WWE NXT Review: Final Build To Deadline


December 5, 2023 | Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida

Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge Fatal-4-Way Qualifying Match: Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James vs. Fallon Henley vs. Thea Hail (w/Jacy Jayne)

Roxy received a great reaction from the crowd. The showed a confrontation between Roxy and James which took place at the WWE Performance Center. Roxy and James exchanged strikes right away. NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria was watching backstage. Tatum Paxley stood behind Valkyria watching her. Roxy planted Henley with a reverse wheelbarrow slam but Hail made the save. James shoved Roxy to the floor. Hail connected with a tope to Roxy on the floor. James attacked Roxy with her bag. James launched Roxy into the barricade.

There was a Superplex/Powerbomb Tower of Doom spot as they returned from break. Roxy caught James with a flying crossbody. Roxy had Henley in position for Pop Rocks. James grabbed Roxy by the hair yanking her off Henley. The crowd cheered as Roxy cleared the announcers table. Roxy and James exchanged strikes on the barricade. Roxy grabbed James as they both went crashing through the announcers table. Hail applied a rollup but Henley kicked out. Henley fired up rocking Hail with a Shining Wizard for the win. 

WINNER: Fallon Henley
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a good fast paced action packed match to start the show. The focus was mostly on James and Roxy which should set them having a match at the Deadline show. Hail losing continues into the bigger story of the Chase U drama. That left things open for Henley as it was nice to see her get a chance to shine and win. Henley winning could also lead to something interesting withJosh Briggs who also qualified for the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge. That could lead to a possible split with Briggs and Henley leaving Brooks Jensen. 

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov was arriving to the WWE Performance Center. 

They showed separate TikTok videos of Alpha Academy and Meta-Four partying.

Kelly Kincaid interviewed NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria backstage. Valkyria was impressed with Henley calling her shot last week. Lola Vice appeared noted Valkyria is looking to far ahead to the Iron Survivor Challenge winner because she could cash-in her Women’s Breakout Tournament contract. Electra Lopez teased her and Vice would cash-in for a chance at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. Vice gave Lopez a look. Tatum Paxley appeared setting up a match with Vice on the show. 

Wes Lee Promo

Wes Lee received a great reaction from the crowd. Lee was looking visibly upset. He stood with the help of a crutch. Lee wanted to smack Dominik Mysterio around at Deadline and win the NXT North American Title. Lee noted that won’t be happening. Lee thanked the fans for the support. Lee had tears in his eyes noting the fans support won’t be able to help him right now. Lee spoke about not having the feeling in his legs. He spoke about needing surgery to heal. He’s not sure when he will return. Lee said will return and vows to become on the greatest champions in NXT again. Lee said this isn’t a goodbye. Lee said he will see everyone later for now.

Dominik Mysterio came out and mocked Lee for going home. Dominik received tons of boos from the crowd. Dominik claimed he was carrying WWE for the past two years. Dominik spoke about having no challengers and mentioned he’s going to “just chill with Mami.”

Lee told Dominik he will be defending the NXT North American Title at Deadline. Rey Mysterio appeared on the screen. Rey noted he will be at Deadline. Rey said Dominik will defend the title against the future of Lucha Libre. Rey introduced Dragon Lee who received a great reaction. A brawl broke out as Dominik left the ring. Lee posed with the North American Title. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Wes Lee is one of my favourite wrestlers to watch on NXT. Hearing this news is such a bummer. I just want to wish Lee a speedy recovery and hope he has an awesome recovery. They did the best they could here finding a suitable replacement for the show. Dragon Lee has past history with Dominik on NXT. Dragon Lee is a rising star on SmackDown. It would be a nice moment to see Dragon Lee win the NXT North American Title and still having a run on SmackDown.

Kiana James was getting helped in the trainer’s room. James told Izzi Dame that she’s going to end Roxy when she sees her. Roxy was also being helped in the trainer’s room. Roxy heard what James said as a brawl broke out. Ava noted she will get a match between Roxy and James made. 

They announced Riley Osborne, Keanu Carver, Tavion Heights, Dion Lennox, Luca Crusifino, Myles Bourne, Trey Bearhill and Oba Femi will take part in the Men’s Breakout Tournament which starts next week. 

Lola Vice (w/Electra Lopez) vs. Tatum Paxley

Paxley went for a reverse Fujiwara Armbar but Vice broke free. Vice caught Paxley slamming her to the mat. Vic Jospeh mentioned on commentary Wes Lee’s recovery time from back surgery will be between “8 to 12 months.” Vice went for a head scissors but Paxley broke free with a powerbomb. Paxley went for a body scissors. Vice broke free rocking Paxley with ground and pound strikes. Vice applied a knee bar but Paxley grabbed the ropes. Vice rocked Paxley with a running hip attack for a two count. Paxley caught Vice with a rollup for a near fall. Vice rocked Paxley with a roundhouse kick for the win. 

WINNER: Lola Vice
Amin’s Thoughts: This was just a standard match. I’m still not really sure what to make of Paxley’s new character as it hasn’t been clicking. This was mostly about giving Vice a win building her up for the eventual title match she gets. 

They showed a video from last week of Axiom counselling Nathan Frazer after his loss to Dragunov last week. Axiom tried giving Frazer one of his mask. Frazer didn’t want it and got angry at Axiom. Axiom noted he wasn’t trying to get Frazer mad. Axiom noted it can be like old time and they can beat the hell out of each other and shake hands afterwards. 

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Baron Corbin in the parking lot. Corbin noted he’s got Dragunov right where he wants him and will take his sweet time taking the NXT Title on Saturday. 

NXT Anonymous video shows footage of Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams speaking to each other on October 17th. Hayes was shown on his phone after Trick left. Hayes followed after Trick.

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a nice followup from last week’s NXT Anonymous video. They wanted to you think Lexis King was the one behind Trick’s attack when it actually might be Hayes who set it up. 

Joe Gacy was sitting in the crowd. He gave Vic Jospeh a thumbs up and said “We love you.” 

Six-Person Mixed Tag Team Match: Alpha Academy (Chad Gable, Otis & Maxxine Dupri) (w/Akira Tozawa) vs. Meta-Four (Noam Dar, Oro Mensah & Lash Legend) (w/Jakara Jackson) 

Gable took control early slamming Dar to the mat for a near fall. Gable applied an ankle lock but Dar grabbed the ropes. Mensah caught Gable with a leg sweep. Gable caught Mensah with a pair of arm drags. Mensah went for a rolling kick but Gable caught him with an ankle lock. Legend tagged herself into the ring. Dupri caught Legend with a Dragon hurricanrana for a two count. Dupri went for a crossbody but Legend caught her. Legend was about to lose her balance.

Dar tagged himself into the match. The crowd cheered as Otis tagged in. Otis planted Dar and Mensah with a double clothesline. Gable delivered a flying clothesline to Dar and Mensah. Gable planted Dar with an overhead German suplex as they returned from break. Otis ran wild rocking Mensah with a spinning back elbow. Otis planted Dar with a popup powerbomb. Mensah went a Lionsault as Otis just caught him with a sloppy World’s Strongest Slam. Otis delivered the caterpillar.

The crowd cheered as Legend and Otis stared down. Legend caught Otis coming off the ropes delivering a huge scoop slam which got a huge reaction. That was really impressive. Dupri delivered a flying hurricanrana to Legend. The action broke down as Legend fell into Otis’ arms. Dupri stood on Gable’s shoulders delivering a flying crossbody onto everyone on the floor. Dar went for the Nova Roller. Gable caught Dar with a knee bar for the submission win. 

WINNERS: Chad Gable, Otis & Maxxine Dupri 
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really fun action packed match with everyone getting a chance. Legend slamming Otis was the highlight of the match. They need to highlight that spot going forward as it could help Legend become a star on NXT. Gable getting the win over Dar should set up a rematch for the NXT Heritage Cup after their last match went to a draw. Overall, a fun match that’s worth checking out. 

They showed clips of Hank Walker & Tank Ledger entering Gallus’ pub looking for a challenge. The match is made between Hank & Tank vs. Gallus for next week. 

Ava left Shawn Michaels office announcing Roxanne will face Kiana James in a Steel Cage Match at NXT Deadline. 

Women’s NXT Iron Survivor Challenge Deadline Summit 

Byron Saxton hosted an NXT Women Iron Survivor Challenge Summit with Tiffany Stratton, Blair Davenport, Lash Legend, Fallon Henley and Kelani Jordan. Tiffany said it starts and stops with the center of the universe. Tiffany spoke about Charlotte Flair mentioning her as the future of the WWE Women’s division. Tiffany spoke about being a former NXT Women’s Champion. Jordan spoke about being the one with the least experience. Jordan mentioned none of them were in the Iron Survivor Challenge last year. Jordan mentioned her gymnastics background will help her get through a 25 minute match. Tiffany spoke about doing gymnastics as well.

Lash Legend noted nobody wanted to hear Jordan speak. Legend spoke about Becky Lynch beating Tiffany for the NXT Women’s Title. Legend spoke about being around Meta-Four and the NXT Heritage Cup. Jordan said she was going to send Legend to the penalty box. Blair Davenport said she doesn’t care about the other’s opinions. Davenport spoke about putting them on the shelf like she did with Nikkita Lyons and Sol Ruka. Davenport spoke about taking care of Gigi Dolan as well.

Henley said she would knock Tiffany off her high horse. Henley noted she’s hyped up and will continue to ride her momentum. Tiffany mocked Henley for using the Iron Survivor Challenge. Legend screamed in a really annoying way. Saxton was losing it saying they weren’t going to do this. Henley stood up from her chair. Henley told Tiffany “Yeehaw B*tch” A brawl broke out as WWE officials pulled everyone apart. 

Amin’s Thoughts: The brawl itself was fun to hype up the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge. The promos were hits and misses. Tiffany stood out the most and felt most comfortable on the mic. Tiffany feels like the strongest pick for this match. Tiffany already had a run with the NXT Women’s Title and looks main roster ready. I would like to see Davenport win and challenge for the title. I could see Davenport also going into a program with Nikkita Lyons who looks ready to return from her injury. Davenport is also ready for the main roster. Davenport would fit in perfectly to join Damage CTRL as she has history with Iyo Sky from their time in STARDOM. Henley is my pick to win as she’s the one coming into the match with the most momentum. 

Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer 

Axiom and Frazer began with a really fun counter exchange as both were evenly matched. Axiom took control catching Frazer with a springboard German suplex. Frazer caught Axiom flying off the ropes with a superkick for a two count. Axiom responded catching Frazer with a leaping enzuigiri sending him to the floor. Axiom connected with a flying moonsault to Frazer on the floor. The camera cut as the women from the Iron Survivor Challenge made their way ringside and began brawling. The match was called off.

WINNER: No Contest 
Amin’s Thoughts: Axiom and Frazer were making the best of the time given as they were having a fun match. I would like to see Axiom and Frazer get to have an actual match on the Deadline show.

Blair Davenport watched the brawl from ringside. Nikkita Lyons made her return rocking Davenport with a huge kick.

Amin’s Thoughts: Nice to see Nikkita Lyons back in action. Henley seems to be a good pick to win with Davenport will likely be in a program with Lyons after Deadline.

Chase U Assembly 

Andre Chase hosted a Chase U assembly explaining the situation with Chase U. Chase spoke this assembly not being a celebration. Chase put the blame on himself for putting Chase U in debt. He spoke about Chase U being in academic probation. Thea Hail said “Great!” Chase said the students who enrolled after the investigation are no longer eligible for financial aid. Hail asked Chase how much he actually owned? Chase said he owned hundreds of thousands of dollars plus interest because he went through a third party. He spoke about borrowing money from a party. (Likely from Tony D’Angelo family)

Chase mentioned he’s going to get Chase U out of this mess. Duke Hudson asked how can he help without him selling his MVP Trophy? The students gave suggestions to help. The students mentioned having a bake sale, car wash or a crash course on how to avoid a financial crisis. Hail looked at the student speaking like she might have a crush on him. Jayne snaps Hail out of the space she’s in. Chase spoke about getting through this together. 

Amin’s Thoughts: They are putting lots of time behind this storyline and it’s getting more interesting week by week. Chase U was one of NXT hottest acts. I’m very interested to see how this plays out. They could once again turn Chase U biggest babyface if done right. 

Trick Williams confronted Carmelo Hayes backstage over the NXT Anonymous video. Hayes told Trick it ain’t that. Hayes said he’s locked in wanting to win the Iron Survivor Challenge qualifying match. Trick told Hayes he wants answers now. Hayes music played as he walked off. 

Lexis King delivered a promo on Twitter. King noted he’s not worried about the camera footage from last week. King mentioned the camera just loves him. King teased costing Hayes his qualifying match. King also claimed he and Hayes will soon be on the same page. King said Hayes may not miss. King said he also doesn’t miss. King spoke about his plan coming together.

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Eddy Thorpe before the match. Eddy noted his ribs aren’t feeling great. He spoke about tonight being important. Eddy said he’s got a shot at the Iron Survivor Challenge and to get his hands on Dijak. 

Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Qualifying Match: Carmelo Hayes vs. Tyler Bate vs. Eddy Thorpe vs. Joe Coffee 

Carmelo Hayes received a big mixed reaction. Tyler Bate received a great reaction. Eddy Thorpe ribs were taped up. Thorpe planted Coffee with a Saito suplex. Bate planted Coffee with an Airplane spin into a slam for a two count. Coffee planted Bate with a wheelbarrow face buster but Thorpe made the save. Hayes caught Thorpe with a springboard lariat which got a mixed reaction. Hayes caught Bate and Hayes with a flying crossbody. Bate planted Coffee with an Exploder suplex. Hayes rocked Bate with a pump kick. Thorpe planted Hayes with a spinebuster. This led to an NXT chant. 

Hayes caught Bate and Coffee with a double Fadeaway. Thorpe sent Hayes flying with a snap German suplex. Thorpe planted Bate with a brainbuster but Coffee made the save. Thorpe connected with topes to Bate and Coffee on the floor. Coffee caught Thorpe charging planting him with a spinebuster onto the ring steps. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it.” WWE trainers came out to check on Thorpe. 

There was a neat spot as Hayes delivered a Sunset Bomb to Coffee who sent Bate flying with a German suplex. Coffee delivered a Glasgow Sendoff to Bate but Hayes made the save. Bate went for a discus lariat but Hayes caught him with a Codebreaker. Hayes covered Bate but Coffee made the save. Hayes went for a springboard but Coffee intercepted him with a Glasgow Sendoff. Coffee flew off the ropes into a Bate uppercut. Bate rocked Coffee with a discus lariat. Bate delivered the Tyler Driver 97’ to Coffee for the win. 

WINNER: Tyler Bate 
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really fun action packed matched with everyone getting a chance to shine. Thorpe was the highlight delivering one of best showing on NXT. I really like how they protected Thorpe with his ribs injury. I thought Hayes had a strong chance to win. Going in the direction with King having his first NXT PLE match against Hayes is a good direction to go in as it furthers the story with Trick as well. Bate is a tremendous wrestler but feels stuck in the middle of the pack. Bate should be called up to the main roster. This was still nice to see Bate get the win and getting onto the Deadline card. 

Bate delivered a promo after the match. Bate said he’s the final man going to Deadline. Bate said those four men don’t stand a chance against him. Dijak came out calling Thorpe a piece of trash. Dijak rocked Thorpe with a boot. Dijak said Bate has no chance on Saturday. Bron Breakker came out next saying Bate and Dijak have no idea what they are in for. Breakker told Bate and Dijak to stay in the penalty box. Josh Briggs came out next saying he likes when everyone underestimates him. Briggs said he’s betting on himself. Trick Williams came out to a big reaction. Trick said he’s not in the mood for talking. Dijak said Trick should be whooping his so called best friend. A huge brawl broke out. WWE officials pulled everyone apart. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was another good brawl on the show hyping up the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge match for Deadline. Trick feels like the hottest star on NXT right now and it feels like he should win the Iron Survivor Challenge. I’m really not sure if Trick will win since he’s part of a bigger storyline with Hayes as well. This also could be a way for Briggs to begin his single’s run by winning the Iron Survivor Challenge. 

Carmleo Hayes spoke to Ava backstage about getting a match with Lexis King at Deadline. Ava said she will get it done. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Ava was presented as Shawn Michaels assistant on the show. Ava did good fitting the role well. 

Trick Williams asked Hayes if he texted King to take him out? Hayes denied it. Trick said nothing makes sense. Hayes brought up Trick doesn’t know who attacked him. Hayes mentioned Trick believes that Hayes didn’t do it. Trick asked why did the footage show Hayes working with King. Hayes said he wouldn’t work with King who he called a sucka. Hayes said he’s going to whoop King on Deadline. Trick wondered is going on? Hayes said he’s speaking on business. Trick said Hayes will open the show. Trick said he will close the show. The crowd gasped at that line. 

Amin’s Thoughts: They are doing a great job teasing so much tension between Hayes and Trick. A turn is coming. 

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov & Baron Corbin Face-to-Face 

Baron Corbin said he wanted to speak first. Dragunov said he was speaking first. Dragunov noted Corbin never won the title. Dragunov said Corbin targeted his family and can mock his accent. Dragunov said Corbin mocking his family was when he crossed the line. Corbin called it excuses. Corbin spoke about Dragunov leaving his son. Corbin spoke about Dragunov sleeping in a lonely apartment. Corbin noted Dragunov father did the same to him. Dragunov took of his jacket coat.

Dragunov said he’s trying to keep his cool or they would be no match at Deadline. Dragunov called Corbin a materialistic SOB. Corbin called it vindication. Corbin spoke about being a prominent WWE TV figure for 8 years. Corbin said he will take the title. Corbin said Dragunov’s blood is boiling and was about to lose it. Corbin said Draguov misses his son and his son misses him. Corbin says if it’s about his family, he told Dragunov to do something about it.

Dragunov turned the table over. Corbin told Dragunov he’s been through hell and back. Corbin told Dragunov that Saturday would be no different. Corbin turned his back and told Dragunov to do it for his family. Corbin called Dragunov a coward. Dragunov grabbed hold of Corbin. Dragunov said “The only one who can destroy the dragon, is the dragon himself.” Corbin looked stunned. Dragunov smiled. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really strong go-home segment to build the NXT Title match. Corbin has been delivering some of his finest work since coming over to NXT. Corbin’s promo and his delivery was just fantastic. I’m very curious to see how the NXT version of Corbin would do on the main roster. Dragunov promo style is unique but just feels so real at the same time. Dragunov’s intensity here was just off the charts. Nice to see Dragunov turned the table making Corbin question what kind of match he got himself into. 

The camera cut as the challengers from the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge began brawling. Dijak moved as Breakker speared Trick through a table. Bate rocked Dijak with a discus lariat. Bate celebrated as the show ended. 

Overall Thoughts

The news about Wes Lee’s injury was a real bummer. Sending best wishes to Lee for a speedy recovery and hopefully he comes back even better. Dragon Lee being the replacement is a great choice as it makes the North American Title match more interesting. This was a pretty strong show as they did a great job putting the Deadline card together. There was some good wrestling matches on the show. The show closing promo between Corbin and Dragunov was strong setting the stage for the NXT Championship match. They also did good pushing other storylines forward for bigger shows down the road. Overall, a very good episode of NXT as the Deadline card looks good on paper. Let’s see if NXT delivers the goods come Saturday.