AEW Collision tonight comes to us from Oakland Arena in Oakland, CA. After last week drawing 366,000 & 0.09 in the 18-49 demo.
- Copeland, Darby, Sting: Copeland asked ‘What happens when an Icon, an Iconoclast and a Freak walk into a wrestling ring? We beat the crap outta ya!’, Sting yelled it was showtime
- The main event heels didn’t say anything worth repeating
- Rush vowed to get revenge for what Starks did to his ‘brother’ Vance on Rampage (which would be….?), Vance said ‘We’re coming for the tag titles’ with the same conviction as ‘If you bring the money to the drop they say they’ll let me go’
- Callis (w Hobbs) said that tonight we’re gonna watch him put someone in the ground (and got a big pop)
- Daniel Garcia said he lost the biggest match of his life but he’ll turn a negative into a positive when he makes Andrade tap in the middle of the ring – ruining what was a very good promo by vowing to ‘dance over his broken body’ while getting into the pose
- Andrade told us we’d get his answer to ‘CJ’ (Perry) ‘right now’, putting on his mask as if headed to the ring
Schiavone welcomed us to the show with Nigel, Kelly’s ‘on assignment’.
Andrade vs Daniel Garcia
Nigel asked if Andrade’s new red mask was indicative of his answer. Perry followed him out and the announcers acted all shocked. She and Andrade nodded at one another and she accompanied him to the ring.
Backstage, in the dark, Miro watched on sternly (if anyone is in any doubt about the influence of ex-WWE people he was stood the way WWE guys are, side-on to the tv, the very thing the Bucks once mocked on Dynamite).
Garcia immediately did his dance on coming out. And AEW did what they always do, overhype: apparently he and Max had a ‘classic’ per Schiavone. It was at best the third best match on Dynamite.
Garcia’s also ‘sick of being sad’ per Nigel. Has he shown any sadness whatsoever?
Stiff collar and elbow, Andrade backing the youngster to the ropes, Garcia backed off when Andrade lurched at him, Andrade began working the arm. Garcia trying to battle free, he switched things, working Andrade’s shoulder until the Mexican flipped free using the ropes and got Garcia back in the hold. Garcia jumped up and down on the spot and shoved Andrade and this somehow broke the hold.
Andrade headlock, crowd quiet as Garcia again countered into his own then tried to fling Andrade through the ropes. El Idolo landed in his pose between them, Garcia was going to dance but got run over by a shoulder block. Fans don’t get behind dumb guys.
Andrade hit the ropes, Garcia leapfrog/dropdown; Andrade nailed him with a low dropkick, again outsmarting the youngster. But missed jabs, Garcia unloaded in the ropes, El Idolo covered up, was taken down via legsweep, low dropkick, Andrade down. Crowd still quiet.
Garcia dropped his head and paid for it, lariat next and the vet stayed on top via springboard dropkick when Garcia headed upstairs. The youngster tumbling outside, Andrade seeking a moonsault then pursuing him as Garcia walked and ran away back into the ring, trying to catch the vet coming in with a knee drop but was suckered and missed.
(Like the story so far that the vet is always a step ahead.)
Andrade to the top, cross body, two via the first pin of the match. Stinging chop in the corner, Garcia reversed a whip, Andrade Flair flip to the apron but caught in a sleeper, fighting free until taking a dragon screw into the ropes then being knocked off the buckle via leaping knee.
Instead of taking advantage, Garcia went and danced in front of Perry – ‘he’s gonna dance in front of Hot and Flexible’. (Because as we all know deep down most women want to be referred to by their most prominent attributes. Just ask Fat and Freckles or Slim and Stubborn.)
Back inside, a snap German after Andrade rebounded off the ropes left the heel (???) on top.
Oh yeah then he danced again.
Back to Andrade butting Garcia off the top, Garcia avoided an axe handle then caught the vet in an ankle lock. They went to a shot of Perry looking for her to be selling the danger but she was just watching – so there’s your weekly camera gaff. Andrade pounded the mat with his fist to fight the pain then kicked free, took a chop block though came back via dragon screw, another, diving forearm, trying to get the blood in his knee before kipping up, Garcia slumped in the corner, double knees coming – crowd chanting ‘si!’ before Garcia was just crushed.
Crowd getting into it a little as it sped up; dying when Garcia cut Andrade off atop the buckle so perhaps they just don’t care about the guy who’s never been in WWE? Garcia hit his own running knees in the corner, rolling through looking for a suplex, going for the three amigos, Andrade cut him off after one to hit two, big smile from Perry, chants of Eddie from the crowd until Garcia countered back into a brainbuster. Count of two with his first pin attempt of the match. Maybe fifteen minutes in.
Crowd clapping trying to rouse Andrade who threw back elbows out of a waistlock, scoop slam, limping to the corner, to the top, double-jump coming, a good 2/3 of the way across the ring. Another two.
Garcia fired up as Andrade asked him to bring it – flurry of forearms, Andrade to his knees, the vet shook them off to paste him with an open hand, the youngster hit back, hit the ropes but took the best-looking back-elbow in wrestling, Figure Four, bridging up, immediate tap.
Sure this was good, Andrade’s matches usually are. But I can’t take Garcia seriously so can’t get into his matches. Even putting the dancing aside, his character’s all over the place. The crowd are supposed to kinda like him, he doesn’t do much to aid them in that, he’s supposed to be torn between being a Wrestler and Sports Entertainer but the sports entertainers he hangs with don’t want him to do his sports entertainer-y dance whereas he does want to do it en route to (presumably) again becoming a Wrestler?
Perry really sold the win, smiling and pumping her fists. Then headed inside for a big hug. Miro was shown watching, having stood in the same spot for twenty minutes, he patted the screen. ‘He’s got a smile and is shaking his head I don’t know what that means’, said Schiavone. Which about sums it up, he certainly didn’t appear angry.
This angle has potential but continues to be poorly structured. Match should be fun.
They recapped the angle which closed Dynamite – attack on the Acclaimed, Devil appearing, Max running backstage, Joe cackling. In very rushed fashion.
Nick Wayne vs Dalton Castle
Wayne came out to Cage’s music with Cage and Saurus. Nigel claimed Wayne wanted to take Cage’s last name.
Though I’ll be surprised if he ever comes close to the level of entertainment or charisma Castle showed in a promo about cheese on ROH this week. Yes, cheese. On his way to the ring tonight he talked about meeting a bunch of animals, ‘and the sea lion said ‘‘ARF, ARF, ARF’’, he meant ‘’Dalton, you’re a peacock and you’re the most powerful man we’ve got’’.
No-one like him. Got a nice pop from the crowd too and a loud ‘Dalton Castle’ chant.
He pushed Wayne to the corner, Wayne quickly ducked through the ropes to get the break, pushed Castle to the corner himself but was snatched up and stampeded across the ring before being dumped in the opposing corner. Castle preened, crowd loved it, Wayne sought advice from Cage. Another loud pro-Castle chant.
Wayne shoved him away then mocked his pose. And paid for it with a quick double-leg, Castle rode him on the mat until Wayne again escaped via the ropes, thumb to the eye, couple shots, he caught Castle by the foot but was dragged into an overhead throw which the fans reacted big to. Gut wrench up from the mat, a series of them before dumping Wayne down on his back.
The crowd are reacting to everything Castle does because he’s a character with charisma. And barely responding to Wayne because he’s not (yes he’s not had much time on AEW tv but probably more than Dalton has). There’s a lesson there for AEW.
Castle dropped knees into Wayne’s hip, hip-toss to follow, Castle firing up, Wayne on the mat, kicking free of a slam and snapping the vet against the ropes. Diving back-elbow, barely two. Snapmare, crowd chanting for Castle again as Wayne posed while driving his boot into the vet’s face then raking it.
Castle backed him to the corner, twice, to free himself from a waistlock, Wayne eventually rolled through into a cradle for two, took a back elbow, lariat, overhead throw, fallaway slam, up for the Bangarang, Wayne rolled behind into a sunset flip for one, Castle caught him out of Wayne’s World into a German, firing up again, as Saurus hit the apron, was dragged off by the Boys who took a double chokeslam outside.
Castle went after him, Wayne tried to roll him up, Castle reversed for two, Cage now up on the steps, allowing Castle to be hurled into the ringpost, Wayne’s World, win. Hard to like the obvious interference but do like that heel finish – ringpost into the cutter. Fun match.
Speaking of characters, Cage gave Wayne a meaningful hug and kissed him on the head like a proud father.
Winner: Nick Wayne
Hangman Page, presumably backstage, no interviewer, he paced back and forth, in black from head-to-toe.
‘It’s a shame’ that after beating him, albeit with a ton of help, Swerve didn’t try to take his spot as promised and go after the world title. Because what he did instead is the biggest mistake he’s ever made. Crossing the threshold of his house was like crossing into hell.
And he’ll take him to hell because at Full Gear it’ll be a Texas Death Match. If he could give him one piece of advice for the week ahead, it’s to walk around his own house, examine all the photos of his family, recall ‘every precious moment that you coulda had with ‘em, I want you to see every birthday, every prom, every funeral, every wedding, because you will never be there, not while you can walk, not while you talk’…
Because at Full Gear ‘I take you to the bottom’, the abyss, hell. And he wants him to remember that every November, ‘I’ll walk with my son hand-in-hand, we’ll pay you a visit, I’ll watch him piss on your grave’.
‘Swerve Strickland, what could’ve been.’
Liked this in a lot of ways – great fire, very serious – and the line about him telling Swerve to look at the all the memories he’s going to miss was great. Because I thought he was going to say he’ll be in the hospital for a long time.
Instead, he’s going to kill him. Scott Hall once talked about the problems of doing such a thing. It stretches credibility, because no-one watching believes you’re going to do it. Because you’re not.
So in a month when Swerve’s picking on another babyface, is Hangman going to be relentlessly pursuing him as long as he ‘can walk… and talk’ as promised? Or are we just supposed to forget this vow?
Do like that they’re making Texas Death Matches Hangman’s ‘thing’. At least so it seems.
Rush & Dralistico vs Workhorsemen
The Workhorsemen had obviously come out during Hangman’s promo. Speaking of, Nigel announced that Tony Khan had made the Deathmatch official. So it wasn’t when Page declaratively stated so above? Weird.
Henry and Dralistico wrestled on the mat until the former hit a shoulder block, missed a punt, series of counters, tejeiras from Dralistico. Really nice, pacey sequence. And the crowd couldn’t have cared less. Because they have to care about the guys to care about the wrestling.
Dralistico spurned a handshake, took a spin kick to the gut and was taken to the heel corner where Drake came in via senton atomico. They told us Drake was a pro bowler like they do every week.
The pair exchanged open-hands and knife-edges, Drake got the better, Dralistico slipped behind, Rush in to a smattering of ‘Rush’ chants. Stiff chop battle until a Rush shotgun dropkick, vicious stomps, he spat at Henry across the ring. Chop to Drake, duck under, flying back elbow, Henry in, quickly sent back out, ads.
Rush is so aggressive and physical.
Back to him threatening a running dropkick but rolling back into his pose, he avoided Henry off the top, dumped him to the apron, snap powerslam to a running Drake, tag to Dralistico, series of double team dropkicks after a trip, Drake down in the corner, Bulls Horns coming until Henry dragged Rush under the ropes, really nice gamengiri/inverted STO combo from the heels as they bagged two on Dralistico.
Rush back in, sent right back out as the heels crushed Dralistico in the corner. Drake missed a moonsault, always gets a big reaction from the crowd, tag to Rush, Dralistico took out both heels with a meteora that barely made it and tope con hiro. Rush nailed Drake with the Bulls Horns to win.
Winner: Rush & Dralistico
They’re trying to paint Starks and Bill (who haven’t appeared at all here, with no explanation whatsoever) as being surrounded by challengers a la MJF. To wit, the House of Black appeared on the screen to say they’d ‘acquire’ the thing LFI wanted most ‘then make you chase us’. So challenged the tag champs for Full Gear.
Julia addressed Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue, saying they keep rejecting her ‘gift’ (the mist) and Statlander keeps interjecting herself in her business. So if she wins tonight against Willow, Statlander has to give her a rematch for the TBS Title.
Wouldn’t you know it, Lexy was with the latter pair with a live mic.
Lexy told us that Statlander’s going to be defending the belt in a three-way at the ppv, there’ll be two Eliminator matches, the first of which is tonight, the other is Red Velvet (who just lost to Julia so yeah) vs Skye Blue next week, as I imagined the South Park scene where they cut the head off a chicken to make decisions.
Statlander said Willow deserves the shot and she doesn’t trust Julia. She has ‘no comment’ about Skye and Red. So basically a waste of time, champ very wooden here.
She left and Lexy wished Willow luck as Willow slapped herself on the shoulders to psyche herself up without saying a word. A total waste of time.
Roderick Strong vs Darius Martin
Strong was wheeled out by the Kingdom. Schiavone thankfully immediately asked why a man who’s about to wrestle would come out in a wheelchair. Martin got no entrance.
Crowd flat again as yet another match got going with a grapple then wrestling on the mat. Martin kipped up out of an armbar but took a big lariat back to the mat. A brief ‘Neck Strong’ chant got going as Martin again kipped up, armdrag, dropkick, chop and gamengiri from the apron, cross body off the top. Two only.
Strong kicked out Martin’s knee running toward the corner then hit a backbreaker. Chops in the corner, apparently the story here is that Martin said Strong isn’t Adam Cole’s best friend on Rampage. Strong hit ten punches in the corner, crowd counted along, Martin countered a whip into the corner, got his feet up to catch Roddy running in but took a lariat after a duck under.
Then worked the neck on the mat. Crowd remain quiet.
Martin Manhattan drop, enziguri, chops in the corner, took a whip to the buckle but countered into a very cool run-the-buckle Pele kick for two. After being bulldogged into the middle rope, Strong fought back via leaping knee, sick kick, End of Heartache for the win.
Crowd couldn’t have cared less about Martin here. The Kingdom gave him a weener punch and spike piledriver. Action Andretti eventually came out, ‘way too late’ as Nigel noted.
Winner: Roderick Strong
Tony Khan with Bryan Danielson. Danielson’s eye was covered in a bandage. Khan, totally without emotion, said he and fans were very sad BD’s announced that this’ll be his last year wrestling full-time.
He said that a number of stars missed last year’s All In, so he’s ‘very excited’ – again without any emotion – that Danielson will be at next year’s All In. My god. I figured they were actually going to announce his opponent or something.
Doesn’t help that Khan is so incredibly wooden. A lot of this was awkward.
Danielson talked about how sad he was to miss All In and excited he is for next year. Using the company line about ‘greatest card of all time’ or whatever.
Khan then announced that next year there’ll be an event called Continental Classic and a round robin tournament with ‘twelve of AEW’s top stars’ which starts in ten days in Chicago and will be in big cities across America until the Finals on 27/12. But the ‘Championship Final’ will take place at World’s End.
Khan then announced that ‘against all odds’ the first participant will be Danielson himself (hope they’re not rushing this because the Dragon wants to jam G1-lite in while he still can). As if to answer, Danielson said it’s the kind of tournament he’s been wanting to do his entire career and there’s nowhere better to do it than here in AEW with the best wrestlers in the world and Tony Khan booking it, he promised ‘the best tournament ever!!!’.
And also mentioned the Continental Classic so maybe that’s not next year? Or are they one and the same? Wasn’t clear.
Overall, not a bad way to boost ticket sales. But the proof will be in just how ‘top’ these ‘top stars’ are. Danielson’s a good start and have to give them credit for not pushing this as a ‘big announcement’ or anything.
Julia Hart vs Willow Nightingale
Backstory: Winner gets shot at TBS Title
Hart brought Brody as usual, Willow got the energy up, as usual.
Julia ducked a lockup but was flung to the corner via hair-beal, starting a bark a la Brody as Julia slumped against the buckle, King dragged her to safety then barked back at Willow. Hart tried to sneak behind, Willow was ready, wailing away in the corner until Hart threw rights of her own.
Willow countered a whip, big shoulder block, Hart tried a trip, Willow ready again, big scoop slam, diving cross body splash, for two. Gory Special next as Skye Blue was shown watching from the back. Hart flipped free, tried a headscissors, Willow countered into a side slam.
(It’s notable how much more invested the crowd is for a match with two people they know and see on tv.)
Hart to the apron, she snapped Willow’s arm across the top rope, dragged her out, rights and chops outside, kick to the gut, Willow countered a suplex into a snap one of her own.
Ads. Nice start highlighted by a smart babyface who’s always a step ahead. Probably means she’s losing but at least she ain’t dumb.
Hart ducked a kick, landed one of her own, Willow rebounded off the ropes with a big lariat, both down, Aubrey beginning to count. Both used the ropes to drag themselves up at five, opposing corners, Willow hip attack into a lariat, snapmare out, missing a boot, ducking a Hart right thinking belly to back, Hart slipped behind, tried a whip but was booted down.
Spinebuster from Nightingale for two. She was grasping her shoulder (which was only briefly worked on and she hasn’t sold at all before now) so couldn’t hit the Dr Bomb, Hart snapped her down via armdrag, handspring lariat in the corner, splash, lariat to the back, looking for Hartless, Willow carried her up on her back but Hart slipped free, shots to the back but wiped out via pounce, Hart down, Willow up.
Hart fled outside, hiding behind Brody as Aubrey just watched. Willow blocked a right and sent Hart to the steps but missed a cannonball, crashing against them. Hart threw her in, heading upstairs for her moonsault but dragged off, full nelson slam for a very near fall.
Dr Bomb coming again, Julia slipped out (sort of, she landed on her coccyx, didn’t exactly look comfortable), ducked a lariat, hit one to Willow’s back, moonsault, win.
Nice back-and-forth though some of Hart’s offense was hard to take seriously given the size difference.
Winner: Julia Hart
Lexy with Starks and Bill: she talked about all the teams who’ve been winning and are ‘gunning’ for their titles. They both said they didn’t want to see, speak to or wrestle any of them. And insisted they wouldn’t. Lexy revealed that they’d be facing FTR, LFI and the HOB at Full Gear per Tony Khan.
Starks was aghast: ‘How do you know that before us!?’, which is a very pertinent question. And heels shouldn’t be asking pertinent questions about the company’s lack of continuity. Was funny though.
He now changed tune and vowed to retain the belts, calling them the two baddest dudes in the company and vowed to become the longest-reigning champs of all time.
Will Hobbs vs ???
Paul Wight out on comms for this. The former Giant put over Hobbs and said he’d never seen anyone do to Jericho what Hobbs did.
Starks was destroying the guy – who they never named – until stopping to talk smack to Wight. He shook off a brief flurry then won with a tree slam. And stared down Wight. The vet said Hobbs had no idea what getting in his face would cost him.
Glad they got Hobbs on the show, he was on the brink of being gone too long after destroying Jericho.
Callis took the mic to say they were the greatest Family in the history of wrestling – above the Briscoes, the Gagnes, the Von Erichs and the Harts. He reiterated that Hobbs ‘broke’ Jericho, so Jericho found the last friend he had who just happens to be the biggest man in wrestling.
He now addressed Wight. Calling him a ‘stand-up guy’ so he accepted Jericho’s call. But questioned his intelligence since only an idiot would face them after what they’ve done to Jericho, Omega and Ibushi. There’s still time to change his mind – Callis, Hobbs and Fletcher now surrounded Wight at the booth – and Callis said he saw a ‘scared giant’. He’s buried two giants in his career and is happy to kill another. So asked Hobbs to ‘smoke this fool’.
Wight threw off his headset, he and Hobbs jawed until Fletcher and Callis dragged him away. Effective angle.
Winner: Will Hobbs
Lexy with FTR: on Rampage they beat Vikingo and Komander but were interrupted by HOB. Cash addressed the ways the other three teams had pissed them off. Dax said they’d ignore that though because their sole focus was the titles.
Adam Copeland, Sting & Darby Allin vs Lance Archer & the Righteous
Backstory: Archer & the Righteous joined with Jake Roberts last week to lay out Allin
Don’t know how wise it is to give this the usual twenty minutes. Darby’s going to have to carry the load and the heels aren’t exactly red hot.
Archer walloped a security guard at ringside on his way out. The Righteous came out to the sort of silence you only hear when someone’s trying not to be heard by a serial killer in a movie. Sting came out with Darby to Allin’s music. Seems very strange not to give the guy his own entrance every time he comes out now he’s retiring. Copeland got a nice pop, probably the loudest all night.
Copeland and Dutch to start, crowd chanting TiA before things got going, the vet was quickly snapped down face-first. But quickly fought back, pair of lariats, big guy didn’t budge but a diving one did the job. Allin and Vincent now, Darby’s shoulder heavily wrapped as he took down the heel via headlock.
Vincent got a rope break, Allin beckoned him to bring it, Vincent took a cheapshot, headbutt to the jaw, tag to Archer, who looked for his rope-walk moonsault but had his hand slapped away before the tag to Sting. Archer did Sting’s ‘whoo’, a whoo-off followed, Sting ducked a lariat, series of rights, knocked the Righteous off the buckle, lariat to Archer sending him to join them.
Ads. Crowd hotter for this than they’ve been all night given the stars are finally out.
Back to Vincent working over Sting, the now over-used forehead bite in the corner, a few light boos as he worked the crowd. Dutch back in, he knocked Darby off the apron, all three heels splashed Sting in the corner, crowd very quiet with the heels on top. In fact, not a whole lot of booing the heels tonight, probably because so few have been over with the crowd.
Sting finally crashed into Vincent to bag some breathing room and staggered into the tag – wasn’t exactly hot given the sequence was awkward. Allin ran through the heels until caught by Archer, who missed a boot in the corner, the Righteous hit something like a Hart Attack, they were just all in there three-on-one.
Another break. This feels like a house show match.
Vincent took down Darby with a back elbow, Archer flung him via release suplex, crowd chanting that they wanted ‘Adam’ as Darby was worked over in the heel corner. Allin got an inside cradle on Vincent for two. Archer dragged Sting off the apron, Copeland flung him off and got the tag, double clothesline off the top to the Righteous, Spear knocking a returning Archer off the buckle, Dutch clotheslined outside before Vincent was flung over too, the other heels caught him, Copeland hit a suicide dive to the trio.
Vincent slipped back in, Copeland prepping a Spear but having his feet grabbed by Archer outside, Allin Coffin Splashed him, the delay allowed Dutch to snatch Copeland into a Bossman Slam out of the Spear, Sting came in to fire elbows and chops at both, Copeland assisted a Scorpion Deathdrop with an elbow off the middle rope.
Then sent Vincent to the corner for a Stinger Splash, hit the Spear as he stumbled out for the very popular win. Crowd loved seeing these two interact. Allin was down clutching his shoulder.
They were celebrating when Christian Cage’s music hit. Again, very few boos tonight. Cage and his goons posed atop the ramp as Copeland stared them down.
Winner: Adam Copeland, Sting & Darby Allin
- Jericho, Omega, Ibushi & Wight vs Konosuke Takeshita, Will Hobbs, Kyle Fletcher & Brian Cage (replacing Sammy, gee wonder who’s taking the pin?) (Streetfight)
- Moxley & Yuta vs Cassidy & Hook
Added to Full Gear:
- Hangman vs Swerve is now a Texas Death Match
- LFI vs FTR vs Kings of the Black Throne vs Starks & Bill (Tag Titles)
- Statlander vs Julia Hart vs Red/Blue (TBS Title)
- Dalton Castle
- Round robin tournament should be fun if packed with stars and well booked
- They responded to the bad rating gained by last week’s show full of obvious squashes and no stars with a show full of obvious squashes and one or two stars
- Too much of the last two Saturdays has felt like a house show
- It damn sure didn’t feel like we were a week from a ppv, the tag title build particularly feels very cheap
- Amid all these pointless matches, might’ve been an idea to give Mariah May some follow-up after a strange and low-key debut
Appreciate you reading. Enjoy the rest of the weekend.