Shawn Michaels Reacts To “Iron Survivor Challenge” Matches At NXT Deadline

nxt deadline iron survivor challenge grayson waller

The NXT boss man, Shawn Michaels, has reacted to the first two Iron Survivor Challenge matches following NXT Deadline.

At WWE’s NXT Deadline event on December 10th, the first two Iron Survivor Challenge matches took place. They both went 25 minutes long (as per the rules of the match) with some unique stipulations involving a penalty box when people get pinned and a winner determined by who gets the most falls in the match.

The NXT women’s division made history at Deadline because the women got to have the first Iron Survivor Challenge match in WWE history. Roxanne Perez won the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge match by getting two falls in the match while three women (Indi Hartwell, Zoey Stark & Cora Jade) had one fall and Kiana James had no falls in the match.

In the main event of Deadline, Grayson Waller won the first Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge match when he defeated Carmelo Hayes, Joe Gacy, JD McDonagh and Axiom. Waller got three falls in the match while others (Gacy, Hayes & Axiom) had two, so Waller got the win. As a result of their wins, Waller gets an NXT Title match against Breakker at New Year’s Evil on January 10th while Perez will challenge the 400+ day NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose on that same night.

After Deadline was over, WWE Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels had a media conference call where he gave his thoughts on the Iron Survivor Challenge matches.

“First of all, I thought it was executed phenomenally and one of the challenges with matches like this is making them different, and we did that. I will say that I had one person come up to me that was in the match and said, ‘Man, that is one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. Don’t ever put me in one of those again.’ So look, it’s a lot mentally on the talent. There’s a lot that is required in those types of matches.”

From a developmental standpoint, one of the things back when I was coaching, one thing I would always try and tell talent is when you get up to the main roster, you’re in WrestleMania moments, you have a number of different things you have to remember out there. There’s the match that you got, there’s also the huge entrance for you that’s also probably going to be very overwhelming, you’re going to be dealing with the crowd, you got camera angles, and commercial breaks.”

“I used to tell people that it’s like spinning plates and you have to keep all these things in your head while keeping in character and keeping the psychology of what you’re doing in the match. That’s one of the reasons we wanted to challenge them with this match because that’s sort of a developmental tool you could say that we can use this match for.”

As he continued, Michaels said he felt like the Iron Survivor Challenge matches went well and he considered them to be a success.

“I think it has legs. I guess that’s one of those things that after this we’ll gauge and see if we feel it’s a success. I feel it went really well. I think there were a lot of people that weren’t sure about it. There were a lot of people that expected it to flop and we didn’t know either.”

That’s what I love about here. We’re allowed to try a lot of stuff and we’re going to continue to do that. This is one of those things we did, and the talent really delivered on it, but we have to look at this concept and go, ‘Okay, are there ways we can still continue to mess with it, and can we make it good and exciting on a regular basis,’ and I think once we sort of figure that out, then you can make the better-educated decision as to if its something we want to do annually or something we pull out every now and then.”

“At first blush tonight, I think it was a real success and so that bodes well for it being something regular or something more consistent in the future of NXT.”

H/T Fightful