We are now well into the fall season, and for the NXT brand, that means time for another edition of its Halloween Havoc pay-per-view (or premium live event). Since reviving the former World Championship Wrestling PPV in 2020 as a television special, Halloween Havoc has become a popular show with the fanbase, and this year is no different.
This year’s Halloween Havoc will feature six matches, three for championships. The other three will carry significant stipulations based on either the context of the feud or the “random” spin of a wheel thanks to “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal”.
Overall, the show projects to be pretty fun, but which wrestlers will leave the show with a win added to their record?
Let’s make some predictions for NXT Halloween Havoc 2022
Apollo Crews vs. Grayson Waller (Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal)- Given what this feud has centered around, let’s hope that the wheel doesn’t stop at “eye for an eye”. We know how great Crews is and how solid Waller is, so these two can tell a fun story if they get a reasonable stipulation to work with.
With Waller winning the first match between these two, it’s reasonable to expect Crews to win here and move on to chasing either the NXT or North American Championships. Waller has maintained most of his heat without picking up a bunch of wins, so one more loss won’t hurt him. Prediction: Apollo Crews pins Grayson Waller
Julius Creed vs. Damon Kemp (Ambulance match; if Kemp wins, Brutus Creed must leave NXT)- In WWE, Ambulance matches suffer from the same maladies as I Quit and Last Man Standing matches: Most of the action comprises of wrestlers hitting a move and stopping the momentum to open the ambulance/call for a microphone/stand around as the ref counts to 10. Hopefully, Kemp and Creed avoid that trap.
Kemp could use a big win to establish himself as a credible heel threat, especially if a feud with Roderick Strong is on the docket, and an ambulance match would allow him to get that without forcing Julius to eat the pin. But with Brutus’ NXT career on the line, it’s hard to see Julius losing. It also wouldn’t shock anyone if Strong returned to factor into the decision. Prediction: Julius Creed beats Damon Kemp
Roxanne Perez vs. Cora Jade (Weapons Wild match)- Congratulations to WWE for chipping away at the interest for this match by booking Perez and Jade to look like chump rookies in their respective Pick Your Poison matches. It was another example of WWE wanting to have its cake and eat it, too, by branding these two “developmental” prospects while also making them a focal point of a PPV.
Also, can WWE find a storyline for its female white meat babyfaces that isn’t “Does she have the KILLER INSTINCT”?
Much like the other “Spin the Wheel, Make the Deal” match, we have a situation where the heel has won the first match in the series, and the babyface needs a win to kickstart their momentum. Perez has an ace of the company ceiling, and it’s time WWE started pushing her as such. That should start with a win over her former friend. Prediction: Roxanne Perez pins Cora Jade
Carmelo Hayes vs. Oro Mensah vs. Wes Lee vs. Von Wagner vs. Nathan Frazer (Ladder match for the vacant NXT North American Championship)- Setting aside the dumb reasons for this match existing — Carmelo Hayes losing the North American Title to Solo Sikoa for OPTICS and Sikoa getting stripped instead of keeping the belt on Hayes — WWE has put together a good field for this ladder match.
Sure, the unspectacular Von Wagner is in this to serve as a base for the high-flyers (because he’s tall, you see) but everyone else should deliver at least one cool spot to make this worth your time. Ultimately, this will come down to Lee and Hayes, who were supposed to fight for the belt a few weeks ago before Hayes and Trick Williams attacked him to prevent it. This time, however, we could see “The A Champ” come up short. Prediction: Wes Lee wins the NXT North American Championship
Mandy Rose (c) vs. Alba Fyre (NXT Women’s Championship)- At this point, griping about Mandy Rose’s industry plant championship reign is a waste of time, as is hoping that Fyre walks out of this match with the title. We know that the former Kay Lee Ray is here to get a good match out of Rose before eating the pin.
At some point, WWE will need to earmark someone to finally beat Rose. Until then, this reign will continue to trudge along. Prediction: Mandy Rose pins Alba Fyre, retains the NXT Women’s Championship
Bron Breakker (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. JD McDonagh (NXT Championship)- Bron Breakker is in this match because he’s the NXT Champion. Ilja Dragunov is here because he had to vacate the NXT UK Championship — a title Breakker consolidated with the NXT Title — due to injury. JD McDonagh is here as penance for some sin we committed in a past life (and because WWE needed a heel to eat the pin). This should be a fun match that will include the usual triple-threat tropes.
While a Dragunov win is possible, this feels set up to further reinforce that Breakker is the top guy, so it’s more likely that he pins McDonagh to keep his belt (and protect Dragunov to keep the intrigue of a potential Breakker/Dragunov match alive). Prediction: Bron Breakker pins JD McDonagh, retains the NXT Championship