WWE Worlds Collide: Star Ratings for Undisputed Era vs. Imperium and Every Match
The black-and-gold brands in WWE had been red-hot in 2019, so starting off 2020 with Worlds Collide: NXT vs. NXT UK felt like a guaranteed recipe for success.
With The Undisputed Era vs. Imperium, DIY vs. Moustache Mountain, Rhea Ripley vs. Toni Storm and more on the card, this pay-per-view had a ton of potential.
How did it all work out Saturday in Houston? Who was victorious, and how good were the matches?
Find out everything you need to know in this recap of the event as we break down the results and give each match a star rating.
Star Ratings Explanation
As with any scale or system that is based on opinion, everything is subjective.
There are several approaches to star ratings. Some hold strict that a 5-star rating should only be used in the rarest of cases and should be nearly impossible to obtain. Others throw the term Match of the Year around like it's nothing.
Ratings are also a product of their time. What was a classic decades ago might be boring to some now.
It's important to keep in mind that everything in this review will be based on personal preferences, with as much of a mix of public opinion thrown in as possible. But if you happen to disagree and think a match should be rated higher or lower, you have the power to give your ratings in the comments section.
Here is an explanation of what this scale equates to in terms of its representation and purpose:
- ***** = 10/10. A classic that will be remembered forever.
- ****½ = 9/10. Amazing. Just shy of perfect. A Match of the Year contender.
- **** = 8/10. Great.
- ***½ = 7/10. Very good.
- *** = 6/10. Above average; good.
- **½ = 5/10. Average; just OK.
- ** = 4/10. Below average; bad.
- *½ = 3/10. Very bad.
- * = 2/10. Awful.
- ½* = 1/10. Terrible. Effectively worthless.
- 0 = 0/10. Reserved for rare worst-case scenarios.
NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray def. Mia Yim by Pinfall
Like most of this card, there wasn't any foundation for this match to get invested in since it was just announced with no context. However, for an extra pre-show match, this more than did its job.
Kay Lee Ray cheated to win by holding the ropes. That put her over as a heel and kept her win-loss record intact while also making sure Mia Yim wasn't jobbed out.
The road to get to that point was fairly standard. Nothing in the match stood out as unforgettable or awful. It was just an average match that whetted everyone's appetite for more to come.
Finn Balor def. Ilja Dragunov by Pinfall
Much like Ilja Dragunov vs. Cesaro from TakeOver: Cardiff, this match featured the young Russian proving himself against a veteran in Finn Balor.
Also like that match, Dragunov came up short, but this was about as even of a contest as anyone could have hoped.
Neither Superstar was on top for too long before the other turned things around. That made for a fun segment, as it never looked as though Balor simply outclassed Dragunov, even in victory.
Unlike with Cesaro, there was no sign of respect at the end of this, but that was actually a good thing. Balor's character right now doesn't call for a moment like that.
Although it is clear these two share quite a bit of respect for each other, WWE made the right call in not sacrificing Balor's character by breaking kayfabe.
Jordan Devlin def. Isaiah Scott, Travis Banks and Angel Garza by Pinfall
Cruiserweight action is at its best when it's high-energy from bell to bell, and this match followed that formula so well.
Particularly surprising was how good Travis Banks was booked. He has the least-impressive track record of the four, but he was arguably the glue holding a good portion of this match together.
But the biggest shock was the finish. Angel Garza hadn't been champion long and was the easy pick to win, as more momentum was on his side than anyone else.
Lo and behold, Jordan Devlin scored a pin over Isaiah "Swerve" Scott to become the first NXT UK Superstar to hold the cruiserweight title.
All too often, Fatal 4-Way matches are messy, as it's hard for four Superstars to mesh well together. This match certainly didn't suffer from that problem and is definitely worth checking out if you missed it.
DIY def. Moustache Mountain by Pinfall
This match started off strange—almost as if this were a house show where everyone could goof off because it wasn't televised. But that made it stand out as different and interesting, which the crowd ate up.
Not every match needs to be super-serious hard-hitting action out of the gate. Sometimes, when given four Superstars who can connect with the NXT audience and play around, it's worth doing something different.
Johnny Gargano, Tommaso Ciampa, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven clearly sat down ahead of time and planned out how they could mess around with some of the tropes of their matches to keep the crowd on its toes.
Of course, eventually, things heated up. Once the action commenced, these two teams proved they are in an elite class of talent that always delivers quality wrestling.
While this wasn't a Match of the Year contender, it was a great change of pace and never stopped being a good time.
NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley def. Toni Storm by Pinfall
Both Rhea Ripley and Toni Storm have had much stronger matches against each other and different opponents. This was fine, but nothing special.
One of the hindrances was how it was obvious Ripley had to retain. Not only was she set up to face Bianca Belair at the next TakeOver, but it's also too soon for her to drop the title after beating Shayna Baszler and being built up as a big deal.
That made it hard to believe Toni Storm had much of a chance, especially since her luck hasn't been so great this past year.
Granted, another loss for Storm helps push her toward a possible heel turn, which means the right call was made. It's just unfortunate more wasn't done to make this match more competitive to reach that point.
This felt short; just when the ball started rolling, an abrupt Riptide brought everything to a halt.
Imperium def. The Undisputed Era by Pinfall
Very early in this match, Alexander Wolfe suffered an injury to his throat that was not part of the plan. Naturally, this could have thrown off the entire dynamic of this segment, so that must be factored into everyone's expectations.
There's no telling how much better it could have been with all parties able to go in true four-on-four fashion. But even without one of the players, The Undisputed Era and Imperium managed to put on a great show.
Luckily, WALTER's immense size helped sell how Imperium could still be an even match even while down a man. Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner also held down the fort with their tag team synergy.
Roderick Strong's Olympic Slam to WALTER on the commentary table brought on the first "Mama Mia" chant of the night and was a good way to turn the tide back in The Undisputed Era's favor.
By the end, watching Imperium overcome the odds was a thrilling ride and a fitting conclusion to the event.
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.