18th Feb2019

‘WWE Worlds Collide’ Review

by Nathan Favel

wwe-worlds-collide

Welcome to this delayed yet appropriate review of WWE’s Worlds Collide special, which is an alternative version of the famous World Championship Wrestling event When Worlds Collide. This is a tournament that grants the winner the a chance to pick a title match from the ancillary brands of the WWE (205 Live, NXT, NXT: UK). Most of the quarter-finals are not available in full, thanks to Vince deciding that only the last few matches needed to be seen. That being said, we have some fine wrestling to get to, so let’s do so before Vince realizes he agreed to pay for some-thing that didn’t include John Cena admonishing every other wrestler alive because they don’t “work as hard as him”.

Jordan Devlin (NXT UK) won a 15-Superstar Battle Royal involving all tournament competitors to earn a First-Round bye

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

With a well-timed dropkick, the opportunistic Irish Ace eliminated Velveteen Dream immediately after Dream tossed Tony Nese, earning automatic passage to the Quarterfinals. The order of elimination in the Battle Royal also determined the seeding for the First-Round Matches.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This went a good length of time, but it was standard fare for the wrestling part of it. Battle Royals seem to never quite reach their potential, but I suppose when you are wrestling a match that doesn’t allow you to have a real finish beyond going over the top rope. Devlin was an interesting choice, as he isn’t as well known, but that might just be the best reason to give him a big victory, so that he can become a name of value. You can expect the action to have a lot of stops and starts, but the crowd keeps it alive when it counts so the big spots do their job. Overall, this was a good way to organize the tournament itself, but less a great match in its own right.

Humberto Carrillo (205 Live) def. Zack Gibson (NXT UK)

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

The NXT UK Tag Team Champion came close to ending the match at various points but wound up stunned and pinned after being hit by Carrillo’s eye-popping handstand Arabian press.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – A bit too short for a tournament meant to crown a great contender, this match was still good enough to make the finish feel like it mattered. Carrillo is still working on his WWE persona, but he has the raw wrestling talent down to the bone, so he should work out just fine. Zack was excellent and played his part well, that being as the formidable stepping stone for Carrillo. Zack looked good in defeat, so he should be able to use this loss as some-thing in a promo later this year if he gets stuck in a rut and needs to re-adjust his character’s priorities. I know that sounded a bit confusing, but I always think about this stuff like a booker would, so if you just watch wrestling for pure fun, then it might sound like I forgot what I was talking about. Overall, this was a match worth watching, even if it didn’t go far enough to become a classic.

Jordan Devlin (NXT UK) def. Drew Gulak (205 Live)

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

Devlin and Gulak clobbered, battered, abused and bruised each other, but it was an Ireland’s Call by Devlin that resulted in a three-count.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This went a decent length and gave both fighters a chance to look like strong competitors in a match that had some great technical wrestling sequences. The surprise here is that Gulak, one of wrestling’s true modern-day hookers (the technical wrestling term, not the prostitute version), wrestled like a brute and did so to great effect. Devlin had a great showing here and looked like some-one who was on the cusp of bursting through the glass ceiling that so many only ever crack. For a match that needed a little more time to really sink in, it did both fighters a world of good, regardless.

Tyler Bate (NXT UK) def. Adam Cole (NXT)

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

With both Superstars pushed to the brink of exhaustion, Bate managed to kick out of Cole’s Last Shot and come back with Bop & Bang, a rebound clothesline and a Tyler Driver ’97 to claim his spot in the Final.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – Despite not going as far as it should have in length, this match went far enough in the wrestling department to be well above average in quality. Both Bate and Cole looked great and made the most of this match, fighting like their lives depended on it. Bate had a great showing here and looked like a million bucks. If these guys don’t make it to the main roster this year, they should both go elsewhere and make more money.

Velveteen Dream (NXT) def. Jordan Devlin (NXT UK)

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

With Dream sporting a heavily bandaged ribcage, Devlin had a bull’s-eye to target. Yet, even The Irish Ace’s destructive and deliberate attack couldn’t stop Dream from connecting with the Purple Rainmaker.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – Dream was booked to nurse his ribs the whole time, so much of the wrestling as a bit stunted, but it still worked for what it was. Devlin looked great again and Dream wasn’t very far behind, despite not really doing much in comparison to what he can do. Over-all, Dream went through to the final match in fine fashion, even if it was a bit too easy to predict (that’s not necessarily bad though).

(Main Event) Velveteen Dream (NXT) def. Tyler Bate (NXT UK) – WWE Worlds Collide Tournament Finals Match

The following information is courtesy of WWE.com:

The sports-entertainment prodigies entered a new instant-classic into the annals of WWE history. Bate demonstrated “Big Boi” strength and a veteran’s smarts as he went after Dream’s injured ribs, but the Velveteen Dream Experience could not be contained. Bate’s attempt at a top-rope Tyler Driver ’97 was countered with a sky-high backdrop, and the Purple Rainmaker ushered in the tournament victory for Velveteen Dream.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – Dream and Bate worked hard to make this match feel important and it worked well for them. Bate was mean as sin the whole way through and looks like he can submit your ass to death. Dream actually came across as a deer in head-lights crossed with Jack The Ripper crime scene for much of this, so you can expect a very visceral reaction from Dream when it comes to Bate’s offense. There wasn’t any disembowelment, but Dream did look like he was about to have a white line drawn around his body a couple of times during the match. Over-all, Bate is a psychopath and Dream won to great acclaim from the people, so I’d call this a success.

Final Verdict: 3/5

Not showing the whole tournament was a mistake, but what was shown was good stuff. I’d like to see this as an annual tournament, so if that happens I’d say that these mistakes should be repeated: shorter matches, most matches being cut from the broadcast and a lack of build over months (this tournament might have been a last minute thing, so that can be excused this time). This was fun and you’ll probably enjoy it, warts and all.

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