WWE announced today that over the course of Royal Rumble weekend, as part of the AXXESS Event, they will film a 3-day tournament, called Worlds Collide, that will air at a later date as a co-joined WWE Network special featuring talents from NXT, NXT UK and 205 Live.
The Superstars of @WWENXT, NXT UK and 205 Live are set to battle in the first-ever WWE Worlds Collide Tournament & it all goes down at Royal Rumble Axxess in Phoenix! https://t.co/JDwYCF2TMe pic.twitter.com/35AHKejQhR
— WWE (@WWE) January 10, 2019
It’s a unique format, starting with a 15-man Battle Royal featuring all competitors (five from each brand), leading into a single elimination tournament. The WWE press release reviewed the rules as such:
Brand-versus-brand dream matches will become a reality as 15 Superstars in total — five from NXT, five from NXT UK and five from 205 Live — will compete over the course of two days, with the tournament winner receiving a future NXT, NXT UK or 205 Live Championship Match of their choosing. That means anyone can become a champion on any brand!
The WWE Worlds Collide Tournament, which will be taped for a WWE Network special, kicks off with a 15-Superstar Battle Royal on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the 8 a.m. session of Axxess. The order of elimination in the Battle Royal will then determine the First-Round Matches for a 15-Superstar, single-elimination tournament beginning later that session. The Battle Royal winner will receive a first-round bye.
The tournament will continue at Saturday’s second session of Axxess, taking place from 1-5 p.m., before concluding at the final Axxess session on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 8 a.m.-12 p.m
So far they’ve announced 14 of the 15 names competing in the tournament. A 15th, NXT’s Humberto Carillo (formerly Ultimo Ninja from Crash Lucha Libre), was originally announced, but surprisingly was listed under the 205 Live competitors instead of NXT, where he currently competes. It’s possible Carillo is still slated and that perhaps it was decided to remove his name as it may have spoiled a potential call-up to 205 Live in the coming weeks. Another scenario could be that one of the potential free agents rumored to be joining the WWE, such as former IMPACT X-Division Champion Trevor Lee or indie star ACH, could make their surprise debut at the tournament.
Here’s a look at the 14 names announced for Worlds Collide.
CEDRIC ALEXANDER, 205 LIVE
Now that the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion is out of the Fatal 4-Way to reclaim the belt at Royal Rumble, he’ll be looking for another opportunity to get back his belt.
MARK ANDREWS, NXT UK
A former PROGRESS World Champion, Mark Andrews has been a staple of the WWE’s UK expansion plans since 2017 after departing IMPACT Wrestling.
TYLER BATE, NXT UK
The first ever WWE UK Champion will be looking to find his way back into the title picture and may be doing it as a champion already, as he and Trent Seven compete for the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team titles this Saturday at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool.
TRAVIS BANKS, NXT UK
“The Kiwi Buzzsaw” is another former PROGRESS World Champion who has been engaged in a feud with Jordan Devlin in NXT UK.
ADAM COLE, NXT
The leader of NXT’s Undisputed Era, and former 3x Ring of Honor World Champion, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) World Champion and the first NXT North American Champion, Adam Cole will be looking to use this to springboard back into the main event of NXT.
JORDAN DEVLIN, NXT UK
“The Irish Ace” has been another hot prospect for the WWE’s UK division since 2017, and his last year with Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling in Ireland, where he held the OTT World Championship for 196 days, made him one of the best international stars of the year.
DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC, NXT
Formerly Donovan Dijak in Ring of Honor and the US indies, Dijakovic recently made his official NXT debut and is looking to create a path to the top.
OTIS DOZOVIC, NXT
An odd selection considering that by the time the special airs, Dozovic – alongside his tag team partner in Heavy Machinery, Tucker Knight – will most likely be debuting on the main roster.
ZACK GIBSON, NXT UK
“Liverpool’s #1” and one of NXT UK’s top heels, Gibson was the winner of the 2018 WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament but failed to wrestle the belt from Pete Dunne. He’s also competing this Saturday at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool for the NXT UK Tag Team titles, alongside his longtime partner James Drake in Grizzled Young Veterans.
DREW GULAK, 205 LIVE
Drew Gulak has come close on many occasions to capture the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, but he’s always come up a little short. A run through the tournament could change his momentum.
KEITH LEE, NXT
One of the top indie signings by the WWE in 2018, he’s still finding his groove in NXT. The big man is far too talented to remain quiet and a huge showing in Worlds Collide could blow open the doors for the Limitless one.
TONY NESE, 205 LIVE
205 Live‘s “Premier Athlete” is one of the most athletically gifted stars in the WWE Cruiserweight Division. A perfect balance of power with athleticism, this tournament is almost designed for his arsenal.
TJP, 205 LIVE
The winner of the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic and former WWE Cruiserweight Champion, TJP has had a lot of ups and downs the past year. He’s shown he can run the gamut of a tournament before and he’ll be looking for a repeat of 2016’s success.
VELVETEEN DREAM, NXT
The Dream has emerged as one of NXT’s biggest stars following an outstanding 2018, but he’s constantly had other people’s dramas keeping him from the NXT Championship scene. A win in this tournament would skyrocket him to the top.