NXT HALLOWEEN HAVOC HITS & MISSES: Breakker vs. Ciampa, Gonzalez vs. Rose, Womens Tag Team Ladder Match, Diamond Mine Open Challenge, more

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

JACY JANE & GIGI DOLAN vs. IO SHIRAI & ZOEY STARK vs. INDI HARTWELL & PERSIA PIROTTA – NXT WOMEN’S TAG TEAM LADDER MATCH

This “Stairway to Hell” triple threat ladder match appeared no different than a normal triple threat ladder match, leaving me a little disappointed that there wasn’t an additional stipulation provided by the moniker.

Though riddled with plenty of my multi-person match pet peeves, such as most of the competitors laying on the ground “hurt” while two or three provide the action, this was a decent enough match to kick off Halloween Havoc. Indi, Shirai, Jane and Dolan stood out to me as the MVP’s of the match, Shirai taking the biggest bumps for the younger talent. Zoey Stark botched a corkscrew moonsault, awkwardly landing on her ankle which seemed to throw her off for the rest of the match.

Shirai and Stark, on paper, looked to be a great tag team. However their title reign was completely forgettable. Putting the titles on the newer talent could hopefully breathe some life back into this division. Toxic Attraction has been heavily featured on TV as of late, so perhaps this will elevate the titles as well?

Verdict: Lukewarm HIT

CARMELO HAYES WANTS HIS BELT BACK

The vignettes with Carmelo Hayes & Trick Williams trying to find Dexter Lumis and Gargano in a haunted house were way too over the top for me. If NXT is going to replace wrestling-heavy NXT Takeover with these special shows, then I want wrestling. Not cheesy vignettes and lengthy talking segments. Settle stories, end feuds and start the build to new feuds. Don’t treat them just like any ordinary Tuesday show with a costume on.

This was NXT’s version of the Dungeon of Doom segments.

Verdict: MISS

MALIK BLADE vs. JOE GACY

Another squash match with Blade staring at the lights. Harland interfered on Gacy’s behalf, allowing Gacy the quick victory. Harland and Gacy shared a moment after the match where Gacy kept telling Harland to trust him, before they walked off.

This feels like retread of the Bray Wyatt character from his original NXT run. Gacy and his follower, Harland have a similar vibe to Wyatt and Rowan or Harper. Something needs to drastically change with this act for it to feel remotely important.

Verdict: MISS

DIAMOND MINE OPEN CHALLENGE

Diamond Mine and Malcolm Bivens appeared on stage and set an open challenge where someone could step up and challenge any one of the members of Diamond Mine before cutting to commercial.

After the break, Odyssey Jones answered the call and challenged NXT Cruiserweight Champ, Roderick Strong. He’s too heavy to be eligible for the title, so it was a non-title affair. Odyssey Jones shows a lot of promise and it’s clear that WWE has plans for the big man. Roderick Strong has been not only wrestling for years, but in the NXT system for quite some time as well. He makes a perfect opponent for Jones as he’ll be working with someone who can carry anybody through a match.

Jones ultimately stared at the lights, but that was after some interference from the Creed Brothers. Ideally, you’d want a monster like Jones to crush everyone in his path. Instead, it feels like he’s lost more often than he’s won. Charisma can only get him so far, Jones needs to start getting wins under his belt if anyone is going to take him seriously.

Verdict: MISS

RAQUEL GONZALEZ vs. MANDY ROSE – SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE THE DEAL FOR NXT WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP

The wheel landed on “Chucky’s Choice”, in which the famous red-headed horror icon and host of Halloween Havoc, Chucky, chose a “Trick or Street Fight.” This meant that the Women’s Championship would be contested under street fight rules.

While having Chucky on the show was a nice little nod to Halloween Havoc of WCW Yesteryear, it’s hard to accept a completely fictional character in a pseudo-real “universe”. It makes the show just seems hokey and took me out of the moment. Gonzalez entered the arena on a motorcycle, very similar to The Undertaker in his American Badass days. Raquel, that’s gimmick infringement and that’s a crime. I mean, it must be. Not like Chuck Palumbo’s career took off after riding motorcycles to the ring. (I bet you forgot about that gimmick, didn’t you.)

Raquel Gonzalez has a strong character, but her in ring work still leaves much to be desired, and it doesn’t help that she was opposite someone like Mandy Rose. While Rose can have a decent match, that’s what she’s capable of. A decent match.

It seemed inevitable that Mandy Rose would be added to the list of NXT Women’s Champion with the trajectory that Toxic Attraction has been on, especially with them capturing the Women’s Tag Gold earlier in the night. These two matches were probably the most predictable and least enticing outcomes for me.

The only saving grace was Dakota Kai’s return, revealing that she was the one who hit Gonzalez with the shovel to cost her the title. This will allow the two to finally go on to have the feud they deserve. I hope.

Verdict: MISS

SOLO SIKOA DEBUT

He looks exactly like his brothers, The Uso’s. It’s not fooling anyone that they’re related, why give him a different name? The crowd chanted “Uso!” as he destroyed a vampire-clad Greyson Waller. I’m intrigued to see what he can do long term, but this was a weak debut overall. Midcard act, at best.

You know what? I should look on the bright side, right? At least his name isn’t Solo Sikkoa.

Verdict: MISS

MSK vs. IMPERIUM – SPIN THE WHEEL, MAKE A DEAL – NXT TAG CHAMPIONSHIPS

The wheel landed on “Lumberjack”, prompting most of the NXT roster to come out and surround the ring.

The lumberjacks really didn’t play a huge part in the match and really served more as a talking point for the announce team with all of the whacky costumes. Or for MSK to land on during dives to the outside. The match could have easily happened without the midcard surrounding the ring and not much would have changed. Sure, there was a chaos spot where all of the lumberjacks started fighting and got thrown out of the arena by refs. That spot left all four competitors laying on the outside. However there are a million other ways to make all four competitors take bumps to the outside that doesn’t involve lumberjacks, right? They ultimately served no purpose whatsoever.

It was a perfectly fine tag team match otherwise, but nothing that we haven’t seen out of MSK or Imperium in their countless other matchups against one another. Imperium have not felt like an important team in well over a year, so this win seems out of nowhere. Unless this is a new push for Imperium, I don’t see this win doing much for either Imperium nor the titles.

Verdict: MISS

BRON BREAKKER vs. TOMMASO CIAMPA – NXT CHAMPIONSHIP

Holla if you hear him, Bron Breakker stepped in the ring in the biggest matchup of his extremely short NXT career. The face of NXT, NXT Champion, Tommaso Ciampa. Ciampa, cosplaying one of my all time favorite videogame characters, Kretos from the God of War series.

This match was the passing of the torch, even if the torch didn’t quite pass hands. The big question on everyone’s mind was how Bron Breakker could hold up in a singles match for the biggest prize on the black and gol… tie dye brand. He may have a name that’s almost as stupid as Terra Ryzin, but there is no denying that Bron Breakker certainly possesses some of the same main event level charisma that his father and uncle also had.

Breakker may be the best thing about NXT 2.0.

Verdict: HIT

 

 

 

 

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*


VOTE IN OUR POLLS

Who do you think will prove to be the most valuable recent AEW signing over the next year?
 
pollcode.com free polls
Who do you want to see unseat Kenny Omega as the AEW World Champion?
 
pollcode.com free polls

Stay connected