When fans and pro wrestling analysts look back at the fall of WCW, the night that they most point to as being the start of it all was October 25, 1998. That was the night of the annual Halloween Havoc PPV, a night that will be memorable for two incidents in particular, neither of them good. The first would be the much hyped up rematch between Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior, who was known as the Warrior in WCW.
The Warrior was signed on to WCW as a way to give Hogan a feud while he was put on the back burner of the world title picture, while at the same time bringing back fans to WCW. Unfortunately, this signing caused some serious problems as Warrior was signed to a huge deal which wouldn't have been so bad if it was for more than three matches.
The first match was as part of the main event at Fall Brawl where nine men representing three teams (WCW, NWO Hollywood, and NWO Wolfpack) competed inside two cages put together. Warrior had a lackluster performance in the match and ended up injuring himself in the process. His second match was as part of a tag match with former tag partner Sting as they beat Hogan and Bret Hart by DQ. But Warrior didn't really participate in the match as he stayed on the outside then ran in the back as he chased off a member of the NWO.
Then between Fall Brawl and Halloween Havoc the Warrior would taunt Hogan using magic—no, I'm not kidding. He would appear in Hogan's mirror and only Hogan and the audience could see him as everyone else from Bischoff to other NWO members claimed they didn't. He would evaporate into thin air and appear in the rafters with the Disciple to taunt Hogan, although the stand in for the Disciple was what appeared to be a sex doll dressed up like the Disciple. This was all in an attempt to hype up their rematch.
His final match in WCW would be the real kiss of death for the organization as he would face his rival Hogan in a co-main event at Halloween Havoc. In what Eric Bischoff himself has claimed was one of the worst main event matches in wrestling PPV history, everything that could have gone wrong, did. The timing of spots were off and hits weren't sold properly, when Hogan tried to use a piece of flash paper to blind the Warrior, he couldn't light it in time and ended up lighting it on himself. Warrior was sluggish as he was still nursing an injury. The match was thankfully ended as Horace Hogan came out and hit Warrior with one of the worst chair shots in wrestling history and Hogan got the pin.
Warrior's contract would not be renewed after the horrendous match and things would go back to normal for WCW. Unfortunately that wasn't completely the case. You see that night the PPV ran over the originally allotted three-hour run time, so when fans were settling in to the main event title match between Goldberg and DDP, the PPV cut out, leaving millions of fans in the dark as to what happened in that match.
It was later revealed that WCW had not let the PPV companies know that they were going to run over, a mistake that would cost them millions as they showed the main event in its entirety the following night on Nitro, which pissed off the PPV companies who would lose money since fans weren't going to buy the replay of the event that was going to air Tuesday. This would be the first blatant misstep on the part of WCW management which would lead to a massive snowball effect, ultimately ending the company.
The other effect it would have was that the signing of the Warrior would inadvertently, some say directly, lead to the deaths of two wrestlers, the British Bulldog and the Renegade. The Bulldog would be injured after he fell awkwardly on the trap door the Warrior used during his promos, leading to an addiction to painkillers and medication, which in turn led to his death years later. In the Renegade's case, he was used as a body double for the Warrior when he disappeared and reappeared in the rafters or played mind games on Hogan. After the Warrior left, there was little use for the Renegade, real name Rick Williams, so they released him. He would then commit suicide after having a fight with his girlfriend who later said he was rather upset about his sudden release.