By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Collision (Episode 16)
Seattle, Washington at Climate Pledge Arena
Aired live September 30, 2023 on TNT
[Hour One] The show opened with brief comments from the two teams in the eight-man tag team match… The Collision opening aired… Pyro shot off on the stage and then Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary…
Ring announcer Dasha handled the introductions for the opening match. Juice Robinson came out with the Gunns. Footage aired of Jay White being attacked at the end of AEW Dynamite to explain his absence. Andrade El Idolo came out alone…
1. Andrade El Idolo vs. Juice Robinson (w/Colten Gunn, Austin Gunn). Robinson got in Andrade’s face and yelled. Andrade took him down and went for a figure four, but Robinson slipped away to ringside. Andrade teased returning to the ring, but he ducked back to the floor when Robinson dove and missed. Andrade performed a crossbody block from the top rope. Andrade performed suplexes and then covered Robinson for a two count.
Andrade went up top, but Robinson ducked to ringside next to the Gunns. Andrade dropped to the second rope and then executed a moonsault onto the heels. Robinson returned to the ring. The Gunns held Andrade and then Robinson knocked him off the apron. Colten took cheap shots while Robinson distracted the referee.
Back in the ring, Robinson performed a senton on Andrade and got a two count. Robinson was in offensive control heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C] Andrade came back and executed some dragon screw leg whips.
CJ (f/k/a Lana) was shown watching the match on a backstage television while taking notes on her phone.
Andrade performed moonsault and landed on his feet and then went for a standing moonsault, but Robinson put his knees up. Robinson knocked Andrade down with a kick and then got a two count. Andrade came right back and charged at Robinson in the corner, but Robinson pulled the referee in front of him, which stopped Andrade. Robinson poked Andrade in the eyes and then powerbombed him for a two count.
Robinson went up top and performed a crossbody block. Andrade rolled through and went for Robinson’s legs, but Robinson countered in an inside cradle for a two count. Andrade fired up and put Robinson down and then set up for the figure four, Colten distracted the ref while Austin entered the ring. The ref caught Austin and ejected both Gunns from ringside.
Robinson took advantage of the distraction and rolled up Andrade for a two count. Andrade blasted him with a spinning back elbow for a near fall. Andrade put Robinson down with his hammerlock finisher and scored the clean pin…
Andrade El Idolo defeated Juice Robinson in 13:20.
Powell’s POV: A strong opening match. The outcome was never in question aside form the possibility of the Gunns cheating, but both wrestlers worked hard and came through with an enjoyable performance.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho on the backstage set and noted that they would team together for the first time. Jericho said it was a big deal because AEW was founded on their rivalry. Jericho said they have to figure out if they can coexist. Omega said it’s not about going for the tag titles.
Omega said he doesn’t like Jericho and never will, but he said that the Don Callis Family is bigger than what they have. Omega said he would have Jericho’s back and asked if Jericho would have his. Jericho said he would and said they would take out their opponents tonight and at WrestleDream… [C]
The second part of RJ City’s interview with Toni Storm aired. She took his hand and delivered a speech that concluded with her saying that if the world forgot what a star looks like, then chin up, tits out, and she would remind them. Storm looked down and realized she was holding City’s hand and accused him of flirting with her. City denied her claim and then a graphic listed the interview as “to be continued” again…
Entrances for the Best Friends vs. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett match took place. Rocky Romero walked onto the stage with Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor, but he headed backstage while they went to the ring. Taven and Bennett tried to attack the Best Friends from behind, but they saw them coming and shut that down.
2. “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor vs. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. The action spilled over to ringside. Beretta charged Bennett, who sidestepped him and ran him into the barricade. Taylor superkicked Taven and then charged Bennett, who tripped him so that he landed face first on a chair heading into a PIP break. [C]
Taylor ran Taven into the ring steps. Bennett dropped Taylor and then moved the ring steps. Bennett brought Beretta onto the ring steps and wanted to give him a piledriver, but Beretta countered into a Death Valley Driver on the steps. “That man has children,” McGuinness said. Back in the ring, the Best Friends performed a flying knee version of a Doomsday Device. Rather than go for the pin, they hugged.
Taven returned to the ring, but the Best Friends performed a double piledriver, which only led to a two count when Bennett put his foot on the ropes. Bennett punched Beretta in the weiner while the referee was distracted. Bennett did the same to Taylor and then he and Taven executed a spike piledriver on Taylor, which led to Bennett scoring the pin.
Matt Taven and Mike Bennett defeated “Best Friends” Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor in 9:05.
After the match, Bennett took the mic and spoke about weiner punches and piledrivers. Taven said they had to go. Taven said they were going right back to Roderick Strong. They had their luggage with them. Taven said that he knows Adam Cole delayed his surgery. He said that if they mean anything to Cole, he should meet them at Strong’s house. Taven said they were just six hours away from Strong and told him to stay neck strong…
Powell’s POV: There’s even a weiner punch t-shirt! A good match, but AEW continues to book too many finishes that make their referees look incompetent.
Alex Marvez stood backstage and said one of his sources told him that Prince Nana was right around the corner. Marvez found Nana speaking with Don Callis, who walked away when he saw Marvez. Nana said once the Gates of Agony get through with Omega and Jericho, they would be in the money… [C]
A video package aired on Julia Hart lying with a collection of white masks and then walking through the woods where masks hung. She mentioned being reborn and then footage aired of her feud with Kris Statlander… Hart and Brody King made their entrance while Hart’s opponent was already inside the ring…
3. Julia Hart (w/Brody King) vs. Vertvixen. Vertvixen received a nice reaction from the live crowd. Hart dominated the majority of the match and won with a top rope moonsault.
Julia Hart defeated Vertvixen in 2:45.
After the match, Hart called out Kris Statlander, who headed to the ring with Trent Beretta, Chuck Taylor, and Rocky Romero. Once everyone was in the ring, Hart and Statlander had their allies leave the ring. Statlander fired up and then Hart smiled at her and exited the ring. Statlander took the mic and said Hart could run tonight, but on Sunday she’ll be in the ring with “the defeater of the undefeated”…
Powell’s POV: Vertvixen (or Vert Vixen) is an standout on the indies and the women’s champion of the Seattle based Defy promotion, so that’s why she received the nice reaction from the crowd. It’s a shame that Vertvixen didn’t get a chance to be in a more competitive match, but Hart had to go over strong in this once since she’s challenging for the TBS Championship on Sunday.
Kevin Kelly set up a video package on one of Antonio Inoki’s prized pupils Josh Barnett. It was actually a video package on Barnett and Claudio Castagnoli, who will meet on the Zero Hour pre-show…
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega made separate entrances. Gates of Agony followed…
4. Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega vs. “Gates of Agony” Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun (w/Prince Nana). No Swerve theme, no Nana dance. Sigh. Jericho started the match and played to the crowd, which responded with loud cheers. Jericho threw chops at Liona, who no-sold them and then dropped Jericho to his knees with one of his own.
[Hour Two] Liona continued to no-sell until Omega clotheslined him over the top rope. Omega performed a top rope crossbody block onto Liona. Omega tried to follow up with a suplex, but Liona stuffed it. Jericho ran in and kicked Liona before then executing a double suplex with Omega. Jericho and Omega smiled at one another and then bumped fists.
Nana grabbed the foot of Omega to stop him from running the ropes. Liona shoulder blocked Omega, who accidentally knocked Jericho off the apron. The heels isolated Omega. Kaun caught him with a Backstabber and then Liona dropped an elbow on Omega and covered him for a two count heading into a PIP break. [C]
Jericho eventually took a hot tag and knocked Liona off the apron before working over Kaun. Jericho hit a Lionsault and the live crowd popped big. Jericho went for the Walls of Jericho, but Kaun avoided it. Jericho went for the Judas Effect, but Kaun ducked it and Liona returned to drop Jericho with a discus lariat. Kaun followed up with a lung blower and had the pin until Omega broke it up.
A short time later, Jericho knocked Liona off the apron with a springboard dropkick. Kaun rolled up Jericho for a two count. Jericho hit the Codebreaker on Liona. Omega blasted Kaun with a V-Trigger knee and then ran the ropes and executed a flip dive on Liona. Jericho put Kaun in the Walls of Jericho and got the submission win.
Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega defeated “Gates of Agony” Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun in 11:50.
Omega and Jericho shook hands afterward. Jericho took the mic and said that they proved they can coexist. Omega said it’s not to be the greatest tag team in AEW history. He said it’s bigger than them, it’s about Don Callis. Omega said he was brainwashed and blinded by Callis. Omega said he’s seen the light and all it took was for Callis to spend $30,000 to take a flight to Japan to hurt the ones he loves. Omega spoke of ending Callis at the pay-per-view.
Jericho spoke about facing Konosuke Takeshita, Will Ospreay, and Sammy Guevara. Jericho received a line from his “Judas” song and said that Guevara is the ultimate Judas and called him a little bastard. Jericho recalled Guevara referring to himself as the hero and calling Jericho the villain. “You’re damn right I’m the villain,” Jericho said. He said the villain would take out all of his frustrations from teaming with Guevara out on him at WrestleDream…
Powell’s POV: Omega appeared to come up a little short on the flip dive, but he seemed to be okay afterward. Hopefully the same can be said for Liona, whose foot easily could have been pinned under Omega in an awkward position. The live crowd was hot for both babyfaces, but Jericho in particular was extremely over.
“The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch were featured in another outdoor vignette. Vincent said they would rip apart the bond that holds MJF and Adam Cole together by taking the ROH Tag Titles… [C]
A video package aired on the Christian Cage vs. Darby Allin match for the TNT Championship. He said he wanted to be in the main event for so long, but a voice in his head always said he didn’t deserve any of it. He said the only time he felt validated was when he won the TNT Championship. Footage aired of Christian Cage’s comments from their sit-down interview on AEW Dynamite…
“The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch made their entrance. Vincent came out using crutches before dropping them and doing his usual dance. Their opponents were already inside the ring…
5. “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch vs. Travis Williams and Judas Icarus. The Righteous dominated the match. Dutch put Icarus down with a Blackhole Slam. Vincent followed up with an assisted cutter on Icarus and then pinned him.
“The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch defeated Travis Williams and Judas Icarus in 1:50.
Vincent took the mic after the match and leaned on Dutch while he spoke. Vincent told Dutch to look at all of the paper people who were strung together. He said they were the same people who truly believe that MJF is the devil. Vincent said MJF is the devil. Vincent referred to Adam Cole as a liar.
Vincent said that not only would The Righteous become ROH Tag Team Champions, they would make sure that the devil leaves with one hoof, just like his brochaco. Dutch headed to ringside and pulled a piece of wood out from underneath the ring. Dutch placed the wood between the feet of Icarus and then Vincent slammed a chair on his foot…
Powell’s POV: The squash match that it needed to be with The Righteous facing MJF in a handicap match at WrestleDream. The Vincent promo was greeted with lout “shut the f— up” chants from the crowd. Vincent actually did the same ankle breaking spot on Mike Bennett while forcing Matt Taven to watch while he was having a blood feud with Taven in ROH.
A video package aired on the Eddie Kingston vs. Katsuyori Shibata match at WrestleDream… [C] The broadcast team touted the WrestleDream Zero Hour pre-show. It’s actually a 90-minute show, so I guess it’s Zero Hour And A Half? Weird…
Tony Schiavone held a mic backstage while TMDK members Shane Haste, Mikey Nicolls, and Bad Dude Tito spoke. Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens showed up and spoke about the teams meeting on the pre-show. Bowens did the “everyone loves The Acclaimed” bit. Once Gunn and The Acclaimed left, Haste did an intentionally corny rap and one of his teammates told him that he was making them look like nerds…
Powell’s POV: Yes he did. Why?
The broadcast team ran through the WrestleDream pre-show… Kelly hyped the eight-man tag match main event. Zack Sabre Jr. made his entrance to sit in on commentary for the main event. Jim Ross had already joined the broadcast table…
The broadcast team ran through the WrestleDream pre-show… Kelly hyped the eight-man tag match main event. Zack Sabre Jr. made his entrance to sit in on commentary for the main event. Jim Ross had already joined the broadcast table… Entrances for the main event followed. Bryan Danielson and Wheeler Yuta came out last. Danielson received the big home area ovation…
6. Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler vs. Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis in an eight-man tag match. Harwood ended up down on the floor. The heels put the boots to him. Harwood’s partners ran over and referee Aubrey Edwards tried to keep the teams apart heading into a PIP break. [C] The heels ended up isolating Yuta heading into the final break. [C]
Starks and Yuta collided while going for simultaneous running crossbody blocks. Danielson waited on the apron while Kelly noted that he had yet to enter the match. Yuta made the hot tag. Danielson dropkicked two men off the apron and then worked over Starks with chops and kicks. Sabre acted unimpressed while sarcastically saying he’d never seen this before.
Danielson sent Starks to the floor and then hit him with a suicide dive. Danielson rolled Starks back inside the ring and then performed a missile dropkick from the top rope. Danielson followed up with two dropkicks in the corner. Danielson went for a third, but Starks cut him off with a clothesline. Starks executed a tornado DDT and then tagged out.
Big Bill entered the ring and taunted the crowd with “yes” arm gestures before flipping them off. Bill reached down to grab Danielson, who took him to the mat and applied a submission hold that was broken up by one of the heels. All eight men ended up in the ring and the babyfaces all threw simultaneous kicks at the kneeling heels.
Danielson and Wheeler held up Bill while Yuta hit him with a missile dropkick. Harwood followed up with a top rope headbutt and went for the pin, but the other heels broke it up. Most of the wrestlers brawled to ringside, leaving Harwood and Bill in the ring. Bill charged at Harwood, who moved, causing Bill to go over the turnbuckle and have his head hit the ring post.
Bill recovered quickly and grabbed Harwood by the throat and then tagged in Starks. Bill chokeslammed Harwood while Starks simultaneously speared him. Starks covered Harwood and Wheeler was late to break up the pin.
Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Kyle Fletcher, and Mark Davis defeated Bryan Danielson, Wheeler Yuta, Dax Harwood, and Cash Wheeler in 19:45.
After the match, the two teams continued to brawl. Danielson put Bill down with a running knee strike. Yuta dove onto Starks at ringside and threw punches at him. Danielson pointed at Sabre, who removed his headset and joined Danielson in the ring. Sabre went face to face with Danielson and they jawed at one another. Sabre shoved Danielson and then slapped him. Sabre pointed at his chin. Danielson slapped Sabre, who smiled and then grabbed Danielson by the throat. Danielson grabbed Sabre’s arm and tried to take him down, but Sabre quickly fled the ring. Kelly hyped WrestleDream as the start of a new era and said you’ll never forget it…
Powell’s POV: They are doubling down on the new era talk. I hope whatever they have in mind lives up to the hype. The main event was well worked, but they deflated the surprised live crowd by having the heels go over.
Overall, a good in-ring heavy episode, though I would have enjoyed a little more mic work heading into the pay-per-view even though we got a lot of it on Dynamite. Will Pruett will be by late tonight or on Sunday morning with his weekly audio review of Collision for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let us know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Stop back on Sunday for my live review of AEW WrestleDream.