AEW Collision tonight comes to us from Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, KS. After last week drawing 472,000 & 0.13 in the 18-49 demo.
They’re back to the top-of-the-show promos:
- FTR said tonight was about revenge
- Bill & Starks said a lot of acronyms and confused themselves
- Jake Roberts (who got easily the biggest reaction here) w/ Lance Archer warned Darby to ‘run for your life Darby because time is up for you’ (it’s a crime what this act’s become, it was soooo good when Archer debuted)
- Allin said they could kill him but he’ll never die
- Swerve said he had unfinished business as he was attacked by AR Fox
Couple bad omens for the show:
- They consider Archer/Allin worth hyping
- Would it have been that hard to have Hangman attack Swerve here like this?
AR Fox vs Swerve Strickland
Backstory: See below
Neither got entrances they just started brawling down the ramp. Fox ‘has revenge on his mind’: Schiavone filled us in that Fox wanted revenge for being fired by Swerve back in August. This finally made it to the ring and Fox continued beating the crap out of Strickland.
Fox looked for a springboard, Swerve powdered to the outside where Fox pursued him via plancha. Inside, he got ground and pound; rolling cutter out of the corner for two. The crowd were chanting ‘Swerve’s House’ as Strickland continued being drilled around the ring then sent to the apron where both kept acrobatically avoiding one another until Fox took a hip toss onto the apron. Ouch.
Swerve took advantage, hurling Fox to the barricade as the Gates of Agony came down the aisle. Swerve took Fox on his shoulders, Fox slipped off, Swerve inside, Fox still on the apron, they fought until Swerve bealed Fox atop the buckle then dragged him off via superplex.
Back to Swerve taunting a downed Fox. Fox slapped him, Swerve laughed, kept running at Fox who kept avoiding him until landing an enziguri. Fox blocked a cutter, sent Swerve to the apron, punt to the face and running draping-ddt, rolling through into a spinning suplex, right to the top, 450, Swerve just kicked out. Awesome flurry from Fox.
Who was snapped against the top rope as Swerve headed upstairs. Fox cut him off to land a leaping ddt for another two. Fox hit a back elbow, looked again for the rolling cutter; Swerve popped up first to land it instead then nail his running heel kick for two. Fox snatched a roll-up for two, ducked a lariat but Swerve snatched him up then threw him at the top rope knees-first, powerslam from a powerbomb position, Swerve Stomp, win.
It was a good match; it needed to be a stronger Swerve win.
They showed the whitest lady you will ever see with a sign saying ‘SWERVE NATION’ and a picture of Nana with moving arms which did the Nana Dance. While she bobbed along to Strickland’s theme. Looked like something out of a sitcom. Fair play: enjoy what you enjoy.
The Gates were surrounding Fox when FTR saved a beatdown. They brawled with the Gates, crowd loudly chanting for the former champs. Bill and Starks hit the scene and the heels got on top. Until La Faccion Ingobernables eventually turned up and the heels fled. More loud ‘FTR’ chants. They offered a handshake; LFI ignored them and left.
Might have liked this more if I cared about that match. The House of Black were shown watching from the stands.
Winner: Swerve Strickland
They pushed the MJF/Daniel Garcia title match that was made last night.
Then replayed the main event from Dynamite, showing Jay White pinning MJF and Caster taking a whack from the title belt on his behalf. Cut to post-show promos:
MJF whined that White had only pinned him thanks to his ‘entire stable’ catching him off guard (which just isn’t true – Max stopped to do a stupid Kangaroo Kick and paid for it). Max yelled (he’s doing that a lot lately) that White isn’t on his level and is a pretender and an actor – ‘I’m the star! I make you famous!’ he ranted, veins popping in his neck, eyes wide.
He challenged White to search Google Trends for both their names, White’s is a straight line, Max’s is a pyramid. ‘You’re a nobody’ and at Full Gear he’ll prove ‘I’m better than you, and you know it’.
That’s a hell of a jealous heel promo.
Juice and the Gunns all sang that ‘Jay piiiinned M-F-F’. White said ‘We told you so’. They’re truly Elite and live up to those words. He asked the others who just pinned MJF, who just pinned the longest-reigning champ and who will do it again at Full Gear? Then said they’ve earned a vacation so they’ll be back Wednesday but won’t be here tonight.
White wasn’t half as dislikeable as Max. He’s really good, oozes confidence and charisma. Some big wins before the ppv would be nice to help him out.
Like that they at least recapped what happened on Dynamite.
Lexy with Kip Sabian. Who is ‘pissed off after a certain toothless tosspot (wanker) decided to attack me’. That ‘tosspot’ is Mark Briscoe. He challenged Briscoe then brought in the Workhorsemen who are going to be his partners tonight and called them the Sex Stallions.
It’s better than Golden Jets.
The Kingdom’s music hit but Roddy Strong cut it off yelling ‘DASHAAAAAA’. The crowd aren’t taking neck health seriously, so they’re going to show his ‘best friend, ADAAAAAAAM’ (the crowd yelled this back) that it and they should be taken seriously.
The Kingdom vs Brixton Nash & Someone McGregor
Schiavone talked about Daniel Garcia possibly facing Jay White at Full Gear if he beats MJF Wednesday. And managed not to laugh.
The Kingdom hit a spike piledriver to win in two mins. Strong raced out of his wheelchair to nail one of the losers with a leaping knee then needed help back to his wheelchair. Then celebrated with his arms raised high as he was wheeled up the ramp.
Winner: The Kingdom
Quick Christian Cage package recapping his TNT Title run and the whole story vs Darby including Nick Wayne.
Mark Briscoe was being interviewed by Lexy about Kip Sabian’s challenge. FTR came in and offered to pull double duty. Briscoe thanked them but said he had it handled. Lexy asked again who his partners were –‘I’m sorry Lexy I cannot divulge that information’, he said deadpan. Crowd laughed; I did too, he’s so damn likeable. But insisted we didn’t want to miss it.
Lance Archer vs Darby Allin
Chants of ‘Darby’ as this got going. Archer patronizingly sat him atop the buckle and patted him. Allin ran at him, Archer batted him off, dropkick to the knee and big slap from Allin until being pounced out of the ring. Back in to an Archer shoulderbreaker, crowd chanting for Allin once more as he was dragged to the corner, Archer walking the ropes until being crotched, falling outside then hit with Darby’s bullet tope.
But quickly shook it off to dump Allin on the ramp then fling him via release suplex, Allin crashing and rolling down the ramp as the ads arrived.
I continue to wonder why they don’t do more with Archer – has an aura, charisma, can work – does some cool things a guy his size shouldn’t be able to.
Back to him slugging Allin in the mush, Blackout coming, Allin fought free into a sleeper, Archer got him back up into the Blackout, Allin slipped free once more: feet up in the corner, avoiding a splash, to the top, Archer met him there with a step-up knee (what was I just saying!). Blackout coming again, Allin countered into a stunner, getting barely two before firing rights and biting the nose.
But caught out of a coffin splash and just dumped via overhead belly to back. Darby landing on the apron, crowd chanting his name once more, Archer looked at them with amusement then told Allin he was ‘about to die’. Allin almost out on his feet, chokeslam, another – over the ropes and onto the apron before crashing down to ringside. And the crowd barely raised an eyebrow. That’s a sick landing for so little reaction.
Jake was about to hit Allin with his skateboard, the ref saw it and ejected him, the crowd booed. Archer backed down the ref, Allin slunk back in under the ropes, pulling himself up via Archer’s leg but just pasted back down. The big man set him back atop the buckle, looking for a chokeslam; Allin bit his fingers, raked the back, looking for code red off the top, finally getting it for the win.
Fun while it lasted, though the crowd was pretty dead while Archer was on offense. Allin’s a madman taking bumps like that on his shoulder.
Roberts came back on the ramp, took a mic and said Allin might be the golden goose but he’s an egg that’ll get cracked and scrambled. He’s got some more guys for Allin to face. Roberts doesn’t appear to be in the best nick, could barely talk.
The Righteous came out to zero reaction. He handed the mic to the one of them that isn’t Dutch. Who said it was ‘showtime, dig what I’m sayin man?’, allowing Archer to strike from behind. Roberts is apparently ‘building an army’ that ‘might be unstoppable’ per Kevin Kelly. Announcers must have credibility.
If it gives Archer a little more screentime I’ll take it but otherwise no thanks.
Winner: Darby Allin
Lexy with Willow, Statlander and Skye Blue. Statlander praised Blue for picking the right side and thanked her. Blue said she didn’t do it for Statlander she did it for Willow, then left after wishing Willow good luck. Willow was all happy, Statlander threateningly said she had Willow’s back too (don’t know if that’s how it was meant to come across but it did), Willow said they were ‘all friends’. And it was awkward.
Lexy now with Alex Abrahantes. He was putting over Penta’s match last night – without bothering to tell us who won – when a laughing Swerve and Nana rolled up. To say that it’s not Friday, it’s Saturday and they should be talking about what he did to AR Fox.
Alex said they should talk about what Swerve did two weeks ago – ‘violating Hangman Page and his family’ (why are all the babyfaces more pissed off than Hangman about this and fighting his battles for him?). And Penta loves family even more than wrestling. So Alex challenged Swerve to a match on Dynamite.
Strickland accepted and said he looked forward to seeing what was under Penta’s mask (Please no, enough with taking off Luchadors’ masks). Otherwise, please yes, or yes please! Since I clearly know how to structure sentences and stuff.
Alex closed out the seg by paraphrasing JFK about having nothing to fear but Penta himself.
The Acclaimed came out, there were ‘69’ balloons and your average pink and white balloons. Caster cut a crowd-friendly rap. Gunns asked how the fans were, pointing out various signs and having fun with the crowd. He did the old HHH-mocking-Michael Buffer setup before they all yelled ’69 days!’ and a bunch of streamers popped off. Nigel said they couldn’t celebrate like they used to, ‘what with the price of eating out nowadays’ – popped Schiavone.
Billy was covered in streamers as Bowens took the mic to say they’re fired up and he has a surprise. For Caster. Who apparently ‘had a good week’. They played a video of MJF on the screen saying Caster ‘earned his respect’ – Caster’s wide-eyed grin here was just gold – and Adam Cole told him he could have more than one friend and Caster’s ‘starting to grow on me – like a fungus’, he added. He said he didn’t love the Acclaimed but was starting to like them. ‘Happy 69 Day’.
Caster thanked the others profusely then said today was the culmination of all their hard work as champs, symbolized by a trophy sitting on the announce desk. And they couldn’t have done it without the people, so dedicated it to fans around the world but especially those in the arena. Billy did a lap holding the trophy up – it had ‘69’ written in big pink letters – ‘What do you have to do to win that!?’ asked Nigel, and Schiavone nearly lost it again.
Caster kept saying they’d ‘get to 69 (days)’ again and again until Bowens took the mic and reprimanded him. Billy asked how he was going to 69 everyone in the arena? ‘Isn’t that what daddies do?’, then apologized and said he was ‘having fun’.
Bowens tried to wrap up but a ‘Scissor me daddy’ chant interrupted. Bowens was doing the ‘everyone loves the Acclaimed’ line when the greatest wrestler of all time interrupted: Dalton Castle. With Boys. He took a long time making his entrance, the Boys dis-robed him. Billy applauded enthusiastically.
A ‘Dalton Castle’ chant sprung up from a section of the crowd. The Boys grabbed the trophy and presented it to Dalton. Castle started to leave with it, then broke it by throwing it down to ringside. They all brawled. This was Kindergarten booking – the faces had to just watch the heels do all this to the trophy they’d just introduced and claimed meant a ton to them. They were right there in the ring yet did nothing to try and stop it, didn’t beg them not to, didn’t threaten them.
Seemingly the faces agreed to the match starting, with Bowens at a disadvantage, because that’s the only way even one fan might believe the Acclaimed will lose. For the titles of course:
The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn vs Dalton Castle and the Boys
Backstory: See above
The Boys tried to hit Caster with a pinata, the Acclaimed got it and whacked them with it. This is all while Aubrey is a yard away.
Back to the Boys and Castle dragging Gunn off the apron. The crowd is almost silent. Bowens ran through his usual very nice comeback – strikes, chops, thrust kicks, over the shoulder Fameasser. He tagged Gunn for Scissor Me Timbers, Caster in too; Bowens had to yell at the crowd to make noise – every word could be heard it was so quiet.
Gunn Fameasser, Bowens Arrival, Caster Mic Drop. That was minutes of your life if you watched. This was a record number of defenses apparently. Hard-fought victory.
Match did nothing for the Acclaimed. Celebration was fairly entertaining (though did feel a bit like a house show at times) and continued the Caster/MJF story. Which, much like the silliness over the summer, would be fine if it didn’t involve the world champ.
Winner: The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn
Backstage Lexy was with Andrade. She asked again about LFI then mentioned CJ Perry’s offer to manage him. He said again it was his business but next week will give Perry her answer. They’ve still never shown that angle outside of Battle of the Belts.
Kip Sabian & Workhorsemen vs Mark Briscoe, Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee
Sabian hit a springboard moonsault to Briscoe outside, Henry got two inside. Drake slingshotted into a senton, Sabian tagged himself in to bag another two. Then tried a slingshot suplex, Briscoe rolled through to get two but Sabian got right back up and shoved him to the heels’ corner. Bjork sang a song about this arena.
Drake landed a cannonball, all the heels tagged in, Sabian again tagging himself, looking for the Jay Driller, Mark ducked under into a half-and-half, tag to Dustin: drop-down uppercut, snap powerslam, code red – each to a different heel. Briscoe hurled himself off the top onto Drake outside. Lee powerbombed Henry onto Sabian, Briscoe Froggy Bow: 1, 2, 3.
A rare six-man squash.
Winner: Mark Briscoe, Dustin Rhodes & Keith Lee
Lexi congratulated Briscoe on his first win back. He sees an imposter walking round with the gold – he’s beaten Jay White numerous times in tags so challenged White to face him Wednesday with White’s title shot on the line.
Briscoe’s a good promo but him talking about regularly beating White doesn’t help a guy who hasn’t exactly been made a top-flight #1 contender. Putting your title shot on the line is also very WWE.
Nigel said Danielson’s had his surgery and is now recovering. So has created a website for others recovering from the same injury – ‘it’s a site for sore eyes!’. I heart Nigel.
Willow Nightingale vs Emi Sakura
Both ladies plowed into each other repeatedly, neither budged until Willow ran over the vet. Sakura tripped her, Willow landed in a cutesy pose then smacked her in the face with a low cross body after a miscommunication.
The announcers interrupted: Tony Khan’s made the match official!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! White vs Briscoe. (Can Khan just accept White’s shot being on the line on his behalf?)
Willow to the apron, Sakura shrieked at her and Willow sold it, they barely escaped being booed. Sakura recovered by dropkicking Nightingale off the apron then crushing her against the steps via running cross body. Back inside, Willow cartwheeled out of a whip, was sent to the corner where the chops commenced. Hard ones. Another running cross body.
Back to Willow fighting out of a hold, Sakura bridged her outside but way too early – didn’t look great. Sakura threw chops against the barricade until being snatched onto Willow’s shoulders and dumped on the mats via DVD. Sakura sent back in, Willow upstairs, shotgun dropkick, for two.
Willow looked for Dr Bomb; Sakura rolled through for two, la magistral – Willow countered into a pin for two, Sakura got a swinging neckbreaker as they got to their feet, both stayed down. Chop battle up to their feet, flurry from Willow, Sakura gouged the eyes, back elbow, massive lariat, Willow down, Sakura to the corner but running right into a spinebuster. Straps down, Dr Bomb for the win.
Solid but slow. It sounding like there are about five people in the crowd didn’t help.
Winner: Willow Nightingale
Lexy with Joe. Who’s the longest-reigning ROH TV Champ. So she congratulated him then asked if he’d heard back from Max after his offer. Joe said Max needed to realize he needs someone to watch his back. Until he does, he’ll keep getting hurt.
As for his title run, he’s beaten everyone in front of him. Keith Lee walked in. This got an ‘Ohhhh’ from the crowd for some reason. Lee said he hadn’t beaten everyone; Joe that they could remedy that Wednesday. ‘Count me in’, said Lee.
FTR, Rush & Preston Vance vs Ricky Starks, Big Bill & Gates of Agony
Backstory: FTR have been feuding with Starks & Bill, who LFI also mixed it up with last week
JR’s joined on comms.
None of the heels got much of a reaction, particularly the Gates. Ditto LFI. Though Dasha announcing Spanish names = never not great. The crowd were at least pleased to see FTR.
They’re really pushing Dynamite and that ticks are available. It’s in the Blazers’ joint so they need to.
Bill and Vance set it off – Vance slipped behind; Bill quickly fought him off with back elbows but Vance fired back with forearms in the corner and punches on the buckle. Bill stuck back with a splash in the corner, Vance again fought back with a running lariat in the opposing one. Until Bill smashed him down with a big lariat: Nana thought this was hilarious – his cackle is much liked Dasha’s announcing.
Cash and Kaun in, things finally reached the minimum speed limit as they brawled: Cash slipped behind, duck down, charging shoulder to the gut, tag to Dax, drop toe hold/elbow drop combo – crowd made noise for first time in an hour.
Toa Leona in, he shook off his head being forced to the mat and came back to get two (I missed the move, distracted by JR and Nigel arguing over who was the best tag team). Leona missed a big boot, Dax hit hard chops, running shotgun, Leona missed an elbow but not a blistering shortarm clothesline. Tag to Starks who fired rights in the corner, Dax fought out looking for the sharpshooter, Starks got the ropes but was dragged back middle, tag to Rush.
Schiavone yelled that the fans were chanting ‘Rush, Rush, Rush’; maybe a handful were. It’s very hard to feel like a star before an audience like this.
A violent right sent Starks all the way across the ring then Rush ran him hither and yon, smashing him against the barricade, crowd liked that – fast and ultra-aggressive. ‘Rush’ chants a little louder now.
Back to Dax and Leona, the former being choked in the ropes, loudest chant all night for ‘FTR’ as Kaun tagged in to bag barely-two via lariat. Starks in to do his rope-strut axe handle then running legdrop in the ropes, another across the apron. Again for two.
FTR chants again as Starks tagged Bill then went to join on comms. They were cutting to him while the match went on, not in p-in-p, coming back to Bill missing a legdrop: tag to Rush, he smacked every heel with knees and fists, Bulls Horns coming to Starks, instead he dismissively kicked him then landed in a pose – Starks ran at him and was scooped into a snap powerslam for two.
Even more fans now chanting ‘Rush’ – Starks slipped behind looking for Roshambeaux, Vance in as the two worked over Starks via double powerbomb. Leona in to nail a headbutt to Vance but miss a spear – landing outside, bringing Bill in to hit a chokeslam. FTR snuck in behind but Big Bill was too Big for the Bigg Rig.
Rush landed a release German on Kaun – guys are just coming in and out at will now, not a sniff of a tag. He setup Bulls Horns on Starks again; Starks met him with a Spear, both down. TiA from the crowd. It certainly seems it after the rest of the hour.
Finally an actual tag to Kaun, Cash blocked a double suplex but was nailed via lungblower, Rush in, nailed via thrust kick by Starks, Rush hit back via discus lariat, tag to Dax, flurry to Kaun, crowd chanting FTR again, he and Rush hit the Bigg Rig to Kaun, Cash took out Leona via tope suicida, Kaun slumped in the corner, nailed with the Bulls Horns for the win.
Last few mins were particularly enjoyable but it’s hard to judge overall because the rest of this hour was so flat that anything resembling competitive action would’ve seemed like Omega/Okada. FTR were the only real stars to these fans; not a great sign for Starks.
LFI wouldn’t shake hands with FTR. Hopefully we don’t have another faction of tweeners.
The lights went down and the House of Black appeared on the screen. They spoke in their usual gobbledygook then appeared behind FTR which the latter should have seen coming. Claudio and Yuta made the save. Speaking of tweener factions.
JR said we should be excited about the ‘youth and talent’ here on ‘Friday night’. Yikes. You feel for the guy but he just keeps making mistakes.
Winner: FTR, Rush & Preston Vance
- Samoa Joe vs Keith Lee (I assume) (ROH TV Title?)
- Max vs Daniel Garcia (AEW Title)
- Jay White vs Mark Briscoe (White’s title shot is on the line)
- Julia Hart vs Red Velvet
- Penta vs Swerve Strickland
- Show featured some younger guys – ideally they’d have beaten ‘somebodies’ but it’s better than the oldies Dynamite is peddling
- Swerve vs Fox
- All Filler, No Killer – a mix of predictable finishes and uninteresting matches, very much felt like they threw in the towel after Omega/MJF didn’t boost numbers
- Why wouldn’t Hangman come for Swerve here?
Appreciate you reading. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.