By John Moore, ProWrestling.net Staffer (@liljohnm)
AEW Collision (Episode 17)
Salt Lake City, Utah at Maverik Center
Aired live October 7, 2023 on TNT
[Hour One] The show started off with the usual teaser hype promos. This time by Bryan Danielson, Kyle Fletcher, Ricky Starks, Big Bill, Eddie Kingston, and FTR all staking their claims and hyping their upcoming matches. The Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting theme aired…
Ian Riccaboni and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary. Dasha Gonzalez was the ring announcer…
Entrances for the opening match took place…
1. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. Ricky Starks and Big Bill for the AEW Tag Team Championships. Starks jumped the gun by tossing Dax Harwood around and knocking Cash Wheeler off the apron. Starks got a two count after a Tornado DDT. Dax managed to backdrop Starks and work on him with chops. Big Bill tagged in and staggered Dax with a right hand, followed by a lariat to dump Dax to ringside. Big Bill cleared the announce table while both FTR members were writhing in pain.
Big Bill choke slammed Wheeler through the table. Bill tossed Harwood back in the ring. Harwood dodged Bill’s Stinger Splash and knocked Starks off the apron. Wheeler dodged another Bill Stinger Splash. Bill blocked a Sharpshooter and nailed Harwood with a Mafia Kick. Bill hit Harwood with a chokeslam. Starks ordered Bill to give Harwood another chokeslam, which Bill did.
Bill was about to go for the pin, but Starks ordered for another pin. Bill hit Harwood with a third chokeslam. Starks asked for one more. Bill gave Dax a uppercut. Starks tagged in and gave Dax a rev’d up Spear for the win.
Ricky Starks and Big Bill defeated FTR via pinfall in 4:42 to become the new AEW Tag Team Champions.
Starks and Bill celebrated their win with Starks mockingly putting his boot on Dax’s chest while posing. Nigel reminded the viewers that FTR were injured coming into the match and covered in kinesio tape…
Highlights from Powerhouse Hobbs joining the Callis Family this past Wednesday aired. Ian Riccaboni hyped up Powerhouse Hobbs vs. Chris Jericho for Title Tuesday this upcoming Tuesday…
John’s Thoughts: Great and hot start to Collision this week with a newsworthy title change. Kinesio is a decent visual out for wrestlers as long as it isn’t overused. I’m a huge fan of having Ricky Starks and Bill Morrissey steamroll the credible FTR and not have FTR have a valiant effort. Putting the heels over strong should be a priority to build up teams in AEW’s rebuilding tag division. Here’s hoping they put some effort into building Starks and Bill as credible champs while they have the straps.
Bryan Danielson made his entrance first. Kyle Fletcher then made his entrance…
2. Bryan Danielson vs. Kyle Fletcher. Bryan started the match with his usual technical wrestling. Fletcher got to his feet and came back with a shoulder tackle. Both men felt each other out for a bit of the beginning of the match. Fletcher gave Bryan a loud chop in the corner. Bryan got to his feet and took down Fletcher with a running knee to the gut. Danielson used a fishook to put Fletcher in a Surfboard. Danielson worked on Fletcher with elbows and a PK for a nearfall.
Danielson went for some joint manipulation. Fletcher got out, but ate a front kick from Bryan. Fletcher recovered and dumped Danielson to ringside with a jump thrust kick. Fletcher hit Danielson with a suicide dive (that sailed mostly over Bryan). The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Fletcher hit Danielson with chained shortarm body slams. Danielson escaped a third bodyslam and took out Fletcher with a flying lariat. Danielson hit Fletcher with Yes Kicks. Fletcher kicked out at two after the Buzzsaw Kick. Danielson shook up Fletcher with alternating chops and Muay Thai roundhouse kicks. Danielson hit Fletcher with a Frankensteiner. Danielson hit Fletcher with a few hesitation dropkicks in the corner.
Fletcher no sold one dropkick and gave Danielson a Yakuza Kick and Brainbuster for a nearfall. Danielson tried to escape the corner but ate a superkick from Fletcher. Danielson avoided a dropkick in the corner to cause Fletcher to hurt his knee, dropkicking the buckle. Daniel tangled Kyle’s leg on the 2nd rope and gave Fletcher alternating chops and kicks. Danielson reversed a kick into the Ankle Lock.
Danielson hit Fletcher with a bridged German for a nearfall. Fletcher got a standing switch on Bryan. Fletcher fought through elbows to hit Bryan with a Half and Half Suplex. Fletcher and Danielson took their time to get to their feet. Fletcher hit Danielson in the back of the neck with a leg lariat. Danielson escaped a power slam attempt. Fletcher reversed a Knee Plus into a Michinoku Driver for a two count.
Fletcher dug in a Dragon Sleeper DDT on Danielson. Danielson got a foot on the rope to break the hold. Fletcher dragged Danielson to the top rope and gave him elbows to the neck. Fletcher hit Danielson with a Super Reverse Suplex into a Dragon Sleeper. Danielson rolled up Fletcher for the win.
Bryan Danielson defeated Kyle Fletcher via pinfall in 16:02.
The Gates of Agony ran out to beat down Danielson. Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli ran out to clear the heels from the ring. Claudio was about to give Khun a Giant Swing, but Toa Liona and Prince Nana dragged Kaun to ringside to retreat. The commentary team hyped Swerve Strickland vs. Bryan Danielson in a number one contenders match for the TNA title on Title Tuesday…
The commentary team hyped Bang Bang Gang vs. Gran Metalik, Gravity, and Angelico for after the break…[c]
John’s Thoughts: Great match to go out of your way to see. Danielson continues to be very selfless in helping singles wrestlers reach that next level. Aussie Open is a great tag team (and even better ever since they started appearing less with Will Osprey); but Kyle Fletcher has some real potential as a singles wrestler. The guy’s in his early 20s so there’s always time for him to have strong runs as both a singles and tag guy. I just don’t want to see them break up Aussie Open too soon because they are a nice change-of-pace tag team duo.
Nigel McGuinness and Ian Riccaboni checked in from the broken announce table that was broken in the opening match. Ian sent the show to Tony Schiavone who interviewed the new tag team champions Big Bill and Ricky Starks. Bill talked about whooping the asses of the best tag team in the world. He talked about how he and Ricky walk and act like stars, and now the tag division is represented by stars.
Ricky said that FTR aren’t getting any rematch. Ricky said that they are the real faces of collision. He said that when you think of him and Bill, you better of think of them with respect. He said he and Bill are the top dogs on Collision…
Entrances for the next match took place. Gravity continues to crack me up by slow moon walking to the ring like a dork. Austin Gunn also couldn’t help but mock Gravity’s dorky moon walk…
1. “Bullet Club Gold” Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn vs. Angelico, Gran Metalik, and Gravity (w/Serpentico). Austin gave Gravity a right hand while mocking Gravity’s moon walk thing. Gravity came back with a few armdrags. Gravity moonwalked to tag in Metalik. Robinson also tagged in and chest bumped Metalik. Metalik did a backflip into a back kick and right hand. Metalik caught Juice with a boot and Slingblade Bulldog for a two count. Angelico tagged in and worked on Juice with a wristhold.
Gravity tagged in and gave Juice a double stomp onto Juice’s trapped elbow. Juice slammed Gravity to the mat and tagged in Colten, who hit Gravity with a dropkick. Colten worked on Gravity with forearms heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Juice pumped his arm like Moose, except the fans chanted “Juice”. Juice punched Gravity to the mat. Austin then hit Gravity with Road Dogg punches. Colten tagged in and struggled to get Gravity to his feet. Gravity rolled up Colten for a two count. Angelico tagged in and cleaned house off the hot tag. Angelico hit Juice with a handstand kick. Angelioc put Colten in an Indian Deathlock while also putting Austin in an abdominal stretch.
Juice broke up both submissions with a sidestep punch. Juice dragged Gravity to ringside and tossed him to the barricade. Metalik caught both Gunns with a crossbody. Metalik hit Colten with a tightrope springboard rana. The Gun hit Metalik wiht the 310 to Yuma. Juice hit Metalik with a reverse DDT for the win.
Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn defeated Metalik, Angelico, and Gravity via pinfall in 9:34.
Jay White took the mic and said they were missing someone for their celebration, their Jay White cutout. They dragged the cutout to the ring. White hyped up the Bang Bang Gang being in the house while also joking about jacking MJF’s AEW world title. White then addressed MJF, which drew MJF chants from the crowd. White said that AEW needs an elite champion, and that’s not Max. White said he’s here with the world title, and where is Max? Maybe nursing his or Adam’s wounds back at home?
White said he expected MJF to at least try to get his belt back because it means the most to him. White said a champion needs challengers. White challenged Hangman Adam Page on title tuesday in a “non-title match”. White jokingly said it’ll be an “eliminator” match, because that’s what they call non-title matches in AEW. White said MJF can sit back and relax because Jay White does it better than Max and everyone knows it. White ended the promo by saying he has two words for MJF, Guns Up…
John’s Thoughts: Bang Bang Gang’s the team getting a push, but there was enough talent on the luchador side to make this match a fun watch even though the outcome wasn’t in question. The fodder babyfaces were good opponents to allow Bullet Club Gold to showcase their over-the-top personalities. I do respect that they are still trying to create a bit of uniqueness in Collision. Jay White gets mic time and character development. Ricky Starks earlier got a chance to make Collision seem like his home.
A Nick Wayne promo package aired. Wayne talked about how Darby Allin abandoned him on the indies and he was just making up for lost time by joining Darby’s worst enemy. Wayne said Christian was the father figure he always needed while Darby abandoned him…
Ian Riccaboni hyped The Acclaimed being in action after the break…[c]
[Hour Two] A replay aired of Adam Copeland and Christian’s segment from this past Wednesday aired. The commentary team then hyped Adam Copeland appearing on Collision as well as on Tuesday for his debut match against
The Iron Savages and Jacked Jameson made their entrance. One of the savage guys talked about how they were all ready to flex, fight, and eat dat ass. The Acclaimed and Daddy Ass made their entrance. Caster’s rap included references to dick girth, Mormons, pink eye, and how everyone loves the acclaimed. Anthony Bowens did his usual Scissoring bit. Billy Gunn then pointed out that they’ve been tag team champions for 41 days. Ian Riccaboni cut in by wishing his wife a happy anniversary…
3. “The Acclaimed” Max Cater, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn vs. “The Iron Savages” Bronson, Boulder, and Jacked Jameson for the AEW Trios Championships. Billy Gunn started the match by slowly taking off his shirt. Bronson worked on Gunn with right hands and a shoulder tackle. Bronson worked on Gunn with methodical offense. Gunn recovered and hit Bronson with a shoulder tackle. Bowens tagged in and hit Bronson with an assisted scissors elbow for a two count.
Bowens and Bronson traded Boo Yay punches with Bowens winning that battle. Jameson got a two count after a Bronson senton. The show cut to picture-in-picture.[c]
Bowens caught Jameson with an enzuigiri. Bronson cut Bowens off at the pass. Boulder hit Bowens with a bodyslam. Boulder knocked Gunn off the apron. Boulder did a few hip swivels. Bowens avoided Boulder’s moonsault to get a window of opportunity. Caster and Jameson tagged in with Caster having the hot hand. Caster hit Bronson with a Death Valley Driver. Caster caught Boulder with a superkick and showed great strength by hitting the large Boulder with a Death Valley Driver.
Caster hit Jameson with a diving cross body block for a nearfall. Caster fended off Bear Country with strikes. The Iron Savages gave Caster a double chokeslam. Bowens and Gunn broke up Jameson’s pin. Boulder went for a double suplex on Gunn and Caster, but they reversed it and hit Boulder with a suplex. Gunn told him to suck it and did the motion. Bowens hit Boulder with Scissor Me Timbers. Bowens hit Jameson with a body slam. Caster hit Jameson wiht an elbow drop for the win.
The Acclaimed defeated The Iron Savages via pinfall in 9:46 to retain the AEW Trios Championships.
A black and white vignette aired for The Timeless Toni Storm. It included footage of her acting dramatic as well as from her interviews with RJ City. Tony Storm will appear after the break…
John’s Thoughts: Good fodder match for the Acclaimed. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but the Acclaimed don’t seem as red hot as they were a few months ago (I was at a Dynamite show and Revolution PPV where they were red hot and selling out those foam scissors). Again, the Trios titles feel vestigial at this point and only dilute their potential strong tag division. The Iron Savage tag team are a good tag team to have around. They’re too jobberiffic to take seriously, but sometimes you need some jobberiffic teams there to fumble and bumble to the real heroes.
A Shane Taylor and Keith Lee promo package aired where both men took turns talking about their history together. Taylor talked about how they used to be a tag team. Lee talked about how he helped Taylor feed his family in their team. Taylor said it pisses him off that people see Lee as the better one of the duo. Lee ended the segment by saying that he applauds Taylor’s confidence and arrogance, but it will be his undoing…
Toni Storm made her 1920s style starlet entrance. Toni handed movie scripts to the crowd and announce team. Kiera Hogan made her entrance next…
4. “The Timeless” Toni Storm vs. Kiera Hogan. Toni handed Kiera a script. Kiera ripped up the script to draw boos. This fired up Toni who came back with a lariat and boots. Kiera escaped the corner and laid a slap on Toni’s face. Kiera gave Tony a drop toehold and hip attack on the 2nd rope. Kiera gave Toni a superkick. Toni came back by slamming Kiera to the mat. Toni dragged Kiera by the hair and tossed her around the ring.
Kiera recovered and hit Toni with a high cross body block. Toni gave Kiera a drop toehold into the bottom buckle. Toni then dumped Kiera to ringside wit a hip attack. Toni said “we’ll be right back, stay tuned” to send the show into picture-in-picture.
Kiera sent Toni into the corner and gave her a hip attack followed by a baseball slide boot. Storm kicked out at two. Toni recovered and gave Kiera a spinebuster for a nearfall. Toni got in the ref’s face and said “how dare you” very slow and dramatically. Kiera hit Storm with a kick and step up leg drop for a nearfall. Toni turned the tables and munched on Kiera’s ass a bit (as Nigel put it). Toni did her frame pose and hit Kiera with a Hip attack and Storm Zero for the win.
Toni Storm defeated Kiera Hogan via pinfall in 8:29.
Ian Riccaboni wondered if there was some sort of ghost possessing Toni Storm since this is not the same Toni Storm that was AEW Champion?
John’s Thoughts: As much as I say that Kiera Hogan is one of the most underrated talents on the AEW roster, Toni Storm definitely should be the person who has the spotlight now. She’s one of the arguably hottest acts in all of pro wrestling with a Broken Matt Hardy level-esque transformation. She’s one of the beneficiaries of Collision being a thing. On Dynamite, they only give the women a scarce TV time. Collision allows women like Toni, Skye Blue, Julia Hart, and others, to get breathing room and time to develop top level wrestling characters. Hopefully Tony Khan sees the value of the women he has on the roster and maybe at least give them one more segment on Dynamite to try to pop ratings?
Renee Paquette interviewed Ruby Soho about not winning a number one contenders match recently. Ruby said she had Hikaru Shida pinned, and it was Shida’s fault for hitting the referee. She said she’ll be at ringside cheering Saraya on. Renee said she was informed that Ruby was banned from ringside. Ruby ranted a bit but said she’s cool as a cucumber. She said there’s a reason Saraya is champion, because she’s the most dominant force in the ring and she’ll defeat Shida on Tuesday…
The commentary team hyped Eddie Kingston vs. Komander for the ROH Championship after the break…[c]
Jim Ross joined the commentary team for the next match…
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me? Or does Eddie Kingston’s theme sound like a tribute to DMX’s Slippin’ song? I digress.
5. Eddie Kingston vs. Komander for the Ring of Honor World Championship. Eddie dominated the early collar and elbow. Komander came back with an armdrag. Komander continued with another armdrag and pose sequence. Eddie slowly walked away to avoid a ringside dive. Komander put Eddie in an Octopus Hold. Eddie fell to the ground with the submission still locked in. Eddie broke the hold with a bottom rope break. Eddie sent Komander to the corner and followed up with machine gun chops heading into picture-in-picture.[c]
Komander rallied with a strike combo and hit Eddie with a springboard corkscrew crossbody for a nearfall. Komander hit Eddie with a spin kick and standing Shooting Star for a nearfall. Komander sent Eddie to ringside with a baseball slide and hit Eddie with a Flip Dive from the apron, over the ringpost. Ian noted that Komander usually does a tightrope at that spot. Komander caught Eddie with a 450 in the ring for a nearfall.
Eddie tripped up Komander and gave Komander a chop on the top rope. Eddie and Komander traded chops, forearms, and headbutts on the top rope. Komander hit Eddie with a Superplex reversal for a nearfall. Eddie caught Komander with a Uranage for a nearfall. Eddie hit Komander with a shortarm lariat for a two count. Komander reversed a Northern Lights into a Tornado DDT for a nearfall. When Eddie got to his feet, he hit Komander with a Spinning Backfist for the win.
Eddie Kingston defeated Komander via pinfall in 10:01 to retain the Ring of Honor World Championship.
Per the Code of Honor, both men shared a handshake after the match…
John’s Thoughts: Even though Komander never wins anything of importance (I’m surprised he won a number one contenders match) the guy is entertaining enough to exist for the sole purpose of solid exhibition matches. Whenever they decide to push the guy, hopefully he gets a character repackage because Komander as Komander has taken way to many losses on TV. Good stuff though. Eddie continues to shine with his ode to All Japan while also making his opponents look strong against him.
The commentary team ran through the advertised matches for AEW’s Title Tuesday Dynamite (going head to head with NXT this upcoming Tuesday). They also ran through advertised matches for next week’s Collision and Rampage…
Jim Ross hyped up Adam Copeland appearing after the announcements…
Adam Copeland made his entrance to his Metalingus theme. Copeland entered the ring for a promo. He said before he speaks, he wants to point out JR on the announce table. He noted that JR signed Copeland to his first wrestling contract and helped him pay off his college debt. Copeland said he’s forever indebted to JR. JR nodded in acknowledgement. Copeland said if you saw this past Dynamite, things didn’t go exactly to plan.
Copeland said he doesn’t get it because him coming to AEW was primarily to team with his old buddy Christian Cage. Copeland said it may sound like a fairy tale, but he was told that he couldn’t wrestle again. He said he’s still here and standing in an AEW ring through hard work and a lot of persistence. He said Christian was also told the same thing for seven years, and is in AEW with Adam in the same situation. Copeland said it has always been the plan to reunite, but after a while Christian got colder, stopped taking phone calls.
Copeland said he agrees that Christian is a dick, but he loves Christian as a best friend for 40 years. Copeland said Christian is in his bond villain phase, which must make Nick Wayne the villain’s Persian cat that he rubs. A Persian cat chant ensued. Copeland said if they chant that in front of Nick Wayne, Copeland will smile. Copeland said he’s out here for answers to find out what’s going on. He said he’s highly confused and wants Christian to come out to confront him and tell him what’s up.
Copeland waited for Christian to come out, but Christian instead responded on the big screen. Christian said Adam has been here a week and accomplished nothing. Christian said as AEW TNT Champion, he’ll do as he pleases. He said he’ll give Copeland his answer on Tuesday at Dynamite. Christian said he’ll make it to Tuesday, but will Copeland? Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne made their entrance.
Wayne and Luchasaurus flanked Copeland from opposite sides. Copeland tackled Luchasaurus off the apron and gave Wayne an Edgeucution DDT. Copeland went for a Spear on Wayne, but Luchasaurus intercepted Copeland and gave him a Chokeslam. Luchasaurus gave Copeland a Northern Lariat to the back of the neck. Luchasaurus dragged chairs to the ring and put one under Copeland’s head. Darby Allin’s entrance theme played to stop Luchasaurus from hitting Copeland with a Con Chair To. Darby attacked Luchasaurus in the back wiht a chair because he expected Darby to come down the ramp.
Darby hesitated hitting Nick Wayne with a chair. Darby missed a chair on Luchasaurus which allowed Wayne to hit Allin with a dropkick. Wayne slammed a chair into Darby’s right arm, Con Chair To style. The heels stood tall. Ian Riccaboni closed the show hyping up Title Tuesday…
John’s Thoughts: A good show closing angle to put heat on the heels and set up a story thead leading into Adam Copeland’s debut match on Tuesday. It never hurts to give the viewers a reason to invest in a character, especially when giving the babyface a mountain to overcome. Copeland was simple, sweet, and efficient in his words. His calling out to Jim Ross added more pathos to the segment to endear him with the crowd. Looking forward to see what Copeland brings to the table this Tuesday.
A good episode of Collision this week. AEW needs to strive for this pacing and character work for all their shows (their method of booking Dynamite only leads to quick diminishing returns if they don’t pivot away from that method). What has helped them a bit post Phil Brooks Power Hour, is that a lot of the middle of their shows aren’t just throwaway fodder matches. Yes, the winners are usually clear, but the matches are actually forwarding characters. The key here is to not drop the ball with these characters, and hopefully some of the veteran minds like Adam Copeland and Brian Danielson can help convey that to the creative team of the show.