By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
AEW Collision (Episode 18)
Toledo, Ohio at Huntington Center
Aired live October 14, 2023 on TNT
[Hour One] The Collision opening aired… Kevin Kelly checked in on commentary and was joined by Nigel McGuinness and Tony Schiavone…
Adam Copeland made his entrance. There were two smaller screen shots, but they quickly cut to full screen each time. Copeland said Christian Cage had a lot of things to say and suspects that in his diluted mind, he actually believes them.
TNT Champion Christian Cage’s entrance theme played. A large security guard dressed in a suit walked onto the stage along with regular security guards and then Cage came out with Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne. Cage and his security crew joined Copeland inside the ring.
Cage told the crowd to shut their mouths while he conducted business. Cage sat on the top rope in a corner of the ring and claimed that his security were for Copeland’s protecting. He suggested that Copeland leave the ring. He said that if Copeland stuck around in AEW, it would be like he’s from Toledo and would be known for nothing.
Cage labeled himself the face of Warner Bros. Discovery. He said he wanted to have a straight up fight with Bryan Danielson and said that couldn’t happen if Copeland was present. Cage declared that he’s the best wrestler in the world.
Bryan Danielson walked out without entrance music and said that he spoke with Tony Khan. He said Luchasaurus and Wayne would be banned from ringside when they met for the TNT Championship.
AEW Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill made their entrance to Starks’ theme. Starks asked if he was seeing a remake of Wild Hogs. He said everyone in the ring was taking up time that belonged to him and Bill.
Starks told Cage that he respects him and then entered the ring while Bill remained on the floor. Starks stood behind the security guard and told Copeland not to look at him with his bug eyes.
Copeland mocked Starks’ silk slacks. Starks said Copeland didn’t bring his fashion sense from the other place. Copeland said Starks took his fashion sense from The Rock and called him a vanilla midget version of him.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance and headed to the ring. Wheeler recalled AEW’s medical team telling them they didn’t have to wrestle last week because they were banged up. Wheeler said they chose to wrestle and it was the wrong choice.
Wheeler said they would work their way up and earn their rematch. Harwood emphasized that he and Wheeler were banged up last week, but he said everyone in the building is banged up.
Danielson suggested that he and Cage have their match, which the broadcast team said was slotted for the main event. Cage shoved one of the security guards forward and then fled the ring while a brawl broke out. The babyfaces cleared the heels and most of the security guards from the ring.
Danielson put the lone remaining security guard in the LeBell Lock. The guard tapped repeatedly and then acted like he passed out before Danielson finally released the hold. Copeland’s entrance theme played while the heels stood on the stage…
Powell’s POV: There was a lot of star power, but was this the shit on Ricky Starks segment? First, Copeland made him out to be a discount Rock, and then FTR cited injuries to take away from Starks and Big Bill beating them for the AEW Tag Team Titles. Meanwhile, it’s interesting that Schiavone was added to the Collision broadcast team. I’m not crazy about AEW having another three-man booth, but Kelly definitely got off to a rocky start. I enjoy Kelly’s NJPW work, so hopefully he just needs more time to settle in.
They cut to the broadcast table where Schiavone was seated between Kelly and McGuinness. Schiavone set up footage of AEW World Champion MJF taking part Stand Up To Jewish Hate event at Gillette Stadium. MJF was shown speaking with Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
They cut to MJF by himself and he said Kraft is “a huge MJF mark” and then he credited him with the foundation. MJF said Jewish people make up two percent of the population and yet 55 percent of religious hate crimes are against Jews…
Entrances for the ROH TV Title match took place…
1. Samoa Joe vs. Willie Mack for the ROH TV Title. Mack ducked a lariat and then put Joe down with an enzuigiri. Mack dove over the top rope onto Joe at ringside heading into the first picture-in-picture break. [C]
Mack gave Joe what appeared to be a double titty twister in the corner. Joe came back a short time later with a power slam that led to a two count. Mack caught Joe with a Stunner for a near fall.
Mack went to the ropes, but Joe cut him off and put him down with a Muscle Buster. Joe made the cover and got the clean pin…
Samoa Joe defeated Willie Mack in roughly 9:00 to retain the ROH TV Title.
Powell’s POV: Mack is a very likable babyface, but the fans in attendance opted to cheer for Joe. I hope this leads to more of Mack in AEW. He has a fun personality and never seems to have trouble getting over once audiences are familiar with him.
Lexi Nair interviewed CJ Perry on the backstage interview set. She said she came to AEW to guide people. She said she came to take gold, make champions, and to make stars. She spoke to the locker room and said that they should come find the woman who makes men. Action Andretti walked onto the set and told her that he’s just a phone call away… [C]
Powell’s POV: I assume this means Miro will destroy Andretti rather than Andretti actually joining forces with Perry.
A teaser aired for the return of Danhausen…
“Bullet Club Gold” Jay White, Juice Robinson, Austin Gunn, and Colten Gunn made their entrance. Ring announcer Dasha introduced Christopher Daniels next…
2. Juice Robinson (w/Jay White, Austin Gunn, Colten Gunn) vs. Christopher Daniels. A couple minutes into the match, Robinson dumped Daniels to ringside. White and the Gunns took cheap shots at Daniels while Robinson distracted the referee. Daniels was thrown back in the ring and hit with Robinson forearm strike heading into a PIP break. [C]
Daniels got some offense and set up for Angel’s Wings, but Robinson fought him off and dropped him with a forearm shot. Robinson followed up with a cannonball in the corner and then put him down with his finisher and scored the pin…
Juice Robinson beat Christopher Daniels in 8:25.
After the match, White got down on one knee and then opened a ring box. White put the ring on Robinson’s finger. The Gunns held up Daniels and then Robinson punched him out with the ring on his finger. An MJF chant broke out, but the broadcast team said he was not in the building.
Robinson took the mic and asked if MJF thought he was the only guy in the world who could knock a guy out with a ring on his hand. Robinson said his ring came from TJ Maxx. Robinson said he has the left hand of God and doesn’t need anything on it.
Robinson said that once he wins the Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale and then beats MJF to win the Dynamite Diamond Ring, they will take the ring to a pawn shop and go on vacation.
White took the mic and said that when MJF wonders why this is happening to him, he should blame himself. White accused MJF of jumping him from behind while wearing his devil mask. White said Robinson would take MJF’s “precious little ring” and then he will be officially crowned the AEW World Champion at Full Gear…
Powell’s POV: It looks like AEW is opting to just move on from the anti-Semetic angle. I think an apology was in order, but at least they didn’t double down on it.
A Dustin Rhodes video aired. He said he was coming home to Texas to win the Dynamite Diamond Battle Royale. Rhodes said he was also trying to fulfill a lifetime dream by becoming an AEW World Champion… [C]
Lexi Nair spoke with Nick Wayne on the backstage interview set and informed him that Jim Ross will conduct a sit-down interview with Wayne and Wayne’s mother. Wayne wasn’t pleased, but said if the world wants to know why he did what he did to Darby Allin, than his mom and the world can find out on Dynamite…
Kyle Fletcher made his entrance while his opponent was already inside the ring…
3. Kyle Fletcher vs. Boulder. The match was listed as Boulder’s singles match debut (he’s part of the Iron Savages tag team). Boulder pressed Fletcher over his head and then slammed him a minute into the match. Fletcher came back with a kick that knocked Boulder off the apron and then hit him with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Boulder stuffed a move and suplexed Fletcher.
[Hour Two] Boulder went to the ropes, but Fletcher cut him off and then powerbombed him. Fletcher threw a kick to the back of Boulder’s head and then put him in a dragon sleeper for the win.
Kyle Fletcher beat Boulder in 2:40.
Powell’s POV: Fletcher was in babyface mode by playing to the crowd during and after the match. Aussie Open are a good tag team, but Fletcher clearly has a bright future ahead of him as a singles wrestler when the time is right.
Renee Paquette interviewed AEW Trios Champions Max Caster, Anthony Bowens, and Billy Gunn and congratulated them for successfully defending their titles three times in one week. They noted that they had been champions for 48 days.
Caster said hoped MJF saw all the hard work they put in. Gunn stopped him and said he didn’t know where Caster was going with all of the MJF talk, but they needed to work on his relationship skills “because they are absolutely rotten.”
Bowens said Caster’s tweets and massaging were a bit aggressive. They dismissed Paquette momentarily and then Gunn advised him to just be nice. “So, Renee, how about those Oral Sessions?” Caster asked. Paquette called him an idiot and then asked if that was the best that Bowens and Gunn could do and then stormed away.
Daniel Garcia, Matt Mendard, Angelo Parker, and Jake Hager showed up. Parker spoke about how the scissoring was old and would end. Menard seemingly challenged them to a title match. Garcia stuck around and was about to dance, but Hager stopped him…
Powell’s POV: Why would Paquette be upset about the old name of her own podcast? Caster’s recent antics have really brought down The Acclaimed’s cool factor.
4. Kris Statlander vs. Skye Blue for the TBS Title. Both entrances were televised. Blue clotheslined Statlander over the top rope heading into a PIP break. [C] The broadcast team spoke about how Blue had changed (since being sprayed with Julia Hart’s mist).
Blue went for a crossbody block, but Statlander caught her and power slammed her. Blue came back with a kick and a knee strike. She went for a running knee strike but Statlander stuffed it. Blue rolled up Statlander for a two count and then connected with more kicks and knee strikes. Blue ran the ropes, but Statlander grabbed her and hit her Saturday Night Fever finisher and scored the pin.
Kris Statlander defeated Skye Blue in 9:10 to retain the TBS Title.
After the match, Statlander offered her hand to Blue, who slapped it away. Willow Nightingale entered the ring and indicated to Statlander that she would take care of things. Willow helped Blue to her feet and they left the ring together after Statlander had already gone backstage…
Powell’s POV: A pretty good match. I’m not into this character shifting mist, but it seems to be the only thing about House of Black that is getting television time right now.
Kyle Fletcher delivered a promo on the backstage interview set. He said he loved and missed his tag team partner Mark Davis, and then called out Kenny Omega for a match on Dynamite… [C]
A video aired of Ingobernable factio members Rush, Preston Vance, Dralistico, and Jose. There were subtitles used as one of them spoke in Spanish about how you must be ungovernable to be in the group. They drove a car and then got out. Rush said they would humiliate the weak and kick everyone’s asses…
Keith Lee made his entrance while Shane Taylor and Lee Moriarty were shown looking annoyed while watching on a backstage monitor…
5. Keith Lee vs. Turbo Floyd. Floyd’s entrance was not televised. Lee won a quick squash match using a powerbomb. Taylor and Moriarty were shown talking about Lee’s match as they watched backstage…
Keith Lee defeated Turbo Floyd in 1:10.
A Miro video aired. He said evil doesn’t tempt you in the dark. He said the pursuit of gold will make CJ more angry and vicious by the week. Miro pulled Action Andretti into the picture and threw him to the ground while saying that he would destroy every man to protect one woman…
Schiavone listed the following for AEW Dynamite: The Dynamite Dozen Battle Royale, Toni Storm’s newest film, Penta El Zero Miedo vs. Jay White, Sting addresses the fans, Kenny Omega vs. Kyle Fletcher, Jim Ross interviews Nick Wayne and his mother…
Schiavone hyped Mistico vs. Rocky Romero for AEW Rampage and then a video package aired on the match…
Kelly listed Miro vs. Action Andretti for next week’s AEW Collision…
McGuinness hyped the main event as coming up next… [C] Entrances for the TNT Title match took place. Schiavone hyped Collision followed by Battle of the Belts VIII for next Saturday…
Powell’s POV: Why do the Battle of the Belts specials always seem to be held on the same night as Impact Wrestling’s pay-per-views?
6. Christian Cage vs. Bryan Danielson for the TNT Championship. Jim Ross sat in on commentary. Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne were banned from ringside. Dasha delivered in-ring introductions for the title match and noted that there was no time limit. After some basic action, Danielson tried to hook Cage in a submission hold, but Cage escaped to ringside. [C]
Danielson went for a top rope headbutt, but Cage rolled out of the way. Danielson came up favoring his right arm, which Cage then targeted. Danielson dumped Cage to the floor and then went for a suicide dive, but Cage caught him with an uppercut from the floor.
Danielson tried to suplex Cage from the apron, but Cage held onto the ropes and then connected with a fulcrum kick. Cage slammed Danielson onto the apron. Danielson continued to sell right arm pain heading into a PIP break. [C]
Cage slammed Danielson’s bad arm on the broadcast table twice. “For the love of God, man, you’re going to break his arm,” Ross said. Schiavone assured viewers they would stick with the match as long as it took while Ross reiterated that the match didn’t have a time limit.
Cage set up for a superplex, but Danielson blocked it and hit him with several headbutts. Cage fell to the mat and then Danielson performed a top rope headbutt. Cage came up with blood on his forehead while Danielson sold his injured arm.
Danielson ran the ropes and put Cage down with a clothesline. Danielson fired up the crowd and then threw a series of kicks at Cage, who rolled out of the ring. Danielson hit him with a suicide dive.
Back in the ring, Danielson put Cage down with a missile dropkick for a near fall. A graphic listed Gunn and The Acclaimed vs. Garcia, Menard, and Parker for the AEW Trios Title for next week’s Battle of the Belts special.
Cage came back and performed a top rope frog splash for a near fall. Cage went for the Killswitch, but Danielson put his foot on his knee to stuff it and then hit him with a series of kicks. Cage ducked the grand finale kick and put Danielson down. Cage tried to spear Danielson, who cut him off and dropped him with a kick, which led to a two count.
Danielson grabbed Cage’s arms and threw kicks to his head. Danielson went for his Busaiku Knee, but Cage speared him and then hit him with the Killswitch for a close near fall. Cage went for another spear, but Danielson avoided it and then Cage crashed into the corner.
Danielson hit the Busaiko Knee and covered Cage for a good near fall. Danielson put Cage in the LeBell Lock. Cage reached the bottom rope with his foot.
[Overrun] Danielson pulled him to the middle of the ring and tried to reapply the hold, but he sold his right arm injury.
Big Bill ran out and distracted the referee while Ricky Starks ran in and hit Danielson with a title belt. Cage covered Danielson and scored the pin…
Christian Cage defeated Bryan Danielson in 25:15 to retain the TNT Championship.
After the match, Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne ran out and joined the heels in working over Danielson. Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler ran out to help. Finally, Adam Copeland joined the babyfaces and helped fight off the heels. Wayne was left behind and was speared by Copeland, whose music played to end the show…
Powell’s POV: A hot main event until the deflating interference finish. I like that Cage went back and forth with Danielson for as long as he did. It establishes that while Cage is a wormy character, he’s not just a pest heel who can’t hang with the top guys, which is a role that he has played at some points during his career.
Overall, a solid show. It was one of those episodes that was fine if you saw it and fine if you don’t in that there were was some good wrestling, particularly the main event, and yet not much in the way of big storyline developments. Will Pruett will be by with his weekly audio review for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons). Let me know what you thought of Collision by grading it below.