WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2022 review

WWE NXT Halloween Havoc 2022 review

Pixc here, back with another NXT ‘Premium Live Event’ it’s time for another Halloween Havoc! We have a triple threat for the NXT title, can Bron Breakker slay that demon and best two formidable foes? Shotzi and Quincy share the hosting duties this time, so let’s see what went down. 

North American Title Ladder Match (Carmelo vs Wes Lee vs Von Wagner vs Nathan Frazer vs Oro Mensah) 

In a chaotic fast paced spot-fest we saw all five of these superstars lay it all on the line. Carmelo looks to go straight for a ladder but Wes Lee immediately is after him and Von Wagner has to deal with two. Some of the action felt like it didn’t quite land right but watching it with Kyle first time around he couldn’t hide the shock factor, my enthusiasm for a multi person ladder match for this title wasn’t there but you knew the match was hitting the sweet spot for some because of his reactions!  

Von Wagner did have a spell of dominance and we even got a race to the top from the two support stars. Trick and Mr Stone looked to grab the belt for their friends it seems but after Mr Stone fells Trick with a shoe shot, Trick sends him to the outside via the ropes, a rough landing for everybody’s favourite annoying manager! Wes Lee is literally thrown out of the ring luckily landing on the announce table at ringside, seemingly taking him out of the match. No prizes for guessing who did it that, Von Wagner then seems set to be victorious but Frazer cuts him off. Mensah and Frazer combine to pin Von Wagner under a ladder behind the barricade. Booker T focusing on Wes Lee clearly being out, signalling let’s face it that Wes Lee is in fact not out of this. 

Carmelo looks to have a clear path to victory but Wes Lee is re-joining the battle with a flying punch to stop Carmelo’s progress. Wes Lee hits a Meteora to a prone Carmelo on the ladder before going for the belt. I was expecting another twist but it didn’t come, Wes Lee actually did it!  

For me I am a little gutted, I like Wes Lee a lot but I don’t see him as a bonafide singles star and definitely not the right pick to take the North American title forward. It was a really good battle for the title and although I’m bored of multi-person ladder matches for this title, I have to admit they work and I was maybe clouded by the lack of amazing options. Von Wagner even though I picked him was a terrible choice, Wes Lee had the momentum and Carmelo needs to move on from this title. Frazer and Mensah just aren’t there yet for me. I hope they do some good stuff going forward but I’m a little concerned. 

Mandy Rose and Toxic Attraction go to find Alba Fyre at her little cinematic location, for a spooky hunt the challenger segment. The fear from Jacy Jayne and determination of Mandy Rose and Gigi to get the job done really added to the segment. Rose says they should split up and Gigi winds Jacy Jayne up and as you’d expect they get picked off one by one. Jacy Jayne is first in a more traditional attack from behind. Gigi goes next absorbed in the spectacle before Alba arrives to take her out in brutal fashion. She puts up the most fight if I'm honest. Rose is finally all alone as Alba makes her face the music before appearing to drag Rose to her car, so they can arrive at the arena later. This was a great segment and a must have on a Halloween special! 

Apollo Crews vs Grayson Waller (Casket Match) 

After the initial red hot ladder match, this was surely set to change the pace. It proved to be a competitive battle in which both men seemed like they could take the victory. It looked like Waller had the match won when he sent Apollo threw the casket but for some reason with the door of it destroyed that meant he couldn’t close it on him? Waller is celebrating expecting his hand raised, the lights go out and Apollo is no longer in the casket when the lights come back on, weird.  

He is bringing with the druids another bigger casket to the ring. This was the point where I lost interest in the match really. The Undertaker style blackout and druid stuff doesn’t really suit either of them and it felt shoehorned in. The match did pick up in terms of tension though with narrow escapes becoming more frequent. Both ended up in the casket at one point. Waller did an Undertaker taunt signalling the end before looking for a tombstone piledriver. Apollo reverses it well. Eventually Apollo lifts Waller up into the air slamming him into the casket, closing the door for the win!  

It wasn’t terrible but I don’t feel Waller should be losing to Apollo here and I do wonder we go from here. Apollo having this big win and the druids makes me wonder if he joins Gacy’s faction and goes after Bron Breakker or Wes Lee?  

We get a Chase U segment where Duke Hudson is seemingly added to the group or appearing as a guest. He answers the question after Bodhi fails and Bodhi resolves to do better in class. Not a fan of this idea yet, hopefully something develops but Hudson just seems to be a steady hand they throw into whatever lately. His last good work was against Cameron Grimes for me, only time I’ve ever liked him. 

Pretty Deadly arrive to talk about their title defence on Tuesday, Kayden and Katana arrive to stir the pot, claiming Pretty Deadly aren’t the best tag team. They aren’t expecting the duo to retain, unlike themselves. Honestly, I can’t see either team losing their titles. I don’t think I want them to, either.  

Cora Jade vs Roxanne Perez (Weapons Wild Match) 

Roxanne comes out with a skateboard, which is a great call back to Cora turning on her. Perez even puts her on the skateboard and sends her out of the ring atop it. Most skating Cora has ever done in her life apparently! Cora gets her kicks in while Perez is wearing the trashcan, she sends Perez to the outside with an awkward landing. Perez beats Cora with black stick of some description but is unable to get poprocks at this stage. Cora looks to escape and heads to the podium. They set up for a fall but Perez falters and it looks more like a friendly dive into the pool than two rivals plunging to their demise, not the greatest spot let’s be honest. 

Cora screams “you were never my friend” and Perez drops her on the pile of chairs before replying “you were always my best friend” and hitting poprocks onto that same pile of chairs! It’s over, a small slice of revenge for Perez. This was a great match with only moment that didn’t seem to go well that fall spot. Both of these have a bright future. I can’t wait to see what they do going forward! 

We get a vignette or video showing what looks like T-Bar's mask burning, hopefully signalling the return of Dominik Dijakovic!  

Shotzi and Quincy are up next celebrating the event so far. Lash Legend arrives though to spoil the party. Quincy reminds her Lashing Out was cancelled a long time ago. Quincy takes another shot at Lash before Shotzi decides enough is enough and beats her down. Nice little segment for these three, gotta love Quincy! 

Schism are up next, they are talking about cultivating peace and come out from beneath their masks and be free. Looks like we are getting the new guy reveal on Tuesday, I can’t wait! 

Julius Creed vs Damon Kemp (Ambulance Match) 

Damon Kemp brings a chair with Julius’s name on it to the ring. Julius comes to the ring throwing pumpkins at Kemp. He explodes into the ring with a dropkick. Don’t forget Brutus’s career is in his own brother's hands here. The match could have ended really quick but Damon Kemp uses a crutch to stop the ambulance the door from shutting on him. This match was pretty competitive throughout with both coming close to closing those doors. Quite liked the sue of a crutch to trap Kemp in a wheelchair, propelling him face first into the steps. Kemp manages to get Julius in the ambulance but he purposefully keeps his fingers in the way as Kemp slams the doors. Kemp ends up getting laid out on the stretcher and smashed with the named chair from earlier. Julius then carries him to the ambulance and ends the match, closing the doors on this rivalry maybe? 

It was a decent ambulance match but it just felt like it wasn’t quite brutal enough for me. Glad Julius picked up the win and a slice of revenge but a little surprised Roderick Strong didn’t appear. 

Alba arrives dragging Mandy Rose with her as we head into our next match. 

Alba Fyre vs Mandy Rose ( c ) (NXT Women’s Championship match)  

Rose soon takes control of the match and Alba seems unable to string some proper offense together. She eventually hits a swanton bomb but Gigi and Jacy arrive to pull the referee out of the ring. The referee and Toxic Attraction get taken out by a super kick from Alba Fyre, so the challenger looks to grab the referee. Toxic Attraction take her out on the outside and with the referee back in the ring, Rose hits her knee strike and scores another tainted victory!  

I was pissed at this result initially, I thought it was finally time to have Alba Fyre take the belt from her but unfortunately it was not to be. I have since found out potentially why and watching it back see Mandy Rose looking up giving more weight to the theory. Condolences for her loss and credit to her she is having an impressive run as champion if for me she is holding the division hostage somewhat. Hopefully she loses the belt soon and we can see Toxic Attraction move up to Smackdown or RAW. 

Zoey and Nikkita are preparing for their tag title opportunity. Blade and Enofe arrive to join in on the “AND NEWWWW!” conversation, nice moment for these two teams but I doubt either will pick up the gold come Tuesday. 

JD McDonagh vs Ilja Dragunov vs Bron Breakker ( c ) (NXT Championship match) 

Bron breaks the two tombstones of Dragunov and JD McDonagh in his entrance. We start with a battle to beat up JD McDonagh, the champion and Dragunov eventually fighting each other opening the door for JD. The match remained competitive throughout with plenty of opportunities for all three to shine. JD interrupts a couple of pinfalls frustrating Bron but keeping out of the ring in a brilliant tactical move. Dragunov blocks the Devil Inside signature and dumps JD into Bron before hitting an impressive coast to coast dropkick! 

A slugfest ensues and JD claps them but Dragunov chases him into the ring and Bron drops him before they bounce him around the ring with strikes and toss him from the ring! JD comes in to save Dragunov from what looked like the end, headbutting Bron mid-powerslam. We get a series of pinfalls by Dragunov and JD as we build for the finish. Booker T is in awe of JD McDonagh and Bron is still hanging in there. Dragunov hits two German suplexes on JD before Bron hits a double German suplex on them both and almost has Dragunov pinned. JD tries to steal it but Dragunov kicks out! 

Dragunov blocks the spear with beautiful knee but doesn’t go for the cover he hits a senton from the top and the Torpedo Moscow before going for it, this allows JD to stop the hand coming down for the three. JD is then resting on the outside so Dragunov runs round looking for a clothesline but JD hits a Spanish fly and looks to finish Dragunov with a chair and the steps.  

Bron gets his turn next avoid the Torpedo Moscow, hitting a brutal spear to pick up the win! My only issue with this finish is JD McDonagh watching from the apron, despite clearly having the time to interrupt the count, whether it was a bad camera angle or something else this just looked weak. 

This was a great event, I just felt some of the results went the wrong way and it maybe wasn’t like the old Takeover days where every match was a banger. It was closer to that than it has been in a while though. What did you think of Halloween Havoc, feel free to let us know on our socials. Thanks for reading. 

Pixc out!