WWE NXT Worlds Collide results, recap, grades: Title change among top moments in great show
NXT and NXT UK put on a tremendous card in the first live edition of Worlds Collide
WWE's decision to go with Worlds Collide as NXT's event ahead of the Royal Rumble was a curious one on the surface, but by the time the event was over Saturday night, hardly anyone can question it. NXT and NXT UK combined to put on another TakeOver-level card with the best of the best from each brand being showcased one night before one of WWE's biggest pay-per-views of the year.
There was a title change among the surprises in store on Saturday night, and while a couple of the matches may have fallen a bit below expectation, there was an absolute tag team classic, an incredible cruiserweight bout and one of the best eight-man tag team matches that I can remember.
So what went down Saturday night at Worlds Collide? Keep on reading for results, grades and highlights from the show. Be sure to listen to our State of Combat audio preview for the Royal Rumble below in the embedded player.
NXT Worlds Collide results, grades
Finn Balor def. Ilja Dragunov via pinfall: As pace picked up late, the two traded signature moves and counters with a deadlift German suplex by Dragunov nearly scoring a fall. A falling top rope missile dropkick to Balor, who was hanging over the bottom rope, busted Balor's nose open. However, Balor avoided a top-rope senton with double knees, missile dropkicked Dragunov into the corner and hit the Coup de Grace followed by 1916 for the 1-2-3. There's no questioning the talent and athleticism in this match, but for a bout that could have stolen the show, it ultimately left a bit to be desired. Perhaps that was purposeful due to it being the opening match. The crowd did not help as it appeared not to know Dragunov well. Grade: B
Dusty Rhodes Classic finalists speak out: Cathy Kelly announced that the winners of the tournament will become No. 1 contenders for the tag team championship. The Grizzled Young Veterans and Broiserweights cut promos against one another with Pete Dunne promising he and Matt Riddle would "smoke" the NXT UK stars, putting their run to a "bitter end."
Cruiserweight Championship -- Jordan Devlin def. Isaiah "Swerve" Scott [via pinfall], Angel Garza (c) and Travis Banks to win the title: Scott was first to clear the ring, impressing with a handstand flip over the top rope before catching Devlin midair and hitting him with an Attitude Adjustment at ringside. A rebound huricanrana over the top rope by Devlin got the crowd on its feet, too. Scott then hit an assisted elevated meteora but could not capitalize, and neither could Banks after drilling Devlin with a Canadian destroyer. Devlin hit an avalanche double Spanish fly on Scott and Graza with an assist from Banks, who responded with a Kiwi Crusher on Devlin for a 2.5 count. Scott caught Banks with a flying Rubix cube but only saw a 2.7 count, and Garza ran in to hit Scott with the Wing Clipper. However, Devlin broke the count by taking out Garza with a headbutt and grabbed a hobbled Scott for a whiplash back drop driver for the surprising win. Tremendous, athletic match and a name-making moment for Devlin, who has long awaited such an opportunity. Grade: A-
#DIY def. Moustache Mountain via pinfall: Fun start to the match with Johnny Gargano and Tyler Bate -- and then Tommaso Ciampa and Trent Seven -- playing up the babyface showdown. #DIY was first to get aggressive, trashing Moustache Mountain around ringside before the action picked up in the ring. Ciampa avoided a flying elbow from Bate with a knee to the back of the neck, but Bate reversed Project Ciampa, hitting his springboard lariat and the Tyler Driver '97. Ciampa kicked out at 2.8, and Gargano superkicked Bate to free his partner from a second pinning attempt. A counterfest between Bate and Gargano ended with a Gargano Escape and Ciampa breaking up an attempted interference from Seven with a simultaneous armbar; however, Mustache Mountain powered out. Bate miscalculated and hit Seven with a springboard lariat after Gargano ducked.
As #DIY prepared to Meet in the Middle, Seven ran in to cover his partner. When #DIY tried anyway, it was met with a pair of distracted punches and a near fall at 2.9. Ciampa kicked out only to be hit with a ferris wheel-type slam from Moustache Mountain, but he pulled Seven down to take the brunt of a subsequent corkscrew from Bate that nearly cost the Brits the match. #DIY and Mustache Mountain rose together and traded blows. #DIY caught a flying Bate in midair with a double superkick to dump him outside and delivered Meet in the Middle to a prone Seven for the win. Everything you could want from a tag team match, even if there were parts that got a bit cute. #DIY has not lost a step, and the four faces had a nice moment in the finish. Grade: A
NXT Championship -- Rhea Ripley (c) def. Toni Storm via pinfall to retain the title: In a surprisingly short match considering the talent of the two involved, Ripley was the aggressor most of the affair. She locked in her standing cloverleaf submission in the early going, though Storm eventually broke out of it. Late in the match, Storm attempted a rare high-flying maneuver, missing a frog splash from the top rope. Ripley immediately took advantage, hitting Storm with Riptide for the victory. We have seen Ripley and Storm deliver better bouts in the past, but this match was intended to show that Ripley has become even more dominant. It never hit a second gear. Grade: C+
Two surprise attacks: Before the match above, Dakota Kai was shown sitting in a chair at ringside. Teagen Nox ran in from out of nowhere and kicked Kai off her chair. Nox then drove Kai through the barricade before NXT officials and ringside crew held her back. After the match, Gargano was shown giving an interview backstage when Balor attacked him from behind, laying him out as a precursor to their NXT TakeOver: Porland match.
Imperium def. Undisputed Era via pinfall: In the first few minutes, Alexander Wolfe took a double kick while kneeling in the ring and doubled over; he was immediately removed from the match with what appeared to be a concussion as the referee did a great job to save Wolfe and the pinfall attempt. WALTER's hot tag led to devastation, particularly to Kyle O'Reilly who ate a trapped leg German suplex and a huge chop (plus another way bigger one later). WALTER then hit O'Reilly and Roderick Strong with a double German suplex, and Imperium followed with a jumping DDT for a 2.5 count on O'Reilly. When Cole entered and started making progress, WALTER took him down. The rest of Undisputed Era entered to beat down WALTER, but as he looked to be turning the tables outside the ring atop the announcing booth, Strong grabbed him for an Olympic slam through the other booth. Aichner caught O'Reilly midair and muscled him into a brainbuster, but Cole ran in to hit a flying Aichner and Marcel Bartel with superkicks before an ushigoroshi on Bartel ended at a count of 2.8. A gutbuster by Strong and flying knee by Cole resulted in another near fall on Bartel, whose leg was taken out by O'Reilly with a flying stomp and leg lock.
Aicnher flew in with an insane springboard moonsault to break up the submission, and WALTER suddenly hopped onto the apron. WALTER chopped and forearmed every member of Undisputed Era before powerbombing Strong with authority. But after WALTER hit his massive splash, Cole ran in with the Last Shot for a near fall broken up at the last second by Imperium. The factions stood 4-on-3 and brawled everywhere with Strong (corkscrew) and Aicnher (frog splash) both hitting high-flying maneuvers outside the ring. That left WALTER and Bobby Fish inside, and a dropkick followed by a powerbomb by the NXT UK champion led to Imperium finishing on top. As good of an eight-man tag team match as I can remember, and the correct booking decision considering Undisputed Era's recent struggles. Grade: A-
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