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AEW COLLISION – HITS & MISSES
NOVEMBER 25, 2023
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
BY DAVID BRYANT, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
– Hey! Welcome to another edition of my AEW Collision Hits & Misses column, the column you clearly clicked on by mistake because you were looking for the one about C.M. Punk that is right above this one, and below this one, and slightly to the left of the entire internet. If you would like to back out and find the article you were actually looking for, the easiest way to do so is to click the home button on your Chrome browser and then click the celebratory C.M. Punk Google doodle that exists now, I assume.
If you actually meant to click on this column because you believed this to be the most interesting topic out of all of the topics that are being topic-ed about today then wow. You are a dedicated AEW fan, and you should be the one writing this column instead of me because I am frankly astonished that I am a wrestling fan with a pulse who is writing about a Saturday night show that is not Survivor Series.
Side Note: Did you catch that C.M. Punk debuted on Survivor Series last night, and you’re in the wrong place to hear about it? If you’re still confused, I understand. I get confused about simple concepts like my own train of thought, so you’re not alone. But don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. You can read all about it on PWTorch.com right HERE.
And a podcast about it HERE.
And there’s another podcast about it HERE.
And there’s a third podcast about it HERE.
Plus, we’ve got plenty more analysis coming soon, including additional podcasts, columns, CBS News articles, Forbes magazine stories, ESPN reports, Sports Illustrated, skywriting, a live Presidential address from the Oval Office, and a two-part special edition of Vice TV’s Dark Side of the Ring about how C.M. Punk got fired from WWE a second time for being himself in public.
COLD OPEN — HIT
– Eddie Kingston owned this promo, and I mean: He. Owned. It. He went to the bank, took out a mortgage, and smacked down a downpayment so hard the cameraman’s ears are still ringing.
– Standing in front of the leftover backlighting from last week’s Monday Night Raw, Brody King cut a promo in which he said, “Violence is the answer,” which is also the name of Wayne Brady’s first after-school special.
– Standing in front of the leftover backlighting from last week’s Friday Night Smackdown, Daniel Garcia said, “I’m sick of people putting cameras in front of my face,” which he then punctuated with a TikTok dance inspired by Fortnite.
THAT WONDERFUL THEME MUSIC — HIT
I love this song, but Saturday night is getting a little too “alright for fighting” if it means I’m gonna keep missing live PPVs…
THE SIZE OF THOSE RIC FLAIR DRINK ADS — zMINOR-MISS
I did not expect a 20-foot-tall effigy of Ric Flair’s face to haunt the entirety of a professional wrestling show in 2023, but here we are.
CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. DANIEL GARCIA — HIT
Claudio Castagnoli, or as Malakai Black pronounced it tonight, “Cesaro,” took on everyone’s favorite “bad boy” from every boyband Lou Pearlman ever dreamed up during his stint in the 1990s before going to jail for perpetrating a billion-dollar Ponzi scheme in which he claimed to own Trans Continental Airlines and then people just gave him money without looking that s— up.
On an unrelated note, the Castagnoli vs. Garcia match itself was a solid and entertaining bout that only featured one notable botch, which both men covered up well. This was my second favorite match of the night, and that’s only because Eddie Kingston also wrestled tonight. While I do, in fact, blame both Castagnoli and Garcia for not being born Eddie Kingston, it is also true that only one Eddie Kingston can be born Eddie Kingston at a time, so I forgive them, sort of.
Side Note: It turns out this was the third Continental G1assic match to take place, and I had no idea that was the case because Rampage is kind of like the city of Nantucket. You know it’s a place, and you know it sounds interesting, but most people couldn’t find it on a map to save their life.
WHEELER YUTA JOINS CASTAGNOLI FOR A POST-MATCH CELEBRATION — MINOR-HIT
On the road map of the lost city that is Rampage, I would never have guessed Nantucket was located next to Wheeler Yuta winning the ROH Pure Heavyweight Championship on a television show that changes places more times than Margot Robbie speed dating her way through a Steve Buscemi look-alike contest.
KINGSTON TELLS US WHY HE FREELY GAVE UP BOTH OF HIS TITLES BECAUSE REASONS — MISS
This is the first time Eddie Kingston has ever “Missed” with a promo, and it’s the fault of whoever thought any of this made sense.
Side Note: Did you know that Eddie Kingston and Dolly Levi hail from the same city and…
…hang on, I gotta go bang my head into a table until I can make sense of Eddie Kingston’s decision to give up his most prized possessions for a box of echoes.
KILLSWITCH: THE NAME — HIT & MISS
I’m face over heels for this name change, and by over heels, I mean I’m over Killswitch being a heel and can’t wait until he bashes Christian’s face in.
KILLSWITCH vs. THE TWUNKS — HIT
This was a total squash, and it featured an insane chokeslam onto the ring apron. How is Brandon Tate still alive? Is his spine made out of Dante Martin’s leg?
ADAM COPELAND ATTEMPTS TO MURDER THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE CONCHAIRTO — MISS
I’m not against having Luchasaurus (I’m KILLing this name SWITCH, at least for now.) claw his way back up from a conchairto, but if you’re going to do something so monumental as have a wrestler overcome something that has ended the “careers” of others, do it at a major event, and not on the least watched episode of Not-Survivor-Series.
ADAM COPELAND IS NUTTIER THAN A FRUITCAKE MADE OUT OF GOURDS OFF A ROCKER — MISS
Holy crap. That was a lot. Somewhere out there, there is a belfry that longs for its bats, and I’m pretty sure I know where they’ve flown.
THE HOUSE OF BLACK vs. KOMANDER & GRAVITY — HIT
Sky and large, I’m not (Arm)strongly Aegir to fall for Gravity’s typically (inter)stellar fistflights. His persuna tends to act as a kind of downward inertia on what would otherwise be my soaring enjoymoont of his high-flying matches. However, tonight, the “gravity” part of Gravity’s characstar left a light(y)e(a)r footprint than is usually the case, and Jupiter believe that I ground myself gravitating to this particlunar cosmic clash from (star)t to finish. In fwax, I maintwane that thesis one of Gravity’s weightiest perKoremances since Gravity floated foot into an AEW ring(s of Saturn).
Side Note: This was the second curb stomp of the night, and that is a move that means more when used less.
Second Side Note: I liked the new pyro at the start of The House of Black’s entrance!
Third Side Note: Sorry for all the bad puns that d-asteroid that last paragraph. It just sort of happened; I didn’t planet that way.
SPIDERMAN LIVES! — MEGA-HIT
Dante Martin has returned for Act Two of Turn Off the Dark!
JULIA HART vs. LADY FROST — MINOR-HIT
Why did Julia Hart come out first when she is the current reigning champion, and Lady Frost is the current reigning not under contract with AEW at all?
As for the match itself, there were some great spots, and Frost wowed us with her gymnastic abilities, but there were also several botched spots that I think were largely due to either miscommunication or Frost’s unfamiliarity with AEW’s ring.
JULIA HART’S STAGE PRESENCE — HIT
I greatly enjoyed Julia Hart’s entrance, and I especially liked the way she wiped her hat’s tassels away from her face after climbing onto the apron. Julia Hart carries herself like a star, and that (even more so than in-ring ability) is what makes a memorable champion.
DON CALLIS CLAIMS TO HAVE AN IQ OF 173 — MINOR-MISS
Don Callis is undoubtedly hyper-intelligent, but this promo would have been more believable if he’d chosen an IQ number that wasn’t found in only 0.0000568267 percent of all humans ever.
FTR vs. THE RIGHTEOUS — HIT
This was a good match, and that isn’t surprising because FTR was involved. However, I wish AEW had made the stakes of this match clearer? Were there stakes? If there were stakes, can we use them to burn up bad creative decisions? I’ve made a lot of creative decisions I’d like to burn at the stake.
What was I talking about?
Now I want steak.
THE HOUSE OF BLACK SAY C.M. PUNK’S NAME — MINOR-HIT
While I thought this was a wise use of Punk’s name because it played into the story Malakai Black wanted to tell about FTR being left friendless and alone, I can’t help but wonder if Black doesn’t have Beetlejuice magic. If anyone reading this ever happens to find Malakai Black standing close to a mirror, do me a favor and ask him to say the words “David Bowie” three times and see what happens? It’ll probably be nothing, but after Saturday, maybe?
Side Note: Did you hear that C.M. Punk showed up in WWE less than 24 hours ago? Because you’re currently reading a column about something else. I mean, I appreciate you choosing to be here, but you do know you’re in the wrong place, right?
DANTE MARTIN IS STILL RETURNING — STILL A MEGA-HIT
They replayed the segment in which Dante Martin returned, and for a minute, I thought it was a technical mishap, but I should have known better because there wasn’t literally a 2nd A.C. standing next to a C-stand with a clapperboard like last time.
Side Note: That is an actual thing that happened.
BIG BILL & STARKS CUT A PROMO — HIT
Big of the Bill family, not to be confused with his half-brother Dollar, is getting frighteningly good at speaking in public, and he is doing so hella fast. IMHO, Rick Starks needs to check to make sure there isn’t a teeny-tiny talent succubus living in his partner’s mouth, and if there is, he needs to get him away from Kris Statlander.
KEITH LEE vs. LEE MORIARTY — MINOR-HIT
In the battle of the Lees, the audience was very amused by the commonality of that name, and they let it be known via chants.
KEITH LEE CUTS A PROMO FOR LEE MORIARTY — HIT
Speaking of magically adjacent gifts of gab, Keith Lee cut a post-match promo, getting both himself and his opponent over at the same time.
Side Note: When are we getting this big Keith Lee vs. Shane Taylor match? If you recall, I was very much looking forward to this match, and while I still am, it feels like it is approaching at the speed of geriatric molasses made out of Klonopin. Either add more plot points or go ahead and give us the match at World’s End because it feels like the world will end before we get it.
EDDIE KINGSTON vs. BRODY KING — HIT
This was my match of the night, and it went at least 15 minutes, if not longer. I am so glad that Eddie Kingston got slotted into the main event tonight, but I am so sad that he lost. I hope this means they have a story planned for Kingston in which he overcomes the odds because he fears losing his belts that he didn’t have to lose but decided to exchange for a set of badly broken air guitars.
This show reminded me a lot of the Olympics, but less for the ratings and more for the synchronized swimmers who make treading water look good. Personally, I’m not bothered by AEW choosing not to advance any major storylines on a show that was watched by no one because it was counter-programmed by the literal return of C.M. Punk. to the one place he swore he would never return.
Once again, and not to belabor the point, but you do know that happened, right? I mean, I know I’ve mentioned it a few times already, but just in case you’re a “skimmer” rather than a “reader,” I thought I should tell you that one of the biggest stories in professional wrestling history just broke, and this is a column and AEW Collision.
SHOW GRADE: B-
Thank you all for reading. I truly appreciate it. And as always, I’m still working on my sign-off, but until next week, remember, the more things change, the more they stay C.M. Punk.
(David Bryant’s vapid opinions can be found on his “Artist Formerly Known as Twitter” account @IamDavidBryant; a video of David Bryant marking out over a Cesaro match can be found on his Instagram account @IamDavidBryant, and David Bryant’s Threads account is threadbare and also located @IamDavidBryant because David Bryant sucks at usernames. David is a published author, circus artist, drag promoter, male pageant winner, unrenowned musician, sloppy figure skater, and the inventor of the first ever invisible ink for e-books. Less impressively, he studied screenwriting at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.)
OR CHECK THIS OUT AT PROWRESTLING.NET: Tony Khan declines to comment on CM Punk returning to WWE