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The Most Frighteningly Memorable Moments In Halloween Havoc History

When late October comes around, the WWE Universe has come to expect some of the most frightening and chaotic moments of all time!

By Chris Phelan
Wwe Halloween Havoc

Ah, Halloween Havoc. Since 2020, it’s been the marquee event on NXT’s October calendar, giving the WWE Universe the better end of a trick-or-treat proposition: absolutely memorable moments and matches.

Originally an annual WCW pay-per-view event that ran from 1989-2000, it was reintroduced to the world of professional wrestling in 2020. The NXT version of Halloween Havoc was reintroduced with the same emphasis that WCW had in mind for the event: classic matches, a little bit of campy spookiness, and a whole lot of fun.

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With NXT Halloween Havoc slated for Oct. 22 this year, the event is headlined by Bron Breakker defending his NXT Championship in a Triple Threat match against JD McDonagh and Ilja Dragunov in a contest that is sure to surpass even the loftiest of expectations.

 Ahead of next Tuesday’s big event, let’s look back at some of the most frighteningly memorable moments in Halloween Havoc history.

Tables, Ladders, and Scares – Halloween Havoc 2020

Although this match between Candice LeRae and Io Shirai (the current IYO SKY) had more than enough frighteningly dangerous moments; both women went through tables, crashed onto steel chairs, and fell off ladders during their bout for the NXT Women’s Championship, it was the ending of the match that still lives rent free in our heads to this day.

Io toppled over the ladder that Candice was climbing, sending Candice through — yes, THROUGH — a ladder that was set up at ringside. Oh, and Candice fell at an awkward angle, landing basically KNEES-FIRST through the ladder, causing the entire Thunderdome – and everybody watching at home – to immediately hope that Candice didn’t do long-term damage to her body.

Luckily, the fall looked worse than it actually was, but the WWE Universe hadn’t held their collective breath like that in a long time.

Cactus Jack and Vader Go to War – Halloween Havoc 1993

Talk about taking a Texas Death Match to the extreme. During the heyday of WCW, Cactus Jack (also known to WWE fans as Mick Foley, Mankind, and Dude Love, of course) and Vader went at it on pay-per-view in a match so vicious and so violent that the WCW announce team were at a loss for words midway through the match. There were no words left to describe the punishment the two Superstars were putting themselves through.

As far as frightening moments are concerned, this match had approximately a dozen of them; the hatred the two men shared was palpable, and it resulted in the most violent Halloween Havoc match of all time! In fact, WWE has shied away from posting clips of this infamous match to its social media channels because, well … it’s decidedly un-PG these days.

Tommaso Ciampa Busts Open Bron Breakker – Halloween Havoc 2021

Before Bron Breakker became the dominant champion he is today, he had to scrape and claw his way to the top, and Tommaso Ciampa was the ultimate gatekeeper to the NXT Championship that Breakker so desperately was chasing.

The sheer brutality of the ending of their title match at Halloween Havoc 2021 still makes us wince to this day, as Ciampa landed a DDT on the exposed concrete, a devastating knee to the head, and not one, but two Fairytale Endings to put Breakker away and retain his title. Ciampa tapped into his sinister, unrelenting side that the world hadn’t seen since his legendarily-intense feud with Johnny Gargano, making the ending of this match truly frightening and borderline uncomfortable to watch.

When Zombies Attack! – Halloween Havoc 2020

It was one of the most creepy and weird moments in NXT history — and Dexter Lumis was the mastermind behind it all. (Shocking, right?)

The matchup itself was one-of-a-kind: a Haunted House of Terror match pitting Lumis against one of his biggest adversaries at the time in Cameron Grimes. What transpired was some of the most outside-the-box storytelling that WWE has ever attempted, culminating in an army of zombies rising up from the mass grave at ringside to tip the match in Dexter Lumis’ favor. Between the smoke-filled Capitol Wrestling Center, the zombies themselves, and some genuine jump-scares that would feel right at home in a Halloween slasher film, the Haunted House of Terror lived up to its name and then some.

(To be fair, maybe we’re just partial to these particular zombies since they managed to totally make up for the last time a zombie appeared on WWE television.)

Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero – Halloween Havoc 1997

It seems like it’s an unspoken rule: Any Halloween Havoc article written must include a reference to this absolutely incredible match. We’re following suit with the inclusion of this match on this list, but hear us out: It lives up to the hype. It’s that damn good. And although it didn’t have anything outwardly Halloween-y about it, the match itself is frightening and scary in the sense that the degree of difficulty of the moves that these two men performed is unworldly. Seriously — this is the stuff that Eddie and Rey were doing in 1997, and it still holds up to today’s in-ring performances from the very best wrestlers alive.

It’s widely considered the single greatest American cruiserweight match in history, and we can’t speak highly of it enough. If you’ve never seen Rey Mysterio wrestling at age 23, you’re in for a treat. Add Eddie Guerrero in his prime to the equation and it all adds up to a match that will leave your jaw on the floor. Trust us. It’s nuts.

So there you have it — we listed just a few of the moments and matches that made Halloween Havoc an event that every fan looks forward to. 

Will the 2022 edition of Halloween Havoc give the WWE Universe even more frighteningly memorable moments to add to this list? We’d bet on it, and we can’t wait to tell you all about it once it happens! 

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