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Collision TV report for 04/27/2024

Venue: Daily’s Place, Jacksonville, Fla.

*****

Tony Khan came out before the show.  In a neck brace.  And thanked the fans.  And promised they’d give an update on his status during the show proper.  He also promised an ‘awesome’ show with the world’s best wrestlers.  More specifically, he said the world’s best wrestlers were backstage.  So I guess he wasn’t technically lying 😉.

*****

Right to the show, no intro, Swerve out.  Schiavone lied and said they had a ‘phenomenal crowd.’  Very few folks here again.  Lights low, noise too.

Nana introduced him as the ‘Boss of Bosses, the Anointed One, one hell of a wrestler,’ and the AEW Champ.  Fans chanted ‘Thank you Swerve.’  Can you just listen to the dude?

Swerve ran down what happened in the past week – Willow winning, Ospreay/Danielson and etc.  And then… ‘Jack Perry’ took out Tony Khan, ‘a man who put all his faith in me.’  (Guess you could write off that ‘faith’ as him signing Swerve to AEW but that sounded very much like this is all fake and Tony picked him to be the champ.)  And the Elite too.  He again mentioned he’d done some ‘horrible things’ but four elite athletes taking out a non-fighter ‘sounds like a bitch move to me.’

But the most important thing this week was Swerve Strickland becoming the new champ.  Yes, he used the third person.  He said the real best in the world is whoever holds the AEW belt.  The night he won the title, his oldest daughter said she was proud of him but didn’t know him.  Due to missed birthdays, games and etc.

He can’t make up for the lost time but he can blaze a trail and make sure it was all worth it.

He knocked down everybody AEW put in front of him.  So he wants to defend the title tonight.  But only against somebody who really wants to fight.  He was leading a ‘Whose house?’ chant when Claudio came out.

They went face to face, Claudio grabbed the mic Swerve was holding and said ‘You’re on.’  Swerve started leading another chant when Claudio snatched the mic back and said it would be his house.  So, pointless match, obvious finish, title matches are cheap and the BCC are heels again.  At least for the next two hours.

Really wish Swerve’d stop mentioning the ‘horrible things’ he did.

*****

To the announcers, Schiavone played up how disgusting what happened to Tony Khan was before sending to a package documenting things.  From the Elite arriving at the start of the night to the attack at the end of it.

Schiavone said Khan suffered multiple head and neck injuries.  He’s been advised not to travel but will run the company from Jacksonville while they go on the road.  Nigel asked what’d happen if something went wrong on the road, speculating that the EVP’s would be forced to step in.

Don’t really like him not being in worse shape just a few days later but I guess it was hard to pretend when he appeared during the NFL draft.

But…. What about fines?  Suspensions?  Firings?  Anything?  They just showed us Punk getting fired for shoving somebody and grabbing a front facelock.

Action Andretti & Top Flight vs Bullet Club Gold (Trios Titles)

Backstory: NONE

We ‘might have seen’ Jay White’s challenge for this match on ‘social media’…

White and Dante to start.  Headlock, whip, White shoulder block, Dante to the corner, ducking out, dodging and striking until a White dragon screw.  Chops in the corner, Colten in.  Schiavone’s word of the night is ‘phenomenal,’ since it apparently describes Colten’s singles career.  Seriously.

The heels cornered Martin, quick tags, Colten floatover suplex for two.  Nigel said the Elite hadn’t faced punishment for Weds because they’re EVPs.  Already cutting corners, doesn’t bode well.

Darius in to run wild, bulldog through the ropes, Andretti took out Colten via tope con hiro.  Darius got two on Austin via flatliner.  But was drilled by a White lariat outside then front-suplexed onto the apron.

Ads.

The heels cut the ring off on Darius, working him over, mocking the other faces.  Darius tried to fight back, landed an enziguri, both down.  But the Gunns came in to cut the ring off.  But some heel buffoonery allowed the tag.

Andretti in with a bag full of lariats, handspring double back elbow, split leg missed but he rolled through to hit an enziguri on Colten then Spanish fly on Austin for two.  Very nice hot tag.  Dante then took out all three heels via tope con hiro.

Top Flight did their double team tornado ddt off Darius’ chest, standing moonsault for two.  Andretti and Austin were left, Action to the top, Colten took the ref, White crotched him, Dante saved Action from a Bladerunner; took a uranage and 3:10 to Yuma.

Action landed on his feet out of a sleeper suplex, shotgun in the corner, to the apron, springboard 450 missed, handspring caught into a Bladerunner, win.

Nothing about the presentation here suggested Jay White is anything special or there are any plans for him.  Fun, fast opener but nothing more than filler.

Winner: Bullet Club Gold

Clips of the tag title match from Dynasty.  Until showing Jack Perry (complete with massive crowd pop from the Dynasty crowd – this is your new nasty heel).  The announcers breezed over FTR being out but said they’d be back soon (Dax has a concussion, which they didn’t mention).

Oh yeah and Rey Fenix is back next.  As is Rush later on.  Must be biiiiiig stars right to get such a buildup?

*****

House of Black spooky promo aimed at Adam Copeland.  They accepted the Cope Open as a trio.  But Copeland won’t know who he’s facing till Wednesday.  Fairly sure he can narrow it down to two anyway.

Rey Fenix vs the Beast Mortos

Backstory: Nil

Remember when Rey vs Kenny was a Dynamite main event?  More people than are currently watching certainly do.

Fighting to the corner, Mortos walked through chops and landed his own and a big open hand, Fenix slumping.  Caught out of a springboard cross body, Rey slipped out, they did lots of gymnastics into a Mortos powerslam.

Mortos then aimed a spinning dive through the ropes (we only caught the end of it due to the way it was filmed).  Cool move; this is the total opposite of how you make a returning wrestler feel a big deal.

Mortos easily fought off Rey again back inside, bulldog, weak armdrag, Rey down again.  Very delayed pin still got two so Rey basically lost.  Mortos began targeting the hip injury Rey’s returning from.  Fenix screaming in a leg grapevine until getting the ropes then rolling outside.

Getting Billy Gunn/Jay White flashbacks now: Mortos drubbing Rey around ringside.  Then trying to remove the mask inside.  Then smashing Rey down again.  Then going after the mask again.

Rey struggled to his feet then was smashed back down via shoulder block.

Ads.

Rey finally got some offense: rebound heel kick, roundhouse and thrust kicks with Mortos on his knees, Rey hit a twisting chestbreaker but went down selling his own knee.  Looked very strange.  Got two, went to the corner, ran up Mortos to stomp his head/shoulders, like he was damn River dancing on dude’s head.  Mortos hit back via spear.

Both down.

Mortos then just sprang himself outside off the buckle.  For some reason.  Rey followed via tornijo from the top.  Fans into Rey here.  Miraculously after how he’s been booked.  Mortos countered a piledriver into a lungblower.  Then hit a weird behind-the-back kneebreaker(?), didn’t really understand how it was supposed to hurt Rey.  He kicked out at two.

Fenix popped up to hit a trio of thrust kicks, rope-walk punt, thrust kick, to the top, frogsplash for two.  Rey then got a cazadora for the win.  Baffled.

This was so AEW.  Good action.  But which highlighted a guy I’d never heard of till 20mins ago.  And had one of their established guys return from months away to take a beating then sneak a win over said no-name.

Winner: Rey Fenix

Package pushing the Trent/Chuck match for Rampage.  Man that feud’s had some tv time this week.

Some woman backstage was interviewing Orange as the audio went wrong again.  Schiavone said her name during the following match.  But I couldn’t pick it up.

Rush vs Martin Stone

Backstory: Nada

Rush is back, so within thirty seconds he was running Stone around ringside.  And Rush is back, so he totally dominated his opponent.  As someone who’s supposed to be a star should on their return.

Bull’s Horns within a couple of minutes.  He hit another after the bell then posed.  Stone earned his scrilla here.

Winner: Rush

The new girl was with Serena Deeb.  Who referred to Toni Storm as someone ‘who everybody loves.’  So presumably Storm is a babyface?

Deeb said it’s time to accomplish something she hasn’t done before, become women’s champ.  She told Toni ‘This isn’t a movie sweetie, this is real life.’

Not a clue who is what here.

Toni Storm vs Anna Jay

Backstory: The very heelish babyface Jay attacked Mariah May to boos after losing clean Wednesday; the very babyface heel Storm saved the day to cheers

Or here.

They even sent to this as Storm seeking ‘retribution’.  That’s what babyfaces do when they’ve been wronged.  Nigel said Mariah May is the rare woman who drives both men and women crazy.

They started by working for control, each working the arm, standing switches, headlocks, into a Storm takeover, break, reset.  Jay hit a spinning leg lariat in the corner then hit Toni with her ass.  Storm responded with ‘almost like a Thesz Press’ as Tony always calls it.  Nigel had to tell him.

And claimed Toni learned it first hand from Lou.

Jay went to the apron, Mariah went to talk trash and Toni hip attacked Jay into her.  But then helped May up.  Leaving Toni open to a Jay draping neckbreaker upon re-entry.

Ads.  Easily the most interesting thing on the show so far since there’s an actual story.

Jay hit a hook kick and Gory special for two.  Toni fought off a uranage and landed a sky high for the same.  Jay hooked the Queen Slayer after an awkward takedown, May leading the fans in clapping for their champ.

As Storm climbed to her feet out of the hold, Jay on her back, before planting her down, Jay ending up in the corner, hip attack, Storm Zero, win.  Short as it was, really enjoyed this.  Good from start to finish and the fans actually cared.  And there were story developments.

Winner: Toni Storm

Chuck Taylor asked Orange not to interfere tonight.  No matter what happens.  Man that feud’s had some tv time this week.

Ads.

The Acclaimed vs Grizzled Young Veterans

Backstory: Niente

Caster said they’d injure the GYV necks like Tony Khan and send them packing back to the Impact Zone.  Soooo… some babyfaces are making fun of the babyface owner being spiked on his head?  Caster’s raps are weird.

Bowens blind tagged in to hit a nice neckbreaker/backbreaker combo with Caster.  Then slugged it out with Drake.  Gibson in for a double-team lariat.  Bowens blocked a suplex, hit one of his own, tag to Caster, combo boot to the gut/swinging neckbreaker, barely two.

Gibson got a boot up in the ropes, another blind tag as Drake in, using his partner to spring onto one of the faces.

Ads.

Gibson dragged Caster outside, Drake came diving onto him.  Caster sent back in, battling for a tag, finally making it, Bowens all chops, strikes and thrust kicks.  Leaping fameasser.  Caster blind tagged – the Acclaimed hit scissor me timbers, or ‘Shiver me timbers!’ as Schiavone yelled.

Gibson kicked out of a double team at two.  Caster was distracted and left in a heap outside.

GYV hit a combined dropkick from the top across the ring/lungblower for a near fall.  And of course it’s all about Billy Gunn so he ripped off his shirt, distracted the GYV, allowing the Acclaimed to hit their usual finishing combo.

I don’t like the Acclaimed and don’t know the GYV, nor did AEW trouble themselves to tell me.  So could not find a reason to care about this match.

Winner: The Acclaimed

They started showing Shane Taylor Promotions beating down Shibata two weeks ago but had to cut it short to go to Shibata with the new girl.  He used his phone to say he’d fight Jericho Wednesday and STP on Rampage.

Daniel Garcia came in to offer help.  His speaking and presence is improving.

The new girl’s fairly wooden (btw not trying to be disrespectful, would love to put her name, they haven’t said it enough for me to pick it up).  But it’s her first week so we’ll give her a chance.  Nothing if not benevolent.

Swerve Strickland vs Claudio Castagnoli

Backstory: See start of show

Nana brought Swerve out again.  Looking like a drunken uncle at a wedding.  Putting Swerve in front of a crowd like this for his first title defense does him no favors.

This started with Swerve trying to target the legs but being taken down.  Front facelock into a pin.  Swerve kicked free, they did a gymnastics routine, wrists clasped, up to their feet.  Until Swerve broke the grip.  Claudio offered a hand and Swerve accepted.  So the Swiss is now a babyface again.

Claudio got a rollup for two then plucked Swerve out of the air into a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker the way you or I might do a football.  Looked so easy.  They brawled up the ramp to the stage and hit a rana, Swerve sent Claudio back in, cross body off the top.

Swerve got two swinging neckbreakers, maintaining his grip through both into a third against the middle rope.

Exchange of forearms, Claudio on the apron, Swerve inside, Claudio snapped Swerve across the top rope but took a punt as he tried to re-enter.  But blocked an apron pump kick, muscling Swerve into a military press and dumping him down at ringside.

Running uppercut to follow, ads.  You would have no idea the world champion is wrestling for the world championship based on this atmosphere.

Claudio bridged to the apron, tripped and superkicked off, Swerve pump kick from the apron, diving elbow to the spine, stupid dance.  Allowing Claudio to land an uppercut then mock the dance and tell the crowd up yours.  So now he’s a heel again.  Swerve hit his leaping flatliner for two.

Claudio blocked a brainbuster, Swerve rolled through a Ricola Bomb attempt, Claudio bailed outside.  Claudio wandered to the barricade for no particular reason, Swerve took ages then ran at him and was propelled up onto the stage, coming off with a moonsault which looked dangerous as hell.

Claudio flung back in, 450, Claudio out at two.  The crowd hadn’t chanted anything was awesome yet tonight so figured they’d better get it in while they could.

Claudio hit a leaping stomp with Swerve sat on the mat.  They exchanged uppercuts, Swerve shots to the gut, spinning roundhouse; Claudio shook it off to lariat him down.  This has gone so damn long.

Swerve muscled Claudio up into a brainbuster, to the top, Claudio not only sat up like a good boy but dragged himself into receiving distance.  Then kicked out of the Stomp.  The announcers went mental as if Kyle Fletcher hadn’t done the same the other day.

Claudio caught a house call into the swing.  So now he’s a babyface again.  The swing went for ages.  Into the sharpshooter.  Again for ages.  Transitioning into a crossface.  Nigel had to cover for the crowd being dead by saying ‘everyone’s stunned.’

H&A, Ricola Bomb coming, Swerve dead weighted him but took a running lariat.  For two.  They’re going for long and dramatic.  But there’s no drama.

Swerve hit a ddt after slipping behind out of a suplex.  Then dragged himself up the buckle and tried a Stomp with Claudio stood upright.  It was supposed to be countered into an uppercut but they didn’t pull it off.  Claudio got a near fall anyway.

They again tried to cover for the crowd being dead – ‘mesmerized.’  Claudio continued to beat on Swerve until Swerve got two via backslide, avoided a corner charge, German, Claudio totally ignored a pump kick, propelled Swerve up, the champ came down via Stomp, house call, win.

Hell of a finish.  But the total lack of atmosphere for both shows this week – due to so few people being motivated to buy a ticket – should tell AEW what fans really think about these very long ‘good matches.’

Claudio finished the match as a babyface (Big Show was getting worried), shaking Swerve’s hand as Nana danced like a total, total comedy goof behind the new world champ.

Winner: Swerve Strickland

 _______________________________________________________________

Next Dynamite:

  • Kenny Omega returns
  • Find out who Swerve faces at DoN
  • Shibata vs Jericho (FTW Title)

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Storm/Jay – thank god for this, an oasis of characters and stories around a good match, on a show which seemed to confirm Storm as a good girl
  • Rey Fenix is back
  • They did show the Khan/Elite angle

 *****

  • But didn’t create any hype around it for Wednesday – no promos from anybody involved, no promised repercussions, we didn’t hear how other wrestlers feel, there wasn’t even any tease/speculation of how Kenny Omega might feel
  • Rey Fenix was just thrown out there with no hype, as was Rush, as were a new tag team they told us nothing about, as was a new Mexican wrestler they told us nothing about, as was a world title match: there are tons of small things this company could do better, basic promotion might be #1, they’re abysmal at it
  • Highlighted best by not a single thing being advertised for next week
  • And a very weak lineup tonight – between it and the crowd, this felt like a pandemic episode
  • No follow-up on Bryan Danielson – injured, pah, who cares!? There are matches to get to

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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