Shawn Michaels hosted a media conference call on Thursday ahead of the NXT Deadline event this Saturday night. During the call, he was asked by FOX Sports' Ryan Satin which stars he felt were ready to make the jump to the main roster. Michaels qualified his answer by saying certain wrestlers are "different versions of ready" to make the jump, but named the following wrestlers as people he believe could "seamlessly" integrate into the SmackDown or Raw rosters — Pretty Deadly, JD McDonagh, Grayson Waller, Alba Fyre and Zoey Stark. He also mentioned current NXT Champion Bron Breakker and The Creed Brothers but noted he wanted them to "cook" for a little longer and get a bit more experience.
Some of the names shouldn't come as a surprise. Pretty Deadly's Elton Prince and Kit Wilson are already on their third reign as tag team champions and have a title match against The New Day at Deadline. Fyre (fka Kay Lee Ray) held the NXT UK Championship for a whopping 649 days and recently challenged Mandy Rose for the NXT Women's Championship. Stark has been in the business for nearly a decade and McDonagh has previously been featured as an NXT Cruiserweight Champion and has recently been floating around the NXT Championship scene. The one wrestler fans might push back on is Grayson Waller, but he's been in high-profile feuds with guys like AJ Styles, Apollo Crews and R-Truth and has been consistently featured on NXT ever since the 2.0 reboot last year.
On the #NXTDeadline conference call, HBK named #NXT talent he believes could seamlessly move to the main roster— Connor Casey (@ConnorCaseyCB) December 8, 2022
- Pretty Deadly
- JD McDonagh
- Grayson Waller
- Alba Fyre
- Zoey Stark
Also mentioned Bron and The Creeds, but wants them to “cook” a little longer
NXT Deadline Card
- NXT Championship: Bron Breakker vs. Apollo Crews
- NXT Tag Team Championship: Pretty Deadly vs. The New Day
- Iron Survivor Challenge: Carmelo Hayes vs. JD McDonagh vs. Grayson Waller vs. Joe Gacy vs. Axiom
- Iron Survivor Challenge: Zoey Stark vs. Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez vs. Kiana James vs. Indi Hartwell
- Alba Fyre vs. Isla Dawn
The show will feature the introduction of the Iron Survivor Challenge, a five-way match with a specific set of rules where the winner becomes the new No. 1 contender for either the NXT or NXT Women's Championships. The rules are as follows — two wrestlers start the match and every five minutes a new competitor enters, the match will end after 25 minutes, every time a wrestler scores a pinfall, forces a submission, or is on the receiving end of a DQ they get a point and whoever has the most points when time expires wins. There's also an added wrinkle that if you get pinned or submit, you must spend 90 seconds locked inside a penalty box.