A Collective Review of WCW Halloween Havoc 1997 (Hogan vs. Piper III, Mysterio vs. Guerrero Classic!) by Lance Augustine

Welcome back to the TJRwrestling retro reviews where we are going through every WCW Pay-Per-View during the “Monday Night War” era. The company is fresh off another Fall Brawl, which saw The NWO beating up on The Horsemen after Curt Hennig turned heel and joined the group. Although I didn’t like the ending much, I thought the other matches on the show were average to above average. You can see my detailed review of that show, and all the other ones I have covered for the site here. This is one of my favorite PPV concepts in Halloween Havoc, so let’s jump into it!

WCW Halloween Havoc
October 26th, 1997
MGM Grand in Paradise (Las Vegas), Nevada

This event is held at the MGM Grand Arena like it was the last couple of years.

The show opens with a package showcasing Piper vs. Hogan III, but this time it will be contested in a Steel Cage. This is the rubber match and for some reason, the title is not on the line.

We are joined at the top of the show by the broadcast team of Tony Schiavone, Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, and “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. They talk about Piper making his WCW debut at this event last night. They mention that when the door shuts on the cage, Hogan will have nowhere to run. It’s time for the opening match.

Yugi Nagata (w/Sonny Onoo) vs. Ultimo Dragon

This is built around the tension between Onoo and Dragon as of late.

Both men start the feeling out process as Nagata grabs a waist lock, but Dragon gets to the ropes. He puts him in a headlock and hits a shoulder block, but neither man flinches. Dragon knocks his leg out from under him, but it’s negated by a suplex by Nagata. Nagata throws him into the corner, but Dragon jumps up for the headstand and hits a dropkick. Dragon takes him down again with another kick to the chest and comes off the ropes only to be met with a Sleeper Hold. Nagata keeps the pressure on the head and stomps away on the back. Dragon turns another headlock into a suplex that takes both men down. Nagata is back to his feet first and hits some stiff kicks and puts Dragon in a submission hold. He lets go and continues to stomp down on the back. He picks Dragon up and drops him down with a Piledriver for a two count. Nagata continues the assault before keeping Dragon grounded on the mat. Nagata hits some kicks to the chest, but goes to the well one too many times and Dragon hits a Dragon Screw. He throws Nagata to the outside and comes over the top, but Nagata hits a kick to the midsection. Raven and The Flock make their way down to the ring as Dragon hits The Asai Moonsault on the outside. He rolls Nagata back in the ring and throws him into the corner. Nagata hits an elbow as Dragon charges in and puts him up top, but Dragon reverses it into a Powerbomb for a near fall. Dragon slams him down and climbs up top to hit a Moonsault, but he only gets a two-count. Dragon hits a few chops to the chest and puts Nagata on the top, but gets dropped throat first on the rope. Nagata takes advantage with some shots to the head and kicks to the back. Nagata hits a suplex to pick up a near fall. He puts Dragon in the Nagata Lock, but Dragon gets to the ropes. Nagata tries a Powerbomb, but Dragon slides out and puts him in the Dragon Sleeper. Nagata gets to the ropes to break the hold, but is taken down again with an Enziguri. Dragon hits some kicks and puts him up on the top once again. He climbs up with him and hits a Frankensteiner, but his ar is injured and he doesn’t make a cover right away. He goes to put Nagata in the Dragon Sleeper, but he reverses it into an Armbar, and Dragon taps out after 9:42.

Winner: Yugi Nagata
Match Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was a great way to start the show. Nagata was on offense for a lot of it, but it had some exciting spots from both guys. I think Ultimo Dragon was overlooked for a lot of his WCW career, but all he did was go out and have matches that still hold up today. It was fun, with a lot of near falls and close finishes. This was also a way to build the story between Dragon and longtime manager Sonny Onoo. All good here.

After the match, Nagata continues the assault on the arm. He holds the arm and Onoo hits a kick in which Tony Schiavone says “he broke his arm”. Take it easy Tony.

Disco Inferno is backstage talking to the online crew. He is preparing for his match with Jacquelyn tonight for the WCW Television Championship. Jacquelyn breaks it up and starts attacking Disco and takes him out from behind the table before they go down to the ring for the next match.

Gedo vs. Chris Jericho

This is Gedo’s WCW debut.

They lock up with Gedo getting an early advantage, but Jericho quickly recovers. Jericho hits some kicks to the chest that takes Gedo down to the mat. He rolls to the outside to regroup as Jericho looks on. Jericho kicks him coming in and hits an elbow to the head. He hits a delayed vertical suplex and the crowd loves it. He goes for a cover, but only grabs a two count. Jericho works him over to the ropes and hits some chops to the chest and takes him down with a shoulder tackle. Gedo tries to send him to the outside, but Jericho skins the cat, only to be clotheslined over anyway. Gedo sends him into the ropes and hits a Powerslam for a two-count. Gedo keeps the pressure on by trying to win the match again, but to no avail. Gedo slaps on a Sleeper Hold, but Jericho drops down to break the hold. Jericho comes across the ring and hits a big clothesline. Jericho hits Gedo with two Powerbombs and covers him again for a near fall. Jericho lifts Gedo to the top rope and slaps him in the face before coming up with him and hitting a Frankensteiner, but he nearly kills himself on the landing. I mean he landing smack dab on his forehead. Jericho comes over the ropes with a splash, but is met with a dropkick. Gedo goes for a chop, but misses and Jericho tries to come back. Gedo goes for a missile dropkick, but Jericho pushes him down to the mat. He slaps him in the Liontamer and he taps out after 7:18.

Winner: Chris Jericho
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: That was short for a Jericho match, but that botch still makes me shiver. I am actually stunned he actually got up from it. Gedo had a nice outing here, and I think that he actually worked some matches in the WWF leading up to this. This was a non advertised match, and it showed. It was fine, but nothing spectacular.

Mean Gene makes his appearance on the show and is joined by Debra McMichael. He asks her about the match that she has coming up tonight where a mystery opponent is facing Steve “Mongo” McMichael tonight. If Mongo wins, Debra will be fired. Speaking of the devil, Mongo comes into the frame and tells Debra to give him back everything she has given him. Debra says she earned everything she has and he can’t take it away from her.

Title vs. Mask Match
Eddie Guerrero (c) vs. Rey Mysterio Jr.

Obviously, if Rey loses this match, he will lose his mask.

They exchange blows to start the match before Mysterio hits an arm drag and a dropkick that sends Guerrero to the outside. Mysterio teases hitting a splash to the outside, but Guerrero pulls his feet out from under him. He sends Mysterio hard into the steps at ringside before sliding him back in the ring. He hits the Guerrero Senton to the inside of the ring and he is in total control. He hits a vicious uppercut and sends Mysterio into the ropes, but is met with a dropkick to the head. It doesn’t last long though and Guerrero puts him down with a Belly To Back Suplex. Guerrero hits a delayed suplex, but Mysterio gets a shoulder up. Guerrero hits a Tilt-O-Whirl Backbreaker for a near fall. He picks Mysterio up and puts him in an abdominal stretch while pulling on the mask. He turns it into a backbreaker and Mysterio is in a world of pain. He covers Mysterio for another near fall. Mysterio gets back up to his feet and hits one of the prettiest DDTs I have ever seen. He sends Guerrero to the outside with a dropkick, but Guerrero slides back in before he can dive out. Guerrero hits a dropkick that sends Mysterio to the outside. He throws him into the guardrail before rolling him back in the ring. Guerrero starts tearing the mask off of Mysterio while locking him in a chin lock. He picks Mysterio up in The Gory Special, but he gets out of hit with an arm drag. Guerrero quickly snuffed him out with a dropkick and another backbreaker before starting to stretch him again. Mysterio gets to his feet, but is quickly taken down again with a back kick.

Guerrero works him into the corner and hits some chops and punches to the head. Mysterio reverses it and starts hitting Guerrero, but is soon thrown into the corner and hit with a dropkick to the head. Mysterio is in a Tree of Woe and Guerrero charges in, but he does a sit up and Guerrero crotches the post. He goes outside and Mysterio comes flying out right behind him. Incredible! He gets Guerrero back in the ring and hits a Hurricanrana, but only gets a two count. Guerrero is the first one up and takes Mysterio down with a clothesline. Mysterio hits some head scissors that sends Guererro back to the outside, and comes out after him with a damn Hurricanrana on the floor! What a move. They get back in the ring and Mysterio comes off the top with a corkscrew and picks up a two count. Mysterio goes for a springboard moonsault, but Guerrero gets hits knees up. He hits Mysterio with a massive Powerbomb, but he can’t pick up the win. Guerrero picks him up and charges him into the corner. He comes in again, but Mysterio drops him on the ropes. He hits a dropkick and comes off the top rope for the finish, but Guerrero counters it into a backbreaker. Unbelievable. Mysterio is lifted to the top and crotched on the top and the two battle up there. Guerrero sets him up for a Razor’s Edge off the top, but Mysterio counters it into a Hurricanrana and picks up the win after 13:51

Winner and NEW WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Rey Mysterio Jr.
Match Rating: 5/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: I don’t give five stars lightly, but this was one of, if not the best match, in WCW I have seen. This was literally 14 minutes of these two never slowing down and just making a match a work of art. Some of the moves that Mysterio was doing were insane, and Guerrero just made it look so much better. I have seen a lot of Cruiserweight matches in my day, but this should be the blueprint. Bravo to both guys. What a match.

(Editor’s Note: If you want even more analysis about this all-time great WCW match, Alex Podgorski did a column breaking it down in detail right here.)

After the match, Guerrero attacks him from behind and throws him out of the ring.

Gene is at the top of the ramp and goes over what can be heard on the WCW hotline. He is talking about a big-name jumping ship to WCW in the near future. I know who it is, you know who it is, but I will wait to talk about it until the next PPV. Anyway, Gene has the scoop. Gene and Tony share an awkward exchange before they go to the back.

Hogan and Bischoff are backstage in front of an NWO banner. Hogan says that the NWO is taking over and there is nothing anyone can do anything about it. He says he feels bad for the fans that came to see Piper win the title tonight because it isn’t going to happen. Bischoff says that WCW isn’t safe for a worker like Hogan and claims that Sting coming down from the rafters is the prime example. Bischoff says that Hogan will not wrestle tonight unless WCW provided a contract that says that Sting isn’t allowed in the building. Hogan finishes up by saying he is the god of wrestling and everyone knows everything goes through him. He says that Sting isn’t man enough to face him and after he beats Piper up, he will prove it.

Steve “Mongo” McMichael vs. Alex Wright (w/Debra McMichael)

Alex Wright is Debra’s mystery opponent to take out Mongo.

Wright starts the match out with a kick to the stomach and an eye rake. McMichael fights out and works on the arm before hitting a scoop slam for two. Wright slides to the outside to regroup with Debra who tells him to get back in the ring and defend her. He gets back in, but McMichael grabs a headlock. Wright fights out and both men exchange holds in the ring with neither man having the advantage. Wright grabs a wristlock that takes McMichael down to the mat. He stomps on the arm, but McMichael gets back to his feet and starts working on Wright’s arm. Wright hits some stiff uppercuts and continues to stomp down on the side of McMichael. Wright hits a shoulder block and continues to ground McMichael. Wright comes off the ropes, but is hit with an arm drag. McMichael hits a scoop slam and a shot to the head. Wright starts to climb to the top rope, but gets pulled down to the mat. McMichael stomps on Wright and throws him in the corner. He charges in, but Wright gets a boot to the face. He hits a clothesline, but McMichael fights out and hits The Tombstone Piledriver. Goldberg jumps in the ring and spears McMichael out of his shoes. He picks him up for a Jackhammer and picks up Wright to cover him to pick up the win after 6:31.

Winner: Alex Wright
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This is the first time we are seeing Goldberg on a PPV, and this seems to be the start of his first feud in WCW. He debuted in September and beat Hugh Morrus and started what would be become known as “The Streak”. As far as the match goes, it wasn’t good and didn’t last long enough to pick up any steam. It looks like McMichael is truly next for Goldberg.

After the match, Debra hands Goldberg Mongo’s Super Bowl ring as payment. He takes out Alex Wright as he is coming around the corner and he rolls him in the ring and destroys him. His allegiance is with no one.

“Macho Man” Randy Savage is backstage with Elizabeth. He says that he is ready for tonight and that tonight DDP is a marked man. He says he is going to celebrate with some Slim Jims later on. Shameless plug there. Savage says that Page once had a glimpse of greatness, but it fell to the side because he wasn’t up to par. Elizabeth says Page’s best course of action is to leave before the match. Savage says he doesn’t care about hurting himself while he is hurting Page tonight.

WCW Television Title Match
Disco Inferno (c) vs. Jacqueline

This is a rare intergender match that WCW isn’t “sanctioning” which means the title will not be on the line.

The bell sounds and we are underway. They circle each other until Disco dives to the outside to avoid Jacqueline coming after him. He gets back in the ring, but its short-lived, and he leaps back out. Jacqueline finally comes out after Disco and throws him back in the ring. She hits a Sunset Flip and gets a near fall. Disco hits a drop toe hold on her before leaping out of the ring again. Jacqueline gets him back in the ring again and hits a move before Disco continues to avoid any contact. She chases him around the ring and gets back in the ring only to retreat to the corner. Jacqueline finally gets a hold of him and hits a kick to the midsection followed by a flurry of punches. He slides out of the ring and tells the referee he is leaving, but Jacqueline chases him down and continues the assault. He runs back to the ring and she is in hot pursuit. Back in the ring, she takes him down and hits a shoulder block. Disco tries to hit a hip toss, but she lands on her feet and throws him in the corner. He throws her out of the ring, but she catches his leg and crotches him on the post. She hits a vertical suplex on the floor before rolling him back in the ring. He crawls to the other side of the ring, but she catches him and gets some shots to the head. She hits two clotheslines and comes off the ropes for a DDT. She climbs up top and hits a crossbody, but Disco reverses it into a cover of his own. She gets the shoulder up and rolls him up to pick up the win after 9:39

Winner: Jacqueline
Match Rating: DUD

Collective Thoughts: This match wasn’t good, but I guess we should have gone into it with low expectations. Disco played the chickenshit heel well, although it got kind of old as the match went on. It was cool to see Jacqueline pick up the win over a male champion, but as a whole, this was pretty boring.

Curt Hennig vs. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

This stems from Hennig turning his back on The Horsemen last month at Fall Brawl.

Hennig comes to the ring in Flair’s robe just to add salt to the wound in this feud. Flair’s music hits and he runs down to the ring and the bell sounds. Flair tries to get in the ring, but Hennig stops him from doing so. He pulls him out and hits some chops before both men get in the ring. Flair continues to be on the offensive with a shot to the head and a bump that sends Hennig to the floor. Hennig starts walking to the back, but Flair chases him down and hits him from behind. Flair rolls him back in the ring and takes Hennig down to the mat before pulling him over to the post. He wraps Hennig’s leg around it before grabbing a chair, but Hennig rolls out of the way. He gets Hennig in the corner, who still has the robe on, and pounds on him there. He pulls the robe off Hennig and puts it on himself. He hits a chop and starts to strut around the ring. He picks Hennig up and works on him in the corner again. He sends him to the other side, but Hennig comes charging out with a clothesline. He hits a neck breaker and starts working on the knee of Flair. They exchange some blows before Hennig takes control by continuing to work on the knee. He pulls him over to the post and wraps his knee around it this time. They love the posts tonight. Hennig gets back in the ring and stomps some more on the knee and Flair is holding himself up on the ropes. He tries to mount a comeback, but Hennig snuffs it out and takes him down again. He jams the leg and tries to capitalize, but Flair gets a thumb to the eye. They deliver chops to each other until Hennig comes off the ropes and hits a clothesline. He hits some shots to the head of Flair before picking him up and hitting some chops in the corner. Flair gets back up only to be met with some offensive and it sent to the outside with his overselling of the turnbuckle. Hennig pounds on him some more on the outside with Flair trying to fight back. He slams Flair into the railing and rolls back in the ring to break the count. Flair gets on the apron, but Hennig drops him on the ropes. Flair starts to fight back with some more chops and takes Hennig down with a shoulder block. He comes off the ropes, but Hennig puts him in a Sleeper Hold. Flair fights out with a suplex and both men are down. Hennig is now outside and Flair is laying by the ring post. Hennig grabs a chair and goes to smash Flair’s head with it, but he gets out of the way. Flair goes outside and starts on the offensive with some chops and punches. He throws Hennig into the railing and slingshots him into the post. They get back in the ring and Flair continues to stay on the offensive. He hits some chops and sends Hennig to the outside and grabs his belt to leave. Flair follows him out and takes him down before landing a big knee in the aisleway. Hennig hits Flair as he comes back in the ring and hits a high knee as well. Hennig lays the belt on the mat and goes for The Hennig Plex, but Flair reverses it into a suplex on the belt. He outs Hennig in the Tree of Woe and puts the belt around his head. Flair stomps down on the belt and gets disqualified after 13:58.

Winner: Ric Flair
Match Rating: 2.25/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This wasn’t the best outing for either man, but it was more about the story than anything else. These two have had a blood feud going on ever since Fall Brawl and I feel like this was a good blowoff, if this is it. Hennig was in control for most of it, which isn’t surprising seeing how Flair was always working from underneath. I love Flair’s Moxy and swagger in the ring and even though he was later in his career, the dude still had it.

After the bell, Flair continues to stomp away as the rest of the referees run down to the ring and pulls Flair off. They are followed by members of The NWO to help out Hennig and takes him to the back.

Savage is backstage talking to the internet guys backstage and just reiterates that he will beat Page tonight.

Mean Gene is back and is joined by JJ Dillon who had an on-screen authority role here. Gene says it’s nice for him to be back, but he walked into a mess in WCW. Gene says that he can’t believe Bischoff and Hogan are trying to get out of the title match. Dillion says it’s been a tough year. Dillon says the match is going to happen no matter what. Bischoff comes out and says Dillon doesn’t have the stroke to make the match happen. Dillon pulls out a document that says the match is going to happen no matter what. Bischoff says he can’t do this and Dillon says if they see Sting tonight, it’ll be in their nightmares. Dillon leaves as Bischoff continues to lose his mind with Gene.

Scott Hall (w/Syxx) vs. Lex Luger

Larry Zbyszko is the special referee for the match. Hall and Zbyszko have had some troubles in the past and this is the culmination of that feud. It’s better than those two trying to have an actual match.

Hall starts the match by mocking Zbyszko before Luger knocks him down to the mat. Hall gets up and works Luger into the corner, but Zbyszko pulls him off. Both men lock up with Luger using his power to get Hall in the other corner. Hall gets a headlock on and works him against the ropes. He gets a shot to the head of Luger and starts working on the arm. Luger fights out and starts working on Hall’s arm, but they eventually have a rope break. Hall calls for a test of strength, but just kicks Luger in the midsection as he comes over. He puts him in a surfboard submission and continues working on the arm of Luger. Luger fights out and turns the tables on Hall, but he quickly gets to the ropes. Luger climbs up top for the ten punches, but only gets six in before Hall hits an atomic drop. He hits Luger with a clothesline that sends Luger down to the mat. He stomps on him and gets him caught up in the ropes and starts choking him. Zbyszko pulls him off again and shares some words with Hall before Hall comes back for more on Luger. He whips him to the other corner and follows him in with a clothesline and picks up a near fall. Hall picks him up and hits a Fallaway Slam and gets another two count. He sends Luger into the ropes and gets a Sleeper Hold locked in and Luger starts to fade away. Luger’s arm drops for two, but he revives before the third. He drops Hall with a Belly to Back Suplex and both men are down on the mat. Hall slowly covers him, but he gets out at two. Hall has a few more words with Zbyszko before he ends up kicking Luger out of the ring to the floor. Halls slams his head into the corner and continues to pound away on his head. Hall and Zbyszko share some more words before he lifts Hall up and throws him out of the ring. Bischoff comes down to the ring, but gets knocked off the apron by Zbyszko. Both men roll back in the ring and exchange blows. Luger comes off the ropes with a forearm and Hall is back down. Bischoff gets back on the apron, but Luger is still firmly in control. He hits a few Atomic Drops and follows those up with another forearm. He signals for the Rack, but Syxx comes in and kicks him in the back of the head. Hall sets him up for The Outsiders Edge and covers him and gets a three count. After the fall, Zbyszko suspects something and asks for a replay to be shown, which shows Syxx coming in to kick Luger in the head. Zbyszko says the match will continue and makes them come back down to the ring. Hall comes in and they get into a shoving match which leads Luger to get him in the Torture Rack and pick up the win at 13:02.

Winner: Lex Luger
Match Rating: 2/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: I was a big fan of both of these guys, but this match was more about Zbyszko and Hall. They had spats throughout the match and while I didn’t think it was overkill, they were getting close. Luger was so hot at the time and everyone loved what he was doing, This was a classic WCW vs. NWO type of match for the time and it served its purpose, but that’s about it.

After the match, Syxx comes in and Zbyszko puts him in a chokehold. The numbers game is too much though and they gang up on him. Hall is holding him as Bischoff hits a kick to the head. Bischoff covers him and Hall counts a fall as they leave both men laying.

They shoot to a commercial of the next PPV, which is World War 3 1997. I have covered the two previous ones and they have been a lot of writing, and I am sure this one will be no different.

Las Vegas Sudden Death Match
“Macho Man” Randy Savage (w/Elizabeth) vs. Diamond Dallas Page

This match is essentially is a last-man-standing match. No pins, or submissions. This is also the blowoff to this feud which has lasted for a few months now.

Page slides in the ring to start the action, but Savage slides out. Page comes out after Savage and gets some shots to the head in. Savage gets a thumb to the eye and takes Page down with some shots to the injured ribs of Page. He tries to throw him into the railing, but Page reverses it and sends Savage instead. He stomps down on Savage before finally getting him in the ring. Savage recovers and drops him throat-first on the top rope. He has him in the corner and starts hitting some punches to the head and midsection. He is choking Page with his boot, but Page gets back up and throws him in the corner for some punishment. He hits a flurry of offense and Savage is the one now on the defensive. He sends Savage into the corner, but he gets hits foot up to the face. He takes Page down with a clothesline and both men are slow to get up. Page is the first one up and hits a Swinging Neckbreaker and tries a Diamond Cutter, but Savage gets out and slides outside again. Page with a rare splash coming out after him and gets a few more kicks in. He throws Savage into the guardrail and rolls him back in the ring. He tries to pick Savage up, but is dropped on the top rope and falls outside. Savage comes off the top rope and hits a double ax on the floor. Savage clotheslines Page over the rail and into the people. He comes flying in and another smash and they are now working in the crowd. They work their way up to the entranceway with Savage continuing his dominance in the match. He tries to throw Page into the set, but Page reverses and sends Savage into them instead. He picks Savage up and drops him on one of the tombstones and it destroys it. He hits him in the head with another part and slowly Page gets back to his feet.

He continues taking some shots on Savage and they start to work their way back down to the ring. Page continues kicking Savage back towards the ring and Page goes to throw him into the rail at ringside, but he is sent into them instead. Savage starts pounding on Page and throws him into the steel steps. He throws Page into them again and the referee starts counting Page down. Savage breaks up the count and gets Page back in the ring. Savage takes a camera from one of the guys at ringside and brings it in the ring. He goes to hit Page with it, but Page gets the feet up and kicks it back at him. Elizabeth brings in a glass tray and smashes it over the head of the referee. She grabs Page by the hair and starts choking him with a cable. Kimberly storms down to the ring and they start fighting at ringside. Kimberly is pulling Elizabeth to the back by her hair and another referee comes out to the ring. Savage pulls himself up by the ropes and goes over to Page and both men exchange some shots. Page gets one to the midsection and hits a clothesline and an Atomic Drop. He hits Page with a Flapjack and signals for the Diamond Cutter. He goes to hit Savage with it, but he grabs the ropes and Page hits the mat hard. Savage climbs up top and hits The Elbow Drop, but he didn’t land it well. Good selling. Page gets back to his feet at the count of five, but Savage takes him down again before climbing up top to hitting another Elbow Drop. Savage is back up and Page gets back to at a count of nine. Savage sends him into the corner and picks him up, but Page accidentally kicks the referee. He hits Savage with a Diamond Cutter and both men are back down. Both men get back to their feet at seven. Page goes for another cutter, but Savage sends him to the outside. “Sting” comes down to the ring and hits Page with a bat to the ribs of Page and walks away. Page can’t answer the ten count and the match ends after 18:07.

Winner: Randy Savage
Match Rating: 3/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: This was a brawl that went all over the arena. Both men beat the hell out of each other and it showed at the end with both men selling the injuries well. It wasn’t the best match they had, but it was solid. The whole fake Sting has been going on since Sting has come back, but this was obviously just a guy in a mask. This was one of Page’s most high-profile feuds in WCW and he has admitted that Savage did wonders for his push later in his career.

After the match, Savage gets another shot in before Page is carried out on a stretcher. They mention that the fake Sting was actually Hogan. Savage comes back for more before they gear up for the main event.

Steel Cage Match
“Hollywood” Hulk Hogan (c) vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper

The cage in this match is a mix between the old blue barred cage The WWF used and a Hell in a Cell because it goes out onto the floor. There is no roof on it, though. Piper stole the belt from Hogan last Monday on Nitro so he is carrying it down to the ring. This is non-title, which should give an indication on this is going to end.

Hogan starts running around the ring, but Piper comes out and takes his belt off to start whipping him with it. He actually bites Hogan and hits some punches on the outside. He slams Hogan head first on the apron before they both get in the ring. Hogan is begging Piper not to hit him, but it doesn’t work. Piper pokes the eye and follows that up with an atomic drop. He starts punching and kicking Hogan into the corner, and he slides outside again. Piper is out after him and pulls Hogan down off the cage. He slams Hogan against the cage, but eats some of it himself as well. Hogan takes control and starts stomping down on Piper. The door to the cage opens and both men go out with Hogan slamming Piper against the side of it and slamming him against the door. Hogan picks him up and drops him down on the guardrail. Hogan starts walking away from the ring but the aisleway. Hogan sees someone standing and as the camera pans over it is revealed as “Sting”. He points the bat at Hogan as Piper gets him from behind and starts slamming him into it. They get over to the door and get back in the ring as “Sting” slowly walks to the ring. Hogan and Piper continue fighting outside of the ring and slamming each other against it. Hogan regains the advantage and hits Piper in the head. He tries to climb up the side of the cage, but Piper is right behind him. There is a second Sting now in the aisleway and they are looking on in the ring. Piper and Hogan get all the way to the top of the cage before starting to slowly climb back down. Hogan gets him in the ring and takes off his belt for the whipping. He straps Piper and chokes him with his boot in the corner. Hogan slaps him in the face and talks some trash before leaving the ring again. Hogan starts climbing to the top of the cage and starts to crawl over, but one of the Stings is waiting for him. Piper climbs up with him and they start doing battle on the top of the cage. A couple of more Stings come down to the ring as Piper and Hogan continue fighting on the top. Hogan pulls Piper over and they start the descent back to the ring. More Stings come out which makes seven at the ringside area. They get back in the ring where Hogan smashed Piper in the head with the title belt. He continues pounding his head into the belt on the mat and hits The Legdrop on it. He tells the referee to get in the ring and he covers Piper, but he kicks out. Hogan calls for reinforcements from the back and out comes Savage. He climbs to the top and jumps off the cage and totally whiffs hitting anyone, but the announcers try and cover for it. Piper gets The Sleeper on Hogan and he can’t answer the bell. The match went 13:37.

Winner: Roddy Piper
Match Rating: 1/5 Stars

Collective Thoughts: Like most Hogan matches in this era, this was pretty bad. There was a lot of the same stuff going on and it moved at a pretty slow pace. Piper biting Hogan was a nice touch and I thought that the Sting’s coming out towards the end was some good foreshadowing for the match between Sting and Hogan that will be coming up. Also, why does Piper always win the matches when the title isn’t on the line? Oh yeah, because he shouldn’t have been a world champion at the time. The Savage bump off the top of the cage was the most unbelievable bump that ended poorly. Overall, this was pretty below average.

After the match, Bischoff runs down to the ring to check on Hogan and he tells Hogan to continue beating on Piper. One of the Sting’s gets wiped out as he gets in the ring as Savage and Hogan double-team Piper. They handcuff him to the side of it and take turns beating on him. Hogan puts on a Sting mask and continues beating on Piper as a “fan” comes in from the crowd and actually gets in the cage. Hogan and Savage beat the hell out of this kid. If this was real, I bet he won’t forget that soon. Piper is stuff by the cage and the fan is drug out as the show goes off the air.

Overall Show Rating: 6.75/10

This show has a 5-Star match on it, but the rest of it, sans a few moments. was less than stellar. A standout was the opener with Dragon and Nagata was an excellent way to start the show, but it kind of sputtered throughout. It seems like most of the matches were meant more for storyline purposes than having actual quality wrestling. The worst match of the night had to be Disco vs. Jacqueline, although it can be forgiven because it was more of a gimmick than anything else. Next month is the 3-ring, 60-man battle royal at World War 3, and it seems like WCW has some momentum going into that show. We will be covering that next.

What did you think of WCW Halloween havoc 1997? Loved it? Hated it? Didn’t think Mysterio vs. Guerrero wasn’t 5 stars? Either way, keep the conversation going over @collectiveheel on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. Take care of yourselves and each other. I will be back soon enough with some more Collective Thoughts.