NXT 2.0 returns tonight (Oct. 26) live from the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida for Halloween Havoc!
Advertised for the show:
- Tommaso Ciampa (c) vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT championship
- Raquel Gonzalez (c) vs. Mandy Rose for the NXT Women’s title; stipulation via Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal
- Io Shirai & Zoey Stark (c) vs. Gigi Dolin & Jacy Jayne vs. Indi Hartwell & Persia Pirotta in a Scareway To Hell Ladder Match for the NXT Women’s Tag Team championship
- MSK (c) vs. Imperium for the NXT Tag Team titles; stipulation via Spin The Wheel, Make The Deal
- Solo Sikoa debuts
- The “Mysterious Superstar” will be unveiled
- A special Halloween Havoc edition of Lashing Out with Lash Legend
As usual, here are our five questions about NXT tonight:
1) Is tonight the real start of the 2.0 Era?
Tommaso Ciampa & Bron Breakker co-existed last week, but there’s no call for that tonight. They’re definitely gonna scrap, and the outcome of that should tell us a lot about the new NXT - and how ready the brass think Rick Steiner’s son is for the big time.
Crowning Breakker not only signals they think he’s almost there, and that his stay on Tuesday nights might be a brief one. A valiant loss and a hand shake from the Blackheart could mean he needs more seasoning in their eyes, and/or that Ciampa’s reign will see him work with a number of potential future stars before one of them is deemed ready.
Halloween Havoc’s Women’s title match could also signal the new direction for that division. Raquel González has been champion since the WrestleMania week Stand & Deliver shows. It seems safe to say we know what she brings to the table at this point in her career. A lot of fans think her opponent, Mandy Rose, has really stepped up her game since moving to NXT. And with her main roster experience, she may be able to provide in-ring training to the next generation about what Vince McMahon & team want from women’s wrestlers at the next level.
Two title changes would send a big signal that NXT 2.0 is more than a bright makeover and throwing a bunch of gimmicks at the wall.
2) Who’s the “Mysterious Superstar”, and what role will they play tonight?
My money’s been on Dakota Kai from the first vignette, and the recent report she’s still assigned to NXT on WWE’s internal rosters only makes me more confident about that bet. Also feeling good about parlaying that bet with Kai interfering in her ex-partner González’s match.
But it could be Ember Moon, or even Elias? Sure! Moon went away mad and could play a role in either of tonight’s Women’s title tilts. Not sure what the Drifter would do, but a musician who made a deal with the devil would fit right in on 2.0, and Halloween Havoc would be a good place to debut that gimmick.
3) How’s Jacy Jayne - or - Are we sure a ladder match is a good idea?
We haven’t heard any news about Jayne’s status since hearing her CT scan looked okay after a suicide dive went wrong on last week’s show. Presumably, the fact WWE hasn’t stopped promoting tonight’s Women’s Tag title match means she’s good to go... or it could just be another Sasha-Banks-at-SummerSlam situation.
The miscue that caused Jayne to land on her face on Oct. 19 could have happened to anyone. She’s been wrestling on the indies for a few years; it’s not like she’s super-green. So maybe this concern trolling, but... wrestling on live television for WWE is a different animal than working a Shimmer or Evolve show. Is putting a bunch of people trying to make that transition in a car crash like a Triple Threat ladder match a smart play?
Whatever you think of WWE, they’ve got some of the best trainers and coaches in the world. I trust they’ve made everyone in tonight’s “Scareway to Hell” affair ready. This is just a thought that’s stuck in my head as NXT tries to roll out a lot freshly trained wrestlers while still putting on the kind of indie matches the brand’s been known for in the previous era.
4) Can MSK win over the NXT crowd?
You’d think a pair of amazing high-fliers working a thinly veiled stoner schtick would get over with the Florida faithful, but Nash Carter & Wes Lee hear their fare show of jeers from the audience. There are some internet theories for why that is that trace back to NXT’s Full Sail roots, and if there’s any truth to those... MSK may hear boos all day until they get called up to the main roster.
But the fact you will hear cheers when they do moves like this means there’s hope, and we should see plenty of innovative offense tonight when they boys defend their Tag belts against Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel.
Speaking of Imperium...
5) What will Chucky do tonight?
And can it please, please, please, please, PLEASE involve Diamond Mine’s Malcolm Bivens?
We’re almost 24 hours away from me giving Chucky a jackknife powerbomb off the NXT titantron. I’m shaking.— Malcolm (@Malcolmvelli) October 25, 2021