Welcome to another edition of eWN Round Table, where we gather some of the most active writers here on eWrestlingNews and share the platform to answer some questions surrounding a centralized topic, upcoming event, etc.
This is meant to showcase the potential for both a wide range of perspectives as well as how sometimes, there can be a group consensus no matter what your viewpoint is, so we also invite all of you to join in on the discussion by answering these questions yourself in the comments section below.
For this particular volume, we’ll be focusing on both Worlds Collide: NXT vs. NXT UK and Royal Rumble 2020.
Participants for this round = Anthony Mango, David Varnes, Kyle Dunning, Richard Staple, John Scafide, Ethan Absler and Dashon Love.
1) “Which matches are you most excited to see on these two shows?”
MANGO: As much as I’m nervous about the Royal Rumble being corrupted by Brock Lesnar’s role, that match takes the cake for me. With Worlds Collide, I’d lean toward DIY against Moustache Mountain.
VARNES: You always gotta be fired up for the Royal Rumble itself. It’s sort of tradition, and even though this year doesn’t seem to have that fired up story to go with it that has everyone hoping a particular person wins, a lot of people will be cheering for Brock Lesnar to lose. Also in the Worlds Collide I’d like to see UE vs. Imperium. While most of Imperium has jobbed out whenever they’ve crossed the pond, WALTER is on a different level. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with this one.
DUNNING: I think DIY vs. Moustache Mountain is likely to steal the weekend, and should be a 5-star classic if given time. Ilja Dragunov will turn a few heads in his match with Finn Balor, and Asuka will prove she belongs full-time in the women’s title scene against Becky Lynch. Of course, the Royal Rumbles will be what fans are most looking forward to.
STAPLE: Imperium and Undisputed Era should tear it down, but I’m also highly looking forward to Asuka and Becky Lynch’s rematch. Should be an impassioned battle.
SCAFIDE: If 2019 showed us anything, it’s that Imperium and Undisputed Era each can put on one hell of a show. I can’t see this match taking any less than 25 minutes and will be a jaw dropper from the start. While the entire card seems enjoyable to watch straight through for Worlds Collide, I can’t say the same for the next night. I am only excited for the Rumble matchup. Bring on Lesnar!
ABSLER: I am most excited for the men’s Royal Rumble match and DIY vs Mustache Mountain. The rumble match of course, has an unparalleled history, and the intrigue of Brock Lesnar entering at #1 makes this match a must watch. In addition, the reunion of DIY is a long time coming and there is no better tag team for them to face than Bate and Severn.
LOVE: Finn Balor vs Ilja Dragunov, Moustache Mountain vs DIY and the Men’s Royal Rumble Match.
2) “With the remaining wrestlers available, pick 5 men and 5 women for both sides of a Survivor Series style elimination match between Team NXT and Team NXT UK.”
MANGO: NXT Men would be Damian Priest, Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle and maybe Austin Theory. NXT UK Men would be Dave Mastiff, Joe Coffey, Kassius Ohno, Noam Dar and, in a swerve of sorts, Pete Dunne. NXT Women would be Bianca Belair, Candice LeRae, Io Shirai, Mercedes Martinez and Mia Yim. NXT UK Women would be Isla Dawn, Jazzy (if she’s still in the company and medically cleared), Jinny, Piper Niven and Xia Brookside. If you can’t get Jazzy in the match, put Killer Kelly (or Nina Samuels) in there and I don’t think it will make that much of a difference as they can be the quick first elimination, even though I think KK is underutilized and better than that.
VARNES: NXT v NXT UK. For NXT have Keith Lee, Dijakovic, Lio Rush & The Time Splitters vs. Gallus, Noam Dar & Dave Mastiff. Speed vs. Power, and both teams would have both people at their peak and those who could be portrayed as having a chip on their shoulders and wanting to put on a show.
For the woman, it’s a lot tighter (but easier) decision because there just aren’t that many, especially on the NXT UK side. So let’s go with Baszler, Shafir & Duke, Chelsea Green and Dakota Kai for a total ‘heel’ team vs. Piper, Xia Brookside, Nina Samuels, and then a borrowed pair of Tegan Nox and Candice LeRae. Nox and LeRae have plenty of reasons to want to tear into Kai, and Nox has NXT UK cred, so it works. Honestly though, I’d probably go 4 on 4 to not have nearly every warm body on the NXT UK roster in this match.
DUNNING: Ok, that’s a tough question which will require some research. As an avid NXT UK fan, I’ve seen every episode since its inception, so I believe I’ve got a good gauge of who should represent. The NXT UK Women’s division is sorely lacking in options (Jazzy Gabert would’ve made it over Samuels). Although I’m a big fan of Pete Dunne, I wouldn’t put him on NXT’s side against NXT UK as it would be a conflict of interest. Assuming Velveteen Dream is cleared to return? I’d book the following participants:
- Velveteen Dream, Kushida, Matt Riddle, Keith Lee and Dominick Dijakovic vs. Joe Coffey, Dave Mastiff, Zack Gibson, James Drake and Eddie Dennis
- Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca Belair, Xia Li and Candice LeRae vs. Piper Niven, Xia Brookside, Isla Dawn, Killer Kelly and Nina Samuels
STAPLE: Hmmmm….I suppose I’ll go with Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Pete Dunne, Dominick Dijakovic and Damian Priest vs. Joe Coffey, Zack Gibson, Mark Coffey, Wolfgang and Eddie Dennis for the men. For the women, Shayna Baszler, Io Shirai, Bianca BeLair, Candice LeRae and Dakota Kai vs. Jinny, Piper Niven, Xia Brookside, Nina Samuels and Isla Dawn.
SCAFIDE: NXT Mens (Velveteen Dream if he’s healthy, Lee, Priest, Breeze, Fandango) vs NXT UK Mens (Devlin, Dunne ,Dar, Coffey, Andrews). NXT Womens (LeRae, Belair, Purrazzo, Nox, Baszler) vs NXT UK Womens (Niven, Brookside, Jinny, Dawn, Samuels)
ABSLER: Men’s Team NXT (Cameron Grimes, Damien Priest, Donovan Dijakovic, Matt Riddle, and Velveteen Dream) vs. Men’s Team NXT UK (Dave Mastiff, Fabian Aichner, Eddie Dennis, Mark Coffey, Wolfgang).
Women’s Team NXT (Bianca Belair, Shayna Baszler, Io Sharai, Candice LeRae, Dakota Kai) vs. Women’s Team NXT UK (Jinny, Kay Lee Ray, Killer Kelly, Piper Niven, Xia Brookside)