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Collision TV report for 03/30/2024

Venue: Budweiser Gardens, London, Ontario, CA

*****

Copeland out to start the show, to a huge response.  They recapped how he’d beaten Cage.  Nigel said Cage had quit in that match since his kids were watching at home and he didn’t want to put them through any more.

Crowd seems very hot, Copeland played to them and was quickly interrupted by a loud ‘Adam,’ chant.  He said he’s finally closed the book on Christian and it’s time to go back to the Cope Open.  But now the stakes are higher because his title’s on the line.  He’s ‘here to fight.’

So asked who was up first.  Music played, no one reacted because they weren’t familiar with it.  Then Matt Cardona walked out and the crowd did react.  Me, I wondered why the hell they keep feeling the need to give tv time to outsiders when they have such a bloated roster.

Riccaboni’s joined Nigel and Schiavone on comms for the show btw.

Adam Copeland vs Matt Cardona (TNT Title)

Backstory: It’s that staple of the overworked/underskilled booker – the open challenge!

Copeland ran him over with a shoulder, series of hip tosses, crowd already chanting TiA.

Lockup, Cardona headlock, whipped off but running through Copeland, stereo dropkicks to a draw and another cheer from the crowd.  They stalled briefly and the crowd continued to go ape.  Really hot fans so far.

Boos now though as Cardona choked Copeland in the corner; the vet slid under the ropes after a whip and made the new boy chase him, right into a lariat outside.  Before they battled on the apron, Cardona raked the eyes and shoved Copeland off.

You know what that means!

Ads.  So yeah if you don’t like AEW being criticized you ain’t gonna like this, but it is the most AEW thing in the world to respond to the worst rating in years by bringing out an indie wrestler.

Back to Copeland fighting out of a headlock but being run over.  Crowd still ridiculously loud.  Chin lock, the champ again trying to fight out, to his feet, shots to the gut, duck under, they crashed trying cross bodies, then lariats, then shotguns, both down.

More TiA.

Cardona crawling up in the ropes, Copeland up second but sweeping the challenger off the top buckle.  Cardona returned the favor, catching Copeland up top and thinking superplex but being thrown down via front suplex, Copeland following up via bulldog, two count with the first pin of the match.

Cage ducked a pair of lariats into a reverse facebuster, Cardona rolling outside to escape the pin, making Copeland chase him this time and kicking the middle rope into Copeland’s junk, impaler, Copeland out at two.

Cardona then dragged him to the corner, talking smack and slapping him.  More boos.  They keep calling this ‘student vs teacher’.

Copeland missed a Spear but countered Cardona’s finish, hit a powerbomb, 1, 2… kickout.  Cardona down, another Spear coming, this crowd is electric,  Cardona countered into Radio Silence but Copeland kicked out.

Copeland down now, Cardona readying a spear, Copeland countered with one of his own for the very popular win.  Solid match made to feel much more by an incredible crowd.  Will Copeland ever wrestle somebody who isn’t ex-WWE?  Stay tuned to find out.

Winner: Adam Copeland

Copeland was celebrating when the lights went out.  Malakai Black appeared in the ring.  Crowd chanted ‘Holy Shit,’ they stared at each other, Buddy Matthews attacked from behind, Mark Briscoe raced out but was immediately, immediately, taken out by the House.  Until Eddie Kingston came out, the House stood back, lights down, House gone.

*****

Lexy spoke to FTR earlier:

She said they’re considered the favorites to win the tournament.  Clearly the phrase ‘ton of momentum’ has been earmarked for the Infantry because she used it here after Excalibur kept repeating it Wednesday.  It’s funny every single time.

Cash said he wouldn’t consider them favorites.  They’ve been on a losing streak.  Last time they wrestled they were choked out by the BCC.

Dax compared this to March Madness and said they wanted to become the most decorated team in history.  And that there will be no Cinderella Story tonight.

*****

Schiavone then called the Acclaimed & Billy Gunn to the ring.

Supposedly BCG invaded their home last night or something.  Course, we were never shown this.  The crowd were chanting for Billy but he said he’s pissed off.  And pissed off at Jay White.  He’s fine with White hitting him in the head with a chair (he seriously said this) but isn’t with him coming into his house where he and his wife live.

He referenced Jay selling out MSG but bragged he’s done that a bunch of times.  They’re facing Wednesday (if White doesn’t win that cleanly and convincingly…)

The Acclaimed addressed the Gunns.  And said they should all stay in the back for that match.  And keep an eye on each other.  If they have faith in Jay White, they should be happy leaving him to go one on one.  Caster called Jay ‘Twinkblade’.

How the hell are these guys so popular?

Bowens said he was right all along, Jay White is a coward.  And something about Billy’s wife slapping pubes off someone’s face.

Bad wrestling companies have guys talk about an angle as serious as a home invasion without actually showing their audience what happened.  They also don’t consider two in the space of four months overkill.

FTR vs the Infantry (Tag Tourney QF)

Backstory: Winner faces Starks&Bill/Top Flight in the semis

After the Infantry collapsed over the finish line covered in their own vomit last time, it’ll be ridiculous if FTR don’t polish them off quickly here.  But then that wouldn’t allow for a ‘good match.’

Amazingly, they did decide to recap how the Infantry got here.  Why on earth would you remind people of that?

Cash easily wrestled Dean to the mat then paint-brushed him.  Headlock/headscissors exchanges, Dean got a pair of armdrags and dragged Cash to the corner to tag Bravo.  He ran through Dax twice then hit a pair of dropkicks, he and Dean took down both FTR with dropkicks.

This crowd gave them the quietest response they’re capable of.

Cash back in, wailing away on Dean with chops until Dean fired back.  And got two after a splash.  Bravo back in, right into an awesome snap powerslam from Cash.  Dax hit a superplex on Dean.

Ads.

Bravo was caught out of a dive; FTR kindly held him in place long enough for Dean to crash onto all three.  Bravo hit a crossbody back inside, Dax rolled through to get two, they exchanged near falls, brdging in and out of pins and etc, backslide city.

The Infantry disrupted a spike piledriver to get another near fall on Dax.  Cash returned and took out Dean.  Dax powerbombed Bravo, Cash German into a Dax jackknife pin, Schiavone was convinced that was it.  It wasn’t.

Dean then returned with a spear and Bravo got another near fall.  Infantry hit double superkicks, Bravo neckbreaker to Dax, Wheeler made the save.  Dean hit a floatover ddt.  Infantry got another near fall, Bravo got another near fall, Dax crashed into Cash and Bravo got another near fall.

He fought off both FTR but turned around into a Shatter Machine and lost.  We’re all shocked.  If you like near falls…

On neither of their tv appearances have the Infantry appeared all that smooth.

So it seems all that silliness with the Infantry beating HOB the way they did was simply to avoid the latter having to lose cleanly.  As usual.  Don’t know why else you wouldn’t have that be the match here.

Winner: FTR

Back to Lexy with Bill and Ricky.  She did at least note we haven’t seen them since they lost to Sting.  Bill put Top Flight over but called them a #16 seed and themselves a #1 seed.  They’re going to dance their way to becoming the two-time champs.

Starks said then they’re going to beat FTR.  They’re ‘guaranteeing’ they’ll beat FTR again and prove they’re the best team AEW’s ever had.  ‘I absolutely guarantee it’.

It’s so weird they waste tv time on Cardonas and Infantrys when they have guys this charismatic disappearing for weeks.

(For anyone outside the US, March Madness is a college basketball tournament that has its share of upsets since every game is win or go home.  And it seems Tony Khan’s decided this tag tournament is along those lines.)

*****

Back after ads to a pissed Copeland with Kingston and Briscoe.  He challenged the House to face them at Dynasty.

Briscoe said he and Kingston have to fight at the ROH ppv Friday first.  He said they’d fight there but then team.  Kingston finished: ‘You guys like to spit mist, do spooky stuff… after Dynasty you guys’ll be spittin blood and teeth.’

I heart Eddie.  Give this man more mic time for god’s sake.

Kyle O’Reilly vs JD Drake

Backstory: NONE

Kyle got a decent response coming out but even this crowd couldn’t rouse themselves to make noise for this.

Drake hit a big enziguri early then headed up for a Vader bomb, missed, missed a cannonball too, O’Reilly began aiming kicks and strikes (the latter didn’t look great, former did), running forearm in the corner, hammerlock into a knee to the gut and discus shot, Drake down.

Brutal kick to the chest for two, right into an armbar.  Tap.

Thank.  God.  More squashes like this please.

The Disputed Kingdom were out before the bell rang to put Kyle on their shoulders and celebrate.

Winner: Kyle O’Reilly

They played highlights of Will Hobbs’ last few matches contrasted with highlights of Ospreay’s recent wins.  They’re facing Wednesday.  They are legit calling it ‘A Battle of Wills.’

This is their response to crashing ratings?  Throwing Will Hobbs, who has disappeared from tv for months now, out there to lose?  This is why you need to keep people on tv and involved in storylines, so that they have value when you need them to attract an audience and put somebody over.

Big Bill & Ricky Starks vs Top Flight

Backstory: Winner faces FTR in the semis

Bill & Starks are a perfect example of one of AEW’s biggest weaknesses.  They lost to Sting in February and just – poof – disappeared.  We haven’t seen or heard from them since.  With no explanation.

Starks and Darius to start, former aiming shots to the gut until being taken down twice by Martin.  Who continued working the arm till being whipped off, Starks missed a stomp and was backslid into a pin for two.

Dante blind tagged in, lariat through the ropes, slingshot senton, Starks too close to the ropes for the pin.  He broke a grapple and fled to tag the big man.  Who got a nice reaction.  Dante wary, sticking and moving, trying to avoid the big man until being cornered and smashed.

Though slid under a lariat, hit a dropkick, Darius in to help, they fought off a double chokeslam, a double dropkick staggered the big man who wobbled outside, they sent Starks out too and mocked his pose.

The ex-champs had a strategy sesh, Starks grabbed Dante’s boot, Big Bill pump kick, ads.

Back to Bill flinging Dante in through the ropes.  Crowd are mostly cheering him though.  Crushing splash in the corner, Dante avoided a second, cannonball off the top, crawling for the tag, Starks in, Darius too, lariats and rights, Manhattan drop, Pele kick off the buckle.

Bill back in and bridged right back out by Dante, Darius got a weird jackknife pin, the fans booed because it looked like the ref counted three.  After brief double teaming, Darius hit a tornado ddt off his brother’s chest.

Ref counted three.

They started playing Starks’ music, then Top Flight’s, after a long delay the announcers finally started talking about what a big win this was.

This tournament has the worst finishes I’ve ever seen.  Starks’ contract has to be up soon right?

Winner: Top Flight

We raced backstage to Christopher Daniels.  He challenged Malakai Black for Rampage.

Thunder Rosa vs Lady Frost

Backstory: NONE

They are now saying Rosa is ranked #1.  Because she beat Toni in that recent tag.  Theme’s dope.

Crowd quiet again here outside of a few chants for Rosa, as the latter dominated down to the mat, they gator rolled back and forth several times as Rosa got a pair of twos.

Frost hit an attack in the corner, cartwheeled out and was blasted by a Rosa lariat.  Nigel deliberately talked all over Tony to introduce the break.

Ads.

Back to another Frost cartwheel, she this time hit the corner shoulder charge afterward, tried for her finish, Rosa countered out, exchange for forearms, running one taking Frost down, back elbow, drop toe hold leaving Frost against the bottom rope, crowd coming alive for Rosa who played to them then hit a running dropkick, count of two.

She signalled it was over but Frost fought off a Tijuana Bomb and hit Chiller Driller.  Rosa kicked out.  Frost missed a spinning kick then took a Tijuana Bomb as Rosa won.

Nothing special.

She yelled to the camera that everyone needed to put respect on her name.

Baby once proudly rapped, ‘Shoot up anything except a school or a playground,’ he’s not someone to emulate, Rosa.

Winner: Thunder Rosa

Backstage to Toni and etc with Renee.  Renee revealed Rosa and Mariah May are wrestling for a title shot next week.  Toni asked if this was Mariah’s plan all along then called May a ‘magnificent bastard’ and a ‘genius’.  After kissing her.

She asked May to do the actions for her catchphrase, Mariah was all smiley and happy.

So… why the hell is she in the title mix?

*****

They ran through everything for the week ahead and everything so far for Dynasty.

In slower fashion than usual.

*****

Then went to a package showing Will Ospreay’s career journey, lots of Rev Pro clips and etc.  Voiced by Excalibur.

Including the line: ‘producing multiple matches of the year.’  Wrestling, competing in, battling through…

Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Katsuyori Shibata

vs

the Righteous & Lance Archer

Backstory: The heels attacked Claudio after he beat Archer two weeks ago, BD & Shibata ran them off

Could not believe it when they said this was the main event.  Riccaboni said the Righteous put people into a ‘hypnotic trance’, maybe ‘soporific’?

Some chants of ‘Shi-ba-ta’ as this got going.  He and Archer wrestling very much New Japan style, stiff shots prior to a running dropkick and stiff kicks from the Wrestler.  Archer caught one intended for the chest and teed off before attempting a suplex.  Shibata countered into a sleeper until being snapmared off, each ducked a lariat, stalemate.

Dutch in, Claudio asked for the tag.  They grappled, to another stalemate.  Dutch aimed a cheap kick to the gut after a rope break and rebounded off the ropes into a stiff shoulder block.  Claudio responded with a Cena special and a scoop slam.  Then a stomp.

And tag to Danielson.

Forearms in the corner.  Kicks now.  Crowd chanting with every one.  But Dutch exploded out to crash through the Dragon.  And tag Vincent.  Series of rights, Archer cheerleading since the crowd’s gone quiet with the heels on offense.

Danielson kipped over using the buckle, avoided Vincent, tope through the ropes to Dutch, double knees off the apron to Archer, Vincent came back and sent him to the barricade.

Cause ads and heels.

Back to Dutch beating down Danielson who was cut off from his corner.  But snatched a LeBell, Archer straight in to break it.  Schiavone said this was a ‘great move’.  Illegal maybe?  Cheating?  Desperate?  Something to put heat on the heels?

Danielson started making the crawl, Archer came in again to cut him off then took turns with Dutch slamming the other onto Danielson.  Then flung him into a Bossman slam.  For two.

Dutch prepped a superplex, Danielson fought back, shots to the gut, Dutch plummeting, Danielson taking aim via shotgun, crowd right behind him

Claudio in, he vs Archer, Claudio landed a rana, ten in the corner, big uppercut to end, cutter off the buckle, thinking swing, crowd to their feet.  The Righteous cut him off to heavy boos.  Shibata came in to fight them off, he and Claudio hit running attacks across one-another, Archer looked for a double chokeslam, they fought him off with a flurry of chops and uppercuts, big open hand from Shibata, into the swing, crowd going wild, good number of rotations, into the sharpshooter, Dutch broke it.

Shibata got rid of both Righteous but took an Archer boot.  Claudio fought him off, Archer flipped out of a Neutralizer, Vincent hit a senton bomb, Claudio kicked out.  Then avoided the heels, tag to Shibata, who annihilated Vincent with a boot in the corner, hanging dropkick, suplex, Vincent kicked out, Dutch saved the loss.

Time to end this now.

Vincent rolled up Shibata, no one bought it, Shibata absolutely nailed him, got a sleeper, fought off Archer, hit a PK to Vincent for the win.

Crowd loved the babyfaces, exchanges between Claudio and Archer were very fun, that guy’s so underutilized, no-one bought any of the heels’ pin attempts.

Winner: Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Katsuyori Shibata

_________________________________________________________________

Added to Dynasty:

  • Copeland, Briscoe and Kingston vs House of Black

Next Dynamite:

  • Will Ospreay vs Will Hobbs
  • Billy Gunn vs Jay White
  • Bucks vs Best Friends (Tag Semis)
  • Mariah May vs Thunder Rosa
  • Samoa Joe & Swerve contract signing (didn’t get much of a reaction)
  • Jericho calls out Hook (this was booed so loudly I laughed.  Also, why is he now ‘calling out’ Hook?  Aren’t they friends?)

Next Collision (11.30 Eastern):

  • FTR vs Top Flight (Tag Semis) (I assume, don’t think they announced it)

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Like pairing Briscoe with Eddie and Copeland, gives him a ‘rub’
  • Fantastic crowd made for a lively atmosphere

 *****

  • This tag tournament is utter trash, didn’t think the belts could sink any lower but these finishes have to be among the worst for any non-Russo tournament
  • Don’t know how you guys felt but this seemed another show full of obvious winners and losers ahead of time and mostly played out that way
  • Like Wednesday, and because FTR were so obviously winning, there was nothing here with any real stakes or drama, nothing you had to see

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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