Tony mentions he’s having more fun in wrestling now than he’s ever did before.
1:45:35 Poll options for next week: 1994 Themed! (1) Super Brawl IV (2) Spring Stampede ‘94 (3) Slamboree ‘94 (4) Bash At The Beach ‘94. Which does Tony prefer? He says it’s gotta be Bash At The Beach. It completely turned the company around. Business changed. Vote now @WHWMonday.
Score and review (8.5)
Tony and Conrad could review Finnegan’s Wake and make it entertaining as all get out, so them covering a rock solid card like Halloween Havoc 1993 was just WCW bread and butter. Cool tidbits throughout, especially fun factoids about who are Cody Rhodes’ uncles, why Flair didn’t get along with Rick Rude, and Tony’s relationships with Jesse Ventura and Stevie Ray. The live commentary to some of the events more awful really does add something special to the show and gives fans an incentive to subscribe to the WWE Network if you haven’t already (where are Conrad & Tony’s checks, Vinny Mac?)
About the Author
Dominic DeAngelo has a weekly column on PWTorch.com, “Rising Star, Fading Star” and runs a sports, entertainment and lifestyle blog in the Pittsburgh area called The Keystone Statement. In addition, he writes book reviews for The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His wrestling top three are Scott Hall, Bret Hart & Bruno Sammartino. Follow him on Twitter @DominicDeAngelo and visit his site www.keystonestatement.com for good articles and the two podcasts he hosts, “The Keystone Cast” & “Here Comes Everybody”