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Collision TV report for 03/16/2024

Venue: Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, CA

*****

Bryan Danielson vs Katsuyori Shibata

Backstory: NONE

The fans here were excited, chanting ‘holy shit’ as the bell rang but there were also a visible number of empty seats even on the hard cam side – a fitting encapsulation of this match.

Grappling to the mat, Danielson worked the arm down into a quick pin, Shibata recovering briefly before being taken down once more.  He popped up with wrist control, Danielson rolled and contorted to reverse grip but was taken down quickly by the shoulder, rolling away, stare down, reset.

Cagey circling now, both aiming kicks to keep the other at bay, Danielson got the wrists, with them locked they each aimed kicks at the hamstrings, Danielson slipped behind to take Shibata down by the feet, thinking Romero Special but settling for stomping the achilles.

Back to the arm, snapping it across his shoulder, Shibata firing back with his free arm, rinse and repeat x2.  Shibata kicking Danielson down, maintaining wrist control, more kicks and forearms with Danielson on his knees, until he popped back up to go back after the arm and take Shibata down.  The Japanese countered back into a bow and arrow, Danielson slipped out thinking ankle lock but went for his own bow and arrow.

Shibata flipped out to bag one but was then forced back to the corner.  This sounds like an old studio wrestling show.

Danielson shoved him, Shibata did it back, several more followed before the chops came out.  Chest-reddening ones.  Until Danielson faked one then cheaply took Shibata down, stomping the shoulder/triceps, to boos.  Dueling chant as he again took Shibata down via high armdrag, Shibata slipping to the apron but countering a suplex to drop Danielson outside and land a PK from the apron.

Ads.

Back to Danielson landing a corner dropkick; Shibata no sold, followed Danielson to land one of his own, Danielson followed back to do the same, stiff chest kicks now until a pissed Shibata aimed a flurry of stiff forearms and chops till Danielson slumped against the bottom buckle.

Running dropkick drew an ‘oooh’ from the crowd.  Danielson out at two after a delay.

Chin lock, Danielson fighting up to his feet, dueling chant again as he slipped behind, series of standing switches ending with Shibata grabbing an ankle lock, Danielson flipped free into his own, each countered once more until Shibata was dragged up into a German suplex, he got up selling his head but stumbled far enough to deliver an STO, both down.

Shibata got a near fall, TiA started as he landed H&A into a chinlock, looked for a Rainmaker, Danielson ducking, busaiku hit, Shibata out at two but right into the LeBell, middle of the ring, chants of ‘tap’, Danielson grabbed the arm nearest the rope, Shibata searching with his legs instead and getting the break.

Was in that a long time, doesn’t do a lot for the hold’s credibility.

Danielson aimed chest kicks, Shibata wagging his finger ‘no!’ then sitting with his legs crossed asking Danielson to bring it, a final kick rolled him backwards to pop up into a pump kick, exchange of big boots, Kawada kicks from Shibata, clubbing blow to the back, Danielson on his knees now as Shibata aimed chest kicks of his own, Danielson now sat with his legs crossed, returning the favor.

Shibata joined him, face to face, aiming stinging open hands to the face, very stiff, especially for two guys with past head injuries.  Danielson finally went to the kicks, landing a roundhouse, Shibata slumping, chants of ‘yes!’ as Danielson went for the busaiku again, Shibata countered to hit a ripcord slap, into the iron octopus.

Danielson got the ropes quickly with his foot.  Shibata missed a PK and was rolled up for two, each countered pinfalls for two, in and out, until Danielson rolled through into the LeBell, again dead center, Shibata countered into a pin, Danielson countered back for three.

I’m sure this was better than the match vs Shane Taylor last week which I really enjoyed.  But it went way longer and crucially, last week there were other things to look forward to along with just ‘wrestling’: stars, angles.  Tonight has nothing.

Winner: Bryan Danielson

They briefly recapped Mercedes’ debut.  Including footage of Willow/Mercedes from last year.  Then Mone saving Willow from a two-on-one at the hands of Julia and Skye Blue.  If someone’s really such a big ‘get,’ it should be trumpeted throughout the show.

Julia Hart vs Trish Adora (TBS Title)

Backstory: NONE

‘Queen Spooky,’ as Eric Krol of the Torch referred to her this week (which just perfectly encapsulates how limited the character is) was out first.  It seems they’re half-assed trying to make a thing of the Infantry since Adora got an entrance and is apparently part of that.

The dumbass ‘House Rules’ thing is that the loser can’t appear at ringside during the tag later.  So the HOB’s chances in that could drop from 100% to 99.9999999999999 if Julia loses.

Adora humped Julia while performing a splits over her after taking her down.  She then got another whacky submission to silence.  Then took Hart down to silence.  Julia then exited the ring – say it with me – to silence.

Julia slipped out of a bodyslam outside and sent Adora face-first to the steps.  Then did it again.

Then it was ads.  Gripping stuff.

Back to a chinlock, Adora elbowing free, shots to the face then a lariat, leaping knee, she tried to get the crowd going to not much return.  Then got two after a shoulder breaker.  Pump kick missed badly, Julia hit a lariat in the corner, running back elbow, STO, Adora countered Hartless for two, bridging German from her knees for the same.

But then missed a senton by a ridiculous amount, Julia was already in the next state.

Julia got her feet up in the corner, thrust kick, moonsault coming.  Fans did get up for that.  She hit it beautifully too.  Should’ve gone half the time, max.

Winner: Julia Hart

Backstage to Zac Knight and Harley Cameron.  Knight was challenged yesterday by Angelo Parker.  Cheap heat mode engaged, Knight said he wouldn’t face Parker in Canada, they made a bunch of ultra-generic jokes at the country’s expense, Knight then repeated the start of his promo – ‘Zac Knight will give you a fight,’ (it rhymes you see) and ‘let’s be havin ya.’

Knight is Saraya’s brother in case you weren’t aware, since AEW didn’t bother to explain who the hell he is.  There wasn’t much here to suggest why he was hired in a company bursting at the seams with talent.

Daniel Garcia vs Lee Moriarty

Backstory: NONE

Think what I will, Garcia got a hell of a pop coming out here.  Moriarty did not.  A fired-up Menard joining on comms.

This started fast, the two rushing each other looking for early pins until Moriarty trapped Garcia in a headscissors.  Garcia escaped then did his stupid dance, basically thrusting his crotch in Lee’s face.

Then avoided a corner charge, low kick, shotgun dropkick, out goes Lee.  Shane Taylor’s at ringside btw.  Garcia’s dumb so he jawed with him and took a tope (a babyface who stops to dance and is easily distracted – where can we get hold of his merch?).

Taylor again interfered.  To a healthy amount of boos.  Moriarty then mocked Garcia’s dance.  To more boos.  And hit a belly to belly after Garcia tried to fight back.  Then began manipulating the fingers before focusing on the elbow.

Garcia to his feet, shots to the gut, snapping jabs, avoiding wild swings from Moriarty before stomping him down in the corner and preening to the crowd.  Chop block after Moriarty missed another wild swing, Moriarty limping, taking a big open hand, belly to back, for two.

Moriarty hooked the legs to counter a pin but couldn’t follow up due to his leg.  But hit back to stomp Garcia out of an enziguri.  Garcia got a heel hook.  For the tap.  Wow, that was quick.  Fast, smooth and crisp while it lasted.

Winner: Daniel Garcia

They still have not mentioned the tag tournament outside of tonight’s ‘wildcard match.’  Which they haven’t bothered to explain either – what’s it for?  Why are these teams in it?

*****

They replayed Darby legitimately breaking his foot against Jay White Weds (in that spot where he took the fall on his feet after a dive).  They blamed the injury on White and BCG.

(Allin’s no longer climbing Everest this year btw.)

PAC vs Aaron Solo

Backstory: NONE

I saw this advertised elsewhere as Pac vs Komander.  Guess they were rushed for time after crushing so many matches onto the show?

Solo hit a couple early moves, Pac bailed outside, Solo followed with a dive but barely got a one count after bundling Pac back in.

Crowd chanted ‘welcome back,’ as Pac began dissecting Solo with kicks.  ‘He’s a bastard,’ followed while Pac continued to murder Solo with his feet.  Shotgun off the top, kip-up, vicious running back-elbow in the corner, Black Arrow, Brutalizer, tap.

This is what squashes should be – short, high-impact showcases.

Pac grabbed a mic and said he’s back and ‘looking for trouble.’  And ‘this’ (Solo) is not what he had in mind.  He again told Khan he’s ‘looking for trouble,’ warning Khan to find him some or he’ll go looking for it.

Winner: PAC

Bryan Danielson backstage.  Meditating.  He kept repeating ‘gratitude.’  Then said he’s so thankful he could wrestle Shibata tonight.  Both were told they’d never wrestle again after head injuries.  He’s also grateful he has a match upcoming with Ospreay.

He saw what Ospreay said Weds about emulating him but also that he’s not yet ready to die.  Which tells Danielson that Ospreay might have followed him but he’s not ready to be him or face him.

Guys like him and Shibata have been willing to die for what they love and are willing to do whatever it takes.  ‘And I don’t think you’re ready for that yet.’

Pretty effective, perhaps missing a couple little things to truly bring it together.  Gist was there.

Claudio Castagnoli vs Lance Archer

Backstory: NONE

Stiff grapple, neither gaining an advantage.  Each aimed shoulder tackles, same result.  Crowd started chanting ‘meat’ at these.  At least a few people did.  Each hit quick scoop slams, each then popped up.

Forearms now, each being rocked but showing no signs of leaving their feet.  Boots – same result.  Claudio lariated Archer up and out at the second attempt, ran into a choke but countered the slam attempt by clambering onto the apron; Archer countered back to land a cannonball off the apron.

Ads.  Guess that means Archer’s the heel.

Claudio hit a delayed vertical, uppercut in the corner but running into a big Archer lariat.  The bigger guy heading upstairs now, arm captured, looking for his rope-walk moonsault, which was countered into an uppercut.

Swing time.  Archer fought it off but took a stomp, bailing outside.

Claudio bundled him back in, Archer met him up top with a knee strike, chokeslam, two with the first pin of the match.  Blackout coming, Claudio slipped behind, DVD, uppercut flurry in the corner, cutter dragging Archer off the top.  For two.

Neutralizer countered but Claudio recovered to land a springboard uppercut.  Crowd chanting for the swing, Castagnoli motioned for it and just started it when the Righteous ran in for the stoppage.

Why the hell couldn’t Claudio beat a guy everybody else does?  Don’t mind the odd no contest if there’s a good reason; this wasn’t.

Danielson ran out to help out but took a beating too.  Moxley’s not here apparently.  Shibata ran out with a chair and the heels bailed.  Guess it’s the Righteous’ bi-monthly half-push.  And guess there’s a six-man coming.

Winner: No Contest

Angelo Parker and Ruby Soho.  Parker was basically inconsolable at Knight having turned down his challenge.  He vowed to go looking for him.  Ruby tried to talk him out of it and said if he did, he’d have to do it without her.

Parker said he’d leave it for tonight.

So I’ve seen about 2/5 of the Parker/Soho story and 0/5 of the Knight/Parker story.  It all strikes me as a terrible waste of tv time but if you’re going to do it at least keep your audience up to date.  Why does Parker want Zac so badly?

Kyle O’Reilly vs Bryan Keith

Backstory: O’Reilly has seemingly been champing at the bit for 2+ years to face Keith

O’Reilly got a decent response coming out but the crowd were silent as this started.  Nigel made a joke about diabetes.  Very stiff.

For what seems like every match tonight but Pac, they grappled to a stalemate then had to start again.  O’Reilly working the arm; Keith countering into a hammerlock, O’Reilly blocked a takedown looking for the armbar but took a shot and bailed outside.

Returning after collecting himself, they got back to grappling.  Then chopping and forearm-ing.  Dropdown, leapfrog countered by a Keith kick; O’Reilly immediately struck back with a rising knee then faked another and slapped Keith.

Kitchen sink; Keith countered behind into an abdominal stretch, O’Reilly looking for a guillotine choke but Keith hit a heel kick to free himself.  Keith again countered a submission, this time into a ddt for two.

Ads.  Damn this show’s boring.

A really nice flurry of kicks from Kyle – high and low – ending with a sweep, high angle belly to back looking for a knee bar, Keith rolled to the ropes.  It’s so quiet again.

Keith landed a kick to the gut, Kyle slipped off his shoulders and went for a guillotine down into the triangle then landed a punt after releasing his grip.  Upstairs he was cut off, took a knee to the face, near fall which no-one bought since the winner’s so obvious.  A powerbomb for the same.

Kyle armdragged Keith down from the top but took an enziguri.  A brainbuster got two, the armbar got the tap.

There was absolutely no reason for this to go so long – are you trying to build the guy who just returned or establish the new guy?  Make your mind up.

The Disputed Kingdom came out and raised Kyle onto their shoulders.

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

Deonna and Rosa with Lexxy.  Deonna used the ‘enemy of my enemy’ line about them teaming – she’s fought Rosa before and trusts her.  She then complained about Toni tapping out at the ppv before all the cheating helped her keep her title.  Rosa then said Toni had the title she never lost.

They have a mission and it’s ‘tv time.’  Huh?

Deonna almost sounded like Bret Hart here when he was deliberately whining about injustice to turn himself heel.

The Infantry vs House of Black

Backstory: ‘Wildcard’ match for tag tourney

So is Copeland closing the show?  Schiavone just mentioned that we’re still to hear from him.  If not, Jesus Christ, if you thought last week’s main event was weak…

They finally explained that the winners here face FTR in the opening round.  Makes me think the Infantry might win after their argument with FTR last week.  Maybe after Mark Briscoe interferes?

On the subject, they still haven’t told us the tag brackets.  So basically, if you don’t watch Rampage, screw you.

The House attacked before the bell and beat the Infantry around ringside.  Course, the audience have no reason to care about the Infantry so this got no boos.  It’s Brody and Buddy wrestling btw.

The ref asked an already battered Infantry if they wanted to continue.  Unfortunately they said yes.

Ads.

Matthews missed a punt and was rolled up for two, Dean tagged in and tripped badly off the top rope, nearly face-planting.  Crowd were kind though and he recovered quickly and hit an enziguri.  Brody tagged in, Dean hit splashes in the corner to both until Brody walloped him with a lariat.  Crowd barked to finally break the silence.

Dean was DVD’d onto the announce table but it didn’t break.  Crowd finally woke and chanted ‘tables’ as Brody piledrove him onto it.  Still didn’t break.  Obviously hurt Brody too, he was clutching his backside.

Buddy got two on Bravo after raising him so he could continue to beat on him.  Mark Briscoe came out with a chair and knocked Buddy off the apron then goaded Brody into following him through the crowd.  No idea why it wasn’t a DQ.

The Infantry crawled into a pin after being eviscerated for ten minutes straight.  Man what a tournament this’ll be with teams of this caliber taking part!!!

They finally showed the brackets.  Though only long enough for me to see it has eight teams and the Bucks are facing Private Party.

Winner: House of Black

Package pushing the Copeland/Cage match.

Copeland then came out and got the loudest response this amount of people can give.  He said last time he performed here he wasn’t sure he’d ever be back.  He has a lot of history here.  He said it’s fitting he’s facing a guy he thought was his best friend.

(He’d brought the case thing he showed Cage last week.)

He said Cage had ‘bought it all’ (his gimmick) since he isn’t ‘Jay’ anymore.  He said he figured that someday they’d be sipping whiskey, reminiscing.  They talked about him coming to AEW, Cage was ‘on board’.  Copeland came to be with him, not to take away his shine (haven’t we heard all this before?).

At World’s End he failed.  So he picked himself up and decided to earn his shot.  But the Patriarchy took him out – ‘with a conchairto’ (which they’ve made nothing of btw, a neck injury doesn’t mean much if you don’t mention it).  He implied he’d talked to Mick Foley and Abyss (I think), so he’s ‘created Spike’ (a barbed bat).  Which is what’s in the case.

He’s a man who has dark caves in his head and Wednesday Cage will end up in the hospital courtesy of him and Spike.  He’s going to make Cage say two words that will take away his pride, make him unable to look his daughters in the eyes.

Forty years after it started, in their hometown, ‘it ends!’

Delivered well but much of this sounded like a rehash.  The feud’s gone too long; as a guy who hates ‘garbage wrestling,’ adding a spiked bat only diminishes my interest.  This show was an insult to our very finite time here on earth.

_________________________________________________________________

Next Dynamite:

  • Adam Copeland vs Christian Cage (TNT Title, I Quit)
  • Jericho vs Hook
  • Eddie Kingston vs Kazuchika Okada (Continental Championship)
  • ‘Hear from’ Mercedes
  • Thunder Rosa and Deonna vs Mariah and Toni

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Pac’s squash – that’s how you do it

 *****

  • After last week contained stars, angles and returns, this felt like a slap in the face:
  • A single utterly uninteresting match announced ahead of time
  • Yet another ‘dream match’ that’s only so to a core of a core of the audience, with no build
  • A bunch of overly long matches with no intrigue re: outcome
  • A half-assed tag tournament rollout – like the failure to build anyone for Mercedes, it all suggests a lack of planning
  • And a ‘title defense’ vs someone who only appears on tv to lose – it’s same ol’ same ol’ – and Tony probably wonders why so few people turn up

Appreciate you reading.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Paul Hemming
Paul Hemminghttps://h00kedon.weebly.com/
Paul Hemming got into AEW during the pandemic, lives in Liverpool, England, and is a huge Liverpool fan, Playstation player and history lover.

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