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WWE Worlds Collide results: An evening of battle royals

Two battle royals closed out the Worlds Collide finae Wednesday, recorded during WrestleMania weekend as part of Axxess.

Vic Joseph and Percy Watson were drowned out of their own introduction at the beginning of the show from the background music being way too loud, so we're off and running already.

Bianca Belair won the women's Worlds Collide battle royal

Participants: Bianca Belair, Taynara Conti, Kacy Catanzaro, Deonna Purazzo, Jessamyn Duke, Marina Shaffir, Io Shirai, Lacey Lane, Jess E, Xia Li, Kavita Devi, Mia Yim, Reina Gonzalez, Aaliyah, Vanessa Borne, Kay Lee Ray (NXT UK), Piper Niven (NXT UK) and Toni Storm (NXT UK).

This match didn't start until around ten minutes into the broadcast. Everyone got their own introduction and some even got their own choreographed pose spots in the middle of the ring. 

Niven eliminated Kay Lee Ray, implying a program between the two. Borne and Conti clawed at each other a bit. I note them specifically because that is what production chose to show the audience. 

Reina Gonzalez eliminated Kacy Catanzaro. See above. At times, it was still difficult to hear the commentary over music or ringside mics. M

Yim had a few exchanges with Duke and Shaffir. Duke’s high kicks look great. Shaffir accidentally eliminated her partner, but then Shaffir eliminated Yim, a quick narrative receipt. 

The formula they used was two wrestlers in the middle of the ring while seven or eight other wrestlers conveniently sold in each corner. Rotate, repeat. The formula usually works if the crowd responds to the spots and in some cases toward the end of this match, they did. Borne and Aaliyah eliminated Piper, but as they taunted Niven on the floor, they themselves were eliminated which got a hilariously loud reaction. I wonder why people don't like them.

Shirai eliminated Gonzalez and Belair eliminated Storm. The crowd chanted for Shirai for about four bars, then four bars for Belair, then half and half. Once they tied up, the two got in a few good minutes of action and drama. Belair press slammed Shirai to the floor with ease for the dominant looking win. 

This wasn’t good, but really, when are battle royals ever good? They are vessels for new narratives and new faces. If that was the case, it served its purpose here.

Roderick Strong won the men’s Worlds Collide battle royal

Participants: Ariya Davari (205 Live), The Brian Kendrick (205 Live), Eric Bugenhagen (NXT), Drew Gulak (205 Live), Dave Mastiff (NXT UK), Humberto Carrillo (205 Live), The Coffey Brothers (NXT UK), Dominik Dijakovic (NXT), Fabian Aichner (NXT), Ligero (NXT UK), Matt Riddle (NXT), Rinku Singh & Saurav Gurjar (NXT), Akira Tozawa (205 Live), The Forgotten Sons (NXT), Roderick Strong (NXT), Travis Banks (NXT UK), and Tyler Bate (NXT UK).

Sidebar: Bate’s music is just a funny rendition of Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer", right?

After we got five minutes of walkouts to the ring, the match got underway. Riddle and Bugenhagen somehow ended up outside the ring. They had what I'd call a “rock off" with both playing air guitar together. 

We got lots of punches and kicks for a while. Dijokavic did his “Feast Your Eyes” pose, so everyone in the ring feasted their eyes on him, then jumped him. Cute. 

Eric Bugenhagen eliminated Ariya Davari. This was my first time seeing Singh and Gurjar and they had a good big monster feel to them. They eliminated Banks together. 

Mastiff eliminated Gulak and Kendrick at the same time. Mastiff and Riddle then went at it for a little while. Singh eliminated his own partner, Gurjar. Alright, let’s see where that goes. Strong eliminated Mastiff and Bate launched Joe Coffey over the top rope to eliminate him.

The final four: Rinku Singh, Matt Riddle, Tyler Bate and Strong.

The other three ganged up on Singh at first. Singh later eliminated Riddle which really seemed to bum people out. Bate was able to eliminate Singh and got a “Thank you, Tyler” chant.  This led to the highlight of the match which was the equivalent of the last few minutes of a match between Strong and Bate. 

At one point, Bate did an airplane spin and WWE’s production zoomed in and out with each rotation he made, rendering the spinning effect of the move useless since you never see a full spin. The production choices actually lessened the effect of what the wrestlers were doing and ruined a perfectly good airplane spin.

Complaints aside, the two had themselves an excellent exchange. Bate’s athleticism is scary. Strong continues to be, arguably, the most underrated in-ring talent on the roster. They exchanged big moves for a short while, and Strong’s backbreaker variations were notable. They teased a few spots on the apron but brought things back in the ring, then out again.

While Bate was on the apron, Strong landed a high dropkick, thus eliminating the recently, and hilariously, named Big Strong Boi.

Final thoughts:

This show was just two battel royals with one that was pretty awful and one that was less bad. Strong and Bate's last few minutes were really good, and the crowd responded especially to the final four wrestlers in the bout: Singh, Riddle, Bate and Stong.

The production quality was annoying and at points made the show difficult to take seriously, particularly with regard to the announce team often being drowned out by ring music or the crowd, and with the directorial choices the production team made like the zooming in and out on the in-ring work.