JR and Tony welcome us to the show. We cut to Eric Bischoff in an obviously taped segment as he is outside the arena welcoming superstars as they arrive. I’m sure he’s the first person that the wrestlers wanted to see when they arrived at the arena. DDP and The Diamond Studd pull up and DDP assumes that Bischoff is the valet. Good stuff. The real reason they do this segment is to show that Barry Windham was attacked by Arn Anderson and Larry Zbyszko.
1) Chamber of Horrors Match: The Steiner Brothers, El Gigante, & Sting vs. Abdullah the Butcher, Cactus Jack, The Diamond Studd, & Vader - 3
This is one of the goofiest matches I’ve ever seen. All the participants were confined to the cage which included a smaller cage with the chair of torture inside. The object was to put one of the opponents into the chair of torture and pull the lever. God bless ring announcer Gary Michael Cappetta for trying to sell this mess to the crowd. The competitors do what they can to make it watchable but it’s just not working. Abdullah tries to put Rick Steiner in the chair but Steiner reverses and put Abby in the chair and Jack pulls the lever. Well, at least that’s out of the way. A completely forgettable match that had no redeeming value except for star power and even that didn’t help much. I sure hope the rest of the show isn’t this bad.
2) Johnny B. Badd vs. Jimmy Garvin - 4
Not a bad showing here by both men and definitely a welcome change from the previous debacle. We actually get some wrestling in this one as opposed to what the WWF was doing at the time with squash matches and cartoon characters. Badd finishes off Garvin with a left hook after Teddy Long distracts the ref. Not that bad, but I’ve seen a whole lot worse.
Missy Hyatt asks Bobby Eaton if he knows who the Halloween Phantom is. Bobby steals a pumpkin and Missy whines.
3) Steve Austin vs. Dustin Rhodes - 5
I was expecting a slow-paced and somewhat boring match. Man, was I ever wrong. These two let it all hang out in probably one of the best matches of either man’s career. Both were busted open by the end and everything clicked really well. Best match of the night so far. Rhodes and Austin would continue to feud on and off over the next few years over various titles but none of their other matches was a good as this one.
4) The Halloween Phantom vs. Tom Zenk - 1
Nothing much to describe here as going into this story was that no one knew who the Halloween Phantom was. He would be revealed later in the show by Paul E. Dangerously. Who was it? Well … I guess you’ll just have to read on. Total squash.
5) Arn Anderson & Larry Zbyszko vs. The Patriots - 3
How Cappetta can announce The Patriots hometown as “WCW Special Forces” with a straight face is beyond me. The Patriots consisted of Firebreaker Chip and Todd Champion and were the United States Tag champs, having recently defeated The Freebirds. Anderson and Zbyszko, known collectively as The Enforcers, won the World Tag Team Titles by recently defeating … well … no one in particular. Not much to see in this one as Anderson and Zbyszko pretty much control the whole match. A forgettable match in which Zbyskzo & Anderson went over and thus lessening the value of the U.S. Tag Titles and the Patriots, both of whom were pretty much worthless anyway.
Eric Bischoff is at ringside with Paul E. Dangerously and Madusa. Paul brings out the Halloween Phantom and reveals him to be Ravishing Rick Rude. They make their intentions known that they want to take apart WCW from the foundation by going after Sting and the United States Title. Really, really good promos by both Paul and Rick Rude.
6) Best of Three Falls Match: Lex Luger vs. Ron Simmons - 6
I find it interesting to note that Luger would be gone in February and by this same show a year later, Simmons would be champion. Anyway, these two have a nice little match here and it’s two out of three, which is nice. Simmons won the first fall by pinfall. Luger won the second by disqualification after the ref thought that Simmons threw Luger over the top. Yes, this was still during the time of the over-the-top DQ. Luger won the third after Simmons went shoulder first into the ringpost and was pinned following a piledriver. Wait, you mean Luger went two straight over Simmons? That was bad booking right there. You should’ve had Luger win the first so the fans think that Simmons doesn’t have a chance. Simmons wins the second to prove himself as a contender and Luger wins the third so the face can challenge for a re-match. Not a classic by any means, but a fairly decent main event in which Luger actually has a good match and Simmons proves that he could be World Title material, if pushed properly. I found myself completely surprised by this one and enjoyed it thoroughly. Aside from bad booking, it wasn’t bad.
JR and Tony close it out and congratulate Brian Pillman on becoming the Light Heavyweight champion by defeating Ricky Morton. What?!! Where the hell was that match?! Oh well, the show’s over so I won’t complain. I enjoyed what I saw.
Aside from Rude’s debut, nothing really notable happened at this show. However, the in ring action was really good. I was suprisingly pleased with Rhodes vs. Austin and Luger vs. Simmons. Actually, I was suprisingly pleased with the whole event. Recommended, if you can find it.