INDUCTION: Trick Or Street Fight – Wrestling meets Smashing Pumpkins (but in WWE, with no Billy Corgan)

16 Submitted by on Thu, 02 November 2017, 20:00

WWE, 2014-????

October 31st, 2002 – that was the night I put away childish things and became a man.

Or, at least, that was the night I decided I valued wrestling over candy. That Thursday, I gave my trusty Bob Dole costume a rest (and not just because the ’96 election had long since ceased to be relevant) and skipped my annual trick-or-treating to watch Smackdown.

And what a Smackdown it was.

Besides John Cena dressing up as Vanilla Ice and rapping for the first time (the effects of which still reverberate to this day)…

…and Eric Bischoff kissing Stephanie McMahon (the effects of which didn’t even reverberate into the following Monday)…

…the broadcast featured Edge-Benoit…

…Angle-Guerrero…

…Lesnar-Mysterio…

…and some quality Matt Facts.

It’s fair to say, though, that if I were a kid today, there is no way I’d skip out on free candy just to watch the kind of nonsense WWE puts on every Halloween.

And the centerpiece of that nonsense is the annual Trick or Street Fight.

WCW’s Halloween Havoc may have been a consistently embarrassing event for wrestling fans, but at least it brought some originality to the holiday festivities, featuring mummies…

…phantoms…

…electric chairs…

…uh, gloves…

…and several dozen Stings.

But the Trick or Street Fight? It’s the same damn thing every year.

The first such bout was significant for being Dean Ambrose’s first match since Hell in a Cell against Seth Rollins, where Bray Wyatt attacked the Lunatic Fringe for no apparent reason.

That Thursday, Wyatt offered up a baffling, esoteric explanation for his actions, just as he would do for John Cena, Seth Rollins, Finn Balor, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns…

Moments after the Speaker of Words made his motivations perfectly opaque, his latest victim Dean Ambrose made his way to the ring for a very, very silly match.

His opponent? Cesaro, who at that year’s Wrestlemania had shocked the world by hoisting up the Big Show and tossing him over the top rope to win the first-ever Andre Battle Royal.

On Monday, Dean had vented his frustrations by bashing Cesaro in the head with a microphone, so on Thursday, the two sure-fire stars-in-the-making settled their differences with pumpkins and plastic skeletons.

On one side of the ring stood a bucket of apples and a table complete with plastic tombstones, candy, and candy-corn colored kendo sticks.

On the other three sides of the ring stood the exact same stuff. It was a very symmetrical street fight.

Cesaro, clearly out for brutal revenge, plunged Dean’s head under water and tried to drown him…

…before switching his attention to the most vicious form of vengeance out there: building a big pile of Jack-o-lanterns and trying to suplex Dean onto them.

Neither man wanting to land on the dreaded hollow pumpkin rinds, the two jockeyed for position…

…until at last Cesaro took a back body drop into the makeshift pumpkin patch.

If Dean had instead driven Cesaro into the pumpkins with a gourdbuster, this match wouldn’t have ended up on Wrestlecrap.

Other notable Ambrose offense included this baseball slide into Cesaro, which sent dozens of candy bars flying out of his bucket. Wise of WWE to use a bucket instead of a candy dish; you can put a lot of nice things in there, and it doesn’t cost ninety dollars.

Dean tried to get some extra hangtime on his elbow drop by hopping on a broom, but it still ended up more CM Punk than Kairi Sane.

To end the bout, Dean stuck another gourd on Cesaro’s head and DDT’ed him for the 1-2-3. Talk about a squash match!

Dean then acted out a scene from Hamlet…

…popped another pumpkin onto Cesaro’s head…

…and, after the King of Swing stumbled around, baffled that he was suddenly blind…

…hit him with another DDT to close the show.

By the way, this was the main event.

I guess this match was supposed to be a “treat” for the fans in attendance.

The “trick” was that the “Get Well” message for Daniel Bryan at the beginning of the taping was just a ruse, perpetrated to make the crowd look super-excited for Vince McMahon’s post-production announcement of a free month of WWE Network.

What, you didn’t really think that the weakest “Yes” gesture in recorded history could rile up the crowd for a minute straight, did you?

The following year, Smackdown featured yet another Halloween garbage match, this time called a “Trick or Treat Street Fight” in case fans didn’t quite grasp the play on words of the first match.

This year, one of the participants, Dolph Ziggler, came to the ring in costume, allegedly. If it was a costume, it was one he never took off, but Jerry Lawler recognized the get-up as a Nikki Sixx outfit and chided Booker T for not being on the ball and noticing it.

I guess dressing up as Vince Neil was out of the question.

The use of costumes was where the differences ended, however, as it became clear that this year’s Halloween hardcore match would be exactly the same as the previous year’s.

Exact same cheap decorations…

…exact same spots…

…exact same campy theme music

…and the exact same pumpkin-headed foolishness. This time around, Miz had to pretend that the pumpkin on his head was fastened so tight he couldn’t get it off if he tried, while in reality holding on to it for dear life lest it fall off.

It’s the Halloween equivalent of those spots in every Royal Rumble where the guy pretends to be pushing his opponent over the top rope while he’s clearly pulling him back into the ring.

Jerry Lawler, who minutes earlier was so astute in pointing out Dolph’s costume, finally realized that those yellow, orange, and white kendo sticks were supposed to look like candy corn.

Miz briefly broke with the holiday spirit by smashing Ziggler’s knee with a chair…

….but because it wasn’t Halloween-themed, it had no lasting effect; seconds later, Dolph countered Miz’s figure-four attempt with a roll-up for the victory.

2016 saw the Trick or Street Fight revert to its original name…

…as Enzo Amore (dressed as Buzz Lightyear)…

…took on Luke Gallows…

…in what was again the same damn match…

…right down to the head-dunking spot.

Well, there was one new addition to the Halloween-themed throwaway brawl: pumpkin pie, a traditional food for Thanksgiving, which is in November and not October, last time I checked. Perhaps Booker T put this match together.

Enzo won with an assist from Cass…

…who had jammed yet another pumpkin on Luke Gallows’s head. Or attempted to, anyway.

And on and on it goes. There was another Trick or Street Fight this year, which played out exactly the same as the ones from 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018 – I’m making an educated guess on that last one, which hasn’t technically happened yet.

As long as there is filler in WWE programming (three-hour Raws, Smackdowns without the brand split, etc.) there will be the Trick or Street Fight every year around All Hallow’s Eve.

Pumpkins will be smashed, heads will be dunked, and not a drop of blood will be spilled nor a single forehead gigged, as WWE screens all the candy for razor blades.

Written by

A wrestling fan ever since the days of Wrestlemania IX, Art graduated from college in the same building where Art Donovan called King of the Ring 1994. He also runs the “How Much Does This Guy Weigh?” blog, where he reviews New Generation-Era Monday Night Raws. Follow him on Twitter @Art0Donnell.

Email at: art@wrestlecrap.com

16 Responses to "INDUCTION: Trick Or Street Fight – Wrestling meets Smashing Pumpkins (but in WWE, with no Billy Corgan)"
  1. Scrooge McSuck says:

    This year might have been worse, even with the rare appearance of Tex Ferguson and Chad 2 Badd. Great induction!

  2. Christopher Haydu says:

    If it was an actual street fight with brutal spots then it would be better. I’ll cut Cesaro some slack: getting back body dropped onto a pile of pumpkins looks like it could be a dangerous spot. Pumpkins are kind of hard, and the stalks on top, etc… That could’ve destroyed his back if he fell wrong. I wonder if the pumpkins were somehow gimmicked ahead of time. I would assume so based on how hard they are. What do you think?

    If Dean started reciting Hamlet while holding the skull and adopted that as part of his gimmick…. Money.

  3. Sean Bateman says:

    still better than the Divas wrestling in gravy during Thanksgiving

  4. PlasticDiverGuy says:

    “Well I guess you could put keys in there, or use it in a Trick or Stre…”
    “No! Just candy!”

    And that’s why they went with the bucket instead.

  5. Mrs. Glick says:

    It’s a candy dish, Art! You can’t put a lot of nice things in there; just candy! $90!!!

  6. Hulk6785 says:

    You forgot the best part of that Halloween SmackDown!: Stephanie McMahon’s witch costume. Oh my!

  7. Ze Frenchie says:

    Hilarious induction again Art!

  8. Hulk6785 says:

    So, if you are forced to partake in this match, could you get out of it by choosing “trick”?

  9. President Clinton Dempsey says:

    The biggest missed opportunity is a Pumpkin Dance

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4IC7qaNr7I

  10. MistaMaddog says:

    Jameson would be very proud of the pumpkins-on-the-head finishers…

    • OutlawtotheEnd says:

      So would Ole Anderson, if Jim Cornette is to be believed. For Halloween Havoc 1990, Ole wanted Cornette to take a beating with a pumpkin on his head. The exchange went something like this:

      CORNY: No way.

      OLE: Nick Gulas would have done it.

      CORNY: Nick Gulas drew money, too.

  11. Guest says:

    “Well, there was one new addition to the Halloween-themed throwaway brawl: pumpkin pie, a traditional food for Thanksgiving, which is in November and not October, last time I checked. Perhaps Booker T put this match together.”

    Or Vicki could have given she thinks Apple Pie is a traditional Mexican dish.

  12. Adam says:

    Mummy? Are you blind, good sir?! That’s obviously a Yeti!

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