NXT Deadline predictions: Perez and Hayes will “survive”

Roxanne Perez, WWE/NXT
Roxanne Perez, WWE/NXT /

While WWE may have elected to forego broadcasting a main roster pay-per-view (or premium live event) this December, the same can’t be said for the company’s developmental brand, NXT. On Dec. 10, the domicile of the promotion’s crop of young, inexperienced prospects will present the inaugural NXT Deadline event.

Mirroring the first-time-ever PPV, the show features the debut of the Iron Survivor Challenge, a match that seems to combine elements from the Scramble match and Impact Wrestling’s King of the Mountain match. The winners will challenge for the NXT and NXT Women’s Championships, respectively, at a later date.

Additionally, fans will see three matches, two with championships on the line.

Let’s predict who will win their matches at NXT Deadline.

Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn

Don’t sleep on this one. Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn are good workers, and if WWE keeps the spooky nonsense to a minimum (if/when they can’t avoid it altogether), these two could put together a fun match.

While Fyre could use a bounce-back win after losing to Mandy Rose a couple of weeks ago, the recently-debuting Dawn also needs a big win to further establish her as a threat in the women’s division. WWE will likely find its version of the “happy medium”, which means to expect shenanigans to “protect” Fyre before she eats the pin. Prediction: Isla Dawn pins Alba Fyre

Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince and Kit Wilson) (c) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)- NXT Tag Team Championship match

You could argue that these are the two best teams in WWE right now. New Day is perpetually over with any crowd they perform for and are reliably great in the ring. Conversely, Pretty Deadly has become the highlight of weekly NXT television (though they don’t have much competition in that regard). With an expected enthusiastic crowd, these teams could craft the match of the night.

As a beloved team from the main roster and one of the few babyfaces in WWE that preserves their popularity despite multiple losses, New Day gains nothing from winning here. Pretty Deadly, however, can gain plenty from a title retention, be it clean or via the skin-of-their-teeth methods we’ve seen from them since they won the belts. Prediction: Pretty Deadly beat The New Day, retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (Elton Prince pins Xavier Woods)

Bron Breakker (c) vs. Apollo Crews- NXT Championship match

The time for fishing and eating breakfast at a diner is over. It’s now time for Apollo Crews and Bron Breakker to fight over the brand’s richest prize. This continues the trend of putting Bron Breakker in the ring with a talented veteran for his title defenses. To be clear, Breakker has increasingly held his own in these matches, and this one shouldn’t be any different.

Depending on how the finish plays out, WWE might squeeze two matches out of this program. Whether that happens or not, don’t anticipate a title change here. Prediction: Bron Breakker pins Apollo Crews, retains the NXT Championship

Roxanne Perez vs. Cora Jade vs. Kiana James vs. Indi Hartwell vs. Zoey Stark- Iron Survivor Challenge

This match seems specifically constructed to build up Roxanne Perez as the next challenger to NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose. She will likely start the match to further push that “overcome the odds” narrative (and to guide the less experienced workers through the bout) and that endearing scrappiness will help her survive.

Besides, no one else stands out as a potential winner. Cora Jade, Kiana James, and Zoey Stark are all heels (even Indi Hartwell comes across as a tweener these days), so a match against fellow heel Rose seems out of the question.

Plus, those ladies have other things deterring them. Even with the heel turn, Jade’s upside hasn’t gone up much. Stark is the second-best worker in this match, but she’s only here to serve as another stabilizing presence for the greener participants. Hartwell can deliver fiery promos (such as one she cut this past Tuesday)  but hasn’t progressed much in the ring. James has gotten better in the ring, but she still has plenty of room to improve and the less said about her acting, the better.

Most of these women will have a lot of time to figure things out, but on Saturday, the moment belongs to the most complete performer in the division. Prediction: Roxanne Perez wins

Axiom vs. Carmelo Hayes vs. Grayson Waller vs. JD McDonagh vs. Joe Gacy- Iron Survivor Challenge

Let’s see what we have here: Axiom is in this match to provide flips and cool spots, JD McDonagh is an alleged weird creep (and that’s not just an assessment of his American Psycho-inspired character), Grayson Waller is an overhyped midcarder who loses all the time, and Joe Gacy still has the worst gimmick on a show filled with bad gimmicks. Plus we already had to endure awful title feuds featuring McDonagh and Gacy; the second time won’t be the charm in either case.

Next. Apollo Crews envisions WWE journey coming full circle at NXT Deadline. dark

That brings us to Carmelo Hayes. Since losing the North American Championship, fans have either wanted to see Hayes move to the main roster or up the card to challenge for the NXT Championship. He’s now one win away from the latter, and given the light competition in this one, that victory could happen. Prediction: Carmelo Hayes wins