By Don Murphy, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@DonThePredictor)
AEW Collision (Episode 24)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at Petersen Events Center
Aired live November 25, 2023 on TNT
The show began with the classic “Saturday Night’s Main Event” style promos featuring Eddie Kingston, Brody King and Daniel Garcia.
[Hour One] The Collision opening aired and pyro shot off from the stage… Tony Schiavone, Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness checked in on commentary and recapped the rules and brackets for the Continental Classic… Ring announcer Dasha delivered the introductions for the opening match…
1. Claudio Castagnoli vs. Daniel Garcia in a Continental Classic Blue League tournament match. Garcia danced his way to the ring. So far, this doesn’t match his serious promo on Rampage but let’s see how he works once the match starts. Castagnoli starts off with a shoulder block and tilt a whirl back breaker for a near fall. Castagnoli followed up with a body slam. Garcia kicked Castagnoli out of the corner and applied a guillotine with a body scissors which Castagnoli turned into a vertical suplex.
Garcia hit a series of chops and Castagnoli responded with a European upper cut. Castagnoli continued the offense in the corner. Garcia fought back and managed to get Castagnoli onto the apron where he applied a sleeper hold. Garcia knocked Castagnoli to the floor and did his dance in the ring.
Garcia continued the attack on the floor, dropkicking Castagnoli into the ringside barrier. Garcia ran at Castagnoli again but was caught in a giant swing and slammed into the ringside barrier. The show went to it first picture-in-picture break. [C]
After the break, Garcia was fighting out of a reverse chin lock. After a series of punches and kicks, Garcia re-applied the guillotine and body scissors. Garcia then applied a rear naked choke but Castagnoli backed him into the corner. Garcia rolled up Castagnoli for a near fall before applying an ankle lock. Castagnoli kicked away and Garcia rolled him up for a near fall.
Castagnoli rebounded with a lariat and hit a series of European upper cuts in the corner. Castagnoli hit a short arm lariat for a near fall before hitting a series of elbow strikes. Garcia rolled up Castagnoli for another near fall before Castagnoli applied the sharp shooter. Garcia reversed the hold into a small package for a near fall.
Castagnoli turned a back drop into a European upper cut for another near fall. Garcia became fired up but was knocked down with another European upper cut followed by a power bomb for the pin.
Claudio Castagnoli defeated Daniel Garcia in about 10:00 to earn three points in the Continental Classic tournament.
After the match, Wheeler Yuta came out to congratulate Castagnoli and pose with the Continental Classic Championship…
Don’s Take: Aside from that one brief dance, Garcia wrestled a more serious match which helps match his earlier promo. I like this kind of storytelling and it will be interesting to see how he rebounds. I’m not a fan of another title, but also wouldn’t be surprised if the winner is presented with it and then it’s never seen again.
Eddie Kingston cut a promo backstage about the tournament and its importance. He talked about his two championships and how he’s putting them up in this tournament.
Don’s Take: Huh? So his tournament matches are also title matches? Not sure that’s correct, but we’ll see.
2. Killswitch vs. “The Boys” Brandon Tate and Trent Tate. This was a complete squash match. Killswitch hit Brandon Tate with two chokeslams, with the second one being over the top rope and onto the floor. He then hit Trent Tate with a lariat to the back of the head for the pin.
Killswitch defeated “The Boys” Brandon Tate and Trent Tate in about 1:00.
After the match, Killswitch choke slammed Trent Tate onto a chair. He then went to double choke slam them both but Adam Copeland ran out behind Killswitch and hit him with a chair repeatedly. Copeland reverted to the spot he did in WWE, breaking off the bottom of the chair and pulling back on the neck with the bar in Killswitch’s mouth. He then hit Killswitch with a “conchairto”. Killswitch started to pull himself up but Copeland put him back down with a curb stomp on the chair.
Don’s Take: I would have liked to have seen Killswitch be presented as more dominant for a few weeks before Copeland put him down. It was cool to see him fight his way back from the “Conchairto” but I feel like this storyline is being rushed a bit. It was cool at least that Nick Wayne wasn’t there as a way to sell Wednesday’s attack. [C]
Lexy Nair attempted to interview Adam Copeland but Copeland ushered her away. Copeland said that what happened to Nick Wayne and Killswitch was on Christian Cage’s head. He said that Christian tried to push him and finally succeeded when he said he would break his neck and put him in a wheelchair. Copeland told Christian to ask Wayne and Killswitch what happens when he snaps. He vowed to take the TNT Championship from Christian as it means the most to him. Copeland added that the title was secondary to him. He challenged Christian to a match on the December 6th Dynamite from Montreal, Canada.
Don’s Take: I assume this will be more of an angle than a match. Perhaps this is where Shayna Wayne aligns with Christian, setting up the real showdown at the “World’s End” pay-per-view. This was a good promo but I probably would have stopped short of saying that the TNT Championship was secondary.
3. “The House of Black” Malakai Black and Buddy Matthews vs. Komander and Gravity (w/Alex Abrahantes). Komander and Matthews started off. Before calling the match, the announcers recapped Adam Copeland’s attack on Killswitch and hyped the December 6th match with Christian. Gravity ducked several moves and hit a snap German suplex. Matthews responded with a boot to the head and tagged in Black. Black started with some knee strikes but Gravity fought out and tagged Komander.
Komander got some offense in but Black responded with a boot and a German suplex for a near fall. The show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
After the break, Matthews had the advantage on Komander. Eventually, Komander was able to make the hot tag to Gravity who cleaned house on both heels for a while until Matthews slammed Gravity into Black’s knee. Gravity was able to tag in Komander who continued the offense.
Komander hit a spinning DDT on Matthews and a gut buster on Black for a near fall. Komander attempted a dive from the top rope but Matthews distracted him allowing Black to kick him.
All four men are in the ring as Black and Gravity botched a vertical suplex attempt. The House of Black ended up on the floor. Gravity attempted a dive but was caught. Komander ran the ropes from one side to the other to dive onto Matthews and Black.
Back in the ring, Komander and Gravity dove from the top rope but both Matthews and Black got the knees up. Matthews and Black hit a double knee strike on Gravity while Black guided Komander into a curb stomp from Matthews for the win.
“The House of Black” Malakai Black and Buddy Matthews defeated Komander and Gravity in about 11:00.
Don’s Take: A good match and I’m interested to see what’s next for the House of Black after being unsuccessful in winning the AEW Tag Team Titles.
Action Andretti and Darius Martin started to cut a promo until it was cut off by a commercial. They brought the promo back in time as Darius was reintroducing his brother Dante. [C]
4. Julia Hart vs. Lady Frost in a no-count-outs match for the TBS Championship. The match included some back-and-forth action before it spilled to the floor with Hart taking over on offense, including a lariat onto Frost while Frost was seated on a chair. Back in the ring, Hart applied her choke out submission for the win.
Julia Hart defeated Lady Frost in about 3:00 to retain the TBS Championship.
Don’s Take: A nice showcase win for the new champion.
Lexy Nair interviewed Don Callis and Powerhouse Hobbs. Callis spoke about Hobbs putting Paul Wight through the windshield of a car. Callis pivoted to wondering how Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho received an AEW Tag Team title shot because Hobbs broke them before. He added that Hobbs is a one-man team and can beat them both. Hobbs added, “I’m big. I’m black. And I’m jacked. And anybody can get it”…
[Hour Two] Entrances for the tag team match took place…
5. “FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler vs. “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch. Vincent started out on offense over Wheeler. Harwood tagged in and they hit a double team move on Vincent for a near fall. Vincent regained the advantage and tagged in Dutch who blocked a hip toss and hit a lariat.
Dutch missed a charge in the corner and Harwood looked like he was supposed to DDT Dutch but the spot appeared to be botched. Dutch slapped on a bear hug. Harwood fought out of it and clotheslined Dutch over the top rope and the backdropped Vincent onto Dutch on the floor. The show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
After the break, the Righteous continued to work over Harwood with double team moves. Dutch missed a senton from the second rope and Harwood made the hot tag to Wheeler.
Wheeler cleaned house for a bit and went for a roll-up on Vincent who had tagged Dutch. Dutch hit Wheeler with a sidewalk slam for a near fall. Vincent went for a sliced bread and Wheeler dropkicked Dutch out of the ring. Wheeler tagged in Harwood and the pair hit their “Big Rig” finisher on Vincent for the win.
“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler defeated “The Righteous” Vincent and Dutch in about 9:00.
After the match, Buddy Matthews and Malakai Black came out through one of the crowd entrances and said FTR would not be saved. Not by “Cesaro.” Not by Yuta and not by CM Punk. He added that AEW is not the brotherhood that FTR thinks it is. The lights went out and when they came back on, FTR looked confused in the ring.
Don’s Take: I was excited to see the Righteous get paired up with Jake Roberts but it appears as that may have been scrapped which is a shame. Another decent yet meaningless match. Interesting mention of Punk here. It’s also interesting that Black used Castagnoli’s WWE name. Nothing will likely come of this. [C]
They re-aired the Action Andretti, Dante Martin and Darius Martin promo that was cut off earlier…
They showed Ricky Starks and Big Bill attacking Chris Jericho after the Full Gear media scrum…
Tony Schiavone conducted an in-ring interview with AEW Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill. Tony asked Starks to explain their attack on Jericho. Starks said he thought it would be more of a fight, but Bill didn’t even lose his glasses. He said he’s not surprised that the “cloud vampire” is back to fight him now that he is a champion, and he brought a friend.
Bill said they call themselves the “Golden Jets” but they look more like the “Golden Girls.” Starks said that Omega and Jericho know each other well, while Starks and Bill do not. Starks asked Bill if he knew when his birthday was, which Bill did not. He said neither Jericho nor Omega were built like Bill.
Bill then cut a babyface promo and said that when he was having alcohol withdrawal-related seizures, couldn’t get out of bed and no one believed in him, he always knew he would make it back to the top. He got emotional as he said this. He put Jericho and Omega as two of the best performers today, but they’re not as angry and motivated as Starks and Bill.
Bill said that they wouldn’t just beat them, they would embarrass them. He compared them to Jordan and Pippen and said that Omega and Jericho were like the guys who handed Jordan his “Bazooka Joe” bubble gum. Starks said when they meet, Jericho and Omega will find out that Starks likes his bubble gum minty fresh and Bill likes his Big Red.
Don’s Take: A bit long and too many basketball references. And after this, I’m not sure who I am supposed to root for; however, as Bill and I graduated from the same high school, I’m always pulling for him and really happy for the turnaround he’s made.
A video recapped the Continental Classic matches that took place on Dynamite.
6. Keith Lee vs. Lee Moriarity. Moriarity started with some quick offense until Lee hit the Pounce. The show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]
Lee dropped Moriarity with a lariat. Moriarity hit a bulldog for a near fall. Lee blocked one kick but caught another. Moriarity attempted a dive but was met by a headbutt followed by a fireman’s carry into a power slam for the win.
Keith Lee defeated Lee Moriarity in about 7:00.
Don’s Take: There was a time when I was looking forward to a Keith Lee/Shane Taylor showdown but they’ve slowed this down so much, it’s really lost its luster. Also, the following Continental Classic Gold League matches have been announced for Dynamite: Mark Briscoe vs. Rush; Jay White vs. Swerve Strickland; and Jon Moxley vs. Jay Lethal [C]
Lexy Nair interviewed with Keith Lee, who put over Lee Moriarity. But Lee said he was tired of being looked over and is ready to take “him”…
Don’s Take: See above comment.
7. Brody King vs. Eddie Kingston in a Continental Classic Blue League tournament match. The two exchanged shoulder blocks and chops. King took over and splashed Kingston in the corner followed by a cannonball. King knocked Kingston to the floor and took over on offense by standing on his head and ramming him into the steps. King missed a charge and crashed into the stairs himself. King rebounded and hit Kingston with a cross body into the ringside barrier.
In the ring, King maintained the offense for the next several minutes as the show went into its final picture-in-picture break. [C]
After the break, King stayed on the attack. King missed a charge in the corner as Kingston took King down with a lariat. Kingston hit a running clothesline in the corner and a series of chops. King hit a German suplex. Kingston hit his hurricane backhand for a near fall.
The two exchanged chops as Kingston took his straps down. Kingston hit a DDT for a near fall. King blocked a piledriver and backdropped Kingston. Kingston ran at King and was met with a side slam. Kingston hit an exploder suplex and a half-and-half suplex, followed by a side suplex for a close near fall.
Brody responded with a piledriver for a near fall but Kingston’s foot was under the bottom rope. King hit a series of forearms as Kingston challenged him to bring it. Kingston hit another hurricane backhand but King quickly caught him in a power bomb for the win.
Brody King defeated Eddie Kingston in about 17:00 to earn three points in the Continental Classic tournament.
King celebrated the win as the show went off the air.
Don’s Take: That was great! For all that we’ve said about Tony Khan overusing tournaments, this one is going to be memorable if we’re going to get matches like this. I still hope they come up with a better prize than a title belt that we’ll forget about in two months. But this will help fill TV time nicely over the next month.
A solid edition of Collision and with these advertised tournament matches, I’ll be interested to see how the show fares in the ratings against WWE Survivor Series and college football. If they do better than they have in the last couple of weeks, call it a win. It’s been fun all and I’ll check in again next week on Rampage! Jason Powell is filling in for Will Pruett on the Collision/Rampage combo audio review and will be by late tonight or Sunday morning for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).