For a pro wrestling fan like myself, the WWE Network is simply awesome. I have been subscribed since the day it launched and have not been disappointed. You have on demand access to nearly every WWE, WCW, and ECW PPV and various other wrestling related programming.
One of the things I have enjoyed is getting to watch the WCW PPV’s. I have always preferred WWE’s product and watched an occasional episode of WCW Monday Nitro, but never really saw many of their pay per views. I decided to start watching the annual Halloween Havoc show from the first one in 1989 and plan to watch them all over the next couple of months and give my opinions on the matches and the show itself and will get to just about everything else on the WWE Network over time
The first thing I noticed about Halloween Havoc 1989 is that the production quality in WCW was several steps below the WWE (WWF at the time). I am not talking about the matches themselves or the wrestlers, but WCW looked like an independent company where the WWE looked like a top notch production. Ted Turner purchased the organization in 1988 and you would have thought he would have put more money into the company, but it did not come off that way. I will save more on this topic for another post and just give a quick rundown on the matches w/o posting the outcomes of the matches themselves in case you want to be surprised.
Match 1 Tom Zenk vs. Mike Rotunda – not too bad for an opening match, which have the tendency to be short and quickly forgotten, and it definitely had some exciting moments and the crowd was in to the match which helps sometimes. Definitely came off as a thrown together match though just to fill some time on the show.
Match 2 The Samoan Swat Team vs. The Midnight Express and Steve Williams – Very fun and all 6 wrestlers were over with the crowd and new how to work a match. The Midnight Express are very ’80s in their look and gimmick, but still come off as entertaining in 2014 because they were excellent performers.
Match 3 Tommy Rich vs. The Cuban Assassin – Nope..nothing to say other than it was an unneeded match and using the Lou Thesz Press as a pin is disturbing.
Match 4 The Freebirds vs. The Dynamic Dudes – I do not like The Freebirds. I know they are considered an innovative and legendary tag team, but they just come off as downright awkward to me. I know non wrestling fans will think that all pro wrestling is awkward, but for myself The Freebirds are the cream of the awkward crop. What I liked the most about this match was the tag team of Shane Douglas and Johnny Ace (The Dynamic Dudes) at such an early point in their careers especially knowing the evolution of their characters in later years.
Match 5 Doom vs. The Steiner Brothers – The best match of the night in my opinion. All four guys are excellent athletes and really put on an exciting match. It came off as a very physical, stiff match and I found myself rooting for both teams even though Doom were the heels.
Match 6 Lex Luger vs. Brian Pillman – Another good match. Both wrestlers were early in their carriers and already showed they would become top tier talent.
Match 7 The Road Warriors vs. The Skyscrapers – Another very fun match. I have always enjoyed the Road Warriors/Legion of Doom. One of my absolute favorite tag teams of all time and even some of their weaker matches late in their careers still entertain me. Sid Vicious and Dan Spivey (The Skyscrapers) played the heel role perfectly.
Match 8 Ric Flair & Sting vs. The Great Muta and Terry Funk – 4 of the all time greats put on an awesome main event match. The gimmick was that the match took place inside a steel cage that was electrified at the top. Ahh wrestling…the silly things you guys come up with. The best part was when they lowered the cage around the ring and one of the top corners caught on fire. Watching the staff climb up the cage to put it out was quite amusing. The match itself was crazy and fun. With Sting early in his career, Ric Flair at his prime, The Great Muta at his green mist spewing best, and Terry Funk at his middle aged and craziest, it was simply great fun to watch.
Overall, it was a fun PPV and interesting to see WCW in the ’80’s when I was mostly watching the WWF at the time.
I look forward to seeing all of WCW’s PPV’s and seeing the evolution of the company.