Wrestling Review: NXT Deadline (2022)

A brand new match type will take over NXT at Deadline, the final premium live event of 2022. Across two Iron Survivor Challenge matches, five of NXT’s top male and female competitors will compete to determine who can earn the most pins or submissions across a predetermined time limit. Two competitors will start the match, and every five minutes one new warrior will enter the ring. As the clock continues to tick over, once all five competitors have entered, the match continues until the time limit of 25 minutes is reached, and whoever has the most victories is crowned the Iron Survivor. The five men involved in their Iron Survivor Challenge, Axiom, Carmelo Hayes, Joe Gacy, JD McDonagh and Grayson Waller, will be looking to earn the next chance to battle the winner of Bron Breakker and Apollo Crews for the NXT Championship. Breakker and Crews clash in the main event, as Crews looks to hold his first world title in WWE. Meanwhile, it will be Roxanne Perez, Cora Jade, Kiana James, Zoey Stark and Indi Hartwell seeking to become the next woman to face Mandy Rose for the NXT Women’s Championship. The NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly will be in action when they defend against The New Day duo of Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, and finally the Unholy Enchantress Isla Dawn will learn that where there’s smoke, there’s fire, when she battles the unpredictable Alba Fyre.

+ Bron Breakker (c) vs Apollo Crews (NXT Championship): a fantastic entrance video for Bron was the beginning of a great night for him. I don’t think anyone will deny that he is going to be a huge star, but this was perhaps his best individual showing, thanks in no small part ot how great Crews has always been. It was an awkward spot for this match to immediately follow the crowning of a new number one contender for this very title, but the match was good, the power and athleticism from both guys was impressive, and I look forward to what comes next for both men
+ Axiom vs Joe Gacy vs Carmelo Hayes vs JD McDonagh vs Grayson Waller (No. 1 Contender Iron Survivor Match): really, really exciting. This match alone has proven the concept for what this experiment is capable of. It was interesting that Axiom was the only fan favourite in the match, though I suppose Hayes and Waller have their fans enough to be middle of the road guys. ALl five men worked their asses off, but it is once against Waller and Hayes that I think could be huge stars. I am more than willing to add Axiom’s name to that list, because he could be something really special if he’s given a chance
+ Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson) (c) vs The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston) (NXT Tag Team Championships): this was really good, and all the proof you need that Pretty Deadly could be a very tip top act on the main roster at any time. The New Day are one of the best teams in WWE history for a reason, and it is so refreshing tos ee them facing someone other than The Usos, Brutes or Profits for a change. I really liked this match, including the frankly goofy as heck mid match comedy moment
+ Roxanne Perez vs Zoey Stark vs Kiana James vs Cora Jade vs Indi Hartwell (No. 1 Contender Iron Survivor Match): I really, really enjoyed this. Perez and Stark are both more than competent enough to keep things running smoothly, and Jade’s character and James’ athleticism kept things fresh when Stark or Perez were not immediately involved. I just don’t know about Indi Hartwell, who can do some fantastic things in the ring but just never looks comfortable. She should be on Raw with Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano, where at least she can wrestle some better women than NXT can offer. All that said, this was a good match

Alba Fyre vs Isla Dawn: this was going really well until one of the worst match finishes I have has the unfortunate honour of seeing in a very long time. I’m actually listing this as a negative just for the ending, becuase I hated it so much, made worse that the match wasn’t too bad at all until then

> I had some hesitations about the format of the Iron Survivor match, but they ended up both going really smoothly. Clearly there would have been a lot of planning to ensure things worked down to the second, in some cases, but overall I thought they both came off really well. It’s also refreshing to see a match like this where the person in first has the advantage, unlike an Elimination Chamber or Royal Rumble

Should you watch this event: This was a good show. Leave aside the horrendous ending of Fyre/Dawn, and this was one of the better NXT shows in a long time. Both of the Iron Survivor matches overachieved what they were going for, and I am exciting for the men’s winner and the man who won the NXT title to have a good feud in the coming weeks or months.

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