This week’s WWE NXT featured a big six-woman tag, plus some Hall of Famers on hand to announce the Iron Survivor Challenge match competitors.
The NXT Deadline Premium Live Event takes place on December 10th, so we’ll see how they continue to build the card. I am doing my usual NXT review with a summary style for most of the show and play-by-play for the main event.
It was right to the action this week. The commentary team was Vic Joseph and Booker T as usual. They said there were limited commercials this week.
Roxanne Perez vs. Indi Hartwell
Perez hit a headscissors with Booker noting they were both is former students. Hartwell used her size advantage sending Perez into the turnbuckle. Perez got some offense going with a dropkick. When Perez was on the turnbuckle, Hartwell knocked her down and Perez went crashing to the mat. Hartwell maintained control with multiple body slams along with a boot to the face. After Perez hit a jawbreaker, Hartwell hit her with a clothesline. Perez got some offense going with a running back elbow and a running dropkick. Hartwell caught a charging Perez with a belly-to-back suplex for two. Perez sent Hartwell out of the ring and followed with a suicide dive on the floor. Perez got an inside cradle for two, but Hartwell hit a boot to the face. Perez avoided the forearm, Perez with a kick to the head and Pop Rox (Code Red) finished it after about ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roxanne Perez
Analysis: **3/4 A solid match with Hartwell working very aggressively like a heel while Perez sells really well and made a believable comeback to find a way to win. I don’t think Hartwell is going heel fully, but they are pushing the story that she’s more physical in her matches now. I think Roxanne has a very bright future at 21 years old. She’s already one of the most talented women in NXT because she is so talented in the ring.
The panel of Hall of Famers were shown talking backstage. It was NXT’s boss Shawn Michaels joined by Road Dogg, X-Pac, Alundra Blayze & Molly Holly. They will be on later to announce the Iron Survivor Challenge match competitors.
Andre Chase was shown backstage with Duke Hudson and Thea Hail walked up to him. Hudson mentioned he accidentally kicked Chase in the head last week during the match. Hudson said he had a list of signatures from the student body to try to get Chase in the Iron Survivor Challenge match. Grayson Waller walked up to Chase saying that Duke was just playing him. Chase said he wanted to whoop Waller’s ask, but Duke said he’ll take care of him.
Dijak vs. Dante Chen
Dijak has some very generic music while dressed in all black attire. No T-Bar mask needed. Chen tried to attack, but Dijak grabbed him and sent him over the top to the floor. Back in the ring, Dijak caught Chen and gave him a huge Chokeslam with Joseph calling it Hard Justice. Dijak punched Chen in the back repeatedly. Dijak hit a suplex into a slam. Chen fought back with chops and a kick to the head. That ended when Chen ran into a big boot by Dijak. Dijak lifted up Chen on his shoulders, then a slam into the knee called Feast Your Eyes for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dijak
Analysis: *1/2 A short match to put over Dijak for his NXT return. Chen got more offense than I thought he would get. Dijak is a better and more experienced guy than a lot of people on the roster like Von Wagner, for example. I hope Dijak does well in NXT because he’s certainly talented enough if he gets a fair shot.
Dijak said that was hard justice. Dijak said that if you look into his eyes, you’ll see the infliction of suffering. Dijak talked about how NXT was a place of refuge. Dijak said that he was there to eviscerate. Dijak mentioned Wes Lee, Dante Chen, Apollo Crews and Bron Breakker – it makes no difference to him because they will be brought to justice. Dijak said “my justice” to end it.
Analysis: I think Dijak’s promos are just okay. They are not a strength. He’s better in the ring. Maybe a having a manager could help him, but making him a loner heel is fine too. I’d limit how much he talks, though. Just let him kick people’s ass.
JD McDonagh was shown talking to Ivy Nile about how she was right to be worried about The Creed Brothers against Indus Sher. The Creed Brothers showed up. JD talked about how tough Indus Sher was and warned them about it. Julius & Brutus didn’t want to hear it, so they made JD leave.
Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Discussion With Hall of Famers
Shawn Michaels was talking to the Hall of Fame panel (Road Dogg, X-Pac, Alundra Blayze & Molly Holly) asking about what they think about who should be in the match. Road Dogg said he had a guy on top of his list and mentioned Carmelo Hayes with X-Pac saying he was going to pick him. X-Pac said that he must be a “heat magnet” in the locker room and Shawn laughed about how he was that. Blayze said Tony D’Angelo has proven himself this year. Shawn said he thinks he’s still a few weeks away with his injury. X-Pac mentioned JD McDonagh and they talked about how weird he was while talking about his great matches. Alundra said JD was old school. Molly Holly mentioned Joe Gacy since Schism has a lot of momentum and Road Dogg said that Gacy is a leader while Molly mentioned Gacy getting a big win over Cameron Grimes recently. Road Dogg mentioned Von Wagner is not a likable guy, but he’s good. Dogg and X-Pac both mentioned Axiom as well while mentioning his knee is injured. They spoke about Von some more as well with Blayze saying that Von hasn’t won that big match yet. Dogg mentioned Grayson Waller while Molly said he was rude, arrogant and self-centered. X-Pac liked him because was a fan of himself because he’s a guy that can win this thing. Shawn wanted them to write down the five superstars they want in the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Match and then they can move on to the women.
Analysis: That was a good discussion to have on television to talk about the male wrestlers that are going to be considered for the Iron Survivor Challenge. Everybody on the panel seemed to know what they were talking about, so that’s nice to see. I certainly hope Carmelo Hayes wins that much.
Grayson Waller entered for his match leading to the first commercial of the show about 30 minutes into it.
Grayson Waller vs. Duke Hudson (w/Andre Chase & Thea Hail)
It’s a battle of Australians. Duke was in control with a running clothesline and a sidewalk slam. Duke teased grabbing the rope to cheat, but Chase told him not to do it. Waller was in control as he sent Duke into the turnbuckle and Waller put on Duke’s red headband briefly. Waller with punches, Hudson fired up and made the comeback with punches along with a body slam. Hudson gave Waller an overhead belly-to-belly across the ring. Waller was on the floor, Hudson charged with a boot, Waller moved and Hudson stopped himself. After Hudson talked to his allies, he went back into the ring and Waller hit a Stunner for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Grayson Waller
Analysis: **1/4 A fairly easy win for Waller as Hudson continues to try to fit in with Chase U, but keeps finding ways to lose. Waller winning made sense to give him some positive momentum.
Grayson Waller told Andre Chase that Chase knows that Waller is right about Hudson.
Javier Bernal was interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell leading to Javier talking about how it was “Big Body Tuesday” saying he had merchandise to sell. Javy had a baseball bat saying “Adam Judge” slipped into his DMs, Mitchell said it’s Aaron Judge and Javy said that was his middle name. Javy tried selling a pillow and a cologne. Mitchell was annoyed while saying that the cologne smelled like rotten eggs. Mitchell left and Axiom walked into the picture. Javy challenged Axiom in the past while Axiom was injured. Axiom said he just got cleared so he’ll get the match made.
Analysis: I think Javy is entertaining doing the obnoxious midcard heel gimmick, but it’s nothing we haven’t seen for decades in the past.
Fallon Henley vs. Kiana James
The story is that James want to acquire a bar that Henley’s family owns to turn it into condominiums and Henley’s family doesn’t want to sell. Henley got a knockdown and then they locked up leading to a break.
Henley was in control with a jumping kick to the head. James took over as she wrenched on the left arm and a body slam. Henley did a hair whip takedown and both women bumped to sell for a few moments. Jensen tried to the comeback, James hit the left arm and Henley hit a clothesline for two. James ran around the ring, then back in and grabbed her purse that Henley threw down, so James threw Henley into the ring post. James hit the jumping flatliner called the 401 K for the pinfall win after 10 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kiana James
Analysis: **1/4 They are both still early in their NXT careers, but I think they are solid in the ring. Henley is a good athlete that sells well while James is aggressive as a cocky heel. The purse was a distraction (I guess) and
Malik Blade, Edris Enofe and Odyssey Jones were in the locker room. Blade was holding his father’s sweater that Von Miller ripped up. Blade was sad, but then Edris and Odyssey hyped it up and Malik said he’ll face Von on his own.
Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge Discussion With Hall of Famers
The panel was back in the room talking about the women’s match with five competitors. Alundra Blayze mentioned Roxanne Perez as a serious championship threat. X-Pac said he can’t believe Perez is already so good at 21 and Molly Holly said that Roxanne has so much potential. Shawn Michaels said that sometimes they get frustrated if things don’t happen fast enough. Road Dogg talked about how Zoey Starks is an impressive athlete and Blayze said she would have loved to wrestle her. X-Pac said that Stark is clearly ready for Raw & Smackdown, so he’s surprised Hunter (Triple H) hasn’t called about her. Shawn said those are calls he loves and hates, but that’s part of the job. Molly talked about how the internet thinks that Indi Hartwell is ready, Road Dogg joked that if the internet thinks it then it must be true and Blayze said that sometimes Indi doesn’t believe in herself. X-Pac talked about how Cora Jade believes in herself, Molly said Cora is stepping up and they all praised her. Blayze mentioned Jade throwing a title in the trash and they showed when Blayze did that in 1995 as well. Road Dogg said Fallon Henley is his darkhorse pick and Blayze said she’d love to have a beer with Henley. X-Pac and Road Dogg both praised Kiana James while Dogg mentioned she just beat Henley as well. Molly Holly called Alba Fyre the best worker on the roster and if it wasn’t for Isla Dawn she’d be the champion right now. Dogg said that if Fyre can get past Dawn then maybe she can focus on the title. X-Pac joked that Dogg was scared that Dawn will put a hex on him, Dogg said that’s right and they laughed. Shawn told them to write down their official list of five.
Analysis: It was good just like men’s discussion. I think a lot of what they said is obviously trying to advance storylines in some cases, but then you hear Molly talking about how Alba is the best worker and that feels like a genuine comment. I like that they did this. It also makes the Iron Survivor Challenge feel like a big deal.
There was a brief video with Cora Jade on TikTok mocking Wendy Choo for crying last week after Cora beat her in a match.
Kayden Carter and Katana Chance entered as the NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions. They were followed by tag team partner Nikkita Lyons, who was attacked by Zoey Stark from behind. Stark clipped the back of Nikkita’s right knee and then Stark stomped on the right knee a few times. Referees showed up to stop Stark while Chance/Carter helped Lyons as well.
They showed Toxic Attraction laughing about Nikkita’s injury.
Analysis: They tried to tell us that the match was going on there, but it ended up not happening and we should see it later.
A video aired about Lyra Valkyria coming soon to NXT.
Elektra Lopez talked about targeting Indi Hartwell, who is the heart of the division, so she wanted to take out the heart. Lopez said that you should not bet against her or else you’ll end up going broke.
Axiom vs. Javier Bernal
Axiom was back after missing a few weeks after JD McDonagh wrenched on the knee severely during their match. Axiom hit a running dropkick that sent Javy out of the ring leading to a picture-in-picture break.
Javy got some offense going with a kick to the right leg that led to Axiom being injured for a few weeks. Javy kept working on the leg while also hitting a body slam. Axiom went for a triangle submission on the head/arm, but Javy countered it with a slam for two. Javy went for a Figure Four Leg Lock, which Axiom reversed and Javy got to the ropes to break. Axiom got some offense going with a dropkick and a top rope clothesline. Javy came back with a DDT for two. Axiom hit a double underhook suplex off the middle rope and a Golden Ratio superkick for the pinfall win after nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Axiom
Analysis: *** This was pretty good. I don’t think Axiom can have a bad match since he’s so talented. Axiom is really gifted in terms of the aerial moves, but he’s also skilled at technical wrestling while selling very well too. This was longer than most of Javy’s matches so far.
Nikkita Lyons was shown getting looked at by the trainer. The doctor said that Lyons had some bruising, but she was medically cleared. Lyons told Katana Chance & Kayden Carter that nothing was going to stop them.
Pretty Deadly, the NXT Tag Team Champions, were interviewed by Mckenzie Mitchell talking about how next week they’ll tell the NXT Universe a “Christmas Story.” They were excited and left.
JD McDonagh made his entrance for a match up next.
A commercial aired for the Royal Rumble on January 28th, 2023.
They showed Apollo Crews seated at a diner writing in a journal. Bron Breakker showed up to sit down with Crews, who said he was having a breakfast of future champions. Crews said he wants the title way more now than when he walked in the door, which isn’t good for Bron. Breakker had a coffee and talked about how he knows his body has to be in tip-top shape. Crews said he knows it’s going to take one hell of a man to take the title from Bron, but Crews knows that he is the guy to do that. Crews said that the grind of being champion is getting to Bron. They continued to talk with Bron saying he had the exact same skills as Crews in terms of speed and strength. Crews said something has to give at Deadline. Bron asked if there was ever a time where one of Apollo’s visions didn’t come true and Crews said nope. Bron said there’s a first for everything and he left while Crews stared at him.
Analysis: That was a unique way of doing a face to face discussion for the NXT Deadline main event between Breakker and Crews. Both guys are confident going into the match. I think it should be an awesome match.
Julius Creed (w/Brutus Creed) vs. JD McDonagh
Julius showed off his power by countering a headlock with a spinning slam and a huge toss across the ring. After more offense from Julius, JD ran away and tripped up Julius on the apron. JD hit a running dropkick to knock Julius off the apron.
JD was in control with a leg scissors around the waist. The Indus Sher duo of Veer & Sanga showed up to watch that match. Julius lifted JD into an overhead slam. Julius showed off some incredible power with a suplex from his knees. Julius continued on offense with two belly-to-belly suplexes across the ring. After JD knocked Julius off the apron, JD hit an Asai Moonsault off the middle rope. JD worked over the left knee of Julius. JD tried swinging a chair to Julius back, but Sanga pushed Julius out of the way. JD’s chair hit Sanga in the back. The referee called for the bell for the DQ because Sanga pushed Julius, which makes sense Julius was in the match.
Winner by disqualification: Julius Creed
Analysis: *** I would have gone with a higher rating with a better finish, but I didn’t like that ending. This was a competitive match with Julius looking impressive against a top singles guy like JD. It’s hard not to be excited about the future of Julius in WWE as a guy in his mid-20s that is just getting started as a pro wrestler.
After the match, JD apologized and left. Veer told The Creed Brothers that they want to face them at 100% so that’s why Sanga did what he did.
A video aired featuring Alba Fyre talking about Isla Dawn costing Fyre the NXT Women’s Championship two weeks ago in the Last Woman Standing match.
They showed Tony D’Angelo and Stacks talking to Dijak in the parking lot. Tony thanked Dijak for softening up Wes Lee and Dijak said he wasn’t doing any favors. Tony said he’s back in business in the ring next week, so he’ll make sure Wes Lee’s days as North American Champion are numbered. Tony asked if they had an understanding and Dijak said “something like that” in reply.
Analysis: Good to see Tony D is back next week and going after the NXT North American Title.
Von Wagner (w/Mr. Stone) vs. Malik Blade
Blade had his father’s old sweater that Wagner ripped up. Blade was aggressive going into the match and took the fight to Von as they left the ring with Blade sending Von’s head into the hood of the commentary table a few times. Wagner came back with a jumping knee to the head. Back in the ring, Von did a lifting move and Blade did a counter move for a two count. Blade hit a body slam. Blade tried a Frog Splash off the top, Wagner got the knees up and Wagner hit the slam off the shoulders for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Von Wagner
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for Wagner after losing to Bron Breakker in the NXT Title match. Blade got plenty of offense and they had a story going in, so that’s better than just throwing it out there.
Post match, Wagner wanted to do more damage, so Edris Enofe ran out and Wagner kicked him in the face. Odyssey Jones ran into the ring with a knockdown on Wagner followed by a clothesline out of the ring with Wagner landing on his feet.
Analysis: That should set up Wagner against Jones soon.
Shawn Michaels Announces Iron Survivor Challenge Competitors
Shawn Michaels, the SVP of NXT And Talent Development, was shown on camera announcing the chosen wrestlers for the Iron Survivor Challenge at Deadline on December 10th. Shawn thanked his panel for helping him make this decision.
Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge wrestlers:
* Carmelo Hayes
* JD McDonagh
* Grayson Waller
* Joe Gacy
The fifth man will be determined in a wildcard match next week.
Analysis: Four heels there. I hope Hayes wins that match.
Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge wrestlers:
* Zoey Stark
* Cora Jade
* Roxanne Perez
* Kiana James
The fifth woman will be determined in a wildcard match next week.
Analysis: In this one it’s three heels and Perez as the lone face. I think it’s a tougher match to choose the winner. I’d go with Cora Jade at this point, but I might change my mind on that.
The Toxic Attraction trio, led by NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose, made their entrance for the main event.
Next week on NXT:
* Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Wild Card Triple Threat Match: Von Wagner vs. Axiom vs. Andre Chase – Winner Advances to NXT Deadline.
* Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge Wild Card Triple Threat Match: Wendy Choo vs. Fallon Henley vs. Indi Hartwell – Winner Advances to NXT Deadline.
* Pretty Deadly performers A Real Christmas Story.
Toxic Attraction: Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin vs. Nikkita Lyons, Katana Chance & Kayden Carter
Lyons had her right knee taped up to sell the attack from earlier. Jayne took down Chance leading to a running senton splash. Chance avoided an attack from Jayne leading to a dropkick. All six women started fighting in the ring leading to the faces hitting superkicks to knock the Toxic trio out of the ring. Carter jumped off the top taking out Dolin on the floor and Chance dove onto Jayne on the floor. Back in the ring, Jayne hit Chance with a forearm to the head. Rose tagged in and was met by a double team move by the Chance/Carter with Carter getting a kick to the head. Carter with a superkick for two. Rose capitalized on a distraction by her teammates leading to Rose hitting Carter with a forearm to the back and the heels took over. Dolin tagged in with a kick to Carter’s back. Jayne splashed Carter in the corner, Rose was back in telling Carter she was nothing and Rose hit a spinebuster for two. Carter broke free to bring in Chance against Dolin with Chance hitting a corner clothesline. Chance with a cross body block, Dolin caught her and hit a backbreaker for two as Lyons made the save. Jayne kicked Lyons in the knee and a kick to the head. Carter superkicked Jayne out of the ring. Dolin with an STO trip with a clothesline for two. Carter with a blind tag, then a kick and Chance did a backflip on Dolin. Carter with a superkick on Dolin. Jayne saved her partner from a double team while Dolin slammed Chance off the top. Rose was back in and hit a spinning slam on Chance. Chance got a rollup on Rose followed by a double knee attack. Lyons got the tag against Jayne with Lyons hitting a kick to the head. Lyons hit a running forearm on Jayne followed by a suplex. Lyons with a leg drop on Jayne, but Dolin made the save with a kick. Dolin fought with Carter on the floor leading to Dolin sending Carter into the steel steps. Chance with a cross body block on Dolin on the floor leading to Rose hitting a knee on Chance on the floor. Jayne kicked Lyons in the knee again. Lyons came back with a German Suplex on Jayne. Rose saved Jayne from a move, Lyons was grabbing her right knee again and Jayne hit Lyons with a forearm to the head. Dolin was back in with a high/low combo kick from Dolin/Jayne on Lyons and Dolin covered Lyons for the pinfall win after about 10 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a fun match with the story of Lyons trying to fight back with the injured knee, but she couldn’t do it and the Toxic team worked well together to beat her. I thought they might tease more Rose-Lyons interactions. That wasn’t really pushed at all so I think they are going to have Lyons focus on going after Zoey Stark, which is fine because that’s a good story. I think Jayne & Dolin’s team getting the win could lead to them getting another NXT Women’s Tag Team Title match against Carter/Chance at some point soon.
Toxic Attraction celebrated by the entrance while Zoey Stark was standing on the platform while laughing at an injured Lyons in the ring. That ended the show.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Toxic Attraction: Mandy Rose, Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin
2. Julius Creed/JD McDonagh
3. Roxanne Perez
This week: 6.75 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
I would call this one a slightly above-average show that was lacking a bit in terms of big matches compared to the last couple of weeks. There were good matches with several people impressing me like Julius Creed in his match against JD McDonagh and the six-woman tag team main event was an entertaining match. I really liked Axiom’s performance as usual.
They are doing a nice job of building to the Deadline PLE on December 10th with the announcement of the competitors in the Iron Survivor Challenge match. Hopefully, Carmelo Hayes wins that for the guys and the women’s match is tougher to choose although my lean is to go with Cora Jade there. It also depends on who the fifth wrestler is in both of those matches.
NXT has certainly improved in the last few months, but they have had more momentum going into PLEs compared to Deadline. I do think Breakker/Crews will be an awesome match, though. That should be fun.
The NXT Deadline Premium Live Event is on Saturday, December 10th with this lineup so far:
NXT Championship: Bron Breakker (c) vs. Apollo Crews
Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. JD McDonagh vs. Grayson Waller vs. Joe Gacy vs. one more wrestler.
Women’s Iron Survivor Series Challenge Match: Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James vs. one more wrestler.
The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) vs. Indus Sher (Veer Mahaan & Sanga)
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