SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
KELLER’S AEW COLLISION REPORT
DECEMBER 2 2023
ERIE, PA. AT ERIE INSURANCE ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON TNT
Commentators: Tony Schiavone, Kevin Kelly, Nigel McGuiness
-Soundbites with wrestlers competing in the Continental Classic began with Brody King who said he’s out to prove he didn’t just score an upset win, but is the most dominant wrestler in the tournament. Then Claudio said the time for talking is over. C.J. Perry said her client is going to destroy Daniel Garcia again and take home a big check. Andrade told Garcia he’d see him tonight. Garcia said tonight he fights back, and it’s extra motivating to have a chance to put Andrade in his place. Bryan Danielson said he wants the Eddie Kingston that won the ROH World Title and confident enough to put his two belts at stake. He said he wants the best version of him or else he’s going to get hurt. Kingston said he is 0-1 and he doesn’t want to go 0-2. He said he “sort of” respects Danielson, but all he cares about is winning, so he’ll bust him up.
(Keller’s Analysis: That might’ve been the best batch of soundbites to start Collision yet. Light on cliches and platitudes and very specific and tied to their place in the tournament and motivations.)
-The Collision opening aired.
-Tony Schiavone introduced the show alongside Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness. Schiavone ran down the rules for the Continental Classic tournament. Kelly gave an overview of the points with a chart on the screen showing results so far.
(1) CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI vs. BRODY KING – Continental Classic Tournament
As Brody came out, Kelly noted interference isn’t allowed and no one can be at ringside. (This does sorta prompt the question of why interference is “allowed” otherwise if it’s so easy to prevent in this tournament?) The announcers underlined that Brody wants to prove it wasn’t a fluke win last week. The bell rang 7 minutes into the hour. They battled mid-ring and no-sold each other’s attempts to take each other down. Then they both went down with a simultaneous clothesline. Both rolled to the floor on opposite sides of the ring. Schiavone plugged upcoming matches on the show.
Brody and Claudio hit each other with simultaneous clotheslines again at ringside and then they exchanged strikes mid-ring again. Brody took Claudio down with a pump kick (although it showed a little light). Claudio clotheslined Brody over the top rope. Brody whipped Claudio into the ringside barricade. They cut to a double-box break at 4:00. [c/db]
They continued to battle back and forth. Claudio landed some uppercuts and then a double stomp into a near fall. Claudio hit the lift-and-drop European uppercut for a near fall at 9:00. Claudio did his giant swing with about nine revolutions and then applied a sharpshooter. Brody eventually reached the bottom rope to force a break.
Brody made a comeback and landed a cannonball in the corner for a one count. Claudio landed a Canadian Destroyer for a near fall seconds later. Claudio springboarded at Brody, but Brody punched him out of mid-air and piledrove him and scored a dramatic near fall. He followed with a signature forearm lariat for the win. Kelly said he thinks he caught Claudio with his cast.
WINNER: Brody in 13:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: We didn’t need the impact of the win immediately dampened by giving Claudio the excuse that Brody’s cast played a role. Really good match. I hope whatever happens going forward, Brody will get a singles push after this.)
-They cut to Jon Moxley in a stairwell talking about how banged up he is. He said maybe the last four years are catching up to him. He listed all the parts of his body that hurt and said he’s got tingly fingers and his head doesn’t feel like it’s screwed on straight. He said doctors are prescribing him all kinds of meds. He said he’s sick and tired of being pissed off, depressed, his body failing him, and the entire last year. He said he’s going to do the only thing he’s good at, which is wrestle his way out of it and fight his way out of it with every ounce and drop of sweat and effort and will. He said this is what AEW was built on. He said he’s going to show everyone what AEW can be. He said he’s the ace of the world. He said no one can bring anything to him that is worse than fighting the demons he fights on a daily basis. He said if anyone feels he’s ripe for the tacking, take a shot.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was heavy. Mox delivering again on the mic, defining his attitude in this grueling tournament and what’s at stake for him and his feelings about AEW.)
(2) ABADON vs. KIERA HOGAN
The bell rang 25 minutes into the hour. Abadon went on the attack in the corner early. Kiera came back with a kick to Abadon’s lower leg and then a kick to the jaw. Abadon landed a turning sidewalk slam. Schiavone quoted Johnny Carson, saying “Weird, wacky stuff.” Abadon licked Kiera’s face and yanked her hard to the mat at 3:00. Kiera came back with a neckbreaker. Schiavone noted that Tony Khan has some standby matches if the scheduled matches don’t go to the time limit. Abadon drove Keira’s head into the mat with her finisher.
WINNER: Abadon in 4:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good short match.)
-The lights went out after the match and when they came back on, Julia Hart was standing in the corner. But then the lights went out again. When they came back on, Julia was gone. Abadon screeched in apparent frustration.
-Alex Marvez interviewed Samoa Joe backstage. He said Joe was furious with MJF for accepting a match teaming them against “the devil’s goons” next Wednesday. Mike Bennett and Matt Taven rolled Roderick Strong into the scene. Strong said MJF is luring him into a trap and said MJF is the devil. Strong said Adam Cole said he likes him. He said by proxy, because he’s also friends with Cole, he and Joe are best friends. Strong said MJF is probably plotting right now against him. He asked Joe if he’s going to listen to him. Joe laughed at him and turned and left.
(3) DANIEL GARCIA vs. ANDRADE EL IDOLO (w/C.J. Perry) – Continental Classic Tournament
Garcia came out first and did a brief hip gyrating dance on the ramp. C.J. Perry walked out with Andrade, but then returned to the back before the match began. Matt Menard joined the announcers on commentary. Kelly said if Menard interferes, he’ll be fired. Menard said he respects the rules. The bell rang 38 minutes into the hour. Menard ranted about Garcia doing the dancing. He said he was once the hottest rising star in AEW. He said maybe it’s a generational thing, but he’s against Garcia’s dancing.
Andrade landed an early top rope bodypress. Garcia rolled to the floor to regroup. Andrade slingshot himself onto Garcia at ringside. Menard cheered on Garcia. He said if he wins the tournament, he’ll dance with him. Garcia went after Andrade at ringside and rammed him into the ringside barricade. Garcia scored a one count back in the ring. Andrade knocked Garcia hard off the top rope. They cut to a partial double box break. [c/pdb]
Menard raved that this has been Garcia’s best match of the tournament so far. Garcia punched away at Andrade in the corner and then placed him on the top rope. He hung Andrade upside down in the corner and punched away at his leg. He then landed a running dropkick. He followed with a brainbuster suplex for a near fall. Andrade fired back with a flying forearm at 9:00. Andrade kipped up and extended his arms in celebration of his comeback. He executed two vertical suplexes, but Garcia escaped the third and applied a sleeper. Andrade winced as he climbed to the second rope with Garcia on his back. Andrade managed to superplex Garcia and then follow up with two more unreleased suplexes for a near fall.
When Andrade went for a figure-four, Garcia countered into a sharpshooter mid-ring. Menard stood and cheered on Garcia. Andrade escaped and landed a flatliner for the win. They showed Garcia at zero points with two losses on the chart. Menard said they’d have to dig themselves out of it. Andrade shook Garcia’s hand and saluted his effort.
WINNER: Andrade in 11:00 to gain three points.
(Keller’s Analysis: Excellent action there. Menard was entertaining on commentary and added to the Garcia story.)
-A recap aired of the Dynamite side of the Continental Classic so far. Then they hyped Swerve Strickland vs. Mark Briscoe, Jon Moxley vs. Rush, and Jay White vs. Jay Lethal. [c]
-The announcers commented on Wardlow’s win last week on Dynamite.
-A promo aired with Willie Mack who took issue with what Wardlow did to his friend Lee Moriarty last week. He said he’s a big boy and a big meal to try to eat, and he’ll see him in a match next week.
-Strong, Taven, and Bennett came out next. Strong said he wanted to address his new best friend by proxy, Samoa Joe. He said MJF is the devil and he’ll find that out soon. Strong dedicated this win to his best friend, Adam Cole.
(4) MATT TAVEN & MIKE BENNETT (w/Roderick Strong) vs. THE IRON SAVAGES (Boulder & Bronson)
The bell rang 58 minutes into the hour. Bronson powerbombed Taven and scored a near fall a minute in. Boulder hip swiveled before going for a moonsault. Taven moved out of the way and tagged in Bennett. Bronson also tagged in. Bennett and Taven landed a couple moves and then yelled “Neck strong!” They followed with a stuff piledriver for the win.
WINNERS: Taven & Bennett in 2:00
-After the match, Strong leaped out of his wheelchair and took a cheap shot at their opponents. He leaped back into his wheelchair and raised his arms in celebration as Taven and Bennett wheeled him up the ramp.
-Lexy Nair interviewed Ethan Page backstage. He said ever since losing to MJF in his home nation in Canada, he had to regroup and he’s gotten into the best shape of his life. He said he’s been racking up wins in ROH and he’s on a roll. He said they’re headed back to Canada, and he wants to take the crown sitting on the head of Kenny Omega. He challenged him to a match.
-A video package aired on Mercedes Martinez and Willow Nightingale. Willow said she’s constantly disappointed in Martinez’s behavior. Martinez asked, “How many times do you have to dance your way into my business?” She said she’ll be dancing and stomping all over her.
(5) HOUSE OF BLACK (Buddy Matthews & Malakai Black) vs. MATT SYDAL & CHRISTOPHER DANIELS
The bell rang six minutes into the hour. Nigel said a lot of popular moves in wrestling were first popularized by Sydal. They cut to a break at 3:00 with House of Black in control, sitting together in the ring. [c/db]
Sydal and Daniels landed stereo meteoras. Matthews landed a high knee to Sydal. Sydal countered with a high knee of his own. When Black yanked Sydal to the floor, Daniels dove onto him. Matthews landed a Stomp and Black landed his spinning hook kick for the win.
WINNERS: Matthews & Black in 8:00.
-Afterward, FTR came out to their music. When they entered the ring, Black told them that he assumed they are there because they are joining the House of Black. Black said he’s said a lot of things, but not once has he told a lie. Fans chanted “House of Black.” He laid down the mic. Kelly asked if FTR are really considering joining. When Dax bent over to pick up the mic, Matthews kneed him. Black hit Cash with his spinning hook kick. Black said no one is coming to save them. Black then delivered a spinning hook kick to the jaw of Dax.
-An interview conducted by Renee Paquette earlier this week with Toni Storm aired. Toni complained about not getting enough attention on her hair and then talked about Skye Blue stepping up. She mocked her trying to be spooky. [c]
-Skye Blue said Storm is going through a pathetic mid-life crisis. She said nothing will stop her. She said he’ll have her chin up, her tits out, and she’ll shove her shoe up her ass.
-A video package hyped the Christian Cage vs. Adam Copeland match next Wednesday. Christian said he’s the face of AEW now and forever.
(6) EL HIJO DEL VIKINGO vs. KIP SABIAN
Schiavone said this was one of the standby matches TK had available. As Sabian came out, they aired a brief soundbite with him calling Vikingo overrated. The bell rang 26 minutes into the hour. They cut to a partial double-box break with Sabian in control. [c/pdb]
Vikingo landed a springboard Phoenix Splash off the second rope facing outside the ring and landing inside for a two count. Sabian battled Vikingo on the top rope and took him to the mat with a flying head scissors leading to a two count. Vikingo took Sabian down with a forearm and then leaped off the top rope with a tornado dive. Fans chanted “Holy shit!” Back in the ring, he landed a 630 senton for the win.
WINNER: Sabian in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Not long, but a dazzling showcase for Vikingo.)
-Lexy Nair interviewed Keith Lee. She said last week he mentioned “him.” She asked who that was. Shane Taylor walked in and said he is him. He challenged him to a match at Final Battle. Lee said, “Hmmm. Challenge accepted.”
-They showed Kingston preparing in his locker room with a pensive post. They showed Danielson warming up backstage. [c]
-Backstage, Lexy was about to interview C.J. when Miro barged in. She told Miro she is just trying to prove herself and she needs to do this. She said winning the tournament will put her on a path to proving herself and finding her own way. Miro wanted to barge into Andrade’s locker room, but she told him if she means anything to him, don’t lay a hand on her client. “Can you please do that?” she asked. Miro said his god is gone, and if he was still with him, he’d be in the tournament ripping the spine out of Andrade. Miro caressed her head and said he won’t lay a hand on her client.
-The announcers reviewed the scoreboard for the tournament.
(7) BRYAN DANIELSON vs. EDDIE KINGSTON – Continental Classic Tournament
Danielson made his entrance first. He wore a protective and padded patch over his left eye. Schiavone said these are two of the most unique men ever. The bell rang 43 minutes into the hour. Kingston knocked Danielson down with a hard chop at 2:00. The announcers talked about Danielson having to wrestle with an eye patch, and noted he has before. Danielson went down when Kingston kicked his damaged arm. They mat wrestled briefly. Danielson went back to chops and kicks to a kneeling Kingston. Kingston took control at ringside and they cut to a double box break. [c/db]
Danielson and Kingston battled on the top turnbuckle. Danielson landed a leaping dropkick. Both were down and slow to get up. Danielson applied a LaBell Lock, but Kingston scurried and rolled out of it. Danielson re-applied it. Kingston mounted Danielson and punched away. Danielson fought from underneath and then armdragged Kingston. Kingston avoided his running knee and landed a spinning backfist for a near fall at 12:00. Kingston landed a vertical suplex for a two count. Schiavone said Omega vs. Ethan is official for next week’s Collision.
Danielson came back with a roundkick to slow Kingston. Danielson adjusted his eye patch and got fired up, then hit his barrage of kicks. Schiavone said the match is “everything we thought it would be.” They chopped each other. Danielson kicked away at Kingston. Kingston brushed it off, snarled, and landed an enzuigiri. Kingston delivered a half-and-half suplex next and went for his spinning backfist, but Danielson blocked it and then suplexed Kingston. Both were slow to get up. The ring announcers said five minutes remained. Danielson did the body stomps next and followed with his high knee for the win.
WINNER: Danielson in 16:00 to earn three points.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good, dramatic battle. It was distracting worrying about Danielson’s orbital bone and the constantly shifting and sliding protective eye patch. By the way, Schiavone, given the lead play-by-play role, has really stepped up in this role with added responsibility. This was among his best calls of a wrestling show. He’s got the names of moves down, his emotions match the ebb and flow of the match, and he just seems sincerely into the in-ring action and the characters.)