Hello and welcome to another Central Roofing special edition newsletter. This time we’re looking at the most absurd rooftop moment in television history.
Taking place on October 29, 1995, at the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit Michigan, the now-extinct WCW held its annual Halloween Havoc Pay Per View event. As with anything to do with professional wrestling the premise of the whole show was completely outrageous. But even for pro wrestling standards, this could easily be the most absurd moment in television history. Let’s take a deep dive into the most absurd rooftop moment in T.V history.
In the wrestling storyline, wrestler Paul Wight who was booked as the son of legendary pro wrestler Andre The Giant and went by the moniker “The Giant” was wrestling an All-American superhero legend in his own right, Hulk Hogan. The idea is that “The Giant” wanted revenge against Hulk Hogan for Hogan beating “his father” Andre The Giant years earlier at Wrestlemania 3.
The Giant fueled by rage that he even kept and wore the “shirt his father” wore when he fought Hulk Hogan years before, decides now is the time to confront Hulk Hogan and murder him? (Giant and goons also shave off Hulk Hogan’s mustache).
For unknown storyline reasons, it was decided by executive WCW producer Eric Bischoff that this blood feud would be decided in two ways. The first was a sumo monster truck match on the roof of the Joe Louis Arena and the second was a conventional match between the two wrestlers.
The Monster Truck Roof Match Rules:
The rules as explained by mullet man are as follows: To win either Hulk Hogan or The Giant in their own thousands of dollars spent custom-made monster truck has to push the other out of the circle to win. With hidden pyro on the roof for unknown reasons.
Also, the monster trucks are bound together to prevent any damage to the monster trucks (which in my opinion takes the fun out of it)
The Roof Match Begins.
Being shot by helicopter the match begins with them just going back and forth with inter shots of hulk hogan and giant inside their vehicles. It’s completely obvious that the trucks are helping each other go back and forth as well as turn in unison.
The editing also makes it painfully obvious that the match took place the night before the pay-per-view that is airing it.
Anyway, The Giant pushes Hogan near the circle and one pyro charge goes off then Hulk Hogan forces The Giant out of the circle and after 5 minutes wins the match.
But that’s not all, the two exit their vehicles and begin to wrestle on the ledge of the roof. Hogan breaks from the Giant’s grip and :gasps: The Giant with wailing arms falls presumably to his death into the Detroit River.
Plot twist! Now as the commentators take us back into the arena. Hulk Hogan is in the ring and states due to the events that took place on top of the roof, his scheduled conventional wrestling match with The Giant cannot happen. (Implying that The Giant is now dead).
But wait! In comes The Giant! One of the commentator’s comments “he has risen from the dead!” as the other laments “I don’t understand any of it.” And the two wrestlers proceed to have a match where the Giant wins.
The Actual Facts:
First things first, the monster truck match did not take place on the roof of the Joe Louis arena, but it in fact took place at Cabo Hall (now known as the Huntington place convention center). The concrete roof also serves as a parking lot for the convention center.
Secondly, there is a good distance between the roof and the Detroit River so there is no way The Giant could have fallen to his death falling into the river (which was heavily implied) however his death would have been falling on concrete.
The real reason behind the rooftop match, according to the man himself, executive producer Eric Bischoff, as stated in his podcast “83 Weeks”, was not necessarily to entertain but for toy merchandising.
You see the whole idea was to enter the lucrative toy business. Bischoff thought if he could get Mattel’s Hot Wheels to manufacture mini-trucks based on WCW wrestlers it would be worth a fortune.
Paul Wight (The Giant) recently stated that the actual fall off of the building was him not a stuntman and that an airbag was below which he landed. Oh and he flipped Hogan off all the way down the fall. As for Hulk Hogan he hasn’t said a word about the match.
It was an expensive gamble as the helicopter, the pyro, the custom-made monster trucks as well as the stunt drivers who were actually driving the trucks (Yes it’s true Hogan and The Giant did not actually drive the monster trucks) cost WCW thousands of dollars and it did not pay off. As Hot Wheels didn’t bite.
In hindsight for its sheer ridiculousness, this event will forever be embedded in our minds as the most absurd rooftop moment in T.V history.
Andres is the Marketing Director at Central Roofing Company. He writes about commercial roofing, cool roofs, and everything else roofing related.