#81 – Halloween Havoc 1997

We review Halloween Havoc 1997 this week, a classic WCW show with some great wrestling and some even better commentary from our buddies Tony, Dusty, and Bobby. Join us on this road trip down memory lane to our college days as we remember luchadores, the nWo, some great Dustyisims, and try to find some Xanax for Tony. We also talk about our tremendous new t-shirts and go over feedback from our last episode.

This episode has been archived. It is available either by ordering the physical “OSWP Season 3 box set” with episodes 76-100 or it can be instantly downloaded in a digital version of the “OSWP Season 3 complete set” with episodes of 76-100. The physical box set will always be our favorite, as it comes with a full color booklet featuring art by our friend Dean Stahl and looks great on your bookshelf next to your coliseum home videos. The instant digital download version also comes with high resolution PDFs of the booklet that you can view on your computer. Both the physical box set and the digital download come with two bonus episodes featuring our reviews of the Clash of the Champions 9 and the Royal Rumble 1988. These episodes have never been available on flairchop.com. But if you only want to hear this one episode, we also offer the option of instantly downloading just the individual episode for a small price.

This episode has been archived in the Season 3 digital box set available for $9.99 at the OSWP Merch Store!


  1. JBLCENAFAN says:

    one of my favorite ppvs of all time! Nothing bad on the whole show and Goldberg as a short-lived heel is never brought up!

    • Black Cat says:

      Honestly had completely forgotten about his heel run until rewatching this.

  2. Eric Miller says:

    Before I even listened to this EPIC episode, I decided last night to watch my own Halloween themed wrestling even. I chose the final WCW Halloween Havoc from the year 2000. As Dre and Black Cat can attest to, I kept them well informed of the goings on of this event in real time as I watched.

    What blows my mind after listening to this episode is the fact that we both got to see a fan get beat up. In my case, it was some schmuck who attempted a leaping headbutt on one 70’s Guy Mike Awesome. Awesome no sold the flying headbutt, and quickly turned around and pummeled the poor soul until security pushed Awesome away. This led Black Cat and I to agree that Mike Awesome may be the last guy you want to attempt to headbutt in the crowd. This held true for about an hour until Scott Steiner appeared on my screen. He fought Booker T for the World Title, and by the end of the match had beaten up Booker, two referees, approximately 7 security guards, and who knows who else got caught up in the crosshairs. I’m not 100% sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Steiner legitimately went off and just starting wolloping guys for no reason.

    It definitely sounds like Havoc ’97 was a much better wrestling show. Especially with all of the cruiserweight/Japanese style matches. My cruiseweight experiences were a three way tag title match between Disco Inferno and Alex Wright vs Kidman and Mysterio vs Jindrak and O’Haire, an impromptu tag match featuring Palumbo and Stasiak vs Lt Loco and Crpl Cajun, and a mixed tag match of Konnan and Tygress vs Shane Douglas and Torrie Wilson. Though I did get to see Charles Robinson get the face full of stuff, and Torrie Wilson hit a picture perfect Franchiser on Konnan. And let’s not even talk about the 5 minute main event of Goldberg vs Kronik.

    1997 was the time in WCW where I was a huge DDP fan. He was the original People’s Champion, and I was in fact a person. The man who legitimized wrestling in jeans (they aren’t just for Street Fights anymore!) had some stellar feuds with Hennig, Savage, Steiner, and just about anyone they threw at him. One of the wrestling highlights of my youth was going to an autograph signing featuring DDP and Spice and Chae of the Nitro Girls. After the signing was over, a friend and I took two empy water bottles that the Nitro Girls had been drinking out of as souvenirs. For some reason as a middle schooler, I really like Nitro Girl Spice. She had almost no body, but I think it was the fact that she was so happy all the time, whereas the other Nitro Girls looked like they were trying too hard. She was a natural.

    I was really hoping that this was the event where Tony Schiavone got to yell out “It’s the Yet-Tay!” But alas, this was not the case. I’ll have to do some investigating and watch that one on my own.

    I never really was a fan of Piper either. People always say he’s the greatest to never win the World Title, but I found him kind of boring. I can’t recall any of his moves except for the sleeper hold. Which we all know was perfected by the great Waylon Mercy. Plus he ruined his career when he went half black against Bad News Brown at WrestleMania. Brown should have ghetto-blasted him back to Glasgow.

    Oh, and Dre. I’m alive!

    • Black Cat says:

      I received all of your #havoc2000 tweets while running on a treadmill so thanks for the entertainment.

      Cruiserweight matches did take a nose dive around late 98/99 compared to the glory days of 1996-97.

      DDP did legitimize jeans, but he did have his run with black tights at some point. Maybe that was in WWF/E?

      • Eric Miller says:

        Might have been with the Fed. I know at one point he also wrestled in what appeared to be crushed velvet velour pants, in some shade of purple. Maybe that was earlier when he was starting out. When he had teased hair and was managed by the legendary “Big Daddy” Dink. I think he was with The Diamond Studd at that point. But he definitely had three phases – Jeans, Tights, and Velour Pants. I just don’t recall at what points in his career these pants occurred.

        Dre is the outfits expert, maybe he knows?

  3. Dan Rackley says:

    Before I listen to the show I have to ask, is this the Hogan/Piper match in particular where during the buildup they shot videos of Piper as if he was confined on Alcatraz Island; even though Alcatraz had been a national park attraction open to the public since the 1970’s?

    • Dre says:

      No, that was the second Hogan-Piper match at Superbrawl. We just reviewed the third of that late 90’s trilogy.

  4. Ian says:

    Mongo is the head coach of an Arena Football team called the Chicago Slaughter who play at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, IL.

  5. Robert says:

    A quick note about Gedo, this guy’s a pretty big deal. By the time this event took place, he’d already been in the finals of the 94 and 95 Super J Cup (he lost both times).

    Also, to flex the internet fueled “stuff it would probably be more fun if we didn’t know” muscle, Gedo, along with his long-time tag team partner Jado, have been the bookers of NJPW for quite some time. I think they won the Observer’s “Booker of the year” award a couple of times.

    His Wikipedia page, which I just looked at for the first time, says that some people refer to him as “the Dusty Rhodes of Japan”, but I’ve never heard anyone say this…

  6. Smitty says:

    Great podcast as usual, gentlemen.

    I have never, EVER, been more simpatico with a host than when Dre flipped the hell out on Black Cat over the Arn Anderson “hand injury.” It may as well have been me screaming, with spittle flying, until exhausted. 🙂

    You alluded several times to the crowd intensity and I couldn’t agree more. Watching shows recently the crowd feels so sedate by comparison. I don’t know if it’s more about being jaded or simply the product is more tailored to skits, interviews and the entertainment tv product side as opposed to the sports side.

    Brandon stroud’s best and worst of raw column recently highlighted a “flashback” to the classic Raven / Goldberg “over the moon” match and I could not believe how insanely jacked that crowd was. Those were the days. Guess that’s why we still talk old school!

    ‘Course, to my mind, it all pales a little when held up to some of those crowds at the Sportatorium for VonErich’s v Freebirds but that’s another podcast for sure.

    Best to you!

    • Black Cat says:

      As blasphemous as Dre might think this is, The Horsemen for the most part sucked after 1992, so that moment apparently struck DRE slightly more profoundly than it did for me.

      Yes, EVERYONE was dancing at this show.

  7. Goat says:

    Gedo is one of the bookers of New Japan now

  8. The parts with Tony Schiavone talking to his wife and later one upping his broadcast partners made me imagine a late 90’s WCW-based sitcom ‘ala “The Office”. So many possibilities: a flashback sequence of Dusty & Hector Guerrero zonked out on peyote buttons listening to “Licence to Ill” while coming up with the New Breed gimmick. Later they have a hallucination of Lazer Tron riding a giant hummingbird and passing Lee Marshall on some deserted highway en route to a pay per view in Vegas. (All sadly ended up on the cutting room floor of Techwood Drive)

    This episode makes me wanna go back and revisit late 90’s WCW. I watched a ton of it but forgot about a lot of the undercards like the cruiserweight matches and the lesser known wrestlers like Gedo & the all-masked all the time version of Mysterio.

    Also, Mongo McMichael’s coaching the Chicago Slaughter. http://www.chicagoslaughter.com/team/coaches/

    Oh and…I got my OSWP shirt in the mail today. Gonna wear this at work sometime soon (as there’s at least 2 people in my department that like wrestling).

    • Black Cat says:

      I think we have a project on our hands….Steve Carell would be a TREMENDOUS Tony Schiavone.

      And thanks for supporting the podcast!

  9. Frankito says:

    how can you guys not be Piper Fans? i know later in his career he was a little out there. but arguably if it wasnt for Piper, Hogan would have never been as huge as he was in ’84, ’84 and Wrestling would have never taken off the way it had.


    • Black Cat says:

      I enjoy early Piper (Portland, MACW and early WWF….once we get to like 1989 it goes downhill for me. Let’s say post-They Live.

  10. JBLCENAFAN says:

    In the commercial for the shirt Piper says I.C.O.N. stands for I cry over nothing. The DDP bastard piledriver was always called the pancake. Observer reported at the time the fan beating was a work and it’s also on the rental version of the event. Love the podcast!

  11. I love Dre’s Tony Schiovone impression. I’ve said it all before but it bears repeating now. There’s potential for a Funk one too as I don’t remember him doing one on previous podcasts.

    I think my favorite part about Dre’s Dusty impression is it sounds like he’s having a ball doing it.

    I too liked the royalty free WCW ripoff music. I think Raven’s was Nirvana’s Come As You Are. Apparently if you had ripoff music, it had to have that Seattle sound.

    Romeoville is more a suburb of Joliet than Chicago. It’s like an hour and a half away. Either way, it would be hilarious if Mongo was the mayor.

    There’s something funny about Eddie Guererro eating a salad at Big Al’s. Better, I guess, than what he could have eaten there.

    I’d love to hear more passionate Dre like the explanations of Arn Anderson’s injury and Savage’s jump off the 25-foot cage. I think Dre’s explanation of what a pole match is may be in order. He needs to explain it to someone who doesn’t quite get it for the bit to work though.

  12. Sergeant J says:

    Lex Luger is the Darryl Strawberry of Pro Wrestling. Labeled a future all-time great, but completely failed to deliver!!!

  13. Tarv says:

    One of the absolute best podcasts you guys have done yet. I was cracking up while at the same time being somewhat frightened that Dre was going to give Black Cat some “Sweet Chin Music” over Black Cat’s sullying the name of Arn “Fucking” Anderson. Great job, guys!

    • Black Cat says:

      Thanks for listening! We had a blast recording this show….and Arn Anderson looks like more like my uncle than a pro wrestler…

  14. Dre straight up blaspheming the good name of Glenn Gilbertti!

    It wasn’t a drug deal in his basement, it was a high-stakes game of poker!

  15. Ben says:

    I have fond memories of watching this show live with about 15 other people and no matter how crappy some of it was *coughhalllugercough*, we all had a blast watching.

    When the show was over, we had a huge debate over whether the fan who climbed the cage at the end was legit or not. I was on the side thinking it was a plant (50 cents in the jar), but I might feel different if I watched the show again. I’d really like to get my hands on a copy.

    Great podcast guys, as always. Keep up the awesome work.

  16. Irrestable object says:

    Hey what’s up guys! Way to support the enforcer “hand injury!!??” You should be ashamed……. Great episode
    Need the shirt in a bigger size for us Akeem, Abdula, Andre, and crusher Blackwell types!!!!!

  17. HEAT Comic says:

    I was going to point out that Gedo was a pretty big deal, but I was quite quickly beaten to it. I’ve seen his Super J Cup ’94 performance, and he was fantastic, despite being easily the worst dressed man in the tournament. He was wearing bright red nurse scrubs, but the top was an off-the-shoulder belly-shirt kind of thing that a girl might reasonably pull of but that a doughy Japanese man with a warrior braid probably shouldn’t even be aware of. He had a really good match with Chris Benoit (as Wild Pegasus) in the semi-finals, but then again EVERYONE had a really good match in that tournament. It’s definitely worth checking out, it’s one of the best tournaments of all time and it can be picked up online for like two bucks.

  18. Rusty Brooks Biggest Fan says:


    I enjoyed this podcast (still catching up on the ones I’ve missed). I remember back in the late 90s, thinking also that Hogan, Piper, and Flair were ancient. If only I had known they’d still be around in 2012.

    Having old men in wrestling is kind of a new phenomena, and one that is a symptom of having a lack of newer stars with the same appeal as the legends. But I mean, Hogan, Piper, and Flair being around now (and in the 90s), would have been like Bruno Sammartino, Killew Kowalski, or Johnny Weaver wrestling in the mid-late 80s.

  19. Tough as Nails says:

    I loved the Arn Anderson stuff. I was going to call it a back-and-forth on Arn Anderson…but it was just Dre being awesome.

    I think that War Games when they slammed Flair’s head into the cage was a great one. There really wasn’t much to it other than after Hennig reveals the handcuffs you say to yourself, “Oh…the WCW guys are really, really stupid. The NWO is never going to lose to these bozos.”

    I also realized another reason why this podcast is so fun during this podcast: There are a million times when the subject, “It should have been booked this way…wouldn’t it have been great if they would have done this and that and not those things??” comes up. You guys avoid that…and it’s awesome.

  20. the burning zone says:

    Wasn’t the rule the first one to leave the cage wins hogan left first so he won. Everything that happened after that was just extracurricular activity