POLLOCK’S NEWS UPDATE: Halloween Havoc thoughts, WWF ’90s investigation

Photo Courtesy: WWE


**Rewind-A-Dynamite is live tonight at 10:15 p.m. ET with Wai Ting and I reviewing the show from Boston and discussing Halloween Havoc, the Raw and Dynamite viewership figures, and more. Live access to the show is available to Double Double, Iced Capp & Espresso members of the POST Wrestling Café.

**Rewind-A-Wai #97 has been released for members of the POST Wrestling Café with a three-hour discussion on WrestleMania 19 from March 2003. Wai Ting and I had a lot to discuss on this show with so many interesting stories including the health of Kurt Angle and Steve Austin going into the show, Austin spending the night in a hospital, the shooting star press by Brock Lesnar, McMahon vs. Hogan and using the steroid trial for promo material, the return of Shawn Michaels to WrestleMania, the finish and booking of Triple H vs. Booker T., and the state of Limp Bizkit in 2003, who performed twice at the show. This was a great show especially if you were following during this time period with a ton of details on the major events.

**The next Rewind-A-Wai will be covering WWE TLC from December 2011 and will be released next Tuesday for POST Wrestling Café members.

**On Thursday, we are releasing this month’s edition of Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure as they welcome Chad Gelfand and Chris Jeter to review the King of the Ring from 2002. This show was the final pay-per-view version of the King of the Ring and featured the ascension of Brock Lesnar as the company headed into the summer without Steve Austin.

**Jonathan Pine has a great feature on the site looking at Matt Tremont’s match with Atsushi Onita this Sunday for H2O Wrestling with Tremont coming out of retirement. In the piece, Pine outlines the long road towards the match and the build-up from the two performers.


Tonight: Rewind-A-Dynamite with John Pollock & Wai Ting (10:15 p.m. for Double Double+)
Thursday: Bushby & Thompson’s Wrestling Adventure (King of the Ring 2002)
Friday: Rewind-A-SmackDown with John & Wai (11:15 p.m. ET for all Patrons)
Saturday: UFC 267 POST Show with John & Phil Chertok
Sunday: POST Puroresu with John & WH Park


**AEW Dynamite returns to its regular Wednesday night slot on TNT with a live show from the Agganis Arena in Boston. This episode also airs live across the country including those in the Pacific and Mountain time zone regions, instead of the staggered broadcast of the past. This is to accommodate the NHL programming on TNT where the games will be live. Rather than put Dynamite after the NHL programming on both delay and at the mercy of beginning after completion of the NHL games, it will air live in all regions. This is going to hurt Dynamite somewhat as 8 p.m. is a much easier time to consume the program than at 5 p.m. Pacific time but it is an instance of TNT handling AEW as live sports programming rather than a scripted series. This format will continue through the end of 2021 until Dynamite moves to TBS on January 5, 2022. Of the two options, airing before or after the NHL, this is the superior option and eliminates the weekly concern of AEW being delayed in those two time zones if the NHL game goes late.

Over the previous four episodes of Dynamite that aired on Wednesday, the show averaged 1,163,000 and 567,000 (0.44) in 18-49. However, those shows didn’t include the alterations to the various time zones, and tonight’s show is likely to be hit significantly going against Game 2 of the World Series.

Here is the line-up for tonight’s episode at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and TSN 2 in Canada:
*TNT Championship: Sammy Guevara (champion) vs. Ethan Page (If Page wins, Guevara leaves The Inner Circle. If Guevara wins, he chooses the three members of ATT that will be part of a ten-man tag at AEW Full Gear against The Inner Circle)
*World Title Eliminator Tournament: Jon Moxley vs. Preston “10” Vance
*TBS Tournament: Serena Deeb vs. Hikaru Shida
*Bobby Fish vs. CM Punk
*Evil Uno, Stu Grayson, Colt Cabana & John Silver vs. Kenny Omega, Adam Cole & The Young Bucks
*MJF in action

**David Bixenspan has a big feature on the preceding events that led to the indictment of Vince McMahon and the WWF in late 1993 and going on trial for steroid distribution and conspiracy to distribute in July 1994, which is the subject of Thursday’s Dark Side of the Ring.

The roots of the government’s involvement were tied to the scandals and accusations that surfaced in early 1992 and became known as the “ring boy scandal”. It was never clear how the focus shifted to the drug charges but that was the basis of Bixenspan’s research where he obtained many documents connected to the investigation. The major points of the story include the FBI’s handling of a videotape displaying former ring announcer Mel Phillips engaging in illicit activity with the feet of several young males (the graphic details are contained in the article, as a warning). The existence of the tape was first reported in a September 1993 edition of the New York Observer with the tape belonging to a former WWF employee named John Maloof.

The article by Bixenspan outlines the push-and-pull between Maloof and an NBC producer named Len Tepper, who was attempting to obtain the tape for a proposed feature piece covering the WWF scandal. The FBI’s description of the tape was in line with the multiple accusations levied at Phillips (the memo stated there were ten victims that their investigation identified) and wanting to indict Phillips on sexual abuse charges if the video was consistent with BSU (Behavioral Science Unit) sexual abuse guidelines. However, the memo from the BSU states that while the contents of the tape was “most likely sexual behavior”, it stated that it did not produce conclusive evidence with “no obvious sexual activity”, which appear to be far apart on the FBI and BSU’s interpretation of the contents and not taking the multiple accusations with enough merit that outlined it was sexual in nature.

This is another thoroughly researched piece by Bixenspan and covers a story that requires people’s attention and focus.

**NXT presented Halloween Havoc on Tuesday night from the WWE Performance Center and was its biggest show since the revamp in early September. They changed several of the championships with Mandy Rose becoming the NXT Women’s Champion after Dakota Kai returned and attacked Raquel Gonzalez with a shovel, Jacey Jayne & Gigi Dolin won the NXT Women’s tag titles in the “Scareway to Hell Ladder Match”, and Imperium beat MSK for the NXT tag titles in the best match of the night.

All eyes were on the performance of Bron Breakker against Tommaso Ciampa where the champion retained the title after multiple Fairy Tale Endings and a DDT to the exposed concrete. The main event had its struggles including Breakker slipping off the turnbuckle and getting busted open near the end (likely the DDT spot) before Ciampa won. The story was that Breakker took everything from Ciampa and is positioned as the future of the brand but Ciampa is still the present. Breakker added more Scott Steiner spots with the Frankensteiner and double underhook slam, along with a wink to his father by having a cameo with Chucky during a backstage segment. It’s actually hilarious how much they lean into the Steiner lineage and the commentary team is handcuffed and can’t say the last name.

I wouldn’t put this show on par with the TakeOver events of the past but it was an easy show to watch, the Halloween theme works very well for a fun event each year, and it felt like a big show for a smaller group, which is what NXT 2.0 is. It’s more clear than ever where this brand is going and this felt like the next major step by getting the championships onto the pushed talent and moving on from the past era while keeping Ciampa in the role of champion, who should eventually lose to Breakker.

The scariest moment of the night was when Io Shirai was tipped over on the ladder and crashed awkwardly over the top rope landing on another ladder that was balanced between the ring and the announcer’s desk. They replayed this spot over and over and it was extremely concerning but Shirai tweeted she was “not dead”. With the belts off Shirai & Zoey Stark, it is time to move Shirai up to the main roster where they need a big babyface for either brand and Shirai will instantly be on the level of the top female stars.

I felt the MSK vs. Imperium match was great as Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel are so underrated in this company. This also had a crazy spot where Nash Carter delivered a cutter off the turnbuckle to the lumberjacks on the floor and no one caught them, so it was a brutal landing.

**WWE has announced a multi-year partnership with Fox Entertainment and Bento Box Entertainment’s Blockchain Creative Labs to launch a marketplace of WWE NFTs. In the press release, it outlines that the agreement will see Blockchain Entertainment and WWE create NFTs from the company’s vast catalog of digital assets including major moments, past and present performers, and major events. Users will need to create a WWE digital wallet through Eluvio where they can use traditional currency or cryptocurrency.

**Someone that deserves the attention of the entire wrestling community is Jimmy Rave (James Guffey), who has had an unbelievably trying time with monumental health issues and mounting medical costs. Last year, Rave revealed that his wrestling career was over after having his left arm amputated after doctors discovered an infection forcing them to amputate above the elbow. Earlier this week, he had an unfortunate update that due to MRSA being detected, both his legs have been amputated. Compounding the problems, are the astronomical medical bills he faces that total approximately $100,000. He is seeking any assistance through his PayPal account at [email protected] or using the Cash app with his user name $jimmyrave.

**Vice TV is running a 13-hour marathon of Dark Side of the Ring beginning at 8 a.m. ET on Thursday featuring all the episodes from season three. The episodes will serve as a lead-in to the season finale at 9 p.m. covering The Steroid Trials. This past season’s subjects include Brian Pillman, Nick Gage, Collision in Korea, Ultimate Warrior, Grizzly Smith, Tom “Dynamite Kid” Billington, the Plane Ride from Hell, Chris Kanyon, FMW, Johnny K9, Luna Vachon, and XPW.

**Tony Khan speaks with Gavin Bridge about the launch of AEW and the state of the company as 2021 winds down. Khan stated that All Out this past September did “well over” 200,000 buys and that CM Punk has lifted several of their metrics since his debut in August specifically noting that their SVOD subscriptions on Fite TV have more than doubled since Punk arrived.

**Below are the matches scheduled for tonight’s edition of MLW Fusion: ALPHA airing at 7 p.m. ET on their YouTube channel:
*Opera Cup Tournament: TJP vs. Alex Shelley
*Opera Cup Tournament: Lee Moriarty vs. Bobby Fish
*Mads Krugger vs. Dr. Dax
*Calvin Tankman in action

**On the latest edition of his My World podcast, Jeff Jarrett covered the Bound for Glory 2006 pay-per-view with co-host Conrad Thompson. During the discussion, Jarrett noted that the event generated the largest number of buys for a TNA pay-per-view of all time, although other events generated more revenue due to price increases. The card came at a significant crossroads for the company as it coincided with the arrival of Kurt Angle the month prior, the return of Vince Russo as a member of the creative staff, and the IMPACT flagship show moving into a one-hour prime time slot on Thursdays in November that year (and expanding to two hours one year later). It was also TNA’s first pay-per-view outside of Orlando since launching on Spike TV the year prior and was promoted around Sting going for the NWA Championship that was held by Jarrett.

**CM Punk spoke to Christopher Walker of DAZN about tonight’s match with Bobby Fish and how he would have loved to have been part of the World Title Eliminator tournament:

Looking at the field and seeing the names that that that were in it, I definitely think I could have fit in there. It’ll come. You know, it’s not my time but it’ll come at a later date.

Looking at the bigger picture of things, the map that I have laid out in front of me, I know all the destinations. You know, there’s so many people I wanna get in the ring with but knowing how much time I have, I know I’m going to get to all of them people.

**IMPACT Wrestling has updated the lineup for Thursday’s episode on AXS TV coming off Bound for Glory this past week:
*X Division Championship: Trey Miguel (champion) vs. Rocky Romero
*Rachael Ellering vs. Tasha Steelz
*Ace Austin vs. Chris Sabin
*Joe Doering vs. Heath
*Mickie James addresses the audience

**NJPW Strong has updated its card for the November 13th ‘Battle in the Valley’ event in San Jose, California. The event will stream live that night at 11 p.m. ET on Fite TV (the same night as AEW Full Gear) with Japanese and English commentary with the following matches official:
*NEVER Openweight Championship: Jay White (champion) vs. Tomohiro Ishii
*Will Ospreay vs. Ren Narita
*Jeff Cobb & TJP vs. Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors
*Tom Lawlor, JR Kratos, Danny Limelight, Jorel Nelson & Royce Isaacs vs. Fred Rosser, David Finlay, Rocky Romero, Alex Coughlin & Alex Zayne
*Kazuchika Okada advertised for the card

This would also confirm that Ishii, Cobb, and Okada will not be part of the World Tag League, which begins the same day in Japan.

**MLW has announced a rematch between Arez and Aramis for the War Chamber event on Saturday, November 6th at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia. The winner will receive a “Briefcase Full of Cash” from Cesar Duran. The two had a previous match that aired recently and was a stellar outing from both and got over big in the arena. On Wednesday, they also added a match between nZo (the former Enzo Amore) and Matt Cross for the event in Philadelphia.

**Crossbody Studios is running a special benefit card for Ontario independent wrestler Curt Sturrock a.k.a. ‘Hacker’ Scotty O’Shea. The wrestler underwent emergency surgery earlier this month when a tumor was discovered on his brain and is in the recovery process. The event will be staged on Saturday, November 26th in Cambridge, Ontario at 132 Argyle Street North with all proceeds going to Sturrock and his family. There will be a limit of 100 tickets sold and masks are mandatory for the event with fans and performers having to present proof of vaccination. The card will be a mystery line-up and won’t be announced in advance.

**On Thursday night, AXS TV will be airing a special edition of ‘IMPACT in 60’ focusing on the late Daffney (Shannon Spruill). The one-hour episode will air immediately following IMPACT.

**Independent wrestler TJ Crawford has revealed a major knee injury that is likely to sideline the performer for about a year. Crawford noted on Wednesday that he injured his right knee on an ESW card in Buffalo earlier this month and has found out he has a torn ACL, torn meniscus, and major cartilage damage. Crawford has been wrestling for approximately five years and started out at the Create-A-Pro Academy. He added how much the friendships he has made in the industry have helped him over the past few years and that being out for a year in the toughest part of all this.

**GCW has announced ‘Blood on the Hills’ taking place on Friday, December 17th at The UCC in Los Angeles and streaming on Fite TV. Tickets for the event go on sale this Friday at 1 p.m. ET.

**Bobby Fish turns 45 years old today. His opponent tonight, CM Punk, had his 43rd birthday yesterday.

**The WWE stock closed at $59.86 on Wednesday.

**R-Truth (Ron Killings) has a new single out titled ‘Legacy’, which is the first single and the track of Killings’ new EP that comes out December 3rd. Killings has released a music video for the track.


**The PFL wraps up its season tonight with a card from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Florida with the main card airing on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The big story is Kayla Harrison, who is entering the last fight on her PFL deal as she fights Taylor Guardado in the women’s featherweight final. It becomes a question of whether Harrison sticks with PFL where she makes a lot of money fighting overmatched opponents, or tests her abilities with the UFC or Bellator (and it’s worth noting that she is a teammate of UFC 135 and 145-pound champion Amanda Nunes). For Harrison to go to the UFC, she would have to make 145 pounds, which she has proven she can do when she fought at the weight last year.

There will be six tournament finals taking place with the $1 million prize to each winner. In the past, they had run the finals on New Year’s Eve but are moving it up this year. The main card also sees Claressa Shields in her second pro-MMA fight, where the PFL is clearly hoping she will become a breakout star and are putting her fight on the main card ahead of several tournament finals to get her in front of the most eyes.

Below is the full card, which Eric Marcotte will be covering on the site:

MAIN CARD (8 p.m. ET on ESPN 2 and ESPN+)

*Women’s Lightweight Final: Kayla Harrison vs. Taylor Guardado
*Welterweight Finals: Ray Cooper III vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov
*Claressa Shields vs. Abigail Montes
*Featherweight Finals: Movlid Khaybulaev vs. Chris Wade
*Heavyweight Finals: Bruno Cappolozza vs. Ante Delija

*Light Heavyweight Finals: Antonio Carlos Junior vs. Marthin Hamlet
*Lightweight Finals: Loik Radzhabov vs. Raush Manfio
*Jordan Young vs. Omari Akhmedov
*Julia Budd vs. Kaitlin Young – Budd is making her PFL debut and is competing at 155 pounds, so clearly the idea is to build Budd for a fight with Harrison, if Harrison stays with the PFL. Budd is coming over from Bellator where she held their featherweight title.
*Don Madge vs. Nathan Williams

This could be an extremely lengthy card as all six finals are five-round fights.

**Episode 3 of UFC Embedded going into UFC 267 this weekend.

**Bellator has added five prelim fights for the Bellator 271 card on Friday, November 12th in Hollywood, Florida. The undercard fights will stream on the Bellator & Showtime Sports YouTube channels and include Bruna Ellen (5-3) vs. Desiree Yanez (5-3), Robert Turnquest (11-7) vs. Roman Faraldo (5-0), Cody Law (4-0) vs. Colton Hamm (4-3), Taylor Turner (5-7) vs. Valerie Loureda (3-1), and Jordan Newman (3-0) vs. Shane O’Shea (4-2).


WCW presents the Chamber of Horrors at Halloween Havoc in 1991:

Five years later at Halloween Havoc, a significantly better match was presented:

Jeff Jarrett’s interview from 1997 after returning to the WWF after spending one year in WCW:

Shawn Michaels attacks Daniel Bryan at the end of his Hell in a Cell with Randy Orton in 2013 leading to a segment the following night where Bryan placed Michaels in the Yes Lock:

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About John Pollock 5653 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.