SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
AEW COLLISION REPORT
SEPTEMBER 23, 2023
GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. AT VAN ANDEL ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
BY BRIAN ZILEM, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Commentators: Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuinness
-The soundbites were aired: Darby Allin, Christian & Luchasaurus, Ricky Starks, and Bryan Danielson. Starks said he would put Danielson six feet under.
-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
The match started fast, with Darby throwing powder into Luchasaurus’s face, followed by Darby hitting Christian with a dive outside the ring. Darby threw Cage back into the ring and followed up by hitting a code red for the first near fall of the match. Christian snaped Darby’s neck on the outside ring for the heels to gain momentum in the match. Luchasaurus suplexed Darby while he was sitting on a steel chair. Christian covered Darby for a near fall. Darby was thrown into steel steps as the show took its first commercial break of the night. During the commercial break, Christian worked over Darby by hitting him with a steel chair.
After the break, Christian went for a spear on Darby, but Darby rolled up Christian for a near fall. Darby climbed to the top rope and hit Christian and Luchasaurus on the outside of the ring. During a Darby beatdown, Luchasaurus held the TNT Title for the first time, and the fans cheered, “That’s your belt.” Darby pushed Christian into Luchasaurus to regain the advantage in the match. Darby hit Luchasaurus with the TNT title for a near fall. Darby hit a P.K, and the coffin drop onto Luchasaurus, but Christian threw Darby out of the ring to pin Luchasaurus for the victory.
WINNER: Christian Cage at 10:07 to win the TNT Championship.
(Brian’s Analysis: Christian Cage and Darby Allin have great chemistry together, and setting up their final match at WrestleDream for a two-out-of-three falls match is a great way to blow off their feud together.)
-A video package was shown from this past AEW Rampage Grand Slam: Sammy Guevara, Don Callis, and Takeshita beating down Chris Jericho followed by Kenny Omega running down for the save.
-Alex Marvez spoke to Don Callis, Takeshita, and Sammy Guevara. Marvez asked about a possible match at WrestleDream. Callis said he put Chris Jericho and Omega “on the map” at the Tokyo Dome, and now they’re against him. Callis said Omega loves Kota Ibushi and they’re closer than brothers. Marvez said he’s not worried about a match because, while Ibushi, Omega, and Jericho are all great fighters, he has Guevara, Takeshita, and one more family member in the family, one more member of the “Don Callis Family” in Seattle. He revealed the third member was Will Ospreay. “The Don Callis Family is stronger than ever,” he said. “We’re going to finish this once and for all.”
-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.
(2) HOOK & ROB VAN DAM vs. MATT MENARD & ANGELO PARKER (w/Anna Jay, Jake Hager)
RVD received a good hometown pop from the Michigan fans. Kevin Kelly brought up in 2001, RVD teamed with Taz, and now is teaming with Taz’s son. Hook started the match with Menard. Hook tagged in RVD and got a great response from the fans. RVD ran for a dive on the outside but stopped once Menard and Parker moved out of the way. RVD posed on the top rope as the show went to commercial break. During the break, Menard and Parker worked over Hook. [c]
After the break, Hook hit a t-bone suplex on Parker to tag in RVD. Hager ran into the ring with a chair, only for RVD to kick the chair into his face. Hook grabbed Parker to sink in the Red Rum submission, and RVD hit Menard with the Five-star Frog Splash to secure the pinfall victory for his team.
WINNERS: RVD & Hook in 8:23
(Brian’s Analysis: It’s not a five-star classic, but this was fun. It was a good homecoming from RVD and a good way for Hook to show some personality.)
-A video package aired on Eddie Kingston, who talked about becoming ROH Champion and defending against Katsuyori Shibata at WrestleDream.
-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 are 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
Kevin Kelly noted Julia Hart is on a 25-match win streak as Hart made her way to the ring. Nigel mentioned Hart attacked Willow Nightingale earlier in the day, so Keira Hogan was in the match instead of Willow. Hogan would rush Hart right away to gain the early advantage of the match. Brodie King, throughout the match, coached Hart. Hart tripped Hogan and followed up with a moonsault for a near fall. Hart pulled Hogan to the middle of the ring and hit a running elbow to set up a submission victory.
WINNER: Julia Hart in 3:35
(Brian’s Analysis: AEW is doing a great job with Julia Hart. She’s got an excellent presentation and is improving in the ring.)
-Julia Hart reapplied her finishing move after the match. Skye Blue came out for the save. Julia hid behind Brodie and then sprayed green mist on Skye’s face. Brodie said the violence will not stop. He said more than two dozen bodies were piled up, and it wouldn’t be over until they got to Kris Statlander. He told Statlander to put the title on the line at WrestleDream, or the death toll would increase. Julia said, “Remember, Kris, the house always wins.
(Brian’s Analysis: Having Brodie King as Julia Hart’s mouthpiece was a great touch. It might be bare bones to a degree, but AEW set up an actual challenger against Kris Statlander for WrestleDream rather than doing just another open challenge for the TBS title.
-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 would crawl out to expose MJF and Adam Cole.
(4) “SWITCHBLADE” JAY WHITE (w/Colten & Austin Gunn, Juice Robinson) vs. ANDRADE EL IDOLO
Andrade made his entrance to the ring with a new ring entire, which looked fantastic. It was a fresh look for Andrade. Both men exchanged headlocks early on in the match. Andrade went for the three amigos onto White, but White reserved the third attempt. Andrade hit a great-looking dropkick from the second rope onto White. After exchanging chops, White shoulder blocked Andrade to the outside of the ring as the show went to a commercial break. During the break, Bullet Club Gold posed on the apron. [c]
After the break, White had Andrade in a headlock takeover in the middle of the ring. Andrade grabbed White for a cradle pin for a near fall. Andrade hit a two-dragon screw leg whips onto White. After White rolled to the outside, Andrade would hit a moonsault onto Bullet Club Gold. Andrade followed that with a double moonsault for a near-fall pin attempt onto White.
Afterward, White suplexed Andrade outside of the ring to regain the advantage in the match. White followed up with a uranage onto Andrade for a near fall. Andrade returned to his feet to hit a great-looking spinning Judas effect for a near fall. The fans cheered, “This is awesome!”
Andrade hit White with the double knees in the counter, followed by the double arm DDT. He had the match won until Juice Robison put White’s leg on the rope for only a two count from the official. Andrade went for the Figure-Eight leglock, but the Gunns distracted the official Juice sneaks in the ring to cheapshot Andrade in the face. White hit Andrade with the Blade Runner for the pinfall victory.
WINNER: Jay White ta 16:27
(Brian’s Analysis: Second straight week in a row I thought Andrade had a good showing on Collision. Jay White and BCG continue to be the biggest success story of AEW Collision.
-Kevin and Niguel recapped Mike Santana winning in his singles return debut on AEW Rampage “Grand Slam.”
-A vignette aired with soundbites from Santana and Ortiz.
-Backstage Shane Taylor was backstage challenging Keith Lee to a match.
(5) FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Harwood) vs. THE WORK HORSEMEN (Anthony Henry & J.D. Drake) – AEW Tag Team Title match)
Before the match started, Aussie Open joined the commentary team. Wheeler and Henry started the match with good funmental wrestling. Drake and Hardwood were tagged into the match, and once Drake chopped Hardwood in the chest, the fans got really into the match. Hardwood then exchanged chops for kicks with Henry. Drake hit a moonsault for a great near fall on Hardwood. The fans popped big for the spot and started cheering, “Holy sh–!” Drake went for a powerbomb, but Hardwood countered Drake and turned him into the sharpshooter for the submission victory for FTR.
WINNERS: FTR in 4:40 to retain the AEW Tag Team Titles.
(Brian’s Analysis: Fantastic showing from the Work Horsemen. There was a moment when it seemed they might actually win the tag team titles from FTR. Hopefully, the Work Horsemen can be more of a featured act on AEW programming in the future.)
-Aussie Open confronted FTR mid-ring after the match. Kyle Fletcher said they might not have lived up to the hype lately, but that will change at WrestleDream. Dax got on his knees and asked them to bring their best or not show up. He threw the mic at them and walked out
-Lexi Nair interviewed C.J. (former Lana) backstage. C.J. said her husband, Miro, had left. She says she wants to help him become a champion again, but he is concerned about the temptations of the past. Miro walked into the picture and said that the person who tempted him was her. Miro said her temptation is the spotlight and fame. “It changes you,” Miro said. C.J. laughed nervously and said she wants to chase titles because it makes her feel alive. Miro said he thought he had to save her if she stayed. She tells him to follow her path, and she will follow his. She told him not to lay a hand on any future clients of hers. “Can you promise?” she asked. Miro turned and left
-Kevin and Niguel ran down the upcoming cards for AEW this week
(6) RICKY STARKS vs. BRYAN DANIELSON – Texas Death match
As tradition for the main event, Jim Ross joined the commentary team to call the match. Before the main started, Starks jumped Danielson. Niguel mentioned Starks told Big Bill to stay in the back during this match. Danielson knocked Starks over the barricade, and they started to brawl in the crowd. Once both men returned to the ring Starks laid Danielson towards the barricade and dove onto Danielson with security on hand as the show went to a commercial break. Once he recovered, Danielson worked on Starks in the middle ring with surfboard stretch during the break.
After the break, Starks held a microphone while throwing Danielson’s head onto the commentary table. Afterward, Danielson was busted open the beatdown. Starks grabbed a steel chair and hit Danielson in the knee. Danielson turned the tide in the match with chair shots to the shoulder of Starks. Danielson went to the top rope for a suplex, but Starks countered by biting Daneilson’s open cut on his head. The fans started to chant. “You sick f—!” Danielson hit Starks with a missile dropkick while a flurry of kicks followed. Starks threw a chair into Daneilson’s face as the show went to its final commercial break of the night. During the break, Starks brought out a strap and started choking Danielson.
After the break, both men exchanged chops in the middle of the ring. Starks hit a spear and started choking Danielson with a chain. Danielson would make it to his feet after an eight count. Danielson tripped Starks into the lebell lock while choking Starks with the steel chain. Starks would reserve the hold and mounted Danielson with heavy punches. The fans started to chant, “This is awesome.”
Danielson started stomping onto Starks, but Starks spit in Daneilson’s face. Danielson loaded up the steel chain onto his knee and hit Starks with a loaded Busaiku Knee. Starks was unable to get up from the count of ten. Danielson thus won the Texas Death match.
WINNER: Danielson in 20:10
(Brian’s Analysis: Generally, the idea of Texas Death match is a lot of plunder weapons and thumbtacks. I greatly appreciated both wrestler’s attention to detail for this match. The entire match was slowed down, but the tension behind both men hating each other was through the whole match. You can have a grudge match with someone without gimmicking it to death, no pun intended.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Synergy between all shows is essential, and AEW did a great job with that concept leading up to this week’s episode of AEW Collision. Slowly but surely, Collision is finding its identity as a weekly wrestling show.
RECOMMENDED NEXT: AEW COLLISION RESULTS (9/23): Keller’s report on Danielson vs. Starks in a Texas Death Match, Luchasaurus vs. Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin for TNT Title, White vs. Andrade, RVD & Hook vs. Parker & Mendard
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Powell’s AEW Dynamite Hit List: Samoa Joe vs. Roderick Strong in the Grand Slam tournament final, Jon Moxley vs. Big Bill for the AEW International Title, Hangman Page vs. Brian Cage