BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 30th, '20, 00:07

The stupid, corny goof-sh*t opening video has not put me in a good mood. And now Shotzi is sitting on a chair pretending to be electrocuted, then using some sort of thing to spray sparks all over, while acting like an over the top goof.

DAMIAN PRIEST GETS A LIVE MUSIC ENTRANCE- His whole gimmick that he’s a hard-partying rock star, so shouldn’t he be the one playing the music? I guess he could theoretically be the vocalist, but his song really doesn’t have much in the way of words. It’s just “O! O! O! O!”

Johnny Gargano also had a goofy entrance. He was dressed in some sort of costume, I guess? All I know is that it is not making NXT look cool.

SHOTZI BLACKHEART SPINS THE WHEEL- Oh my G-d. Now that the lights are on, we can see what Shotzi is dressed in and… just…
She looks like she went heavy on the lipstick and eye paint, then put on a headband with little horns before sticking her tongue in an electrical outlet. And that’s not even getting into her outfit, which I can only describe as a form-fitting number that she must have ordered from a catalogue of fetish gear designed by Doctor Seuss.
She spun the wheel and it landed on a “Devil’s Playground match.” Then she started laughing maniacally. WHAT THE F*CK IS A DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND MATCH?!

DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND MATCH FOR THE NXT NORTH AMERICAN TITLE: Damian Priest(c) vs. Johnny Gargano- 8/10
Apparently the wrestlers know what it is, because no one explained anything to them before the bell rang. Vic Joseph also knew what it was. It’s no DQs, no count-outs, and falls count anywhere. In other words, it’s a Hardcore match… so why didn’t they just call it one?
Johnny distracted himself by yelling at Shotzi, allowing Priest to just punch him in the face and control things early on.
They brawled a lot and used weapons. Eventually Gargano got distracted attacking a mannequin that popped out of a coffin at him backstage, allowing Priest to take over. That was dumb, but it was the only brawling around into decorations that particularly annoyed me.
They hit each other a lot. It was very exciting. They wound up on Shotzi’s stage with the wheel when someone in a Scream mask attacked Priest with a pipe, allowing Gargano to shove him off the stage and through a set-piece. Unlike when that sort of bump happens on the main roster, they made it look cool. And they made it count, too, as that was the finish.
With everyone at the level of the North American Title, I think a heel champ is the right call right now, so I like the title change. I also think this was a good time to change the title to Gargano because it makes the possibility of Candice winning the NXT Women’s Title tonight feel a little more realistic. I don’t love it coming by interference, but I’m willing to excuse it if the reveal of the mystery person is good enough. The first place my brain went was Tommaso Ciampa. The only person who has even crossed my mind is Austin Theory (who is probably who I think it will wind up being), but having him quit last week and then coming back the next week is a very weird thing to do.

Okay… props to them for the good payoff on the announcers “costume contest.” Vic came dressed as Waldo from Where’s Waldo. Barrett came dressed as his favorite Superstar™: Himself. He proceeded to tell Vic that he had some bad news for him: “you look like a moron! I just won this costume contest.” Perfect heel meanness given the characters involved.

CAMERON GRIMES & WILLIAM REGAL BACKSTAGE- I’m VERY confused. Regal looked extremely sinister here with the way he was shepherding Grimes to the parking lot, telling him that a van was waiting for him. I have no idea what’s happening here, but I know I don’t like it.

PAT BUCKS, KYLE O’REILLY, & FRIENDS SEGMENT- good
Bucks comes out with Burch & Lorcan and cut a long ranting heel promo. Then Kyle O’Reilly came out on his own (I guess the rest of UE is still injured)… and then PETE DUNNE came out? HUH? Why would Pete Dunne help Kyle O’Reilly? Wasn’t he feuding with UE the last time we saw him?
Dunne has two chairs so he gives one to Kyle. They get in the ring so the heels back down, and when Kyle moves in front of Dunne, Dunne hits him in the back with a chair, and they all beat the sh*t out of him. I thought this turn was pretty transparent, because- as I noted above- Dune teaming up with Kyle doesn’t make much sense when he was last seen feuding with Kyle’s ground and he has no beef with the heels. I do like the turn, though, as it gives this group a centerpiece wrestler. Also, now there a four of them, and next month is usually when NXT does War Games, so I think that’s pretty clearly where this is headed.

OKAY… WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON? Regal forces Grimes out the door. A van shows up. Grimes decides that he will ride shotgun, but gets scared because Dexter Lumis is already in the passenger seat. Then MICHAEL HAYES pops out of the back of the van and his music starts to play. He and Grimes have a poorly micced conversation, and then Grimes gets in the van and it drives away.

JAKE ATLAS vs. SANTOS ESCOBAR (w/Legado Del Fantasma)- 2.5/10
Vic Joseph talks about how Rey Mysterio’s famous match with Eddie Guerrero at Halloween Havoc 1997 inspired many people, including Santos Escobar, and thus Escobar is “donning some of the Rey Mysterio-inspired gear from that night.” Escobar’s gear was purple tights with a pattern of white shapes with black trim on the front and black question marks all over and backs and sides of the legs. Wasn’t Rey’s gear from Havoc 1997 pretty famously a Spiderman cosplay?
This match was oddly short. It only went three and a half minutes. They did some opening stuff, got a bit of heat, Atlas made a short comeback and hit his finisher but one of the heels on the outside (I couldn’t tell them apart because of the facepaint) put Escobar’s foot on the rope. Atlas argued with them. Did a dive, got headbutted with the loaded Lucha mask and got pinned. This felt like a match that was supposed to be a lot longer but then got its time cut. It was very “get in there, hit your key point, and then get out.”

EMBER MOON VIDEO PACKAGE/PROMO- a fine promo on Dakota Kai.

Shotzi Blackheart told us that there would be “more scares” and that we should stay tuned for the “haunted house of terror.” Then she howled a lot. She said it again when we got back from a commercial. I hate Shotzi Blackheart.

GEICO PRESENTS THE HAUNTED HOUSE OF TERROR MATCH: Cameron Grimes vs. Dexter Lumis-
So for the second time tonight, we’ve got a gimmick match starting and they haven’t told us the rules. Even worse, this one is a cinematic, so there is no hope of the announcers swooping in and telling us.
Grimes walks around and talks a bunch of trash. He doesn’t see Lumis hiding in a tree (they’re not even in the haunted house yet). Lumis just watches him go buy because… um… I don’t know. Maybe you win this match by seeing your opponent first and then not moving for thirty seconds. It’d sure be nice if we knew what the rules were.
Grimes yammers on as he goes into the haunted house. He is scared a deer head mounted on a wall that he somehow didn’t see until it was six inches away from him. Something else scared him. He kept walking. Once he left the frame, Lumis peered out of a closet.
Now there is randomly a referee sitting facing a corner of the room like he’s in timeout. Grimes asks him “is this match pinfall or submission, man?” so even Grimes doesn’t know how to win. That’s extremely unfair for one competitor to know the rules and another not. The referee turned around and made a scary face like in a horror movie. Snore.
Lumis barges in through a door and starts choking Grimes. Cue music change and some sort of foggy, slightly blurry screen effect and crap like that. Grimes hits him over the head with something that shatters. I couldn’t see what it was because of the dumb screen effects. Grimes hides on the other side of a door and manages to lock it, but Lumis breaks it down. He then runs into another room and is dumb enough to think that a similar wooden door will keep Lumis at bay.
It turns out he’s in a bathroom and there is a vaguely female figure showering. Being a walking cartoon, Grimes forgets all about the creepy guy who looks like a serial killer chasing him and decides that this showering woman wants to be barged in on and seduced. If he had even an iota of a brain cell, he would have realized that the fact that this woman didn’t react at all to her shower being barged in on meant that she was either in on it, or that she herself was a ghost/spirit/whatever of some kind and should probably be avoided. He strips and goes to the shower curtain and… well… I was expecting it to be Lumis but it wasn’t that so at least there is no magical teleportation going on here. That doesn’t mean that the girl from The Ring randomly being here and scaring Grimes was a good thing.
Lumis screams about wanting to get out of the house and back up against an open window… and Lumis just happens to be right outside that window, and grabs Grimes in his lame choke finisher. Grimes struggles and manages to pull Lumis through the window into the room, but he’s still I the hold, so now he’s even more f*cked.
He manages to break free somehow. Camera cuts happen because someone thinks that’s how you make “art.” Grimes comes across some random women with creepy face special effects happening and gets scared. He fights Lumis some more and things are randomly dark sometimes. He stumbles into the kitchen but gets attacked by two more creepy ghoul gals, one of whom magically appeared on top of the refrigerator to dive onto him. He catches her but gets caught in a sleeper. He runs outside with her on his back. He dumps her over a fence or something, but then turns around and now the referee and the others various freaks are zombie-shambling over towards him.
He runs away scream and gets in the van… but Lumis is in the front seat because magic. We get a sound effect like Lumis had pulled out a knife even though Lumis didn’t move. Grimes gets out of the van and runs away into the night. Words appear on the screen telling us that this will be continued, but I don’t think the Geneva Convention allows for that.
I guess I’ll have to save my full fury for later, but for now I’ll just say that there is no way anyone who saw this enjoyed it, because I can’t possibly fathom that anyone who enjoyed this is smart enough to figure out to turn on the television in the first place.

RHEA RIPLEY vs. RAQUEL GONZALEZ- 7/10
The straps of Gonzalez’s top looked like if you removed the part covering her breasts, they’d make pentagram. That was the only Halloween-themed thing on this show I appreciated. Why? Because it wasn’t over the top, in your face, stupid, campy bullsh*t.
This was a great hoss fight. Gonzalez worked over the back. Rhea won, as we all knew she would. I’m not saying it’s not the right move, but I am definitely feeling myself approaching a point where I don’t want to see Rhea feuding with anyone who isn’t a main eventer because she’s impeding the upward progress of the next crop of heels.

MCKENZIE MITCHELL INTERVIEWS DRAKE MAVERICK, WHO IS DRESSED UP AS HULK HOGAN AND FLEXIING LIKE A GOOF- DUMB!
Someone showed as Big Show. Then someone showed up dressed as the Yeh-ti and they did the infamous double dry-hump spot from Halloween Havoc. Then a Shockmaster came through a curtain and f*cked up by not tripping. That person was Killian Dain, who told Maverick that he didn’t want to trip. Drake got angry and said “fine, I’ll wear the Shockmaster helmet,” and right after he put it on, Dain tripped him. Dain then laughed and said “he fell on his arse!” I will admit to smiling at the Davey-Boy quote because- again- it was subtle. The rest of this was just dumb sh*t happening because Drake Maverick wanted to do a comedy sketch.

MORE CAMERON GRIMES AND DEXTER LUMIS BULLSH*T- -10/10
Grimes has apparently run all the way back to the Performance Center. He stumped and finally fell down on some foggy, creepy graveyard set near a spare ring… and all of a sudden we’ve got more Exorcist contortionist ladies who just happened to be there. They scare him into the ring, and, of course, Dexter Lumis just happened to be perfectly positioned to be able to slip into the ring behind him and beats him up. There is stage fog all over the ring like an undertaker entrance and Zombine’s are crawling all over. Grimes beat one up. Another climbed all over Lumis and spun around, then sat on his shoulders. Then he threw her at Grimes. Then he beat Grimes up some more and locked in his finisher.
I… I don’t even have the strength to rant about this at this point. This was f*cking moronic. This whole thing was several seconds of a violent fight early, a bunch of dumb horror movie tropes, and then a minute or two more of action at the end. As I said about the Viking Raiders/Street Profits abomination (and probably a few other things) this year, there was no McGuffin or objective to drive anything forward. It was just a bunch of dumb “OMG, wouldn’t it be so cool if we did X?” scenes, stopping at a completely arbitrary moment.
And now what? So Dexter Lumis commands an army of Zombies now. That’s now kayfabe. It was on TV. Don’t tell me it’s somehow “not canon.” If it happens on the TV it’s canon.
Or what? This was all acting? They put on a kayfabe worked match to entertain us? Does Cameron Grimes seem like someone who would do that and allow himself to look like a fool? Does Dexter Lumis seem like the kind of guy who would participate in something like this?
I find myself saying this more and more this year and I know it’s not a nice thing to say, but if you want to see horror movie tropes, there are plenty of horror movies on TV and streaming at this point. And if you want it intentionally campy, there are a lot of horror parodies out there for you. Go watch that, and let the professional wrestling show be actual professional wrestling. If you thought this was good or enjoyed seeing it, you’re part of the problem. People like you wanting to see kitschy bullsh*t like this are why the quality of storytelling in wrestling has been going down so drastically. Because people like you are content to sit there and giggle at your Broken Hardys and Bubbly Bunch and Being The Elite and Undead Realms and Toru Yano matches and Viking Raiders/Street Profits horsesh*t and Firefly Funhouses and dumb sh*t like this instead of wanting to invest yourselves in actual stories, and investing yourself in stories is what you should be doing because pro wrestling is the a storytelling art.

TOMMASO CIAMPA- AWESOME!
He starts off by saying “I don’t recognize NXT anymore.” Preach on, Brother Ciampa!


“TABLES, LADDERS, AND SCARES” MATCHES FOR THE NXT WOMEN’S TITLE: Io Shirai(c) vs. Candice LeRae- 7.5/10
Io also got a live musical entrance. Shotzi spun the wheel and we wound up with a “Tables, Ladders, and Scares match.” I assume that’s TLC so we have to put the belt above the ring, right? Apparently not. So do you win by pinfall? Tell me how you win the f*cking match!
One of the scares was a bag under the ring and turned out to be full of bloody mannequin parts. How nice. There were also tables painted with body outlines because comedy.
Wait… now they’re trying to climb a ladder. How did they get the belt up there?
This went sixteen and a half minutes, but felt a lot shorter. Io won after Candice took a CRAZY bump off one ladder and through another. The person in the Scream mask came back to interfere on Candice’s behalf. Shotzi Blackheart took the person out, but didn’t bother to unmask him/her.



Despite a lot of great stuff on it, this was a very frustrating show for me to watch because of the stupid, campy, Halloween bullsh*t. And that abomination of a match didn’t help, either. This was just dumb kitschy bullsh*t, which is the most frustrating thing NXT could possibly deliver because I already have to watch two hours of AEW Dynamite every week. I don’t want four. You’re the better show. Don’t do what they’re doing!
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
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NWK2000
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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 30th, '20, 08:09

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 00:07 Despite a lot of great stuff on it, this was a very frustrating show for me to watch because of the stupid, campy, Halloween bullsh*t.
Every once in a while you make an assertion on a show that genuinely makes me scratch my head. Given what Halloween is as a holiday, and given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show, what in the fuck were you expecting?
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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 30th, '20, 08:52

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:09
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 00:07 Despite a lot of great stuff on it, this was a very frustrating show for me to watch because of the stupid, campy, Halloween bullsh*t.
Every once in a while you make an assertion on a show that genuinely makes me scratch my head. Given what Halloween is as a holiday, and given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show, what in the fuck were you expecting?
I was expecting NXT to fix it. You say "given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show," but in the show's history, only 91 and 95 really had too much goofiness that was out of step with the general tone of the promotion, and even in 95 that's arguable, as the goofiness was limited to the Hogan stuff, which was always out of step with the tone of everything else in that era. Other Havocs have been bad, but the m being bad was just due to being bad wresting shows rather than because someone forced them into being a Halloween-specific thing.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
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DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 30th, '20, 09:59

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:52
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:09
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 00:07 Despite a lot of great stuff on it, this was a very frustrating show for me to watch because of the stupid, campy, Halloween bullsh*t.
Every once in a while you make an assertion on a show that genuinely makes me scratch my head. Given what Halloween is as a holiday, and given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show, what in the fuck were you expecting?
I was expecting NXT to fix it. You say "given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show," but in the show's history, only 91 and 95 really had too much goofiness that was out of step with the general tone of the promotion, and even in 95 that's arguable, as the goofiness was limited to the Hogan stuff, which was always out of step with the tone of everything else in that era. Other Havocs have been bad, but the m being bad was just due to being bad wresting shows rather than because someone forced them into being a Halloween-specific thing.
The set of literally every Havoc would like to have a word with you. Halloween Havoc will always be inherently goofy with sets like that. Hence my original point of what were you expecting.
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Walter vs Ilja in WXW
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WWF Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
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Big Red Machine
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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by Big Red Machine » Oct 30th, '20, 10:38

NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 09:59
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:52
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:09

Every once in a while you make an assertion on a show that genuinely makes me scratch my head. Given what Halloween is as a holiday, and given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show, what in the fuck were you expecting?
I was expecting NXT to fix it. You say "given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show," but in the show's history, only 91 and 95 really had too much goofiness that was out of step with the general tone of the promotion, and even in 95 that's arguable, as the goofiness was limited to the Hogan stuff, which was always out of step with the tone of everything else in that era. Other Havocs have been bad, but the m being bad was just due to being bad wresting shows rather than because someone forced them into being a Halloween-specific thing.
The set of literally every Havoc would like to have a word with you. Halloween Havoc will always be inherently goofy with sets like that. Hence my original point of what were you expecting.
There is a HUGE difference between the set and having a cackling Shotzi Blackheart dressed as a devil sitting in an electric chair, or whatever that abomination with Dexter Lumis and Trevor Lee was.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

Upcoming Reviews:
FIP in 2005
ROH Validation
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle

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NWK2000
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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by NWK2000 » Oct 30th, '20, 14:37

Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 10:38
NWK2000 wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 09:59
Big Red Machine wrote: Oct 30th, '20, 08:52

I was expecting NXT to fix it. You say "given what Halloween Havoc has been as a wrestling show," but in the show's history, only 91 and 95 really had too much goofiness that was out of step with the general tone of the promotion, and even in 95 that's arguable, as the goofiness was limited to the Hogan stuff, which was always out of step with the tone of everything else in that era. Other Havocs have been bad, but the m being bad was just due to being bad wresting shows rather than because someone forced them into being a Halloween-specific thing.
The set of literally every Havoc would like to have a word with you. Halloween Havoc will always be inherently goofy with sets like that. Hence my original point of what were you expecting.
There is a HUGE difference between the set and having a cackling Shotzi Blackheart dressed as a devil sitting in an electric chair, or whatever that abomination with Dexter Lumis and Trevor Lee was.
Touche. I guess I kind of expected maximum wacky cause Halloween, and I was not disappointed.
Up next on NWK Reviews
Walter vs Ilja in WXW
AAA When World Collide
WWF Saint Valentine's Day Massacre
NWA-TNA Weekly Shows
WWE New Year's Revolution 2006

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Re: BRM Reviews the 10/28/2020 NXT: Halloween Havoc (WHY?!)

Post by Serujuunin » Oct 30th, '20, 17:00

Thank you for saving my time, none of this sounds like I want to see it.

I can understand some level of Halloween-ness. Like costumes and scenery and so on. But leave it at that.

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