AEW Collision Review – March 16, 2024

aew collision march 16

It’s AEW Collision featuring Brian Danielson in action against Katsuyori Shibata, plus words from Adam Copeland in the main event.

After a taped show last week, episode 38 of AEW Collision is live from the Canadian Tire Center in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I wasn’t able to review Collision the last two weeks. For what it’s worth I rated the show two weeks ago 7.25/10 and last week 7.5. I will include those ratings in my 2024 average rating.

Tony Khan dubs way too many matches as dream matches and booked another one tonight between Bryan Danielson and Katsuyori Shibata. This one I will say is a borderline dream match. The problem I have with it is it was announced Friday with no build whatsoever. Anyway, it’s a bigger crowd than normal for Collision and may actually sell out the current setup of 3,244 per WrestleTix. However, the arena has a capacity of 19,153 so I’m not sure how the crowd will sound. It was all thrown together last minute but it is a decent card tonight. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Let’s get to the action!

We go straight to the action. Maybe TK stopped paying to use Elton John’s intro theme. That would be a shame. AEW stopped doing the show opening short promo segments months ago. Those were two things that made the start of Collision feel unique and special.

Bryan Danielson def Katsuyori Shibata – As you would expect, the match started with both wrestlers going back and forth with tremendous technical moves and strikes. Shibata finally gained the advantage by tossing Bryan over the top rope to the floor with a vertical suplex and then hitting a PK or penalty kick. You can tell the crowd is really into the match, they sound good so far. Shibata kicked out at two after a Busaiku Knee. The pace really picked up late with both fighters landing hard kicks and slaps. Danielson got the better of the striking. Shortly after, they exchanged submission and pinning attempts that led to Danielson rolling up Shibata for the win. Rating ****

The combatants shook hands and hugged after the match. Bryan acted like more of a babyface than he has been recently.

Gino’s take – Awesome match to open Collision like we saw so much in 2023. This was one of the best matches on Collison in 2024. I still have to include a complaint in my analysis. A match of this caliber really couldn’t have possibly meant less than booking it to open a weekly show on one day’s notice. It started as a nice display of technical skill and ended being a physical brawl. Danielson especially looked battered by the end. My wife Amber commented on how bruised his chest and shoulder were from all the shots he took.

We get a video package of Mercedes Mone’s debut in AEW that took place at Dynamite Big Business on Wednesday. That was a tremendous show. Mercedes looked like a huge star.

TBS Championship: (C) Julia Hart def Trish Adora – Trish had the advantage early with both women showing off impressive flexibility. We went to a predictable early commercial break like we normally see in AEW women’s matches. This is a “House Rules” match. The stipulation Trish Adora picked was the loser of this match would be banned from ringside for the Infantry’s match against House of Black later in the show. Womp Womp. The crowd really died down during the commercial break. Hart won with her Moonsault finisher. Rating **¼

Gino’s take – I guess the rankings are already out the window. I get that the match is billed as an open challenge but I have no idea what Adora has done to earn a title shot. I’m sure she does well in ROH. I doubt she’s won a match in AEW. The action wasn’t bad. Hart nailed the moonsault perfectly which isn’t always the case.

Lexy Nair interviewed Harley Cameron and Zak Knight (Saraya’s brother). He has a match with Angleo Parker later in the show. That was set up on Rampage. Zak says the match isn’t happening tonight after all. Alrighty then.

Gino’s take – I liked Zak Zodiac in the movie Fighting With My Family. However, the real Zak Zodiac has not been good in AEW so far. AEW needs to move on from the Saraya/Zak Knight against Rudy Soho/Angelo Parker program.

Daniel Garcia def Lee Moriarty – Shane Taylor is ringside with Moriarty and helped him get the early advantage. Garcia worked over Lee’s leg and won the match quickly with a heel hook. Rating *¾

Gino’s take – A matchup featuring two guys Bryan Danielson mentioned as future stars when Blackpool Combat Club was first formed. Both wrestlers would have probably been a lot better off if they had joined the BCC. Specifically, Moriarty. Both are talented wrestlers. There wasn’t much to this.

Another replay from Dynamite of Jay White defeating Darby Allin and breaking his foot in the process. Darby now won’t be able to climb Mt. Everest which may be a blessing in disguise for him. It was also the end of the vaunted faction Bang Bang Scissor Gang. Good. Quite frankly, that faction sucked and was beneath Jay White.

Pac def Aaron Solo – Solo hit an impressive dive early in the match and got a one count. Amber likes the way Pac looks in his trunks lol. Pac won with Red Arrow followed by his Brutalizer submission. Rating * ½

Pac grabbed a microphone after the match. He seemed to be talking to Tony Khan saying the “Bastard is back”. Pac wants trouble suggesting Solo is not good enough competition for him.

Gino’s take – A third straight match that is hard to get into like we’ve seen with almost every match on Collison this year. What Pac said after the match was more interesting than the match itself.

Byran Danielson is backstage sitting in a yoga pose. His shoulder looks awful. He’s grateful for getting to face Shibata tonight and his match coming up against the great Will Ospreay that will take place at the next AEW PPV Dynasty. He mentioned how he and Shibata were told they would never wrestle again which is something Ospreay hasn’t experienced.

Claudio Castagnoli def Lance Archer DQ – Claudio came out of the face tunnel. I think he might have gotten lost. They got the crowd chanting “MEAT” early on. Lance hit a nice somersault dive before a PIP commercial break. He was still in control after the break. Archer went for his Undertaker-like rope walk but Claudio pulled him off and nailed him with an uppercut. Huge chokeslam and two count for Archer. Claudio went for the Giant Swing. The Righteous who are aligned with Archer came out for the rare DQ finish in AEW. Rating ***

Bryan Danielson came out to backup Claudio followed by Shibata with a chair to chase off the heels.

Gino’s take – Like the opener, this match could have meant a lot more with a proper build, or any build really. The announcers mention Lance Archer’s alliance with Jake “The Snake” Roberts who was not with him tonight. I wonder if his past transgressions still don’t allow him to get into Canada. The match was pretty good. The DQ finish actually worked since we don’t see it much in AEW. Shibata helping out Blackpool was an interesting development.

Lexy is now backstage with Angelo Parker and Ruby Soho. Parker talked about Zak Knight cancelling their match near his hometown. Ruby stopped Parker from going after Knight. This was a little better than Knight’s segment earlier. I do enjoy the Soho/Parker pairing.

Kyle O’Reilly def “Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith – Welcome back Kyle! The crowd is quiet at the start. AEW has really lost what sounded like a good crowd at the beginning of the show. Keith hit a DDT leading to Kyle selling his neck being hurt which is smart coming off an injury. Keith continued to work over the neck. Bryan nailed a couple of hard knees that O’Reilly sold perfectly. Kyle slapped on an arm-bar that made Keith tap out immediately. Rating ** ¾

Undisputed Kingdom members Roderick Strong, Matt Taven and Mike Bennett held O’Reilly on their shoulders after his victory.

Gino’s take – Kyle had been out almost two years with various ailments, mainly a serious neck injury. Keith was in control for most of the match. His offense looked good. However, this was another match where the outcome was never in doubt. It will be interesting to see where the story between O’Reilly and Undisputed goes.

Deonna Purrazzo and Thunder Rosa were interviewed by Lexy Nair backstage. They are teaming up against Toni Storm and Miriah May on Dynamite Wednesday. Thunder mentions that she never lost the title. That might be foreshadowing some tension between Rosa and Purrazzo. Thunder vs Toni Storm for the AEW Women’s title she never lost at Dynasty makes sense.

Main event time.

Gino’s take – The show will end with Adam Copeland’s talking segment but this might be the weakest main event in the history of Collision. That said, I smell an upset. They made it a point to have Trish Adora who is a member of the Infantry banned from ringside while putting over how Julia Hart often makes an impact in House of Black’s matches. The Infantry also had an in-ring segment last week with FTR who they will face in the AEW Tag Team Tournament if they win this match. I can see Mark Briscoe costing House of Black the match.

The Infantry (Sean Dean and Carlie Bravo) def House of Black (Brody King and Buddy Matthews) – The House beat down their opponents before the match started. The action was interrupted by a PIP break about a minute into the actual match. House of Black are toying with their opponents taking turns landing huge moves including King’s finisher Dante’s Inferno. Bravo broke up the pin attempt. King slammed Bravo on the announce table that didn’t break. That was followed by a pile driver that also didn’t break the table. It looked like Brody hurt his butt lol. Matthews hit a stomp on Dean and pulled him up at two instead of pinning him. Here comes my prediction! Mark Briscoe nailed Matthews with a chair which allowed Dean to pin him. Rating ***

Malakai Black came out. House of Black was angry while Mark Briscoe stared them down from the crowd to end it.

Gino’s take – It really wasn’t much of a match. It was more of a beatdown. I’ll give it three stars because it was easily the biggest upset in AEW in a very long time. At least on Collision. While I predicted the upset, I’m not sure if many people thought the Infantry would win. The crowd reacted to it as if it were a fairly big deal. I’m not going to say they went nuts or anything. They did react well to it.

A video package recapping the rivalry between Adam Copeland and Christian Cage. I know a lot of wrestling fans haven’t liked Adam Copeland’s run in AEW. I for one have liked his work and think his feud with Christian has been very good.

Let’s hear from Adam Copeland – The crowd has definitely perked up for Copeland who is one of the greatest Canadian wrestlers of all time. Cope mentioned Toronto. The crowd booed. That was funny. I hear a lot of cities in Canada don’t think highly of Toronto. Adam called announcer Nigel McGuiness a goiter. Another funny line. Copeland gave a nod to Abyss and Mick Foley bringing up “Janice” and “Barbie” before pulling out a board with nails sticking out called Spike. That weapon may factor into his “I quit” match against Christian Cage in Toronto next week.

Gino’s take – A short and effective segment to close the show. Cope showed great intensity. AEW has done a much better job of storytelling recently. I’m looking forward to the I Quit match on Dynamite.

Overall Rating for AEW Collision – 7.25/10

2024 Average Rating: 7.25

Final Thoughts – The action was well below the standard that made AEW Collision such a fun show to watch in 2023. There were a lot of things on the show that did seem to matter which helped it be a better show than a lot of episodes of Collision in 2024. AEW has been on fire in recent weeks on Dynamite and coming off an incredible Pay Per View at Revolution a couple weeks ago. Collision is still clearly a “B” or “C” level show but has now had three solid episodes in a row. The opener between Danielson and Shibata was the only match worth checking out if you missed it. There was an hour stretch in the middle that dragged but overall, this was a decent show.

Please follow me on Twitter/X @GeenoEvel86. Thanks for reading!