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    Tuesday, January 28, 2020

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Worlds Collide 2020

    This year's Worlds Collide felt more streamlined because it took the original format and simply advertised it as NXT vs. NXT UK. Okay, maybe chalk that one up due to the way the rosters are now set up, because 205 Live was included as part of the tagline during the previous iterations.

    TakeOver shows were what I would call God's gift to the WWE Universe. Worlds Collide followed that formula by giving us bouts that would definitely blow the roof off any house. Admittedly, it's a show comprised of NXT Superstars (also meaning NXT UK Superstars) so the parallels are already there. It's basically a TakeOver show made to look like a Bragging Rights kind of PPV.

    I'll just skim by this review and give my quick thoughts because, honestly, I've never had a bad experience with NXT PPVs. Heck, even Survivor Series became so enjoyable because of the black-and-gold's inclusion in the battle for supremacy.

    Let's start at the main event. This is a match that I thought would end up as the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic finals but evolved into something even better—Imperium vs. The Undisputed ERA. This was already expected to be a classic because of the names involved, and it did not disappoint. Let's face it, these two factions are the flagbearers of each brand, and it's only right that they represented in this year's main event.

    Unfortunately, while it was a great match, I do feel the size difference was a big factor that affected my overall enjoyment. I know David vs. Goliath matchups are fairly common in the industry, but the size gap here was just too big. Wolfe and WALTER were already large by standard, plus, WALTER's booking was that of an unstoppable force in NXT UK. It made it harder for me to believe that the ERA actually had a chance in a four-on-four match. In this sense, it actually helped that Wolfe was taken out early in the match because the gap lessened.

    I'm not sure what happens to both factions after this, but I hope this isn't the end of their faction war. In fact, I'd love to see more matches between the two teams. Maybe they can stretch this rivalry out until WrestleMania season. Maybe they can give Roderick Strong a shot at the NXT UK Championship as well. I don't know how, but I hope they can book more bouts out of this feud albeit with a way for them to look like they can equally win.

    Next up is the match between Moustache Mountain against the newly reunited #DIY. It's hard not to love this match. In fact, this easily gets my Match of the Night honor. Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa already have tons of chemistry—just as Tyler Bate and Trent Seven have. It's not a mystery that these four could make magic together.

    In fact, I was so impressed by this match that I thought about how Moustache Mountain could parallel #DIY's career path on NXT. Imagine Trent Seven turning on Tyler Bate in a blood feud that could mirror the Ciampa/Gargano saga. This could bring NXT UK to new heights and put the UK brand on the map as well.

    The third match on my list is the Fatal Four-Way between Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, Jordan Devlin, Travis Banks, and NXT Cruiserweight Angel Garza. At first, I didn't really care much about this one. By the end, it made me appreciate how much the Cruiserweights are worth and I started to wonder why they don't get as much attention as the bigger guys on the roster. Things are looking good for these four men—but even more so for both Devlin and Banks.

    As it seems, Devlin winning the NXT Cruiserweight Championship likely means that he'll be bringing it over to NXT UK. With Travis Banks being the only member of the same roster in the match, it seems highly likely that a rivalry between the two will build up. However, I'm not too sure where this puts Swerve.

    Two weeks ago, Swerve won a number one contender's match for this title and a part of me wishes that he got a singles bout instead. Maybe NXT can send Swerve on an excursion to NXT UK, which would be a big get for the brand and could help him develop his character more while helping said brand improve as well.

    Lastly, for both the Finn Bálor vs. Ilja Dragunov match and Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm match. They were both great, however, it didn't pique my interest as much as the other three matches I mentioned. Sure, they were pretty entertaining, however, I just felt I wanted more from these two bouts.

    The Bálor/Dragunov match left me wanting more while the Ripley/Storm didn't really do much differently from their previous encounters. Although as part of the show as a whole, they helped control the flow and momentum of the show by not stealing the spotlight from the more storyline-heavy parts of the night.

    Watch Worlds Collide if you want to enjoy the TakeOver like vibe infused with NXT UK Superstars. I wouldn't mind seeing more of these NXT vs. NXT UK encounters in the future and I really hope some of these face-offs would continue up to WrestleMania weekend.

    Grade: A-

    Other Notes

    • Why did they award the new NXT Cruiserweight Championship to Angel Garza moments before the show and then have him lose the title on the same night?
    • I hope Alexander Wolfe is doing better now. That was a nasty kick he got to his chin/jaw area.
    • At this rate, are NXT UK Superstars really considered brand-exclusive stars? A majority of them now appear on Wednesday nights. Or is this a transition to integrate both rosters on Wednesdays to combat the obvious threat of All Elite Wrestling?

    Photos and videos from WWE


    Miguel “The Migz” Llado is your master NXT reviewer at the Smark Henry offices. A lover of music, wrestling, videogames, and food, he lives his life tweeting his mind off (@the_migz) and ‘gramming random food items and locations (@tha_migz) while he pursues his musical career courtesy of his band The Mox (TheMoxPinoyGarageRock). You can also add him on PSN (MigzLlado) to show your WWE2K19 (or any PS4) skills. When not being a smark, he lives his life as an awesome architect, musician extraordinaire and armchair fantasy booker.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Worlds Collide 2020 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Migz Llado
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