NXT Deadline Review: Trick Williams & Blair Davenport Are Iron Survivor Challenge Winners

NXT Deadline 

December 9, 2023 | Total Mortgage Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut

CM Punk Appears At NXT Deadline

The crowd cheered as WWE Hall of Famer HBK Shawn Michaels came out to a huge reaction. He welcomed everyone to NXT Deadline. He spoke about this being WWE’s final PLE of the year. He asked the crowd “Are You Ready? The music played as CM Punk came out to a huge reaction. Punk was wearing a Bret Hart hoodie. Punk gave fans high-fives at ringside. Huge CM Punk chants from the crowd. 

Punk apologized to Micheals for stepping over his gimmick. He asked Michaels if he still does the “Suck It?” Michaels said he forgot. Micheals told Punk nice hoodie. Punk mentioned he forgot his HBK merchandise. LOL. Micheals said that hurts. Punk mentioned Michaels and Bret Hart made up. Punk spoke about making up with HHH. This got a big reaction from the crowd. Punk said it was all about healing. Micheals said anything is possible. Punk said he had good news and bad news. This led to CM Punk chants from the crowd. 

Punk mentioned both he and Michaels forgot their lines. Punk spoke about grew up watching Michaels. Punk and Micheals took a selfie. Punk spoke about missing a flight but mentioned he would rather speak to Micheals in person. Punk spoke about being on Raw or SmackDown. NXT chant broke out. He asked if the newest superstar’s name is CM Punk! The crowd chanted Punk’s name. Punk’s music played. Michaels and Punk began laughing. They shared a hug. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was pretty fun seeing CM Punk appear on an NXT show. 

NXT Deadline opening video aired. Vic Jospeh and Booker T were on commentary. 

NXT North American Championship Match: Dominik Mysterio [c] vs. Dragon Lee 

Rey Mysterio’s music played as he came out to a big reaction. Mysterio came out in crutches. Dragon Lee’s music played as he received a good babyface reaction. Mysterio joined commentary for the match. Dominik received huge boos from the crowd. Dragon Lee shined early catching Dominik with a hurricanrana. Dragon Lee followed hitting a Tope Con Hilo to the floor. Dragon Lee rocked Dominik with a slingshot dropkick for a near fall. Dragon Lee applied a Fujiwara arm bar but Dominik placed his foot on the ropes. 

Dominik used Dragon Lee’s momentum draping him on the ropes. Dominik took control planting Dragon Lee for an apron DDT. Dominik stood on the ropes blew Mysterio kisses. Dominik connected with a slingshot senton for a two count. Dominik connected with the Three Amigos but stopped the referee’s count. Dominik kept staring at Mysterio at ringside. Dragon Lee battled back draping Dominik on the ropes. Dragon Lee rocked Dominik with a flying double stomp. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it.” 

Dragon Lee made a comeback rocking Dominik with a corner superkick. Dragon Lee rocked Dominik with a corner dropkick. Dragon Lee connected with a flying double stomp. Dominik grabbed the ropes to stop the count. Dominik caught Dragon Lee charging with a dropkick for a two count. Dominik connected with a superkick. Dragon Lee responded with a knee strike. Dragon Lee went for a sit-out powerbomb but Dominik escaped. Dominik caught Dragon Lee with a stack powerbomb for a two count. The crowd booed as Dominik called for 619. Dragon Lee escaped catching Dominik with a sit-out powerbomb for a two count. Dragon Lee caught Dominik with Destino for the win. 

WINNER: Dragon Lee won the NXT North American Title 
Rating: ***½
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really fun match. The action was great as both Dominik and Dragon Lee worked great together. Dominik has really improved and has done great making the North American Title feel bigger bringing it to main roster shows. They could also play into the story with Judgment Day not being there to help Dominik which could lead to more friction within the group. My guess is Wes Lee was suppose to win the North American Title on this show. I just want to wish Wes Lee a speedy recovery. WWE was placed in a tough spot as they needed to find a replacement for this show. It’s just interesting seeing the North American Title move from one main roster star to another main roster star. Dragon Lee has been presented as a rising star on SmackDown. This was really cool way to start the show seeing Dragon Lee win his first championship in WWE. 

Dragon Lee celebrated with Rey Mysterio after the match. 

Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge Match: Tiffany Stratton vs. Blair Davenport vs. Fallon Henley vs. Lash Legend vs. Kelani Jordan 

The rules of the match: There’s a 25 minute time limit. Two superstars start the match. The next superstar comes in every five minutes. You receive one point for a pinfall, submission or disqualification. The superstar who gets defeated goes to the Penalty Box for 90 seconds. The superstar who scores the most the points wins the match. The winner receives an NXT Women’s Championship match at NXT New Year’s Evil. 

Blair Davenport and Fallon Henley were the first two to start the match. Davenport and Henley began exchanging near falls which popped the crowd. Henley caught Davenport with a leg scissors cradle for a two count. Davenport took control rocking Henley with a sliding boot for a two count. Davenport connected with a back elbow for near fall. Henley responded slamming Davenport to the mat. Henley rocked Davenport with a sliding punch for a two count. 

Tiffany Stratton was next. Tiffany took control running Henley running into the barricade. Davenport and Tiffany placed Henley in a double Fujiwara arm bar. Tiffany surprised Davenport rocking her with a superkick. Tiffany connected with a double handspring elbow to Davenport and Henley. There was a nice spot as Tiffany caught Henley with a Cartwheel Alabama Slam. Tiffany went for a cover but Davenport yanked her off. Davenport covered Henley to score the first point of the match. Davenport score the first point. 

Kelani Jordan was next. Jordan rocked Davenport and Tiffany with a double handspring elbow. Henley was placed in the penalty box for 90 seconds. Jordan delivered a Playmaker to Tiffany but Davenport made the save. Jordan rocked Davenport with a slingshot dropkick. Jordan delivered a springboard split-legged moonsault to Davenport but Tiffany made the save. Tiffany caught James as she dumped her onto Davenport on the floor. Henley returned from the penalty box. Henley planted Tiffany with a flying blockbuster. Henley caught Tiffany with a reverse slingblade. Henley connected with a shining wizard to Tiffany to score her first point. Henley ties Davenport with one point. 

Lash Legend came out. Tiffany was released from the penalty box. Legend planted Henley and Tiffany with a double powerbomb. Legend planted Davenport and James with a double suplex which popped the crowd. Legend planted Tiffany with a chokeslam. Legend planted Henley with a popup powerbomb. Legend pinned both Henley and Tiffany at the same time to score two points. 

Davenport and Jordan placed Legend in a double sleeper hold. Legend broke free running them into the turnbuckle. Jordan caught Legend with a flying hurricanrana. Jordan delivered a springboard moonsault to Legend on the floor. There was a scary spot as Jordan crashed into the announcers table. Thankfully, Jordan got up. The crowd chanted NXT. Davenport cleared the announcers table. The crowd booed as Meta-Four came out. They blocked Henley and Tiffany from leaving the penalty box. Henley went to climb the penalty box. Tiffany showed Henley who went crashing through the announcers table. Tiffany stood on the penalty box. Tiffany delivered a Swanton Bomb off the penalty box onto everyone on the floor in an awesome spot. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it.” 

Lash delivered a pair of standing splashes to Davenport and Tiffany for a pair of two counts. Legend caught Jordan flying off the ropes. Legend swung Jordan into Davenport and Tiffany. Legend went for a powerbomb but Jordan blocked. Tiffany appeared rocking Legend with a Meteora. Tiffany delivered a double stomp to Jordan but Henley made the save. Davenport caught Jordan with a flying double stomp to score her second point. Davenport ties Legend with two count. The crowd chanted “This Is Awesome!” 

Legend grabbed both Davenport and Henley at the same time. Tiffany delivered a dropkick to Legend. Henley transitioned into a crucifix on the landing. Jordan returned from the penalty box. Jordan caught Legend with a stunner. Davenport caught Legend with a double stomp. Jordan caught Legend with a flying crossbody but Tiffany made the save. Tiffany delivered a rolling fireman’s carry to Jordan onto Legend. Tiffany delivered the Prettiest Moonsault Ever to Legend to score her first point. 

Jordan delivered a 450 Splash to Davenport but Henley made the save. Henley placed Tiffany in a half crab. Jordan went for a Dragon sleeper but Davenport broke free. Davenport planted James with a Spider German suplex. Davenport rocked Henley with a knee strike. Davenport covered Henley to score the winning fall of the match.

WINNER: Blair Davenport won the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge 
Rating: ***½
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really good match. The match was laid out really well with everyone getting a chance a shine. Henley and Legend both had strong breakout performance as they looked great inside the ring. They really have something special with Jordan who showed in this match she has all the potential to become a breakout star. Tiffany had the highlight reel spot with the dive off the penalty box. Tiffany’s a former NXT Women’s Champion and is ready for the main roster. Tiffany didn’t need to win the match. I thought Davenport would’ve moved into a program with Nikkita Lyons after she retuned to NXT. I was glad to see Davenport win as she came off a star. Davenport is a strong challenge for Lyra Valkryia to have for the NXT New Year’s Evil special. NXT has really found something with these Iron Survivor Challenges as the matches are really fun to match. 

Cora Jade Returns To NXT 

Davenport delivered a promo after the match. Davenport told Lyra Valkyria she will see her at NXT New Year’s Evil. Lyra Valkryia came out and held the NXT Women’s Title. Cora Jade made her return to NXT attacking Valkyria from behind. Jade posed with the NXT Women’s Title. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Nice to see Jade make her return to NXT. This actually could work out pretty well. Nikkita Lyons could cost Davenport the title and that moves them into their separate program. That opens the door to focus on the bigger NXT Women’s Title program which is Jade and Valkyria.

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams are backstage. Trick said he’s locked in. Hayes told Trick the Iron Survivor Challenge is no joke. Hayes told Trick he got this in the bag. Trick told Hayes to care of business against Lexis King. Hayes told Trick that King tried to frame him. Hayes told King he’s gonna get his. 

Carmelo Hayes vs. Lexis King

King came out in a throne. Hayes received a great reaction from the crowd. Hayes refused a handshake from King. Hayes and King exchanged shoulder tackles. King decked Hayes with a right hand. Hayes responded taking King to the mat. Hayes caught King with a head scissors. King rolled out of the ring. Hayes stomped on King’s hand on the ring steps. Hayes went for a fadeaway but King showed him to the floor. 

King took control rocking Hayes with a wrecking ball dropkick. King booted Hayes into the ring steps. The crowd chanted “Let’s Go Melo.” King rocked Hayes with a kicked to the back for a near fall. King rocked Hayes with a superkick. King followed with a springboard stomp for a two count. King rocked Hayes with a sliding forearm for a two count. King planted Hayes with a pair of backbreakers. King rocked Hayes with a running clothesline. King offered a handshake. Hayes gave King the finger. 

Hayes and King battled for position on the ropes. King rocked Hayes with a lariat as they both went to the floor. Hayes battled back catching King with La Mistica for a two count. King stopped Hayes momentum hitting a jackhammer for a two count. Hayes battles back calling for the fadeaway but King rocks him with a right hand. King plants Hayes with a backbreaker. Hayes responded catching King with a Codebreaker. Hayes connected with Nothing but Net for the win. 

WINNER: Carmelo Hayes 
Rating: ***¼
Amin’s Thoughts: I’ve liked King’s overall presentation since his debut on NXT. King’s matches on NXT haven’t really stood out. I felt the same way watching this match as well. There’s a high bar when it comes matches on WWE PLE’s and even on NXT PLE’s as well. King took most of the match so it’s good for him that he got a match with Hayes who’s one of NXT’s biggest stars. Hayes worked very hard and had a strong showing. Hayes winning was the right move to heat him up for an eventual showdown with Trick Williams. 

Hayes celebrates before leaving the ring. Hayes stops after seeing a sign saying “ Melo screwed Trick!” King delivered a promo after the match. King told Hayes that was one hell of a match. King tells Hayes who attacked Trick Williams. King thanked Hayes for the PLE spotlight. Hayes teases going after King but stopped. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was nicely done making you wonder if Hayes was actually behind attacking Trick. 

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Cora Jade backstage. Jade spoke about a lot of women were shocked to see her back. She spoke about giving them four months. She spoke about returning to WWE deepest division which is the NXT Women’s division. She spoke about taking NXT to a whole new level. She spoke about making her intentions crystal clear. She asked Kelly if she wanted to know her next move? Kincaid excitedly said yes. Jade said “See you Tuesday.” 

Hayes and Trick were in their locker room. Trick apologized to Hayes for not trusting him. Hayes said it was cool. Trick asked we good? Hayes said we good. Trick spoke about Hayes whooping King ass. Trick noted he’s ready for the Iron Survivor Challenge. Hayes told Trick he knows what to do. Trick said what’s that? Hayes said “Whoop That Trick” They gave each other a hug. 

Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge Match: Bron Breakker vs. Trick Williams vs. Tyler Bate vs. Dijak vs. Josh Briggs 

The Men’s and Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge rules are the same. Dijak and Josh Brigs started exchanging shoulder tackles. Brigs caught Dijak with a running hurricanrana coming off the ropes. Briggs rocked Dijak with a shoulder tackle for a two count. Dijak responded planting Briggs with a suplex. Dijak delivered a chokeslam but Briggs kicked out at two. Briggs responded catching Dijak with a big boot for a two count. Dijak stopped Briggs from climbing the ropes. Dijak rocked Briggs with Fest Your Eyes to score the first point. Briggs went to the penalty box. 

Tyler Bate came out next to a good reaction. Bate rocked Dijak with a flying uppercut. Bate planted Dijak with an exploder suplex for a two count. Bate delivered an airplane spin to Dijak. Briggs rocked Bate with a big boot. Briggs rocked Dijak with a running clothesline to score his first point. Bate rocked Briggs with a flying uppercut for a two count. Briggs responded catching Bate with a release slam. Briggs connected with a standing splash to Bate for a two count. Briggs went for a powerbomb but Bate escaped. Dijak was released from the penalty box. Bate delivered the Tyler Driver 97’ to Briggs but Dijak made the save. Dijak went for Feast Your Eyes. Bate countered into a rollup to score his first point. Dijak rocked Bate with a right hand. Bate fell onto Briggs for a two count. 

Trick Williams came out to a huge reaction. Huge chants of “Whoop That Trick” from the crowd. Trick rocked Bate with a leg lariat. Trick leaped over Briggs rocking Bate with a leaping clothesline. Trick caught both Briggs and Dijak with a double neck breaker. Trick leaped off Briggs back catching Dijak in mid-air with a flying clothesline in an awesome spot. Trick covered Dijak but Bate made the save. Huge chants of NXT from the crowd. Bate placed Trick in an Airplane spin. Trick broke free as he placed Bate in an Airplane spin. Bate broke free placing Trick in an Airplane Spin. The crowd chanted “This Is Awesome!” Bate connected with a tope to Briggs on the floor. Bate rocked Trick with a rebound lariat. Bate delivered a Tyler Driver 97’ to Trick taking the lead with two points. The crowd chanted “Free That Trick!” 

Bron Breakker came out next. Breakker rocked Briggs with a huge spear to score his first point. Breakker rocked Bate with a spear to score his second point. Breakker caught Dijak flying off the ropes taking the lead with three points. Trick was released from the penalty box. Breakker and Trick exchanged big strikes. Breakker used his speed rocking Trick with a running clothesline. Breakker applied a Steiner Recliner but Trick grabbed the ropes. Briggs and Dijak were shown brawling inside the penalty box. Trick caught Breakker with a Rock Bottom. Breakker rolled to the floor. Trick delivered a flying crossbody to everyone on the floor. Dijak rocked Trick with a cyclone boot to score his second point. Breakker caught Dijak with a super frankenstiner. Bate caught Dijak on the landing with a Tyler Driver 97 to score his third point. Breakker caught Bate with a gut buster for a two count. Trick was freed from the penalty box.

Breakker delivered an avalanche moonsault/fallaway slam combo to Bate but Dijak made the save. Dijak was freed from the penalty box. Briggs and Dijak planted Bate with a double chokeslam. Briggs and Dijak delivered double moonsaults to Breakker and Trick. Dijak has three points. Briggs has two points. Bate caught Dijak with a springboard tornado DDT. Bate connected with a plancha to Dijak on the floor. Briggs rocked Bate with a rebound lariat. Dijak caught Briggs flying off the ropes with a superkick. Bate ducked as Briggs and Dijak delivered stereo boots. Breakker and Trick were released from the penalty box at the same time. Breakker stopped Trick from entering the ring. Breakker delivered a spear sending Trick crashing through the barricade. Dijak delivered a chokeslam sending Breakker crashing through the announcers table. The crowd chanted NXT. 

Trick entered the ring catching Briggs with a rollup to get his first point. Dijak rocked Trick with Feast Your Eyes. Eddy Thorpe appeared pulling the referee to the floor. That apparently wasn’t a DQ. Thorpe rocked Dijak with a leaping kick. Trick rolled up Dijak to score his second point. Bate caught Trick with a flying corkscrew splash. Bate called for the Tyler Driver 97’, Trick reversed into a jackknife cover to score his third point. The crowd was going nuts at this point. Breakker went for a spear. Trick caught Breakker with a flying knee strike. Trick covered Breaker to score his fourth point and win the match. 

WINNER: Trick Williams won the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge
Rating: ****½
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really fun fast-paced action packed match from start the finish. Bron Breakker coming in and just cleaning house of everyone in the match was a great spot. Briggs got a chance to shine as he looks ready to breakout into a single’s star. Eddy Thorpe appearance worked to keep his program with Dijak going. Bate looked tremendous as always and is someone who should already been called up to the WWE main roster. Trick Williams felt like the biggest star on the NXT by how the crowd reacted to him.NXT has found a formula to make these kinds of matches work. The closing minutes of this match were just insane but in the most awesome way possible. Trick’s comeback to win the match was the highlight of the match and the show. Trick getting his big win was awesome to see. 

Josh Briggs was walking backstage. Brooks Jensen put over Briggs performance and told him he knows how he feeling. Briggs yelled “Do you?” Henley calmed Briggs down. Jensen mentioned how Briggs and Henley did great. Meta-Four mocked them. A brawl broke out between both sides. WWE officials appeared and pulled everyone away. 

Kiana James was shown arriving from the WWE Headquarters. 

Steel Cage Match: Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James 

Roxanne received a great babyface reaction from the crowd. James went to attack Roxanne with her bag right away. James went for a catapult but Roxanne blocked. Roxanne catapulted James into the cage. James tried to climb the cage. Vic Joseph noted you can’t escape to win. Roxanne took control delivering a dropkick sending James into the cage. Roxanne went for a flying crossbody but James caught her. James took control running Roxy into the cage. James kicked at Roxanne’s hand into the cage. 

James speared Roxanne into the cage for a two count. James planted Roxanne with a spinebuster for a two count. Roxanne batted back catching James with a flying theez press. Roxanne ran James into the cage. Roxanne connected with a sliding uppercut for a two count. Roxanne climbed to the top of the cage. James followed Roxanne up the cage. James and Roxanne exchanged strikes on the cage. James responded shoving into the cage. James planted Roxanne with a powerbomb for a two count. 

James went to powerbomb Roxanne into the cage. Roxanne countered catching James with Pop Rocks. Roxanne couldn’t cover James right away. Roxanne covered James for a two count. Roxanne went for Pop Rocks but James escaped. James went to the cage door. The referee opened the door. James grabbed a chair. Roxanne rocked James with a spin kick. Roxanne went to close the cage door. Izzy Dame appeared slamming the cage door into Roxanne’s face. James whacked Roxanne with a chair. James delivered Deal Breaker onto a chair for the win. 

WINNER: Kiana James
Rating: ***
Amin’s Thoughts: I enjoyed the Devil’s Playground Match that Roxanne and James had at Halloween Havoc more. I thought Roxanne should’ve moved onto something bigger after winning at Halloween Havoc. Now it looks like the program will be continuing with Izzy Dame getting into the mix. I thought both Roxanne and James worked hard. I just thought this was a standard steel cage match. 

NXT Championship Match: Ilja Dragunov [c] vs. Baron Corbin 

Baron Corbin got a special entrance coming out in a motorcycle. Ilja Dragunov got a really strong babyface reaction from the crowd. Corbin took control catching Dragunov with a headlock takeover. There was a split chant for Corbin and Dragunov. Corbin once again caught Dragunov with a headlock takeover coming off the ropes. Dragunov responded delivering a running clothesline sending Corbin to the floor. Dragunov caught Corbin with a German suplex on the floor. Dragunov entered the ring to break the count. 

Corbin responded ramming Dragunov onto the announcers table. Corbin took control dropping Dragunov onto the announcers table. Corbin ran Dragunov into the turnbuckle. Dragunov responded rocking Corbin with head butts sending him off the turnbuckle. Dragunov went for a flying senton splash but Corbin moved. Corbin connected with a flying clothesline for a two count. Corbin had Dragunov on his shoulders. Dragunov broke free. Corbin avoided a German suplex catching Dragunov with a DDT. Corbin gave Dragunov a hug. Corbin planted Dragunov with a uranage slam. 

Corbin went for a chokeslam but Dragunov caught him with a leaping enzuigiri. Dragunov battled back rocking Corbin with a running knee strike. Dragunov connected with a flying senton splash but sold his ribs on the landing. They exchanged big strikes. Dragunov rocked Corbin with rapid fire chops. Dragunov planted Corbin with a bridging German suplex for two. They exchanged strikes on the ropes. Corbin caught Dragunov with a super chokeslam for a two count. 

Corbin went for a Dragon sleeper but Dragunov broke free. Dragunov caught Corbin sending him crashing with a rolling Death Valley Driver into the turnbuckle. Dragunov called for Torpedo Moscow. Corbin caught Dragunov with a Deep Six for a two count. Corbin planted Dragunov with a northern lights bomb. Corbin followed with a brainbuster for a two count. Corbin called for End of Days but Dragunov broke free. 

Dragunov went for a powerbomb but lost his grip. Dragunov maintained control as he planted Corbin with a release powerbomb. Dragunov rocked Corbin with a coast-to-coast dropkick. Dragunov called for Torpedo Moscow. Corbin caught Dragunov in position for End of Days. Dragunov broke free hitting a DDT. Dragunov made a comeback rocking Corbin with a pair of H-Bomb. Dragunov rocked Corbin with a leaping H-Bomb. Dragunov grabbed Corbin and whispered something to him. Dragunov connected with Torpedo Moscow for the win. 

WINNER: Ilja Dragunov retained the NXT Title 
Rating: ***½
Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really good hard hitting match. People don’t give Corbin credit for his wrestling ability mostly because fans got really tired of his onscreen characters on the main roster. Corbin has been delivering some on his finest work since he returned to NXT. Corbin looked great here as he worked a Dragunov style match. I really enjoy watching Dragunov because he works a complete different style. Dragunov’s facial reaction and his selling was top notch stuff. Apart from Gunther, Dragunov’s intensity is unmatched as we saw it on full display in this match. A strong win from Dragunov showcase him as the top champion on NXT. 

Dragunov posed with the NXT Championship after the match. The crowd cheered as Trick Williams came out. The crowd chanted “Whoop That Trick!” Trick looked at Dragunov’s direction. Carmelo Hayes walked behind Trick as the show came to a close. 

Amin’s Thoughts: That was a great closing shot wanting you to tune into NXT and see what happens next between Hayes and Trick. 

Overall Thoughts 

There was lots of good wrestling matches on the show. The steel cage match was good but there were much better matches on the show. I thought both the Men’s and Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge matches were both great. There were two really good championship matches. We got a title changing hands on the show. Cora Jade also made her return back to NXT. They also made the show feel bigger with the CM Punk appearance. There was also some more storyline development between Hayes and Trick. Overall, NXT Deadline was a very good show.