In 2019, WWE created a new event dubbed Worlds Collide, which played with the idea of having Superstars on different brands face each other in crossover matches we wouldn't normally see.
As both editions mostly focused on wrestlers from 205 Live, NXT and NXT UK, Worlds Collide flew under the radar and wasn't heavily promoted. Many casual fans likely aren't aware the shows even happened. On Saturday, however, the event will return under the banner "WWE Worlds Collide: NXT vs. NXT UK." The show will feature stars from those brands clashing with nothing but bragging rights on the line.
But which Superstars will be on the card, and how did WWE go about setting this up? Let's take a look at everything you need to know about WWE Worlds Collide 2020.
Venue: Toyota Center in Houston
Start Time: 7 p.m. ET (main show), 6:30 p.m. ET (pre-show)
How to Watch: WWE Network via the following supported devices, according to WWE.com:
- Amazon Fire TV
- Android TV
- Apple TV
- Smart TVs (select LG, Samsung and Sony models)
- Sony PlayStation 4
- Xbox One
- Web browsers (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari)
- WWE App (on iOS and Android devices)
- The pre-show will also be available on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
- Eight-man tag team match: The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong) vs. Imperium (Alexander Wolfe, Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Walter)
- NXT Women's Championship match: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Toni Storm
- Tag team match: #DIY (Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate)
- Singles match: Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov
- Cruiserweight Championship Fatal 4-Way: Angel Garza (c) vs. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks
- Singles match: NXT UK women's champion Kay Lee Ray vs. Mia Yim
Background, Storylines and Setup
Even less effort than normal was put into setting up the feuds—if they can even be called that—for this show.
For example, the basis for Moustache Mountain against #DIY is a tweet from Trent Seven merely suggesting the match followed by a quick interview with Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano in which they accepted the challenge.
Mia Yim against Kay Lee Ray, as well as Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov, were announced out of nowhere. Since then, the Irishman had a 60-second promo warning his opponent he would lose, and that's the extent of the match's build.
Toni Storm took a shot at Rhea Ripley's recent title win by mentioning how she had beaten her for the NXT UK Women's Championship and suggested she could do the same with this new title. The Mosh Pit Kid accepted the challenge, and moments later, they were teaming up in a six-woman tag match.
At least the Fatal 4-Way for the Cruiserweight Championship had qualifying matches to determine Angel Garza's three opponents. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott defeated Tyler Breeze and Lio Rush on the January 15 edition of NXT. Jordan Devlin defeated Ligero, and Travis Banks beat The Brian Kendrick on the January 22 NXT UK to earn their spots.
Finally, The Undisputed Era attacked Imperium in the finale of NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II to assert dominance and get a leg up on the competition, cutting short the group's celebration after Walter's successful NXT UK Championship defense against Joe Coffey.
Most of these matches should be pretty competitive to keep both brands looking strong, but NXT has an advantage in many of the fights.
Moustache Mountain and #DIY are amazing tag teams who will beat each other senseless and steal the show. Both duos have great chemistry, but if there's any weak link, it's Seven, who might be the easy option for a fall guy.
Keeping Gargano and Ciampa strong ahead of NXT TakeOver: Portland on February 16 should see them given the win, as Moustache Mountain can lose and it wouldn't derail any of their plans.
Balor is far more accomplished than Dragunov in terms of experience and accolades. The Irishman has won numerous titles, but his opponent hasn't won any major matches.
However, if Gargano distracts Balor, the Russian could score an upset. That would further drive a wedge between the two in preparation for their match at TakeOver: Portland.
There is no way Ripley will drop her title to Storm. It would make no sense for WWE to have put so much stock into building her up over the past three months—she was the winning captain of WarGames and Survivor Series and the one to beat Shayna Baszler—just for her to lose another title to Storm.
Storm is in a storyline of getting frustrated that she can't get her career back on track. Losing again would push that further.
Plus, Bianca Belair has already become No. 1 contender for Portland. Rather than change the landscape of the title scene with Storm as a newcomer to the brand, it is easier to keep the belt and momentum with Ripley.
NXT UK should get a win on the women's side via Kay Lee Ray, though. As great as Mia Yim is, there are no straws worth grasping for when it comes to hoping she can beat that brand's champion for a random show like this.
The Cruiserweight Championship will remain on Garza. Look out for Banks to take the pin, as he's the lowest on the totem pole of the four.
Swerve has been on a roll and will likely feud with Garza going forward, while Devlin is one of the more preeminent heels in NXT UK who just suffered a loss to Bate in Blackpool.
The main event should be Imperium's match to lose. Walter's size dwarfs everyone on Undisputed Era and should make up for anything they bring to the table. Also, as with Balor vs. Dragunov, an opportunity for run-ins, distractions and interference could swing the pendulum even more in Imperium's favor.
There is no distinct challenger for Walter's title, while Adam Cole and Co. have made countless enemies in recent months. Ciampa, Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, Matt Riddle and more just may screw with them and cost NXT that victory.
Overall, look for NXT to have more points at the end of the night, with Ripley and Garza as guaranteed winners and an edge toward #DIY. Dragunov and Imperium may win, but even those victories aren't guaranteed.
Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.