Tonight’s episode of NXT emanates live from Orlando, Florida and is the much-anticipated return of iconic WCW PPV – Halloween Havoc! Here are the live results and analysis:
Already announced for tonight’s show is:
- Damian Priest to defend NXT North American Title against Johnny Gargano under Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal rules
- Io Shirai and Candice LeRae to Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal for the NXT Women’s Championship
- Rhea Ripley looks to settle the score with Raquel González at NXT Halloween Havoc
- Dexter Lumis to face Cameron Grimes in Haunted House of Terror Match at NXT Halloween Havoc
- Jake Atlas continues his heated rivalry with Crusierweight Champion Santos Escobar.
Johnny Gargano defeats Damien Priest via pinfall in a Devil’s Playground Match, to win the NXT North American Championship in 20:11
— WWE (@WWE) October 29, 2020
- Priest gets a live guitar performance of his entrance theme, wonderful aesthetic to go with the incredible Halloween Havoc set.
- Gargano comes out dressed as Jack Skellington and destroys a giant inflatable pumpkin- what an evil man
- Shotzi dressed as Frankenstein’s Monster spins the wheel with lightening effects and amazing acting for Shotzi we land on a Devil’s Playground Match.
- No DQ, No Count-Out and No Falls Count Anywhere.
- Priest using his superior size to dominate early on including a lovely inside-out chokeslam.
- The former Heart and Soul of NXT hits a beautiful standing sliced bread onto the steel steps for a near-fall.
- As we return from the break, Gargano is verbally abusing the wheel whilst hitting Priest with repeated bin shots to the back.
- As Gargano is close to defeat a figure in a ‘scream’ mask approaches to save him with led pipe before handing him a grave stone to attack priest with.
- Gargano picks up the win following the strike with the Gravestone following a tornado DDT using the wheel for assistance.
Analysis: Wonderful opening match, Priest and Gargano have excellent chemistry together and i could watch them wrestle week in, week out. The Halloween Havoc looks incredible and Shotzi has nailed the over-the-top persona for this show (as was to be expected), this is the most unique layout a WWE show has had in a long time and it’s brilliant. Although the Devil’s Playground Stipulation is actually nothing special in terms of rules (It’s just a Falls Count Anywhere match) they used the set and the space they had really well and that made it feel unique. Furthermore, if they are using a slightly cheap gimmick match for the opener the are more likely to go all out in the CLR vs Io Shirai match -i am sticking with Steel Cage as my guess-. The cherry on top of this wonderful opener is the mystery element added in who was the mystery man – Theory is likely- but there are many possibilities and that makes a great story. Gargano winning is the cherry, on top of the cherry! If we end tonight with a Gargano Championship power couple then NXT has gone in exactly the direction they should and i am very excited to see more.
Pat McAfee speaks about the events of last week, Pete Dunne returns.
"We're the new kings of this brand!"
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) October 29, 2020
- Pat states that the reason he took care of Adam Cole was because rather than shake his hand after their match, Cole chose to taunt over him.
- Goes on to say he hired Holland – a younger, stronger and more attractive version of himself- to take of Cole because he couldn’t be there every week because hes too busy being number one at everything he does.
- He explains that after Lorcan and Burch injured his boy, he reached out to see if they wanted to be his boys as well.
- As Pat demands more microphones for Lorcan and Burch, The UE music hits and O’Reilly comes out alone.
- As Kyle stands alone, a familiar music hits. It’s the Bruiserweight Pete Dunne and he is back.
- But all is not as it seems, Dunne lays Kyle out with the steel chair and aligns with Pat McAfee and Lorcan & Burch.
Analysis: What a segment! So much happened and it all made sense, Pat gives Lorcan, Burch and Dunne the mouth piece they need to succeed as well as a legit heat source. Dunne turning on UE makes perfect sense because Strong turned on him to join UE several years ago. The return was a legit surprise and so was the turn, i am very excited to see where this goes and for the likelihood of these eight performers facing off at WarGames.
Santos Escobar defeats Jake Atlas via pinfall in 3:54
— WWE (@WWE) October 29, 2020
- Escobar is wearing Rey’s Halloween Havoc Riddler gear in tribute to the iconic match.
- Back and forth early on with Escobar shouting at Atlas to quick and save him self a beat down.
- Atlas is distracted by Wilde and Mendoza on the outside and is punished for his distraction with a loaded Lucha mask shot.
- Escobar hits the Legado for the win.
Analysis: Firstly, the tribute to Rey was lovely and perfectly suited LDF. The match may have been short however this segment was more about the continued dominance of LDF and building to Atlas’ heel turn both of which it achieved well. I half expected a Devlin return after the events of the previous segment but it remains to be seen what the future of his Cruiserweight title is.
Dexter Lumis vs Cameron Grimes in a Haunted House of Terror match Part 1.
— WWE (@WWE) October 29, 2020
- Grimes is ushered by Regal outside to get into his transport to the match venue, after arguing with Regal about wanting to forfeit he is forced out.
- As Grimes attempts to enter the van, Michael PS Hayes comes out the exit making several comedic references to his past character, Grimes beautifully and ironically responds ‘I hate Redecks’.
- Marilyn Manson plays over the introductory segment as Grimes nervously trash talks Lumis.
- Grimes runs through the house to avoid Lumis facing many jump scares along the way before seeing the silhouette of a showering woman he strips down to get in only to be faced with a Ring-esque creature.
- Lots of NXT cameos as zombies throughout, Grimes gets in a van only to turn around and see Lumis in the seat beside him, as he runs away we see To be continued.
Analysis: The match is To be continued, so i will leave most of the analysis till the full match plays out. However, it is worth saying here that the opening presentation of this segment -including the PS Hayes cameo- is incredible, it feels goofy and scary at the same time which is a perfect combination for a self aware show like this. Basing the match around the POV/FOV of Grimes was a great idea and he has the charisma and comedy skills to make it work. Hopefully part two continues to deliver.
Rhea Ripley defeats Raquel Gonzalez via pinfall in 13:21
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 29, 2020
- Former tag partners clashing in a full fledged hoss fight early on, big strikes and grapples exchanged in a battle for control.
- Raquel catches Rhea following a cannonball attempted an powerbombs her into the Plexiglas on the outside.
- Gonzalez keeps control whilst we go to the ads using heavy strikes and stomps to ground The Nightmare.
- The Super Riptide is well avoided by Gonzalez who manages to fight down.
- Ripley hits the Riptide following a turnbuckle bump to pick up the win.
Analysis: This match was a wonderful change of pace from the rest of the show thus far. Halloween Havoc started all guns blazing for the first hour and a quarter, so slowing the pace down with a wonderful fight was a great choice. Not only did it add a more serious and less gimmick focused match to the show but it gave the viewers time to digest everything they have just witnessed. The match itself is wonderful as well – two big dominant forces clashing in a battle for control, it’s a time tested story and they did well to put a new spin on it. The finish was effective however, i do feel like the result could have been swapped to give Raquel her first huge win and elevate her to title contention. It’s not a massive issue however and this win pretty much confirms Rhea is here to stay.
Dexter Lumis vs Caeron Grimes in a Haunted House of Terror match Part 2.
— WWE (@WWE) October 29, 2020
- Grimes manages to run all the way back to the Capitol Wrestling Center only to be chased by zombie girls and Lumis.
- We progress back to the ring as smoke and zombies fill the ring.
- One zombie wraps around Lumis before hitting Grimes with a splash.
- Grimes begs for forgiveness as Lumis locks in the Kata Gatame for the win?
Analysis: This was wonderful, without a doubt the best cinematic match NXT have produced. I cannot confirm if it was a Borash production but it certainly appeared it. There isn’t much in ring to analyse here and i don’t even know if there was a winner but Lumis left and Grimes was…consumed by Zombies? I really hope we see a character change from Grimes and he devolves further into comedic coward.
Tomasso Ciampa speaks on the state of NXT, two matches announced for NXT next week.
— WWE NXT (@WWENXT) October 29, 2020
- Ciampa states that he no longer recognises NXT, the attitude and entitlement has changed.
- He respects the talent the show has but despises the turn taking mentality that NXT has adopted.
- He talks about the young talented wanting him out the way but he is going nowhere.
- He calls out The Velveteen Dream before calling him a dead man.
- Ciampa vs Dream and Kai vs Moon are confirmed for next week.
Io Shirai defeats Candice Le Rae in a Tables, Ladders and Scares match in 18:33, to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
— WWE (@WWE) October 29, 2020
- Candice or Io must ascend the ladder and retrieve the title to win the match.
- Candice comes out in a brilliant corpses bridge style attire whilst Io is played to the ring by Poppy.
- Match starts fast with dismembered limbs used as weapons before Io is knocked off the announce table with a laptop shot to the head.
- Candice is taken out with a double knees to the steel stairs before Shirai grabs a handful of steel chairs from under the ring.
- All the weaponry has ‘spooky’ detailing on them such as chalk body outlines on the tables.
- Shirai misses a moonsault and gets a face full of chairs as punishment.
- Commentary runs us through the ins and outs of the feud throughout.
- Io catches Candice with a chair assisted Dragon Screw.
- Le Rae and Candice are both taken out by the Twisted Sister through the table off the apron.
- The same ‘Ghost Face’ mask wearing individual makes a return to help Candice. [Show is 7 minutes past finish time at this point]
- Candice is up on top moments away from capturing the title as Shirai pushed over the title and Candice falls through a set up ladder outside the ring.
- Shirai collects the title to retain the NXT Women’s Championship.
Analysis: A perfect end to a wonderful experiment. Start to finish this match was high intensity, all guns blazing offence. Not since Sasha and Bayley has NXT’s Women’s Division seen two performers with such perfect chemistry. Every time these two lock up something magic happens and it never feels stale. If i had to look for a negative, and i really mean look, Candice losing again is slightly disappointing however, the story potential that is now opening up with the mystery Ghost-face figures and Candice’s inability to beat Io continuing. The ladder spill to the outside is one of the best i have ever seen and this match just goes to show how good NXT’s Women’s Division truely is.
Overall Halloween Havoc was a refreshing take on what constitutes a wrestling variety show. The show perfectly blended together homages to the past, over the top character work and also adding in some world class wrestling and story telling to go alongside it all. Highlights of the show include Pete Dunne’s surprise return and heel turn, Shotzi’s costume changes throughout the show, the return of Michael PS Hayes and the main even match.
There are truly not many negatives from this show, the decision for both Candice and Raquel to lost can be called into question as it leaves the women’s division in a very familiar place. However, the likelihood is that we are building to Ember Moon vs Io Shirai for the title presumably on the same show that The Undisputed Era will take on Dunne, Lorcan, Burch and McAfee…WARGAMES.
Keep up-to-date with all the fallout news coming from this week’s episode, as well as all the latest NXT news, right here at Inside The Ropes.