This Day in WCW History: Following Hulk Hogan’s mysterious choice to lay down for Sting in his WCW Title rematch and Goldberg winning the U.S. Heavyweight Title from Sid Vicious due to blood stoppage, Goldberg answers Sting’s unsanctioned open challenge and defeats The Franchise in mere minutes to seemingly win his second WCW World Heavyweight Championship at Halloween Havoc 1999.

[This Day in WCW History] Goldberg Wins His Second WCW World Heavyweight Championship… Kinda - WCW Halloween Havoc [October 24th, 1999]

In their impromptu main event match, Goldberg ended up decimating Sting in a three minute bout that probably was originally intended to be something to help send the Vegas crowd home happy. At the end of the match, Goldberg was victorious and had WCW referee Charles Robinson reward him with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship.

However, the match was a non-title bout and naming Goldberg as the new champion threw things into a bit of disarray. It’s hard to say now if this was another worked Russo shoot or a legitimate mistake, but the fuck-up was cleared up the following night at Nitro by declaring the championship completely vacant. Storyline-wise, it was said that Sting never lost his title to Goldberg but was getting stripped of the belt due to his vicious attack on the ref after the match. A tournament for the championship was called and eventually led to Bret Hart becoming the WCW World Heavyweight Champion.

Bonus Fun: You can spot Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Bill Apter wearing an nWo shirt right behind Goldberg in this shot. Apter was there to photograph the PPV for his magazine.

[This Day in WCW History] Hulk Hogan Lays Down for Sting in a WCW World Heavyweight Championship Match - WCW Halloween Havoc [October 24th, 1999]

Even after all these years have passed, I still don’t think I understand what happened at this PPV between Hulk Hogan and Sting.  After Hogan misses his theme entrance cue (twice), Sting walks down to the ring as the WCW World Heavyweight Champion and stands there like an idiot until a distraught Hulkster finally makes his way down the ramp… in his street clothes.

Hulk lays down, Sting pins him to retain his championship, and Hogan immediately jets out of the arena. Sting would issue an open challenge to “anybody” later on in the show and have an impromptu match with Goldberg, but nothing else involving Hogan happens at all during the PPV.

From what I gather now, it seems that this angle was supposed to be a worked shoot thought up by Russo.  With Hulk Hogan laying down to Sting in the match, this was Hogan’s way of throwing a temper tantrum to signify his refusing to job cleanly, which is why he just laid down. In turn, the Internet wrestling nerds were supposed to be enraged at Hogan for showing up for a paycheck, making Halloween Havoc and WCW an instant hot topic of discussion amongst wrestling fans.

Instead, the angle was just confusing overall and became a precursor to similar worked shoot angles that would occur regularly during Vince Russo’s reign over WCW. In fact, there would be a similar angle involving Hulk Hogan that would cause Hogan to legitimately quit WCW and even sue the company and Russo for what went down…