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KELLER’S AEW COLLISION REPORT
NOVEMBER 25, 2023
PITTSBURGH, PA. AT THE PETERSEN EVENTS CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuiness
-They opened with soundbites with Eddie Kingston, Brody King, and Daniel Garcia talking about their Continental Classic tournament matches.
-The opening theme for Collision aired to Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting.”
-They showed the stage as pyro blasted. The videos hyped Ric Flair’s energy drink sponsor. Then they went to a view from above of the crowd. It was pretty tight on just one side of the venue and the ring and stage.
-They went to the announcers at ringside. They hyped the Continental Classic matches and the rules.
(1) CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. DANIEL GARCIA – Continental Classic Tournament match (Blue League)
As Claudo walked out, the announcers talked about Claudio being one of the favorites to win the tournament by oddsmakers. Kelly noted that Bryan Danielson is the favorite overall. Garcia briefly swiveled his hips during his entrance, but didn’t overdo it where it felt demeaning and cartoonish. He had more of a gameface on than usual. (Fans were holding up signs telling Garcia to dance for them. That shouldn’t be mistaken as a sign the dance is a good thing for his career. They’re laughing at him and not taking him seriously.) The bell rang six minutes into the hour. Nigel took digs at Danielson and said he’s being sponsored by bubblewrap because he’s so injury prone.
When Garcia made a comeback against Claudio, he celebrated including doing his dance. He then went after Claudio aggressively at ringside. When he charged Claudio, though, Claudio caught him and swung him into the security barricade. They cut to a double-box break at 3:30. [c/db]
Claudio grounded Garcia during the break. After the break, Garcia fought back and a body scissors guillotine mid-ring. He shifted into a sleeper which dropped Claudio to one knee. Claudio powered Garcia into the corner to break it. Garcia went back on the attack with an ankle lock. Claudio crawled to the bottom rope. Schiavone hyped upcoming matches on the show. Wheeler Yuta walked out afterward an raised Claudio’s arm.
Claudio eventually gave Garcia a European uppercut and a powerbomb for the clean win.
WINNER: Claudio in 10:00 to score three points in the tournament.
-The announcers commented on a scoreboard showing Claudio with the Blue League’s first three points.
-Kingston said he’s only there because he doesn’t want to get fined, and apparently his comments on the cold open weren’t enough. He said he put his two belts on the line in the tournament. He said all he wanted to do in this business was to wrestle in Japan and he did so and he won a title there. He said he wants to make the tournament the most prestigious in America. He asked if that’s good enough for the fans. He said he has to get ready to face Brody King later. He asked if he talked enough and he indicated that someone off air told him he was good and could wrap up.
(2) KILLSWITCH (formerly Luchasaurus) vs. THE BOYS (Brandon & Brent)
Killswitch dominated. He chokeslammed one of The Boys over the top rope onto the edge of the ring apron. He landed a lariat on the other and placed his boot on his chest for the three count.
WINNER: Killswitch in 1:20.
-Afterward, Luchasaurus chokeslammed Brandon on a chair set up in the ring. When he grabbed both of the Boys, Adam Copeland’s music played. He showed up behind Killswitch and bashed him with a chair over and over. He yanked off part of the chair and choked him STF style with it across his mouth. He put Killswitch’s head on a chair and then looked around. He picked up a chair and bashed Killswitch across the head with it. As Killswitch began to lift himself up, Edge stomped him on the chair. Copeland sported a sinister smile and then bashed Killswitch again with the chair. Schiavone called it an unforgettable moment. [c]
-Lexi Nair attempted to interview Copeland backstage. Copeland told her to go. She left with the mic, and “magically” we could hear Copeland just fine (exposing, needlessly, that the mics are just props in these interviews). Copeland said all of what happened to Nick Wayne and Killswitch is the fault of Christian Cage due to his insecurities. He said Christian was just worried about him overshadowing him when he arrived. He said he could care less about that (he meant he “couldn’t care less”). He said Christian couldn’t get past his own insecurities.
He said Christian put Beth’s and his children’s name in his mouth and he tried to get Killswitch to bash Nick Wayne’s mom Shayna with a chair. He said he’s got two heads on a wall now. He said Christian should ask Wayne and Killswitch how it feels when he snaps. He said he’s going to change his soul and kick his face in. He said he’ll see his eyes when he closes his eyes at night. He said he’ll take his TNT Title because it’s the most important thing in Christian’s world. He challenged him to a match on Dynamite on Dec. 6 in Montreal. He said he’ll go places he can’t go because he doesn’t have it in him.
(Keller’s Analysis: You want Copeland to react with emotional passion to what Christian has been up to, and this delivered in that regard. The caveat is that Copeland’s intensity on promos seems to be at either a 1 or 2 or a 10 or 11 and nothing in between. This was one of those “11 out of 10” promos from him that feel slightly over-the-top for me. I think “less in more” for Copeland’s signature promos would be an improvements. There are things he does really well, but dialing it down a bit would work better, I think. Also, framing Christian’s whole evilness on fear of him overshadowing Christian felt like something someone else should say. It felt a little self-aggrandizing.)
-Nigel said Copeland is a psychopath and raging lunatic.
(3) HOUSE OF BLACK (Buddy Matthews & Malakai Black) vs. GRAVITY & KOMANDER (w/Alex Abrahantes)
Kelly said this is the first tag team match with just Matthews & Black as a two-person team. Schiavone said this will be a great contrast in styles. The bell rang 34 minutes into the hour. At 3:30 they cut to a partial double-box break with Black in control. [c/pdb]
Back from the break, Buddy was in control against Komander. Gravity got a hot-tag shortly thereafter and briefly rallied against both opponents until Buddy threw his head into Black’s knee. A minute later Komander scored a two count on Black after a gutbuster. When Gravity leaped over the top rope, Black and Buddy caught him. Komander then ran the length of the top rope and springboard flipped onto Black and Buddy with a corkscrew dive.
Back in the ring, Gravity and Komander leaped off of top turnbuckles, but Black and Buddy lifted their knees. The heels took over. Fans chanted “House of Black!” Buddy and Black delivered knees to Gravity and then went after Komander. Black sat mid-ring cross-legged and called on Komander to crawl toward him. Buddy then landed a running stomp and scored the three count. Kelly said Komander fell for their trap.
WINNERS: House of Black in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Komander shined in this one. Black and Buddy executed their style well for the most part, but spots with Gravity were awkward several times. AEW continues to fight fans wanting to cheer House of Black. It’s been going on for years now.)
-Darius Martin and Action Andretti stood backstage. Andretti spoke about how it’s been eight months since they started teaming together. Darius noted they were returning to their hometown on Wednesday. The promo was interrupted by a commercial. They returned to Dante making his return. Then they cut away abruptly again. [c]
(4) JULIA HART vs. LADY FROST – TBS Title match
Julia made her ring entrance first. Schiavone said this is her first title defense. The announcers talked about Frost being from the area. The bell rang 53 minutes into the hour. Frost got in early offense, but then Julia took control when she swept her legs on the ring apron. Julia picked up a chair. The ref warned her she’d be DQ’d and told her to “think about it.” Nigel said the title won’t change hands on a DQ. Kelly said that’s why the ref told her to think about it because she’d damage her reputation as a champion if she retained her title that way. Frost recovered and dropped Julia on the ringside steps. Frost went for a moonsault stomp, but Julia moved. Julia kicked Frost and then put her on a chair on the rap. She clotheslined Frost off the chair. The ref didn’t even pretend to counting them out at ringside. Julia threw Frost into the ring and scored a two count at 4:00. Julia then applied her Hartless submission for the tapout win.
WINNER: Julia Hart in 5:00 to retain the TBS Title. [c]
(Keller’s Analysis: AEW makes some wrestlers go through such a rigorous process to earn a title shot and others, like Frost, just get granted then out of nowhere. She defeated Zoey Lynn in on an ROH TV show last month and an indy match in September, but otherwise lost ROH matches to Mercedes Martinez, Billie Starkz, Willow Nightingale, Leyla HIrssch, and Kiera Hogan since mid-August.)
-Lexy interviewed Don Callis and Powerhouse Hobbs backstage. She brought up Hobbs slamming Paul Wight through a car. Hobbs smiled. Callis said he loves that they’re embracing it. He bragged about having a 173 IQ and being a member of Mensa and several advanced degrees, but he cannot understand the calculation that got the Golden Jets a tag team titles hot. He said they were together for only one match. He said Hobbs broke them the last time he got his hands on them and sent them to the hospital. Hobbs said, “It’s simple. I’m big, I’m black, and I’m jacked, and anybody can get it.”
(5) FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) vs. THE RIGHTEOUS (Vincent & Dutch)
FTR made their entrance first. As The Righteous came out, Kelly said he smelled an upset. The bell rang two minutes into the second hour. There was an odd spot at 2:00 where Dax leaped off the the ropes in the corner and Dutch wasn’t in the spot Dax expected. Dutch just picked him up and laughed and applied a bearhug. Dax bit Dutch’s forehead. Vincent charged at Dax, but Dax punched him and then knocked Dutch to the floor. Dax launched Vincent onto Dutch at ringside. As the heels regrouped, they cut to a double-box break. [c/db]
The heels duo took over during the break. Schiavone said that “TNT went to a commercial ahead of their cue earlier tonight” and cut off the Dante and Andretti promo, so they’d air it again later. “It was quite the moment,” he said. Dutch splashed Dax and scored a near fall. He didn’t seem to care about winning, though. he didn’t hook the leg, stuck his tongue out at Cash as he entered to make the save, and didn’t seem disappointed when Dax kicked out. He powerbombed Dax and then leaped off the second rope with a senton, but Dax moved. Cash encouraged Dax to tag him. Vincent tagged in first and stopped Dax. Dax slid under Vincent and tagged in Cash.
Cash went on a flurry of offense and knocked Dutch out of the ring. Vincent went after Cash, but Cash escaped his grip and rolled him up. Vincent tagged in, though, and then Dutch surprised him with a big side slam for a near fall at 8:00. Vincent tagged in. Cash avoided a double-team move and dropkicked Dutch out of the ring. He then tagged in Dax and they hit Shatter Machine for the win. Kelly said some victories are most cosmetically pleasing than others.
WINNERS: FTR in 9:00.
-As FTR celebrated, Malakai Black walked out with Buddy Murphy. He said no one is going to save them – no Cesaro (he meant “Claudio” I assume), no Yuta, and no C.M. Punk. That got ohhh’s from the crowd. “The misconception is, this place is not the brotherhood that you two think it is.” The lights went out and Kelly asked what was going on. The lights came back on and FTR were looking around. Then FTR’s music played again. Dax gave them a mocking thumbs up. [c]
-The Andretti and Darius promo re-aired, this time uninterrupted. Dante walked in and smiled and said, “I’m back.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Did they ever actually show what happened or talk about what happened with Dante?)
-A clip aired of the Ricky Starks & Big Bill attacking Chris Jericho backstage last week after the PPV media Q&A.
-Schiavone stood mid-ring and introduced Starks & Bill. Schiavone asked them to explain themselves. Starks said he thought Jericho would put up more of a fight. He said Bill didn’t even lose his glasses in the fight. Bill said the Golden Jets look more like the Golden Girls. Starks said, “Nice.” Starks said he and Bill don’t even know each other very well. He asked when his birthday is, and Bill said he didn’t know. Bill talked about being hospitalized with seizures from alcohol withdrawal, he said he always knew he’d make it back to the top. Fans applauded. He said when he couldn’t get out of bed and was at the lowest point in his entire life, he always knew he’d make it back to the top. He said everybody counted him out, but he knew better. More cheers. He said standing there with Starks and those belts prove he was right. (Why is he cutting a babyface promo? Seriously?)
He said Jericho and Kenny Omega are two of the best to ever wrestle, but they don’t realize what they are dealing with. He said they are angry and motivated. He said they’re going to defeat and embarrass them. Bill brought up top NBA pairs. He listed most of the Chicago Bulls roster during their championship year. He said they’re not any of them, but rather they’re the guy who hands Michael Jordan his bubble gum before the game begins. Starks said he doesn’t watch basketball, but he knows all those people are really good. He said he’s going to let them know thathe likes his gum minty fresh and Big Bill likes his Big Red.
-A video package aired with highlights of the first night of the Continental Classic matches on Dynamite including some post-match comments from them.
(6) KEITH LEE vs. LEE MORIARTY
Moriarty was announced as being from Pittsburgh. The bell rang 28 minutes into the hour. Moriarty went after Lee with strikes, but Lee countered and then knocked him down. Schiavone threw to a break, at which point Kelly oddly started talking again right before they cut to a partial double-box break. [c/pdb]
Nigel talked about Moriarty being more aggressive since associating himself with Shane Taylor Promotions. When Moriarty applied an armbar as Lee was standing, Lee arm curled Moriarty and then clotheslined him. Schiavone announced Briscoe vs. Rush, Jay White vs. Strickland, and Jon Moxley vs. Jay Lethal on Dynamite. Lee blocked a Moriarty kick and pie-faced him. Moriarty flew off the top rope, but Lee just stood there when Moriarty hit him mid-air. It was awkward. Lee then picked up Moriarty and delivered a powerslam for the win. Kelly asked Shane Taylor Promotions if they have an answer for what Lee just did.
WINNER: Lee in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: This Keith Lee-Shane Taylor Promotions feud hasn’t been a big part of AEW’s main TV shows, so the announcers had to do heavy lifting to talk about it, although there’s also not a lot to it and I doubt there’s many fans invested in it.) [c]
-Lexy interviewed Lee backstage. She asked what’s next for him. Lee said he planned to talk about talented Moriarty is. He said he is damn good, but he’s no Keith Lee. He said he’s tired of the misrepresentation and lack of opportunity given to him. He said he’s now there to “take it.” He said the person he’s talking about knows who he is.
-Nigel wondered who he was talking about, but the smart money is on Shane Taylor.
(7) BRODY KING vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – Continental Classic Tournament match (Blue League)
During Brody’s entrance, Schiavone noted the success of his fellow House of Black members earlier in the show. Kingston came out second. The bell rang 43 minutes into the hour. Brody landed a running cannonball into Kingston slouched in a corner of the ring. Kingston rolled to the floor and the ref began counting him out. Kingston pulled himself back onto the ring apron, but Brody knocked him down. Kingston clutched his head in pain.
Brody threw Kingston into the ringside steps. Kingston used a drop toe hold to send Brody into the barricade seconds later. Brody fought back and landed a crossbody against Kingston. Back in the ring, They cut to a double-box break at 5:00. [c/db]
Brody battered Kingston during the break with a headbutt and chops. As they returned from the break, they showed a wide angle view from the upper deck as Brody continued to methodically beat down Kingston. Brody whipped Kingston toward the corner and Kingston just collapsed. Kelly talked about the ref being in a touch position to may call off the match (which felt a bit melodramatic given Kingston just looked tired and proven over-the-top since Kingston fired up and made his comeback with a hard lariat five seconds later). After a Kingston lariat, both were down and slow to get up.
Kingston fired a barrage of rapid-fire chops at Brody in the corner. He set up an exploder suplex and then landed a spinning backfist for a near fall at 10:00. Both were down and slow to get up again as the ref counted them down. They both stood at nine and went forehead-to-forehead. They exchanged chops. Kingston lowered his singlet and dared Brody to target his bare chest. Brody took him up on the offer, then Kingston fired back. Kingston rallied with an enzuigiri and a DDT for a near fall.
Brody backdropped out of a Kingston powerbomb set up. Brody caught Kingston with a Bossman Slam next. Kingston avoided a clothesline and a back elbow and then delivered an exploder suplex. He followed with a half-and-half suplex and a Saito suplex for a near fall. Kelly pointed out they were down to five minutes in the time limit. Brody landed a piledriver and scored a near fall.
Brody said, “Bye, Eddie!” He swung, Kingston ducked. Kingston then hit a spinning backfist. Brody kicked Kingston in return and delivered Dante’s Inferno for a three count.
WINNER: Brody in 16:00 to earn three points.
(Keller’s Analysis: A mild upset. Brody has been mostly protected in singles matches and otherwise has wrestled mostly tag matches, so he hadn’t been defined down at all. This is more of a revelation, storyline-wise, how good Brody is rather than an upset win. They had the crowd invested in their battle start to finish.)