Monday, October 26, 2020

Pay-Per-View Weekend of October 25 & 26, 2020

The Weekend of October 24th & 25th saw both Impact Wrestling and the WWE present the pay per views Bound for Glory and Hell in A Cell respectively.  This was definitely a weekend of two completely different shows.  

Bound for Glory is hyped as Impact Wrestling's biggest PPV of the year it debuted in 2005 and held annually in October, except 2017 when it was held in November.  The PPV cost $40 and I won a code from a contest on Twitter for Fite TV and that is how I watched the event.

I haven't watched an episode of Impact all year because I don't get AXT tv channel, but I do read the results and keep up on the storylines, and watch clips on YouTube and Twitter and ect.  I was excited to watch the PPV because I was a fan of the product once upon a time and I was glad to be able to watch it.  My hope was to really enjoy to show and have it entice me to want to watch the show weekly.  It didn't, in fact I overpaid for the PPV.

The best match of the night was for the Knockouts Championship and even that was not the advertised match.  It was supposed to be champion Deonna Purrazo defending against Kylie Rae but Kylie wasn't there so Deonna issued an open challenge that Su Yung answered.

  It's evident that Kylie would not be wrestling that night and Impact still advertised the match and even played a long video package build before the match,  Deonna came out first and then they played Kylie's music for half a minute before Deonna issued her open challenge.  This could have been handled much better.  

Regardless this was the best match of the night, going a bout 15 minutes of solid back and forth action with Su Yung capturing the title.   The only other match of the night I enjoyed was the tag title match that saw the North become two time Impact Wrestling Champions. 

The main event saw Eric Young love the World Championship to Rich Swan.  Yes Rich Swan, I don't understand it either.  The last time someone so undeserving headlined a PPV was when The Butcher challenged Hulk Hogan at Starrcade 1994 for the WCW World Championship.

There was other production issues that had me wondering if this show was live or pre-taped.  At no time did they have the world Live on the screen which we as wrestling fans have been conditioned to see if we are watching a live wrestling show.  

Hell in a Cell is an annual WWE PPV event that debuted as an event in 2009 and has been held annually in October.  The first Hell in a Cell match debuted in October 1997 featuring Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker,  at last one Hell in a Cell match has happened every year since it's inception, except in 2001.  I don't know how much the PPV cost on cable, however I pay $9.99 a month for WWE Network.

The show opened with a really good video package hyping the event.  The Roman Reigns vs. Jay Uso match had a tremendous hype video as well.

I absolutely loved, much to my surprise, the Reigns vs. Uso match.  This is the heel Reigns that we have wanted for years.  They have even made Jay Uso a credible challenge two months in a row for the Universal Championship.  That was something I always liked about what Jim Crockett Promotions did was having a tag team wrestler challenge for the World Championship and not break up the team.   I really loved seeing the Wild Samoans come out to place the lei on Reigns. 

I can't say the rest of the card was amazing, because it wasn't, but I am glad that they took the Money in the Bank Contract off of Otis.

Sasha Banks defeated Bayley for the Smackdown Women's championship.  It was a solid match, not a fan of the finish but they worked their asses off.  The main event saw Randy Orton win his 14th WWE Championship pinning Drew McIntyre.  They had a great match, but it really bothers me that McIntyre's championship reign was through the no fan covid era because at the Royal Rumble the fans were so ready for him to be champion.

All in all the WWE dominated Impact on this weekend, it wasn't even a fair contest honestly.  

Thanks for reading, please leave a comment, read my other posts, and like my blogs Facebook page, check out my weekly podcast The Wrestling Insomniac on the Nerdy Legion Podcast Network and while your at it pick up my book over at Amazon in Kindle or Paperback.

Until next time!!

Friday, October 23, 2020

Dr. Luthor in WCW

Recently, Luthor (formerly known as Dr. Luthor) main evented AEW Dynamite in a match where he tagged with Serpentico to take on Chris Jericho and Jake Hager. This seemed a little odd since Luthor debuted horribly in 2019 and has pretty much wrestled on Dark ever since. It turns out Luthor and Jericho came up together so this was the reason why he was included in the match that was celebrating Jericho's 30th wrestling anniversary.

I decided I needed to do some research on Luthor, since other than him being sold as the Deathmatch Legend by Excalibur, I knew nothing about him. I checked out a few matches on YouTube and read through a few articles on him when I ran across a little tidbit. It turns out Luthor had a single match in WCW back in 2000. Thanks to YouTube I was able to locate it.

The match took place on WCW Worldwide and Luthor (known as Mad Jack) took on Vampiro. The match was no where near a classic, but there is an interesting backstory to it all as told by Luthor recently on Chris Jericho's podcast:

"So then WCW I go and it went so-so," Luther admitted. "I did a couple shows, but you know how they have you sometimes as security guys or whatever like that, backstage talent or whatever. So, it was cool. I mean, you still get to make a payday, but then I'm wrestling in Kelowna against Vampiro, and so I talked to him the day before and he was not super cool. He was pretty drugged out in my opinion. I'm not a drug counselor, obviously, but I don't know.

"I even was super nice because he wrestled in WAR. I was like, 'hey, we've worked for the same company in Japan and just wanted to say hi because we're working tomorrow,' and I always feel like I get along with people in the dressing room. And he's just being a dick. He didn't like you, and I noticed a couple people. People who had heat with you, then had heat with me off the bat, and I was like, whatever dude. So we go over the match. It's on TV. It was the very last Worldwide. So we go out, and we have all this stuff, but then he's kind of no selling my s--t.

"And I'm selling all his stuff, and then time for me to do stuff and he's like, 'no, we got to take it home.' But then the day after, he comes up to me actually before the match, and he's like, 'I just want to apologize. I didn't know who you were yesterday, and then people were telling me you were like big in Japan. Sorry for how I acted.' Your a dick. I don't really care, so that's how that went."

Apparently, WCW was impressed since Terry Taylor offered Luthor a three year deal that paid $130,000 the first year and then $210,000 the second year, and over $300,000 in the final year. However, Luthor was living in Canada at the time and did not have a work visa and that messed up his chance at being signed.

Luthor went on to wrestle in the independents for the next nineteen years before signing with AEW in late 2019.

It's hard not to day-dream about what could have been had Luthor signed with WCW. Would he have made an impact? Would they have wasted him? Would he have went onto greater success in WWE once they purchased WCW? Of course, we will never know the answer to those questions, but I'm happy to see that Luthor has a spot on the AEW roster in 2020.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Matches of Halloween Havoc (1989-1994)

 Recently, it was announced that NXT would be reviving the name Halloween Havoc for a special that is scheduled to occur on October 28th. Halloween Havoc was always one of my favorite WCW pay per views, so I thought now would be a great time to take a look back on the matches of Halloween Havoc. 

There were a total of twelve Halloween Havocs that occured between 1989-2000, all taking place sometime right before October 31st. The first two were promoted under the NWA/WCW banner while the rest were strictly WCW events. The show was a traveling event until 1996 when it took place in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena where it remained until it's final show in 2000. 

The first Halloween Havoc occurred on October 28th, 1989 in Philadelphia, PA. This show was one of two-shows under the NWA banner. There were eight matches on the card:

Tom Zenk defeated Mike Rotunda

The Samoan SWAT Team (Fatu, The Samoan Savage and Samu) (with Oliver Humperdink) defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) and Steve Williams (with Jim Cornette)

Tommy Rich defeated The Cuban Assassin

The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes) (c) defeated The Dynamic Dudes (Johnny Ace and Shane Douglas) (with Jim Cornette) for the NWA World Tag Team Championship

Doom (Butch Reed and Ron Simmons) (with Woman) defeated The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner)

Lex Luger (c) defeated Brian Pillman for the NWA United States Championship

The Road Warriors (Animal and Hawk) (with Paul Ellering) defeated The Skyscrapers (Dan Spivey and Sid Vicious) (with Teddy Long) by disqualification

Ric Flair and Sting (with Ole Anderson) defeated The Great Muta and Terry Funk (with Gary Hart) in a Thunderdome match with Bruno Sammartino as the special guest referee.

The second Halloween Havoc was held on October 27th, 1990 in Chicago, Illinois. This event was also promoted as an NWA event. The home video release is missing four of the ten matches and the WWE Network version is also missing these matches which is unusual. I've put an asterisk next to the matches missing.

Tim Horner defeated Barry Horowitz (Dark Match)

Rip Rogers defeated Reno Riggins (Dark Match)

Tommy Rich and Ricky Morton defeated The Midnight Express (Bobby Eaton and Stan Lane) (with Jim Cornette)

*Terry Taylor defeated Bill Irwin

*Brad Armstrong defeated J.W. Storm

*The Master Blasters (Blade and Steel) defeated The Southern Boys (Tracy Smothers and Steve Armstrong)

The Fabulous Freebirds (Jimmy Garvin and Michael Hayes) (with Little Richard Marley) defeated The Renegade Warriors (Chris Youngblood and Mark Youngblood)

The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) (c) defeated The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) for the NWA United States Tag Team Championship

*The Junkyard Dog defeated Moondog Rex

Doom (Ron Simmons and Butch Reed) (c) (with Teddy Long) wrestled Ric Flair and Arn Anderson to a double count-out for the NWA World Tag Team Championship

Stan Hansen defeated Lex Luger (c) for the NWA United States Championship

Sting (c) defeated Sid Vicious for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship

The third Halloween Havoc event took place in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 27th, 1991. This was the pay per view where had the infamous Chamber of Horrors match took place. Also, the first ever WCW Light Heavyweight champion was crowned at this event.

El Gigante, Sting, and The Steiner Brothers (Rick Steiner and Scott Steiner) defeated Abdullah the Butcher, The Diamond Studd, Cactus Jack and Big Van Vader Chamber of Horrors match

Big Josh and P.N. News defeated The Creatures (Creature 1 and Creature 2)

Bobby Eaton defeated Terrance Taylor (with Alexandra York of The York Foundation)

Johnny B. Badd (with Teddy Long) defeated Jimmy Garvin (with Michael Hayes)

Steve Austin (c) (with Lady Blossom) vs. Dustin Rhodes ended in a time-limit draw for the WCW World Television Championship

Bill Kazmaier defeated Oz by submission

Van Hammer defeated Doug Somers

Flyin' Brian defeated Richard Morton (with Alexandra York of The York Foundation) for the inaugural WCW Light Heavyweight Championship

The Halloween Phantom defeated Tom Zenk

The Enforcers (Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko) (c) defeated The Patriots (Todd Champion and Firebreaker Chip) for the WCW World Tag Team Championship

Lex Luger (c) (with Harley Race) defeated Ron Simmons (with Dusty Rhodes) Two-out-of-three-falls match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Halloween Havoc 1992 took place on October 25th, 1992 in Philadelphia, PA. The main event was a Spin the Wheel, Make a Deal match that selected a Coal Miner's Glove stipulation. 

Erik Watts and Van Hammer defeated The Vegas Connection (Vinnie Vegas and Diamond Dallas Page (Dark Match)

Tom Zenk, Johnny Gunn and Shane Douglas defeated Arn Anderson, Michael Hayes and Bobby Eaton

Ricky Steamboat defeated Brian Pillman

Big Van Vader (c) defeated Nikita Koloff for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

Barry Windham and Dustin Rhodes (c) vs. Steve Williams and Steve Austin ended in a time-limit draw for the NWA and WCW World Tag Team Championships

Rick Rude (with Madusa) defeated Masahiro Chono (c) (with Hiro Matsuda) by disqualification for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship with Kensuke Sasaki and Harley Race as Special Guest Referees

Ron Simmons (c) defeated The Barbarian (with Cactus Jack) for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship

Sting defeated Jake Roberts in a Coal Miner's Glove match

Halloween Havoc 1993 took place in New Orleans, Louisiana on October 24th, 1993. The main event stipulation was once again determined by the Spin the Wheel, Make a Deal spinning wheel and this time the stipulation was Texas Death Match which suited the competitors: Cactus Jack and Vader.

Ice Train, Charlie Norris and The Shockmaster defeated Harlem Heat (Kole and Kane) and The Equalizer

Paul Orndorff (with The Assassin) defeated Ricky Steamboat by countout

Lord Steven Regal (c) (with Sir William) wrestled Davey Boy Smith to a time-limit draw for the WCW World Television Championship

Dustin Rhodes (c) defeated Steve Austin for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs and Jerry Sags) (with Missy Hyatt) defeated Marcus Alexander Bagwell and 2 Cold Scorpio (c) (with Teddy Long) for the WCW World Tag Team Championship

Sting defeated Sid Vicious

Rick Rude (c) defeated Ric Flair by disqualification for the WCW International World Heavyweight Championship

Big Van Vader (with Harley Race) defeated Cactus Jack in a Texas Death match

Halloween Havoc 1994 took place in Detroit, Michigan on October 23rd, 1994. The first match was originally slated to be The Harlem Heat vs. The Armstrongs, but Brad Armstrong had a family emergency and could not appear.

Booker T (with Stevie Ray) defeated Brian Armstrong (Dark Match)

Johnny B. Badd (c) wrestled The Honky Tonk Man to a time-limit draw for the WCW World Television Championship

Pretty Wonderful (Paul Orndorff & Paul Roma) defeated Stars and Stripes (The Patriot & Marcus Alexander Bagwell) (c) for the WCW World Tag Team Championship

Dave Sullivan defeated Kevin Sullivan by countout

Dustin Rhodes defeated Arn Anderson (with Col. Robert Parker & Meng)

Jim Duggan (c) defeated Steve Austin by disqualification for the WCW United States Heavyweight Championship

Vader (with Harley Race) defeated The Guardian Angel

The Nasty Boys (Brian Knobbs & Jerry Sags) defeated Terry Funk and Bunkhouse Buck (with Col. Robert Parker & Meng)

Hulk Hogan (c) (with Jimmy Hart) defeated Ric Flair (with Sensuous Sherri) in a Steel Cage Retirement match for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship with Mr. T as special guest referee

Following the match, Hogan was attacked by a masked man who had been stalking him: Brother Bruti (Brutus Beefcake). After Brother Bruti was unmasked, Kevin Sullivan and the debuting Avalanche (John Tenta) attacked Hogan until Sting made the save.

Check back soon for the second part of The Matches of Halloween Havoc (1995-2000)