By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
AEW Collision (Episode 11)
Taped August 23, 2023 in Duluth, Georgia at Gas South Arena
Aired August 26, 2023 on TNT
[Hour One] The Collison opening aired. Kevin Kelly and Caprice Coleman were on commentary. Caprice, filling in for Nigel McGuinness. Dasha Gonzalez was the ring announcer…
FTW Champion Jack Perry made his entrance. He had four extras carry out the FTW belt on a platform like it was at a funeral service. The ring was set up to look like a funeral for the FTW title. Perry soaked in “You suck” chants for a bit. He took the mic and said these things are never easy. Perry said that as the greatest FTW champion in history he felt obligated to say nice words about the title.
Perry said it was a good title that was misunderstood at times. He said the title has grown near and dear to his heart because when people look up the history of the FTW title, his face will be next to it. Perry told the production truck to air a montage of all the “good times” of the FTW title. A slideshow aired of Jack Perry spending everyday moments with the title belt. Doing things like hanging out at the pool, hanging out in the neighborhood, and even taking a shower.
Perry said it was time to send the FTW title to a better place. Perry grabbed a sledgehammer from under the table. The lights went out. A video aired of Hook doing pullups on a street light. Hook said he’ll be returning to take what’s his. Back at the arena. Hook was already behind Perry. Hook tossed Perry around the in-ring funeral set. Hook set up a table in the corner and gave Perry a T-Bone Suplex through it. Hook laid the FTW title over the unconscious Perry. Hook took the mic and simply said “Wembley… Sunday…”. The hyped up the Jack Perry vs. Jack Perry for All In…
A recap package aired to recap the Adam Cole and MJF bromance saga, leading to their two matches at All In…
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective segment to quickly set up the Hook vs. Perry match at Wembley. I would prefer more meaningful builds, but Hook’s character being a simple and effective badass works with the simple build. Perry continues to show growth as a talker. He’s not totally primetime yet, but as a heel he’s able to develop by getting out of his comfort zone. By the way, I’m filling in for Jason Powell on live coverage this week.
The babyfaces got a televised entrance. The heels were already in the ring. For some reason they took a lot of time before the bell for Pentagon to do his Cero Miedo things…
1. Orange Cassidy, Penta El Cero Miedo (w/Alex Abrahantes), and Eddie Kingston vs. The Butcher, The Blade, and Kip Sabian (w/The Bunny, Penelope Ford). The brawl spilled to outside. Butcher and Blade took down Kingston with a double team lariat. Pentagon kicked Butcher into the corner and gave Blade a Death Valley Driver into him. Sabian pulled Penta crotch first into the ringpost. Sabian and Orange traded rollups. Orange took a boot and double team sidewalk slam from Butcher and Blade.
Kip got a two count. Both Kip and Orange traded quick counters. Kip hit Orange with an inverted cannonball. Blade tagged in and hit Orange with a Lightning Spiral. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Back from the break, the heels cut the ring in half on Orange, also making sure to trip the babyfaces from the apron. Orange managed to fend off the heels and bring in Pentagon for the hot tag. Penta gave out slingblades. Pentagon hit Kip with a Canadian Destroyer. Butcher asked for it and got it. Kingston tagged in. Eddie and Butcher canceled each other out with lariats. Butcher called for a power bomb, but ate an enzuigiri.
Eddie gave Kip a series of elbows and a corner lariat. Eddie gave Kip and Blade Machine Gun Chops in the corner. Kip Sabian was swarmed. Eddie gave Kip an Exploder. Pentagon gave Kip a Michinoku Driver. Orange gave Kip an Orange Punch during the driver. Kingston gave Kip a sliding lariat for the win.
Eddie Kingston, Orange Cassidy, and Penta El Cero Miedo defeated Kip Sabian, The Butcher, and The Blade via pinfall in 9:38.
The commentary team hyped up Stadium Stampede for All In…[c]
John’s Thoughts: A good match to showcase some of the babyfaces in the Stadium Stampede match. Not a huge fan of the “already in the ring” approach by the heels, as it allows the viewers to tune away since they know the match is a foregone conclusion. Butcher, Blade, and Kip are glorified enhancement, which added more to the feeling that this was a miscible match.
Chuck Taylor and Trent Barretta joined the babyfaces from the prior match. The best friends called out Blackpool Combat Club for breaking Trent’s mom’s van. Trent said that at Stadium Stampede, they aren’t going to hug and have fun. Trent said their team is coming to hurt the BCC and are doing it for “Sue”. Eddie teased a promo, but Orange Cassidy took the mic from him. Before he could speak, The Blackpool Combat Club, Santana, and Ortiz appeared on teh big screen.
Jon Moxley talked about how Eddie made the Stadium Stampede challenge and gave BCC a choice of any tag partners. Santana said he’s gone through a year of pain, struggle, and trouble. He said that allowed him to see who was real or not. Santana said it all culminates at Wembley Stadium. Eddie Kingston exited the ring and marched to the back while Claudio started to speak. Claudio talked about how Eddie Kingston betrays everyone, and might even betray his current team.
Claudio said Eddie is a hypocrite that blames everyone else but himself. Ortiz said a wise man once said you reap what you sow. The camera cut to Eddie Kingston looking for the BCC backstage. He was tossing around backstage equipment. Eddie then got up to the camera and said that he’s not surprised that Santana and Ortiz turned to the dark side. He said that’s not going to change the fact that he’s going to gut them and watch them die.
Eddie asked Mox to get out of his way. He said that Mox as a beautiful wife and child at home. Eddie said he’s going to bury Yuta. Eddie then said that Claudio is his sweetheart and he’s going to burn and scar Claudio. Eddie kissed the camera and walked off…
John’s Thoughts: There were no bad performances here but it felt a bit crowded due to all the players in Stadium Stampede. Part of what hurt the segment is the fact that they had to reshuffle things, thus leading to an extremely underwhelming return of the old LAX duo (who are money on the mic when you give them time). The best promo from all the players here was Eddie Kingston once he went backstage and was able to put a target on each of his Stadium Stampede opponents. It also reminds viewers that he has a soft spot for Jon Moxley.
The show cut to sitdown interviews with FTR and the Young Bucks. The first part was The Bucks talking about how Cody Rhodes came up with the FTR name which stood for “F*ck The Revival”. Dax talked about how that annoyed him. Dax talked about how FTR being the best tag team in the world bothers the Bucks. Both teams went on to sell their upcoming match at Wembley as huge…
Entrances for the next match took place. Kevin Kelly made sure to plug the early start time of All In due to it being in London…
2. “The Dark Order” Alex Reynolds and John Silver vs. Darius Martin and Action Andretti. Silver and Action started the match with chain wrestling. Silver managed to send Action into the corner to bring in Reynolds to dominate Action. Action managed to get in Darius. Darius and Action gave Reynolds alternating strikes. They gave Reynolds a double suplex and gave Silver stereo dropkicks.
Silver managed to blind tag in so he could power bomb Action onto the knees of Reynolds for the two count. Silver and Reynolds used quick tags to maintain a numbers advantage over Action.[c]
Action managed to use a judo roll to tag in Darius. Darius rallied with right hands on both opponents. Darius hit both opponents with DDTs at the same time. Darius got a two count off Reynolds. Action tagged in and helped knock down both opponents. Darius gave Reynolds a Brainbuster. Action gave Reynolds a Slingshot 450.
Silver broke up Action’s pin. Silver took down both opponents with kicks. Action came back with a kick on Silver. Reynolds popped up Action into Silver’s uppercut. Darius tried to fend off the Dark ORder with right hands and corner splashes. Slver and Reynolds caught Darius with alternating strikes. Silver hit Darius with a German Suplex which allowed Reynolds to hit him with a Jackknife Pin for the win.
The Dark Order defeated Darius Martin and Action Andretti via pinfall in 8:36.
John’s Thoughts: Well wrestled match, but this was ten or so minutes that could have been used to hype up All In on Sunday. Strange to put a random Ring of Honor match here. They could have cancelled this match and found a way to make the previous Stadium Stampede promo seem less compacted.
The show cut to Lexi Nair interviewing Nick Wayne and Darby Allin about his thoughts on Christian Cage daring Wayne not to come to All In. AR Fox cut in and apologized to Nick Wayne. He said it took him 16 years to make it to AEW. Fox said he panicked because he thought everyone lost faith in him after he lost to Orange Cassidy.
He said he lost his father too. Fox held out his hand for a handshake, to say he has Wayne’s back, but Wayne walked past him. Darby accepted the handshake and said he understands that Fox is sorry…
The show cut to a skit and rap video featuring The Acclaimed training with Daddy Ass Billy Gunn. This was to hype their match against House of Black on Sunday…[c]
A hype video aired for the Women’s Championship Fatal Four Way title match on Sunday
Big Bill got a televised entrance. Enhancement victim, Vary Morales, was already in the ring…
3. Big Bill (w/Ricky Starks) vs. Vary Morales. Morales tried to start quick out the gate, but quickly got dragged into a press slam by Big Bill. Bill swung Vary around by the hair. Bill hit Vary with a Stinger Splash. Big Bill floored Vary with a Big Boot. Big Bill hit Vary with a delayed Chokeslam for the victory.
Big Bill defeated Vary Morales via pinfall in 1:39.
Ricky Starks mocked Vary by saying that Vary reminds him of a young Ricky Steamboat, and he’s about to do the same thing he did to Steamboat. Ricky hit Vary a few times with the belt. He said he’s not feeling it now and next week he’ll have a bigger strap.
Ricky said for now “this will do pig”. Ricky continued to whip Vary with the belt. The refs ran off to shoo off Ricky and Bill. Ricky mocked the referees before leaving…
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective match to give Big Bill a win and Starks more heat. I hope this means that Big Bill is in line for a big push after these fodder wins, but unfortunately I think they’re just setting up Big Bill to be a gatekeeper for CM Punk to get to Ricky Starks.
Lexi Nair interviewed Ruby Soho about crossing paths with TBS Champion Kris Statlander. Soho got in the camera and talked about how she challenged Statlander to a match at All Out next week. Ruby ended her promo by saying Kris says she’s more than a woman, but she’ll always be less than an Outcast…
[Hour Two] Willow Nightingale got a televised entrance. Coleman did a good freestyle rap to Willow’s theme. The Renegade Twins were already at the ring with Robyn being the one wrestling…
4. Willow Nightingale vs. Robyn Renegade (w/Charlotte Renegade). Robyn managed to give Willow a headlock and noogie. Willow powered out. Robyn gave Willow a drop toehold into the 2nd buckle. Willow took down Robyn with an elbow and basement crossbody for a nearfall. Willow hit Robyn with Two of Three Amigos. Willow recovered and hit Robyn with a Fisherman Suplex for a two count.
Robyn tried to stall at ringside. Willow gave Charlotte a PK from the apron. Robyn tripped up Willow on the apron. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Willow rallied with axe handles strikes and corner moves. Willow planted Robyn with a spinebuster for a two count. Mercedes Martinez and Diamante were watching the match from the back. Willow missed a corner cannonball. Robyn hit Willow with a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Robyn sent Willow to ringside with a Yakuza Kick.
Charlotte teased hitting Willow with a double team suplex for some reason. Willow hit both twins with a suplex at the same time. Willow hit Robyn with the Doctor Bomb for the win.
Willow Nightingale defeated Robyn Renegade via pinfall in 8:35.
An All In plug aired, focusing on the media attention AEW is getting in the UK…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Again, good match, but AEW has two PPVs coming up with two consecutive weeks. Does AEW have time to put filler matches on Collision or Dynamite. Dynamite was very good and efficient this week at hype. Why are we getting Collision-verse matches on Collision (not any PPV hype?). It also doesn’t help that the viewer is encouraged that this match is meaningless due to the “already in the ring” treatment of the enhancement fodder. The jobber from the Big Bill match was the one where “already in the ring” makes sense. By the way? Why isn’t Willow Nightingale on the All In card? She’s so charismatic and I can see her firing up that huge stadium crowd.
A hype package aired to hype Miro vs. Powerhouse Hobbs at All Out…
Lexi Nair interviewed Kris Statlander about Ruby Soho’s challenge. Kris talked about how she’s sick of the Outcasts. She said they are acting like children. She said if Ruby is going to act like a child, mama’s going to treat her like one. Kris said she’s going to put Ruby in time out. Kris said she’s sick of being stepped on and disrespected. Kris accepted Ruby’s challenge for All Out…
Keith Lee got a televised entrance. Zicky Dice was already in the ring…
5. Keith Lee vs. Zicky Dice. Dice did a hip swivel. Lee led the crowd in a “Bask in his glory” chant. Dice yelled that he’s “Outlandish”. Keith came at Dice with a stiff lariat. Dice rallied back with right forearms. Lee came back with a Pounce. Lee hit Dice with the Spirit Bomb for the victory.
Keith Lee defeated Zicky Dice via pinfall in 1:35.
John’s Thoughts: Simple and effective squash. Same thing I said about the Big Bill match. This is effective character development as opposed to some of the weird filler matches they decide to throw on Collision. Hope this counts though because every time Keith Lee pops up, he randomly disappears. Meanwhile, Dice is coming fresh off his Impact Wrestling run where he was a comedy wrestler for most of his time there.
The show cut to a cinematic where Dralistico and Preston Vance had bags on their heads and were getting beat up by random thugs. They eventually got up and fought off the thugs. A person was shown clapping in the distance (presumably Jose the Assistant). A “To Be Continued” graphic aired…
Ring of Honor Champion Samoa Joe made his entrance in street clothes. Jim Ross joined the commentary team. Samoa Joe introduced himself as the King of Television. Joe talked about how he was told that if he interfered in the upcoming Collision match, he would put his All In opportunity in jeopardy. Joe talked about how being at ringside is smart since everyone can keep their eyes on him. Joe was angry at the sneak attack from Punk last week, where he was in a golden bodysuit.
Joe said he’s going to be a professional. Joe said he’s a man that’s satisfied, got what he needs, and got the match he wanted against CM Punk. Joe said he’ll hand punk the ass whooping he needs.
Kevin Kelly ran through the advertised All In card…
A hype package aired for Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk at All In…
Kevin Kelly ran through the few matches advertised for All Out…
Samoa Joe joined the commentary team. The babyfaces in the main event made their entrance…[c]
Bullet Club made their entrance first. Christian Cage was out next.
6. CM Punk, Darby Allin, Sting, and Hook vs. Jay White, Swerve Strickland, Luchasaurus (w/Christian Cage), and Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana). Strickland and Punk squared each other up early on. Punk got a hammerlock on Strickland. Strickland pressured punk to the corner to break the hold. Strickland managed to wiggle his way to a headscissors. Punk caught Strickland and went for a GTS, but Swerve escaped and tagged in White.
Punk and White took time soaking in cheers and boos. White demanded that Sting enter the ring. When Punk went for the tag, White clubbed Punk in the back. White rallied with chops. Punk came back with chops of his own. White dropkicked the calf of Punk. Punk recovered and came back with a back suplex. Hook tagged in and worked on White with gut punches. Hook used a Akido takedown on White.
Darby tagged in and continued the wrist manipulation. Punk tagged in to continue the wrist manipulation. White rolled away when Sting was about to tag in. Darby and Luchasaurus tagged in. Luchasaurus caught Darby off the springboard, but Sting blind tagged in and saved Darby. Sting and Darby gave Luchasaurus alternating corner splashes. Punk went for a Stinger Splash, but walked right into a choke. Christian tripped Punk which allowed Luchasaurus to catch Punk with a Big Boot heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
The heels cut the ring in half on CM Punk with tags. Punk got a window of opportunity after Swerve missed a double stomp. This allowed Hook to get the hot tag. Hook hit Swerve with a nice Judo toss and gut punches. Hook hit Swerve with a Northern Lights Suplex. Swerve blindsided Hook after a distraction from White. Hook was tossed into the barricade. Hook beat the ten count.
Brian Cage tagged in and put the boots to Hook. The show cut back to picture-in-picture.[c]
The heels continued to cut the ring in half on Hook. Hook hit Cage with a T Bone Suplex for a window of opportunity. Cage recovered and knocked Sting and Darby off the apron. Hook hit Cage with another Suplex. Hook gave Punk the hot tag. Leading to a mixed reaction. Punk cleaned house. Punk fed into the mixed reaction by cupping his ear. Punk took down White and Swerve with running moves.
Punk hit White with a body slam to soak more mixed reaction. Punk hit White with an elbow drop. White distracted the referee which allowed Swerve to nail Punk with a Flatliner. The wrestlers took turns hitting signature moves on each other. Once things settled a bit. Cage hit Darby with a release F5. Punk hit Cage with a GTS. Punk put Cage in the Coquina Clutch for the submission win.
CM Punk, Darby Allin, Sting, and Hook defeated Brian Cage, Jay White, Swerve Strickland, and Luchasaurus vis submission in 21:07.
Joe asked the announce team if he could attack Punk now that the match is finished. They said yes. Punk stormed the ring and worked on Punk with a flurry of strikes. Jack Perry ran out to brawl with Hook. Sting and Darby double teamed Swerve. An overall brawl ensued as the commentary team plugged All In.
Hook and Perry managed to end up in the crowd. Joe hit Punk in the head with the “Real” world title. Darby teased going after Joe, but Joe backed down up the ramp. Kevin Kelly closed the show as the show cut right into the “Countdown to All In” show…
John’s Thoughts: A good teaser match to allow some of the All In competitors to preview their All In matches. While it didn’t add layers to any of the existing feuds, it did serve as a good tease for the All In show. We needed more stuff like this tonight as opposed to some of the filler matches we got on the All In go home show tonight. Thing that stood out as a glaring positive was Samoa Joe on commentary. Joe has had his long stint as the Color voice of Raw and it showed here. That allowed him to do a good job hyping up his match against Punk.
AEW Collision continues to be a well-paced show. The format of this show would improve Dynamite by A LOT. Where Collision suffers is the weird “filler” matches we get. Last week we got matches involving Bear Country and Kevin Ku. This week we got several matches following the “already in the ring” formula. For Squashes, “Already in the ring” works. For competitive matches, it just gives the viewer an excuse to change the channel because there is no drama to the outcome. What confused me this week was they followed that flawed logic during the go home show to All In.