By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT 2.0 Halloween Havoc Hits
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT Title: WWE inexplicably hasn’t acknowledged that Breakker is the son of Rick Steiner, yet they had Chucky the horror movie doll make several references that had to fly over the head of casual viewers. Anyway, I like the decision to hold off on moving the championship to Breakker this early in his run. The match was laid out in a way that made Breakker look strong in defeat. Ciampa is a solid bridge between the old and new NXT for now, and Breakker’s time will surely come.
Io Shirai and Zoey Stark vs. Indi Hartwell and Persia Pirotta vs. Gigi Dolan and Jacy Jayne in a Scareway To Hell match for the NXT Women’s Tag Titles: There were some rough moments, but the hard work of everyone involved made this work. The match had more than enough wild ladder spots, including the crazy Shirai bump from ladder to ladder. Dolan and Jayne going over was no surprise. The Toxic Attraction trio has been heavily spotlighted since 2.0 debuted and this was part one of their big night.
Raquel Gonzalez vs. Mandy Rose in a Trick or Street Fight for the NXT Women’s Championship: Part two was Rose capturing the women’s championship in a good match with Gonzalez. NXT could have used CM Punk on commentary to call out the obvious when Dakota Kai showed up as the “mystery” person who attacked Gonzalez. It will be interesting to see if Gonzalez sticks around and resumes her feud with Kai or if she’s main roster bound. At this point, Gonzalez, Io Shirai, and Franky Monet seem more than ready for the main roster.
MSK vs. vs. Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel in a Lumberjack O’Lantern match for the NXT Tag Titles: Another title change. NXT opted to make MSK by giving them the tag titles right out of the gate. I’m actually looking forward to seeing them in chase mode. Aichner and Barthel are a very good team, yet they just haven’t fully clicked with the North American NXT fans. Putting the titles on them might be just what they need to get over the hump.
Joe Gacy vs. Malik Blade: The Gacy character continues to be one of 2.0’s better creations. It’s a more layered character than most of the one-dimensional characters that have popped up since the show was rebooted.
NXT 2.0 Halloween Havoc Misses
Haunted House: This just wasn’t as fun as last year. Still, it did make my night when Johnny Gargano actually offered an explanation for the cameras being present. Here’s hoping that Andre Chase’s students being killed means that he can drop his awful gimmick soon.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong vs. Odyssey Jones in a non-title match: The rivalry that started on 205 Live carried over to NXT without any mention of their 205 Live match. I don’t really get the point of the rivalry given that Strong holds the cruiserweight championship and Jones won’t be making weight anytime soon.
Grayson Waller and LA Knight: The biggest negative of Solo Sikoa attacking Waller is that he didn’t get his hands on Knight too. I typically enjoy watching both wrestlers, but seeing them fight the last two weeks over hosting this show was eye-rolling material.