NXT – October 24, 2023 (Halloween Havoc Night One)
By Thomas Hall on 24th October 2023
Date: October 24, 2023
Location: Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Vic Joseph, Booker T.
It’s the first night of the two week Halloween Havoc special and that should make for some interesting shows. Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal is back and some of the matches have already been decided. This week has a pair of major matches, as Lexis King will make his in-ring debut and Becky Lynch will defend the Women’s Title against Lyra Valkyria. Let’s get to it.
New Year’s Day plays Vampyre, the theme song, live.
Scarlett and Shotzi (as Pinhead from Hellraiser), our hosts, welcome us to our first match.
Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James
This is a Devil’s Playground match, meaning some themed weapons and falls count anywhere. Perez, dressed as Freddy Kruger, jumps her to start and they go to the floor early on. A sunset lip off the steps gives Perez two and a rollup gets the same. Perez hits her in the ribs with the swing set but gets suplexed on the floor. A shot with a laptop puts Perez down again and we take a break.
Back with Perez choking with a chain while sporting a heck of a bump on her forehead. Perez fights back and sends her into a trashcan, setting up a dive. A piece of a fence to the back sets up a Russian legsweep to put James into a slide. Back up and a hurricanrana off of the barricade is countered, with a powerbomb sending Perez into a trashcan for two. James hits her in the back with a see saw and they fight onto the barricade. With Perez knocked down, she manages to grab James’ bag for a shot to the face. Pop Rox onto the bag finishes James at 9:50.
Rating: B-. It was a good fight and should wrap up their feud with Perez getting the win as she should have. They played into the theme with the playground and it was the kind of entertaining match that made it feel like we were on a special show. Good stuff here, but Perez needs to be boosted up to the title picture again.
Post match the bag is emptied and we see a crushed brick.
We get a sitdown interview with Carmelo Hayes. First of all, he denies attacking Trick Williams before moving on to his title shot against Ilja Dragunov. It’s not just about the title, but it’s also about being Him, which means being the best. When asked if he would be #1 contender if Williams was in the four way match, Hayes says he would be before walking off, saying this one is for justice for Williams.
Scarlett and Shotzi give the Meta Four a tarot card reading, saying they will be starting a great journey, but their joy will be turned into intense grief. The team isn’t happy, but as they panic, Akira Tozawa steals the Heritage Cup.
Lexis King vs. Dante Chen
King comes out on a throne for a little flavor. They trade arm control to start until King headbutts him against the ropes. Chen takes him to the mat but King’s up kick staggers Chen again. A running forearm to the back of the head puts Chen down but the chinlock doesn’t last long. Chen fights up with an atomic drop and a pump kick, only to spend too long posing. King nails a superkick and hits a hanging swinging neckbreaker for the pin at 4:02.
Rating: C. It wasn’t a bad debut for King and he felt different from his time as Brian Pillman Jr., which is what matters the most. At the same time, Chen got in a bit too much offense here (a trend with him) and it made things feel a bit off. That being said, it’s one match and things could still go rather well in the future.
Chase U is warming up when Stacks and Tony D’Angelo come in to say they couldn’t ask for better opponents. Duke Hudson isn’t sure what to make of that but Andre Chase says don’t worry about it.
Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Kelani Jordan vs. Arianna Grace
Jordan armdrags her down to start and sends Grace to the floor as we take an early break. Back with Jordan grabbing a suplex but getting caught with a swinging neckbreaker. Jordan gets sent to the apron but comes back in with a sunset flip for two. The clothesline comeback puts Grace down and a flipping legdrop gives Jordan two more. Grace sends her throat first onto the top rope but gets knocked off the top. Jordan’s split legged moonsault finishes Grace at 7:35.
Rating: C. You can tell that NXT sees a lot in Jordan, who has the athletic background and smaller stature to make her feel like a natural underdog. Grace feels like a bigger project going forward, but for now Jordan getting the win as the underdog makes sense. The match wasn’t great, but it did well enough to get the job done.
Von Wagner is still at physical therapy with Mr. Stone next to him. Stone says he knows he went too far by challenging Bron Breakker but is hoping to get in one shot. Wagner believes in him.
Scarlett and Shotzi (the latter now Edwards Scissorhands) plug their YouTube show when Diamond Mine comes in. The Creeds want Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo next week, but there needs to be something else. Ivy Nile gets to Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal, giving us…..Tables, Ladders and Scares. Stacks and Tony D’Angelo come out for their title defense and get in a brief staredown with the Creeds.
Tag Team Titles: Stacks/Tony D’Angelo vs. Chase U
Chase U, with Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail, is challenging. Chase headlocks Stacks to start so it’s off to Hudson, who is low bridged to the floor. That lets Stacks hit a dive before D’Angelo hiptosses him over the top onto Chase U as we take a break. Back with Chase getting hot shotted into a boot to the face for two.
Chase kicks his way out of trouble though and it’s back to Hudson to clean house. Hudson drops Stacks onto D’Angelo and grabs a side slam for two. The swinging Boss Man Slam gets the same and everything breaks down. D’Angelo comes back in to take over, including a hard spinebuster to Chase. A middle rope elbow into a German suplex gives Stacks two but Chase is back up for the spelling stomps.
Stacks cuts Hudson off though and tags himself back in, setting up a PowerPlex (top rope headbutt rather than a splash) but Hudson German suplexes D’Angelo into the cover for the save. The Bada Bing Bada Boom is broken up and Chase gets two off a sunset flip. Jayne tries to give Chase a crowbar but he turns it down. Instead Jayne gets knocked of the apron but the distraction lets Chase get the rollup for the pin and the titles at 11:15.
Rating: B. They FINALLY did it as Chase U’s title win is long overdue. The team had been one of the most popular acts in all of NXT but that was only going to get them so far until they actually won something. This is the kind of big moment that they had been waiting on for months now, and even if the Creed Brothers are ready to take the belts soon, at least Chase U got there here. Rather good match, but better moment.
Nathan Frazer recaps his issues with Dominik Mysterio, saying Dominik has one of those slappable faces. Things did not go well for Frazer last year at Halloween Havoc but now he is back and ready to do better, including winning the North American Title. Assuming Rhea Ripley lets Dominik come back.
We hear from some fans about Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria tonight.
Baron Corbin is tired of doing all the work and having someone else get the glory. No he didn’t attack Trick Williams and suggests people like Axiom or Wes Lee.
Gigi Dolin vs. Blair Davenport
Lights Out, meaning anything goes but falls only count in the ring. Dolin sends her outside to start and hits a dive off the apron, only to get kneed in the head back inside. Davenport takes it right back to the floor and sends her to the steps. Dolin fights back though and sends her into a chair as we take a break. Back with Dolin taking over again and grabbing a table. Davenport fights up and unsets the table before beating on Dolin with a belt.
More weapons are brought in but this time Dolin whips her with the belt for two. Davenport fights back again and sets up the table at ringside, with the delay allowing Dolin to trash can her in the face. Some running dropkicks have Davenport in trouble but she sends Dolin into the steps. They get onto the announcers’ table until a Falcon Arrow sends Dolin through the regular table. Back in and Davenport knees her in the face for the pin at 12:33.
Rating: C+. Turning the lights down was something of a twist here but this felt like so many of the same hardcore/street fights that we’ve sen forever. It doesn’t help that it’s the second match of a similar style tonight and Perez vs. James was better. Davenport can move on to something new now and I’m sure Dolin will be fine as she’s treated like enough of a star.
Ilja Dragunov talks about how much trouble he had growing up but now it is all worth it. His son held his NXT Title and it was a special moment to see him looking at his dad. As for Carmelo Hayes, Dragunov is ready to fight as the champion instead of the challenger. Hayes has to adjust to him because the title represents thirty years of sacrifice.
We see Carmelo Hayes watching the interview when Scarlett and Shotzi, now as twins, say all signs point to Hayes being the one who attacked Trick Williams. Hayes isn’t happy.
Tiffany Stratton doesn’t care who wins the Breakout Tournament but here is….I think Fallon Henley to impersonate Stratton, complete with outfit and blonde hair. Stratton isn’t happy and decks her.
Women’s Breakout Tournament Semifinals: Karmen Petrovic vs. Lola Vice
They start fast with Petrovic being sent to the apron and kicked out to the floor. Back in and Vice grabs a quickly broken abdominal stretch, allowing Petrovic to kick her in the head. Vice is knocked to the floor for a nice dive but Vice kicks her head off back inside for the pin at 3:35.
Rating: C+. They hit each other rather hard here as it was a battle of strikers, with the better choice going forward. Petrovic will be fine going forward, but Vice has that star power to her that you can see the second she appears. Vice winning the tournament would be a good way to go, as she has what WWE tends to look for in a heel.
Kelani Jordan comes out for the staredown.
Chase U is happy with the win, but Duke Hudson isn’t sure about the title making his carry on bag weigh too much. Even Thea Hail is excited but Chelsea Green and Piper Niven (the latter as a wolf on a chain) interrupt. Hail and Jayne don’t care so Green is planning a formal complaint. That’s fine with Hail and Jayne, who are going to ask for a Women’s Tag Team Title shot. Of note: Dante Chen and Boa could be seen talking in the back.
Meta Four finds out that Akira Tozawa stole the Heritage Cup, as Tozawa has said if they want the cup back, come and get it. A title match seems to be set for next week.
Bron Breakker comes in to see Carmelo Hayes and accuses him of taking out Trick Williams. If the same Hayes shows up next week, he’ll get the title back.
Here’s what’s coming next week.
Women’s Title: Becky Lynch vs. Lyra Valkyria
Lynch is defending. They stare at each other to start and we take a break less than thirty seconds in. Back with Valkyria in trouble but bridging out of a crossbody. They collide for a double knockdown as we see a live shot of a bar in the UK watching the match. Valkyria strikes away, including a running forearm against the ropes. Some clotheslines set up a bridging northern lights suplex for two on Lynch.
Back up and Lynch knocks her into the ropes but it’s too early for the middle rope legdrop. Instead Valkyria sends her outside for a dropkick through the ropes. Lynch is fine enough to get in a quick posting but Valkyria ties her in the ropes for a change. Valkyria is able to hit her own middle rope legdrop to the back of the head, followed by a missile dropkick for the same.
Lynch is right back with a Diamond Dust of all things for two but she can’t get an armbar. Instead, Valkyria grabs a full nelson with her legs but Lynch leans back for two and the break. Valkyria’s fisherman’s buster gets two but Lynch pulls her into the Disarm-Her. That’s broken up with a foot on the rope and a sitout powerbomb gives Valkyria two more.
Lynch catches her on top though and a hard DDT gives Lynch a near fall of her own. With nothing else working, Lynch hammers away on the mat but Valkyria catches her on top. The spinning kick to the face gives Valkyria two as the fans greatly approve. A quick Manhandle Slam gives Lynch two and she can’t believe the kickout. Lynch loads it up again but Valkyria reverses into a rollup for the pin and the title at 16:06.
Rating: B+. And that is how you make a new star. Lynch hit Valkyria with her best shot and couldn’t put her away because Valkyria was the better woman, at least on this night. On top of that, they beat the fire out of each other with back and forth shots until one of them got caught. Valkyria gets the win of her career and Lynch goes back to the main roster for whatever she has next. Heck of a match here, but the result for the future is more important.
Post match Jade Cargill is watching from the balcony as Lynch hands Valkyria the title and raises her hand to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a pretty awesome show as they set things up or next week, gave us two title changes in a pair of rather good matches and also played into the Halloween theme enough. Next week is going to have a hard time following this, but they have enough ready to make it a possibility. This was an awesome show though as NXT is on another roll going into the second week, plus the build to Deadline in December.
Roxanne Perez b. Kiana James – Pop Rox onto James’ purse
Lexis King b. Dante Chen – Hanging swinging neckbreaker
Kelani Jordan b. Arianna Grace – Split legged moonsault
Chase U b. Stacks/Tony D’Angelo – Rollup to Stacks
Blair Davenport b. Gigi Dolin – Knee to the face
Lola Vice b. Karmen Petrovic – Spinning kick to the head
Lyra Valkyria b. Becky Lynch – Rollup
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