By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
NXT Halloween Havoc Hits
Ilja Dragunov vs. Carmelo Hayes for the NXT Championship: Another hot match between two of the best that NXT has to offer. The distraction finish was disappointing, but at least it told a story that set up the cliffhanger regarding whether Hayes was responsible for attacking Trick Williams. And Hayes better be the person behind the attack or his shocked reaction to Williams walking about makes no sense whatsoever.
Julius Creed and Brutus Creed vs. Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo in a Tables, Ladders, and Scares match: While I was open to the possibility that the Creeds would drop the match if this was it for them in NXT, it made a lot more sense to double down on them to follow up on their Raw debut win with another victory. If this was the final full-time match for the Creeds, they went out a high note.
Dominik Mysterio vs. Nathan Frazer for the NXT North American Championship: An enjoyable match with the babyface challenger taking the heel champion to the limit before the champion won clean in the end. Rhea Ripley also stood out for her work at ringside. Wes Lee showing up after the match and working over Dom was fun. Lee hasn’t been gone long, but he’s been gone just long enough that the matchup feels fresh again.
Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles: A solid win for the tag team champions with a finish that forwarded the Chase U storyline.
NXT Halloween Havoc Misses
Meta-Four at the haunted house: NXT’s yearly visit to the haunted house ranks right up there with tax day on the list of my least favorite annual moments.
Bron Breakker vs. Mr. Stone: To be fair, the match was exactly what it needed to be with Stone taking a sympathetic ass kicking from Breakker. But the story of Breakker intentionally attempting to cave in Von Wagner’s head with the ring steps and facing no punishment whatsoever is ridiculous, as is the idea of Wagner struggling to walk last week yet somehow manhandling Breakker this week. Worst of all, we’re supposed to believe a character that visibly struggling with a brain injury is going to be cleared to wrestle next week.
Lola Vice vs. Kelani Jordan in the finals of the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament: Not bad for a developmental match. The Mis sis due to NXT creative dedicating weeks of television time to a tournament only to pay it off with a lousy distraction finish. Why not put the tournament winner over clean? Putting that aside, both prospects have real potential and I look forward to watching them develop.