Five years go when WWE first came out with the WWE Network, the fans of WWE had no idea what it would become. The nostalgic library, the original specials, pay-per-views came cheaper and so much you could lost in. Another thing that has been great about the WWE Network has been the live specials that aren’t necessarily a part of the regular pay-per-view schedule. However, the last year WWE has had specials such as Greatest Royal Rumble, Super Showdown and Crown Jewel. I believe all of these events were a bust. They did nothing to move the business in a good direction, had minimal effect on the storylines and it showcased the wrong people. Since the inception of the Network, Triple H’s NXT brand has been the heartbeat and lifeblood of the Network. Triple H has produced NXT, NXT UK, Cruserweight Classic, Mae Young Classic and took over 205 Live. All of these shows are what the fans get excited about. Royal Rumble weekend WWE taped the Worlds Collide tournament featuring Triple H’s three brands. Little did I know that Worlds Collide would be better than any of the main roster specials from last year. Before I begin with my thoughts here the results of the WWE Worlds Collide Tournament:
-Jordan Devlin wins 15-man Battle Royal to earn first round bye
-First Round Match: Drew Gulak defeated Mark Andrews
-First Round Match: Keith Lee defeated Travis Banks
-First Round Match: Adam Cole defeated Shane Thorne
-First Round Match: Dominik Dijakovic defeated TJP
-First Round Match: Tyler Bate defeated Cedric Alexander
-First Round Match: The Velveteen Dream defeated Tony Nese
-First Round Match: Humberto Carrillo defeated Zack Gibson
-Quarterfinals Match: Adam Cole defeated Keith Lee
-Quarterfinals Match: Tyler Bate defeated Dominik Dijakovic
-Quarterfinals Match: The Velveteen Dream defeated Humberto Carrillo
-Quarterfinals Match: Jordan Devlin defeated Drew Gulak
-Semifinals Match: Tyler Bate defeated Adam Cole
-Semifinals Match: The Velveteen Dream defeated Jordan Devlin
-Finals Match: The Velveteen Dream defeated Tyler Bate
The opening contest was the 15-man Battle Royal to determine. It was great to see all 15 men do battle against each other at one time. This match had me with a lot of ideas running in my head like hopefully seeing a Survivor Series style match between NXT and NXT UK someday. It also makes think that the 205 Live competitors should be on the NXT shows more often. The winner of the Battle Royal was Jordan Devlin, which I thought was a good choice. His stock rose a few weeks ago when he took on his mentor Finn Balor at the first NXT UK Takeover. In the first round, there were a couple of intriguing matches to me. Those matches were Travis Banks vs. Keith Lee andCedric Alexander vs. Tyler Bate. I absolutely loved how Banks worked with the bigger opponent in Keith Lee. Their match showed just how much a monster Lee can really be. It also makes hope that Lee turns heel at some point, because he would work so much better being the bad guy. I also loved seeing Tyler Bate and Cedric Alexander because of their unique styles. Both men gained their WWE fame off of tournaments which is why it was the best first round match of the tournament. I would love to see these two battle on WWE programming again because they could bring so much more with more time. My MVP of the first round was Shane Thorne. He had a great showing against Adam and proved that will be just fine without Nick Miller.
The quarterfinals picked up the pace even more with some of the awesome matchups. Keith Lee and Adam Cole took on Keith Lee in a battle that I am sure we will see again on NXT. It was interesting to see Lee work two different ways in this tournament. He worked more heel in the first round and more face in the quarterfinals. He definitely showed his range as an in-ring performer. Tyler Bate once again had an intriguing matchup and this time it was against Domink Dijakovic. I was honestly shocked that Bate was able to hit Tyler Driver 97 on the big man for the victory. It just shows how great of a performer Tyler Bate is and will be in the future. There is a reason he was the first ever United Kingdom Champion and a former NXT Tag Team Champion. Even though the matches were excellent there was one negative. I will say the one thing I did not like about the airing of all of it. The live stream on social media platforms at noon had the first and second round matches even though the Battle Royal took determined the first round brackets. The Network Special had the Battle Royal, one first round match that wasn’t aired earlier and, one quarterfinal match that wasn’t aired earlier. It made the format of the tournament confusing and it spoiled their results before the matches already happened. If you both parts of the tournament you’ll understand what I am saying here.
The first semifinal match was between Tyler Bate and Adam, which I thoroughly enjoyed because Undisputed Era and British Strong Style had some great matches back in 2018. I could watch the two factions all night long and not get bored. Everyone involved in those factions have bright futures ahead of them. The second semifinal match was Jordan Devlin taking on The Velveteen Dream. The clash of personalities in this match was absolutely amazing. It’s great to see Dream and Devlin both getting put in the spotlight. They are both very young and have long careers ahead of them. I am not sure if Dream was legitimately hurt, but either way it was very good storytelling and psychology that made for drama in the later rounds. The Finals ended up being Tyler Bate and The Velveteen Dream which is a great representation of both NXT and NXT UK. Both are fan favorites and popular among their respective brands. I hope someday that we see Bate versus Dream again when they haven’t been involved in five matches. I think they could do some really special things when both men come in at 100 percent. This match could have gone either way but at the end of the tournament it was Velveteen Dream standing tall to win the tournament and title shot of his choosing.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that this was one of the best WWE Network specials there has been in it’s five year history. I really hope they do more tournaments like this in the future. I believe cross-promoting and integrating the rosters could be a key to WWE’s future success. I am going to give this show a 9 out of 10. All the matches were fantastic, but what brought it down a notch was how it was aired. It really should have been just a four special like all the WWE pay-per-views are. Honestly, this was better than most of the main roster pay-per-views we had last year. I definitely want to see a Worlds Collide tournament and if I were to have a second one under the same format here would be my selections:
205- Kalisto, The Brian Kendrick, Akira Tozawa, Lio Rush and Buddy Murphy
NXT- Oney Lorcan, Roderick Strong, Jaxson Ryker, Matt Riddle and Ricochet
NXT UK- Trent Seven, Dave Mastiff, Flash Morgan Webster, Wolfgang, and Eddie Dennis
Whether or not they have another tournament remains to be seen, but if can be as good as this one I am all for it. Worlds Collided and the collision course exceeded my expectations.