SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S AEW COLLISION REPORT
SEPTEMBER 23, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. AT VAN ANDEL ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness
-Soundbites aired with Darby Allin, Christian & Luchasaurus, Ricky Starks, and Bryan Danielson. Starks said he’s going to put Danielson six feet under. Danielson said many people have tried to keep him down and no one has succeeded. He said Starks won’t, either.
-The Collision opening theme by Elton John aired. Then Kevin Kelly introduced the show.
(1) LUCHASAURUS vs. CHRISTIAN CAGE vs. DARBY ALLIN – TNT Title match
Darby made his entrance first. Sting was banned from ringside. When Christian walked out wearing the TNT Title belt, Kelly said he’s not the actual champion. “You had to point that out, didn’t you,” complained Nigel McGuinness. Luchasaurus joined Christian and they made their way to the ring to Luchasaurus’s music. Christian held the belt above his head before the bell. He kissed it and handed it to the ref. The bell rang five minutes into the hour. The heels beat up Darby at ringside and in the ring. They cut to a split-screen break at 5:00. [c/ss]
Darby made a comeback and scored a leverage two count on Christian after the break. As he continued to rally, fans chanted “Darby! Darby!” He caught a charging Luchasaurus with a boot to the chin. Christian brought the TNT Title belt into the ring and swung at Darby. Darby ducked. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Darby. Luchasaurus then looked down and saw the TNT Title belt. Kelly said since he has won the title, this is the first time he’s actually touched it. When Christian entered the ring Luchasaurus turned away. Christian got in front of him and asked for it back. Luchasaurus paused, but did hand it over. Darby shoved Christian into Luchasaurus, then hit Luchasaurus with the belt. Nigel yelled, “No disqualifications!” Darby scored a two count.
Darby landed a running PK and then a Coffin Drop. Christian broke up the cover and threw Darby to the floor, then covered Luchasaurus for a three count.
As Christian’s music played, he hugged Luchasaurus mid-ring. Luchasaurus raised Christian’s arm, but the rest of his body language suggested he was feeling dejected or conflicted. However, he lifted Christian onto his shoulders for the celebration. Christian held up his newly won belt. Christian patted Luchasaurus on the head. Luchasaurus set him down gently.
WINNER: Christian Cage at 10:30 to officially capture the TNT Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match with Darby putting up a good fight despite the odds, and then Christian ending the charade of claiming to be champion by actually becoming champion.)
-Highlights aired of the Sammy Guevara, Don Callis, Takeshita, Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega segment on Rampage.
-Alex Marvez interviewed Callis, Takeshita, and Guevara backstage. Marvez talked about a match at WrestleDream resulting from that angle. Callis said he put both Jericho and Omega on the map at the Tokyo Dome and now they’re against him. He said Omega loves Kota Ibushi and said they are closer than brothers. He said he’s not worried about the match because, as great as Ibushi, Omega, and Jericho are, he’s got Guevara and Takeshita and another family member named Will Ospreay. He said the Don Callis Family has never been stronger. He said they’ll finish it once and for all in Seattle. [c]
-Schiavone interviewed Christian and Luchasaurus backstage. Schiavone said he’s now officially the champion. Christian dedicated his win to Nick Wayne’s mom and his late dad whom he said was cheering him on from upstairs. He said he’s done with Darby. Schiavone said Christian’s first title match will take place next Sunday at WrestleDream in Seattle in a two-out-of-three falls match against Darby. Christian raged and stormed off.
(2) HOOK & ROB VAN DAM vs. MATT MENARD & ANGELO PARKER (w/Anna Jay, Jake Hager)
Hook came out first. RVD then came out to a nice pop. Kelly noted the six-man match discussed in the previous segment was made official. The bell rang 28 minutes into the hour. Anna grabbed at Hook’s boot early in the match, which opened up Parker and Menard to take over. Hook tagged in RVD a minute later. Fans cheered and then chanted “RVD!” When RVD showboated, Parker knocked him down. RVD fought back, so Parker, Mendard, Hager, and Anna regrouped at ringside. RVD teased a dive, and the four heels dispersed. Fans chanted, “You’ve still got it!” They cut to a partial split-screen break. [c/pss]
Back from the break, Hook was battling Menard and Parker. He nearly tagged in RVD, but Parker cut him off. Hook landed an exploder suplex and then tagged in RVD at 7:00. Anna distracted the ref as Hager entered the ring with a chair. RVD kicked the chair into Hager. Hook the put Parker in the Red Rum. Meanwhile, RVD landed a frog splash on Menard for the win. Kelly referred to RVD making a name for himself at ECW Arena. He talked about how RVD and Taz teamed together over 22 years ago in that arena.
WINNERS: RVD & Hook in 9:00.
-A video package aired on Eddie Kingston who talked about becoming ROH Champion and defending against Katsuyori Shibata at WrestleDream.
-The announcers hyped upcoming matches. [c]
-A segment aired with Dark Order. John Silver said the world has gotten out of control. Evil Uno and Alex Reynolds said they need order and they’re there for the fans.
-Backstage Matt Taven & Mike Bennett cut a promo about facing Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta next week on Collision. They focused on being neck strong.
(3) JULIA HART (w/Brodie King) vs. KEIRA HOGAN
Kelly noted Julia’s 25 match win streak. Kelly said Keira used to be “quite the Baddie,” but she’s changed over the last few months for the better. The bell rang 47 minutes into the hour. Julia got a tapout win after several minutes of rapid-fire back and forth action. Brodie raised Hart’s arm afterward.
WINNER: Julia Hart in 3:00.
-Julia Hart reapplied her finisher after the match. Skye Blue came out for the save. Julia hid behind Brodie, then sprayed her in the face with blue mist. Brodie said the violence will not end. He said over two dozen bodies are stacked and it will not end until they get to Kris Statlander. He told Statlander to put the title on the line at WrestleDream or the body count will rise. Julia said, “Remember, Kris, the house always wins.”
-A clip aired of The Righteous winning last night on Rampage.
-A vignette aired on The Righteous where they talked about being pure. They said they’re going to crawl out to expose MJF and Adam Cole.
(4) “SWITCHBLADE” JAY WHITE (w/Colten & Austin Gunn, Juice Robinson) vs. ANDRADE EL IDOLO
The bell rang 58 minutes into the hour.
Andrade dropkicked White off the ring apron at 3:00. Andrade threw him back into the ring. White made a comeback and landed a hard chop to Andrade’s chest. White knocked Andrade hard off the ring apron seconds later. The Gunns and Juice celebrated in Andrade’s face as they cut to a split-screen break at 5:00. [c/ss]
Andrade flipped onto all four Bullet Club Gold members at ringside, drawing a “Holy shit!” chant. Back in the ring, he landed a standing double moonsault for a two count. White suplexed Andrade over the top rope to the floor at 13:00. White took Andrade down with a uranage back in the ring for a two count. White settled into a chinlock. Andrade quickly stood and fought back. Andrade hit a back elbow for a near fall a minute later. Both were down and slow to get up.
Juice put White’s boot on the bottom rope to interrupted a count. Kelly called it “a very slick move by Juice.” Andrade put White in a figure-four and then bridged into a Figure-Eight. White cried out in pain. Colten and Austin crawled into the ring. With the ref forcing them out, Juice entered and bashed Andrade in the head. White then finished Andrade with a Blade Runner for the win.
WINNER: White in 16:00.
-They showed a clip of Mike Santana winning his match last last on Rampage followed by a heated exchange with Ortiz on the ramp.
-A vignette aired with soundbites from Santana and Ortiz. [c]
-A soundbite aired with Shane Taylor and Lee Moriarty. Taylor discussed his past with Keith Lee. He said Lee went to “work with that other billionaire” while he stayed in ROH. He said he will put Lee in the ground if necessary to provide for his family.
-Aussie Open came out to the ring as their entrance theme played.
(5) FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. THE WORK HORSEMEN (Anthony Henry & J.D. Drake) – AEW Tag Team Title match
Aussie Open made their way to the announce desk. The bell rang 24 minutes into the hour. Aussie Open talked about facing FTR at WrestleDream. Drake landed a top rope moonsault on Dax for a near fall at 4:00. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Henry and Cash battled at ringside. Dax came back with a powerbomb into a sharpshooter mid-ring for the tapout win. Aussie Open celebrated that they’ll get a shot against FTR with the belts on the line at WrestleDream.
WINNERS: FTR in 5:00 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
-Aussie Open confronted FTR mid-ring after the match. Kyle Fletcher said they might have not lived up to the hype lately, but that’s going to change at WrestleDream. Dax got on his knees and asked for them to bring their best or else don’t show up. He threw the mic at them and walked out.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nice mic work from Fletcher and Dax.)
-Lexi Nair interviewed C.J. (the former Lana) backstage. C.J. said her husband, Miro, has lost his way. She said she wanted to help him become champion again, but he’s preoccupied with past temptations. Miro showed up and said his temptation is her. He looked at her cleavage. He said her temptation is the lights and the fame. “It changes you,” he said. C.J. laughed nervously and said she just wants to chase titles because it makes her feel alive. Miro said he feels he needs to save her if she stays. C.J. asked if she really needs saving. She told him to take his path and she’ll take hers. She told him not to put his hands on any of future clients. “Can you promise that?” she asked. Miro turned and walked away. [c]
-Kelly and Nigel hyped the Dynamite line-up for next Wednesday, Collision for next Saturday, and the WrestleDream line-up for next Sunday.
(6) RICKY STARKS vs. BRYAN DANIELSON – Texas Death match
Jim Ross joined the announce team for this match. Starks came out first, without Big Bill. Danielson then came out. When he entered the ring, Starks speared him before the bell. The ref immediately called for the bell to officially start the match 41 minutes into the hour. They brawled into the crowd and cut to a partial split-screen break at 4:00. [c/pss]
Back from the break, Danielson was bleeding from his forehead. Starks punched away at his head at ringside. They showed Starks hit Danielson with the ringside bell during the break. Starks hit Danielson with the mic over and over. Starks then jabbed Danielson with the chair. Kelly said Starks has had chance after chance and has done great with those chances, but he thinks everyone is out to get him. Ross said he might need therapy.
When Starks climbed to the top rope, Danielson stood and bashed Starks with the chair, knocking him off balance. Danielson set up a superplex, but Starks fought against it and then bit at Danielson’s forehead. Fans chanted, “You sick f—!” It wasn’t bleeped. Danielson suplexed Starks off the top rope and then let out a barbaric yell. He leaped off the second rope with a dropkick. He followed up with a series of Yes Kicks to Starks’s chest.
Danielson charged with a Psycho Knee perhaps in mind, but Starks threw the chair at his head to stop him. Fans chanted “We Want Tables!” They cut to another split screen break at 12:00. [c/ss]
Back from the break they exchanged chops mid-ring. Kelly asked how Danielson can be 100 percent when he takes on Zack Sabre Jr. Starks speared Danielson and then wrapped a chain around his neck and pulled back. Danielson was down for an eight count. Starks choked Danielson with the chain again, but Danielson climbed the ropes and flipped out of it. He then applied an STF mid-ring. Starks tapped, but that doesn’t end a Texas Death Match. He reached for a chair, but Danielson wrapped the chain around his neck. Danielson pulled back and Starks began to fade. Nigel said that’s how Danielson beat Starks in the strap match. Starks powered out and punched away at Danielson. Danielson reversed position and punched away at Starks. Fans chanted “This is awesome!”
Starks swung a chair at Danielson, but Danielson ducked and then landed a Psycho Knee into the chair that then knocked Starks off his feet. Danielson grabbed Starks’s arms and stomped away at his body. Starks was bleeding from his face. Danielson increased the pace of his stomps. Fans chanted “A-E-Dub!”
Danielson wrapped his knee in the chain to set up another Psycho Knee. Then he landed it. Starks was down for the ten count. Wheeler Yuta ran out to check on Danielson afterward. Big Bill came out to check on Starks. Bill and Yuta shoved each other as the show ended.
WINNER: Danielson in 20:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Something about the ten count to the match felt anticlimactic, but the brawl lived up to the grudge and the match stips.)