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Collision TV report for 09/02/2023

AEW Collision tonight comes to us from the United Center in Chicago, Il.  After last week drawing 552,000 & 0.16 in the 18-49 demo.

Woooaaaah.  Did not expect to check the news and see Punk’s gone.  Have to commend AEW for their transparency.  Many other companies – *cough* WWE *cough* – would’ve delayed the announcement until after they were well clear of Chicago.

*****

Tony Khan appeared to announce the toughest decision of his career – he’s terminated CM Punk due to last Sunday’s incident at All In.  Which endangered people backstage, innocent people.  He’s been going to shows for 30 years and never has he felt his security, safety, life was in danger till last Sunday.  And no-one should feel that way at work.  It came after talking to an internal discipline committee and outside legal counsel who were unanimous in their decision.

Last weekend was the greatest in AEW history and they’ll continue the momentum tonight and tomorrow.  He cut to a package recapping All In, voiced by Tony Schiavone, pushing tomorrow’s ppv and welcoming fans to Collision.

The Collision theme then played.

(As explanations go that’s a pretty good one.  It’s one all but the most hardcore Punk fans should be able to accept.  Even if they might argue he was provoked in this instance.  And might be right.  He also should’ve known better.)

Lights down so clearly a lot of empty seats.  Lot of booing and CM Punk chants from a small-sounding crowd.  Though they quickly died down as Schiavone spoke.  He brought Ricky Starks out to issue his challenge.  Starks came with Big Bill and a weight belt.  They recapped him whipping Ricky Steamboat.  Starks didn’t seem to be remotely a heel to these fans.

He’s challenged the seventy-yeat-old Steamboat for a strap match tomorrow.  No DQ.  Schiavone asked ‘Are you outta your freakin’ mind?’.  Starks snatched the mic, as everyone does from Tony.  He said he’s back at square one and talked about obstacles.  And he overcomes them and gets better.  He’s fed-up of having to start over but he shows up everytime, no matter how many people try to use him or undercut him.  It never works because you can’t put a lid on a boiling pot.

He addressed Big Bill.  And talked about him overcoming addiction and put him across as a star.  ‘I believe in you.  And I believe in myself.’  The crowd chanted for Bill.  Starks said he’s tired and frustrated and wants to cry but he’s come out and will do what he needs to.

He sat at home and watched All In.  Complaining that he missed it cause he ‘whupped’ Steamboat.  And he’s not letting another moment slip through his hands so that’s why he’s challenging Steamboat for All Out.  He hopes one day Steamboat sees things from his perspective.

(Get that Starks is probably genuinely frustrated at his feud with Punk ending but the fact he can’t actually say it and sounded very babyface here wasn’t great.)

Steamboat’s music hit to a nice pop.  He stormed to the ring, a determined look on his face.  He said Starks strapped him like a dog.  But he didn’t complain.  And yet Starks wants a match against him.  He said Starks talks a good game and can perform when he wants to (sounds about right).

He contacted legal and had a contract drawn up.  The pen will talk and ‘not the mouth’.  Schiavone showed the contract which bore Steamboat and Stark’s names.  Starks signed quickly.  Steamboat showed it to the camera.  He said people know him as the Dragon, but they also know this guy: Bryan Danielson’s music kicked in.

Crowd ‘yes’-ing! As Kelly asked what Starks had done and Nigel muttered ‘Oh he’s fine to wrestle now is he?’ (there were rumors McGuinness was going to come out of retirement to face Danielson).  Danielson signed the contract.  Starks was furious.  The crowd chanted that he’d F’d up.  Starks crossed himself (nice touch).

But then said if this is the bed he has to lay in, he’s gonna make sure he’s real comfortable.  Steamboat said Starks had got what he wanted.  Starks fled, Danielson held up Steamboat’s arm and the crowd cheered.

Kelly slammed Starks for attempting to face a 70 year-old as Nigel claimed he’d been hoodwinked.

All in all, a nice way to make a crowd forget about Punk and start the show off hot.  Just hope Danielson’s arm is good and he hasn’t rushed back.

*****

Moxley promo.  He talked about being a rock around raging seas.  Or in other words being Orange Cassidy.  The puzzle thirty-one other men have failed to solve.  The Cassidy who forged his own path, was never supposed to make it.  If he’s a cosplay wrestler who’s he trying to be?  Are any of them the ‘winningest’ champ in wrestling?

Cassidy won round one and he can have that.  Cause it’s all he’ll get.  When you’ve wrestled as long as Mox you wrestle a lot of big matches and there’s always ‘tomorrow’ (figuratively).  But the chance Mox has at All Out is ‘once in a lifetime’ because Cassidy’s on the run of a lifetime.

Moxley usually senses he’s won as a match starts.  He can smell BS.  But Cassidy looks like the real thing.  Though he won’t target arms or legs, he’s after Cassidy’s soul, his will, his conditioning.  A lot of guys say they wanna be wrestlers but most don’t make it cause it’s so hard.

Sunday it’ll get really, really hard, will Cassidy look for a way out?  ‘I really hope not.  Lotta people believe in you Orange Cassidy, don’t disappoint us.’

God damn I’ve got chills.  Talk about putting over your opponent and building a match.  Mox is great.

Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Daniel Garcia & 2.0 (Trios Titles)

Backstory: Nada

Parker and Bowen got us going.  Gunn and Garcia quickly came in.  The youngster snapped a chop to the chest, ducked a wild swing, danced, ducked again, danced again, then told Gunn to ‘suck it’.  Gunn hit Garcia so the latter landed face-first in his crotch then performed Garcia’s dance (This dude was Bryan Danielson’s protégé and main evented Dynamite twice this time last year).

Gunn and Bowens hit a double elbow drop, Aubrey was distracted, Garcia recovered and 2.0 stun gunned Bowens then hit a double ddt.  Garcia locked in the Dragon Tamer, dead center, the crowd didn’t buy it for a sec.  Even after Jake Hager appeared to stop Bowens getting the rope break.

Break.

Back to Bowens fighting out of the heel corner, cut-off twice.  Until an enziguri bought the tag to Caster, who hit shots and lariats to all three heels.  Before vaulting onto Garcia, sending him back in, to the top, cross body, two.

Garcia came back to hit a uranage.  And was about to dance when an irritated Menard tagged himself in.  And was smacked with a flying lariat courtesy of Caster.  Who tagged Gunn to run through all the faces.  So unstoppable he slugged MMA fighter Hager off the apron, immediately shook off an attack from Menard and hit a Fameasser.

Into the Arrival, Mic Drop.  Win.

The faces were incredibly over here.  But must Billy Gunn always be the hero of the match who never sells and takes the hot tag?  He’s in his 60s.

Winner: Acclaimed & Billy Gunn

Backstage to Dark Order with Lexi.  I legitimately had to stop and take a breath almost immediately after Silver started by calling Cole ‘Budge’ and saying they used to be best friends but Cole threw it away to team with MJF (all of which took place on BTE.  And this is national television.  And this match was already a joke).

Reynolds then went ultra-serious, talking about how he helped train MJF and taught him to do what it takes to win.  But only one of them took that advice.  So tomorrow Reynolds is going to do what it takes to win since they need to win for themselves and the Dark Order to prove all the people who say they don’t deserve this shot wrong.  ‘We’re going to beat you because we have to’.

It’s like they planned a comedy promo and a serious promo and got their lines crossed about which they were doing.  Reynolds’ was good at least.

*****

Backstage, Tony tried to catch Ricky Starks to ask about facing Danielson tomorrow.  Starks again talked about obstacles and overcoming them.  Tomorrow he’s going to show why he is what he says he is, Absolute Ricky Starks.

Erm, what does that actually mean?  The more Starks talks, the more I think he doesn’t say anything but does so with enough charisma that it sounds better than it should.

Aussie Open vs Nick Wayne & Komander

Backstory: None

McGuinness talked about Jericho & Guevara having issues with the Aussies on Rampage.  What a strange team they’re facing here.

Davis ran straight through Wayne, instant tag to Fletcher, Wayne ducked and dodged, hurracanrana to Fletcher, flying forearm, kip-up, tag to Komander.  Double dropkick to Fletcher from the faces, Fletcher responded with a bodyslam to Komander.

Davis in, senton missed, Komander did a bunch of flips for no reason until locking in an octopus hold.  Davis shook him off, Fletcher blind tag, he nailed the faces with kicks after Davis launched them off his shoulder, they then hit the Aussie Arrow.

Komander kicked out.

Break.

Back to Komander trying to fight his way past Davis to tag.  Fletcher tagged in to cut him off but missed an attack in the corner.  Wayne in with a flurry: spinning elbow strike, enziguri, running dropkick, sliced bread, Asai ddt, tope con hilo, to the top, frog splash to Fletcher who just kicked out.

Wayne slipped behind, the two blocked and countered until Fletcher landed a half and half suplex.  Davis in, finish coming, Komander broke it up, was caught by Davis out of a springboard and hauled up impressively into a piledriver.

Wayne avoided the clothesline sandwich, and another, enziguris and kicks for the heels, Wayne went for Waynes World but was caught into Coreolis as the former ROH champs won.

Good match.  Right result too.  They’re not forcing Wayne down our throats and the Aussies needed a win after losing last week.

Winner: Aussie Open

Schiavone with Nick Wayne who was doing a great job selling his neck.  Schiavone said he had a great career ahead.  Wayne said he was frustrated at losing but is more frustrated at Darby forgiving AR Fox for what he did.  Allin was straight out.  He said he’s known Nick since they were eight.  He saw him his first day of wrestling school.

There was a point Allin got in a big fight with Nick’s dad.  So hadn’t spoken to him for three years before he passed.  And he has to live with that.  Fox was one of his trainers too and he refuses to ‘live with the hate’.  He suggested Wayne let it go.  At All Out he’s fighting for the TNT title and it’d be an honor if Wayne cornered him (uh oh).

Cue Christian Cage.  Whose music got quite a pop.  He came with his dinosaur as usual.  Cage said it was rude of him to talk about Wayne’s dad last week since he forgot to ask the name of Wayne’s mom, a missed opportunity on his part.  Maybe he should ‘slide into her DM’s’?

Then asked if Wayne was Allin’s ‘personal pity project’ since he felt guilty over his dad.  He should take after Cage since he doesn’t pretend to be something he’s not (classic – Kelly pointed out the hypocrisy).  He suggested Wayne carry a towel with him to throw it into the ring tomorrow because it’ll be a one-sided massacre at the hands of the ‘most complete big man in the business’.  When it’s done they’ll still be the face of TNT.

That’s an interesting twist inserting Wayne in like this.  It makes the finish a little harder to predict.

*****

Claudio and Yuta from Wednesday.  Claudio congratulated Eddie on beating the BCC’s youngest member.  Which is nothing since they all beat Yuta all the time ( he uppercutted him repeatedly through this interview).  But unlike Kingston, Yuta gets back up.  Doesn’t blame others.

He thought Japan might change Kingston.  He thought he couldn’t lose any more respect for him, but he was wrong.

*****

Eddie and Shibata with their belts.  Kingston said Claudio wouldn’t fight him again cause he’s a coward.  Kingston asked Shibata what he thought of them – Shibata held up his phone and played a clip saying ‘You both suck’.  Kingston laughed and said ‘see ya at the pay-per-view’.

More pretty good build.  The whole ‘respect’ angle is very believable considering the way Kingston carries himself.

*****

They recapped the women’s four-way from last weekend.  Highlighting the disharmony among the Outcasts.  Saraya and Ruby were then with Lexi.  Saraya was a total heel again.  Great.  She said they were stuck back in America and can smell the fans’ breath from backstage.  How creative.

Ruby then blew away Saraya’s acting and talking within the first line.  Saying Kris Statlander had never beaten her.  Then told Lexi not to worry about the Outcasts.  And they’ll prove that by taking two titles.

They insisted Toni would be fine but Soho noted she had seen Storm in the parking lot ‘half-naked, throwing shoes at birds’.

*****

Every dictator’s best friend Dennis Rodman was out next.  God knows where this is going.  Of course he was popular in Chicago having been part of the second Bulls’ three-peat in the 90s.  Tony had to turn him round to face the camera.  And asked why he was here.

Jeff Jarrett’s music hit.  Apparently these two were ‘stable mates’ (do they mean nWo?  Cause they weren’t at the same time).  The heels shooed Schiavone.  Jarrett basically kissed up to Rodman while comparing him to his own guys.  Until saying both Karen and Rodman look great in a dress.

Jarrett then talked about them being in one of the greatest factions of all time.  He said too sweet and 4-life so apparently they did mean nWo.  Jarrett asked him to join their group.

Rodman said it was his first time in Chicago in thirteen years.  Jarrett cut him off and made a reference to the 1998 NBA Finals to keep the show extra current.  And demanded an answer.

Dutt sent the others away and tried to reason with Rodman.  Rodman flung him to the ground.  The heels were about to attack when the Acclaimed’s music kicked in.  It’s obviously Seniors’ Segment.

Bowens challenged the heels to a match.  Gunn said he can’t wrestle twice anymore.  But moved the match to tomorrow, with Rodman in their corner (I’ll take that since it means I can skip it since I don’t have to cover it!).

*****

Shane Taylor package calling him the most dangerous ROH TV champ of all time.  They showed him destroying people and Taylor said he’d again be the baddest champ in ROH.

*****

Joe said it’d been a turbulent week.  He understands that Taylor thinks something great’ll happen tomorrow.  But it’s a tale of hopes and wishes.  Taylor hopes tomorrow will be his best ever performance, but he’ll wish he hadn’t taken the match.  He hopes he’ll get his title back but he’ll wish Joe stops hitting him.  He’s going to wish he’d never put Joe’s name in his mouth.

Tomorrow he’ll make it clear who’s the real king of television.

Good work from Joe as usual.

The Outcasts vs Britt Baker, Kris Statlander & Hikaru Shida

Backstory: Britt & Shida had problems when they teamed Weds

Toni was a little late coming out but walked the ramp with the others.  She and Saraya were arguing as the match began.

Storm demanded to start against Statlander.  An aggressive lockup led to a rope break, each knocked the other down with shoulder blocks, Stat got a quick one count, Storm bailed to the corner, avoided a charge but was caught into a slam.

Storm turned the tables to stomp Statlander in the corner, readied the hip attack, Statlander cut her off, tag to Britt, neckbreaker, whip, slingblade, Storm bailed to tag Ruby.  Shida in too.  She slugged Ruby but Saraya came in illegally to kick her in the gut.  Shida nearly slugged Baker again but stopped short.

Ads.  Started well with Storm and Statlander.  Those two need to wrestle again.  Physical.

Storm and Shida now fighting in the middle, a Storm knee cutting Shida off, the crowd chanting for her, both bagged tags, Statlander and Saraya in, Statlander walloped her with rights, charge in the corner, running knee too, blue thunder bomb, Soho broke the pin at two.

Saraya got a rollup from behind for two but took a kick to the head.  All the women just coming in at will now until Statlander got a powerslam on Saraya, Storm tried to break it the pin but hit Saraya after Statlander moved.  Britt wailed away on Ruby, blocked No Future, hit a twisting neckbreaker, Soho avoided a Stomp, Saraya sprayed Britt with the paint (the crowd booed but in an ‘again?’ way) and Ruby won.

Groan.

Erm, why doesn’t Shida want her title back?  Why wasn’t she pissed off and targeting Saraya?  Especially since she never lost it.

Winner: the Outcasts

‘Budge’ was up next for a promo (they didn’t actually call him that) to say the DO boys were an amazing tag team but not as good as he and Max.  He then brought up his phone to read some texts Max had sent (Cole actually did a really nice job reading these with MJF’s intonation):

  • Yes, Reynolds helped train him but it took him nine years to get rid of all the bad habits since he’s the ‘absolute drizzling sh…’ (Cole stopped reading)
  • Re: Silver, he hadn’t realized they could stack crap that high but actually it’d be fairly easy considering he’s the size of a garden gnome. Cole then refused to read the rest because it was ‘disgusting’.

‘See you boys Sunday… boom’.  They’re going all in (NPI) on this being comedic.  I’d simply ask which promo out of Mox or Cole was more effective in building a match fans want to see.

*****

Statlander with Lexi.  She said she wasn’t feeling great since Soho can’t win without spraypaint and her friends.  Ruby and Saraya just happened to be off-camera so stormed in.  They got in each other’s faces.  Saraya cut them off to yell ‘Shutup you stupid bitch, she’ll see you tomorrow’.

Why wouldn’t that spark a fight?  Anyway it didn’t.  Statlander just yelled ‘see you tomorrow’ after them.  Saraya adds nothing but the basest, most generic heel traits, badly delivered too – smelly breath, spraypaint and ‘bitch’.

Will Hobbs vs GPA

Backstory: None

Hobbs won with the Spinebuster in about ten seconds.

The Redeemer’s music played to a nice pop.  He made his full entrance, pyro and all, then slugged it out with Hobbs.  Who took a nasty spill to the outside but dragged Miro under the ropes to send him into the barricade.  Miro then flung him over it and Hobbs left through the crowd.

Not bad but not enough.

Winner: Will Hobbs

Video package pushing the Omega/Takeshita feud.  This was pretty good but it’s baffling that Omega hasn’t said a single word this week to build this match.

*****

Orange Cassidy promo.  He said he didn’t want to be talking since he doesn’t like it.  But this isn’t just another title defense, it’s everything he’s been working for.  His first ever  AEW singles match was in Chicago in this building against Pac.  Where he proved he deserved to be here.

Then it was Will Ospreay.  Where he proved he can go toe-to-toe with the best in the world.  Tomorrow, it’s Jon Moxley.  ‘Jon Moxley is just the best.  He picked AEW up when it was down and put all the weight on his shoulders’ (crowd applauded, notably there’ve been no Punk chants since the start of the show.  Not a single one).  Tomorrow when he beats Mox, he’s going to take the weight ‘off your shoulders and put it on mine, because I’m Orange Cassidy, I’m the International Champion, and I do not have a catchphrase.’

Damn man who knew Mox/Orange was the best promo battle in the company?  Excellent.

Jay White vs Dax Harwood

Backstory: The BCG will face the Bucks & FTR Sunday

White out first with BCG, sans cut-out.  JR joined on comms.  They recapped the classic tag from Calgary in July, highlighting that FTR won that night.  Dax came with Cash (the Bucks are apparently backstage so might get involved) – as they showed FTR defeating the Bucks last week and the ensuing handshake snub.

JR said he didn’t think we’d seen the last of those teams going at it.

Gonna be the usual long one as Kelly and JR did a nice job discussing tags vs singles and whether White had wrestled enough singles lately for it to be an advantage.  As usual, White quickly bailed outside.  Then came back in to hit a chop, then ran back among his boys at ringside.

The crowd chanted ‘Ass Boys’ as White got back in to lockup.  White got a headlock, to the mat, back to their feet, irish whip, Dax fired rights and chops then looked for the Sharpshooter.  White again fled as Juice yelled for him to get out the ring.

Ads.

Atop the buckle, Dax looked for a superplex, White flung him off after gouging the eyes then suplexed Harwood into the bottom rope.  Before sending Dax out right among BCG; Cash evened things up with a chair.

Back inside, White stomped away on Dax, chops in the corner, Dax snapped back, ducked a wild swing but missed badly on a splash in the corner, stumbling out into a ddt as White got two.  White landed another chop before grabbing another headlock, Dax fought free with shots to the gut, slipped behind, O’Connor roll, White kickout, Dax cross body from the middle, count of two.

White hit another chop, Dax landed with his head poking out through the ropes, Juice readied a Left Hand of God, but the ref was right there to warn him off (that was so satisfying after more Outcasts nonsense earlier).  Another White knife-edge, Dax fought back with a big lariat and looked again for a superplex.

Landing it this time, leaving both guys down.

Harwood to the apron, to the top, diving headbutt missed, both down once more, White crawled into a cover for two.

Break.

Back to yet more chops, Dax blocked a running right, into a German, standing switches as he looked for another, White slipped free of a suplex and snapped Dax across the ropes but ran back in right into another German and a brainbuster for two.

Piledriver on the way, White again fled outside.  This time Dax pursued him, chopping him across the barricade then dragging him back to the ring.  Before heading upstairs again, White again bailed but only made the apron – Dax chopped him back into the ring.

White hit a dragon screw against the ropes, backdrop driver, Dax popped up but slumped in the corner, White hit a running back elbow and running DVD for a close call.  Sought his uranage, Dax dead-weighted him, White ducked a lariat, Dax shook off one of White’s and absolutely obliterared him with a right.

Then went for a piledriver, White backdropped free, Dax avoided a couple wild swings to hit the piledriver.  Kelly was amazed when White kicked out.

Harwood then took White upstairs for a belly to back, White twisted into a cross body for another close call.  And immediately looked for the uranage again.  Once more, Dax fought it off but was posted shoulder-first, rebounding right into the uranage.  But kicked out once more.

Sleeper suplex followed, Bladerunner on the way, Dax grabbed the top rope to block it, hit a slingshot powerbomb, White kicked out but Dax transitioned right into the Sharpshooter but like the tag match didn’t have the leg strength to synch it in.

The two ended up outside, all the guys came together, White used the confusion to nail a Bladerunner outside, fling Dax back in, Harwood managed to grab a cradle after a brief pause, White kicked out, up into another Bladerunner as the right guy won.

AEW needs more matches like this, where one star beats another.  There are too many squashes.  It also sets up another possible tag clash.

The heels then had Wheeler cornered, Dax still down, when the Bucks’ music hit to (mostly) a pop and the heels legged it through the crowd.

There were definitely strong boos after the music died down.  And CM Punk chants as the Bucks offered a handshake; FTR ignored it and left.  More pretty good ppv build, all things considered.

Fairly good match overall, White’s stalling and the endless chops got a little repetitive but it built well and the right guy won.

Winner: Jay White

 ________________________________________________________________

Added to All Out:

  • Acclaimed & Billy Gunn (w Dennis Rodman) vs Jeff Jarrett, Jay Lethal & Satnam Singh (Zero Hour)
  • Bryan Danielson vs Ricky Starks (Strap Match)

Thumbs Up/Down

  • Moxley promo; Orange’s reply
  • Opening segment – Danielson’s return was a nice surprise and way to get the crowd on side
  • Strong job building the ppv matches – yes there’s plenty to criticise generally but they did about as much here in two hours as could be done
  • Inserting Wayne into the TNT title picture makes the match more interesting

 *****

  • Rodman, Jarrett and etc seg (though understandable they wanted something to appease the local fans)
  • Saraya’s acting, promos and redundancy – it’s the same stuff every week

Appreciate you reading.  Enjoy the rest of the weekend and All Out if you’re watching.

 

 

 

 

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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