One of the main talking points after Sunday’s WWE NXT “Takeover: 31” was the return of Halloween Havoc. NXT has not been shy about repurposing retired WCW PPV names, but Halloween Havoc‘s return generated an exceptional buzz from both fans and wrestlers alike.
The last Halloween Havoc, which took place 20 years ago, saw Booker T successfully retain his WCW World Heavyweight Championship over Scott Steiner in the penultimate match of the show. Speaking on The Hall of Fame Podcast, the Five-Time WCW Champion gave his initial thoughts on the show’s return, citing Halloween Havoc‘s rich history.
“It was one of WCW’s pretty much ‘big four’ pay-per-views of the year,” Booker said. “Halloween Havoc was, you know, one of the big ones. I always loved Halloween Havoc.”
Co-host Brad Gilmore went on to say how integral the Halloween Havoc set is, and stressed how NXT is going to have to nail the authentic look WCW created. Booker T seems to think they’re on the right track, as he praised the NXT Halloween Havoc poster, with host Shotzi Blackheart spotlighted.
“Going back to that poster right there, Shotzi Blackheart is going to have that blown up. When I see something like that, that’s what I think about. I’m sure she’s got that poster already in her front room, you know, blown up,” Booker said. “But it’s a symbols thing. [Seeing that poster it’s like] ‘Man, I actually did it. That’s actually me.'”
The Master of the Spinarooni went on to praise host Shotzi Blackheart, referencing her long journey to get to WWE. In 2015, Blackheart was initially chosen as one of six women to take part in that year’s season of Tough Enough, but had to withdraw before the season started due to a previously undiagnosed irregular heartbeat causing a failed medical. Booker applauded Blackheart’s perseverance to get to where she is today.
“I got to say man, I’m really, really proud of her,” Booker said. “I ran into her at one of the independent shows a year or two after Tough Enough, and I didn’t even recognize her. Because she had totally changed. She totally looked totally different, and her in-ring had totally improved. You could tell that she wanted it more than most, because to learn this, you got to put yourself in position to move up to where somebody sees you and says ‘I can work with that right there.’ For her to come off Tough Enough, like I said, to not be the one, to get kicked off the show relatively fairly early, to make it says so much about her character. I give her most credit.”
Beyond complimenting her journey, Booker gave his praise for Blackheart being put in the host role, referencing her attire and persona as perfect for Halloween Havoc.
“To have her hosting, with the helmet on, with the horns, it’s definitely Halloween Havoc. It definitely has that feel,” Booker said.
NXT Halloween Havoc is scheduled for October 28 on the USA Network.