Halloween Havoc returned tonight for the first time in twenty years. It returned in a big way and featured two women’s matches, one of them in the main event.
The first match was everything one would hope to see between a battle of two dominant powerhouses. Rhea Ripley and Raquel Gonzalez finally got their hands on one another in a one-on-one bout that didn’t disappoint. Ripley isn’t used to being up against someone that is even more intimidating than her and just as powerful. This fight was just that, a pure fight.
Although the two didn’t have a gimmick to their match and it was just a straight forward bout, the two did utilize the ringside area. This included a massive slam from Gonzalez to Ripley on the plexiglass barrier. Gonzalez was smart throughout as well, knowing that she couldn’t allow Ripley to be on the offensive too long. We also got to witness a pure slugfest between the two as well.
When all things were said and done, Ripley was finally able to hit Riptide and get the pin for the win. Personally, they could have had Gonzalez win this match and it would not have made Ripley look weak in the slightest.
The second match was between two competitors which we have seen several times before, however, they never disappoint. Candice LeRae received a rematch against Io Shirai for the NXT Women’s Championship. Neither woman knew what match they would have going in as they had to Spin the Wheel and Make a Deal.
The host of Halloween Havoc, Shotzi Blackheart, spun the wheel much as she did earlier for the North American Title match between Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest. The wheel landed on a Tables, Ladders, and Scares stipulation.
This match was absolutely deserving of the main event. These two women put on a great show and had many spots which were a pleasure to watch. Gargano won the North American Title at the beginning of the night thanks to assistance from an unknown helper in a Ghostface costume from the movie Scream.
Gargano and LeRae have been on this mission and determined to do things the “Gargano Way” and become the first married couple on the NXT brand to hold gold at the same time. This had many thinking LeRae would finally win her first gold in the company. This wasn’t going to happen if Shirai had anything to say about it.
The two had plenty of tables, ladders, chairs, and a couple of scares throughout. They both took a double spot as they both went through their own tables at the same time. As the match came to an end, someone as Ghostface showed up yet again to try and help LeRae much as they did Gargano earlier in the night. This person helped LeRae up the ladder although she was completely wiped out from the double table spot.
This time, the mystery person didn’t fair as well this time as Blackheart got involved and took them out. LeRae did as much as she could to try and grab the title hanging just inches from her, but Shirai had her own ladder. The two were at the top of their respective ladders which led to the best spot of the night. Shirai knocked over LeRae’s ladder and she came crashing down, knee first, into a ladder that was laid between the ring apron and the announce table.
Shirai would then grab the title and retain.
Some side notes:
Shotzi did a great job as host. She had just enough presence and looked fantastic. Her getting involved in the main event was great as well. There really is so much great talent in NXT. I want Shotzi, Toni, Ember, Candice, Dakota, etc. all champions. This is why I really wish they would use the tag titles in NXT way more than they do, which is rarely ever.
I really thought that Candice was winning, Io retaining to me was a swerve. I would have been good with Candice finally getting her first gold and Io moving to let’s say SmackDown.
As for who was Ghostface, I am pretty sure it was two different people, which would fit perfectly aligned with the movies. I think Indi Hartwell was the obvious one that tried to help Candice. It only makes sense with their recent budding friendship. The one who helped Gargano? Many are saying Austin Theory.
Let’s get into the Winners & Losers of the week:
WINNERS: All five women that were on the show, stole it. Shotzi Blackheart, Raquel Gonzalez, Rhea Ripley, Candice LeRae, and Io Shirai.
I really have nothing bad to say about this show. I think both matches were superb and show stealers. The women being the main event was spot on. The double spot and Candice going through the ladder at the end. Phew.
LOSERS: Happy Halloween! No one loses this week!
The only thing that threw me at first about the booking was that the return of both Ember and Toni without them being involved in this event.
Ember is scheduled for next week to face Dakota Kai.
What did you think of Halloween Havoc? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below!!