NXT and NXT UK have a collision course called Worlds Collide! A few championship matches and dream matches tonight! How’d it turn out?
Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm face off for the fourth time in the WWE machine, with Toni having the early 2-1 advantage. Will Rhea’s title reign get stopped before it really even gets started?
DIY versus Moustache Mountain should just be good fun. It will either steal the show, tickle us with amusing crazy spots…or…well…maybe both?
Plus we all want to watch WALTER slap the soul out of Adam Cole again! So let’s get to the show!
- Pre-Show: Kay Lee Ray vs Mia Yim: KLR wins via Dirty Roll-Up @9:15 – **
- Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov: Balor wins via Bloody Sunday @14:00 – ****
- NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Isaiah Scott vs Jordan Devlin vs Travis Banks vs Angel Garza (c): Devlin wins via Devil Inside @12:05 – **** – TITLE CHANGE!!
- DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate): DIY wins via Meet in the Middle @22:55 – **** 1/4
- NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Toni Storm: Rhea retains via Rip Tide @10:15 – ***
- Imperium (WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) vs The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong): WALTER wins via Powerbomb @29:50 – **** 1/4
Pre-Show: Kay Lee Ray vs Mia Yim – This was a solid back and forth, with a little bit of history dating back to the WarGames lead up.Mia looked to be in control after Code Blue, Eat Defeat and a Canadian Destroyer. KLR had a few moments here and there, but she never seemed to be in control. Mia Yim looked to have a shot with the O’Connor Roll, but KLR rolls through and falls backwards using the ropes conveniently. Solid enough opening match, with the heel champion winning in a heel way.
Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov – Well..wow. Nigel did a great job painting the picture of Ilja’s backstory. Explaining how he was homeless and had nothing, added to excitement when he started coming back at different points. The dive fake, that turned into an interesting Bottom Rope Splash to the outside was really interesting. Dragunov’s Roman Style Deadlift Suplex Hold looks great, and Finn sold dead during the execution. Simple but exciting Splash style dives, the rope hung Coast to Coast looked good, and this really did a great job at getting Ilja over to a bigger audience. Finn was able to quell the younger wrestler and put just enough together to escape with the win and maybe a broken nose. Damn great match that helps Ilja build to future glory.
Cathy Kelly interviews the BROserweights and Grizzled Young Veterans. Amusing is the dynamic between Dunne and Riddle. Every time Dunne used weed wordplay, Riddle looked around like a dog who smells bacon. Good stuff.
NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Isaiah Scott vs Jordan Devlin vs Travis Banks vs Angel Garza (c) – Usually multiple person Junior style matches have their issues, but this was surprisingly fantastic. The moves made sense, no real cliche spots and each man got a decent chance to shine. Travis Banks looked great, he had a decent chunk of time where he was taking people out and stacking them in the corner for a big Cannonball Splash. He also had a great near fall after Slice of Heaven and a Kiwi Crusher (is that just the move of New Zealand wrestlers). Scott had a few late moments to grab the win, but a Doomsday Dropkick/Poison Rana combo messed that up a bit. Garza hit the Wing Clipper on Scott, but Devlin slides in, breaks up the pinfall with a deliberate Headbutt. Devil Inside on Swerve and we have a new champion! Great stuff, fun match, innovative spots but never felt like gymnastics for no reason.
DIY (Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) vs Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) – So they really play up the nostalgia and dueling babyfaces for the first part of this match. Lots of respect, lots of old classics and playful spots before the match gets more serious. Nice callbacks to each team’s history when DIY had the stereo submissions, like when they beat The Revival, but Moustache Mountain fights out. Moustache Mountain hits the Knee Drop/Burning Hammer combo that won them so many matches early on in the WWE matches, but that gets broken up. Given that this was really just a dream match with a bunch of feel good/nostalgia callbacks, there’s not a ton to extract story wise; it was really just a great match between four guys who are pretty damn good at what they do.
Mercedes Martinez and Dakota Kai are spotted in the crowd, but as soon as they get to Dakota, Tegan Nox comes out of nowhere and beats the ever living hell out of Dakota. Sets up a little for their match on NXT, but a little unnecessary to be honest.
NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs Toni Storm – With all the history these two have already, this was easy enough to get invested in, but it fell a bit flat. Rhea took that Release German into the turnbuckles and then the whole match took an odd pace. Rhea also working most of the match from underneath is counter productive for how they’ve been building her as a resilient power house. All in all the match was alright, but felt really awkward or slow or just paced poorly at different points. Thankfully, they’re both young so we’ll have plenty of future matches to keep this one under the rug.
Imperium (WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner & Marcel Barthel) vs The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish & Roderick Strong) – Well now, holy different kind of a match Batman. Alexander Wolfe got knocked out of the match after a double team move from Roddy and Fish, and it looked legit. At that point the match felt a bit more on the fly/called in the ring, whatever you want to call it. Imperium was rattled early on, some moves weren’t perfect and there was a lot of talking between faction members which was either wonderful acting that they had to improvise, or them actually improvising. Either way, the fact that Imperium was a man down early, behind the eight ball and obviously shaken this made for an interesting story.
We saw the pack mentality of Undisputed Era in full effect, where Imperium stood strong to their gimmick of “the mat is sacred”. They never took shortcuts, Aichner and Barthel got a good amount of shine for themselves, but WALTER was the star of this show. Every time he got in the ring, he was a difference maker. So much so that Roddy, Bobby and Kyle all focused him to find a way to put him through an announce table. Era realized that they needed to win while WALTER was down, and that’s when Aichner and Barthel showed that the team wasn’t just all WALTER. Great pin break ups, double teams and awesome work from the main tag team of Imperium. WALTER is then seen on the apron, he gets the tag, we get a lot of chaos that ends in everyone except Fish and WALTER doing big wipe out dives. Fish attempts a Moonsault, misses, John Woo Dropkick from WALTER, Powerbomb and Imperium survives the deficit.
Overall Score: 8.25/10
Aside from the Ripley/Storm match, this was a pretty electric card from start to stop. DIY and MM I feel could’ve been better if they didn’t double down so hard early on in the obvious respect/comedy spots for nostalgia and waiting for the crowd to rally to be cute. Still the kind of match that showcases all four competitors even though there was no real story of the match beyond “we’re better”. Imperium and Undisputed Era was cool since the injury angle made it feel old school and new school all at the same time.
All things considered, damn good show. No real complaints, and they even moved TV storylines forward with the Tegan Nox moment and Bianca jawing at Rhea after she retained. Now for the best gif to come out of this show, and how many of us feel about things that happened tonight.
— TWC – #BigDaddyCiampa (@TheWrestlingCov) January 26, 2020