WWE is putting a Worlds Collide event in the Takeover spot for Royal Rumble 2020 weekend in Houston. But is this move…best for business?
If you are unfamiliar with Best For Business, you can check out the introduction here. I take a look at a portion of the wrestling product from the industry’s past, present, or future, and make a single determination: is it Best for Business?
This week’s question is simple: WWE is removing Takeover from Royal Rumble weekend, and replacing it with a Worlds Collide event. Is this move Best For Business?
In a word: YES. (More below the ad–buy a shirt!)
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WWE released details of the 2020 Royal Rumble weekend of events, and one event name was noticeably missing: NXT Takeover Houston. Instead, a new name was prevalent. Take a look at the entire schedule, courtesy of Wrestling Inc:
- Friday, January 24 – SmackDown in Dallas
- Saturday, January 25 – Worlds Collide from the Toyota Center in Houston
- Sunday, January 26 – Royal Rumble from Minute Maid Park in Houston
- Monday, January 27 – Raw in San Antonio
While the fact that Friday’s Smackdown isn’t in Houston, it’s in Dallas, and Monday’s Raw isn’t in Houston, it’s in San Antonio, are both noteworthy developments, they pale in comparison to the face that Worlds Collide is listed for Saturday–in that I have already started to refer to as “The Takeover Spot.” This lends itself to a ton of speculation, and if you know me, you know I love some educated speculation.
NXT is moving to television, and by January it might be treated as a legit #3 brand. Thus, it’s may be a part of the regular PPV events, contributing a match or so to the show. I personally think that is a big IF, as in the same Wrestling Inc report it’s revealed that a WWE spokesperson indicated Takeovers will continue.
“That event will be Worlds Collide. The schedule of the 2020 NXT TakeOver Events will be out in the near future.”
It’s expected that Worlds Collide will feature action from NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live. To me, this is one thing: BRILLIANT. The “Takeover Spot” is firmly established as a pure wrestling show, featuring the best in-ring competition WWE has to offer. NXT, NXT UK, and 205 Live fit that bill, but shifting the product slightly allows all three shows to feed talent into a Takeover-like event, giving the WWE Network brands a broader showcase. I fully expect an NXT Championship Match to main event this newly redone Worlds Collide event, with matches from the other brands underneath. The event name is broad enough to include main roster talent as well, much like Cesaro appearing at the recent NXT UK Takeover: Cardiff event.
Let’s assume for a moment these events coincide with the WWE Big Four of Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, and SummerSlam. While it’s hard to swallow a WrestleMania weekend with no Takeover, it’s also equally possible we get a separate NXT event, or NXT has a presence at WrestleMania itself. That aspect of the black and yellow brand’s move to the USA Network is still a bit of an unknown.
But if we assume that NXT is moving away from the Big Four in favor of Worlds Collide, then we still have 5-6 other Takeover events to take place. Assuming six (for ease of calendar), that gives us 10 of these events per year. Mix in 2-4 NXT UK Takeover events, and the calendar is suddenly loaded with some amazing events for us to enjoy.
We have to remember Triple H’s take after Takeover XXV. He said it was the start of a new era, and that Adam Cole was the champion to lead the brand into this new era. He also said NXT could stand alone. I know the revelation was more recent, but this move to present NXT on the USA Network as a third TV brand didn’t happen overnight. It very well might be in response to All Elite Wrestling. But they’ve been laying the groundwork throughout 2019.
And while it’s very possible WWE NXT presents Takeover events in conjunction with other PPV events, it’s also possible they run on different dates–maybe even against AEW pay-per-view events.
No matter how you slice it, WWE slotting Worlds Collide into “The Takeover Spot” is indeed Best For Business. Takeover established a spot that can benefit other talent now, and NXT has grown to the point where they don’t need the Big Four PPV crowd. While this announcement will be remembered for the wrong reasons now, in the long term it’ll be yet another very smart step towards the overall growth of WWE brands other than Raw and Smackdown.
Follow me, at least temporarily, on Twitter @ChairshotGreg.