Johnny Gargano def. Damian Priest in a Devil’s Playground Match to become the new NXT North American Champion
As much as Johnny Gargano loathes wheels, The Wheel proved to be his best friend at NXT Halloween Havoc. Competing in a Devil’s Playground Match with no count-outs, no disqualifications, falls count anywhere and anything goes, Johnny Wrestling found himself shellshocked in the early going as Damian Priest dominated, dealing Gargano a significant blow when he struck his foot with his trusty nightstick.
But the rules ultimately worked in Gargano’s favor. A man in a robe and a mask emerged with a lead pipe to attack Priest before handing Gargano a tombstone, which he smashed over Priest. The blow sent The Archer of Infamy flying off the stage, making Gargano’s second North American Championship almost academic.
Pete Dunne joined with Pat McAfee, Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch to assault Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle O’Reilly seemingly found a surprising ally in the fight against Pat McAfee and the new NXT Tag Team Champions, as Pete Dunne made a stunning return to NXT with two steel chairs in tow. But Dunne instead blasted O’Reilly in the back with a chair before the entire crew commenced what was little more than a 4-on-1 mugging. The BruiserWeight sealed the assault by stomping the back of O’Reilly’s extended arm, possibly seriously injuring it.
NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar def. Jake Atlas in a non-title match
Jake Atlas was ready to fight not only Santos Escobar, but all of Legado del Fantasma if he had to, taking out both Joaquin Wilde and Raul Mendoza with a spectacular tope con giro. But he wasn’t ready for Mendoza donning what appeared to be a loaded lucha mask to blast him with a vicious headbutt, allowing Escobar to easily put him away.
Dexter Lumis tormented Cameron Grimes in a Haunted House of Terror Match
Cameron Grimes quickly came to regret his recent attacks on Dexter Lumis before the Haunted House of Terror Match, offering to even forfeit to NXT General Manager William Regal. But Regal didn’t oblige, ordering him to take a seedy van transport to an unknown location where NXT’s Tortured Artist unleashed unimaginable horrors on The Technical Savage. Grimes evaded a variety of ghouls and Lumis himself before fleeing back to the Capitol Wrestling Center.
Once back in the arena, Grimes had nowhere to run from Lumis and a horde of zombies, and Lumis put him to sleep with Silence.
Rhea Ripley def. Raquel González
With tensions simmering for weeks, Rhea Ripley and Raquel González finally squared off in a highly intense battle. Both Superstars appeared stunned, experiencing the unfamiliar situation of not being able to physically overpower their opponent. The Nightmare eventually dropped González with the Riptide, however, picking up an impressive victory.
NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai def. Candice LeRae in a Tables, Ladders and Scares Match
Io Shirai made a jaw-dropping entrance to the ring as Poppy performed “Scary Mask,” setting the stage for an epic encounter. With The Wheel landing on Tables, Ladders and Scares, both Superstars made ample use of the instruments available, with Shirai even hitting The Poison Pixie with a stray limb at one point.
The Genius of the Sky dominated much of the bout, throwing a chair at LeRae’s face, pinning her head against the steps with a Meteora, and slamming her through a table with a gigantic swinging neckbreaker off the apron. But for a second time in the evening, an unknown assailant appeared in a robe and mask, attempting to help LeRae climb her way to victory. Halloween Havoc host Shotzi Blackheart joined the fray, upending the interference and clearing the way for Shirai to launch LeRae from a ladder through another ladder on the outside of the ring and grab her title.