Halloween has been a popular time of the year for wrestlers to reflect on their greatest achievements in the month of October. Rey Mysterio has talked of his instant classic with Eddie Guerrero in 1997 and now AEW commentator Jim Ross has followed suit.
‘Good Ol’ J.R’ has witnessed thousands of matches from countless promotions in his time. Though he is best known for partnering Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler at WWF’s announce table during the Attitude Era and into the noughties, many will remember him for his time with World Championship Wrestling.
At WCW Halloween Havoc 1990, Ross was present for the WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match between champion Sting and challenger Sid Vicious which will be remembered for it’s false finish which included, you guessed it, a fake Sting.
At the culmination of the title clash, it appeared as if Sid had done the unthinkable and toppled the uber-popular champion after collapsing onto ‘The Stinger’ during a bodyslam attempt. However, trickery was at hand.
Prior to the pinfall, the pair had brawled into the aisle amidst The Four Horsemen where a switch had taken place. Real Sting for fake Sting (Barry Windham). Following the decision, the actual champion made his way back to the squared circle to unveil the heinous magic of The Black Scorpion – who Sting had been feuding with – before eventually reclaiming his gold after a restart.
On the latest edition of his Grilling JR Podcast, the Oklahoma native recalled the match in question which he doesn’t hold in high esteem thanks to the chicanery of its finale and the lack of chemistry between champion and challenger:
“There’s always a lot of compromise in getting these matches structured. Sting wasn’t being protective, but he was aware like, ‘hey, I’m the champion. You put me in this position, so I need to be strong to some degree.’ Which, he was right.
I’ve talked to Stone Cold [Steve Austin] over a cocktail or two, and he’d say a guy who I wont name – he said he’s a great guy and a Hall of Fame guy, but we didn’t have chemistry. That lack of chemistry, I think it reared its ugly head in this match.”
In Ross’ opinion, the bout suffered not only from the fact that Sid and Sting had little spark, but that WCW had booked themselves into a corner needing the heel to look strong in defeat:
“When you book a match, how do you book a match without a finish in mind when you’re trying to protect the guy who’s losing? You need to have the finish booked at the same time you booked the match knowing the criteria involved. The criteria being that we needed to protect Sid because he’s hot.”
Though the aforementioned finish to the bout was somewhat ludicrous in hindsight, the battle and subsequent push for the former Skyscraper wasn’t all a bust. The positive Ross took away from the night in question was Sid’s money making look:
“There’s no doubt his upside was unlimited. The look was a look that was being accepted as a star look – 6’9”, lean, muscular, great facial expressions. He had everything physically that you’d ever want in a monster heel or monster babyface.”
Following his loss to Sting at Halloween Havoc, Sid began to break away from the Horsemen and try his luck on his own. Sadly, a short-lived reunion of The Skyscrapers failed miserably as did fleeting feuds with Joey Maggs, Trucker Norm and Big Cat.
In 1991 he re-joined Ric Flair’s tribe – Flair had been unmasked as The Black Scorpion – but left the company following a feud with El Gigante to join rivals, World Wrestling Federation.
Credit for the interview: Grilling JR Podcast
h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.