By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Collision (Episode 9)
Greensboro, North Carolina at Greensboro Coliseum
Aired live August 12, 2023 on TNT
[Hour One] The show opened with brief promos from The Acclaimed, Christian Cage and Luchasaurus, and CM Punk and FTR… The Collision opening aired…
Pyro shot off on the stage and then Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary from ringside. They hyped the Collision main event, All In, and All Out, and then narrated highlights of last week’s main event and the beating that Ricky Starks gave Ricky Steamboat…
Tony Schiavone stood in the middle of the ring and introduced Ricky Starks, who made his entrance. Starks held a belt in his hand. Schiavone noted that the belt belonged to Steamboat and added that Starks beat him with his own belt.
Schiavone announced that Starks was suspended from wrestling for 30 days in AEW for beating a 70 year-old man. Starks said there have to be consequences for your actions. He said he was talking about Steamboat. Starks blamed Steamboat for costing him the match and said he had to beat his ass. Starks said he loves Steamboat, but he did what he had to do.
Starks said he got a manager’s license so that he would be on the show every week while he’s suspended. Starks said it’s his show and his legacy. Starks said people don’t have to like him, but they have to respect him. Starks threatened to whip Schiavone with the belt, which led to Schiavone exiting the ring.
Starks said the blood is on CM Punk’s hands for bringing Steamboat to AEW. Starks proclaimed he would set the whole company on fire and it would start next week. Starks said people would learn that there’s nobody like him on Dynamite or Collision. Starks exited the ring and headed to the back…
Powell’s POV: Starks showed great intensity and had good heel logic. The part about him being suspended for 30 days could always be thrown out, but as of now it looks like he won’t be wrestling at All In or All Out…
A video package aired on FTR and the Young Bucks to push their AEW Tag Team Title match for All in…
“The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens made their entrance while their opponents were already in the ring. Caster rapped on his way to the ring and worked in lines about Mitch McConnell and The Killing Game. Ring announcer Dasha introduced the Iron Savages once both teams were in the ring…
1. “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs. “Iron Savages” Bear Bronson and Beefcake Boulder (w/Jacked Jameson). Boulder caught Bowens on his shoulders and then Bowens when he jumped from the ropes. Boulder performed a Samoan Drop and fallaway slam combo move on both men heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Caster avoided Bronson diving at him from the ropes and made the hot tag. Bowens got the better of both opponents. Boulder tagged in and tossed Bowens into the air and let him hit the mat. The Savages slammed Bowens to the mat. Boulder went for the cover, but Caster broke it up.
Riccaboni finally mentioned the presence of Jameson at ringside (unless I missed something earlier). Boulder put Bronson in the electric chair position,. Caster knocked them over with a missile dropkick. Caster performed a Death Valley Driver on Boulder. Bowens knocked Jameson off the apron. Caster and Bowens performed Scissor Me Timbers on Bronson and then hit both opponents with double Fameassers before Caster pinned Bronson…
“The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens beat “Iron Savages” Bear Bronson and Beefcake Boulder in 8:45.
After the match, Bowens held Bull Gunn’s boots and played to the crowd. Caster said the best two man team in the sport returned “because The Acclaimed is back.” He said they would be on Wednesday’s Dynamite. Caster said Gunn would always be with them in spirit as they go back to the top of the tag team division.
Bowens said that he and Caster got to say goodbye last week, but the fans didn’t get to do the same. He encouraged the fans to make the scissors hand sign and then said they loved Gunn and everyone loves The Acclaimed…
Powell’s POV: The Acclaimed continue to be really over. I actually enjoy them more as a tag team without Gunn, but they are doing a good job of building up to Gunn’s eventual return.
Lexi Nair interviewed “Bullet Club Gold” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn in the backstage area. White said they are the most elite version of Bullet Club ever. He said others call themselves The Elite and they don’t have the right do do that. He said others call themselves the best brother tag team and they have no right. The Gunns said they will be on Dynamite on Wednesday and said the Young Bucks shouldn’t bring superkicks to a gun fight…
The broadcast team hyped the main event and said the women’s tag team match would be up after the break… [C]
A video package aired on MJF and Adam Cole and pushed their AEW World Championship match for All In…
Willow Nightingale made her entrance. TBS Champion Kris Statlander’s entrance was up next and included pyro. Nightingale hugged Statlander at ringside. Mercedes Martinez and Diamante came out together..
2. Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale vs. Mercedes Martinez and Diamante. A graphic listed Samoa Joe as being in action later in the show. Martinez tied up Willow in the awful Paradise Lock that Sanada uses in NJPW. The heel duo were in offensive control heading into a PIP break. [C]
Statlander took a hot tag and threw dropkicks at both opponents. Statlander kipped up and then grabbed Diamante. Statlander had to motion and call for Martinez to get up so that she could run Diamante into her. Willow tagged in and went to the ropes. Martinez shoved Statlander into the corner, which sent Willow crashing to the floor.
Both babyfaces ended up at ringside and then Martinez tossed Diamante onto them. Back in the ring, Willow put Martinez down with a Pounce. Diamante dropped an F-Bomb, which McGuinness acknowledged by saying “Strong words from Diamante.” In the end, Willow hoisted up Martinez for a move, but Martinez slipped out and rolled her up and then Diamante pushed her feet into her partner’s back to provide leverage while she got the pin…
Mercedes Martinez and Diamante defeated Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale in 8:45.
Powell’s POV: The referee had to work hard to avoid seeing Diamante. I like that the heel duo went over because both babyfaces need meaningful opponents.
Toni Storm was interviewed by Nair on the backstage interview set said she seemed to be out of sorts. Storm demanded respect and conceded that it’s been horrible without her AEW World Championship. She said she was feeling a little better now that Saraya would be in the four-way match for the AEW Women’s Championship at All In.
Storm said it didn’t matter if Britt Baker or The Bunny qualified for the match, they’re all backstabbing little girls. Nair brought up Hikaru Shida qualifying for the match and having beaten Storm for the title. Storm got upset and declared that the interview was over…
3. ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe vs. Andrew Everett in a non-title match. Joe’s entrance was televised while Everett was already in the ring. Riccaboni explained Everett’s gimmick that he believes he’s 7’4″. Everett didn’t really work the gimmick and instead performed a springboard onto the match and followed with a flip only to be turned inside out by Joe, who then applied the Koquina Clutch for the win.
ROH TV Champion Samoa Joe defeated Andrew Everett in 1:25 in a non-title match.
Riccaboni said that Everett is an international star and said that Joe beat him in about two minutes. Joe took the mic and said he came looking for an answer regarding the challenge he made to CM Punk last week. Joe said the “Real World Champion” was acting like a real bitch. Joe said he gave Punk the courtesy of asking and the mercy of letting him know what would happen. Joe said he started by asking Punk and would now convince him…
Powell’s POV: They really need to get the broadcast team a spotter. Last week, Riccaboni put over Joe’s win over Serpentico as a Collision record for quickest match, yet nobody bothered to tell him how brief it actually was. And now tonight he put over Joe’s win and said it actually went over 30 seconds longer than it did. It’s not a big deal, but if they want the show to feel more sports-like, then they should have someone track those details and share it with the broadcast team. Anyway, another dominant win for Joe. I hope Joe’s threat is not as simple as him costing Punk the main event tonight.
The broadcast team spoke about the All In card at ringside…
TNT Champion Luchasaurus and Christian Cage made their entrance. As usual, Cage had the belt draped over his shoulder. Cage took inbreeding jabs at the North Carolina crowd and then said the state is known for being second best.
Cage said Michael Jordan is the second greatest basketball player behind LeBron James, and Ric Flair is the second greatest wrestler behind Cage himself. Cage turned his focus to Darby Allin and said he would never get his hands on the TNT Title again.
[Hour Two] “That’s about enough,” Arn Anderson said before walking onto the stage with his son Brock Anderson. Arn told the Greensboro fans to take a bow and said they were on hollowed grounds in Horsemen Country.
Arn labeled Luchasaurus a “sea monster” and pointed out that Cage is not actually the champion. Cage recalled saying there were no more open challenges. He said he be willing to make an exception for Arn, who said he would have done it and taken the title twenty years ago. Arn sent Brock to the ring and then a match just started out of nowhere.
4. Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage) vs. Brock Anderson (w/Arn Anderson) for the TNT Title. Riccaboni said that Tony Khan (drink) just informed him that it was officially a TNT Title match (why?). Luchasaurus dominated Brock heading into a PIP break. [C]
Brock hit Luchasaurus with several punches and then running forearms that didn’t take him off his feet. Luchasaurus chokeslammed Brock and then picked him up and delivered a shot to the back of his head before pinning him.
Luchasaurus defeated Brock Anderson in 5:25 to retain the TNT Title.
After the match, Dary Allin ran in with a skateboard. Cage avoided Allin, who ended up double stomping the back of a standing Luchasaurus with his skateboard. Allin played up the idea of Luchasaurus being a dinosaur who has been around for 65 billion years. He asked if he ever had a skateboard up his ass during that entire time. Allin challenged Cage to face him on next week’s show. Cage accepted the match…
Riccaboni hyped a Powerhouse Hobbs promo for after a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: The match was fine with Luchasaurus dominating Brock before pinning him, but the way they got to it was confusing. Most of the talk was focused on Cage and Arn, and I’m still not sure why it was a title match.
Powerhouse Hobbs was introduced by Schiavone, who was standing in the middle of the ring. Hobbs had his book with him again. Once Hobbs was in the ring, Schiavone recalled QT Marshall and Harley Cameron giving Hobbs a gold chain, which Hobbs was wearing, only to have Hobbs walk out on them.
Hobbs spoke about All Out. He said he went back to the Bay Area and found the one thing that allows him to inflict violence – the Book of Hobbs. He said he doesn’t want anyone’s help. He said the next chapter of his book is labeled redemption. He questioned how he was supposed to redeem himself after losing the TNT Title and in the Owen Hart tournament. Hobbs said that he needed to call out The Redeemer.
Miro came out and had some pyro flares when he jumped on the stage. Miro headed toward the ring. Nick Comoroto and Aaron Solo attacked Miro from behind while Hobbs watched from the ring. Comoroto and Solo rolled Miro in the ring and then then followed him. Miro cleared Comoroto and Solo from the ring, but then Hobbs put him down with a spinebuster. Hobbs dropped his book on Miro’s chest…
Powell’s POV: The Hobbs promo wasn’t very good, but I’m all for the hoss fight that he and Miro will apparently have at All Out. The less that QTV has to do with it the better. If Hobbs needs the book for violence, why he did he leave it with Miro? I’m not big on that part of his gimmick either. Less is more. Hobbs doesn’t need QTV or a book.
The broadcast team ran through the AEW Dynamite lineup and added the Young Bucks vs. The Gunns. They also announced Darby Allin vs. Christian Cage, and Diamante vs. Willow Nightingale for next week’s AEW Collision. Finally, they ran through the All In lineup…
Jim Ross made his entrance to the Oklahoma Fight Song. Riccaboni thanked Ross for making it to the show while adding that he went through travel nightmares. Ross laughed and said he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. House of Black made their entrance… [C]
Powell’s POV: The lack of build for the main event is disappointing. The brief clip from CM Punk and FTR at the top of the show was the only promo time it received. They never sold us on what the AEW Trios Titles mean to the challengers or how the teams feel about one another.
FTR made their entrance and stopped on the stage. CM Punk made his entrance to a more favorable reaction than usual, but there was a “CM Punk Is Boring” sign in the second row opposite the hard camera…
5. “House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews (w/Julia Hart) vs. CM Punk and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler for the AEW Trios Titles. Ring announcer Dasha delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. There was a chant for Punk followed by some boos.
The three challengers were unable to knock King off his feet. FTR cleared him from the ring with a double dropkick, but he still landed on his feet. King wanted to charge right back to the ring, but Black stopped him. Black tagged himself in while Punk was in the ring, which got a rise out of the crowd.
Punk ended up ducking Black’s knockout kick and sat crosslegged in the process. Black looked at him and then joined him in sitting down crosslegged and glared at Punk. The teammates all entered the ring. Punk and Black stood up and then all six man brawled going into a PIP break. [C]
Harwood was isolated and eventually put Black down with a DDT. Punk took a hot tag and had a nice run of offense on Matthews, including a high knee in the corner. Punk said something to Hart and then went for a bulldog, but Matthews stuffed it.
A short time later, Punk had Matthews down and went up top. Hart climbed on the apron and distracted the referee while Black shoved Punk down. King tagged in and hit Punk with a cannonball in the corner. Punk was down at ringside head into a break. [C]
Punk was isolated throughout the break. Punk eventually caught Matthews with a GTS, but Punk was too weak to make the cover and Matthews rolled to the floor. Punk tagged in Wheeler, who was unable to take King off his feet. Black ran in and took a powerslam from Wheeler, who then mounted King in the corner and threw punches at him.
FTR performed double clotheslines on Black and then King to send them both to ringside. FTR launched Matthews onto King, which finally took him off his feet. Wheeler dove onto the heels. Back in the ring, Wheeler performed a bulldog from the top rope on King and got a near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.
Ross called it a great six-man tag main event “or a trios match if you prefer” (he was right the first time, but that’s just me). King regrouped, but Harwood cut him off as he was going up top. Harwood worked over King with Punches, but King shoved him back into the ring.
King slowly stood up on the top rope, but Harwood recovered and crotched him. Punk tagged in before the FTR duo performed a double superplex on King. Punk followed it with a top rope elbow drop for a good near fall. The challengers went for a Shatter Machine on King, but Punk and Harwood couldn’t get power him up. King fought back, but they got a second try and nailed the Shatter Machine.
Moments later, Punk took out Black with a suicide dive. Harwood performed a top rope headbutt on King for a near fall. Samoa Joe showed up and put Punk in a rear naked choke at ringside. Hart was on the apron distracting the referee. Harwood approached Hart. The production crew missed King putting Harwood down with a lariat and then cut to King pinning him..
“House of Black” Malakai Black, Brody King, and Buddy Matthews defeated CM Punk and “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler in 27:00 to retain the AEW Trios Titles.
They replayed highlights of the conclusion of the match, including the latest big missed spot by the AEW production team. House of Black stood in the ring while McGuinness paid tribute to the Greensboro Coliseum, and then Riccaboni closed the show with a plug for the Fight For The Fallen week of programming and his “Happy Wrestling” line…
Powell’s POV: Good work from both teams. The Joe interference felt predictable, but at least it didn’t cause the actual pin. I’m sure it’s not an easy job, but the AEW production crew continues to miss key moments.
Overall, the main event pushed the show over the top. It wasn’t all bad or anything, but a lot of it felt missable until the show closing match. Will Pruett will be by on Sunday with his weekly AEW Collision audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Fantasy Football draft season is here! If you need a great website to host your league, search no further than MyFantasyLeague.com.