Axiom def. Von Wagner and Andre Chase in an Iron Survivor Challenge Wild Card Triple Threat Match
To be perfectly honest, none of these guys were exactly exciting options for the final spot in the men's Iron Survivor Challenge match at Deadline. Von Wagner does nothing for me, Chase is a complete goof, and Axiom's masked gimmick sucks. That said, he was the smartest choice to win of the three, and to their credit, they had a better bout than I was expecting. The action was entertaining and all three guys worked well together.
Indus Sher Denied The Creed Brothers' Challenge
Bryson Montana was in the ring for an unknown match when he was attacked by Indus Sher. That brought out The Creed Brothers, but Julius Creed isn't cleared to compete and hence we won't be getting the match at Deadline (in addition to Indus Sher denying the challenge). I wonder if the injury is legitimate because that felt like a logical addition to the Deadline card, but I have no issue with them dragging this out a little longer.
Tony D'Angelo def. Xyon Quinn
This marked D'Angelo's return to the ring after getting injured a few months ago. It was weird he was considered for the men's Iron Survivor Challenge by officials last week but wasn't given a spot due to being injured, but he's back a week later? Nonetheless, this was a fine return match for D'Angelo, though having him beat another heel was strange unless the idea is to turn D'Angelo face. He'll be challenging Wes Lee for the NXT North American Championship before long.
Charlie Dempsey def. Hank Walker
All signs point to William Regal returning to WWE soon, and I'd have to assume that no one's happier to hear that than his son Dempsey. I'd absolutely love Regal managing Dempsey at some point, by the way. Hell, maybe throw Drew Gulak in there as well now that he's apparently back, too? Walker played his role well here and scored a few hope spots, but this was all about Dempsey and giving him a victory.
The New Day Attacked NXT Tag Team Champions Pretty Deadly
I'm probably in the minority, but I actually found the Christmas stuff from Pretty Deadly to be fun. Then again, I'm a mark for Christmas, so that shouldn't be too surprising. What was surprising, though, was New Day showing up and challenging Pretty Deadly for their NXT Tag Team Championship at Deadline. That came completely out of nowhere, but I'm a fan. They'd be an excellent addition to NXT's tag team division and Pretty Deadly have indeed beaten everyone it seems, so I'd be content with either outcome.
Isla Dawn def. Thea Hail
Dawn had been in NXT UK for what feels like forever, but I believe this was the first time she's competed on NXT TV. For those who haven't seen her in NXT UK, you haven't missed much, at least in opinion. She's mediocre at best and this showcase for her didn't change my mind at all, but her first real test will be when she faces Alba Fyre at Deadline on Saturday. Unfortunately, I assume she'll be winning since Fyre can never win whenever it matters most.
Josh Briggs and Brooks Jensen def. Edris Enofe and Malik Blade
This match came together in a backstage segment. Both teams are babyface, so I'm not sure who the crowd was supposed to cheer for here. Any momentum Enofe and Blade had coming off their recent opportunity at the NXT Tag Team Championship seems to be gone following their last few losses. This was decent but wasn't long enough to really get going. I have no desire to see Briggs and Jensen back in the tag title picture any time soon.
Indi Hartwell def. Fallon Henley and Wendy Choo in an Iron Survivor Challenge Wild Card Triple Threat Match
Henley has been impressive, and although I don't want her in the women's Iron Survivor Challenge match, it wouldn't have been any worse than Kiana James getting a spot. Meanwhile, Choo is a skilled worker with a ridiculously dumb gimmick. That left Hartwell as the best option to advance to Deadline. This wasn't as entertaining as the men's Triple Threat from earlier, but it was passable and all three women gave it a good effort.
The Grayson Waller Effect with Grayon Waller, JD McDonagh, Carmelo Hayes, Joe Gacy and Axiom Descended Into Chaos
All of the mic work in this segment was serviceable, though no one promo stood out among the others. Even with the show-closing brawl, I can't say this segment did much to make me any more excited for the men's Iron Survivor Challenge match than I was previously. The biggest issue is that four of these guys are heels and the only babyface has no chance of winning. Hayes remains my pick to become number one contender.
Mini vignettes aired throughout the night highlighting all the competitors in the women's Iron Survivor Challenge match, which I thought were more effective than what we got on The Grayson Waller Effect. The rest of this go-home show was pretty standard stuff for NXT. There were several showcases and storylines were furthered, but only the New Day appearance intrigued me. The build to Deadline has definitely been rushed, but it has promise on paper and I'm curious how the Iron Survivor Challenge matches will pan out.