The first night of the Halloween Havoc Double-Header was incredibly solid. The matches were all strong with the exception of the second Women’s Breakout Tournament match. The crowd was very into the main event and the Chase U Title win and were still excited for both of the plunder matches. The whodunit on Trick William’s attacker gave several potential suspects and added a lot to Carmelo vs Dragunov III for next week. The five women's matches also showed just how deep the NXT Women’s Division is. Lyra, Lynch, Gigi, Davenport, Perez and James all were given time to showcase themselves and tell their stories. The overall theme of Halloween Havoc was done very well with NXT really steering into the goofy side of Halloween with a lot of “spooky” iconography and almost every wrestler coming out in some kind of Halloween costume. My personal favorites were the several outfits of the Shotzi and Scarlet but Roxanne Perez as Freddy Kreuger and Kelani Jordan as Spider-Gwen also showed a lot of creativity. This show was a blast to sit through and I can’t wait until next week to see the conclusion of Halloween Havoc.
Night 1 of NXT Halloween Havoc comes out swinging with a stacked card. Roxanne Perez and Kiana James battle in a Devil’s Playground match. Lexis King (Brian Pillman Jr.) makes his NXT debut. The D’Angelo Family defend their tag team titles against Chase U. Gigi Dolin and Blair Davenport face off in a Light’s Out Match. We find out who advances to the finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament between the Final 4 of Kelani Jordan, Arianna Grace, Lola Vice and Karmen Petrovic. In the main event, Becky Lynch defends her NXT Women’s Championship against her fellow Irish Lass, Lyra Valkyria.
GOOD Roxanne Perez vs Kiana James – Devil’s Playground Match
This match started with typical WWE prop hardcore spots. NXT really leaned into the “playground” motif with this match. Roxie used a plastic swing on James and then James got the chain from the swing to whip Perez into the barricade and into the ring post. James hit Perez with a laptop from her oversized purse and Perez put James through the Fisher-Price slide at ringside. The two women spend time standing on the barricade teasing a spot of some kind that never comes but then Perez hits Pop-Rox on James’ bag for the win. After the match, Roxie reveals that there was a brick in the bag that assisted in the win. This match was silly WWE “hardcore” fun. Steering into the “playground” part of the match type clicked with the silly nature of Halloween Havoc.
Results: Roxanne Perez by Pinfall via Pop-Rox
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
Carmelo Sit Down
Carmelo sits down with Vic Joseph to talk about who beat up Trick Williams last week. Melo denies that it was him but says that he would defeat Trick if that is what it took to get back his NXT Championship. Melo showing a little heel-ish tendencies is certainly selling Halloween Havoc Night 2 really well.
Meta-Four Backstage Segment
Meta-Four is backstage getting a tarot reading from the hosts of Halloween Havoc (Shotzi and Scarlett) when Akira Tozawa steals the Heritage Cup out from under Dar’s nose.
AVERAGE Lexis King vs Dante Chen
This marks Lexis King’s NXT debut. The match started out very kick heavy from both men. I thought this was going to be a squash but it was surprisingly 50/50. Chen was hitting good moves and the crowd was getting into it when King hit a rope-hung neckbreaker for the win. Lexis King certainly looked kind of dumb but his story of wanting to “be his own man” is interesting at least. I don’t think this is the last we will see of Chen either as he was confronted backstage by Boa in the background of a later segment on the show. Maybe a deep run in the Men’s Breakout Tournament could be in his future?
Results: Lexis King by Pinfall via Rope Hung Neckbreaker
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 2.0 Stars
Chase U/D’Angelo Family Segment
Backstage, Chase U is warming up and the D’Angelo Family appears to wish them luck and to not “throw the towel in” much to Thea’s annoyance.
ABOVE AVERAGE Kelani Jordan vs Arianna Grace – NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semi-Final Match
We find out who the first finalist will be in the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament as Kelani Jordan faces Arianna Grace. The story of this match is that Grace is trying to get over her “kiss my hand” gimmick and Jordan isn’t having it. The women exchange some good pin combinations which ends with Jordan hitting a flipping leg drop. Jordan is able to hit a split-legged moonsault to win. This match was fine. Jordan showed that she is a talent and Grace’s character is certainly interesting. Both women show a lot of promise for the NXT Women’s division.
Results: Kelani Jordan by Pinfall via Split Leg Moonsault
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 2.5 Stars
VonWagner/Robert Stone Segment
We go to a rehab place where VonWagner is bandaged up from his attack by Bron Breakker a number of weeks ago. Robert Stone still wants his match against Bron at Halloween Havoc Night 2 because even if he gets beat up, he wants to fight for his friend. VonWagner is moved that Stone thinks of him as a friend and he is now more motivated to get better as soon as possible.
Creed Brothers/Scarlet/Shotzi Segment
The Creeds come out to challenge Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo to a match at Halloween Havoc Night 2. The hosts suggest to Spin the Wheel to which Ivy Nile spins and it lands on “Tables, Ladders & Scares”. So a TLC match next week on Halloween Havoc between the Creeds and the Garzas is certainly going to be a lot of fun.
GREAT D’Angelo Family vs Chase U – NXT Tag Team Championship Match
This match starts hot as Tony D throws Stacks onto both members of Chase U as the match begins. All four men take turns working with each other when we start building up to the Duke Hudson hot tag. Duke comes out like a man possessed and hits all of the classics (the Chase U elbows, a big sidewalk slam, and a lariat). Tony D cuts him off with a wicked spinebuster to take control. The Family hit a Power-Plex with a diving headbutt from Stacks that Duke breaks up by German Suplex-ing Tony D into the pinfall. This lights up the crowd as Jacy Jayne tries to slide a crowbar to Andre Chase in order to get the dirty win. Mr. Chase declines it but Tony D bumps Jayne off the apron. While Tony D is confused, Chase rolls him up for the win and the tag team titles for Chase U. This match was great. The crowd was so ready to see Chase U win. I love both of these gimmicks as they are so outlandish but they work. I don’t imagine Chase U will hold the belts for long but it is nice to see an act get organically over and get rewarded, especially in WWE.
Results: Chase U by Pinfall via Rollup
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
Hard Hitting Home Truths with Nathan Frazier
Nathan Frazier video package in which he runs down Domink Mysterio and challenges him to a North American Championship Match next week at Halloween Havoc Night 2. This match has the potential to be really good. Frazier has the potential to play a perfect babyface to Dom’s perfect heel. Halloween Havoc Night 2 is shaping up to be a can’t miss show!
Corbin Backstage Segment
Baron Corbin is complaining in a backstage interview and claims he didn’t beat up Trick Williams. Corbin says his eyes are only on the title.
GOOD Gigi Dolin vs Blair Davenport – Lights Out Match
Before the bell rings, we get the Scarlet and Shotzi flipping a comically large switch to turn the lights off for this match. More WWE plunder match spots in this one as we get a chair assisted meteora and a kendo stick assisted neckbreaker. The crowd is chanting “We Want Tables” and Gigi gets one out to a big pop. Davenport, however, does not care and kicks the table out of the ring to a chorus of boo’s. The brawl continues to ringside where Dolin hits a Blue Thunder Bomb through a trash can. Davenport sets up a table next to the announce table. Both women get on the announce table and Blair hits a Falcon Arrow off the announce table and through the original table for the win. The finishing spot was certainly very unique but I think this match suffered a little bit having to follow the earlier plunder match but it was still very entertaining with plenty of excitement.
Results: Blair Davenport by Pinfall via Falcon Arrow
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 3.0 Stars
Ilja Sit Down Interview & Carmelo/Shotzi/Scarlet Segment
Ilja sits down with Vic Joseph and talks about how much he loves his son. Ilja is putting over how good he expects his third match against Carmelo to be next week. I am certainly very excited to see how this trilogy wraps up. We cut to Carmelo watching a monitor when Scarlet and Shotzi appear (dressed as the scary twins from The Shining) and hint that Carmelo was the one who beat up Trick. Carmelo storms off as the hosts laugh creepily.
Tiffany Stratton/Fallon Henley Segment
We move onto the NXT Halloween party where Tiffany is putting herself over when Fallon Henley appears in a Tiffany Stratton Halloween costume. Henley makes fun of Tiffany which leads to a brawl and a match is made for next week.
BELOW AVERAGE Lola Vice vs Karmen Petrovic – NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament Semi-Final Match
We are going to find out who will meet Kelani Jordan in the finals of the Women’s Breakout Tournament. Neither woman gets an entrance as we go right into the bell ringing. Both women are highlighting their strikes early on. Petrovic is a great striker but she is still pretty green in the wrestling part. Lola Vice catches her with a spin kick out of the corner to advance to the finals. This match was a pretty quick come-down before the main event. Lola Vice was certainly the correct pick here as a Jordan vs Vice Finals seems fitting for this next class of the NXT Women’s division. I certainly expect the ladies to show out next week in the Finals.
Results: Lola Vice by Pinfall via Spin Kick
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 1.5 Stars
Chase U/Chelsea Green & Piper Niven Segment
We cut backstage to a Chase U celebration that is interrupted by Chelsea Green and Piper Niven. Thea and Jacey step up to the tag champions and challenge them to a match at Halloween Havoc Night 2. If Chase U is double tag champions after next week, my little Chase U heart will be so happy!
We see Meta-Four looking for the Heritage Cup when it is revealed that Tozawa has stolen it and taken it to (what looked like) a haunted house. He tells Dar to “come and get it” as Meta-Four argue over who should go and get the Cup.
Hayes is in the locker room when Bron Breakker appears and accuses Carmelo of beating down Trick. Breakker says that he hopes that Hayes has found his dark side and plays the “devil on the shoulder” to the conflicted Carmelo. This turn is being teased very heavily so I am invested in where this story goes between the Trick-Melo gang.
AMAZING Lyra Valkyria vs Becky Lynch – NXT Women’s Championship Match
Before the bell rings, we see Jade Cargill appear in the crowd to sit in a throne to watch the main event. This match has been built up all night as the “biggest match in Ireland” as both women are Irish. The match begins with a lot of trading pin combinations and continues with a lot of counters showing that Valkyria is just as good as Lynch. The crowd is super hot as we get dueling chants multiple times. The crowd is split about 70/30 Becky but that number grows closer to 50/50 as the match goes on. Lynch hits a stundog millionaire off of the middle rope and Lyra hits a nasty fisherman buster for a nearfall. The crowd is absolutely rocking with multiple NXT and This is Awesome chants. Lynch hits a superplex into a DDT for another close nearfall. Becky then hits a Manhandle Slam out of nowhere which Lyra kicks out of. The crowd erupts with Holy S*** chants. Becky goes for another one but Lyra counters into a pinfall to win the NXT Women’s Title. After the match, Becky raises Valkyria’s hand and gives her a hug; truly passing the torch to the next NXT Women’s Champion. This match was great. The counter-for-counter part at the beginning really told the foundational story that Lyra is just as good as Becky. Then once we got into false finishes, the moves were executed beautifully and truly showed how deep the movesets of both women are. I am excited to see what Valkyria does with her reign but I think Becky could’ve held the belt a little bit longer. However, if this is the match that her reign ends on, I am not complaining.
Results: Lyra Valkyria by Pinfall via Rollup
Austin Knight WR Star Rating – 4.0 Stars
The first night of the Halloween Havoc Double-Header was incredibly solid. The matches were all strong with the exception of the second Women’s Breakout Tournament match. The crowd was very into the main event and the Chase U Title win and were still excited for both of the plunder matches. The whodunit on Trick William’s attacker gave several potential suspects and added a lot to Carmelo vs Dragunov III for next week. The five women’s matches also showed just how deep the NXT Women’s Division is. Lyra, Lynch, Gigi, Davenport, Perez and James all were given time to showcase themselves and tell their stories. The overall theme of Halloween Havoc was done very well with NXT really steering into the goofy side of Halloween with a lot of “spooky” iconography and almost every wrestler coming out in some kind of Halloween costume. My personal favorites were the several outfits of the Shotzi and Scarlet but Roxanne Perez as Freddy Kreuger and Kelani Jordan as Spider-Gwen also showed a lot of creativity. This show was a blast to sit through and I can’t wait until next week to see the conclusion of Halloween Havoc.
Matches: 0.5/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.75/1 Stars
Atmosphere…: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.75/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating. 3.5/5 Stars
Photo Credit: (wwe.com)
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