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EditorialWWE NXT Deadline 2023 Preview: Full Card, Match Predictions & More

WWE NXT Deadline 2023 Preview: Full Card, Match Predictions & More

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WWE NXT Deadline 2023 is coming up this Saturday! Before the event takes place, let’s run down everything you need to know about the upcoming pay-per-view.

Who is scheduled for the card? How interesting does the show seem? What’s going to happen with all the matches?

Here is a full preview of WWE NXT Deadline 2023.

PPV EVENT INFORMATION

Date: Saturday, December 9, 2023

Start Time: 7 p.m. ET (kickoff), 8 p.m. ET (main show)

Location: Total Mortgage Arena in Bridgeport, Connecticut

MATCH CARD, PREDICTIONS & HEAT INDEX ANTICIPATION LEVELS

(as currently advertised; card is always subject to change)

Temperature Scale = Scorching > Hot > Lukewarm > Temperate > Chilly > Cold > Freezing

Heat Index is my assessment of how interesting the segment is, including how excited I am for the match and how intriguing the feud has been. The hotter, the better. Scorching translates to not being able to wait to see it, while Freezing means I couldn’t possibly care less and think it will be awful.

SINGLES MATCH FOR THE NXT CHAMPIONSHIP:
Ilja Dragunov (c) vs. Baron Corbin

Heat Index = Temperate
Prediction: Ilja Dragunov wins.

Thoughts: Both guys are talented. Yes, I’m a Baron Corbin fan. I think he’s underrated as hell. But here’s what’s weird about this. While I’ll acknowledge that Dragunov is the guy I’d trust more to have a better match, and I do like them both, I’m just flat out not interested in this feud all that much. A big chunk of that is because Corbin isn’t going to win, and it just seems like killing time until something more important comes along. I’d be much more interested if Corbin walks away with the title, but that’s only going to happen as the end result of this, rather than what we’re getting for the hype, so I’m stuck in a middle ground of “meh, it’ll be fine and forgettable” even though I like them both. It just isn’t some kind of dream match.

MEN’S IRON SURVIVOR CHALLENGE MATCH:
Bron Breakker vs. Dijak vs. Josh Briggs vs. Trick Williams vs. Tyler Bate

Heat Index = Hot
Prediction: Bron Breakker wins.

Thoughts: It’s interesting the lineup they’ve chosen for this. That’s a good group of guys, but I’m not entirely sure I would have thrown Tyler Bate in there, or Josh Briggs. Don’t get me wrong, as they’re both thumbs up in my book. Hell, I’ll go on the record and say I hope Josh Briggs is a future world champion. But it does feel like they went into this with the idea in mind that both of these types of matches will have at least one “complete outsider” option, and that Briggs might’ve been their choice for that. Good for him, getting in that role. Anyway, he’s not going to win. Technically, they can have Dragunov fight a guy like Bate on an episode of NXT, like New Year’s Evil, and then, set up a different challenger for Vengeance Day, but I do lean more toward a heel just winning this outright. Considering the options, Breaker is the biggest challenge. Then again, Von Wagner isn’t here…maybe he costs Breakker? Eh, I’ll go with Breakker winning. If I’m wrong, don’t say I told you to bet the house on it!

WOMEN’S IRON SURVIVOR CHALLENGE MATCH:
Blair Davenport vs. Fallon Henley vs. Kelani Jordan vs. Lash Legend vs. Tiffany Stratton

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: Tiffany Stratton wins.

Thoughts: Why is this Lukewarm if the men’s match is Hot? Because I think this match doesn’t have the same level of talent. Sorry. I don’t trust Lash Legend being as good of a “tall powerhouse” in this match compared to Dijak, for instance. As far as the winner goes, I’m going to echo what I said in the men’s about having a heel winner. Lyra Valkyria will still be champion by the time we determine who this person fights, and I think that rules out Fallon Henley and Kelani Jordan outright, as I don’t think either of them are fighting Lyra on a TV episode of NXT. Davenport does have a strong chance to win this, and I almost would go with her, but I know I certainly wouldn’t pick Legend whatsoever. She’s the outsider inclusion. This is ultimately going to Stratton in my mind, unless they’re saving her for Stand & Deliver instead.

SINGLES MATCH FOR THE NXT NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIP:
Dominik Mysterio (c) vs. Dragon Lee

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: Dominik Mysterio wins.

Thoughts: Boy, this NXT North American Championship is cursed, isn’t it? Every time they start to do something with the title, it ends up getting messed up. Guys like Mustafa Ali and Wes Lee and Dragon Lee (all the li/lee names) are all circling Dom, who just kind of hangs around. At this point, I have no idea what WWE has in mind for where this title will go. I mean, we’re looking at a Raw Superstar fighting a SmackDown Superstar for an NXT title here. I could see a scenario where they give it to Lee just to change it up and to prevent him from losing again, since he’s already failed at this, but I could also even more so see Santos Escobar interfering, screwing Lee over after Lee beats Escobar on SmackDown. For now, I’ll go with Dom retaining, but I’m not sold on that whatsoever.

SINGLES MATCH:
Carmelo Hayes vs. Lexis King

Heat Index = Lukewarm
Prediction: n/a?

Thoughts: Is this going to be made official? Will it be a brawling segment instead of a match to avoid having either of the guys lose? Is it just going to be more storyline drama about who attacked Trick Williams in order to set up one of those two screwing him over in the Iron Survivor Challenge? Well, all of those scenarios have different potential outcomes. I’ll say that if it is a match, the winner will be King through some sort of shenanigans. If it isn’t a match, Hayes will come out “on top” of a fight, if it isn’t just a draw with them being split apart. I’m interested to see what they do here, though, as both guys are important enough names not to keep off the card entirely.

STEEL CAGE MATCH:
Kiana James vs. Roxanne Perez

Heat Index = Temperate
Prediction: Kiana James wins.

Thoughts: I’m hesitant to trust my prediction for this, as I’m 50/50. The smart play, in my mind, is to give the win to Kiana James so she can be set up as one of the most prominent threats to Lyra Valkyria. Beating Roxanne Perez, a former champion, puts her in that position. But if that’s not the goal going forward, and if Lyra already has enough opponents set up with Lola Vice and the Iron Survivor Challenge winner, then maybe it’s just as simple as Roxanne winning to give her a win outside of the challenge match and that’s it. Ugh. Maybe I should have picked Roxanne. Having this inside a steel cage is interesting, especially with Cora Jade’s potential return and the idea that steel cages are supposed to keep people out (but nobody’s involved in this feud in that capacity) and they never do. Maybe Cora gets involved and throws the cage concept out the window? Maybe it’s just a cage for the sake of putting a visual spectacle out there? I don’t know, but I’m still not too much into the Lukewarm territory enough to justify that.

(PRE-SHOW) SINGLES MATCH:
Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer

Heat Index = Chilly
Prediction: Nathan Frazer wins.

Thoughts: Flip a coin. This doesn’t matter. It’s just two guys they want to flip around to warm up the crowd. I’ve got nothing as far as how to break this down. They should just be a tag team, probably.

OVERALL PPV:
How excited am I for the event as a whole?

Heat Index = Lukewarm

Thoughts: The Iron Survivor Challenge matches are fun, but an absolute mess. They’re too chaotic. But with chaos comes interest, especially since title shots are on the line. I’m curious about the North American title situation, too. But a lot of this card feels less than, rather than the best lineup they could come up with for the particular roster they’re working with. I actually consider this more worthy of a special episode of the TV shows, rather than the pay-per-view content. Maybe going in with a bit of a chip on my shoulder will end up allowing me to like this even more, though, as it could be pleasantly surprising. We’ll see!

What do you think is going to happen at WWE NXT Deadline? Which matches are you most excited to see? Keep the discussion going in the comments below!

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