Hello AW Universe,
It’s a big weekend of wrestling, with stars from NXT and NXT UK set to clash the day before Royal Rumble.
Here is a preview, breakdown and predictions for all the matches on the card.
Undisputed Era vs. Imperium
This picture is a bit out-of-date, with Roderick Strong dropping the North American Championship to Keith Lee on NXT, but there is still a lot of gold in the ring for this match. Adam Cole remains the NXT Champion, while WALTER has dominated as the NXT UK Champion. The obvious result here would be Undisputed Era picking up the win, but Triple H loves a good swerve and with Strong dropping the title to Lee, perhaps that was the first crack in the group. This match could put the UK stars on the map, while also sowing the first seeds of dissent within the faction.
NXT Women’s Championship
Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm
Ripley is NXT‘s prized champion right now, already defecting from NXT UK months ago with a rocket on her back, and grabbing the torch, and NXT Women’s Championship, from the departing Shayna Baszler. Storm of course lost to Ripley in the finals of the tournament that crowned the inaugural NXT UK Women’s Championship, only to win it from her at the first TakeOver: Blackpool. This means that the two have familiarity, and so should show some decent chemistry as they go at it once again, so it should make for a competitive match.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Mia Yim vs. Kay Lee Ray
This has already been announced as a pre-show match, and for good reason. I don’t get any hype around Mia Yim; she’s sloppy and boring. Kay Lee Ray is the reigning UK Women’s Champion, so having her eat a pin to Yim just doesn’t make any sense.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
Finn Bálor vs. Ilja Dragunov
I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about Dragunov. He made his return at TakeOver: Blackpool II, and looked good. Balor’s return to NXT has been a little wanted, lost somewhat in Adam Cole’s shine and Keith Lee’s ascension, but they clearly brought him back to help headline the brand. This will probably be a good match, re-inserting Dragunov into in-ring competition and exposing to the wider North American audience. That’s a good enough rub for him, while Balor picks up the win.
Winner: Finn Balor
NXT Cruiserweight Championship
Angel Garza vs. Scott “Swerve” Scott vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
Obviously, considering these are the Cruiserweights, the work-rate and high spots in this match will be next-level. Jordan Devlin is coming off a fantastic match against Tyler Bate at TakeOver: Blackpool II, while “Swerve” Scott won a thrilling match against Lio Rush and Tyler Breeze on NXT a couple weeks ago. That being said, Garza has been hot since beating Rush for the title over a month ago, and seems to be the one being pushed the most out of the lot.
Winner: Angel Garza
#DIY vs. Moustache Mountain
Is there any chance for another Tommaso Ciampa heel turn? At the expense of Johnny Gargano again? Seems a little unlikely, especially considering that Johnny Wrestling was the target of Finn Balor’s turn; this also just feels like a genuine on-off reunion to put on a very good match against another very good tag team. All four of these wrestlers have carved out very good singles runs for themselves, with Tyler Bate already putting on one of the early 2020 matches of the year against Jordan Devlin, and Gargano of course doing the same with Adam Cole in 2019. But for now, all four of them put their respective singles endeavours on hold to lock-up as two of the most popular tag teams in NXT‘s brief history. This card is relatively short, as the bookers tend to do, in order to let most of these matches to just breathe. It wouldn’t surprise me to see this match go close to 30 minutes, with these wrestlers tearing the house down and having the match of the night, then going their separate ways afterwards. With all that being said, Gargano is just back from injury and Ciampa is on a ceaseless pursuit of getting his “Goldie” back from Adam Cole, so it makes sense to have them roll on with the momentum of winning an incredible match.
Worlds Collide is live at 7pm EST on the WWE Network.