AEW Collision results (6/17): Powell’s live review of CM Punk and FTR vs. Samoa Joe, Jay White, and Juice Robinson, Wardlow vs. Luchasaurus for the TNT Title, Toni Storm and Ruby Soho vs. Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue, Andrade El Idolo vs. Buddy Matthews, Miro in action

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Collision (Episode 1)
Chicago, Illinois at United Center
Aired live June 17, 2023 on TNT

[Hour One] The Collision opening video aired to the tune of Sir Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”… Pyro shot off on the stage while the broadcast team of Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in. There were loud CM Punk chants from the crowd and they were instantly rewarded.

CM Punk made his entrance to “Cult of Personality.” Punk was introduced by ring announcer Dasha Gonzalez. Punk walked out with a pair of black boots tied around his neck and a red bag in his hand. Once inside the ring, Punk blew a kiss to the crowd and set his red bag down.

Punk stood in the middle of the ring and looked into the hard camera while the crowd continued to chant his name. Punk removed the AEW logo from his microphone and tossed it aside. “I don’t know if you guys heard, but I’m tired of being nice,” Punk said.

Punk said he was gone ten months with a ruptured tricep tendon that was torn off the born. He said he’s still here and as long as he is, it’s the professional wrestling business. Punk said it’s a business for grownups and not a popularity contest. He said he probably would have lost that one a long time ago if it was.

Punk said they were going to talk about the future, but first they had to talk about his past. He said that if someone had told 15 year-old him that he’d sell out legendary venues, he’s not sure he would have believed that person. Punk said he’s tired of being nice and told the crowd to tell him when he’s telling lies.

Punk said he got to where he is by riding the wave of smart and passionate professional wrestling fans. Punk said he’s never compromised and has been unapologetic. Punk said he couldn’t have done it without all of the fans. Punk said there are some people who hate him for the season reason that they love him.

Punk said he is the truth and the truth is painful. A “F— the Elite” chant broke out. Punk pointed to signs that labeled him a hero, Pepsi Phil, and another that labeled him CM Junk. Punk said the fans can do that.

Punk said David Zaslav (Warner Bros. Discovery CEO) calls him “One Bill Phil” because he’s “the genuine article in a business full of counterfeit Bucks.” Punk declared that the king is back and added that he has a lot of things to get off his chest.

Punk said he had a question and then he’d get out of the hair of the fans. Punk said he this is what Joe Strummer (of The Clash) paid him for. He said he will always speak truth to power and will never compromise. Punk mentioned the people who feel he owes them an apology. “I am sorry that the only people softer than you are the wrestlers you like,” Punk said. “Tell me when I’m telling lies.” The crowd chanted Punk’s name.

Punk picked up the bag and said the last time the fans saw him, he held what was in the bag above his head. He said it’s not because he deserved it, it’s his because he earned it. He said it’s not his because he had the best Dog Collar match, it’s his because he won the Dog Collar match. Punk said it belongs to him until someone can pin him or submit him for it.

Punk held up the boots he brought out with him and said he assumed there were people who hoped he would set them down in the ring and walk into the sunset. Punk said that until there is someone in the company who can fill the boots, they belong on his feet. “Tell me when I’m telling lies,” Punk said before dropping the mic and looking into the hard camera. Punk approached a camera on the apron and asked, “What’s in the bag, Max?”…

Powell’s POV: An awesome promo. Punk got his shot at the Bucks in and I consider it fair game. I wasn’t bothered by The Elite mocking Punk while they were working in front of a hostile crowd because it would have been silly to ignore the fans. Likewise, I don’t blame Punk a bit for returning fire with a zinger. Fans expected something from Punk and he gave it to them (and evened the score).

A brief video aired on Wardlow’s feud with Christian Cage and Luchasaurus… Entrances for the TNT Title match took place. Kelly and McGuinness checked in from their ringside desk in between the entrance of the challenger and the champion…

1. Wardlow vs. Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage) for the TNT Title. Rick Knox was the referee. Wardlow performed a dropkick that resulted in Luchasaurus ended up at ringside. Cage whispered into the ear of Luchasaurus. Wardlow went to the floor and roughed up the challenger.  Back inside the ring, Luchasaurus took offensive control heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]

Wardlow put Luchasaurus in electric chair position and then fell backward to slam him to the mat. Wardlow, who had a busted lip, put Luchasaurus down with a spinebuster. Wardlow went up top, but Luchasaurus cut him off and slammed him to the mat with a chokeslam that resulted in a two count.

Luchasaurus and Wardlow traded shots in the ring. Wardlow put Luchasaurus down with a clothesline. Wardlow set up for a powerbomb. Cage climbed onto the apron. Wardlow looked at Cage and then performed the move anyway. Cage grabbed a chair, which distracted Wardlow for a moment. Wardlow went back to Luchasaurus, who grabbed him and chokeslammed him for a near fall.

Luchasaurus tried to hoist up Wardlow, who slipped out and then countered into a powerslam. Wardlow went up top and performed a Swanton. Wardlow lowered the straps on his gear. Cage climbed onto the apron again. Wardlow took the bait like a meathead, but he dodged a charging Luchasaurus.

Wardlow stood over Luchasaurus in the corner and threw punches at him until Luchasaurus slipped through his legs and held the referee. Cage took a camera from a ringside photographer and struck Wardlow with it twice. Luchsaurus drove Wardlow face first into the mat and then pinned him…

Luchasaurus defeated Wardlow in roughly 10:45 to win the TNT Championship.

After the match, Cage stood on the middle rope and held up the TNT Title belt. Luchasaurus put Cage on his shoulders and then Cage held up the title belt again…

Powell’s POV: This was a rough, plodding match. The game of hot potato with the belt continues. If the goal was to make the AEW International Championship feel more important than the TNT Title for some reason, then mission accomplished.

Lexi Nair interviewed Powerhouse Hobbs and QT Marshall on a backstage interview set. Marshall said they never said Hobbs would wrestle, they only said he would appear on Collision. Marshall said Hobbs will be in the Owen Hart Cup tournament. Hobbs spoke of winning the tournament and taking what’s his…

Kelly hyped Miro being in action later in the show, and said Buddy Matthews vs. Andrade El Idolo would be in action after the break… An ad for AEW Dynamite added Kris Statlander vs. Taya Valkyrie for the TBS Championship to the lineup. It also questioned what’s next for Sting and Chris Jericho and listed previously advertised matches… [C]

The broadcast team recapped highlights of the TNT Title change while brief highlights were shown… Entrances for the next match took place…

2. Buddy Matthews (w/Julia Hart) vs. Andrade El Idolo. Aubrey Edwards was the referee. A “welcome back” chant broke out for Andrade. Early in the match, Andrade sent Matthews to ringside. Andrade performed a slow cartwheel on the apron and then moonsaulted onto Matthews on the floor.

Matthews came back by shoving Andrade into the ring post and then tossed him over the barricade. Andrade climbed onto the barricade and performed a huracanrana. Andrade came up favoring his arm, but he seemed fine as he rolled Matthews back inside the ring and covered him for a two count.

Andrade went to the ropes and was cut off by Matthews, who pulled Andrade’s arm through the ropes and into the corner. They went back to the floor where Matthews ran Andrade’s bad arm into the barricade. Back in the ring, Matthews executed a meteora from the ropes and got a two count. Matthews clutched his left knee heading into a PIP break. [C]

During the break, one trainer tended to Andrade’s shoulder while another checked on Matthews’ knee. They eventually went to a full picture break and when they came back, the match continued while the broadcast team labeled it a war of attrition with both men aggravating past injuries.

Andrade performed a moonsault from the ropes and landed on his feet when Matthews rolled out of the way. Andrade then hit a standing moonsault that resulted in a two count. Matthews came back with a draping DDT for a two count of his own. Matthews went up top and was cut off by Andrade.

Matthews went for a powerbomb, but his knee gave out. Matthews got up and kicked Andrade twice and then went for the powerbomb, but his knee gave out again. Andrade caught Matthews with an elbow and then played to the crowd. Andrade charged Matthews for a move only to be caught with a knee to the face, which resulted in a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.

Matthews went for a submission hold, but Andrade powered out, which sent Matthews crashing into the corner. Andrade applied a figure four. When Matthews neared the ropes, Andrade bridged into a Figure Eight and forced Matthews to submit.

Andrade El Idolo defeated Buddy Matthews in 13:00.

After the match, Andrade tried to help Matthews to his feet, but Matthews shoved him away. Andrade still offered a handshake. Matthews limped toward him and then the lights went out.

When the lights turned on, Andrade still had his hand out. Malakai Black was seated in a corner of the ring while Brody King stood nearby. Andrade turned around and was turned inside out by a King clothesline. Black knelt over Andrade. The lights went out again to end the segment…

Powell’s POV: Hey, I wonder where Andrade learned that finisher. The match got better the longer it went. I could take or leave them playing up their past injuries, but I appreciate the attempt to sell a story based around those injuries. Does the post match attack lead to Andrade finding partners to chase the AEW Trios Titles? I honestly hope not. I’m all for more singles matches in AEW.

A video package on Scorpio Sky aired and recapped his AEW accomplishments. Sky was shown seated on a couch with a glass of wine. Sky spoke in a voiceover and said he’s been watching and waiting for the perfect opportunity. Sky said he’s the future and the present of AEW and nobody can beat him because he’s on another level. He snapped his fingers to end the video… [C]

A shot aired from outside the United Center, which had Punk’s Roddy Piper inspired logos on the side…

Tony Nese and Mark Sterling stood in the ring. Nese labeled himself a personal trainer and heeled on the fans for being out of shape. He said he was shutting down the show so that he could lead them all in stretches. Miro’s entrance music interrupted Nese…

3. Miro vs. Tony Nese (w/Mark Sterling). Nese took a powder once the bell rang and did jumping jacks on the floor. Nese threw a chop at Miro, who no-sold it. Back in the ring, Miro no-sold more shots from Nese and then hit him with punches and kicks in the corner, which drew a good reaction from the crowd. Miro followed up with a running clothesline.

Miro caught Nese on the apron and performed seven of Sheamus’s Ten Beats before Nese clotheslined him over the top rope. Nese went for a top rope move, but Miro caught him and executed a fallaway slam. Miro set up in the corner for his finisher. Sterling climbed onto the apron and was punched off by Miro.

[Hour Two] Nese took advantage of the distraction briefly and threw a kick. Miro no-sold his offense again and eventually put him down with a uranage slam. Miro followed up with a big kick and then yelled “Game Over.” Miro locked in his Camel Clutch finisher and got the win…

Miro defeated Tony Nese in 3:30.

Powell’s POV: A dominant win for Miro in his return match. Nese’s new gimmick is like a one-man Bodydonna. It’s undercard silliness, but I’m all for him shaking things up and trying something new.

A CM Punk video package aired. Punk said he never left, he got injured. Footage aired of his training while he said he has to look forward. Punk said the reason he’s returning is that there are still things left to do and he’s going to finish them… Kelly hyped the six-man tag main event…

4. Toni Storm and Ruby Soho vs. Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue. Both entrances were televised. Blue hugged her mother, who was once again in the crowd. The heels attacked Nightingale and Blue before the bell. They ended up at ringside where Storm jawed at Mama Blue, who slapped her.

Once both teams were back inside the ring, referee Stephon Smith called for the bell to start the match (hey, the heels weren’t rewarded for a pre-match attack!). Storm and Soho came back quickly and worked over Nightingale heading into a PIP break. [C]

Willow made a hot tag to Blue coming out of the break. Blue had a nice run of offense on Storm, which was capped off by a top rope crossbody block. Soho ran in and broke up the pin. Willow put Soho down with a spinebuster. Storm caught Blue in a cloverleaf. Blue struggled and eventually reached the bottom rope to break the hold.

Storm set up for Storm Zero, but Blue countered into a pin for a two count. Willow tagged in and performed an Angle Slam on Storm. Moments later, Blue tagged in and was hit with a hip attack by Storm. Soho tagged in and blasted Blue with a shot. Storm brought spray paint in the ring right in front of the referee, but Willow took it from her and tossed it into the crowd.

Willow put Soho down with another Angle Slam. Blue performed a Code Blue on Soho and pinned her…

Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue beat Toni Storm and Ruby Soho in 8:10.

Powell’s POV: They just won’t let bad silly spray paint spots go. This was meant to be a big upset for the babyfaces, but the crowd’s reaction was pretty tame. Mama Blue was shown applauding her daughter, but apparently nobody coached her on selling the upset.

A video package aired with Ricky Starks announcing that he is in the Owen Hart Cup tournament. In a shocker, he predicted that he will win the tournament… Kelly hyped the main event and said The Acclaimed would be up next… [C]

A video package aired with Jeff Jarrett hyping his Concession Stand Brawl with Mark Briscoe. He said he wouldn’t have any of his sidekicks with him and vowed to kick Briscoe’s ass…

Tony Schiavone stood in the ring and introduced Daddy Ass and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens. Caster rapped on his way to the ring and said they’ve stolen more hearts than Trump stole documents. He concluded the rap with a line about wishing Daddy Ass a happy Father’s Day.

Billy Gunn showed off his new scissor me outfit. He said they were getting back on track and going for the AEW Trios Titles. Bowens said AEW stands for “Acclaimed Every Wednesday” and “Acclaimed Every Weekend.” Bowens said they were sticking around for Dynamite this week.

Bowens said they wanted to make history with the first Collision scissor. He played to the Chicago crowd by saying it’s where the scissor was born and the fans made them the people’s choice. Caster moved Schiavone to the corner and had him join them in a four-way scissors in the middle of the ring…

Powell’s POV: Following The Acclaimed’s lead, an early happy Father’s Day to all of the great dads and stepdads out there, including my own. There wasn’t much to the segment, but it did give the fans a little levity before the main event.

The broadcast team listed the following matches for AEW Dynamite: Chris Jericho, Sammy Guevara, and Minoru Suzuki vs. Action Andretti, Darius Martin, and AR Fox. Footage aired from the ROH TV show of Andretti, Martin, and Fox winning a match. Kelly also hyped Kris Statlander vs. Taya Valkyrie for the TBS Title, Orange Cassidy and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Daniel Garcia and Zack Sabre Jr., Matt Hardy and Jeff Hardy vs. Austin Gunn and Colten Gunn, and Jeff Jarrett vs. Mark Briscoe in a Concession Stand Brawl, and a blind eliminator tournament for an AEW Tag Team Title shot.

Kelly and McGuinness also ran through the latest lineup for the Forbidden Door pay-per-view, but they did not add any new matches to the pay-per-view that will be held a week from Sunday. They also hyped the main event… [C]

Jay White and Juice Robinson made their entrance for the main event. Jim Ross joined the broadcast team and acknowledged that his voice of was hoarse. They did not show Ross’s black eye (get well soon, JR). Samoa Joe made his entrance holding the ROH TV Title. The FTR duo were out next and then CM Punk joined them on the stage. It was clobberin’ time…

5. CM Punk and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Samoa Joe, Jay White, and Juice Robinson. Paul Turner was the referee. There were loud CM Punk chants. Punk tagged in for the first time roughly four minutes into the match. Punk and Harwood passed Robinson to Wheeler, who slammed him from the middle rope. Punk covered him for a two count. Punk motioned for the GTS, but Robinson scurried away.

Samoa Joe tagged himself into the match. Robinson wasn’t pleased, but White held him back. Punk and Joe jawed at one another while a “holy shit” chant broke out before they locked up. Joe pushed Joe back into a corner of the ring and blasted him with three massive chops that might even make Gunther blush. Punk tried to return the favor, but Joe no-sold his chop. Kelly said it had been 6,581 days since Punk and Joe were in the same ring. They cut to a PIP break. [C]

Joe worked over Harwood coming out of the break. White and Robinson also got involved and continued to isolate Harwood. Wheeler eventually tagged in and performed a sunset flip on Robinson for a near fall. Punk tagged in and joined Wheeler in performing the old Demolition finisher on Robinson, which led to a near fall heading into another PIP break. [C]

The heel trio regained control during the break and isolated Wheeler. Kelly hyped next week’s Collision falling on the eve of Forbidden Door and noted that that the show would be held in Toronto. Wheeler inched toward his corner, but White grabbed him by the foot. Wheeler dove and tagged in Punk, who worked over Robinson and White with a series of moves.

Punk put White down with a neckbreaker and then glared at Joe before hitting White and Robinson with knees in opposite corners. Joe bulldogged White while hitting a clothesline on Robinson. Punk set up White for his finisher, but White gouged his eyes to prevent it. Punk got to his feet and dropped White with a kick. Punk went up top, but Robinson crotched him.

White put Punk down with a big uranage slam for a near fall. White signaled for his Bladerunner finisher, but Punk avoided it and put White down with a clothesline. Punk tagged out. Harwood set up White on the ropes. Punk tagged in before FTR performed a superplex and splash combo. Punk followed with a top rope elbow drop. Punk had the pin, but Robinson pushed Harwood onto the pile.

Joe tagged in. A brawl broke out between the others that quickly spilled over to ringside. Punk avoided a charging Joe in the corner and caught him with a knee to the jaw. Punk set up for the GTS, but Joe countered into a rear naked choke. Robinson and White held the FTR duo from returning to the ring. Punk fell to the ground and was bug eyed.

Wheeler broke free and took out White, freeing up Harwood to hit Joe to save Punk. Robinson tagged in and set up for a move, but Punk countered into a big kick. FTR hit Robinson with the Big Rig. Punk followed up with the GTS and then pinned Robinson.

CM Punk and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated Samoa Joe, Jay White, and Juice Robinson in 25:15.

Punk and FTR celebrated while Punk’s entrance theme played. The broadcast team closed the show…

Powell’s POV: A fun main event with the expected finish of Punk pinning Robinson. I like that Joe was made to look dominant over Punk with those early big chops and then by nearly forcing him to pass out to the rear naked choke. In other words, Joe is the first big mountain for Punk to climb.

Overall, I enjoyed the first episode of Collision. I like that it looked different compared to Dynamite with a cool stage, red ring ropes, a different broadcast team, said broadcast team being at ringside, etc. It was an easy to watch show and it was light on the crazy spot fest style matches that are common on Dynamite and Rampage (only time will tell if that’s by design).

All of that being said, what was the big hook for next week? They didn’t advertise any matches or have any angles that would leave viewers feeling anxious to see the next episode. Sure, Punk vs. Joe is obviously something they are building to, but nothing about this episode left me feeling like next week is must see.

I will have a lot more to say about Collision when Will Pruett and I team up later tonight with an audio review of the first edition of AEW Collision that will be available for FREE as this week’s Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.

AEW Collision Poll: Grade the premiere edition free polls


Readers Comments (6)

  1. THEGREATESTTHREE June 17, 2023 @ 7:14 pm

    Phil Brooks is an obnoxious,overrated prick

  2. TheGreatestOne June 17, 2023 @ 8:01 pm

    That’s how you bring Miro back.

  3. Did you notice that Buddy went for Rhea’s submission, the Prism Lock, and Andrade hit the Figure 8? Both men honoring their significant others. Why can’t we get a prism lock from Dommonick Mysterio?

  4. Dax gets the lions share of the praise, but my god is Cash’s work crisp.

    You wondered if Andrade would find partners, but isn’t the team of Preston Vance and Rush (and Dralistico maybe?) his faction? I didn’t watch much around that time but I’m pretty sure that was his thing.

  5. TheGreatestOne June 17, 2023 @ 9:06 pm

    More good than bad.

    The opening promo was classic Punk.

    Wardlow and Luchasaurus need someone to lead them. Both are useful in the right situation, but despite more than 20 years experience combined neither one can lead a match.

    Buddy vs Andrade was solid but the House of Black and Trios titles are just boring.

    Miro did what he should and Nese felt like a Barry Horowitz caliber fun delusional jobber.

    Soho and Willow are dangerously incompetent. Storm is good and Blue has some potential. Still, half that match looked like people doing a walkthrough of their routine instead of having a competitive fight.

    The main event delivered (but Punk needs some time in the gym). That’s the most I’ve enjoyed White and Robinson in AEW. If both guys can stay healthy they’ve obviously got to have Punk vs Joe for the ROH TV belt on the horizon.

    That’s one of the better 2 hour stints AEW has produced.

  6. This company will kill wardlow or die trying

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