NXT Battleground 2023 will crown a new Women's Champion and continue the feud between Bron Breakker and Carmelo Hayes. Wes Lee will put his title on the line again in a multi-person match. The Creed Brothers get yet another shot at the NXT Tag Team titles against Gallus.
Dijak and Ilja Dragunov will try to inflict so much punishment on each other that the other man won't be able to stand. NXT Battleground will also mark the first defense of the Heritage Cup at an NXT event since the UK brand disbanded.
The event will set the tone for the rest of 2023 as some newer stars may show up following the recent WWE Draft. Which performers will be ready to meet them as Champions? Here are last-minute predictions for NXT Battleground.
#6. Gallus and The Creed Brothers battle over the tag titles at NXT Battleground
Mark Coffey and Wolfgang have recently defeated Brutus and Julius Creed twice. Both times, however, were in triple threats. That means the amateur wrestlers will keep coming for the titles until they finally win them.
It would be nice to see different teams in the mix, especially since the Draft reset things. Brooks Jensen and Josh Briggs are renewed after casting off Kiana James. They seem more serious and haven't won the belts.
The Creeds have already won them and are always asking for title matches. They challenged for the titles on five other occasions between 2022 and 2023 when they were not the Champions.
Gallus winning was a bit odd in the first place, and their gimmick doesn't really stand out that much. For that reason, it seems like only a matter of time before Brutus and Julius win the gold.
Prediction - The Creed Brothers win the titles.
#5. Will Ilja Dragunov or Dijak be the Last Man Standing?
Dijak has been presented as a monster heel since his return to NXT. The problem is that he has lost most of his major feuds since the comeback. He battled Wes Lee in one of the better matches of 2023 but lost.
Dragunov is a former NXT UK Champion and will likely be a player in the future. The Last Man Standing stipulation is to protect the loser because he won't be getting up after a brutal match.
The big man will likely dish out more punishment than he takes, but it still won't be enough. The Mad Russian leaves Lowell with an extremely battered and red chest and a win.
Prediction - Ilja Dragunov is the Last Man Standing.
#4. Dragon Lee challenges Noam Dar for the Heritage Cup
This one is a bit more difficult to predict. The match will be Noam Dar's first official defense of the Heritage Cup in NXT. It would be strange for him to lose it on his first big NXT Premium Live Event.
The other reason it's hard to predict is that Dragon Lee is a huge name. He was unsuccessful in winning the North American title at Stand & Deliver but could walk out with the cup. The main issue with this being a slam-dunk win for Lee is the rules of the Heritage Cup matches.
Since Dar knows the rules inside and out, he should probably eke out a win over the talented Luchador. If the match were a normal one, then Lee would easily defeat the Scottish Supernova.
With a loss to Nathan Frazer just days before NXT Battleground, it's hard to see Dar losing twice in one week.
Result - Dar retains the Heritage Cup.
#3. Wes Lee defends the North American title against Tyler Bate and Joe Gacy
Lee has had the second-longest reign with the North American Championship. Like Gunther with the Intercontinental title, he has restored prestige to the North American belt.
Joe Gacy has decided to target the North American Champion, but Tyler Bate has backed Lee up recently. At the same time, he's expressed interest in the title. There could be some dissension between the two faces since they left things on bad terms on the go-home episode of NXT.
Gacy has pulled off a tough act in today's wrestling. Fans either love it or hate it, but he's made it work. This could be the time when Lee finally loses the title after a distraction allows Gacy to win.
Prediction - Joe Gacy walks out of NXT Battleground with the North American title.
#2. Will Tiffany Stratton or Lyra Valkyria walk out of NXT Battleground as the new Women's Champion?
This seems like it was done for Stratton to finally win the NXT Women's title. She had two other opportunities - at Stand & Deliver and against Roxanne Perez and Indi Hartwell - but they strangely didn't pull the trigger on her win.
It would have been nice for Roxanne Perez to get back on track since she ended Mandy Rose's historic run. Instead, she's taken the pin in two of her three last matches.
Stratton cleanly defeated Perez en route to the finals. Valkyria, however, was attacked by a jealous Cora Jade after winning her semifinal match. That injury will likely play into the outcome somehow, allowing The Buff Barbie to finally win the Championship.
Prediction - Tiffany Stratton becomes the Women's Champion at NXT Battleground.
#1. Carmelo Hayes faces Bron Breakker in a grudge match
A lot of the emphasis has been on how Bron has "changed" since losing the title. He did endure a lot of boos from the fans while Champion. His loss to Hayes was also due to the usual outside interference from Trick Williams.
Regardless of those facts, Hayes and Williams have still been cheered despite cheating to win. Bron Breakker will likely do everything to dismantle both Hayes and Williams at NXT Battleground.
Since Breakker has already had his time with the NXT Championship, the outcome of this match isn't hard to predict.
A fishy end could set up a third match, but however it happens, Carmelo Hayes isn't losing the title at NXT Battleground.
Prediction - Carmelo Hayes leaves his home state with the title.