NXT’s contribution to a packed wrestling weekend represents another turning point for WWE’s developmental brands. In addition to the stars of 2.0, Sun., Sept 4’s Worlds Collide at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando will also featuring many of the remaining stars from NXT UK. The London-based show will soon be going on hiatus, slated to emerge sometime next year as NXT Europe.
You’ll find our predictions for Worlds Collide here. Usually, this is where I’d say something like “let’s get you up to speed on the story behind each match on Sunday afternoon’s show, and our big question for each one.” But really, with one exception, all of these matches have been built over the last two weeks. And that build consists of having someone show up and challenge a Florida-based champion.
Two of those were champs — and a third a #1 contender — from the UK. Whoever wins these matches will become the undisputed NXT champion of their division:
Bron Breakker vs. Tyler Bate to unify the NXT & NXT UK championships
Mandy Rose vs. Blair Davenport vs. Meiko Satomura to unify the NXT & NXT UK Women’s titles
Two other challengers came from the WWE main roster, although they do have deep NXT roots. No unification to these, but they’re still brand on brand action:
Carmelo Hayes (c) vs. Ricochet for the NXT North American championship
Kayden Carter & Katana Chance (c) vs. Nikki A.S.H. & Doudrop for the NXT Women’s Tag Team championship
Then there’s the Tag title unification 4way, which is different for a couple reasons. For one thing, there’s a lot of backstory here. Pretty Deadly beat Gallus for the UK straps last year, just a couple months after NXT UK came back from their pandemic lockdown hiatus. When Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker moved across the Atlantic and became Elton Prince & Kit Wilson, the won the Prime belts from The Creeds. Josh Briggs & Brooks Jensen feuded with both of those teams in Orlando, then took a trip to London to win the NXT UK championship. Gallus showed up the same night Bate did and attacked Diamond Mine (which includes Brutus & Julius Creed as members). And voila...
Pretty Deadly vs. The Creeds vs. Gallus vs. Briggs & Jensen in an elimination match to unify the NXT & NXT Tag Team championships
They also set-up a two-out-of-three falls match between Nathan Frazier & Axiom, but that’s still not listed for today on WWE.com. And if it happens, the set-up is still the same... although in their case, they made the challenges while reading WWE comic books instead of by holding up their titles.
Which isn’t too poo-poo the card. To paraphrase Sheamus, it should be banger after banger after banger after banger after banger. Which made us realize we do have one big question about the entire show.
Do Triple H, Shawn Michaels & team have anything big planned to try and steal AEW’s thunder?
Putting the show hours before All Out is already pretty confrontational. The line-up does look like an attempt to beat Tony Khan at his own game by developing an in-house Forbidden Door-like card full of matches that will live and die on the in-ring performances, because as mentioned above, there’s not a lot of story (Worlds Collide does have the benefit of more matches with stakes, since WWE doesn’t have to negotiate things with another promoter).
Then there was the late week verbal shots fired by both sides about the Wednesday Night War, and TK claiming the new regime in Stamford isn’t being nice to him. Any plans that were in place to steal the Sunday spotlight probably came together well before this week’s interview quotes hit the web, but they do add some spice to the dish.
Breakker & Bate should wrap up after AEW’s Zero Hour pre-show gets started, so if something crazy happened during or after that, it would suck some of the oxygen out of the virtual room before the PPV portion of All Out started.
What could Haitch have up his sleeve? Most of his big surprises are playing out on the main roster, and anyone expecting him to bring back Bray Wyatt on a matinee show at the PC should rein themselves in. When paired with Clash at the Castle, another tight three-and-a-half hour show with no bad matches would probably allow WWE to claim they “won” the weekend (even with the considerable hardcore internet fan outrage at the end of Saturday’s main event in Cardiff).
It’s also entirely possible I’m just a guy who enjoys competition and a website manager who likes traffic that comes from it. Maybe NXT and AEW will ignore their rival brands and just focus on delivering the best show possible?
Will Trips choose that path, or show his “petty Betty” side?
Join us in our live blog and we’ll see what the answer is.