83 weeks – Halloween Havoc 1995
Release Date: October 29th, 2018
Run Time: 1:53:14
Recap by: Joe Aguinaldo
- Eric spends the first 6 minutes complimenting Conrad because he knows he’s gonna be roasted on this show.
- The show takes place on Oct 29 1995 at Joe Louis arena.
- At end of September, Vince and Bill Watts have a meeting with the WWF locker room to say WCW are trying to hurt their ratings.
- Eric says it was a stupid statement for Vince to make but ultimately benefited him the most. That said it was an obvious thing for Vince to do in order to rally the troops
- This wasn’t about hurting Vince’s business as opposed to trying to build the WCW brand
- Nitro could have gone to another night but there were no other nights. Wrestling fans were watching on Monday night because that’s where all the customers were.
- At this point the WCW was not making money. Eric’s goal was to break even
- Even though they hadn’t found their sea legs with regards to revenue, business was better than previous years. They were optimistic about WCW because there were indicators that things were going their way (Slim Jim, perception in ad sales because of Disney relationship)
- When Nitro first came out, they matched up head to head with RAW
- WCW wouldn’t allow wrestlers to wrestle on Stu Hart show. WCW couldn’t afford the risk to let them wrestle other people shows especially with guaranteed contracts.
- Halloween Havoc drew 13,000 fans with a gate of$138,000. Eric wasn’t disappointed because a year before they were giving tickets away
- This was a rare Saturday night pay-per-view. They did a series of free matches before the pay-per-view to further promote the show and as a final push get people to buy it.
- PPV starts with Johnny B Badd winning the TV title vs. DDP. It reminded Eric why he stripped DDP of all his gimmicks which he didn’t need. Overall, DDP was pretty good and Johnny B Badd also looked good in spots. The rest of the match was too much. DDP used the pedigree (pancake) and got a call from a certain someone asking him not to use it.
- After the match, Tony and Bobby talk about Sumo Truck match. Eric was excited about the idea and saw a bigger opportunity (or thought he did)
- Kamala was supposed to take on Randy Savage, but he quit that week. Zodiac (Brutus The F’N Barber Beefcake) was his replacement and lost the match in 1:30. A fan hopped the rail during the match. Savage wrestled that match with a detached retina.
- Mean Gene did an interview with Johnny B Badd who cut an inspirational promo. Eric was not a fan of this gimmick but at that time that type of gimmick was over
- Kurasawa defeated Hawk. New Japan wanted their talent to work in America to get exposure. Kurasawa was a new talent NJPW was high on and Hawk worked a lot in New Japan. Very physical match.
- Randy Savage promo with Mean Gene hyping Hogan vs. The Giant.
- Sabu defeats Mr JL (Jerry Lynn) with the Arabian moonsault.
- Contrary to the rumor and innuendo, Eric didn’t fire Sabu. Jerry Lynn was a good worker but was lacking in charisma.
- Meng vs. Luger ended in a DQ. This was a horrible match with a horrible finish. Neither of them were great workers and Kevin Sullivan, who was Meng’s manager, looked like he was waiting for a bus at ringside. Additionally, the booking for the match didn’t make sense, which was indicative of booking at this time.
- Next up, a nervous Giant did an interview to hype up monster trucks.
- Sting/Flair vs. Pillman/Anderson. Flair worked the match with a torn rotator cuff. During the match, Flair turns on Sting. Eric says this match worked well for the live house and for TV. It was a great match for Sting who worked his a** off. After the match, Flair, Anderson and Pillman beat down on Sting. Later after the PPV, Benoit would join and this would reform the Horsemen. Fans have long memories and still remembered the Horsemen so concept worked
- Sumo Monster Truck match. There were two professional drivers in the truck with shots of Hogan and Giant spliced in. At the end of the match, Hogan shoves Giant off the building who ‘plunged to his death in Lake Michigan’ even though building wasn’t by Lake Michigan (They were at Cobo arena). Looking back at the match, Eric was excited about what this could have meant for WCW regarding licensing and merchandising but execution was lacking and ultimately idea didn’t work. In hindsight it wasn’t good.
- Randy Savage wins over Luger. Eric wonders who laid out the match the way it was.
- Giant beats Hogan by DQ. Hogan comes out in street clothes because of what happened to the Giant in the Sumo Truck Match and says there can’t be a match. Miraculously, the Giant makes a recover and they have the match. At the end of the match, we get the famous (or infamous) appearance of The Yeti (Ron Reese wraped in toilet paper) and that whole part of the match did not look good. The way Conrad and Eric describe the Yeti portion of the match is hilarious.
- There were rumors that Hogan was going to meet with WWE. Hogan did but told Eric about it prior to the meeting and afterwards too. That was just business.
- Observer results
- Best match on pre show – Benoit vs Malenko.
- Best match on PPV Sting/Flair vs Anderson Pillman
- Worst match Meng/Luger
- Overall Thumbs down (Eric also gives it a thumbs down)
- In the final few minutes they go through Twitter questions which I didn’t listen to however, they did get a question from Corey Graves.
Show Rating: 8/10
OK…let me preface this by saying I like hearing about and learning about the business so I really dug this show. I liked hearing about the business of WCW at the beginning and the rationale behind certain decisions made by the company. Also, Conrad and Eric breaking down this card was pretty fun to listen to as well. If you only had time to listen to one of last week’s Conrad Thompson’s shows, this is the one I’d recommend.
Joe is a long time wrestling fan from Toronto. He is a co-host on the Pull Apart Podcast with Jeff Rush and Caitlin Lavelle as well as a contributor to www.pwpodcasts.com. One of his life goals is to be a guest host on one of Wade Keller’s post show podcasts. He doesn’t consider himself any sort of expert, he just likes wrestling. Check him out on twitter and instagram @ja113.