There’s a WWE Worlds Collide event taking place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas tonight. Normally, WWE does a NXT Takeover event during a major PPV weekend like the Royal Rumble, but WWE decided to change it up this year. The next NXT Takeover is now on a Sunday, February 16 in Portland, Oregon while tonight’s show is a special WWE NXT vs. WWE NXT UK lineup of matches.
If you read our NXT recaps every week then you know that there has been some interaction with the wrestlers in the matches, but in some cases, they haven’t done much in the way of storylines. The format of the show looks to be similar to NXT with five matches on the main card starting at 7pmET on WWE Network.
I am going to review this show and most likely post that review this evening. Here are some quick predictions for the matches.
Mia Yim vs. Kay Lee Ray (Kickoff Show)
Ray’s the NXT UK Women’s Champion, so I think she should win the match even with the title not on the line. It’s a good idea to keep champions strong. If Yim wins then that might set up a NXT UK Women’s Title match, but I don’t think Yim will be working the UK brand. I think this is a match to put over a NXT UK wrestler because I think it’s going to be a good match for the US NXT brand.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
NXT Cruiserweight Championship Fatal Four-Way Match: Angel Garza (c) vs. Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
I expect this to an awesome, fast-paced match between four guys that can really go in the ring. Garza just won the title last month, so I would be surprised if he dropped the title already. I think Scott has a chance to be the top contender for the title in future matches, so I think Garza will pin Devlin, who is really impressive in his own right. Travis Banks is an experienced veteran too. These guys are going to have an outstanding match. I’ll go with Garza for the win.
Winner: Angelo Garza
Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov
A win by Dragunov might be considered an upset here because of all that Balor has accomplished in his WWE career. Dragunov was very impressive in his match with Cesaro, so clearly the NXT UK decision makers are impressed by him if they put him against Balor on this show as well. Balor has been on fire since coming back to NXT, winning nearly every one of his matches and I think he’ll get the win here too. Balor is on a collision course with Johnny Gargano for NXT Takeover Portland and they will want to keep his momentum strong. Perhaps Dragunov could win if Gargano shows up to distract Balor, but the NXT brand doesn’t do those kinds of finishes that much. I’m just throwing it out there as a possibility.
Winner: Finn Balor
#DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
This is the match that excites me the most. There isn’t a storyline and both teams are faces, but they both have so many amazing tag team matches in their past that it’s hard not to anticipate some incredible tag team action here. Gargano tweeted that he hasn’t wrestled in four months or had a tag team match like this in a long time, so perhaps they can use that ring rust as part of a storyline. Gargano is set to face Finn Balor at Takeover Portland while Ciampa will probably be against Adam Cole at that show, which is why I have a tough time picking against the DIY team. A possible reason for them to lose could be when Finn Balor shows up to attack Gargano (as I mentioned above), but I don’t know if they will go for that kind of finish. I’m going for a Gargano/Ciampa win after 20+ minutes of excellent tag team wrestling.
Winners: #DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano)
NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
These women have wrestled eachother many times from their days on the NXT UK brand, plus their familiarity with eachother they were in WWE. I’m impressed by both of them and excited about their futures. What’s amazing to me is they are both so good already with Ripley at 23 years of age and Storm is only 24 years old. They are two of the best wrestlers in all of WWE that are under the age of 25. This is for Ripley’s (no longer Women’s) NXT Championship and it’s been one month since Ripley won that title, so I doubt she loses. I think they’ll get something like 15-20 minutes, it will be a very competitive match and Ripley will get the win. I also think Bianca Belair will attack Ripley after the match since they’re set for a title match at Takeover Portland.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong) vs. Imperium (Walter, Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner & Alexander Wolfe)
My predictions for the last four matches are for wins for the NXT brand. I just find it hard to pick against some of those wrestlers considering how they are booked and what upcoming matches they have. With that in mind, I feel like picking Imperium to win this battle of heel stables. I think Walter is going to get the win for his team by pinning Roderick Strong, who lost the NXT North American Title to Keith Lee last week on NXT. This could lead to a “weak link” storyline for Strong, who may end up getting kicked out of the group and it could lead to a feud with Cole down the road. I’m just throwing that out there as a prediction.
There is a bit of a concern here that both teams are heels, so the fans might not care about it that much. I think the Undisputed Era will be more of the babyface team just because of how much the fans like Adam Cole and they might get behind them. I still think the lack of faces will hurt the quality of the match a bit. It should still be an awesome match that could be the longest of the night at 25+ minutes. I’m going with Imperium led by Walter for the win.
Winners:Imperium (Walter, Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner & Alexander Wolfe)
That’s the lineup. I’ll be back tonight with a full review of the show. You can watch WWE Worlds Collide, streaming live tonight, at 7 ET/4 PT on the award-winning WWE Network!