If Whodini was serious about the freaks coming out at night, then if it was Halloween, we’d better look out! Halloween Havoc was World Championship Wrestling’s (WCW) annual professional wrestling pay-per-view event, themed from the titular holiday every October, running from 1989 through 2000. While the first two Halloween Havocs were held when WCW was affiliated with the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), WCW took on full responsibility after severing ties with the NWA. WCW held the final five events (1996-2000) in Las Vegas, Nevada at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. WWE has yet to bring back the event since its purchase of WCW and its properties in March 2001. However, the freaky part in this post has less to do with the themed event, and more to do with quite possibly one of the worst matches and events in the show’s history, particularly the 1998 edition of Halloween Havoc.
WCW’s 1998 Halloween Havoc card is infamous for going over the pay-per-view three-hour time limit and for featuring Hollywood Hogan vs. The Warrior in a widely-hyped rematch from WWF WrestleMania VI in 1990 where Warrior defeated Hogan for the WWF Championship (while retaining his own WWF Intercontinental title). Looking back at the match, then-WCW president Eric Bischoff said:
“I agree with the critics, that the Hulk Hogan/Ultimate Warrior match in 1998 [at] Halloween Havoc was one of the worst matches in history…[it] pretty much stunk up the joint.”
Veteran interviewer and announcer Gene Okerlund, then employed by WCW at the time of the match, described it as “horrible” and “a disaster”. The match ended quickly, there was a huge, HUGE botch involving Hogan igniting a flash paper bomb in HIS OWN FACE instead of the intended target (Warrior), and Horace Hogan was involved in the decision. HORACE. HOGAN! Fin Martin, of the pro wrestling magazine Power Slam wrote:
“WCW hired Warrior at great expense in May 1998 specifically to massage the Hogan ego. Hogan pinned Warrior in one of the worst matches ever held.”
Along with WCW’s arrogant decision to run the PPV to three-and-a-half hours, instead of the standard three, without warning the Cable companies, the feed for Halloween Havoc abruptly ended during the start of the the WCW Championship main event match between champion Goldberg and challenger Diamond Dallas Page (later to be regarded as one of the best matches in wrestling history). WCW had to issue millions of dollars in refunds to customers who had ordered the pay-per-view and broadcast the main event match for free the next night on Monday Nitro.