WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2021

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2021

To our new readers welcome, to our old readers welcome back! Pixc here back with another week of NXT and this time round we are getting a bit spooky, Chucky is out to play and Lumis has a haunted house for our new North American champion. This could be the turning point to solidify this new Vincified NXT 2.0, will we like it? Let’s find out! 

Chucky runs down the card and sets the mood. 

Io Shirai & Zoey Stark ( c ) vs Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta vs Toxic Attraction 

(Stairway to Hell Ladder match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team Championship) 

We start with some strikes flying between all six competitors then Toxic Attraction are dumped to the outside. Io and Zoey taking the ring to start with. Zoey is in the ring alone as Io gets the ladder. Toxic Attraction sort her out then work on Indi. Persia comes in to help her out though, looking great again as expected. The champs come in to stop them ascending the ladder. Jacy Jayne then drops them onto the ropes by pushing the ladder, classic shocked faces before the drop. A ladder is setup by Indi and Persia but Io reverses their double team dropping them both on the outside, saving herself from a brutal landing.  

Io all alone gets a surprise as Indi flies on to the ladder out of nowhere, then Zoey comes in and Persia sets up a larger ladder but Gigi intercepts her. Multi person ladder shenanigans here, Zoey throwing Gigi into Jacy Jayne like dodgems, beautiful collision. Persia sends Zoey flying from the ladder, she balances on the top ropes and dives to the outside where a few competitors soften her fall, great move!  

Persia now alone in the ring is interrupted by Io, then Gigi and Io again. Persia uses her strength against Io and then dumps Gigi into a ladder, great sequence for her. She ascends the ladder but Jacy Jayne stops her, Persia returns the favour and her attempt at a powerbomb is reversed, causing her to collide with the ladder in the corner. Io drops Jacy Jayne onto a ladder then dives onto her off the middle rope, great spot!  

Zoey looks to repeat Io’s feat with her own dive but she clearly feared this spot, landing on the mat before dropping over her opponent. May even have hurt herself. Io ends up all alone on top of the ladder, Indi topples her and she lands on the other ladder set up earlier in a brutal spot, Indi sells it well by looking on in shock, wasting time. Gigi then manages to get to the top of the ladder dispatching Indi from the top, new tag team champions, Toxic Attraction!  

Personally, I think this was a Vince decision, I rate this team the least out of all teams in the match, but Io probably needs to move rosters, if she stays with WWE. I feel it was a great effort from all competitors but neither of the challenging teams or the champions are over enough as a tag team in my eyes needed to makes this great. I see a lot of potential in Persia and Indi. However, I think it would have been nice for Io to have the defence here but she won’t lose much. Surprised they didn’t mess it up by having Mandy Rose come and help them, so bonus points for that! 

Winners AND NEW NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Toxic Attraction 

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are up next. They make jokes about Indi then Trick tries to shirk out of joining Carmelo in the haunted house. Johnny says he had help sorting it all out, the zombie referee of course! Complete with spooky music this segment is pretty funny. 

Grayson Waller is hosting next, apparently LA Knight couldn’t make it so Grayson has stepped in, bit cheap if you ask me, he says we have got a party going on backstage and is interrupted by Joe Gacy who is coming out to face Malik Blade, typical Stryker-esque rambling about Halloween, or Nowinski, take your pick. “Violence is not the answer …" boom dropkick! 

Joe Gacy vs Malik Blade 

For a “special” this is frustrating, a jobber, filler kind of match, seems a bit of a waste. Gacy does a number on Malik, he throws him to the outside. Haarland appears at ringside and grabs Malik, Gacy comes to console him saying “you don’t have to do this” no DQ even though he had hold of his opponent, Vincified rules only apply when I want them to. Gacy finishes him off with a big clothesline, reminded me of Bradshaw! Easy win for him. 

Like I said this isn’t a match that should be happening on this card, it was ok, filler and more suited to a standard TV episode. It does build the story of Haarland and give someone some air time though.  

Winner Joe Gacy 

Kay Lee Ray is not a happy bunny, she is gonna get mad I believe, can’t wait to see what she does next. Spray cans and destruction is what this little promo was about, good stuff, makes sense for her to be pissed off, they have done nothing with her and she is already a star to a lot of fans. 

Backstage, the party is on! Grayson talks to Ikemen Jiro and Kushida about Halloween, they don’t understand it, he makes the comment “foreigners are weird ey” and I had a real Booker T moment here, “tell me he didn’t just say that?” Wow that is not a good look, even more so if that was scripted. Way to alienate your Japanese fans, let us know what you think on that, bit distasteful in my book. Grayson mingles with the party before we see Grimes strike out with the ladies again. 

Malcolm Bivens is with Diamond Mine and it is open invitation time, pick your poison! This I absolutely love, great idea for a special!  

Roderick Strong vs Odyssey Jones 

Odyssey Jones answers the open challenge and they make a joke about him not being under 205 when he challenges Roderick Strong. Pretty surprised Roderick Strong is even 205 or under. Julius looks to offer to take this one, but Strong is keen for the challenge of the big man. 

First big move is a flapjack for Roderick Strong, Jones demonstrating his power early. Strong is clearly a bit shook up but he comes back with a sleeper hold. When thrown off, he comes back with some strikes. He stays on him rather than going for a cover, although apparently, he does get a 1 count. He switches to working on the leg next, with a submission hold. Jones catapults him from the ring breaking it up and Jones wrenches back control of the match with some powerful moves.  

The Creed Brothers get involved and Jones throws Julius across the ring, Strong manages to hit his jumping knee and seems to knock out Jones. He eventually rolls him over and gets the pin.  

Good match, showcased Jones’s power well, give Strong more of a challenge as I’m sure I'm not the only one who thinks the cruiserweight title is a little beneath a man of his talents. Didn’t think Strong struggling to roll him over for a pin was a great look though. 

Winner Roderick Strong 

Imperium are interviewed backstage by McKenzie next, bla bla bla the mat is sacred, who cares, great tag team but same old schtick every time, just let them wrestle already. They were asked about Walter but tonight is about the gold. 

Backstage the party continues and Lash Legend finally books Tony D’Angelo on her show. Von Wagner is asked what his costume is, Brad Pitt apparently and they walk off. Duke is after Grimes' money, expect a poker room segment next week it seems. Robert Stone gets dumped through a table by Xyon Quinn for his Elvis impersonation. 

Mandy Rose vs Raquel Gonzalez ( c ) 

(Spin the Wheel Make the Deal for NXT Women’s Championship match – Trick or Street Fight) 

Chucky’s choice on spin the wheel and he picks Trick or Street Fight. Very basic, easy to do, bit disappointed to be fair. Not sure about this one, nobody wins no matter what happens here. I want a new champion but not Mandy Rose. Gonzalez let’s Mandy get in a lot of offense early on looking very strange in her bright green attire. Mandy gets the kendo stick out next, smashing Gonzalez on the outside. Gonzalez throws her into the plexiglass and Mandy comes back like nothing happened. 

Picture in picture break shows this is not an important match on the card in my opinion, spinning slam from Gonzalez and she fetches some hardware, including a table. After setting it up in the corner, she goes to work on Mandy. You can definitely see Vince’s fingerprints all over this match, Mandy looking strong against someone in unrealistic fashion. Gonzalez drags Mandy to the outside and hits her with a kendo stick.  

Next it’s the most innovative bit, Mandy uses a computer chair to stop Gonzalez’s momentum then traps her in it with a kendo stick, forgetting the pinfall has to happen inside the ring she goes for the cover. This was a bit daft but I liked it until she went for the pinfall. She looks for more hardware then turns to face a masked Gonzalez who sprays her with the fire extinguisher and looks to end it in the ring. She drops Mandy into the torturous structure of chairs in the corner of the ring. Mandy survives though and avoids a big boot on the first attempt, but not the second. Gonzalez looks for the steel steps, putting them in the ring.  

Mandy escapes into the ring, Irish whipping the champ into the steps, Gonzalez kicks out though. Gonzalez takes some strikes on the apron, great persistence from Mandy. She looks to lift Gonzalez but she is too much and reverses it. Gonzalez then pushes Mandy into the corner with the table. Mandy somehow kicks out! A hooded figure appears behind Gonzalez hitting her with a shovel and Mandy scores a cheap win.  

I’m not a fan of “The Way” this was done, feels too much a copy of you know who. However, it is revealed who it is behind the hood, Dakota Kai, this makes perfect sense and I’m ok with it now. Mandy Rose and Toxic Attraction holding all the gold this early, not a good look. The crowd loving Dakota Kai, some boos understandably so. I think we needed a new champion but not Mandy Rose. 

Winner AND NEW NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose 

NXT Halloween Havoc 2021 Toxic Attraction all the gold | Inside Pulse

image courtesy of Inside Pulse

Trick and Carmelo are back at the haunted house, nothing happens though it’s just a musical interlude it seems. Ah no wait here we go, it was broken up by a fun fact! A wicked witch and I'm sure it was The Boogeyman. A masquerade ball and then... Andre Chase? They use him to navigate the way, while Gargano and Lumis decide to go get them. Trick gets spooked by Lumis and runs into trouble. Carmelo finds him after the piano player asks “any requests?” before they find the belt and grab it. Trick is concerned it isn’t this easy. Lumis and Gargano appear to take their shot but the two escape the room, running for their life as Gargano says “next year, let’s do Halloween at my place!”  

Grayson Waller is out in the ring, being the host. As he gets his socials out there LA Knight’s music hits, the proper host. Grayson mentions he had car problems, something tells me he'd arranged that. They are interrupted by Solo Sikoa, newest member of the roster! He takes out Grayson Waller as LA Knight exits the ring, while the crowd chant Uso! Just use the Uso name Vince you tool! 

Chucky is sat in the locker room with Bron Breakker as he prepares for his title match. 

MSK ( c ) vs Imperium (Spin the Wheel Make the Deal for NXT Tag Team Championships – Lumberjack O’Lantern Match) 

This is interesting, especially considering MSK are always diving around. Aichner throws Nash away early on and these two lock up, Nash trying to use his agility to out manoeuvre his opponent. Barthel gets a tag and Nash is once again trying to escape a grapple. Wes Lee finally gets into the match. Barthel backs him into the corner and follows it up with some strikes, keeping his momentum going. Some great athleticism on the outside as Lee skins the cat returning to the ring instead of facing the lumberjacks. He then jumps and dodges Barthel, before getting a stiff shot to the midsection and a kick. Barthel is then thrown to the lumberjacks and Aichner comes to help. MSK both dive to the outside and return to the ring, damage done.  

Picture in picture time, Barthel finally thrown back into the ring. Nash is dumped back in the ring by some lumberjacks after a few strikes were snook in. Aichner gets a near fall off a nice suplex. Nash tags Lee back in and MSK hit a double team move. Then another double team as Nash is back in. Imperium take the momentum back, as Barthel comes in and looks good until he goes to the middle rope, as he dives Nash counters it and Lee is brought back into the match. Barthel survives though after an innovative move from Lee. Aichner gets back in the match and takes both of MSK on. He lifts both with deep squats and almost fails. Really nice crucifix roll.  

Lee looks to take Barthel out but he manages to duck and Lee ends up hurtling over him into the lumberjacks on the outside. Barthel and Nash then fall into the lumberjacks after a cutter from the top rope by Nash. All four men in the ring, standing into a nice sequence, double clotheslines by Imperium. As they look for the Imperial Bomb it’s countered and then MSK hit their traditional assisted moonsault but Barthel kicks out, so close!  

Imperium do a brainbuster double team, followed up by an Imperial Bomb, brilliant finish. Imperium back on top of the NXT Tag Team division. I think it was time for a change in this divison in fairness, Imperium are a really solid tag team so I’m not upset about this loss for MSK. I did expect shenanigans though for MSK’s defeat. Imperium is a good choice to carry the division forward. 

Imperium win NXT Tag Team titles at Halloween Havoc

Image courtesy of F4WOnline

Winners AND NEW NXT Tag Team Champions Imperium 

Some hype for our main event next, showing what has happened previously and giving them both their say. Honestly this is a well put together storyline, I just worry it is too soon for Bron Breakker and a throwaway reign for Ciampa who is too much of a badass to drop it straight away. 

Bron Breakker vs Tommaso Ciampa ( c ) (NXT Championship Match) 

We start with some shoving and a lock up. Bron then runs Ciampa down off the ropes. Ciampa comes back in from the outside. Bron uses his strength to lift Ciampa to break a hold. He continues to use this advantage lifting him and showing some grappling skills. Ciampa dodges a shoulder barge and goes to ground Bron. He works on him in the corner. Bron eventually slams him again though and gets a near fall.  

Picture in picture again, oh for the love of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s sweaty right ball sack, can we stop with the adverts please. You wonder why nobody watches this crap live, I hear more about Pizza Hut on my weekly NXT show than I have ever before in my entire life in the UK, don’t mind me while I just squint again at the tiny window of wrestling on my massive advert filled screen of doom! Get a grip Vince you are rich you don’t need the advertising money.  

Ciampa has pulled back the protective matting it seems. Full screen resumes and Ciampa dives on Bron, with a simple strike, no luck on the pinfall, Bron kicks out. He goes for a bearhug on Bron next, obviously the bigger man manages to get to his feet. Ciampa clubs him upside the head. Bron takes Ciampa down, goes to the middle rope and somehow Ciampa counters managing to get a pinfall but still Bron remains in this one! Another shoulder barge and Ciampa is on the outside. Bron fetches him into the ring. Ciampa comes back with some strikes, the big knee gets only a one count somehow, Bron then hits a frankensteiner before a pumphandle slam, he gets a near fall.  

Ciampa manages to counter a gorilla press powerslam into a reverse DDT. A nice sequence of jabs from Ciampa, Bron managed to get the upper hand and they end up on the outside, they tease the concrete getting used then Ciampa manages to hit the DDT on it. Ciampa hits the Fairytale Ending but it isn’t enough, Bron Breakker kicks out! He doesn’t rest on his laurels though going straight for a knee, not once, not twice but three times. Then another Fairytale Ending, that’s it he wins, yes! Thank God for that, not a wasted run hopefully, great victory. 

Winner Tommaso Ciampa 

This was pretty average, the show itself wasn’t great but the vast number of changes for no real reason in my opinion marred an otherwise decent show. I think I can just about deal with the Mandy Rose win, but felt it should’ve been dragged out longer in case of the Toxic Attraction tag team win. I think Persia, Bron Breaker and Imperium were a highlight of the night. I loved Dakota returning and it saved a terrible match in all honesty for me. Mandy Rose should not have looked that Strong against Raquel Gonzalez. I’m curious to see what this all means for the future of the brand, in particular Io Shirai, is it her farewell, or will she face Zoey Stark for that? 

Let me know what your thoughts were on this event on our socials. I will be back next week but the question is will you? 

Pixc Out!