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Collision TV Report for 08/05/2023

AEW Collision tonight comes to us from the Bon Secours Wellness Arena (just rolls off the tongue) in Greenville, SC.  After last week drawing 739,000 & 0.27 in the 18-49 demo.

*****

Title draped over his shoulder, CM Punk cut the oldest of old school promos – Ricky Steamboat’s in the house ‘to make sure there’s no cheating’ as ‘the real world champion begins to separate the pretenders from the contenders’.  He’ll see Starks in the ring.

Who replied by promising to make history tonight, the crowd’ll be chanting ‘Ab-so-lute’ by the end of it.  Prince Nana called FTR ‘fat slobs’ (still wouldn’t mind knowing who the hell or what the hell Prince Nana is).

Cash said his mom was in the house ‘so we can’t lose’.  Dax that they were the best team in the world.

Ian Riccaboni continues in place of Kevin Kelly.

FTR vs Big Bill & Brian Cage (Tag Titles)

Backstory: The challengers either won a battle royal or one of their friends asked nicely

Big Bill out to a combo of silence and murmurs.  Not much different for Cage.  As they walked the ramp we were shown the pair running through the battle royal to win this shot.

Nice pop for FTR, fans chanting their names before they even hit the ramp.  Certainly don’t have to worry about being booed here: ‘We’re home baby! They love us!’ yelled Cash into the camera.

Cash & Cage squaring off first, Wheeler heading for a hug from his mom before commencing battle.  Lockup, headlock from Cage, break in the ropes.  Cage knee to the gut, clubbing blow, headlock, irish whip, Cash leapfrog/dropdown but run through by Cage’s shoulder.

Dax in, blocking a hiptoss but clubbed to the mat by a lariat, countering a gorilla press into a pin for one: big chop, duck under, baseball slide, bodyslam blocked, slipping behind, O’Connor roll, two.

Another stinging chop, tag to Cash, the champs run through by the Machine.  As Big Bill came in to boos.  Missing an elbow, he took a chop and big uppercut but came back via bodyslam and a shimmying elbow drop for two.

Cash got the boots up in the corner, missile dropkick, Harwood back in, quick tags from the champs who were run together by the big man.  Cage entering, sent outside via double lariat, Shatter Machine coming, they couldn’t lift Bill, who chokeslammed Cash across Dax’s back.

Then flung Cash over the top onto his partner, the champs down as the ads arrived.

Back to Bill working over Cash outside right in front of his mom.  She wasn’t the least worried or annoyed but slugged the big man.  Bill responded by dropping Wheeler across the apron.

Cage in to bring Cash in via suplex from the apron.  Crowd chanting for the champs with Bill back in, torture rack, Cash countering into a pin attempt – Bill blocked several until kicking out of a rollup before one and popping up angrily to smash Cash via lariat.

Machine in, whipping Bill at Cash in the corner, Wheeler avoided it, German to Cage, all three down, crowd clapping their support, Cage ducking an enziguri but taking a back elbow, tag.  Dax in with heat, rights for all, flying forearm, Bill landing outside.  Before squaring off with Cage, who shook off a bunch of lariats, hit a thrust kick but ate a big right from Dax mid-discus punch.

Up onto Harwood’s shoulders, Cash off the top to hit a Steiner Bros bulldog for a very near fall.  Crowd couldn’t have been more into that.  Cage then turning the tables, catching both, flinging them via fallaway, delayed suplex to Dax, Bill chokeslam to Cash, count of two.

Crowd chanting again for the champs as Bill dragged Cash to the corner for more punishment, setting him atop the buckle, atop the shoulders, Dax saving his partner from a Domesday Device.  There was an awkward pause before Bill sent both over the top. Cage soaring onto them via a spectacular cannonball senton, flinging Cash inside, Bill Bill big boot waiting, two only.  TiA chant from the crowd.

Looking for F5, Cage was shoved into Bill, knocking him off the apron, turning round right into the Shatter Machine, 1, 2, 3.  Nice moment as Cash’s mom celebrated as only moms do.

Clearly AEW still don’t particularly like Brian Cage.  He wasn’t in often, Bill was made to look dominant and Cage took the pin.  It’s a little baffling, he’s much better than Bill, though admittedly doesn’t have the charisma.

Dax then took the mic: ten years ago they started a legacy, calling themselves the greatest tag team of all time, he reeled off a list of all the places they’d held the titles.  But to complete the legacy there’s one thing left to do… He paused, Cash took the mic: ‘Young Bucks’ – huge pop for the idea of the match – ‘Hows about we finish it at Wembley Stadium?’

Dax finished things, ‘The rubber match, who is the greatest team of all time? Top Guys out!’

Yes please.

Winner: FTR

CM Punk/Ricky Starks package.

*****

Schiavone with Juice and Jay White’s cut-out.  White’ll be facing Metalik in his Collision debut.  Robinson said BCG were ‘hotter than hell’.  The real Jay White entered, smacking the cut-out and introducing the Gunns to teach Tony how to commentate.  Austin mimicked ‘It’ssss STIIIIIING’.  White said it’d be ‘lights out’ for Metalik.  They all kinda bullied Schiavone the way DX used to do to Michael Cole.

Schiavone’s facial expressions were so great here, subtly showing his disdain.

Kris Statlander vs Mercedes Martinez (TBS Title)

Backstory: Mercedes attacked Statlander last week

Wow AEW are really bothered by the women’s controversy.  This makes a whole week without them being slotted right before the main event.

Decent pop for both ladies.  Particularly the champ.

Mercedes rushed her, Statlander avoided it, the two exchanging shots in the corner, big shoulder block and missile dropkick from the champ.  More rights in the corner, suplex setup, Martinez slipping behind, missing a boot, tripped and taking a somersault plancha (maybe the plancha was supposed to miss?  Slightly awkward sequence).  But popping up to stomp away at Statlander.

More of the same in the corner, Statlander struggling, being choked against the ropes.  Butterfly suplex, another, Mercedes maintaining her grip, seeking a third, Statlander free, big kick but quickly snatched into a headlock, Martinez firing elbows, the champ down once more.

Palm strikes and a chokeslam bomb for two; blows across the chest with the head captured.  Huge open-hand slap in the corner, a desperate Statlander getting an elbow up but slugged back down, Martinez totally dominant thus far.

Break.

The champ finally fighting back, big lariat out of the corner, splash following but meeting a big right before coming back with a running hip attack, sending Martinez outside, Statlander going splat on the ringside mats after missing a diving cross body off the apron.  But again responding, this time via backbreaker, Martinez taking a seat on the opposite apron, snapping Statlander across the top rope, snap powerslam from the champ as she returned to the ring, count of two.

Fans totally behind Statlander all match here.

As she was caught up top and dumped on her head with a sickening spider suplex, running knee, two only.  Martinez looking to finish things off via fisherwoman’s buster, Statlander countering into a rollup for one, missing a lariat, but hitting a spinning fisherwoman buster of her own for two.  The champ in disbelief, wheelbarrow countered into a pin by Martinez for a very near fall.

Martinez up first, crowd chanting loudly for the champ, Martinez hit the ropes, an awkward sequence ending with a rollup into a bridge as the champ retained.

There were one or two awkward moments but this was good.  A very receptive crowd adding to a physical match.

Statlander clearly learned nothing from last week though, raising her belt up to celebrate while Martinez disputed the call with the ref, allowing the latter to strike from behind.  Diamante then pulled a classic ‘Swerve Bro!’, joining the attack until Willow Nightingale ran them off to chants of ‘Willow’.

Statlander sold as if she were absolutely exhausted

Winner: Kris Statlander

Schiavone with the former women’s champ Toni Storm, who had curlers in her hair and was dressed in a black nightgown as if she were depressed and had just got out of bed.  She said she was stood here ‘as naked as the day I was born’ (presumably she meant emotionally; the way Tony eyed the camera when she said this was phenomenal).

She insisted she wasn’t freaking out while sounding like she was.  ‘Am I just not a star anymore?  Am I just not talented like I was?’ Asking Tony if she wasn’t enough for him, opening her nightgown slightly.  Then yelling ‘This is not right!’ before very quietly saying the interview was over.  Yelling at him to shutup even when out of camera shot.

No idea how he kept a straight face.

Storm basically played an actress from the 1930’s having a breakdown, verging between coldly rational and flipping out.  All that was missing was a martini.  This was a hoot.  Certainly different from your average character.

It’s clear she’d put a lot of thought into this.

Plus, everytime an AEW star gets through an interview uninterrupted, an angel gets its wings.

Samoa Joe vs Serpentico

Backstory: None

Joe strutted down the ramp with his badass music playing and the crowd loudly chanting his name.  Looking such a star.

Best thing to be said for Serpentico is he’s latino and Dasha’s announcing.  Because he was choked out in about ten seconds.  Crowd loved it.

Snatching a mic, the big man wasn’t done.  Calling himself the ‘one true king of television’ again, he mentioned a problem he’s having.  All In’s coming and ‘your king has nobody to dance with’.  ‘While a certain ‘real world champ’ was calling himself the best in the world, I knew he wasn’t better than me a day in his life’.  Big cheer.

But Joe lost that belief recently.  And how he lost it really bothered him.  ‘A rollup is not good enough for our legacy’.  So he’s here… ‘champ’… to ask Punk to give him and these people what they want and what their legacy deserves.

But his courtesy in requesting this only extends to this week, ‘If you make me wait till next week, you best believe I’ll convince your ass… Punk’

Great promo.  And another match to look forward to in London.  Joe was massively over here and a total babyface.

Winner: Samoa Joe

Andrade promo package.  When something’s taken from him, he fights for it.  Erm, that’s it.

*****

The Acclaimed & Schiavone in a backstage sitdown.  They had Billy Gunn’s boots, showing the clip of him leaving them.  They’ve tried to give Gunn his boots back but he insists he’s retired, blaming himself for his team losing.

Caster said he wants to respect Billy’s decision but Bowens, looking right at the camera, told Gunn what he’d meant to them, how much he’d helped them and how much they loved him, tearing up while talking.

This was very effective, largely because of Bowens’ acting.  Interesting that he did 90% of the talking here.

House of Black vs Action Andretti, Darius Martin & Lee Johnson (Trios Titles, House Rules)

Backstory: None

Legit or not, Matthews had his shoulder heavily taped.  The challengers chose to have Julia banned from ringside (they get to choose a rule) and the crowd did not like this.  Big boos.

Lights down for this House Rules match, Brody and Darius starting, HOB total babyfaces.  Headlock from Darius, he flung himself at the big man, didn’t go well, neither did a shoulder block.  Knee to the gut and thrust kick to the knee faring better, to the top, diving cross body seeing him splat off Brody and crash to the mat.

Black in, kick to the mush, Andretti in via blind tag, Action & Martin fired a range of kicks until Malakai avoided a missile dropkick but was sent outside via Andretti hurracanrana.  Pursuing Black, he was sent to the barricade.

Back inside, he ate a massive knee strike, legsweep, tag to Matthews, stomp to the shoulder off the top, waist-first suplex across the top rope and was smashed off the apron into the announce desk.

Break.  Not that this match really needs to go through one, crystal clear who’s winning.

Andretti trying to fight back, getting the tag to Johnson, cross body off the top, dropkick to Brody, enziguri to Buddy, moonsault into a double inverted ddt to Black & Buddy.  Great flurry.

Firing up, Johnson hit a double springboard cutter, flying forearms in the corner until missing, being pinned against the buckle by Buddy so Black could hit a kick, the crowd already barking in anticipation as Johnson slumped down in the corner.

King in.

All three hit sentons to the babyfaces until the other two launched Johnson into a big right from Brody, the pin broken at two by Andretti, Buddy elevated outside, Malakai too, springboard moonsault to both, Darius off the top, his pin attempt seeing him launched clear at the count of one by Brody.

Double team kick combo from Andretti and Darius, the former popped up but landed into a double knee strike from Black and Buddy.  Before Brody polished off Darius via spinning lariat.

Fun squash, especially after the break.  Crowd loved the House, especially King.  Little surprised Lee Johnson didn’t take the pin since he’s never on tv and the other two are.

Riccaboni cut in to announce CMFTR vs House of Black for the trios title next week.

Winner: House of Black

Schiavone with Powerhouse Hobbs.  QT immediately interrupted, shooing Schiavone away.  Marshall had gifts to make up for costing him that match like a month ago.  A gold chain and a match at All Out.  Hobbs said he neither wanted or needed QT’s help, but did take the chain before walking off.

*****

Schiavone now with Christian, Luchasaurus & Christian’s daughter who looked very uncomfortable.  Presumably deliberately so.  He brought her because he’s realized he’s a role model for children.  While Darby Allin’s mentoring eighteen-year-olds who don’t deserve to be here.

She interrupted to ask for the belt, he was disgusted, asking if she’d won it then sending her off to find her mom and yelling to security that she wasn’t credentialled.  (There are some tremendously entertaining heels on the show tonight.)

Cage reiterated that he was the TNT champ before leaving.

Jay White vs Metalik

Backstory: None

White came out to a nice pop along with the BCG & the cut-out.  Metalik started in the ring.  The Gunns joined comms.  Nigel was delighted, Ian was not.

Jay threw his shirt to them, continuing the very fun heel work tonight.  Then pounded Metalik in the corner.  Metalik sent to the apron, enziguri, missing off the top, landing into a kick to the gut and ddt Jake Roberts would’ve been proud of.

White flinging him outside, where Robinson yelled right in his face, Metalik briefly fought back but was flung into the ringpost by White.  Bagging two back inside.  Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker for the same result.

Then see-sawed him throat first into the bottom rope for another two.  Fighting back, Metalik got a boot up in the corner, bulldog, hurracanrana from the middle rope but was snapped across the top rope before coming back via Asai moonsault.

White flung back in, Metalik to the top, missing a moonsault, White slipping behind off the shoulder, sleeper suplex, Bladerunner, victory.

Pretty much what it needed to be.  White’s really starting to come off as a star, one of the big beneficiaries off this new show.

Winner: Jay White

Promo package showing Anna Jay’s debut against Shida.  Jay said the second time they met Jay nearly beat her and now she’s no longer a rookie.  After beating Skye Blue last night, she plans to take the title.

CM Punk vs Ricky Starks (‘Real’ World Championship, Ref: Ricky Steamboat)

Backstory: Punk’s putting the belt he says he never lost on the line after Starks beat him twice

JR joined on comms.  Glad he’s doing better.

Boos for Punk clashing with ‘CM Punk’ chants as usual.  This week he wore a shirt with ‘I’m a Collision Girl’ across the back, smashing through Ricky with his shoulder, hip toss, Starks bailing early for a break.

Punk held the ropes open for him, inviting him back in.

Duelling chants as they locked up, Punk pushed to the corner, out to a test of strength, chain wrestling ending in a one-count for Punk.  He smashed through Starks once more via shoulder block, mocking his pose to some boos.  (Btw that duelling ‘Let’s go Ricky/CM Punk’ chant lasted several minutes and was intense.)

Another reset, Starks slipping behind, Punk getting a headlock, another shoulder block but caught into a series of Steamboat style armdrags, Punk bailing outside this time.  Starks then mocking Punk’s poses.  And holding the ropes open.

Crowd finally settling as Starks hit a kick to the gut, big chop, another, driving Punk to the corner, following with stiff body shots and kicks.  Knee to the gut, Roshambeaux attempt, GTS too, both slipped out, Starks smashing Punk outside via lariat and tumbling over himself.

Ads.  Nice start.

Back to a shoving match, couple slaps, Starks flurry in the corner, Punk down covering-up, firing back with body shots and rights to the face.  Starks then fired a last slap and fled outside, dragging Punk through the ropes, Punk sent him over the barricade into the first row.

Then fired shots from the mount on the ringside mats.  Until being dragged clear by Steamboat.  Punk wasn’t happy but stayed calm.  Back inside, Chicago Phil remained on top with shots in the corner until being crotched on the ropes and hit via baseball slide, sending him crashing to ringside.

Duelling chants kicking up again as Starks sent Punk back in, barely bagging one with a cover.  Big elbow strike, to the top, another from upstairs – Tatanka style – before applying a waistlock, Punk straining to his feet, back elbows until Starks flung him front-first into the buckle and hit a springboard stomp.

Crowd booing Starks (seems like last week that although it’s mixed, there are more cheers than boos for the ‘champ’).  Armdrag and twist, Ricky looking for the front buckle bump once more, Punk countering into a cross body from the middle buckle, to the apron, shoulder to the gut, sunset flip blocked by Starks grabbing the ropes.

Ads.

Back to Punk seeking a superplex, hitting it, lax cover for two.  Both to their feet, Punk throwing rights, snapping jabs, one to the jaw, leg lariat, swinging neckbreaker, step-up knee in the corner, bulldog, two.  Nice sequence.

Upstairs, thinking elbow, Starks to his feet, awkward attempt at a cross body/roll through – ‘that looked bad’ per JR.  Starks on the shoulders, wriggling free of a GTS but trapped into a pin for two, Ricky slumping in the opposite corner, looking for a breather.

Punk readying another knee-strike, caught into a powerbomb, 2 and ¾.  Crowd chanting for Punk as Starks walked the ropes, snatched off into the GTS, slipping free again to fling Punk shoulder-first into the ringpost.  Punk avoiding a spear, Starks tasting the post now and rolled up for two.  Roundhouse to the back of the head as he rose, Punk getting another two.  TiA chant.  Deservedly.

Piledriver prepared, Starks countering into an Alabama slam for two.  Looking for the Roshambeaux, Punk slipping free, Starks hitting the ropes and crashing into the ref who was knocked cold.

As Starks looked for a cover with his legs on the middle ropes.  Steamboat pushed them off from the outside, Starks turned his back to complain, Punk rolled him up and bagged the win.  Anticlimactic end to a very good match.  Easily the best I’ve seen Starks have.  Seemed like it was still building to the finish.  Did at least protect Starks rather than losing clean.

Punk and Steamboat hugged, Starks shoved the latter into Punk, knocking him off the apron then whipped Steamboat with his belt.  Punk tried to intervene and was knocked clear again until returning with a chair.  He checked on Steamboat, who always was renowned for his selling, and hasn’t lost his touch.  And called the doctor in to check the veteran.

Starks was coming looking for more until being run-off by Punk, the crowd chanting for him (Still a smattering of boos but very few) but going quiet as Steamboat was helped to his feet.  Before chanting for the vet.

An excellent main event with an excellent angle to end another excellent Collision.  This show is levels above Dynamite.

Winner: CM Punk

 _______________________________________________________________

Next Dynamite:

  • Jack Perry vs Rob Van Dam (FTW Title & Rules)
  • Cole & MJF segment
  • Bucks vs Hardys
  • JAS mandatory meeting
  • Mox & Claudio vs Lucha Bros
  • Anna Jay vs Hikaru Shida (Women’s Title)

Next Collision:

  • CMFTR vs House of Black (Trios Titles)
  • Mercedez Martinez & Diamante vs Kris Statlander & Willow Nightingale
  • Acclaimed vs TBA

Thumbs Up/Down

  • They’ve finally started properly promoting All In and what they teased sounds great
  • Tony Schiavone was excellent as the backstage interviewer, added so much
  • Some very entertaining heel work
  • Good in-ring action all night mixed nicely with promos and angles, it felt like this show was progressing toward something
  • Punk vs Starks

 *****

  • Not a single one of these ‘title matches’ actually was one – it cheapens the belts

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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