It isn’t often that NXT tries something entirely new but that seems to be what we are getting here. The show has five matches and two of them are the first ever Iron Survivor Challenges (one each for the men and the women). That means the show is going to be built around those two matches and if they work, NXT should be doing just fine. Otherwise, it could be a long night. Let’s get to it.

Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn

So this is fire vs. magic? I’m sure there’s some gaming joke in there that I’m not smart enough to make but at least we’re getting some fresh blood featured here. Fyre is someone who feels like she should have been a bigger star a long time ago while Dawn is brand new and has already made something of an impact. This should be a good fight, though I’m not sure how it is going to go.

I’ll take Dawn here, as she is brand new without a big win yet and Fyre seems to have the unfortunate label of being bulletproof. Fyre has all of the star power you could need but she needs to win a big match in NXT at some point. This wouldn’t quite qualify, but then again I don’t think she wins here either. I’m not sure what kind of a future Dawn has here, though I think she gets the win this time.

Tag Team Titles: Pretty Deadly(c) vs. New Day

Then we have this one and I’m not sure what to make of it. On one hand, New Day is one of the most successful tag teams in WWE history and should take out Pretty Deadly in short order. At the same time, that is the kind of match that Pretty Deadly wins almost every time, often surviving by the skin of their perfectly shiny teeth. I’m not sure I can see either of them losing, even if one of them probably has to.

As much as I can imagine New Day winning, I’ll go with some kind of screwy finish that lets Pretty Deadly retain the titles. Pretty Deadly continues to be a team that exceeds what their limits should be in a great way and beating the unhurtable New Day would be another great step for them. I’m not entirely sure it’s going to happen, but it makes more sense for the young team to keep the titles.

Women’s Iron Survivor Challenge

Much like Money in the Bank or Elimination Chamber, this is going to be about eliminating those names who aren’t going to win and working from there. I think we can pretty safely write off Kiana James and Indi Hartwell, as neither is exactly on fire at the moment. That leaves us with three possible winners and when you look at them, there is only one name that really stands out.

I’ll go with Roxanne Perez, which is pretty much the only viable option. Cora Jade isn’t going to win for a heel vs. heel showdown and Zoey Stark is more of a villain to be beaten than a winner in something like this. That leaves Perez, who is young, popular and seems ready to win here. I could easily see her taking the Women’s Title from Mandy Rose, so there is no reason for anyone but Perez to win.

Men’s Iron Survivor Challenge

So we’ll do the same thing as we did with the women, meaning Joe Gacy and Axiom can be written off. Axiom isn’t ready and we’ve done Gacy in the main event scene already. Just like in the other match, we’re down to three possible winners and in this case, we have a little more drama. I’m not sure who we’re getting here, and that is what a match like this needs to be.

There are three viable options here but I’ll take Carmelo Hayes, who is long overdue to move up to the main event scene. That being said, it wouldn’t shock me whatsoever to see NXT go with JD McDonagh for whatever they see in him. Grayson Waller is also right there as someone who could steal the win, but I’ll go with the best option and pick Hayes, who could have a near classic with Bron Breakker if they are given the chance.

NXT Title: Bron Breakker(c) vs. Apollo Crews

This is one of those matches that should have no drama whatsoever but NXT has managed to turn it into something far better than it has any right to be. The solution has been the obvious fishing angle, as the two have talked multiple times and opened Breakker up even the slightest bit. I’m liking the story they are telling with this one, but now they need to actually execute.

As much as I have a bit of a hunch that Crews takes the title here in a surprise, the right answer is to give Breakker another win over a credible challenger before he gets his match against the new major threat. The match has the potential to be interesting as they are both physical marvels who can do some insane things, but Breakker should win here and then stare down his next challenger to end the show.

Overall Thoughts

I’m getting curious about how the Iron Survivor Challenges should go, but it is always a little hard to get invested in the idea of a #1 contenders match. The rest of the card should be good enough to carry things, though nothing on here is feeling like it is a must see show. That being said, you need some kind of a special event like this every now and then, just to give the fans and wrestlers something to get excited about on a bigger scale.

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