At last night’s NXT: Halloween Havoc special, Johnny Gargano and Candice LeRae received assistance from a masked performer in their respective title matches. Recently, Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, by way of WrestlingNews.co, provided an update on the identity of the mysterious superstar.
The journalist revealed that the masked wrestler was supposed to be Indi Hartwell, though she wasn’t actually present at the event. The original idea was for her to unmask at the show, but she ended up having to quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns following an outbreak in the promotion.
According to Meltzer, Hartwell was the only person booked for the show who didn’t make an official appearance. The process of elimination suggests that she was going to be the one who interfered in the two matches. A stand-in was needed for the segments due to the circumstances, but it leaves the door open for Hartwell to be unveiled down the line.
It is now likely that Hartwell will be revealed as the culprit at a later date, assuming that officials don’t decide to choose another superstar to permanently replace her.
The company’s creative team has changed their mind on masked wrestlers numerous times recently, as evidenced by several performers reportedly being linked to Retribution on Monday Night Raw.
Of course, plans could also change depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops. The outbreak at the Performance Center has reportedly left many employees concerned about going to work.
As the WrestlingNews.co report highlighted, Meltzer noted that one person who was present at the training facility wasn’t told about the situation. Others, meanwhile, purportedly learned about the outbreak from online reports, as opposed to company officials.
With all that uncertainty, officials may also be forced to change storylines moving forward. These will also have to be built around the performers they have available in the coming weeks.
Whoever the wrestler is certainly made an impact at Halloween Havoc. She showed up wearing a Scream mask to help Gargano take the North American Championship from Damian Priest. After that, she tried to assist LeRae in capturing the NXT Women’s title from Io Shirai, only to be thwarted in the end.
Hartwell is a fairly recent addition to the WWE roster. She joined the company’s developmental system in 2019, but she has featured on television regularly throughout 2020.
Pairing up with Gargano and LeRae could lead to some big opportunities for the rising star, given that they are two of the black-and-gold brand’s most popular roster members.