WWE NXT Battleground preview & predictions (2023)

Sun., May 28, WWE NXT is back on on Peacock (here in the U.S. Internationally you’ll find them wherever you get WWE Network) with its Battleground premium live event. The show from Tsongas Center in Lowell, Massachusetts will officially start at 8pm ET, but there will also be a free pre-show 30 minutes beforehand.

Five titles will be on the line at Battleground, plus we’re getting a Last Man Standing match. So there’s a lot to be excited about.

In this post, we’ll give you everything you need to get ready for tomorrow afternoon’s show, with a quick recap of how we got to every match, and thoughts & predictions from our motley crew of NXT-following Cagesiders on each.

Let’s get to it.

Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Bron Breakker for the NXT championship

Losing the belt to Hayes at Stand & Deliver broke something in Bron, so he broke bad on the new champ. He insists he doesn’t need the title, but that hasn’t stopped him from brutalizing Melo every chance he gets. And Melo wouldn’t be HIM if he backed down from a fight.

Geno Mrosko: The thing that’s tough with NXT is you can never really feel secure in anything because you can’t be sure if they’re thinking of calling someone up at any given moment in time. Breakker needs more work as a heel but does that include another title run? Probably not. But is Hayes working all that well as a babyface champion? He probably needs more time too. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Sean Rueter: As my esteemed colleagues point out, from a developmental perspective there’s no reason to do a change here. From a ‘booking 101’ perspective, there’s also no reason to hot potato the belt after they just had it change hands at Stand & Deliver. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

(Video) NXT Battleground Preview & Predictions

Claire Elizabeth: Bron really needs to step up his generic heel game, hope he wears a boardwalk flea market print-on-demand t-shirt that says Carmelo sucks eggs or something over his singlet. Anyway I liked him as a babyface just fine but this character is flat and Melo don’t miss. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Marcus Benjamin: This story confounds me if only because NXT never really figured it out. But I’m confident saying that Bron still needs work as a heel. Also that Melo needs that belt a bit longer and deserved something better for his first major feud after winning the championship. Pick: Carmelo Hayes

Tiffany Stratton vs. Lyra Valkyria for the NXT Women’s title

When injury and promotion forced Indi Hartwell to vacate the championship, a tournament was booked to crown her successor. Stratton beat Gigi Dolin in the first round & Roxanne Perez in the semis, Valkyria defeated Kiana James & Cora Jade in subsequent rounds, and here we are.

Geno Mrosko: For some reason, I assumed they would go back to Cora Jade vs. Roxanne Perez but it makes all the sense in the world to move on to who they clearly hope will be the next big thing in the women’s division. Pick: Tiffany Stratton

Sean Rueter: At the start of the tournament, you could make the argument for at least half the field. Given this match-up, the choice is pretty clear. Pick: Tiffany Stratton

Claire Elizabeth: I’ve been enjoying Tiffany Stratton’s work for some time (although the big “TS” graphics on her tron... I dunno about those) and I think now is as good a time as any to belt her. Lyra, on the other hand, has about all the intrigue of wet toast. Pick: Tiffany Stratton

Marcus Benjamin: Lyra’s unpolished and “hurt.” Tiffany’s flying high and healthy. Pick: Tiffany Stratton

(Video) WWE NXT BATTLEGROUND 2023 PPV Predictions & Event Match Card Rundown

Wes Lee (c) vs. Tyler Bate vs. Joe Gacy for the NXT North American championship

Bate’s had Lee’s back while most of the roster was gunning for his title, but Gacy was planting seeds of doubt in the champ’s mind about his friend’s intentions. Once Tyler admitted he too wanted a shot at the belt, things began to disintegrate. Now it’s every man for himself at Battleground.

Geno Mrosko: I was waiting for Bate to turn heel on Lee for weeks but instead they kept them friendly and called it simple competition. If they believe in Gacy enough, it might finally be time to do something more with him. Pick: Joe Gacy

Sean Rueter: Seems like the Heartbreak Man (™ Claire Elizabeth) has Bate slotted in as a guy champions and card-climbers beat to pad their resume. And there’s no shame in that, especially since he’s constitutionally incapable of delivering a bad match. But you know what would help with that? Even a short run with this show’s secondary title. Plus, I can’t help but pull for our b i g s t r o n g b o i. Pick: Tyler Bate

Claire Elizabeth: Fighting Champion Wes has been great and I’d love to see his reign continue for another six months, but I really think it’s time to commit to ol’ Chainsaw Joe on some level, so let’s give him a shot. Pick: Joe Gacy

Marcus Benjamin: I’m disagreeing with Geno and Claire. Wes is really close to breaking the record for longest North American championship reign. While the story says he loses, I think NXT gives him the record first and then lets him lose. Pick: Wes Lee

Gallus (c) vs. The Creeds for the NXT Tag Team titles

Brutus & Julius Creed have been trying to get a straight up two-on-two title shot since the Pretty Deadly feud last year. Wolfgang & the Coffeys have been taking on all comers since becoming champs at Vengeance Day. Let’s get it on!

Geno Mrosko: The Creed brothers are a quintessential NXT style tag team, but there’s nothing about any of this that has suggested a title change is incoming. Pick: Gallus

(Video) WWE NXT Battleground 2023 Predictions

Sean Rueter: Both are enjoyable acts I wouldn’t mind seeing as part of any show’s tag scene. But one sets up matches in a pub, and the other a gym. Advantage, and Pick: Gallus

Claire Elizabeth: Gallus bore me, the Creeds are always reliable for a good time, the choice is easy here. Pick: Creed Brothers

Marcus Benjamin: I’m picking the Creeds because Gallus snitched. That’s not cool. Pick: Creed Brothers.

Noam Dar (c) vs. Dragon Lee for the Heritage Cup

The Scottish Supernova’s been needling everyone since arriving in NXT Prime with the last remaining NXT UK prize, but no one more than the recently signed luchador. Now they’ll bring British Rounds to U.S. soil.

Geno Mrosko: Lee is the kind of talent who should cruise through the developmental brand on his way to the main roster, and he should do so without taking a loss. Pick: Dragon Lee

Sean Rueter: Can’t see any reason to have the one lucha libre free agent who picked WWE take a loss this early in his run with the company. But I am pretty excited we’ll be getting the occasional British Rounds Rules match on our screens again. And Noam, too (bring back Alicia for at least one more FAAAWWWWKKKKS)! Pick: Dragon Lee

Claire Elizabeth: Noam Dar is a weird adorable little man and he’s gonna have such a meltdown when he loses his baby. Pick: Dragon Lee

(Video) WWE NXT Battleground 2023 preview & predictions

Marcus Benjamin: Dragon Lee, Dragon Lee, Dragon Lee! Pick: Dragon Lee

Ilja Dragunov vs. Dijak in a Last Man Standing Match

Dijak promised to give the Mad Russian some of his hard justice, leading to a series of run-ins and backstage attacks. The resulting singles match ended in a disqualification when Dijak took out Dragunov with chairs and steps, but Ilja made it clear he would never back down. Only one way to settle this...

Geno Mrosko: This is going to be one hell of a match, no question about that. Pick: Ilja Dragunov

Sean Rueter: Proof that you don’t have to be a meaty man to slap meat, this is going to bang. Between the ropes big D never disappoints, and I don’t think there’s a wrestler working today I enjoy watching more than smaller D. Jeez, this got bawdy. Anyway... Pick: Ilja Dragunov

Claire Elizabeth: So like really the winner in this should be us, the fans, because it should end with Ilja and Tall Don making sweet, sweet violent love in the middle of the ring, but alas, they’re probably just going to have a dumb boring old fight. Still, Unbesiegbar means something... Pick: Ilja Dragunov

Marcus Benjamin: This is my pick for most violent affair of the weekend. That’s about the only thing I feel confident saying because I have no idea who gets the W. Pick: Ilja Dragunov

Now give us your picks! Then follow our coverage tonight and we’ll see how we all did.



Who won at NXT battleground 2023? ›

As Lee was signaling for his finishing move, Jakara Jackson came down to the ring distracting the referee, allowing Lash Legend to hit a bucket on Lee. Dar then deliver the Nova Roller to win the match and retain the title (Noam 2: Lee 1).

Who won NXT battleground? ›

Lee def. Gacy and Bate by pinfall to retain the NXT North American Championship. The event started with the same video package that ended Wednesday's show. It is always interesting to hear an outside crowd for NXT.

Who defeated Roman Reigns in NXT? ›

Speaking of Brock Lesnar, obviously he has also defeated Roman Reigns in a singles PPV match.

Who is the new NXT men's champion? ›

It is defended as the top men's championship of NXT, the promotion's developmental brand. The current champion is Carmelo Hayes, who is in his first reign. He won the title by defeating Bron Breakker at NXT Stand & Deliver on April 1, 2023.

Who won Bron Breakker vs Carmelo Hayes battleground? ›

In his first pay-per-view title defense, Carmelo Hayes defeated Bron Breakker at Battleground on Sunday to retain the NXT Championship. The champ retained his crown after hitting a three straight superkicks, a springboard DDT and Nothing But Net to get the pin on Breakker.

Did Roman Reigns fight in NXT? ›

After WWE rebranded FCW to NXT in August 2012, Anoaʻi, with the new ring name Roman Reigns and a villainous character, made his debut on the October 31 episode of NXT by defeating CJ Parker.

Has John Cena ever defeated Roman? ›

This was the final televised match of WWE in 2022.

Who defeated John Cena? ›

Austin Theory defeated John Cena in a grudge match on Night 1 of WrestleMania 39 on Saturday to retain the United States Championship.

Who will dethrone Gunther? ›

Here are five superstars who can challenge him for the Intercontinental Championship.
  • Chad Gable. For the love of God, please give Chad Gable a title opportunity. ...
  • Drew McIntyre. Gunther has already technically defeated Drew McIntyre, but that was in a triple-threat match. ...
  • Finn Balor. ...
  • Shinsuke Nakamura. ...
  • Johnny Gargano.
May 8, 2023

Does the NXT title count as a world title? ›

The NXT Championship was a main event title in New-WWE. It was introduced in Season 9, replacing the DCO World Championship. Though it is a main event title and considered by the company to be a World Championship, the NXT Title is secondary to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Who is the longest reigning universal champion in WWE history? ›

Reigns also holds the record for longest combined reign at 1,082+ days. Kevin Owens is the youngest champion when he won it at 32 years, 114 days old, while Goldberg is the oldest when he won the title for a second time at 53. Roman Reigns is the current champion in his second reign.

How many NXT belts are there? ›

NXT serves as the developmental brand (although it was considered a third main brand from 2019 to 2021). There are currently 16 championships in WWE divided among the three brands.

How long was Carmelo Hayes champion? ›

171 days

When did Bron Breakker win the championship? ›

Championship Holders over time
ChampionDate of Reign |Time Held
Carmelo HayesApr 1, 2023 - Present75 days
Bron BreakkerApr 4, 2022 - Apr 1, 2023361 days
Dolph ZigglerMar 8, 2022 - Apr 4, 202226 days
Bron BreakkerJan 4, 2022 - Mar 8, 202263 days
9 more rows

Who are the new AAA tag team champions? ›

At the tapings, which were part of AAA's Luchando Por Mexico tour, three teams battled it out in a match for the vacant AAA World Tag Team Championship. Komander and Arez defeated Jack Evans & Myzteziz Jr. and Rey Horus & Octagon Jr. to win the gold.

Who is undisputed tag team champions now? ›

During the May 20, 2022, episode of SmackDown, reigning SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Jey Uso and Jimmy Uso) defeated reigning Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) in a Winners Take All match to claim both championships and become recognized as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions.

Why was NXT tag titles vacated? ›

According to reports, an old photo of Carter impersonating Adolf Hitler surfaced online. It led WWE to release Carter four days after he and Lee became champs. The release meant Lee was left alone as champion, forcing MSK to relinquish the titles.

Who is the best wrestler in the world? ›

The Rock

The Rock is considered the best professional wrestler in the world. Born in 1972, Dwayne Johnson started his wrestling career in the year 1996. The Rock has won the WWE title 8 times, and his real name is Dwayne Johnson. Rock's height is about 6 feet and 5 inches, and weight is about 118 kg.

Who has held the title longer than Roman Reigns? ›

John Cena has the most reigns with 13. Nine men in history have held the championship for a continuous reign of one year (365 days) or more: Bruno Sammartino (who achieved the feat on two occasions), Pedro Morales, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, Roman Reigns, Randy Savage, John Cena, CM Punk and AJ Styles.

Did Braun Strowman go to NXT? ›

He made his professional wrestling debut at an NXT live event in Jacksonville, Florida on December 19, 2014, defeating Chad Gable. On June 2, 2015, Strowman appeared at a Main Event taping in a dark match, where he defeated an unidentified wrestler.

Did CM Punk win the NXT Championship? ›

The current champion is CM Punk, who is on his first reign as champion.

Is Bron Breaker still NXT champion? ›

A two-time former NXT Champion, he was voted "Rookie of the Year" for 2022 by readers of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

Who are the NXT Unified Tag Team Champions? ›

Championship Holders over time
ChampionDate of Reign |Time Held
GallusFeb 4, 2023 - Present115 days
The New DayDec 10, 2022 - Feb 4, 202356 days
Pretty DeadlySep 4, 2022 - Dec 10, 202297 days
The Creed BrothersJun 4, 2022 - Sep 4, 202291 days
11 more rows

Who holds the NXT Cruiserweight Championship? ›

At the special New Year's Evil episode of NXT 2.0 on January 4, 2022, North American Champion Carmelo Hayes defeated reigning Cruiserweight Champion Roderick Strong to unify the titles with Hayes recognized as the final champion and going forward as North American Champion.

Who is the longest reigning WWE Champion CM Punk? ›

CM Punk – 434 days:

Former WWE champion CM Punk held the championship for 434 days, giving him the modern era's longest reign.

How long has Roman Reigns been universal champion? ›

In 2022, he became the longest reigning Universal Champion—his ongoing reign of 1,013+ days is recognized as the sixth-longest world championship reign in the promotion's history and the longest reign of any WWE championship since 1988.

Who's NXT title reign was the longest? ›

As of June 11, 2023, there have been 28 reigns among 21 different champions and three vacancies. Samoa Joe has the most reigns at three. Finn Bálor has the longest combined reign at 504 days.

Did Bron Breakker win against Carmelo Hayes? ›

In a seemingly impossible task, Carmelo Hayes defeated Bron Breakker to retain the NXT Championship at NXT Battleground.

Why were NXT women's tag titles vacated? ›

New champions will be crowned in two weeks on Raw. The WWE Women's Tag Team titles have been vacated. It was announced on social media Friday evening that the titles were vacated due to Liv Morgan's injury that she suffered on last week's SmackDown.

Who are the 3 man tag team champions? ›

3 Man Band Championship
Current champion(s)Drew McIntyre, Goldberg, & Darren Young
Date wonJuly 19, 2014
PromotionnL's WWE
Date establishedJuly 19, 2014
5 more rows

When did New Day lose the NXT tag titles? ›

At NXT Vengeance Day on February 4, 2023, however, The New Day lost the championship to Gallus (Mark Coffey and Wolfgang) in a fatal four-way tag team match, also involving Pretty Deadly and Chase University (Andre Chase and Duke Hudson), ending their reign at 56 days.

Does the NXT Championship count as a World Championship? ›

The NXT Championship was a main event title in New-WWE. It was introduced in Season 9, replacing the DCO World Championship. Though it is a main event title and considered by the company to be a World Championship, the NXT Title is secondary to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.

Who is the NXT North American champion now? ›

Wes Lee

What is lightweight in wrestling? ›

Lightweight. 127.1 - 132. 57.77 - 60. 4 lbs - 1.8 kg.


1. Taking Over: NXT Battleground 2023 Preview & Predictions #wwenxt #NXT #NXTBattleground
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2. My 2023 WWE NXT Battleground Predictions
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3. WWE NXT Battleground 2023 Official And Winners Predictions HD | Wrestle Freakin
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4. WWE NXT Battleground - Official Matchcard and Predictions | Boom Wrestling
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6. NXT Battleground Predictions/Losers Lounge Podcast #115
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