The Halloween Phantom vs. Tom Zenk

WCW Halloween Havoc 1991

For years I’ve tried to come up with a way to get the infamous WCW Halloween Havoc Phantom on the site, and now, thanks to SQUASH of the Week, I have the perfect excuse. This guy is anything but induction material; in fact, this is one of the best surprises WCW (or any other wresting company) ever came up with. A rare case where the hype was actually outshined by what was delivered.

Making his way through what appeared to be a fourth grade class Halloween art project, the Phantom came to the ring as a somewhat off key version of Toccata and Fugue in D Minor blared over the house PA. The best part of all this (especially knowing who was under the hood!) was Phantom doing his best Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 from Outer Space bit covering his face like an honest to goodness silent movie villain.

Upon removing his cape, he immediately goes to work on young Tom Zenk, absolutely pummeling the guy and nearly removing his head with a clothesline. And then, naturally following that up with more spooky movements. I’ve heard of playing to the last row in the building, this was more like playing it up to the last row on the moon.

A GIGANTIC bodyslam comes next which Zenk sells as if he’s landed in molten lava. Then we get both front AND back rakes. If I didn’t know better I would think no less than Hulk Hogan was under the hood!

Phantom grabs Zenk by the taint and gives him a vicious gut buster. Better yet, he celebrates by lifting his arms in the air to show his superiority. That’s right out of WCW vs. nWo: World Tour. Just watching it, I can almost feel my left hand instinctively flicking the N64 analog stick!

It doesn’t take long for Phantom to determine that play time is over. A knee to the gut and he spins his foe over for the Phantom Awakening. Or should that be…

…the RUDE Awakening! Yes, kids, this would be none other than “Ravishing” Rick Rude making his return to the ring, this time under the employ of Paul E. Dangerously (Heyman). THAT is how you pay off a surprise, kids!

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