WWE NXT Review: Fallout From Deadline


December 12. 2023 | Capitol Wrestling Center, Orlando, Florida

Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams were arriving to the WWE Performance Center. Trick spoke with some reporters feeling good about winning the Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge at NXT Deadline. Hayes was shown entering the Performance Center. 

NXT Deadline video package aired which featured match highlights and winners. They also showed clips of CM Punk making a special appearance. 

The camera cut backstage as Carmelo Hayes was hurt selling his leg. WWE referees appeared to check on Hayes. Trick Williams freaked out wondering wha happened. Williams asked for some help. 

Cora Jade Promo 

The crowd booed as Cora Jade stood inside the ring. Jade spoke about being four long months for the fans. Jade spoke about the sun appearing from the clouds and the fog being lifted. Jade claimed fans were kissing photos of her 8×10. Jade said she’s back now. Jade spoke about fans tweeting her begging her to come back. Jade mentioned the NXT Women’s division being great. Jade noted the division better when she’s around. Jade mentioned how the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge was a great match Jade mentioned everyone was speaking about her and not the people in the match. Jade mentioned holding the NXT Women’s Championship. 

NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria came out. Valkyria welcomed Jade back. Valkyria spoke about Jade jumping her from behind at Deadline. Valkyria spoke about Jade not changing since she left four months ago. Jade wondered if she ruffled some of Valkyria’s feathers since coming back. Valkyria spoke about changing and being NXT Women’s Champion. Blair Davenport came out next. 

Davenport gloated about winning the Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge. Davenport noted Valkyria should be focusing her attention on her. Davenport noted the time is ticking on Valkyria’s NXT Women’s Championship run. Valkyria spoke about hearing what Davenport said at Deadline. Valkryia wondered why Davenport and Jade aren’t friends since they like to jump people from behind. Nikkita Lyons came out. Lyons noted she hasn’t forgotten what Davenport did to her in the NXT parking lot. A brawl broke out. Lyons and Davenport cleared the ring. Valkyria posed with the NXT Women’s Title. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Jade sounded so comfortable on the mic and just looks like a top star in the NXT Women’s division. Great to see Lyons back in action. A fine opening segment leading to a tag team match on the show. 

They showed highlight of Meta-Four confronting Brooks Jensen, Josh Briggs and Fallon Henley backstage at NXT Deadline. 

Kelly Kincaid interviewed new NXT North American Champion Dragon Lee backstage. Dragon Lee spoke about Saturday night being a dream come true winning his first WWE title. He spoke about winning the NXT North American Title in-front of Rey Mysterio. He noted this opportunity wouldn’t have came if Wes Lee didn’t get injured. He called Wes Lee the greatest NXT North American Champion ever. He said Wes Lee has all his respect and wished Lee a speedy recovery. He spoke about wanting to defend the title just like Lee did. He told Kincaid everyone will find out who’s his first challenger. 

Six-Person Mixed-Tag Team Match: Meta-Four (Noam Dar, Oro Mensah & Lash Legend) (w/Jakara Jackson) vs. Brooks Jensen, Josh Briggs & Fallon Henley

The match began with a brawl between both teams. Henley and Legend shoved each other. Henley went for a sleeper but Legend broke free. Henley rocked Legend with a leg lariat. Henley went for a springboard but Legend shoved her away. Jensen tagged into the match. Tiffany Stratton was watching backstage. Jensen planted Mensah with a reverse face buster. Henley went for a dive. Legend appeared as she pressed Henley tossing her onto Briggs and Jensen on the floor. 

Mensah worked over Jensen’s leg as they returned from break. Jensen rocked Dar with a huge clothesline. Dar grabbed Jensen’s leg so he couldn’t make a tag. Jensen went for an enzuigiri but Dar caught him with a Dragon screw. Dar applied an ankle lock but Jensen broke free. Jensen tagged Briggs into the match. Jakara Jackson had the referee distracted. The referee didn’t see Jensen tag Briggs into the match. Dar rocked Jensen with a spinning back elbow but Henley made the save. Henley caught Legend with a head scissors sending her out of the ring.

Mensah rocked Briggs with a flying uppercut on the floor. Tiffany appeared as she brawled with Henley to the back. Jensen caught Dar with an inside cradle for a two count. Dar responded rocking Jensen with the Nova Roller. Jensen’s momentum sent him right into a Briggs tag. Briggs ran wild rocking Dar and Mensah with strikes. Briggs delivered a running boot to Dar who planted Mensah with a DDT. Briggs rocked Dar with a huge running clothesline for the win. 

WINNERS: Josh Briggs, Brooks Jensen & Fallon Henley 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a fun match with everyone getting a chance to shine. Legend has shown great improvements and continues to show why she could be a huge breakout star on the main roster. I also liked Tiffany’s appearance as it keeps the program with Henley going. Nice to see Briggs keep his momentum getting by getting the win for his team. This should lead to Briggs getting a NXT Heritage Cup Championship match against Dar. 

Medical trainer checked on Hayes backstage. Trainer noted Hayes was cleared to compete on SmackDown. Hayes said he doesn’t who hit him. Hayes said he does know someone who hit him like this before. Trick asked who? Hayes said he doesn’t want to tell Trick here. Hayes noted he’s going to the ring to call him out. Trick said he’s ready to ride. Trick said he just needs to take care of the Ilja Dragunov business. Hayes told Williams to take care of his business. Hayes said he will take care of his business. 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was well done. They wanted you to think Hayes was talking about Ilja Dragunov without mentioning his name. The reason being Trick has already earned an NXT Title match against Dragunov after winning the Iron Survivor Challenge.  

NXT Men’s Breakout Tournament Participants Announcement 

Alica Taylor announced the participants in NXT Men’s Breakout Tournament. The participants are Trey Bearhill, Dion Lennox, Luca Crusifino, Tavion Heights, Keanu Carver, Riley Osborne, Oba Femi and Myles Bourne. Lexis King appeared as he attacked Bearhill with a chair. NXT referees held King back.

Amin’s Thoughts: This looked like an angle to get King into the NXT Breakout Tournament. That’s a good way for King to climb the ranks and get an NXT Title match. 

Men’s NXT Breakout Tournament Round One Match: Myles Bourne vs. Oba Femi 

Bourne shined early catching Femi with a pair of standing dropkicks. Bourne connected with a double stomp for a near fall. Femi responded rocking Bourne with a clothesline. Femi made a comeback launching Bourne with a release slam. Femi rocked Bourne with a running uppercut. Bourne responded catching Femi with a snap powerslam for a near fall. Femi rolled to the floor. Femi responded yanking Bourne onto the ring apron. Femi launched Bourne into air with a release face buster. Femi planted Bourne with a Catch Powerbomb for the win. 

WINNER: Oba Femi

Amin’s Thoughts: This was an average match. Femi is still green but shows great intensity in his matches. Femi has all the potential to become a breakout star. WWE shouldn’t rush Femi and give him more time to develop so he can improve inside the ring.

Lyra Valkyria was warming up in her locker room. Nikkita Lyons asked Valkyria if she’s ready for her match? Valkyria mentioned Davenport is getting a title match at NXT New Year’s Evil. Valkyria noted Lola Vice will also be getting a title match at some point after winning the NXT Women’s Breakout Tournament. Valkyria spoke about Jade being back. Valkyria mentioned that’s the life of NXT Women’s Champion. Lyons noted she wanted her hands on Davenport. Valkyria opened her locker room. Lyons saw the picture of Becky Lynch and Valkyria standing together after she won the NXT Women’s Title. Lyons noted Becky’s face was replaced with Tatum Paxley face. Valkyria called it weird. Lyons called Paxley a weird girl. 

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Tiffany Stratton backstage. Tiffany noted she didn’t care about Kincaid’s question and just needed to vent. Tiffany spoke about being sick of Henley’s existence. Tiffany spoke about not living a life like her. Tiffany said she’s going to show Henley where she belongs. Tiffany told Kincaid she can now talk. Tiffany walked away. 

NXT North American Championship Match: Dragon Lee [c] vs. Tyler Bate 

Dragon Lee received a great reaction from the crowd. Tyler Bate accepted the open challenge receiving a great reaction. Bate and Dragon Lee shook hands. Bate and Dragon Lee were evenly matches as they had a great counter exchange. Bate went for a tilt-a-whirl head scissors but Dragon Lee landed on his feet. Dragon Lee went for a hurricanrana but Bate landed on his feet. Bate and Dragon Lee connected with a double clothesline. Bate caught Dragon Lee with a flying uppercut as they returned from break. 

Bate took control hitting a flying plancha to the floor. The crowd chanted NXT. Bate planted Dragon Lee with an exploder suplex. Bate followed hitting a standing shooting star press for a two count. Bate went for a UFO spin but Lee broke free. Dragon Lee battled back rocking Bate with a pair of superkick. Dragon Lee followed hitting a tope to the floor. Dragon Lee rocked Bate with a corner running dropkick for a two count. The crowd was split chanting for Bate and Dragon Lee. Dragon Lee called for Destino but Bate caught him with a UFO spin/slam combo for a two count. This is Awesome chants. 

Dragon Lee responded catching Bate with a snap German suplex. Bate no-sold it. Bate rocked Dragon Lee with a rebound lariat for a two count. Dragon Lee stopped Bate from climbing the ropes. Dragon Lee placed Bate in the Tree of Woe. Dragon Lee connected with a flying double stomp. Dragon Lee went for a powerbomb but Bate escaped. Bate called for the Tyler Driver 97’. Dragon Lee countered into a Dragon hurricanrana for a two count. Dragon Lee rocked Bate with a knee strike. Bate responded rocking Dragon Lee with a huge right hand. Bate called for a rebound lariat. Dragon Lee caught Bate with the Destino coming off the ropes for the win. 

WINNER: Dragon Lee retained the NXT North American Title 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a really fun action packed match. A great showing from both Bate and Dragon Lee with both getting a chance to shine. I’m really glad they didn’t just have Dragon Lee drop the North American Title right away since he’s part of SmackDown. I would like if the open challenges happen on SmackDown as well. That way WWE can continue to showcase Dragon Lee as a rising star on SmackDown. 

Dragon Lee and Tyler Bate showed each other respect after the match. 

Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen were backstage. Jensen spoke about Briggs pulling through getting the team the win. Fallon Henley appeared. Henley apologized for leaving the match. Henley mentioned she sees red when she sees Tiffany. Jensen spoke about Briggs pinning Dar. Briggs mentioned he should get a shot at the NXT Heritage Cup. Jensen noted that’s not Briggs style of match. Jensen noted his style is one round KO. Briggs noted if he wins by KO he wins the Heritage Cup. Briggs spoke about doing great in the Iron Survivor Challenge even thought it wasn’t his style of match. Jensen noted he meant every word about Briggs performance. Briggs mentioned wanting to keep his momentum going. Henley noted Briggs name would look good on the NXT Heritage Cup. They bumped fists. 

Lexis King was with Ava standing outside Shawn Micheal office. King gloated about taking out Trea Bearhill. King noted HBK was pissed. Ava told King to not go inside Michaels office. Ava noted the participants in the Men’s NXT Breakout Tournament are pissed and want to kick his ass. King said it was mission accomplished. King noted Ava was standing in the presence of a superstar. Ava said “Yeah….” Ava noted since King is still new he will be replacing Bearhill in the Men’s Breakout Tournament. King was happy about the news. King spoke about Ava making his night and will see her around. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Ava’s been doing really good playing the role of assistant NXT GM. This is a great way to feature on Ava on the show. They can save Micheals for special appearances when needed. 

Dijak vs. Eddy Thorpe 

Dijak waste no time going after Eddy Thorpe before the match began. They brawled around ringside. Thorpe sent Dijak into the ring steps. Dijak was busted open from the side of his ear. The match got underway as Thorpe rocked Dijak with combination kicks. Dijak responded running Thorpe into the corner turnbuckle. The turnbuckle broke. The crowd chanted “Holy S*it!” Dijak attacked Thorpe with the turnbuckle for the DQ. 

WINNER: Eddy Thorpe via Disqualification 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was just all about the angle. 

Dijak continued to attack Thorpe with the turnbuckle after the match. NXT referees held Dijak back. Dijak returned dropping Thorpe onto the middle turnbuckle. Thorpe was selling his ribs.

Amin’s Thoughts: A pretty strong angle likely setting up a stipulation match for the NXT New Year’s Evil show. 

Chase U

Andre Chase spoke the Chase U brainstorming some ideas last week. Chase spoke about putting the ideas into action. Chase wanted to know the numbers. $66 for the bake sale. $245 for the carwash. Duke Hudson noted that was one quarter of one quarter of one quarter of the interest. Duke noted Chase looked like s*it. Thea Hail was looking at her phone telling Jacy Jayne his match is next. Jayne suggested she and Hail watch the match from the Chase U section. Hail looked at Chase’s direction. Chase said they could watch the match. Scrypts appears and placed a briefcase on the table. Scrypts told Chase they had a proposition for him. Chase looks interested. Duke wondered what was going on. 

Amin’s Thoughts: Scrypts getting involved adds a new twist to the Chase U storyline.

Cora Jade and Blair Davenport were inside their locker room. Davenport noted Jade could’ve stolen her moment from Deadline. Jade noted it was Valkyria who interrupted. Davenport noted Jade would be facing her for the NXT Women’s Title. Davenport noted she would be taking care of Lyons. Jade noted she would be taking care of Valkyria. 

NXT Men’s Breakout Tournament First Round Match: Riley Osbourne vs. Keanu Carver 

Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail were watching in the crowd. The crowd chanted Riley as the match began. Osbourne shined early catching Carver with a basement dropkick. Osbourne followed with a standing moonsault for a near fall. Carver responded catching Osbourne with a huge clothesline. Carver took control sending Osbourne flying with a fallaway slam. Osbourne battled back catching Carver with a leg lariat. Carver responded sending Osbourne flying with a huge pounce. Osbourne responded catching Carter with a huge kick. Osbourne climbed the ropes delivering a shooting star press for the win. 

WINNER: Riley Osbourne 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was the better of the two breakout matches. A fine showing from Carver as his power spots looked pretty impressive. I thought Osbourne looked good inside in the ring showing lots of potential. A good win for Osbourne who will likely be face King in the next round. 

Dragon Lee was walking backstage. Dragon Lee was approached by Drew Gulak, Charlie Dempsey, Damon Kemp and Myles Bourne. Gulak mockingly applauded Dragon Lee for his win. Kemp noted they are here to have some friendly conversation. Dempsey noted they come in peace. Gulak wondered if Dragon Lee is doing an open challenge every week? Dragon Lee spoke in Spanish. Gulak noted he doesn’t understand Spanish. Dragon Lee noted he’s having open challenge every week. Dragon Lee wondered who will be stepping up? Gulak noted Dragon Lee will find out next week. 

Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail saw Riley Osbourne walking backstage. Hail was freaking out. Hail approached Osbourne. He thanked Hail for her support. Hail says she appreciates him. Osbourne says he’s going to take a shower. Hail says he needs it. Hail then says he smells great. Osbourne left. Hail asks Jayne how she did? Kiana James and Izzy Dame appeared to mock Hail for her attempt to flirt with Osbourne. 

NXT Women’s Champion Lyra Valkyria & Nikkita Lyons vs. Blair Davenport & Cora Jade 

Lyra Valkyria and Nikkita Lyons received a strong babyface reaction. Blair Davenport and Cora Jade came out to huge boos. Davenport and Valkyria began with a quick counter exchange. Valkyria went for a spin kick but Davenport ducked. Jade tagged into the match. Valkyria caught Jade with a headlock takeover. Valkyria leaped off Davenport catching Jade with a bulldog. Lyons tagged into the match. Lyons planted Davenport with a scoop slam. Davenport tagged Jade back into the match. Davenport grabbed onto Lyons leg. Jade yanked Lyons to the mat. Davenport planted Lyons with a neck breaker for a two count. 

Lyons caught Jade with a rollup for a near fall as they returned from break. Lyons got Valkyria the hot tag. Valkryira ran wild rocking Davenport with combination kicks. Valkyria planted Davenport with a fisherman’s suplex. Tatum Paxley was shown ringside. Valkyria got distracted after staring in Paxley’s direction. Valkyria went for flying crossbody but Davenport moved out of the way. 

Davenport planted Valkyria with a falcon arrow but Lyons made the save. Jade tagged into the match. Jade and Valkyria collided at the same time. This gave Davenport the advantage. Davenport rocked Valkyria with a Kamigoye Knee Strike. Lyons pulled Davenport to the floor. Lyons rocked Davenport with a huge kick. Jade covered Valkyria for the win. 

WINNERS: Cora Jade & Blair Davenport 

Amin’s Thoughts: This was a fun tag team match. I thought both Jade and Lyons looked good in their return match. I really didn’t like how Jade was taking so many pins before her hiatus. I was glad to see Jade get a strong win in her return to put her right away into the NXT Women’s Championship picture. They also made Davenport look good as it was her finishing move that got Jade the win. I was just kinda surprised seeing Valkyria taking the pin. My guess is Lyons just returned and they didn’t want her to take the loss for her team. 

Tatum Paxley entered the ring after the match. Paxley shoved Lyons out of the ring. Paxley embraces Valkyria. The stuff they are doing with Paxley isn’t working for me. 

Hank Walker and Tank Ledger were backstage. Tank spoke about getting ready for their tag team match against Gallus next week. Gallus appeared and mocked them. Wolfgang told them to go back to the pub. Hank & Tank spoke about having more heart than all three of Gallus combined. Joe Coffey noted he wasn’t going to get involved in the match. Hank and Tank were sceptical as they walked off. Joe Gacy was honking the forklift. Joe said it takes a Joe to know a Joe. Gacy asked what’s better than one Joe? A cup of Joe. 

Carmelo Hayes / Ilja Dragunov / Trick Williams Segment 

Trick Williams came out to a huge reaction. Huge chants of “Whoop That Trick” from the crowd. Trick thanked the crowd for the reaction. Trick spoke about Deadline being a movie. Trick spoke about facing four of NXT very best in the Iron Survivor Challenge. Trick noted he would usually cut up his opponents. He spoke about putting on a banger at Deadline. Trick spoke about NXT having an award show. Trick noted he would nominate the Iron Survivor Challenge. Trick spoke about balling his lift. He said he’s “Trick James B*itch!” He spoke about the NXT Championship match between the baddest man vs. NXT hottest star. 

NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov came out to a great reaction. Dragunov spoke about him and Trick standing inside the ring a few months ago. Dragunov spoke about admiring his courage and being proud of Trick. He spoke about watching the Iron Survivor Challenge. Dragunov spoke about Trick getting the victory and riding a wave of momentum. Dragunov led the crowd in “Whoop That Trick” chant. Dragunov and Trick shook hands. Dragunov said Trick’s journey comes to an end. Trick said he’s the man here in NXT. Trick said he’s going to beat NXT had to offer. Trick vowed to win the NXT Championship. Dragunov noted he would do whatever it takes to be champion. 

Carmelo Hayes came out. Hayes apologized to Trick for coming out. Hayes said this business he needs to care of. Hayes claimed the attacker was the same person who attacked both him and Trick. Dragunov went to leave. Hayes stopped Dragunov from leaving. Hayes blamed Dragunov for attacking him Hayes and Trick. Dragunov claimed he had nothing to do with it. Hayes noted Dragunov did this to weaken Trick Melo Gang when Hayes was challenging for the title. Dragunov called Hayes arrogant and delusional. Hayes said this was a long play for Dragunov to keep the title. 

Dragunov said he didn’t attack Trick. Dragunov questioned if Hayes actually got attacked? Trick said ” tell me you didn’t just say that.” Dragunov told Trick to look him in the eyes. Dragunov told Trick to talk to Hayes. Hayes said Dragunov deserves the NXT Champion like Trick does. Hayes grabs the NXT Title and accidentally swings it into Trick’s face. The crowd chants “Melo’s guilty” The show ends with everyone inside the ring.

Amin’s Thoughts: A nice new twist adding more mystery to who attacked Trick? Dragunov being added can now take this story into so many different directions. I could see a scenario where Hayes tries to help Trick but accidentally costs him the NXT Title. I could see Dragunov wanting to add Hayes into the NXT Title match at New Year’s Evil to build more tension between Hayes and Trick. They really want you to think Hayes was the one who attacked Trick. I’m curious to see how this plays out. This was good making you want to see what happens next.

Overall Thoughts

This was a pretty good episode of NXT. Dragon Lee and Tyler Bate had the best match on the show. The rest of the matches on the show were perfectly fine. I thought they did good following up from the Deadline show. They made Cora Jade feel like a big star on the show. I really liked how they added Dragunov to the Hayes and Trick story which builds more interest for the New Years Evil show. Overall, a solid episode of NXT. Things are looking good for NXT heading into the New Years.