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Kevin’s WWE Worlds Collide Review

January 25, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s WWE Worlds Collide Review  

WWE Worlds Collide

January 25th, 2020 | Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

Kay Lee Ray vs. Mia Yim

Our Kickoff match. Non-title action here. Mia Yim started with a dropkick at the bell. That added an unexpected level o intensity to this. Has Kay Lee Ray ever hit that swanton? I swear she misses it every single time I watch her. The middle portion here was good but Mia threw some truly terrible punches at one point. Hey, KLR hit the swanton onto a standing Mia outside. I like it. The Gory Bomb into the Code Blue counter was pretty sweet. KLR hit her own Eat Defeat/Sole Food for a near fall. I feel like stealing finishers is something she typically does well. A combination of pin attempts led KLR to use the ropes for leverage to score the win in 9:16. This was a good way to start the show. Solid back and forth match. [***]

Finn Balor vs. Ilja Dragunov

Finn Balor is one attractive man. I just had to say that. Moving on, this was an interesting match. Dragunov is always aggressive and that’s how Finn has been since the heel turn. Finn has some extra snap in the stuff he does. As this progressed, it got more hard hitting. I knew Dragunov had it in him but it’s not something we’ve seen a ton from Balor. I liked the twist they pulled off on typical spots, like Dragunov catching the Pele and countering 1916. Dragunov did a draping coast to coast spot and it was realistic. Too often do guys awkwardly drape in position, waiting to get hit. Here, Finn was in a position where he partially rested on the mat so it looked real. Balor survived that and hit a sick John Woo dropkick. Coup de Grace and 1916 wrapped this up in 13:50. An explosive match that was hard hitting and featured some really good moments. That felt like the best Finn performance in a long time. He’s killing it as a heel and some of what he did here showcased that. Dragunov continues to deliver. The eventual Dragunov/WALTER match is going to be buts. [***¾]

The Dusty Cup finalists were shown in the crowd. Cathy Kelley spoke with Grizzled Young Vets but the crowd popped for the Broserweights. She announced that the winners will face Undisputed Era at TakeOver: Portland. The back and forth promos here were a lot of fun.

NXT Cruiserweight Championship: Angel Garza [c] vs. Isaiah Scott vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Travis Banks

There’s a new look Cruiserweight Title. You just know you’re going to get something wild with these four involved. Banks is the worst guy in the match and he’s very good. That should tell you about the talent in this. I liked everyone going after Garza at the bell. With the title on the line I appreciate that. They pulled out some sick spots for this one. Devlin’s slingshot tornado DDT, Swerve’s Doomsday Device spot, and Banks’ Canadian Destroyer were just some of them. There were some great near falls, like Banks’ Kiwi Krusher and the Wing Clipper pin being interrupted by a Devlin headbutt. Devlin hit his finisher after on Banks to win the title in 12:05. That was one of the most fun matches you’ll see anywhere. Tons of huge spots and plenty of moving parts. It never felt like it was filled with tropes and they did some really good things throughout. The title change is an interesting move. [****]

Keith Lee and Mia Yim were shown in the front row together. Elsewhere, Chelsea Green arrived with Robert Stone.

#DIY vs. Moustache Mountain

Talk about a dream match. This gave us an extended Tyler Bate/Johnny Gargano exchange. I need that singles match. There were some un exchanges between Ciampa and Seven that surprised me. Johnny getting in on Ciampa’s signature spots was a lot of fun and fit perfectly for their history. Seven had a great run during the middle of this. He got to showcase a side we don’t often see since Bate typically gets the hot tag sprints of the team. The back half of this match was absolutely ridiculous. There were some incredible exchanges and moments. Ciampa and Bate going at it leading to a Tyler Driver ’97 near fall was great. The spot where #DIY had Meeting in the Middle cut off by a tandem Bop and Bang was unbelievable. The Spiral Tap accidentally onto Seven led to a fantastic near fall. A wild barrage late saw Bate jump into a superkick and knee. That left Seven alone to eat Meeting in the Middle and that was a wrap at around 22:51 (I had some stream issues). Spectacular pro wrestling. Just two great tag teams doing incredible things. [****½]

Mercedes Martinez was shown in the crowd. When the camera showed Dakota Kai, she got attacked from behind by Tegan Nox. Security tried to keep them apart but they just kept going at it. Great use of a crowd shot.

After a video package, Bianca Belair was shown in the crowd.

NXT Championship: Rhea Ripley [c] vs. Toni Storm

Their three matches in NXT UK were all solid but unspectacular. I’ve been waiting for them to give me something great. Toni came in with a great plan. She was on the attack from the start, worked the neck, and kept Rhea grounded. Rhea turned the tide and applied her hanging submission for a while. Just when this seemed like it was really getting going, Toni went up top. It was something she did at TakeOver: Blackpool II as well. She missed a frog splash and Rhea hit Riptide to win in 10:07. That was kind of an anti-climactic and flat finish. [***]

Backstage, Finn Balor attacked Johnny Gargano. Security and Moustache Mountain broke it up. They teased Bate/Balor.

Imperium vs. The Undisputed Era

This match felt like a big deal from the start. The crowd was molten. The opening exchanges between Aichner and O’Reilly were pretty great. Alexander Wolfe was the unfortunate one to get hurt. He took a chop/kick combo and seemed to get knocked out. They had to stop the match for a minute and medics checked on him outside. WALTER had to come in and turn the tide because his guys were starting to take a beating. Imperium had the disadvantage so it was cool to see UE use the numbers to their advantage. I loved Roddy standing up to WALTER and going chop for chop with him. If anyone can do it, it’s Roddy. He also stopped a huge WALTER run by giving him an Olympic Slam through the announce table. It looked like all hope was lost for Imperium but WALTER got back on the apron a few minutes later. He was alive and he got the hot tag. CHOPS GALORE! The finishing stretch was great and saw WALTER win out with a powerbomb on O’Reilly in 29:50. That was exquisite. They had to work through an injury in the first five minutes and still put on a banger. I loved how Roddy got to shine and the way that WALTER played a great babyface. [****¼]

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
A tremendous show. It ran just under three hours and flew by. Every match was good, with a handful being great. #DIY/MM was an all-timer, while the main event ruled, there was a great Cruiserweight Title match, and Finn/Ilja was damn good.

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Kevin Pantoja