AEW Collision results (5/11): Murphy’s review of Adam Copeland vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the TNT Title, Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Top Flight, Tommy Billington vs. Dax Harwood

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By Don Murphy, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@DonThePredictor)

AEW Collision (Episode 44)
Vancouver, British Columbia at Rogers Arena
Aired live May 11, 2024 on TBS

[Hour One] The show opened without the usual Elton John opening. The broadcast team of Tony Schiavone and Nigel McGuinness checked in as Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli made their way to the ring, followed by Darius and Dante Martin.

1. Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli vs. Dante Martin and Darius Martin (w/Action Andretti). The broadcast team showed a clip from Rampage in December of 2022 where The Martins eliminated Castagnoli from a battle royal as a hook for this match. The crowd gave Danielson a nice ovation as he started the match and chanted “AEW.” Good back and forth action between Danielson and Darius Martin. Dante tagged in and took over for a bit before Danielson tagged in Castagnoli.

Castagnoli and Danielson took over on offense against Darius Martin. The crowd was very into the match and Darius and Castagnoli exchanged blows. Castagnoli threw Darius to the floor as the show went to its first picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Darius exchanged chops with Danielson as the fans continued to react to each blow. Danielson hit s series of kicks in the corner. Dante and Castagnoli tagged in as Dante hit a series of forearms. Dante hit a cross body for a near fall before diving onto Danielson on the floor. Dante hit a frog splash on Castagnoli for a two count. Castagnoli immediately grabbed Dante in the giant swing and turned it into the sharpshooter. Dante broke up the hold with a flatliner on Castagnoli. All four men battled in the ring. Dante hit a moonsault on a standing Castagnoli for a near fall.

The crowd chanted “this is awesome.” Dante missed a double stomp to Castagnoli and ran right into the Busaiku knee from Danielson. Danielson and Dante exchanged chops. Danielson got the better of the exchange and Castagnoli charged with a running European uppercut for the win.

Bryan Danielson and Claudio Castagnoli defeated Dante Martin and Darius Martin in about 13:47.

After the match, Danielson took the mic and acknowledged the crowd, asking them to give a round of applause to Top Flight. He said that this was what AEW was all about. He added that after the match started, he heard the AEW the chant that warmed his heart. He led the crowd in an “AEW” chant. He then said the first Anarchy in the Arena match almost ended his career, but he will participate in the match at Double or Nothing because he loves AEW.

Castagnoli was shown walking from the ring. Danielson said that the Elite are a part of the formation of AEW but they don’t represent what AEW is anymore. He mentioned that Tony Khan has been to every AEW show since the company’s inception. He added that they’re in Vancouver with 7,000 people and the Young Bucks aren’t even there. He reiterated that he will participate in a match that almost ended his career because he loves AEW and will do anything to protect it.

Don’s Take: A hot opening match in front of a hot crowd. If the crowd can keep up this energy, this could be a fun show. And an inspiring promo from Danielson who focused on AEW without taking jabs at the competition. The company needs guys like Danielson and Adam Copeland cutting feel-good promos like this. Let’s hope that we get more of this and less of Tony stirring up the tribalism.

A video recapped Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Bishop Kaun turning on Swerve Strickland. The announcers ran down the rest of the card. [C]

2. Will Ospreay vs. Lee Moriarty (w/Shane Taylor). Before the match could start, Mike Bennett, Matt Taven and Roderick Strong made their way down to ringside and it was announced that Strong would be on commentary. Moriarty worked on the arm early which Ospreay countered. The two exchanged moves as Ospreay sent Moriarty to the floor. Ospreay hit a cross body on Moriarty on the floor as the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break Moriarty had control. Ospreay responded with a spinning kick off the ropes. Ospreay fired up and hit a series of moves including a back drop and a front pump kick in the corner. He followed up with a top rope forearm for a near fall. Ospreay teased the Tiger Driver 91 but stopped and hit a series of kicks. The allowed Moriarty to regain the advantage. Ospreay converted a torture rack into a spinning power bomb for a near fall. Ospreay super kicked Taylor off the apron. Ospreay missed the Oscutter and Moriarty locked in the Border City Stretch. Ospreay rolled Moriarty up for a near fall. Ospreay hit a flying back elbow and teased the Tiger Driver 91 but hit the Stormbreaker instead for the win.

Will Ospreay defeated Lee Moriarty in about 10:00.

After the match, Strong, Bennett and Taven distracted Ospreay allowing Taylor to attack him from behind. The Undisputed Era stood over Ospreay to end the segment…

Don’s Take: Moriarty got some offense in, but this wasn’t the unnecessarily competitive match we usually see from Oespreay. I will assume we’ll get Ospreay and Taylor in the coming week. Ospreay’s reluctance to use the Tiger Driver is a nice touch.

A video recapped Mercedes Mone throwing out the first pitch at the Boston Red Sox game earlier today. The announcers plugged Willow Nightingale defending the TBS Championship against Tam Nakano at the Stardom Flashing Champions Event on May 18. They also announced the contract signing between Mone and Nightingale for next week’s Dynamite…

3. Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Bishop Kaun vs. Evan Rivers and The Voros Twins. This was a complete squash. Liona and Kaun tossed Rivers to Cage for the power bomb finish.

Brian Cage, Toa Liona, and Bishop Kaun defeated Evan Rivers and The Voros Twins in about 1:00.

After the match, Tony Schiavone asked Brian Cage why they attacked Swerve Strickland. Cage said it’s not Swerve’s house anymore. He called Strickland and Nana selfish. He added that they constantly took from them and left them high and dry until they needed them. He added that they sought leadership and received it from Matthew and Nicholas Jackson.

Swerve Strickland’s music played. Cage faced the aisle but Strickland ran in from the crowd and attacked Kaun and Liona before going after Cage. Strickland tied Kaun to the post with a chain. Liona knocked Strickland down and charged at him but was met with a cinder block to the stomach. Strickland then placed Liona’s head on the steps and hit him a protected chair shot to the head. Cage looked on from the aisle. [C]

Don’s Take: I realize that they are setting up Cage as a barrier to Strickland before the match with Christian Cage at Double or Nothing but I would have liked to have seen Strickland sell the attack for a bit before immediately getting his revenge.

After the break, Swerve Strickland cut a backstage promo. He said that he tried to be a company man but people around him are starting to think he’s gone soft. He said he’s been taken advantage of by Christian Cage, the EVPs and his own people. He said he brought the Mogul Embassy into the world and had to take them out. He challenged Brian Cage to a match on Dynamite.

4. Daniel Garcia vs. KM. Matt Menard joined the commentary team. This was another quick match with KM getting power moves in early only to have Garcia stage the comeback. Garcia gained the submission win with the dragon sleeper.

Daniel Garcia defeated KM in 2:00.

Don’s Take: A showcase win for Garcia but to what end? It seems like he’ll get some momentum, will lose a match and start over.

A video recapped the show closing brawl from Dynamite featuring the Elite, FTR, Bryan Danielson and Eddie Kingston.

[Hour Two]

5. “Dynamite Kid” Tommy Billington vs. Dax Harwood (w/Cash Wheeler). Billington is the nephew and the splitting image of the late, great Dynamite Kid. Tony Khan made the match between Swerve Strickland and Brian Cage official for Dynamite and billed it an Eliminator match.

Good chain wrestling to start. After a series of attempted shoulder blocks, Billington sent Harwood out of the ring. Harwood hit a back elbow to gain the advantage. Billington responded with a dropkick and a cross body over the top rope as the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]

After the break, Billington dove onto Harwood from the top rope to the floor followed by a flying dropkick in the ring. He then hit Dynamite Kid’s signature clothesline and snap suplex followed by a flying elbow drop for a near fall. Down the stretch, Harwood hit a top rope super plex for a near fall. The two exchanged German and dragon suplexes. Billington got in some hope spots with several roll up attempts. Harwood hit a slingshot power bomb for the win.

Dax Harwood defeated “Dynamite Kid’ Tommy Billington in about 13:00.

Harwood and Billington shook hands after the match as the crowd gave Billington a nice round of applause…

Don’s Take: As a fan of the Dynamite Kid, I was looking forward to this match. His namesake had a good showing with Harwood being the right opponent for him at this stage. I haven’t seen much of his work aside from several MLW appearances, but I was happy to see him not use the flying head butt move that contributed to the original Kid’s myriad of injuries throughout his career.

Tony Schiavone announced that Don Callis brought in Jeff Cobb to team with Kyle Fletcher on Dynamite to meet Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson. Schiavone said that Callis is out for revenge for what Moxley did to Will Hobbs…

The Elite cut a promo after Dynamite this past Wednesday. Kazuchika Okada challenged Dax Harwood to a match on Dynamite. Jack Perry said that last year at Double or Nothing, he was miserable but this year, despite a bruised eye from Kenny Omega and having his hair ripped out, he’s the happiest he’s ever been. He said he’s the “keystone of this shit” and walked off. Matthew started to speak but ran into Christopher Daniels. He scolded him for not intervening during the brawl and said that he gave him the job as head of talent relations. Daniels snapped and said he earned his job and was a friend to Matthew when being his friend was the hardest thing to do. He warned Matthew to never talk to him as a lackey again before shoving him and leaving…

Christopher Daniels was backstage. He said he’s been there from the beginning and that five years later, Matthew and Nicholas want to make AEW all about them. He said he won’t be talked down to and was informed that as a form of punishment, he will need to select a partner to face Matthew and Nicholas on Dynamite. He selected Matt Sydal and told the Jacksons “someone will be punished, but not who you think”… [C]

FTR was backstage. Harwood did most of the talking and said that after having a great match with Tommy Billington he has to step in the ring on Wednesday with one of the greatest wrestlers of all time in Okada. He said this isn’t some “New Japan, young boy crap.” He said it’s AEW where the best wrestle.

6. Thunder Rosa vs. Robyn Renegade. Rosa held the early advantage and dove onto Renegade on the floor. Renegade hit a front pump kick as the show went to a picture-in-picture break. [C]

Renegade held the advantage coming out of the break, but Rosa mounted the hot comeback. The finish saw Renegade miss a moonsault and Rosa land a double stomp to the back followed by a cobra clutch submission for the win.

Thunder Rosa defeated Robyn Renegade in about 7:00.

After the match, Rosa spoke into the camera and said she brings the best out of the women’s division. She told Deonna Purrazzo to bring the Jersey girl because she’s fearless.

Don’s Take: Fine for what it was, but I haven’t bought into the Purrazzo vs. Rosa feud just yet.

Lexy Nair was backstage with Tyra Valkyrie and Johnny TV. They talked about watching the Vancouver Canucks game and realizing the whole town was a bunch of losers. Johnny TV challenged PAC presumably for Rampage later tonight and said he was going to do something that no one else in the town could…win. Valkyrie and TV made out to end the segment. [C]

Hook cut a promo sitting outside on some steps. He said that he was pissed off by what Chris Jericho did to him but wasn’t surprised as he knew who he was all along. He said that Jericho told him that he knew who he could be. Hook added that Jericho had no clue who he could be but couldn’t wait to show him.

7. Adam Copeland vs. Kyle O’Reilly for the TNT Title. The fans were standing and cheering before the two touched. Both men were equal early in the match, with Copeland gaining the advantage midway through and knocking O’Reilly to the floor as the show went to the final picture-in-picture break of the evening. [C]

After the break, Copeland blocked a superplex attempt but missed a flying elbow as O’Reilly locked in the arm bar. Copeland escaped and locked in the cross face but O’Reilly got to the ropes. O’Reilly mounted the hot comeback and locked in a leg bar. Copeland got to the ropes.

Down the stretch, the two exchanged near falls, with O’Reilly attempting several submissions and Copeland escaping each time. O’Reilly was favoring the liver area, which Copeland took advantage of with a punch to the midsection. In the end, Copeland hit the spear for the win. The match ran over into the start of Rampage.

Adam Copeland defeated Kyle O’Reilly in about 19:00 to retain the TNT Title.

After the match, the two shook hands but Copeland wouldn’t let O’Reilly’s arm go. O’Reilly jerked it away and Copeland seemed surprised by his own actions as he walked off and we switched over to Rampage.

Don’s Take: A good main event. The TV viewers had to know that Copeland would retain, but you couldn’t tell the live crowd that as they bought into the near falls and submissions down the stretch. I can’t say I’m into the effects of the “evil mist” but Copeland is delivering quality matches nonetheless.

A solid episode of Collision enhanced by a hot Vancouver crowd. And we’re not done as Rampage is next!

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