For NXT’s 2022 Deadline premium live event, Shawn Michaels & team introduced the Iron Survivor Challenge.
When HBK initially explained the concept, it sounded pretty complicated — or at least hard to envision how it would work in practice. Five wrestlers compete in a 25 minute match. Two start, with the remaining three entering in five minute intervals. A point is awarded whenever someone pins or submits someone else, and when they’re the target of a disqualifying act. Getting pinned, submitted or disqualified earns you 90 seconds in the penalty box. Whoever has the most points after 25 minutes is the Iron Survivor, and earns a future NXT title shot.
But when we finally got to see it play out on the Nov. 29 PLE, it was a lot of fun! Better yet, it provided multiple ways to continue and start storylines between the competitors in addition to determining a new #1 contender for the champ. The men’s (won by Grayson Waller) and women’s (won by Roxanne Perez) versions also quickly demonstrated how you could book different styles of wrestling within the Iron Survivor concept.
All of which is to say, NXT announced that Iron Survivor Challenges will return for this year’s Deadline, coming our way Dec. 9 from Bridgeport, Connecticut. And we’re pretty excited about it.
The news came along with word that qualifiers for the five spots in each Iron Survivor match will start next Tuesday (Nov. 7). NXT play-by-play man Vic Joseph said that WWE Hall of Famers will pick who gets a shot at qualifying. That’s somewhat similar to last year, when Michaels got Road Dogg, X-Pac, Alundra Blayze, and Molly Holly around a table to discuss the roster and select four of the five entrants in each match. The final participant in each qualified via Triple Threat. For the 2023 version, it sounds like everyone will have to fight their way in.
Let us know if you’re excited the Iron Survivor Challenges are back in the comments below, Cagesiders.