By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
NXT TV Halloween Havoc: Night One
Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live October 24, 2023 on USA Network
[Hour One] The band New Years Day performed the song “Vampyre” live which will serve as the theme song of Halloween Havoc…
Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer. Shotzi Blackheart and Scarlett Bordeaux were the guest hosts of Halloween Havoc. Scarlett was dressed as a 1920 lady with a cut in her neck. Shotzi was dressed as Pinhead from Hellraiser…
Roxanne Perez made her entrance dressed as Freddy Krueger. A “Devil’s Playground” match is a hardcore match with playground stuff at ringside…
1. Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James in a “Devil’s Playground” Match. Kiana tried to use her loaded bag early on, but Perez dodged it. Perez dominated the early part of the match. Perez got a nearfall at ringside with a sunset flip. Perez attacked James with a swing. Perez then tried to suplex James on a slide, but Perez reversed it with her own suplex on the floor. Kiana hit Perez in the back with a laptop. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
James fishhooked Perez with a chain against the ringpost. James had a welt on her head. Perez yanked James into the post to turn the tables. Perez beat up James with a fence picket. Perez then hit James with a Side Russian legsweep on the kiddy slide. James avoided getting hit by a trash can. Perez climbed on the barricade and went for a huracanrana. James reversed it into a Giant Swing and power bomb onto the trash can for a nearfall.
A Rok-C chant ensued. James hit Perez with a SeeSaw. James reversed Pop Rocks with a backdrop. James put Perez over the barricade and stomped her a few times. Perez and James traded strikes on the barricade. Perez avoided a moonsault and hit James with the loaded bag. Perez hit James with Pop Rocks on the loaded bag for the win.
Roxanne Perez defeated Kiana James via pinfall in 10:51.
Perez poured the contents of the bag and it was a “broken brick” that looked more like a broken sponge…
John’s Thoughts: A hardcore match that got a little more violent than most WWE PG Hardcore matches. The violent edge was mostly from Kiana’s nasty welt on her head. Well worked match though. Kiana James is someone who’s very underrated in terms of how good she is in the ring. She’s someone I can see being a good main roster callup soon because she’s a complete package. What didn’t help the match was the stuff involving the loaded bag, which seems to be a forced part of Kiana’s act. It didn’t help when the “Brick” came out looking like a foam sponge.
Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in from the commentary table. Vic sent the show to a interview he conducted yesterday with Carmelo Hayes. Vic said his first question was “did you attack Trick Williams”. Melo denied it and said he’ll never betray his best friend. Vic then asked Melo how he’s approaching his third match with Ilja. Melo said what’s motivating him is not just the NXT Title, but the title of “him”. He said he didn’t do everything just to be 2nd best.
Vic then asked Melo what would have happened if Trick was in the fatal four way last week? Melo said Melo would still come out on top. Melo then ended the interview by saying he’s doing this now for Trick and “Justice for Trick”. Melo walked off with Vic noting the interview wasn’t done…
Lexis King’s debut was hyped for after the break…[c]
Shotzi and Scarlett were doing a Tarot Card reading with the Meta Four. Noam Dar had a bunny mask. Scarlett kept giving them bad luck readings. Dar said they shouldn’t worry because it’s nonesense. For some reason, Akira Tozawa stole the NXT Heritage Cup. Dar didn’t see it and was enraged when he couldn’t find the cup…
Lexis King made his entrance on a sliding throne. King got in the camera and said “Brian Pillman is Dead! Long Live Lexis King!!!”. He had heavy metal music…
2. Lexis King vs. Dante Chen. The match started with a wristhold exchange. King then gave Chen a headbutt. King clocked Chen with a right hand. Chen reversed a suplex and gave King a elbow and dropkick combo. King came back with double boots to the face. King choked Chen in the corner with his boot. King hit Chen with a knee to the gut. Lexis gave Chen a modified lariat. Chen escaped a chinlock with strikes. Vic noted that Chen calls himself the “Gatekeeper of NXT”.
Chen hit King with a big boot. Chen teased a finisher, but took a boot from King. King draped Chen on the 2ndrope and hit him with a Draping Twisting Neckbreaker for the win.
Lexis King defeated Dante Chen via pinfall in 4:12.
King got in the camera and said “My way, my life”…
John’s Thoughts: I’m liking everything about the presentation and character direction of Lexis King (real name Brian Pillman Jr). This is an interesting “villain arc” experiment they’re doing that can lead to a fun character. What I wasn’t the biggest fan of was King having a competitive match against Dante Chen. I thought he should have had his first match going strong to go with the strong character reveal. Instead, they had him wrestle a standard match with an undercard guy.
Duke Hudson and Andre Chase were warming up backstage. Thea Hail and Jacy Jayne hung around. Tony D and Stacks showed up and wished Chase U luck…
Kelani Jordan made her entrance in Spider Gwen themed attire. Her opponent was Ariana Grace, the beauty queen daughter of Santino Marella…
3. Kelani Jordan vs. Ariana Grace in the Semi-Finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Grace started the match with a right hand to the gut. Jordan gave Grace a dropkick heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Grace hit Jordan with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. A bunch of random wrestlers were dressed up in costumes at the NXT watchparty room. Jordan came back with a crossbody and nearfall. Jordan hit Grace with a slingshot sunset flip for a nearfall. Jordan used a bridge to kick out of a jackknife pin. The screen blacked out due to a technical difficulties (or something had to be cut out?).
Back on air, Grace sent Jordan into the ropes. Grace hit Kelani with a Saito Suplex for a nearfall. Grace dragged Jordan to the top rope and went for a Superplex. Jordan knocked Grace off and hit her with a split legged moonsault.
Kelani Jordan defeated Ariana Grace via pinfall in 7:35 to advance to the finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament.
The show cut to Von Wagner at the “rehab facility”. He was struggling to walk and using a walker. Von asked Stone why he took the match against Bron Breakker. Stone said he knows he’ll get his ass kicked, but he wants to avenge his friend. Von was taken aback by Stone calling him a friend. Von said he feels bad about not being able to accompany Stone at ringside. Stone said not to worry because he’s doing this all for Von. Stone left and Von continued to struggle walking…
Bron Breakker vs. Robert Stone was advertised for next week. Tony D and Stacks vs. Chase U was hyped for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Rough match that was made even rougher due to the blackout (couldn’t tell if it was technical difficulties or a wardrobe malfunction). Because both women are young in their careers, we can cut them some slack. Jordan was the obvious choice to see going to the finals on her end due to NXT’s creative team being high on her, giving her a lot of TV time. My guess is Lola Vice comes out of the other side for the same reason.
Shotzi and Scarlett were back with a costume change. Shotzi was dressed as Edward Scissorhands while Scarlett looked like she was in her usual ring gear. They plugged their supernatural ghost hunting show on WWE’s YouTube channel. The Creed Brothers and Ivy Nile came out and talked about how they want to smash Humberto Carrillo and Angel Garza next week. Scarlett proposed a Spin the Wheel- Make the Deal match. Ivy spun the wheel and it landed on “Tables, Ladders, and Scares”. Tony D and Stacks made their entrance. Chase U came out next…
4. Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo vs. “Chase U” Andre Chase and Duke Hudson (w/Thea Hail, Jacy Jayne) for the NXT Tag Team Championships. Stacks and Chase started the match with chain wrestling. Both men traded armdrags. Stacks dumped both opponents to ringside and hit them with a plancha. Tony D then hip tossed Stacks on both opponents. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Tony D and Stacks cut the ring in half on Chase. Stacks got a two count after a flapjack on the top rope to Chase. Stacks cut Chase off at the pass. Chase dodged an elbow drop and gave Stacks a right hand. Tony D tagged in and took a enzuigiri from Chase. Duke got the hot tag. Duke cleaned house with both opponents. Hudson hit both opponents with the Chase U Bionic Elbow. Hudson tossed Stacks onto Tony D.
[Hour Two] The camera showed Thea Hail fired up. Hudson hit Stacks with a Bossman Slam for a nearfall. Hudson escaped a Frat-Liner attempt. Tony D tagged in and rallied with right hands on both opponents. Tony D hit Hudson with a Belly to Belly and hit Chase with a spinebuster. Tony D gave Chase two German Suplexes while Stacks gave Chase two uppercuts. Stacks picked up the nearfall on Chase. Hudson pulled Stacks off the apron to prevent a Doomsday Device.
Chase hit Tony D with a Russian Legsweep. Chase hit Tony D with the Chase U boots. D’Angelo chased Chase to the top rope. Hudson pushed Tony D off. Stacks hit Hudson with a DDT on the apron. Tony D hit Chase with a Superplex. Stacks hit Chase with a diving headbutt. Hudson suplexed Tony D onto Stacks to break up the pin. Stacks rolled up Chase for a two count. Stacks caught Chase with a superkick. Andre Chase got a good nearfall on Tony D with a desperation Sunset Flip.
Andre Chase hit Tony with a swinging neckbreaker. Jacy Jayne handed Chase a crowbar which he didn’t accept. Tony D accidentally knocked Jacy Jayne off the apron. The distraction allowed Chase to roll up Tony D for the surprise win.
Chase University defeated Tony D’Angelo and Channing Lorenzo via pinfall in 11:19 to become the new NXT Tag Team Champions.
John’s Thoughts: A good match that really kicked into another gear by the end of it. I’m a bit surprised that Tony D and Stacks lost the titles, but it might be easier for them to write stories around the title with Chase U who have a lot of character development. Interested to see where Chase U goes given Jacy Jayne trying to corrupt them from within. The gimmick is cheesy on paper, but they keep finding ways to come up with intriguing storylines revolving around the Bobby Knight inspired gimmick. On top of that Andre is one of the best workers in NXT bell-to-bell.
The show cut to Nathan Frazer’s Hard Hitting Home Truths talk show (themed after John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight). Frazer talked about how he dislikes Dominik Mysterio and noted that Dom is only champion because Judgement Day and Mami bail him out. Frazer talked about how he had a potentially career ending injury at Halloween Havoc last year. Frazer challenged Dom to a title match next week and joked that it will happen if Mami gives him his balls back…
Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in from the commentary table. Vic sent the show to videos from Irish fans who gave their predictions for the Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria match. The show then cut to footage of people watching NXT at a Irish Pub…
Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport in a lights out match was advertised for after the break…[c]
McKenzie Mitchell interview Baron Corbin who complained about doing everything in his power to win last week’s main event. McKenzie wondered if “everything” included attacking Trick Williams. He said if he did attack him he’ll do it to his face. Corbin said it could be anyone from Dijak, Axiom, or even Wes Lee…
Gigi Dolin made her entrance in Beetlejuice themed attire. Blair Davenport made her entrance next dressed up as a creepy kid with a red balloon and yellow raincoat. ..
5. Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport in a Light’s Out Match. Gigi dominated the match early on. Gigi hit Blair with a meteora at ringside heading to picture-in-picture.[c]
Dolin hit Davenport with a Frankensteiner in the corner. Gigi dragged out a table from under the ring. Gigi caught Davenport with a Yakuza Kick. A “Thank You Gigi” chant ensued because the crowd loves tables. Davenport gave Gigi a drop toehold onto a steel chair. Davenport closed the table to draw boos and a “You Suck” chant. Davenport beat up Gigi with a belt.
Davenport tossed a trash can and chair in the ring. Gigi found a leather strap and beat up Davenport with it. Gigi hit Blair with a STO for a two count. Gigi hit Blair with flutter kicks and put Blair on a chair. Gigi gave Blair a chop. Blair tossed a chair at Gigi which nearly hit her in the head. It also almost hit Booker, who lost his headset. Davenport dragged a table to ringside and set it up.
Blair took her time setting it up in front of the announce table. Gigi caught Davenport with a trash can. Gigi tripped up Blair with a series of shotgun dropkicks. Gigi gave Blair a Black Hole Slam onto a trash can for a nearfall. Gigi and Blair brawled at ringside. Blair cleared the announce table. Gigi recovered nd brawled on top of the table. Blair gave Gigi a Final Cut through the wooden table she set up. Blair hit Gigi with a Kamigoye for the victory.
Blair Davenport defeated Gigi Dolin via pinfall in 12:32.
John’s Thoughts: An okay hardcore match, that was a little bit rough at points. It looked like both women legit struggled at points due to the lack of lighting (which I guess was the point of the stipulation, but it made the match a bit clumsy). What could have gone south was that chair that Gigi threw at one point. The opening hardcore match was better in my opinion and for comparison, Wendy Choo vs. Tiffany Stratton from over a year ago felt like a better “Lights Out” match in NXT. One positive I did like was Blair being a heel and taking the table spot away from the fans.
Vic and Booker checked in from the commentary table. Vic sent the show to an interview he did with Ilja Dragunov that he conducted the prior night. Vic asked Ilja how it feels to be champion and not in chase mode. Ilja said his life has always been a struggle. He said grew up in Russia because his parents immigrated from Germany. Ilja said he was proud when he handed his son the NXT Championship and he saw pride in his son’s eyes of his father and that’s the inspiration that is wonderful.
Vic asked Ilja how it feels defending the title against Melo instead of challenging for the title. Ilja said his gameplan never changes. He said he’ll bend but won’t break, meanwhile Melo will break. Ilja said he doesn’t adjust to anyone, his opponents adjust to him. He said Melo will come into the match to get the championship, but Melo might not be focused. Ilja said the title represents 30 years of sacrifice and he will continue to prove to be unbesiegbar…
Scarlett and Shotzi were dressed up as evil twin children. They creeped up on Carmelo Hayes who was watching the Ilja interview on a flat screen TV. They said that the cards are telling them that Melo attacked Trick last week. Melo continued to deny attacking Trick…[c]
Sarah Schreiber interviewed Tiffany Stratton in the watchparty room about her prediction for the Breakout Tournament winner. Tiffany said she only cares about the winner of the Becky vs. Lyra match because of the title. Fallon Henley showed up and mocked Tiffany Stratton, being dressed up as Tiffany. It was actually a great impersonation with Henley actually doing a great valley girl impression. I didn’t even know it was Fallon when she first walked in. This led to a brawl between Stratton and Henley…
6. Lola Vice vs. Karmen Petrovic in the semi-finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Petrovic got a two count off a move that looked like Essence of the Dragon King (Kiryu’s overhead kick from Yakuza 5. Kiryu has defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi , Kojima!!!, and Tetsuya Naito, so that’s a good person to emulate). Lola kicked Karmen off the apron and did a hip dance. Vice slammed Karmen to the ground and hit her with a hip attack. Lola got a two count after an axe kick. Karmen came back with a Question Mark Kick. Lola hit Karmen with a double roundhouse for a nearfall. Karmen escaped a waisthold with a back kick.
Karmen hit Vice with a shortarm kick. Karmen rallied with a few clotheslines. Karmen hit Vice with a jump kick for a two count. Karmen hit Vice with a suicide dive. Vice caught Karmen out of nowhere with a spinning hook kick for the victory.
Lola Vice defeated Karmen Petrovic via pinfall in 3:36 to advance to the Finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament.
Kelani Jordan and Lola Vice struck fighting poses in front of the title contract that the winner of the tournament will get…
John’s Thoughts: A bit rough, but both women continue to show improvement. I’m very high on both women who both come from real life martial arts backgrounds (and it comes out in their ring style). Lola Vice seems to be more ahead of the two and I continue to be impressed by her pretty looking Tae Kwon Do kicks. Petrovic can throw pretty karate kicks too, and I’m also a fan of her going full weeb with bringing a katana to ringside.
Duke Hudson, Andre Chase, Thea Hail, and Jacy Jayne were celebrating the title win. Duke said they are now leaders in the lockerroom that went from boys to men. Chelsea Green and Piper Niven showed up to mock Chase U while dressed up like Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf (Piper’s mask kinda reminded me of AAA’s Black Taurus). Jayne said that she’s going to ask Shawn Michaels for a title shot against Niven and Green…
Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkryia was hyped for after the break…[c]
Noam Dar and the Meta Four were still looking for the Heritage Cup. They were yelling at a random security guard. Lash Legend was dressed up as Catwoman while Oro Mensah was dressed up as Doc Brown. Noam saw Akira Tozawa posting he was with the Heritage Cup on instagram. The message on Instagram said that Noam can get the title back if he comes to a haunted house…
Bron Breakker walked up to Melo backstage, also implying he attacked Trick. Melo said he’s tired of everyone blaming him. Bron talked to Melo saying that Bron proves he has what it takes to stay on top, and Melo must have attacked Trick to stay on top. Melo continued to deny it. Melo said if Melo can take care of business after he takes care of Robert Stone, they can get back to he and Melo feuding at the top of the card…
John’s Thoughts: Bron has been spinning his wheels for months and needs the callup ASAP. He has gotten a lot out of the heel turn though. I really like this new layer he’s developed in being the devil in Carmelo’s ear. He doing a good job seducing Melo to the dark side and that makes Melo interesting at the same time. Side note, props to Melo for wearing Lakers themed gear (him being a Boston native, it’s odd to see him not be a fan of the Celtics), but I’m not complaining because GO LAKERS!!! I’ll be checking out their opening night game after NXT on DVR (and don’t have high hopes of them winning since it’s against the world champions).
The following segments were plugged for next week: The Creed Brothers vs. Garza and Carrillo in a Tables Ladders and Scares Match, Dom Mysterio vs. Nathan Frazer for the NXT North American Championship, Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship.
A throne was set up at the top of the bleachers. Jade Cargill took a seat at the throne to watch the upcoming match. Alicia Taylor handled the formal in-ring championship introductions…
7. Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria for the NXT Women’s Championship. Becky dodged Lyra’s signature crescent kick to start the match. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
[Overrun] Lyra got a one count after a crossbody. Becky got a one count after her own crossbody on Lyra. Becky and Lyra took each other out with stereo crossbodies. A picture was shown in Ireland where people were watching the match at a pub. Becky and Lyra traded strong style strikes with Becky getting the upper hand with kicks. Lyra came back with an Axe Kick combo.
Becky came back with a running splash. Lyra came back with her own splash. Lyra gave Becky a series of lariats. Lyra hit Becky with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Becky gave Lyra a jawbreaker and Bex-Ploder Suplex. Becky draped Lyra on the 2nd rope. Lyra dodged a draping leg drop. Lyra entered the ring to dodge a dive. Lyra hit Becky with a wrecking ball dropkick. Becky tossed Lyra into the ringpost.
Lyra used right hands to drape Becky on the 2nd rope. Lyra gave Becky a draping legdrop for a nearfall. The picture-in-picture showed the Irish pub crowd reacting to the nearfall. Lyra blocked a ManHandle Slam and gave Becky a enzuigiri. Lyra caught Becky with a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Lyra used a rollup to block a Disarm-Her. Becky hit Lyra with a modified Stundog Millionaire for a nearfall.
Lyra used a victory roll to reverse a ManHandle Slam. Both women traded nearfalls. Becky put Lyra in a Juji Gatame. Lyra rolled up Becky for a two count. Becky went back into the armbar. Lyra escaped and rolled up Becky for a two count. Lyra put Becky in a grounded leg scissors Full Nelson. Lyra hit Becky with a Fisherman Buster for a two count. Becky dodged a Frog Splash and put Lyra in the Disarm-her.
Lyra got to the bottom rope for the break. Becky gave Lyra a forearm in the corner. Lyra reversed a kick into a sitout power bomb for a nearfall. Becky ran into Lyra to stagger her on the top rope. Becky hit Lyra with a Superplex into a DDT for a nearfall. Becky gave Lyra some forearms. Lyra recovered and punched Becky on the top rope. Becky slipped out. Lyra did a backflip into Lyra’s signature Crescent Kick for the nearfall.
Becky caught Lyra’s leg, flipped her, and hit her with a Man-Handle Slam. Lyra kicked out for a great nearfall (I was about to stop my stopwatch, that was good). “Holy Shit” chants ensued (which led to the USA Network censors). Becky ducked a Crescent Kick. Lyra reversed a Man-Handle Slam and rolled up Becky for the clean win.
Lyra Valkyria defeated Becky Lynch via pinfall in 16:06 to become the new NXT Women’s Champion.
Fans were shown clapping at the Irish Pub feed. Jade Cargill clapped from her throne. Becky picked up the Championship Belt and held up Lyra’s arm in victory. Becky gave Lyra a hug and left. Lyra posed with the title while sobbing to sell the big win. The show closed 15 minutes into the overrun…
John’s Thoughts: Wowzers! WWE is seemingly REALLY high on Lyra Valkyria, and they’ve been high on her for a long while. They’re giving her that future WrestleMania main eventer push (Are they long term booking towards Jade Cargill vs. Lyra Valkyria to main event mania?). She gets the rub from all of WWE’s top women, she gets the Lucha Underground cinematics, they give her the epic entrance, they protect her like crazy, and now they give her the clean win on the top woman in the company. That’s a lot of confidence. She even kicked out of Becky’s finisher. I still don’t fully see what they see in Lyra, but I’m starting to see that she is a good bell-to-bell storyteller. She’s just continuing to be missing something in terms of connecting with the audience.
Great main event overall. I continue to praise both NXT and Impact Wrestling for having two of the strongest women’s divisions in all of wrestling that fly under the radar. Both companies are also really good at having women anchor their main events and big segments, while not bragging about being progressive or how great the company is. They just let the women go out there and kill it. Lyra and Becky told a great story here and the false finishes did have me at the edge of my seat, especially after Lyra kicked out of Becky’s finish.
Halloween Havoc Night One was a great overall themed show top to bottom. They took the gimmick seriously throughout the show with various wrestlers dressing up for the occasion. Shotzi and Scarlett were great hosts. Shotzi legit seems to love Halloween. It was cool to see Scarlett show more of her old personality that she used to exhibit on Impact. NXT did a great job throughout the show building to the main event, by showing that engagement from the fans in Ireland, making the match seem more big-time. The two title changes had great matches alongside them so that added to the quality of this show. Interested to see if they give Becky a rematch? Or if they’re going to have her back on Raw?