Halloween Havoc returns for the second straight year on tonight's special episode of NXT.
The NXT Championship will be on the line in the main event as Tommaso Ciampa defends against Bron Breakker. WWE has been building to the title match since Breakker made his debut on the premiere of NXT 2.0 last month. That was also the night that Ciampa became NXT Champion.
Three Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal matches are also set for tonight. Raquel Gonzalez defends the NXT Women's Championship against Mandy Rose, MSK put their NXT Tag Team titles on the line against Imperium, and Io Shirai & Zoey Stark face Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta and Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne for the NXT Women's Tag Team titles.
The Women's Tag Team title match will be a Scareway to Hell ladder match. The stipulations for the other two matches haven't been determined yet.
Plus, horror movie character Chucky will be a special guest on the show, there will be a new edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend, Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams will head to a haunted house in an attempt to get Hayes' NXT North American title belt back from Johnny Gargano and Dexter Lumis, Solo Sikoa will debut, and a mysterious wrestler will appear.
Our live coverage begins at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
A cross-promotional canned intro opens tonight's special supercard with narration by Chucky. The talking doll ran down the lineup for tonight's card. The Chucky tie-in is part of USA Network promoting the new Chucky television series on the cable channel.
Kicking off the show is a triple threat tag team ladder match for the NXT Women's title. Chucky also cut a promo hyping the bout just before the bell.
Gigi Dolan & Jacy Jayne defeated Io Shirai & Zoey Stark and Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta in a Scareway to Hell Ladder Match for the NXT Women's Championship to win the titles
Toxic Attraction won the titles in a stunt show. Not the best ladder match, but far from the worst. Seemed tame at first, but there were some crazy spots in the later portion of the bout.
The match aired commercial free. This bout was basically a big melee. Ladders became weapons early on and throughout. Fairly safe spots when the ladders were used as weapons. Nothing was too crazy until Shirai, until almost everyone sprang onto a ladder. Parade of high spots, including Stark doing a dive off a ladder to the outside.
Shirai got to shine at several points. The later half part of the match was a collection of sequences of them climbing the ladders, only to be thwarted. Pirotta powerbombed Dolan on a ladder, but a powerbomb moments later was countered by Jayne. She then was thrown back onto a ladder by Shirai, who followed up with a double springboard moonsault on the ladder.
Stark went for a twisting splash, but she came up a bit short. Stark was then given a spinebuster on the ladder by Hartwell. Shirai shoved Hartwell off the ladder, and she was on the verge of winning when the ladder was tipped over by Hartwell. Shirai crashed hard into a ladder bridged between the apron and the announce desk.
Hartwell was able to kick Jayne off the ladder, but Dolan climbed up the other side. Dolan booted Hartwell off the ladder, and Dolan grabbed the title belts hanging above to win the match.
Next up is part one of cinematic feature where Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams go to a haunted house that is Dexter Lumis' place. Lumis was there with Johnny Gargano. The zombie ref was also there, along with other creatures of the night. Hayes and Williams were in search of the NXT North American Championship.
Grayson Waller cut a promo on saying he was the new host. He buries LA Knight for not being there. Waller was dressed as Dracula. Out comes Joe Gacy, who gives Waller a hug. Gacy also said some buzzwords before his match.
Joe Gacy defeated Malik Blade
Gacy pinned Blade in a glorified squash match that also featured Harlan. During the bout, Harlan was shown through the building like he was Michael Myers. He came to ringside and grabbed Blade by the throat.
Gacy after the match told Harlan he could trust him, and they left together.
A vignette hyped Kay Lee Ray. No respect for her on NXT 2.0. She is pissed off and everybody is going to pay. It's time to rage!
Waller was making the rounds at a backstage costume party.
Malcolm Bivens cut a promo announcing an open challenge from the Diamond Mine. Bivens is a great talker, but I was more impressed here by the use of a label mic instead of handheld one. It allowed for Bivens to be more natural in his delivery I thought.
Odyssey Jones answered the open challenge after a commercial break. Bivens scoffed, saying Jones was under the weight limit to challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. So it was a non-title bout instead.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong defeated Odyssey Jones in a non-title match
Strong pinned Jones after outside interference. The finish still came out of nowhere, and it was just as the match was heating up.
Strong used his technical skills to ground Jones with holds, but Jones was seemingly too powerful. Jones was making a comeback with power moves when the Creed Brothers interfere. Jones swatted them away, but the distraction allowed Strong to hit Jones with a jumping knee strike. Strong then covered Jones for a three count.
Imperium promo with subtitles.
The ongoing costume party was raging backstage. Elvis took a chokeslam through a table. I am not making that up.
Mandy Rose defeated NXT Women's Champion Raquel Gonzalez in a Trick or Street Fight to win the title
Clean sweep for Toxic Attraction as Rose pinned Gonzalez to win the title, albeit after outside interference. This also featured the return of Dakota Kai in an angle after the match.
This was Spin the Wheel Make the Deal, and the wheel stopped on "Chucky's Choice." Chuck picked a street fight. Gonzalez got a special entrance as she entered the building riding a motorcycle.
Early in the match and a kendo stick came into play as they brawled around ringside. The match went through a picture-in-picture commercial break. More brawling at ringside when the show returned from the break. Rose trapped Gonzalez in a chair, and Rose kicked her over in the chair. More kendo stick shots.
Gonzalez recovered as Rose was digging around under the ring for blunder. Wearing a hockey mask like Jason, Gonzalez sprayed Rose with a fire extinguisher. Snake eyes by Gonzalez as she drops Rose face first on chairs set up on the top turnbuckle. Gonzalez proceeded to pummel Rose.
Ring steps were set up on the apron by Gonzalez, only for her to go crashing into the steps Rose cut off Gonzalez. Rose got a near fall. Moments later, Rose was speared through a table. Gonzalez got a near fall.
A mysterious figure cloaked in black suddenly appeared at ringside. It looked like the person from the recent teasers at the graveyard. She even had a shovel. Gonzalez was hit from behind with the shovel, and Rose boots her in the face. Rose then covered Gonzalez en route to stealing the title via pinfall.
The cloaked figure stood over Gonzalez after the match, and the figure revealed herself as Dakota Kai.
Back to the haunted house, where Williams and Hayes were still searching for the title belt. Andre Chase was also there. They told him to lead the way. Lumis and Gargano began to scare them. Zombies grabbed at them. They got spooked. Hayes and Williams finally fought the title, but it was trap. Lumis and Gargano jumped them. Williams and Hayes fled. They were attacked by more zombies. Gargano and Lumis scared them one more time. Williams and Hayes ran away. This was silly, but sill funny at times.
Grayson Waller was in the ring plugging his Twitter handle like Mean Gene would plug a 900 line back in the day. Waller was interrupted by LA Knight. He stormed to ring dressed as Dracula just like Waller. Knight and Waller were arguing about who was the real host. Solo Sikoa interrupts to confront them. Sikoa got into the ring, and Knight pushed Waller into Sikoa. Waller was thrown out of the ring, and Knight begged off.
Imperium (Marcel Barthel & Fabian Aichner) defeated NXT Tag Team Champions MSK (Nash Carter & Wes Lee) in a Lumber-Jack O'Lantern Match to win the titles
Imperium won the titles when Aichner pinned Lee clean. Really good match with an exciting finish. Best match on the card so far.
A spin of the wheel determined this was a lumberjack match. Wrestlers in Halloween costumes surrounded the ring acting as lumberjacks, except for the Creed Brothers. They were not in costume. Imperium got into a skirmish with the lumberjacks at ringside, leading to MSK doing stereo dives to the outside. The bout continued through a picture-in-picture commercial break.
Lots of action after the show returned from the break. MSK was running wild until they were cut off by Aichner. He displayed some strength by lifting both of MSK for a rolling fireman's carry slam.
Lee leaped over the ropes for a flip dive where all the lumberjacks caught them. Carter then gave Barthel a cutter off the top rope onto a pile of bodies on the oustide.
Great sequences late in the match where everyone was trading strikes. Barthel took a Canadian Destroyer, followed by an assisted standing moonsault from MSK. Barthel was able to kick out for a near fall.
Double team moves by Imperium at the finish. Aichner with a brainbuster on Lee to set an Imperium Bomb, and Aichner covered Lee for a pinfall to win the titles.
NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa defeated Bron Breakker to retain his title
Ciampa pinned Breakker to retain the title. Good match.
Breakker broke the fourth wall during his entrance as he looked into a camera. He also said he was winning "the strap" tonight. Brother, they don't call it a strap around here. He was not wrong, though.
Ciampa with a slightly different look had paint on his face and torso. He got manhandled by Breakker early on during the match. Ciampa soon cut off Breakker, and Ciampa begins to work him over. Breakker came back with a Rick Steiner powerslam.
The match continued through a commercial break. Ciampa regained an advantage during the break, and he took control. Ciampa pulled back the mats around ringside, exposing the bare floor. Ciampa went to suplex Breakker on the floor. Breakker blocked it, and he suplexed Ciampa on the floor. Breakker was seemingly now in control, but Ciampa was able to cut him off.
Comeback by Breakker with a flurry of power moves. The crowd was barking at Breakker, and he barked back. Don't bark too soon. Breakker went to jump off the middle rope when he slips. Breakker slipped off the rope and splatted in the ring.
Willow's Bell netted Ciampa a two count. Breakker moments later fought back to break out a Frakensteiner. The fight soon spilled outside the ring. They fought near the area where the bare floor was exposed. Ciampa DDT'd Breakker on the exposed floor.
Breakker was busted open and bleeding from his forehead. Ciampa delivered a Fairy Tale Ending, but Breakker kicked out at two and half. Ciampa nailed Breakker with a trifecta of knee strikes. Ciampa delivers another Fairy Tale Ending, and this time he got a three count. Ciampa retains.
This was arguably the best episode of NXT since the reboot. It being a supercard with a Halloween theme helped in making it so enjoyable. The matches for the most part were also good, evenif some at times more stunt shows than wrestling matches. Enough smoke and mirrors to get the job done.
All the titles changed hands except the one most everyone assumed was going to change. Some new matches were set up during the show. All in all this was a strong effort for what is now again a developmental brand. This might not end up being the best wrestling show of the week, but it is far from the worst. Maybe NXT 2.0 has finally found its footing and its place.
Probably the best thing of the night came after the show. Denise Salcedo dressed as Scott Steiner for her recap show on the F4W YouTube channel. Holla if a ya' hear me.