AEW Collision results (12/23): Powell’s live review of Bryan Danielson vs. Brody King, Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Garcia, and Andrade El Idolo vs. Claudio Castagnoli in Continental Classic matches

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

AEW Collision (Episode 28)
San Antonio, Texas at Frost Bank Center
Aired live December 23, 2023 on TNT

[Hour One] Bryan Danielson made his entrance while the broadcast team of Tony Schiavone, Kevin Kelly, and Nigel McGuinness checked in. Ring announcer Dasha introduced Claudio Castagnoli, who made his entrance…

1. Bryan Danielson vs. Claudio Castagnoli in a Continental Classic tournament blue league match. Danielson wore his eye patch. Danielson applied an early leg lock. Castagnoli monkey flipped Danielson to escape, but Danielson held onto his hands and then returned the favor.

Castagnoli backed Danielson into the corner and teased a clean break before poking his eye. Castagnoli set up for a Sharpshooter, but Danielson countered into a pin for a two count. Castagnoli fired back by turning Danielson inside out with a clothesline that led to a two count.

Kelly said Danielson needed a win or a draw to guarantee that he would advance to the semifinals. Danielson went for the LeBell Lock, but Castagnoli reached the ropes to avoid the hold. Castagnoli rolled to the floor. Danielson hit him with a dropkick through the ropes and followed up with a flying knee off the apron.

A short time later, Castagnoli performed the Giant Swing and then covered Danielson for a two count. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. Castagnoli headbutted Danielson and then clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor heading into a picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the announcement that there were five minutes remaining in the match, Castagnoli performed a superplex after some fighting on the ropes and got a near fall. The crowd chanted “fight forever.” The broadcast team noted that Castagnoli needed to win and that a draw would not help his chances of advancing in the tournament.

Castagnoli went for a Ricola Bomb, but Danielson countered into a triangle. Castagnoli powered up Danielson and performed the Neutralizer to break the hold and then covered him for another near fall. A fan held up a sign that read “Disciplinary Dragon”. Funny.

Castagnoli set up for a move that Danielson escaped. Danielson ran the ropes and hit the Busaiku Knee for a good near fall. Danielson grabbed Castagnoli’s arms and then stomped his head with kicks. Castagnoli rolled Danielson over and returned the favor.

Both men ended up on their backs and were still holding arms while they traded kicks. Castagnoli put Danielson in a Sharpshooter and then Dasha announced that there was one minute remaining in the match. Danielson reached for the ropes, but Castagnoli pulled him back to the middle of the ring.

Castagnoli released the hold with ten seconds remaining and hit Danielson with an uppercut. Castagnoli covered Danielson, who kicked out at one and then the bell rang to end the match in a draw.

Bryan Danielson fought Claudio Castagnoli to a 20:00 time limit draw.

There were more boos than cheers when Dasha announced the draw. She added that Danielson had advanced to the Blue League finals due to picking up one point via the draw. Castagnoli sat dejected in the ring while Kelly said that he had been eliminated. Castagnoli got to his knees and offered his hand to Danielson, who accepted and then they hugged…

Powell’s POV: This was a blast. The counters and overall back and forth approach made this suspenseful from start to finish. Danielson advancing to the semifinals is no surprise, so it was a good call to open the show with this match.

A video package focused on the Gold League coming down to a three-way semifinal with Jon Moxley vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Jay White… [C]

Entrances for the AEW Trios Title match took place. Max Caster rapped on his way to the ring and took jabs Greg Abbott, Dante Martin’s leg injury (he told him to break a leg), and Andretti’s career going south after his upset win over Chris Jericho…

2. Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens vs. Dante Martin, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti for the AEW Trios Titles. Kelly noted that the champions had not defended their titles in 45 days. Andretti was isolated by the champions heading into a PIP break. [C]

Dante hit a standing shooting star press on Caster and had him beat, but Gunn broke up the pin. The challengers surrounded and then attacked Gunn, which drew boos from the live crowd. The champions came back and set up for Scissor Me Timbers on Darius, but Dante and Andretti broke it up.

A short time later, Andretti performed a springboard 450 splash on Caster for a near fall. Andretti went for a shooting star press that Caster avoided. Caster rolled up Andretti and pinned him.

Billy Gunn and “The Acclaimed” Max Caster and Anthony Bowens defeated Dante Martin, Darius Martin, and Action Andretti in 9:20 to retain the AEW Trios Titles.

After the match, Dasha’s mic cut out while she tried to announce the winners of the match. In the ring, the champions and the challengers shook hands. Kelly asked if he saw Caster holding the tights while he got the pin (the camera angle didn’t show it)…

Powell’s POV: I have no idea whether Caster held the tights because they didn’t have the right camera angle to show it. While I suppose that could have been intentional, my guess is that it was a production gaffe. The match was fine, but if you want to see a reenactment of the last time six-man tag titles actually felt like a big deal, check out The Iron Claw movie.

FTW Champion Hook was shown taking a seat on steps at an outdoor location. He said that if “Wheels” wanted to fight him, they could do it on his home turf at Worlds End. The broadcast team eventually said he was referring to Wheeler Yuta…

Brian Cage made his entrance with Prince Nana, and then Keith Lee walked past the two Christmas trees on the stage wearing a Santa hat…

3. Keith Lee vs. Brian Cage (w/Prince Nana). Cage performed an early tornado DDT heading into a PIP break. [C] Lee battled back coming out of the break, but Cage put him down again with a 619. Lee rolled to the apron. Cage stood on the middle rope and wanted to suplex him in, but Lee fought him off.

Lee went up top. Cage cut off Lee with a kick and then superplex him, which led to a near fall and holy shit chants. Cage hoisted up Lee and performed an F5 for another near fall.

Prince Nana pulled a cinderblock out from underneath the ring and placed it inside the ring. Cage moved it where he wanted, but then Lee came back with a Jackhammer and scored the clean pin.

Keith Lee defeated Brian Cage in 9:55.

After the match, Lee took the mic and said that nearly a year ago, “someone” took him out for two months with the cinderblock. Lee said he’s been trying to send a message to “him” but he’s not listening. He said he would go to Dynamite and make sure his message is clear. Lee said he had a house to tear down and would do it brick by brick…

VKM’s POV: No pronouns, pal.

The picture was in black and white while Renee Paquette interviewed AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm, who was accompanied by Mariah May and Luther. Paquette recalled May taking out Riho on Dynamite. “I’m sorry, by whom?” Storm asked. May reminded Storm who she was and said they met before.

May spoke about her upcoming AEW debut match. May said it will happen soon and asked Storm for advice. Storm said she didn’t hear a word of what she said because she was mugging for the camera. Storm spoke about Riho and threw her shoe, which nearly hit May. Storm told May that she has a lot to learn…

TNT Champion Christian Cage and Nick Wayne made their entrance. Once in the ring, Cage said people wanted to know why Shayna Wayne hit Adam Copeland with the TNT Championship. Cage said he could explain it, but why would he do that when she could do it herself.

[Hour Two] Shayna Wayne made her entrance without music. When she was booed, Shayna said she’s a mother and asked, “How dare you?” Shayna said she did what she did to Copeland because Nick is her son, her baby boy, and her pride and joy.

Shayna said she watched Nick slam a steel chair on Nick’s head. “And you wonder why I made the choice that i did?” Shayna asked. “I did what any loving mother would do, I protected my child.” Shayna said the one person who loves and cares for her son as much as she does is Cage.

Cage said Shayna worked as a waitress for $40,000 per year to support her son. Cage said Copeland tried to take it away. He said Copeland should have empathy because his mother worked the same crappy jobs to help him live his dreams.

Cage said there was a very small part of him that wished Copeland’s mother was still alive so he could watch her disown her son on behalf of single mothers all over the world. Cage said Copeland has never been angle to harness his anger properly.

Cage said Montreal was not a good night for Copeland, but it was a great night for him. Cage said he scored the biggest victory of his career and retained his championship, “but I scored another way that night when I walked out of Montreal with my matriarch, when I walked out of Montreal with my Mother Wayne.”

Cage brought up Copeland challenging him to a No DQ match at Worlds End. Cage said he would accept his invitation for a fight at Worlds End, but he doesn’t accept it as a challenge because Copeland is no challenge and he’s already beaten him. Cage said he would put Copeland down in Long Island for the last time on behalf of single mothers everywhere…

Powell’s POV: They walked through the obvious explanation for Shayna’s turn. While I doubt that any of this caught anyone by surprise, I still like that they took the time to explain it. It seems odd that Copeland asked for a No DQ match as opposed to wanting everyone barred from ringside. I wonder if the idea is that his character has a plan to counter the Waynes and Killshot.

Lexi Nair interviewed AEW Tag Team Champions Ricky Starks and Big Bill on the backstage interview set and mentioned Kenny Omega being sidelined. Big Bill said diverticulitis sounds made up. Bill said his Uncle Joe had gingivitis and is doing just fine.

Starks said Omega doesn’t have the guts to face them. Bill laughed at the cheap shot. Starks said Omega and Chris Jericho forfeit their title shot, leaving he and Bill free to party in New York City.

Chris Jericho walked onto the interview set and said that while Omega is out indefinitely, he’s not forfeiting anything. Jericho said he has a signed contract for a title match. He said he doesn’t know when it will be or who his partner will be, but he will take the tag team title away. Jericho told Bill that his Uncle Joe sucks…

Entrances for the next Continental Class match took place…

4. Brody King vs. Daniel Garcia in a Continental Classic tournament blue league match. Matt Menard sat in on commentary. Garcia slapped King to start. King went on the offensive and hit a cannonball in the corner. King covered Garcia, who put his foot on the ropes to break it. King was still in control heading into a PIP break. [C]

King held his arms behind his back and let Garcia fire chops at him. King took several chops and then hit Garcia with a forearm. Garcia fired back with a forearm and then hit additional running forearms, but he couldn’t knock King off his feet.

Garcia hoisted up King for a suplex and got a two count. King came right back with a Death Valley Driver and then hit a lariat that led to another near fall. King performed the Gonzo Bomb and was stunned when Garcia kicked out at the last moment.

A woman in the crowd held up a sign that read, “All I want for Christmas is a Daniel Garcia win). She got her wish when Garcia jackknifed King and scored the clean pin…

Daniel Garcia defeated Brody King in 10:20 to earn three points in the Continental Classic tournament.

The broadcast team said it would come down to the final match. The lights turned off in the arena. When they turned on, Malakai Black and Buddy Matthews were in the ring holding the arms of Matthews.

Menard ran in to help and was dropped by a big kick from Matthews. King wrenched the hand of Garcia. Menard got on top of Garcia to shield him from the three House of Black members.

“FTR” Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler made their entrance, which caused the House of Black members to exit the ring. Harwood got a mic and said he’s tired of the fairytales and magic trips.

Harwood mentioned that House of Black wants them to join their family. Harwood said he would be the uncle who drinks tequila and beats everybody’s ass. Harwood said he and Wheeler want to face House of Black for the first time ever… [C]

Powell’s POV: So is the FTR vs. HOB match taking place at Worlds End or will it be a television match? Anyway, the tournament match was entertaining. It seemed like the obvious move to have the seconds spot in the blue league semifinals come down to the final match, but it was still fun to see Garcia get the upset. There won’t be a three-way match in the blue league semifinal. If Andrade wins or they go to a draw, then Andrade goes to the semifinals. If Eddie Kingston wins the match, then he would be tied in points with Andrade, yet beat him in the head-to-head tiebreaker and advance to the semifinals.

Entrances for the women’s tag team match took place. Thunder Rosa was driven onto the stage in a lowrider…

5. Thunder Rosa and Abadon vs. TBS Champion Julia Hart and Skye Blue. Abadon ended up being isolated by the heel duos. When Abadon went for a tag, Blue punched Rosa, who fell off the apron. Hart and Blue worked over Abadon going into a standard break. [C]

Blue got Rosa on the ropes and kicked the back of her leg. Blue followed up with a superkick that dropped Rosa. Hart went up top, but Abadon pulled her into a tree of woe. Rosa whipped Blue into Hart. Rosa hit the Tijuana Bomb on Blue and then pinned her…

Thunder Rosa and Abadon beat TBS Champion Julia Hart and Skye Blue in 9:00.

The broadcast team hyped Julia Hart vs. Abadon for the TBS Championship at Worlds End and then the Collision main event… [C]

Powell’s POV: I don’t think the tag match helped sell the Hart vs. Abadon pay-per-view match because Rosa was showcased and got the pin for her team. Nevertheless, it was great to see Rosa back in the ring for the first time since August 2022.

Eddie Kingston made his entrance for the main event. Andrade El Idolo walked out wearing his black mask, which he removed as he walked down the ramp and then placed it on the ring steps…

6. Eddie Kingston vs. Andrade El Idolo in a Continental Classic tournament blue league match. Kelly explained that Andrade would advance to the semifinals with a win or a draw, while Kingston would advance with a win. Both men shook hands and then traded shoves. Kingston ducked a back elbow. They cut to a PIP break after some slow early action. [C]

Andrade performed a moonsault from the top rope onto Kingston on the floor. Back in the ring, Andrade performed a moonsault off the top rope and landed on his feet when Kingston moved, and then followed up with a standing moonsault for a near fall.

Kelly said he had it on good authority that the Hiroshi Tanahashi, the new president of New Japan Pro Wrestling, was watching this match closely. Andrade went for a hammerlock, but Kingston drove him into the corner and then suplexed him.

Kingston picked up Andrade, who backed him into the corner and then threw elbow sat him. Kingston fired back. Andrade threw a forearm at Kingston, who blocked it, only to take a back elbow from Andrade, which led to a good near fall. A “this is awesome” chant broke out.

Andrade applied a Figure Four and then tried to bridge into the Figure Eight, but Kingston grabbed the bottom rope to break it. Dasha announced that there was five minutes remaining in the time limit. Kingston tagged Andrade with a pair of back fists and then suplexed him and pinned him.

Eddie Kingston defeated Andrade El Idolo in 15:30 to earn three points in the Continental Classic tournament blue league.

After the match, Bryan Danielson walked to the ring and smiled at Kingston. The broadcast team hyped Bryan Danielson vs. Eddie Kingston as the semifinal match of the blue league for Wednesday’s AEW Dynamite. The winner of that match will face the winner of the Jon Moxley vs. Swerve Strickland vs. Jay White three-way gold league final. The winners of the semifinals will meet at Worlds Collide in the tournament final for the Triple Crown Championship…

Powell’s POV: A good main event with Kingston battling back from an 0-2 start to qualify for the semifinals. The time limit announcement was obviously the cue for the wrestlers to go home. Unfortunately, they didn’t save themselves enough time for the post match moment with Kingston and Danielson to amount to anything.

Overall, a good show with an enjoyable conclusion to the blue league tournament matches. Will Pruett will be by either late tonight or on Sunday 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. Have a very Merry Christmas!

AEW Collision Poll: Grade the December 23 edition free polls


Readers Comments (6)

  1. I like reading results of pro wrestling.
    Y’all here make it very strange and as you ever taken a bump.

    4 stars.

    Merry Christmas, ya jabronis

    Gimme the ol’ territory over this

  2. Build Brody King up only to tear him down with Garcia beating him clean. TK producing this show with his clown mask on again I see.

    • Garcia, much like Pockets, is Tony living out his fantasy of being a pathetic, scrawny loser who somehow wins a fight. It absolutely kills suspension of disbelief to have these clowns winning anything.

  3. Back in WWE, when Cesaro and Swagger were managed by Dutch, Bryan wrestled on Raw against Swagger, then directly against Cesaro, and they just about had the match of the year. Top tier athletes.

    I’m not a fan of these points systems tournaments. I know they want to make pro wrestling seem like other sports, but the ring work does that, not these overthought bells and whistles.

    And AEW has done so many tournaments, they are losing their meaning.

    I honestly don’t recall if the winner of this gets a title shot. That would be worth fighting for.

    I wish the company would focus on storytelling and investing in characters, and save the gimmicks like tournaments to be built up as special, must see events, like the Royal Rumble.

    • “I honestly don’t recall if the winner of this gets a title shot. That would be worth fighting for.”

      Nope. Unlike the New Japan G1 this was inspired by and…basically every other promotion that does this sort of tournament, the prize is NOT a title shot. It’s some new title which unifies, uhh, 2 other titles that I don’t honestly recall. I think the New Japan Strong and the ROH TV title but I could be wrong.

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