AEW COLLISION RESULTS (7/29): Keller’s report on MJF & Adam Cole challening FTR, CM Punk speaks, Joe vs. Gravity, Kiera Hogan vs. Mercedes Martinez

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


JULY 29, 2023

Commentators: Ian Riccaboni, Nigel McGuinness

Ring Announcer: Dasha Gonzalez


-They opened with soundbites from Darby, FTR, and Adam Cole & MJF. MJF said he’s going to take his size 12 boot and “bash Dax Harwood’s nuts in.” He said they’d hit a double clothesline and win the tag titles. Dax said tonight won’t be a dance routine and they better be ready for a fight. Darby said he wants a fight.

-The opening theme played. Then they went to a wide shot of the arena as Ian Riccaboni introduced the show. An “AEW!” chant rang out.

(1) BUDDY MATTHEWS (w/Julia Hart) vs. ANDRADE EL IDOLO – Ladder Match for Idolo’s prized mask

As Matthews made his entrance first, Ian and Nigel recapped the backstory of this match including the stolen mask. The bell rang five minutes into the hour. Andrade avoided a charging Matthews, but Matthews took over with stiff chops early. Andrade returned fire. They fought to the floor. Andrade moonsaulted off a ladder at ringside onto Matthews. A graphic hyped the rest of the scheduled matches and segments. Ian called Cole and MJF “the hottest bromance of the summer.”

Back in the ring, Matthews threw a ladder at a charging Andrade. Matthews was favoring his left shoulder and he dropped to ringside to have the doctor check. It appeared he dislocated it and wanted the doc to get it back in the joint. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

During the break, the doc yanked on Matthews’s arm and it appeared to pop back in as Matthews winced and then returned to the ring and went on the attack. Matthews whipped Andrade into a ladder leaning in the corner and Andrade tumbled over the ladder and to the floor. Matthews set up a ladder at ringside. He bridged another ladder on the bottom rope. When Andrade grabbed it, Matthews leaped onto it so it catapulted into Andrade’s chest.

After the break, Matthews went back on the attack and rammed Andrade and threw him into the announce desk. Matthews bridged a ladder from the ring apron to the announce table. Matthews dropped Andrade onto the ladder. Matthews set up a move on the ring apron. Andrade blocked it. Andrade then speared Matthews onto the ladder. Both were slow to move, much less get up.

At 12:00, Matthews climbed a ladder mid-ring, but Andrade tipped it over. Andrade then back elbowed Matthews onto a ladder. Andrade climbed a ladder at ringside, although it wasn’t clear what the ostensible reason would be other than to wait for Matthews to climb the other side so they could fight up there. Andrade rammed Matthews face-first into top of the ladder and then sunset bombed him onto the bridged ladder. Both toppled to the floor. Two referees checked on Matthews. Julia then checked on him. “This is awesome!” chanted the crowd.

Andrade climbed a ladder center-ring. Matthews yanked him down. Julia produced handcuffs. Matthews rolled Andrade toward her. They cuffed Andrade to the ringpost. Nigel said, “This is now over!” Julia taunted him with the keys out of reach. Andrade kicked a charging Matthews and got his hands on the keys as Julia checked on Matthews. He broke free. Matthews went over to Andrade, who cuffed him.

Andrade threw the keys away and then climbed the ladder. Julia used a bolt cutter to snap the chain. She then ran in the ring and leaped onto Andrade’s back. Andrade climbed the ladder anyway. Matthews met him at the top, but he shoved Matthews down. Julia slapped Andrade a few times on top of the ladder. Andrade grabbed her wrist and shoved her into Matthews below. They crashed through a table leaning in the corner. Andrade then grabbed the mask to win.

WINNER: Andrade in 18:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good ladder match. It was intense and non-stop action. That sunset bomb seemed to cross into the territory of feeling like a bigger risk than it was worth. Matthews seems more muscular than serves him well in terms of his mobility in the ring.)

-Schiavone interviewed Rusev backstage. Aaron Solo jumped him and attacked him with a chair. Miro fended him off and beat him down, then bashed him across his back. Rusev then yelled, “Schiavone!”

-Darby made his ring entrance. [c]


Darby got the fight he asked for. During Suzuki’s entrance, the showed interactions between Darby in the past including the Royal Rampage last Friday. The bell rang 29 minutes into the hour. Darby knocked Suzuki to the floor and grazed him with a flip dive through the ropes. Darby sat Suzuki on a chair and then leaped off the ring apron with a dropkick. Ian plugged the All In event in London and said they are anticipating “88,000 strong.” Nigel said, “Dreams will be made, and some nightmares too.”

Suzuki took control and yanked off some of Darby’s protective tape around his waist and abdomen. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

During the break, Suzuki applied a half Boston Crab briefly. Darby tried to fight back, but Suzuki brushed it off. Back from the full break portion, Suzuki was attacking Darby on the ring apron and choking him with tape and hanging him. They stood mid-ring and exchanged chops a minute later. Suzuki took Darby down hard. The ref asked if he needed a doctor to check on him. Darby waved him off. Suzuki put his hands behind his back and offered Darby free shots. Darby took them and then sunset flipped him for a two count.

Darby charged at Suzuki in the corner, but Suzuki put Darby in a sleeper. Darby escaped and went for a Coffin Drop, but Suzuki caught him and applied a sleeper on his back. The ref counted Suzuki’s shoulders down when Darby leveraged back, giving Darby the win.

WINNER: Darby in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Vintage Suzuki-style hard-hitting brawl. Darby gains some cred points going through a match like that.)

-Christian and Luchasaurus showed up on the big screen. Christian mock-applauded and congratulated Darby for his win. He said he has a title shot coming, but he seemed distracted by Swerve Strickland and A.R. Fox. He said you can’t be distracted “when you’re vying for my… our championship.” He said the TNT Title has never meant as much as it does now “draped over my shoulder.” He said he’ll send Darby back to Hot Topic or wherever it was he came from. He said Darby will never touch the championship again.

-Ian plugged Dynamite 200 featuring Toni Storm vs. Hikaru Shida. He threw to a vignette previewing the match. Toni said Shida was “the pandemic champion and, just like the pandemic, we’re all glad that it’s gone.” She said she’s going to beat the piss out of her. She warned her not to come at her with the kendo stick or else she’s turn it on her and then she’ll need it as a crutch to get around.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good snotty promo from Storm to set the stage.)


Samoa Joe made his ring entrance. The bell rang 44 minutes into the hour. Joe stepped away from Gravity diving off the top rope toward him, then mocked his slo-mo strut. Then he landed a Muscle Buster for the win.

WINNER: Joe in 2:00.

-The announcers plugged that C.M. Punk would speak next. [c]

-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced Punk. He came out to a mixed reaction. When he got to the ring, a loud “C.M. Punk!” chant rang out, and it wasn’t drowned out by boos this time. Nigel said Punk is a big hero in Connecticut. Schiavone said, “What an ovation.” When his music stopped, boos rang out, but they felt more scattered. Schiavone said there’s a lot of controversy since his return, lately centering around Ricky Starks. He also asked him about what’s in the bag he carries around. Punk said there’s been a lot of things happening in AEW. He asked Hartford how they were doing. He said it’s been weeks of rotten travel and he just arrived only two hours ago. “I always make my towns and I show up for the people in the building,” he said. A “C.M. Punk!” chant rang out.

He said some people don’t want to talk about certain things. He said “Wembley Stadium.” He asked if he was the first wrestler to bring up Wembley on TV. He said maybe they’ll find out by the end of the night if he has a match at Wembley. He then talked about what’s in the bag. Punk said he’s not mad at Starks, but is a bit disappointed. “I can take the loss,” he said. “Can you take the win knowing you’re a cheater.” He said responsibility sucks a lot of the time. “Sometimes you have to wake up and do things you don’t want to do because you’re the responsible adult in the room.” (#subtext)

Fans chanted, “What’s in the bag?” Punk cupped his ears. He said Ricky Starks is a cheater and Starks has mistaken his kindness for weakness. He said when he came back with the bag, he said he wasn’t going to be nice anymore. He reached in the bag. “The truth doesn’t care if you’re nice,” he said. He pulled out the AEW Title belt. “I am the real world’s champion. This title has my name on it – not because I deserve it, but because I earned it. Nobody has pinned me or submitted me for the title.”

This title is still covered in my blood from September when I beat Jon Moxley for it.” He dropped it in front of himself. He spray painted an “X” over it. (Can Elon Musk sue?) He held it up and said the X has represented him since 1997 and it’s the foundation he has built his professional wrestling career on. He said it means he’s straight edge “and straight edge means I’m better than you.” He said the title is his and it belongs on Collision. He said the title isn’t stolen, unlike his catch phrase. He held the belt up and said, “I am the real World Champion.”

Starks walked out and said before he goes any further, he wants to have a proper entrance. He asked for his music to play and asked fans to pretend they didn’t see him. He returned to the back, then came out to his music. Nigel, hilariously, acted super-surprised and yelled, “Oh my God, it’s Ricky Starks!” Ian played along, too.


Starks entered the ring and said he bit him before Punk could bite him. He got distracted by something at his feet and kicked it and said, “Get this shit out of here.” He got back on track and said he’s defeated him twice. He asked who else can say it. Starks said he’s not only the real world champion, but also the face of Collision. Punk asked, “Are you the face of Collision or are you the face of cheating?” He asked if Starks beat him or if the referees beat him. Starks said he could beat him if Stevie Wonder was the referee. He said he’s the man with the plan.

Punk said it sounds like Ricky wants a title shot. Ricky yelled, “I deserve a title shot!” Punk paused. A dueling chant of “Ricky’s title / C.M. Punk!” broke out. Punk said Starks owes a big assist to the referees. He said if he wants a shot at the title, he’ll need a special guest referee. Starks said that’s fine with him. He said it’s no secret he has no friends around here. When fans “ohh’d,” Starks said he is calling a spade a spade. He said maybe he can go to Stamford and get somebody. Fans roared. Starks said whoever it is, he doesn’t care.

Punk said he anticipated this a little and he made some phone calls. He said it somebody from his past. He asked Starks if he really wants a title shot. Starks said he deserves it. Punk shook his hand. Schiavone said the match is set for next week in Greenville, S.C. Fans booed that it wasn’t tonight. Schiavone then announced that the special guest referee will be Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. Fans applauded. Starks soaked up the news. Ian said Steamboat never broken a rule and he is the most straight as an arrow athlete he’s ever seen.

(Keller’s Analysis: There was a lot there. Punk was largely really good and in command and in his zone. Claiming he never lost his title is true, but fighters being stripped of a title due to an extended injury is an accepted practice. I do like that he’s diminishing Starks’s wins by saying he cheated to get those wins. Starks was mostly good, but at other times seemed to be struggling slightly to keep his swagger and cadence. It’s really cool to see Collision have its own identity and that it’s making room for Starks to get this type of centerpiece push. It’ll be nice to see Steamboat back on national TV next week. The idea that Punk anticipated Starks interrupting and demanding a title shot and then having already set up a special referee and even told Schiavone about it was a bit of a stretch, but no big deal. And why is Punk the only one talking about the Wembley event?)


Juice brought a cardboard cutout of Jay White to the ring with him. The bell rang eight minutes into the hour. They cut to a split screen break with the Gunns bumping for the babyfaces’ flurry of early offense. [c/ss]

At 5:00 Andretti hot-tagged in and rallied against the Gunns. Andretti and Martin launched Vikingo onto the trio of heels at ringside. Austin took a nasty bump onto the back of his neck on a Chaos Theory type move. The Gunns finished Martin with their finisher a minute later for the win. Juice celebrated with the White cutout.

WINNERS: The Gunns & Juice in 7:00. [c]


The bell rang 20 minutes into the hour. Nigel plugged All In, but had no specifics to plug. He just said it’ll be a night of action. Ian said they plan to break the all-time attendance record. Nigel said very few tickets remain. They cut to an early split-screen break. [c/ss]

Martinez finished Hogan with her Brass City Sleeper.

WINNER: Martinez in 7:00.

-When Martinez held on after the bell, Kris Statlander ran out. Martinez retreated. When Statlander checked on Hogan, Martinez attacked her with the belt. Willow Nightingale then came out. Martinez bailed out. Ian said Willow’s “ascent to super-stardom cannot be understated.” Martinez yelled at the camera as her music played on the ramp. Statlander and Willow helped Hogan to her feet.

-Nigel plugged Dynamite: Jericho & Takeshita vs. Guevara & Garcia, Jack Perry face-to-face with Jerry Lynn, Jon Moxley vs. Trent Beretta vs. Penta, Aussie Open vs. Vikingo & Komander, Toni vs. Shida for the AEW Women’s Title. [c]

(6) FTR vs. ADAM COLE & MJF – AEW World Tag Team Title match

Dasha stood mid-ring who introduced MJF and Adam Cole first. They came out to the official remix of both of their entrance themes. They got a nice reaction, especially when they entered the ring and struck a pose. FTR came out next to what seemed like a mixed or muted reaction. “How about that response,” said Nigel. Ian said that’s not a response they’ve grown accustomed to. When FTR entered the ring, the boos got louder. The bell rang 38 minutes into the hour.

A loud dueling chant of “Double clothesline / FTR!” broke out. Cole opened against Dax. Ian talked about the shared history with FTR and MJF in The Pinnacle. Nigel said he thinks MJF is misunderstood and Cole is just as much of a villain as Cole. Ian brought up instances of Cole turning on his own partners. MJF and Cole set up a double-clothesline, but Dax grabbed Cash running the ropes. Fans booed.

MJF tagged in and said he wants to bash Dax’s nuts in. Ian said the winner of this match next week faces Big Bill & Brian Cage on Collision. MJF leapfrogged Dax, but on landing, dropped down and clutched his ankle in pain. Dax backed away as the ref checked on him. MJF stood and showed he was faking it, shoving Max down and setting up a nut stomp. MJF milked the moment, but Dax scurried over to the bottom rope. Dax shoved MJF. MJF shoved back. They slapped each other. Cash and Cole entered. They cut to a split-screen break. [c/ss]

At 10:00 MJF hot-tagged in Cole who rallied against Cash. Cole hit a Last Shot for a two count. Dax tagged in. Dax ducked a double clothesline and tagged in Cash. MJF set up a piledriver. Cash reversed it. Cole superkicked Cash and then MJF rolled him up for a near fall. Ian said the place would come unglued if that was a three count. Cole superkicked Cash as MJF landed a piledriver for a near fall.

MJF stood up, wide-eyed at the kick out. He then told Cole, “Double clothesline!” Fans said it with them. Dax pulled MJF out of the ring and threw him into the barricade. Cash rolled up Cole for a near fall. Cash followed up with a clothesline and tagged in Dax. They set up a double superplex. Cole fought out of it. Dax shoved Cash into Cole, disrupting the Panama Sunrise attempt. Dax superplexed Cole and then Cash landed a top rope splash for a near fall at 15:00. Fans chanted, “This is awesome!”

Dax let Cole tag in MJF. They went forehead to forehead. They exchanged chops. MJF poked Dax in the eyes. Dax punched MJF in retaliation. Dax landed a slingshot powerbomb for a two count seconds later. Both were down and slow to get up. Fans chanted, “AEW!” Then “Fight Forever!”

Cole and Cash battled at ringside as MJF had Dax set up with his legs spread in the corner for a kick to the nuts. He charged and landed it for a believable near fall, broken up by Cash. Cole superkicked Cash, then lowered his kneepad. FTR set up a Shatter Machine on Cole, but MJF shoved Cole out of the way. FTR went for the Shatter Machine, but it fell apart. MJF set up Cash for a Heat Seeker. Dax then rolled up MJF from behind and perhaps yanked on his tights for the three count.

WINNERS: FTR in 18:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.

-Ian said that was one of the most selfless acts ever by MJF. Cash offered a handshake to Cole. Cole shook his hand. Dax and Cole also shook hands. MJF was crying in the corner and slapping the mat in frustration. Cole went over to MJF who said, “I blew it!” Cole said, “We blew it!”

Cole brought the AEW World Title belt into the ring and told him he is the World Champion and he has nothing to be ashamed of. MJF said, “I lost the match!” Cole said he loves him and he is still champion. MJF stood as Cole had his back turned, unwrapping his wrist tape. Cole said, “I knew it.” He sensed that MJF was winding up behind him. Cole said, “Do what you gotta do. Just do it.” MJF dropped the belt. Fans chanted “Hug it out!” They hugged mid-ring. Fans cheered. Cole told MJF to pick up the title and show the world the champion he still is.

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