NXT TV results (12/5): Moore’s review of Ilja Dragunov and Baron Corbin meet face-to-face on the Deadline go-home show, Iron Survivor Challenge last chance qualifiers


By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)

Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center
Aired live December 5, 2023 on USA Network

[Hour One] Vic Joseph and Booker T were on commentary. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

Entrances for the women’s “Last Chance” Iron Survivor qualifyer match took place. A picture-in-picture showed Roxanne Perez and Kiana James brawling in the performance center gym earlier. Vic noted that Andre Chase will hold a press conference later in the show to address the student body of Chase University…

1. Roxanne Perez vs. Thea Hail (w/Jacy Jayne) vs. Fallon Henley vs. Kiana James in a “Last Chance” Qualifyer match for the Iron Survivor Match at NXT Deadline. Perez quickly landed a Thesz Press on Kiana to start the match. Kiana then tossed Henley into Perez. Hail and Henley took down James with a double team lariat. Lyra Valkyria was watching the match in the picture-in-picture. A random lady was creeping behind her behind the door window (Tatum Paxley?). Hail too down Perez and Henley with a double armdrag.

All three women not James traded quick rollups. Henley sold one of the rollups like she got whiplash. James dumped Perez to ringside by shoving her off the top rope. Hail hit Henley with a huracanrana. Hail draped James on the bottom rope with a drop toehold. Henley hit James with her signature baseball slide punch. James ended up hitting Perez with her “loaded” bag, which looked more like it was loaded with light feathers because it didn’t seem heavy (remember at one point there were supposed to be “bricks” in the bag). The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]

Henley slapped Hail on the top rope and brawled with her to the top. As we usually get in multi women’s matches, James hit Hail and Henley with a Tower of Doom. Perez caught James with a crossbody dive and Shotgun Dropkick. Perez hit James with overhead punches. Perez then hit Henley with a Thesz Press. James pulled Perez off Henley when Perez went for Pop Rocks. Perez caught James with a twisting Gamengiri to dump her to ringside. Perez cleared off the announce table. Vic’s bowl of candy spilled all over the floor.

James jabbed Perez in the gut and went for a body slam on the announce table. Both women ended up brawling to the guardrail. Perez and James ended up taking each other out by falling through the announce table. The censored USA Network “Holy Shit” chants ensued. While Hail was distracted a bit by what was happening at ringside. Henley set up and hit Hail with a Shining Wizard for the victory.

Fallon Henley defeated Thea Hail, Kiana James, and Roxanne Perez via pinfall in 10:09 to earn the final spot in the Iron Survivor Match at NXT Deadline. 

John’s Thoughts: A good and frantic four way between four of the best workers in NXT’s women’s division. I’d argue that Henley and James are two of the most underrated overall women’s wrestlers in all of WWE given that both women are the complete package of looks, in-ring ability, and acting talent. James and Perez did a solid job here furthering their feud for their eventual blowoff match. Even though Tiffany Stratton has the most star power in the Iron Survivor, Fallon Henley is my dark horse favorite to win because now’s the time to elevate her up the card. I think she really turned heads with her Tiffany Stratton impression and hopefully that’s going to lead to her finally getting pushed after all these years.

Ilja Dragunov was shown arriving at the Performance Center…

The show cut to Alpha Academy and Meta Four’s different Tik Tok posts where they were doing memes…

Kelly Kincaid (f.k.a Quinn McKay) interviewed Lyra Valkyria about her favorite to win the Iron Survivor Match. Lyra talked about how she’s going to watch the Iron Survivor Match in-person. Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez interrupted. Lola teased cashing in her guaranteed title shot contract. The random emo lady showed up who I still think may or may not be Tatum Paxley to scare off the heels…

Wes Lee was looking somber backstage and walking with a crutch…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I’m pretty sure that’s Tatum Paxley? They just haven’t called her out by name since she started doing the creepy stuff. If so, good for her for completely mixing up her look to initiate a repackage. She’s spent time off TV for a hot minute. I thought she had a good look before and was just rough in the ring. That’s what reps at house shows can fix. (Update: I peeked at her twitter, and it appears it’s her).

A sponsored recap video aired of last week’s NXT main event…

Wes Lee was in street clothes and looking depressed. He was held up by a crutch. Lee talked about it only being for days until Deadline. Lee said he could hear the words “New North American Champion” in his head. Lee said sadly it’s not going to happen like he sees it. Lee talked about how Dom can’t stand up man-to-man against a man with the heart like Wes Lee. Lee got emotional and talked about how the fans gave him the strength to do the things he never thought he could. Lee cried and said the support can’t help him now.

He said that support can’t bring feeling back to his legs and take away the pain he’s feeling now. Lee shed tears and said that it’s going to take surgery and time for him to get back. Lee thanked the crowd for allowing him to rise from the ashes and be one of the best champions in the NXT ring. Lee said he’s going to come back to further cement his legacy as one of the best to ever do this. Lee said “this is not a goodbye, and I’m far from being done”. Lee said for now it’s more like “see ya later”. Before Lee could leave, Dominik Mysterio walked out to mock the injured Lee. Dom talked about how Lee is going home, yet again.

Dom said he doesn’t doubt that Lee needs back surgery and it looks like Lee can’t stand. Dom said his back hurts too for carrying WWE for the last two years. Dom said while Lee is out for another year, he should watch what Dom does with the North American Title. Dom said since Lee can’t make it to deadline, he has the night off to chill with Mami. Wes said that Dom will still compete at deadline. Rey Mysterio appeared on the big screen and told Dom that he doesn’t have the night off.

Rey revealed that he’ll be at Deadline in the corner of Dom’s challenger, “The Future of Lucha Libre” Dragon Lee. Dragon Lee made his entrance to the ring to confront Dom. Dom tried to jump Dragon, but Dragon saw it coming. Dom rolled to ringside to avoid a brawl. Dragon Lee posed with the North American Title…

Kiana James was in the medic room with a lady named “Izzy” checking on her. James said she’ll end Perez. Perez was on another medic bed and ran to attack James. Referees held both women  apart and both women angrily agreed to a match at Deadline. Ava (daughter of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) said that she’ll run over to HBK to get the match booked…

John’s Thoughts: Damn, tough break for Wes who was the workhorse of NXT when he had the North American title. Also a tough break coming off his storyline hiatus. Prayers and best wishes for Wes on a successful recovery from his impending surgery. He was really good here in laying out his emotions. Good on WWE though for making the best of the situation by having Dom take some heat from the situation. Swap out one “Lee” for another and they pivoted to Dragon Lee as a nice substitute. Dragon has been taking some main roster losses recently and In wonder if this will end  with them rebuilding him by putting the strap on him. Interesting note, that’s two matches in a row where Dragon Lee is the replacement wrestler.

Riley Osborne, Keanu Carver, Tavion Heights, Dion Lennox, Luca Crucifino, Trey Bearhill, Myles Borne, and Oba Femi were announced for the men’s breakout tournament…

John’s Thoughts: Riley Osborne is a recent indie signing who went by “Josh Terry” in the indies. I caught a little bit of his work on NXT Level Up and he’s very athletic and impressive. He’d be a favorite of mine to win the thing if they want to put the title contract on someone who can immediately challenge for a title like when they put the contract on ACH and Carmelo Hayes in the past. That Dion guy reminded me of Percy Watson for some reason. Luca has been on NXT TV, but I’m not a huge fan of his generic “Lawyer” gimmick (I don’t want a WWE version of Mark Sterling). My second favorite would be Oba Femi who looks VERY VERY impressive. If Vince McMahon were still in power, Oba will be on the main roster and competing for a world title.

The new look emo, sexy, and gothy Tatum Paxley made her entrance. Her opponent was Lola Vice…

2. Lola Vice (w/Elektra Lopez) vs. Tatum Paxley. Paxley did a creepy matrix dodge to freak out Vice a bit. Vice hit Paxley with a head drag and hip attack. Lola hit Tatum with a hip takedown. Paxley hit Lola with a slingshot dropkick. Paxley rolled up Vice for a two count. Paxley hit Vice with a crossbody. Vice went for a huracanrana, but Paxley reversed it into a Power Bomb. Paxley hit Vice with a springboard splash for a nearfall. Paxley worked on Vice with a body scissors. Vice reversed it into a Triangle. Vice trolled up Paxley into a heel hook.

Vice hit Paxley with a roundhouse and backfist combo. Vice hit Paxley with two nice looking Tornado Kicks. Vice yelled “I’m a Latina” and hit Paxley with a hip attack. Paxley reversed a hip attack with a rollup. Vice hit Paxley with a sweet looking Hook Kick for the victory.

Lola Vice defeated Tatum Paxley via pinfall in 4:04. 

Lola Vice danced to her theme. She was then freaked out when Paxley started acting creepy again, smelling her own hair…

John’s Thoughts: As you would expect with more “developmental” wrestlers, it was a bit rough to start, but it did pick up and get better the second half of the match. I continue to be impressed by Lola Vice’s kicks (she can do the same crescent kick as Lyra Valkyria and make it look WAY better). I’m also impressed by Tatum Paxley mixing up her look and cultivating a persona. The fact that I didn’t know who she was for a bit is a good sign in that she has successfully transformed into something new.

Axiom and Nathan Frazer were joking around in the restroom. Axiom said maybe Frazer got what he deserved last week when he fired up Ilja Dragunov. This fired up Frazer. Axiom said maybe they can have a respectful fight later on…

Alpha Academy made their entrance…[c]

Kelly Kincaid interviewed Baron Corbin, who said he wasn’t worried about Ilja Dragunov at all…

The NXT Anonymous spy camera caught Carmelo Hayes and Trick Williams hanging out and everything being fine. The camera stuck after Trick left showing that Melo texted someone after Trick left…

Vic Joseph and Booker T checked in on commentary. Joe Gacy showed up in the crowd and told Vic “we love you!”. The Meta Four made their entrance…

3. “Alpha Academy” Chad Gable, Otis, and Maxxine Dupri (w/Akira Tozawa) vs. “Meta-Four” Noam Dar, Oro Mensah, and Lash Legend (w/Jakara Jackson). Gable hit Dar with a reverse suplex and put Dar in an ankle lock. Dar quickly ran to the ropes and tagged in Oro. Oro hit Gable with an impressive rolling sweep kick. Gable took down Oro with a few deep armdrags. Gable reversed a Koppu Kick into an Ankle Lock. Lash tagged in, which means that Maxxine has to enter. Horny Otis tried to enter the ring to get all up on Lash.

Maxxine hit Lash with a huracanrana. Lash blocked a suplex. Dar tagged himself in when lash had Maxxine in a hold. Otis tried to get at Lash, but Dar ran in and pummeled Otis with strikes. Otis hit both Oro and Dar with a suplex at the same time. Gable hit Oro and Dar with a diving double clothesline. The show cut to regular commercial.[c]

Dar hit Gable with a nice knee to the head. Gable then turned Dar inside out with a German Suplex. Otis and Oro tagged in. Otis hit Oro with a Pounce and body slam. Otis hit Oro with a stiff backfist. Otis then planted Dar with a powerful Uranage. Oro hit Otis with a high knee. Otis fell on Oro during a springboard moonsault attempt. Otis took down the straps and hit Oro with The Caterpillar. Lash tagged in. Horny Otis started jiggling. Vic said he hasn’t seen that much

[Hour Two]Lash Legend hit Otis with an impressive looking Body Slam which fired up the crowd. “Holy Shit” chants ensued. Maxxine hit Lash with a top rope huracanrana and suplex. Oro broke up Maxxine’s pin. Maxxine kicked Lash off the apron into Otis’s arms. Otis yelled “yeahhhhhh”. Maxxine hit Oro, Otis, and Lash with a diving crossbody. Gable reversed Dar’s Nova Roller into a grapevined Ankle Lock for the tapout win.

The Alpha Academy defeated The Meta Four via submission in 11:06. 

The Alpha Academy danced while backtracking up the ramp…

John’s Thoughts: A very fun and entertaining match by everyone involved. Sucks that it seems like Gable is stuck as midcard comedy again after his run against Gunther, but at least Alpha Academy is getting TV time and getting great reactions from the crowd. I was afraid a bit at the inexperienced Dupri and Legend going up against each other, but both women looked great in their quick sequences. Lash really fired up the crowd with that Body Slam on Otis. Maxxine Dupri continues to eat up the camera in a great way with her plucky rookie gimmick.

Gallus tried to bully Hank Walker and Tank Ledger out of their pub. Tank offered Gallus free beers to talk business. Tank wanted advice on how to elevate to the next level as a tag team. Hank and Tank challenged Gallus to a match to help them get to the next level. Mark Coffey refused. Hank and Tank started mocking things like haggis. This lead to Gallus agreeing to a tag match next week…

Ava walked out of HBK’s office. An unseen interviewer asked Ava what she talked to HBK about. Ava revealed that HBK has officially booked Kiana James vs. Roxanne Perez in a steel cage match…

Vic Joseph noted that Wes Lee will be out 8 to 12 months due to back surgery and that Dom Mysterio vs. Dragon Lee for the NA title has been made official…

Vic hyped up a Women’s Iron Survivor “summit” after the break…[c]

A NXT merch ad aired…

Blair Davenport, Tiffany Stratton, Kelani Jordan, Lash Legend, and Fallon Henley were sitting in directors chairs and were introduced by the host of the summit, Byron Saxton. Tiffany took the mic first and called herself the favorite. She started to hype up herself and said that Charlotte Flair called her the future of the division. She also brought up how she’s the only former NXT Women’s Champion in the ring. Tiffany called everyone else a “participation trophy” winner. Byron said that Kelani Jordan has the most potential and asked her for her words.

Kelani said she is the one with the least experience, but nobody in the ring has Iron Survivor experience as well. She talked about how her gymnastics background has made her able to go 25 minutes in the match. Tiffany cut in and said that she has a gymnastics background too. Byron sent the show to Lash Legend who trash talked Kelani and Tiffany. Lash brought up Tiffany losing the title to Becky Lynch. Lash said she’s been training with the Heritage Cup Champion on multi-fall matches. She said she’s boujee and is about to send all the girls asses to the penalty box.

Byron sent the summit to Blair. Blair said she’s not here for one-liners. She said she doesn’t like anyone in the ring. She said she doesn’t care about their opinion either. Blair said everyone’s afraid of her because she put Nikkita Lyons and Sol Ruca on the shelf with long injuries. Henley interrupted and said she doesn’t care who’s ass she has to kick to win Iron Survivor. Henley trask talked everyone other than Kelani and even threw in her Tiffany Stratton impression. Henley said she’s going to ride her momentum right to deadline.

Tiffany said it was a waste of time to waste the last chance on Henley. Lash did a loud annoying yell for some reason. Byron said the women promised not to start any commotion. Henley went to the center of the ring and said “Yee haw, Bitch!”. Henley started a brawl and the brawl continued to the commercial break…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Okay at points, rough at points. There’s a gradient there in terms of women ready to cut longer promos. Tiffany is hit and miss, but she was fine here. Lash flubbed her lines a bit, but I’m not too worried in her case because she has proven that she has the gift of gab. I forgot that Blair Davenport was in the match and she can be considered a favorite given the NXT Women’s Champion is a babyface, but I wouldn’t mind if NXT saved Blair for a Mania weekend program (where I’d have her be a prime candidate to take the title off Lyra. Blair is main roster ready and could use a run with the strap as a top heel). My favorite is still Henley, and I think they’ll keep Blair distracted with a program with Nikkita Lyons who seems recovered from her injury.

An ad aired for Tribute to the Troops…

Entrances for the next match took place. Booker T talked about Axiom spending some time training recently at his Reality of Wrestling promotion and wrestling school…

4. Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer. Both men started the match at a stalemate with quick reversals and dodges. Both men then took each other out with stereo Pump Kicks. Both men then traded right hands in the center of the ring. Both men traded staggered strikes. Axiom hit Frazer with a Suicide German Suplex. Frazer caught a diving Axiom out of the air with a high angle superkick.

Axiom dumped Frazer to ringside with a Gamengiri. Axiom hit Frazer with a very high flying Triangle Moonsault. The Iron Survivor women ran back out and the brawl from before the break was still happening.

Axiom vs. Nathan Freazer ended in an apparent no-contest in 2:08.

Blair Davenport tried to sneak away from the brawl, but ate a kick from Nikkita Lyons on the ramp…

John’s Thoughts:  Good to see Nikkita back and I hope she’s improved. She was a bit rough when they rushed her on TV back in the NXT 2.0 days. Weird that they bait-and-switched out what was looking like a hot Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer match. That was a hot two minutes and it sucks that they just cancelled the match. Nikkita returning here definitely lowers Blair’s chances of winning the Iron Survivor match.

The show cut to the Andre Chase Chase University assembly. Chase reiterated the accusations of Chase using university funds in gambling. Chase revealed that he was the one that misused the funds and not anyone else. Chase then revealed that Chase University has been placed on Academic probation. Chase said Chase U students who applied after the investigation aren’t eligible for financial aid. Hail said it’s simple and they need to know how much Chase owes.

Chase said he owes hundreds of thousands of dollars and did it through a shady third party. Chase talked about how he’s not able to pay back the third part and he’s sorry he put the university in a compromising situation. He said he put the University in this mess an he’s going to get them out of the mess. Duke Hudson wondered how they can help, without selling the MVP trophy. One student wanted to do a bake sale. Another student wanted to do a car wash. Student Riley Osborne wanted a class on financial responsibility. Thea Hail was distracted and looked like she was having a crush on Riley…

Trick Williams met up with Carmelo Hayes backstage about Melo continuing to act shady. Melo said he’ll deal with it after his next match. Trick nodded and let Melo make his entrance for the last chance match…[c]

John’s Thoughts: Eh. This ode to the Jim Harbaugh investigation doesn’t do much for me. Bad story aside, the wrestlers acting in the skits are continuing to do a good job as always as characters. Interesting to see indie wrestler Riley Osborne being brought into the Chase U orbit. It looks like he’s also being set up for a romantic storyline involving Thea Hail. Acts that get associated with Chase U tend to come out well given how over the act is along with it’s built in planted fan section at the Performance Center to ensure good crowd reactions (Chase U is over with non-planted fans to as I witnessed in person).

Lexis King (Brian Pillman Jr) cut a promo on Twitter noting he’s not worried about the camera footage from last week. King talked about how the camera just loves him. King then teased that he’s going to cost Carmelo Hayes his last chance match. King also noted that soon Melo and him will be on the same page. King said Melo may not miss, but Lexis King also doesn’t miss. King talked about how his plan is coming together…

The rest of the entrances for the “Last Chance” qualifyer took place. In the Gorilla Position, Kelly Kincaid interviewed Eddy Thrope who noted that he hopes to win so he can get his hands on the man who injured his ribs, Dijak. Eddy Thrope made his entrance, still sporting taped up ribs…

5. Carmelo Hayes vs. Tyler Bate vs. Joe Coffey vs. Eddy Thorpe in a “Last Chance” Qualifyer match for the Iron Survivor Match at NXT Deadline. The smaller wrestlers dumped Joe to ringside. Tyler and Eddy then took down Melo. Bate gave Eddy an Airplane Spin. Bate hit Joe with a Airplane Spin into a Michinoku Driver. Bate took down Melo with a dropkick. Bate then gave Joe a high knee. Joe reversed Bate’s dive into a standing switch . Joe then hit Bate with a Wheelbarrow Giant Spin into a slam. Melo caught Eddy with a springboard lariat. Eddy caught Bate and Melo with a crossbody.

Joe caught Eddy with a uppercut. Bate hit Joe with a T Bone Suplex. Melo hit Bate with a pump kick. Eddy hit Melo with a spinebuster heading into picture-in-picture.[c]

All four men took each other out again with alternating moves. Joe dragged Eddy up by the rib tape. Eddy came back with back elbows. Eddy hit Joe with a crossbody. Eddy spiked Melo with a German Suplex. Eddy hit Bate with a Brainbuster. Joe broke up Eddy’s pin. Eddy dumped Joe to ringside with kicks and hit Joe with a Suicide Dive. Eddy hit Bate with a Suicide Dive. Eddy hit Melo with a Face Wash Boot. Joe gave Eddy a Spinebuster on the ring steps. The referee called for medics to come check on Eddy.

The referee went back to the ring with Joe, Melo, and Bate. Joe caught Bate and Melo with a Missile Dropkick on both opponents. Melo hit Joe with a Sunset Flip which caused Joe to hit Bate with a German Suplex at the same time. Joe hit Melo and Bate with a flying knife edge chop. Melo broke up Joe’s pin. Melo hit Joe with a Final Cut on Bate, but Bate got the knees up. Bate went for his rebound lariat, but Melo reversed it into a Codebreaker. Joe broke up the pin. Joe caught Melo out of the air with a flying knife edge chop.

Bate hit Joe with bop and bang. Melo caught both opponents with uppercuts. Bate hit Joe with a rebound lariat. Bate hit Joe with a Tyler Driver 97 for the clean win on Joe Coffey.

Tyler Bate defeated Joe Coffey, Carmelo Hayes, and Eddy Thorpe via pinfall in 11:05 to earn the final spot in the Iron Survivor match at NXT Deadline.

Bate took a mic and said he knows what awaits him. He said he’s usually about peace and tranquility, but to hell with that. Dijak interrupted by making his entrance. Dijak said that Bate is as delusional as piece of trash Eddy Thorpe. Dijak said to wait a sec. Dijak gave Eddy a Yakuza Kick as the medics were dragging him to the back. Dijak said while Bate is the Big Strong Boy, he must have a big strong heart to think he has a chance at Deadline.

Bron Breakker cut off Bate from speaking. Breakker talked about how he’s sending everyone to the penalty box and that might be the best place to be to keep everyone safe. Josh Briggs interrupted. Josh talked about how everyone’s underestimating him. He said he’s been waiting for this moment his entire life. Briggs said he’s betting on himself at Deadline and will shock the world. Trick Williams then joined the party.  Trick said he’s going to whoop all the tricks in the ring. Dijak said the trick Trick needs to whoop is Melo. A pull-apart brawl ensued…

Different shots of Ilja Dragunov and Baron Corbin heading to the ring from backstage were shown…[c]

John’s Thoughts: I’m kinda surprised that Bate won given how he’s been a bit directionless as of late. I’m not complaining because the guy is one of the best workers in all of WWE. He joins a field of a buncha big and tall dudes, so expect some feats of strength from the short but buff Tyler Bate. I don’t have a solid favorite for the men’s match. Bron winning will be boring. Dijak never wins, so I don’t expect him to win (I do wish they job him out less given his size and ability). Bate would be a solid and safe pick. I’d actually be happy if they have Josh Briggs pull out the upset to help elevate him to another level (The guy’s a younger Undertaker or Kane given his size and athleticism). If they want, they can double up on the cowboy act sweeping with Briggs and Henley winning both matches.

An ad aired to hype up CM Punk appearing on the Tribute to the Troops edition of Smackdown…

Carmelo Hayes chatted with Ava who agreed to convince HBK about something. After Ava left, Trick asked Melo if he texted Lexis to attack Trick. Melo said he’d never work with Lexis. Melo said he asked Ava to request a match from HBK, presumably against Lexis on Saturday. Trick said that’s fine, and at Deadline Melo will be opening the show, while Trick will be closing the show…

John’s Thoughts: Ava’s the assistant GM of NXT? That’s random. Hopefully this gives her time to develop while getting regular TV time. Reminds me a bit of Johnny Nitro back when he was fresh off winning Tough Enough and put in the role of Eric Bischoff’s assistant.

Vic Joseph ran through the advertised NXT Deadline card. Vic announced a Kickoff Show match, Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer…

[Overrun] Ilja Dragunov and Baron Corbin sat at opposite sides of a table. Ilja quickly got up and tossed away the office chair. Ilja talked about how Corbin has failed in the past to take the title. Ilja then brought up Corbin bringing Ilja’s personal life into the picture. Ilja said you can mock everything about him, but you can’t mock the sacrifices he makes for his son to have a better life. Ilja said Corbin will pay on Saturday. Corbin said what Ilja calls sacrifices, he calls excuses. Corbin talked about how Ilja was the won to leave his son alone in Europe, and Ilja is just giving himself excuses in his cold empty apartment. Corbin said what Ilja did to his son, is exactly what Ilja’s father did to Ilja. Corbin talked about how that looked like it stung a bit and Ilja has some veins popping out. Ilja took off his jacket and said he’s trying to contain his rage. He said if he unleashes the rage now and not on Saturday, there will be no title match at Deadline because Corbin will be in an ambulance.

Ilja said Corbin will not get a chance to add gold to his lavish cars and lifestyle. Ilja called Corbin a “materialistic bitch”. Corbin reiterated that Ilja is trying to vindicate himself to his son, while for Corbin is doing this to vindicate himself. Corbin said everyone knows that Corbin never stopped, through brand changes, through COVID, through the ups, through the downs, Corbin has been prominent on TV for 8+ years and ready to take what’s his. Corbin said Ilja is about to lose it because his son misses him. Corbin said he’s bad enough to say that in Ilja’s face.

Corbin told Ilja to do something about it now if it’s about family. Ilja flipped the table and got in Corbin’s face. Corbin said he’s been through hell and back and he always finds a way, like on Saturday. Corbin set up the table in the corner and dared Ilja to put him through the table for his family. Corbin turned his back and dared Ilja to drive him through the table. Corbin said on Saturday he’s taking away Ilja’s only reason to be here. Ilja then turned Corbin around and gave him an aggressive hug. Ilja said the only one who can destroy the dragon is the dragon himself. Ilja then patted Corbin on the back and smiled in Corbin’s face…

After Ilja’s theme played, the Men’s Iron Survivor brawl spilled to ringside. Breakker speared Trick through the table. Briggs was already knocked out. Bate was the last man standing to close the show after hitting Dijak with a rebound lariat…

John’s Thoughts: A solid go-home segment heading into the NXT Championship match at Deadline. Baron Corbin deserves a lot of credit in making this feud personal against Ilja in short order. It looked like he was spearking from the heart in his go-home promo, talking about the COVID era and his 8 year career. This was one of the first times we’ve seen Corbin have to cut a serious main event promo and he killed it (we can all agree that his dog food feud with Reigns was clownshoes). Ilja isn’t the most eloquent talker, but he has a strange way of making everything he does seem “real”. Ilja did a great job opposite of Corbin in containing his rage. That hug moment was a legit surprise and a fun go-home angle.

Most of tonight was a solid go-home show for NXT Deadline. A few of the thing were WWE’s throwaway cookie cutter segments, like the mirror pull-apart brawls, or the “summit”. I’ll be covering the show live along with a members-only audio review. NXT did a solid job since Halloween Havoc in building towards Deadline and it looks like they want to develop new stars by having both Iron Survivor Match be loaded with elevated midcard talent.


Readers Comments (9)

  1. Who was that in the background being Lyra while watching the opening of the four way?

    • I was wondering for weeks too (because they didn’t name her). Thankfully they revealed her as Tatum Paxley. Good on her for completely changing up her look


      • They could do with changing up her moniker along with her look. Tatum Paxley is one of the worst names I have ever heard.

        • I see what you mean, but I do like Tatum Paxley’s name a lot, but the only problem that I got with it is that it fit more when she was with Ivy Nile and The Creed Bros. as the name is perfect for a boxing gimmick with the name Tatum. They should’ve just used her real-life name Natalie. Paxley is good for the gimmick though.

          Overall, I like the name as it rolls off the tongue pretty well, it’s just that for her emo character gimmick she needed a different name, but everybody knows her as Tatum Paxley at this point, so no point in changing it now.

  2. Dion also reminded me of Percy Watson to the point that I yelled “Oh Yeah!” when he was on the screen. Maybe it’s the glasses.

    That was a guy who had the skills, until Cena ripped him a new one about his gimmick and look and he went heel which derailed his career imo

    • I think the glasses made me think too. I got a kick out of the Percy Watson gimmick. He was WWE’s Eddie Murphy

  3. “(Chase U is over with non-planted fans to ass I witnessed in person).”

    I get that you have to get out the results pretty quickly, but the editing was not pretty on this report.

  4. This was one of the best episodes of the year for the women’s division as I liked everything about it. The first match with the Fatal-4-Way was a perfect way to start the show as the crowd was really into it and there was a lot of good spots and high-energy from all of the chaos going on in the ring. The broadcast table spot was perfect, sometimes in women’s table spots they don’t always go well, but this was one was pure perfection. I agree, these are four of the best workers in NXT’s women’s division right now as I still got Kiana James at the very best and even though Jacy was ringside and not in this match, I got her #2 behind Kiana.

    I’m so glad Fallon Henley won because she’s on a wave right now and she is really the total package, she’s an excellent in-ring worker and has great charisma. That Tiffany Stratton feud really helped get her out of the underrated zone. She’s like a young Mickie James to me.

    The women’s summit succeeded my expectations as that’s one of the best women’s in-ring promos I’ve ever seen in NXT history. All five girls were strong in that segment as I was most impressed with how Kelani Jordan handled herself proving why management are so high on her potential. All the girls got the crowd into the segment with some great stings on each other. Tiffy normally is pretty hit or miss with her promos which is why she still needs work down in NXT on her charisma and some elements in the ring, but overall she was in her comfort zone here and it helped that the people she bounced of had huge smoke for her like Fallon Henley.

    Lash Legend is on the verge of getting on a wave as I hate Meta-Four, but I think that group has helped her quite a bit and working with Jakara Jackson. She used to be the worst in-ring worker, but she’s improved quite a bit. Her charisma was always way ahead of her in-ring ability. She took full control of the situation and got the crowd to mimic her too, so they have something with her here. Her potential can be Naomi/Trinity if she works hard enough to get there. Blair Davenport was probably the most polished one in the ring as she already has years of experience doing promos, so this was not new territory for her.

    The most impressive in this group was obviously Fallon Henley as she took over and when she said “YEE-HAW BITCH!” and struck Tiffy, I was like wow that’s the winner for me. They have to find a way to continue the beef between her Tiffy because it’s helping Tiffy too. I’m looking forward to this match, but I agree with Fallon being the one to win it. They’re pretty much already setting up her and Lyra to face each other.

    Great to see Nikkita Lyons back as she does need to improve in the ring similar to an Arianna Grace this fall coming off a similar injury. I’m glad they didn’t forget that Blair attacked Nikkita back in January and they can run a program between those two. If I was NXT, I’d turn her heel like they did with her former partner Zoey Stark. That really helped Zoey before she went to the main roster being a heel.

    The Chase U stuff just depends on what happens with Jacy. I do like the storyline, but it’s not super interesting. The pay off has to be a potential Jace U opening up.

    Lastly, Tatum Paxley is the most improved female wrestler of the year next to Julia Hart from AEW. Pax’s character is great right now, I love how well she’s tapped into this new character and how creepy she’s becoming with Lyra. Also, her in-ring work was great. I knew she wasn’t beating Lola Vice, but I’d honestly would’ve had her win as that Psycho Trap still hasn’t been displayed outside of Level Up yet and that’s the best new finisher in all of wrestling men or women right now. I think the psychology of her losing makes sense when Pax was playing with her hair after the match and looking weird. I love it bro, they got something special with her.

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