Chucky is featured in the opening video package for a festive corporate synergy, but Shotzi and Quincy Elliot are the official co-hosts of tonight’s Halloween Havoc. Full of stipulation matches, bitter rivalries and holiday spirit, NXT continues its annual tradition – once again, spearheading a new era for the white and gold brand.

Nathan Frazer vs. Oro Mensah vs. Wes Lee vs. Von Wagner vs. Carmelo Hayes – North American Championship Ladder Match

Trick Williams features the star of the five in another special entry – former champion Hayes, but that’s anyone’s game, as Booker T aptly comments, “You know what unpredictable means: impossible to predict .” Ladders are introduced at the start of a demolition derby with equal times for each competitor to shine. Frazer prompts a “holy sh-” chant with a reverse Spanish fly on Hayes to steel, but Mensah capitalizes with everyone down. Williams tips the ladder, sending Mensah into the mass, but Mr. Stone tries to grab the strap for Wagner before getting dropped as well. Wagner almost takes out a fan while building a ladder bridge, but karma strikes when Frazer Frog splashes him through the ladders. He picks up and throws Lee from the ring to the announce desk in a senseless bump, and Mensah and Frazer then fight at the top of the rungs.

Hayes suppresses the opposition and climbs the ladder alone until Lee is brought up for the stoppage. The latter delivers a Meteora up a bridged ladder, climbs to the top, and unlocks the belt to a big reaction. “You Deserve It” chants are directed at Lee, the new North American champion in an impressive opener. NXT multi-man ladder matches are guaranteed, especially in front of a hot crowd like tonight’s.

Winner: Wes Lee

Alba Fyre pushes NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose into a graveyard, and the cinematic cameras follow Toxic Attraction like a lowbrow movie rather than a match. The three joke around in a haunted house before parting ways, where Jacy Jayne is kidnapped by the challenger. Fyre brawls with Gigi Dolin and shoves her, eventually meeting the champion afterwards. She hits Toxic Attraction with her baseball bat and drops a cliche one-liner before driving victoriously into the night with Rose inside.

Grayson Waller vs. Apollo Crews – Casket Match

The Druids carry a coffin to ringside because “spin the wheel, close the deal,” culminating in a rivalry containing visions of superheroes and bloodied eyeballs. The commentary notes Crews’ motivation for returning to NXT as “unfinished business,” but it’s more of a bizarre character change that involves the aforementioned powers and sinister vignettes. Booker T accuses Vic Joseph of being an accomplice when Waller gains the upper hand by cocking Waller’s pen. He continues to attack his opponent’s eyeballs, sending the crews through the wooden coffin before the lights go out.

Small technical details let the match ensue as the Druids follow a resurrected crew with another coffin. He finally pushes Waller inside, unable to close the lid before exchanging blows on the velvet bed. Waller hits his beautiful rolling stunner and goes for the second, but Crews reverses with a coffin slam, closing the lid for the win.

Winner: Apollo Crews

Class is in session at Andre Chase University, where new transfer student Duke Hudon is meeting his classmates. He confidently responds to Chase’s Halloween Havoc anecdotes, and Bodhi Hayward swears he’ll be more prepared on Tuesday.

NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly are interrupted by NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Kayden Carter and Katana Chance, all of whom have titles to defend this week.

Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez – Wild Match Weapons

Perez uses a skateboard to get the guns out of the way and push Jade to the ground before introducing a table. The latter turns the tide with a vaporizer, but Perez comes back with rope whips and a big stick. They brawl on top of the podium at ringside – “But what is it? Booker T says, and Perez hesitates to bring down his former friend. They go through two tables simultaneously and Perez hits Pop Rox on a mass of chairs for the three-count win.

Winner: Roxanne Perez

Co-host Shotzi enters the ring and “Super Diva” Quincy Elliot follows like a giant banana. But Lash Legend comes out complaining about not filling the host position, and a DDT from Shotzi is thrown at him. “World star! Elliot shouts.

The Schism cuts a chilling promo about the company’s mask unveiling, revealing that the hooded figure they framed will unmask on Tuesday.

Damon Kemp vs. Julius Creed – Ambulance Match

A brief history of Diamond Mine precedes the game, highlighting one of NXT 2.0’s few accomplishments. The ambulance is parked near the garage opening and Kemp escapes by wedging a crutch between the doors. Creed hunts his opponent with a fire extinguisher, where if the former loses, his brother Brutus Creed is kicked out of the promotion. He fights out of the ambulance but is driven down the steel steps by Kemp with a Uranage, though Creed traps the latter in a wheelchair for beating purposes. They throw objects at each other and migrate back to the ambulance, where Creed sacrifices his hands to avoid defeat. He poetically uses the same chair Kemp used weeks before and bombards him through a stretcher before finally hauling him into the ambulance for the win.

Winner: Julius Creed

Alba Fyre vs. Mandy Rose (c) – NXT Women’s Championship

The ambulance exits and an SUV drives in with Fyre and Rose inside. They enter the ring and the bell officially rings, where Rose takes over the majority of the match. Fyre comes back with a Swanton but Jacy Jayne and Toxic Attraction’s Gigi Dolin pull the referee off. The challenger hits the Gory Bomb with no referee aware, but the numbers are too strong, allowing Rose to connect with a running knee for three. Therefore, Rose is approaching one year as NXT Women’s Champion, which is mostly a statement of how shallow this roster is for a viable replacement.

Winner: Mandy Rose

Nikkita Lyons and Zoey Stark are interviewed about their match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championships, and fellow challengers Edris Enofe and Malik Blade cheer them on.

JD McDonagh vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Bron Breakker (c) – NXT Championship

Franchisee Breakker is the clear favorite, but Dragunov is definitely a sleeper pick. “Mc-Don’t-google-me”, which was verbally erased by Kevin Owens on the homecoming show, takes early control as a naturally overlooked challenger. Breakker throws the opposition hard, but Dragunov fights back with intense strikes and a great Coast-to-Coast. McDonagh applauds Breakker and Dragunov’s striking exchange but is inevitably caught in the middle until he is thrown over the ropes. All three men are floored with “NXT” chants in the background, then, Breakker Frankensteiners McDonagh into a Dragunov powerbomb.

The contestants continue to trade offensive maneuvers as McDonagh receives the highest honor of entering Booker T’s “favorite five”. But he is unable to capitalize on Breakker’s final slam on Dragunov, and the latter connects with a senton and Torpedo Moskau on the champ. McDonagh grabs the referee’s hand before the three count but receives a Torpedo Moskau at ringside to be knocked out of the equation. Dragunov tries another finishing move, but Breakker knocks it down with a brutal spear to retain his championship in an extremely well-organized main event match.

Winner: Bron Breaker

NXT Halloween Havoc 2022

Orlando, Florida

I was initially sour on this event because of the cheesy dark elements like the coffin match and the haunted house segment, but the main event was so amazing it knocked it over. The Ladder Match and Ambulance Match were also excellent, but most matches could have benefited from a bit shorter cut. Otherwise, the young wrestlers of NXT continue to prove that they are worth showing off.


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