Saturday, June 22, 2024
Editorial1 Year After NXT Worlds Collide: Where Are They Now?

1 Year After NXT Worlds Collide: Where Are They Now?

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On September 4, 2022, the NXT and NXT UK rosters clashed in the Worlds Collide premium live event. This saw the end of NXT UK and the unification of several titles in champion vs. champion matches.

It’s been a year. How are these Superstars holding up? Who received big upgrades to their careers since then? Which ones are exactly where they were, or had severe downgrades?

Let’s take a look at who was involved and what they’re doing at this particular moment.

NXT UK Heritage Cup: Missing Then, Featured Now

Strangely absent from this card was the Heritage Cup. A few weeks prior, WWE went out of its way to hit the reset button on Mark Coffey as champion, giving it back to Noam Dar, only for him to sit this show out entirely.

Instead of having what seemed to be the obvious title unification between the midcard championships by booking Dar against North American champion Carmelo Hayes, the Heritage Cup just wasn’t mentioned at all for months.

Then, randomly, Dar popped up on television with the trophy, the commentary team acted mildly surprised, basically treated it like it wasn’t all too shocking that a championship disappeared for so long without a peep, and everyone moved on.

Dar’s been carrying that thing around and making it his primary focal point even when he lost it for a few weeks to Nathan Frazer. It’s given rise to Meta-Four coming together and been featured as a rather prominent title in recent months.

NXT North American Championship Match: Carmelo Hayes (c) defeated Ricochet

As stated, the title unification didn’t happen. Hayes didn’t even fight anyone from the NXT UK roster on this show. Instead, he randomly fought Ricochet.

Granted, it was a good match, but it still didn’t make much sense. My guess is WWE not only just wanted to do the match in general, because of their chemistry and the fondness for giving Hayes quality opponents, but thought that putting a main roster Superstar on the show would help bump the buy rates.

Also, you can somewhat bend the rules and say Worlds Collide is about brands competing, and technically, Raw and SmackDown could be in the mix, but since this was an NXT-hosted show with an emphasis on NXT UK’s dismantling, it still feels odd this happened.

Where are they now? Ricochet is back on the Raw roster and has had his ups and downs. His marquee match against Logan Paul at SummerSlam was a highlight for sure.

Hayes is no longer North American champion. He swapped that out for the better title and has been reigning strong as NXT champion since April 1.

Tag Team Title Unification Fatal 4-Way Match: Pretty Deadly defeated The Creed Brothers (c), Brooks Jensen & Josh Briggs (c), and Gallus

I was shocked when Pretty Deadly won this unification match. The Creed Brothers felt like such an obvious pick.

Since then, Kit Wilson and Elton Prince dropped those belts, moved up to the main roster, and unfortunately suffered a setback with an injury to Prince. They haven’t been seen much on SmackDown since then, but we can hope once healed, they’ll be back in the swing of things and doing more than just being Austin Theory’s temporary lackeys.

Jensen and Briggs are very much in the same position they were, if not lower on the totem pole. Once that romance angle petered out, WWE seemed to lose interest in putting them on television. They’re still there, can easily be inserted into almost anything and are better in the ring than last year, but are definitely on the sidelines.

Gallus had a surprisingly long run with the NXT tag titles. Too long, if you asked me. They only relatively recently lost the belts to Tony D’Angelo and Channing “Stacks” Lorenzo. Frankly, I think Gallus has been a bit of a bore and nowhere near the imposing act they were in NXT UK.

Finally, The Creed Brothers have had many struggles. For a few weeks, they were even not technically on the roster anymore (in kayfabe), having to defeat The Dyad in a steel cage match to regain their positions. Their feud with Damon Kemp out of this show went on for quite a while and their Schism feud that is hopefully wrapped up now have basically kept them busy for the full year, outside of random tag team matches with a lot of these same pairs. Julius and Brutus are more than ready to go up to the main roster, but WWE seems hesitant to pull the trigger just yet.

Women’s Title Unification Triple Threat Match: Mandy Rose (c) defeated Meiko Satomura (c) and Blair Davenport

This segment certainly doesn’t age super well, does it?

Mandy Rose walked out of this match the unified champion. Three months later, she dropped the title to Roxanne Perez on an impromptu episode of NXT, was released from her contract, and hasn’t been seen since. Well, at least not unless you’re subscribed to her Fantime account, which seems to be doing very well for her!

Blair Davenport spent many months off television. Eventually, she came back as an anonymous hooded attacker that had taken out several Superstars over the period of a few weeks. That hasn’t led to anything significant, but it’s at least gotten her back into the fold.

That’s more than can be said for Meiko Satomura, who has only had 4 televised matches since then: a victory over Roxanne, a win alongside Roxanne, a win over Zoey Stark and a loss to Roxanne.

Once that story of the mentor versus pupil concluded in March, Satomura’s been M.I.A.

NXT Women’s Tag Team Title Match: Katana Chance and Kayden Carter (c) defeated Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H.

The title unification match wasn’t the only women’s match to see some big changes in one year. This match for the tag team titles wouldn’t even happen in September 2023, as those belts are now completely gone.

Chance and Carter dropped them to Fallon Henley and Kiana James, who lost them to Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn, who didn’t do much with them for their 83 days but be drafted to SmackDown, sit around for a while, and then drop the titles to Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler for a unification and merger into the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Of course, Rousey and Baszler broke up and those subsequent champions have had their curse continue after that, too. Yikes.

Among that chaos, Doudrop is now one-half of the tag team champions alongside Chelsea Green, who wasn’t officially announced as part of the company at this point last year. But Doudrop isn’t Doudrop anymore. She’s back to being Piper Niven.

Also, Nikki A.S.H. is no longer doing the superhero gimmick. She reverted back to her Nikki Cross persona and went through some other interesting things, too. Nikki was part of a trio of 24/7 Championship title changes on house shows with Dana Brooke and Tamina for a while. Eventually, Cross won the 24/7 title on the November 7 episode of Raw, threw the belt in the trash (or, rather, failed to in a hilarious botch) and that championship wasn’t seen or spoken of again.

Meanwhile, Cross has played heel and face, been temporarily partnered up with a few people and has mostly done nothing of note. She wrestles on Main Event here and there, pops up on a random Raw episode mostly to lose, and that’s about it.

Chance and Carter are still together, but after a few semi-heel turns that never fully manifested, and a draft up to the Raw roster, they haven’t found their footing quite yet.

NXT Champion Bron Breakker defeated NXT UK Champion Tyler Bate

Since failing in this unification match, Tyler Bate took a huge step down on the hierarchy to become a midcard act. He’s had both his serious moments and his more Buddhist monk character type involved in a few feuds, namely for the North American Championship and Heritage Cup, but hasn’t added any more accolades to his stats.

Breakker would go on to hold the NXT Championship many more months, dropping the title to Hayes at Stand & Deliver during WrestleMania Week. Following that, he completed his heel turn and has basically spent the past 5 months sitting out a good portion of the episodes, then coming back for spontaneous, explosive feuds with a handful of people.

It very much gives off the vibe that WWE doesn’t quite know what to do with Breakker outside of wanting him to play around with this heel gimmick while still in NXT, rather than sending him up to the main roster without a game plan and setting him up for failure.

Likewise, it seems WWE’s perspective on Bate is that he’s a good hand, but not someone who is a priority to find a spot for at this moment. They like him. He’s good to put in the ring with different people. But his story isn’t one they’re all too interested in telling right now.

NXT UK hasn’t been resurrected in this past year. There has been no ground made on NXT Europe, either. A few Superstars joined the NXT roster out of this, but many more were just let go of their contracts and that was that. Worlds Collide certainly made some big shifts and it is interesting to see who has made the best out of the past year and who has fallen short.

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