AEW Collision Review – August 12, 2023

aew collision august 12

This week on AEW Collision, House of Black defended the Trios Tag Team Titles against CMFTR (CM Punk & FTR) in a huge main event.

Greetings Colliders! The ninth episode of AEW Collision took place at Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. We are coming off one of the weakest episodes of Collision last week. Other than a tremendous albeit random Trios Championship match between House of Black and CMFTR there really isn’t much else announced for this one. We could see another epic encounter that goes over 30 minutes. I am intrigued to see the finish for the match. I can’t see CM Punk or FTR losing clean ahead of All In. I can’t see them winning the titles either. Hopefully it’s a creative finish. Let’s get to the action!

Max Caster rapped, The Acclaimed have a match, followed by Christian with Luchasaurus, FTR is with CM Punk who says it’s nap time for House of Black during the show opening video packages. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting as we’re starting the show with a replay of the despicable beatdown Ricky Starks put on Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat last week. Tony Schiavone is in the ring. He introduces Absolute Ricky Starks.

Ricky Starks explains his actions

It’s a rare promo to open Collision. It makes sense after the show ending segment last week. Starks has the belt he whipped Steamboat with. Tony announces Starks is suspended for 30 days due to his actions. He’s suspended, yet in the ring. Ricky says Steamboat cost him the match so he had to hurt him. It hurt Starks more than it hurt Dragon. Ricky has obtained a manager’s license which I guess allows him to still attend Collision. Tony did say he was suspended from wrestling in AEW. Starks blames Punk for putting Steamboat in that situation. Starks is intimidating Schiavone. Outstanding heel work. A lot of the crowd still cheered Ricky.

Gino’s take – The manager’s license bit seems a little silly. Then again aren’t “suspensions” in scripted television a little silly in the first place? It’s a new twist that allows Starks to stay on TV while being suspended from wrestling. The angle is he outsmarted AEW management. I don’t mind it. It was a brilliant promo from Ricky who showed excellent intensity. It ended up with a lot of the crowd behind him even though it was 100% heel promo.

There is a video package hyping up FTR facing the Young Bucks at All In. There is a lot of history between the two teams. It’s been a memorable rivalry for sure. This was very good. AEW should do a lot more of these types of video packages to make us care about things to come.

The Acclaimed is out next. Max Caster rapped about hippos, Lizzo, 3 white guys, Mitch McConnell. It was pretty good but there have been better ones.

The Acclaimed def Iron Savages – Iron Savages are Bronson and Boulder. They used to be Bear Country. I guess they’ve been doing well in Ring of Honor. Announcers Nigel McGuinness and Ian Riccaboni talk about how Billy Gunn is not with the Acclaimed. The crowd is chanting “Daddy Ass” and “Oh Scissor me Daddy” Anthony Bowens tells the crowd “he’s not here”. Boulder hit an impressive overhead slam and Samoan Drop on both members of Acclaimed. Iron Savages hit a big double team move that led to a 2 count on Bowens. Their power moves are very impressive. Acclaimed both hit Famousers allowing Caster to pin Boulder. Rating ***

After the match, Acclaimed brought Billy Gunn’s boots into the ring. Max said “Yo” a bunch of times then “Listen”. He says The Acclaimed are back. They have a match on Dynamite and are trying to get back to the top of the tag team division. Bowens asked the crowd to put scissors in the air for the legend Billy Gunn.

Gino’s take – The match was better than I thought it would be. It looked like a squash. I didn’t know who Iron Savages were before they were announced yet they were in control most of the match. They have potential. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of them. The ending was a fitting tribute to Billy Gunn who may have really retired. I still think it’s an angle. The crowd was hot for their promo after the match. It’s a good sign to see the crowd is still behind them.

Lexy Nair is backstage with Bullet Club Gold. Jay White says this is the best version of Bullet Club. He seems to call out the Elite. It makes sense based on rumors that they will be part of a match with Kenny Omega at All In. The Gunns call out the Young Bucks for a match on Dynamite. Sounds good to me!

We are shown a video package recapping the brilliant rivalry and bromance of Adam Cole and World Champion MJF. Another good video package to hype up All In. Good production from AEW.

Mercedes Martinez/Diamante def Kris Statlander/Willow Nightingale – There is a story going in. It’s not very strong yet. Maybe it heats up here. Mercedes and Diamante worked well as a team early. Martinez put Willow in a Paradise Lock. The heels posed over a prone Nightingale and broke it up with a double drop kick. Willow took out both opponents and tagged in Statlander. The crowd is really hot for Kris. Mercedes pushed Statlander into Willow who fell awkwardly off the apron. That looked like it could have hurt. Martinez powerbombed Diamante over the top rope onto both opponents. That was awesome! The crowd chanted “holy shit”. Mercedes rolled up Nightingale and got the pin with the assistance of Diamante. Rating ***¼

Gino’s take – Very good by AEW Women’s division standards. The TBS Championship match last week between Martinez and Statlander would have meant more if this match had happened first. AEW needs to work on things like that with their booking. However, this week I won’t complain. The action looked really good for the most part. I wouldn’t mind seeing more matches from these wrestlers. That’s certainly a good thing to say about AEW Women’s division.

Toni Storm is backstage with Lexy wearing a nightgown robe. She calls Lexy toots. That was funny. She talks about her and Saraya being in the title match together at All In. Toni is really giving Nair the business and ends the interview telling her to shut up and throwing a show at her. AEW is doing a really good job building up the matches at All In. I liked this segment. Storm was very comedic and is good in this role.

Samoa Joe def Andrew Everett – Everett is making his AEW debut. It’s not going to end well for him. The crowd cheered loudly as Joe demolished Everett. Rating SQUASH

Joe calls out Punk

The match was simply a reason to get Joe out to talk to the crowd. Joe says he wants an answer to his challenge for the Real-World Championship. He calls CM Punk a coward and a bitch. The crowd popped loudly for the latter. Joe says he’s going to convince Punk to accept his challenge. That sounds like a tease for the finish of the main event.

Gino’s take – Another amazing heel promo in front of a crowd that seems to love heels. The crowd cheered loudly for everything Joe said. They want to see the match at All In. Samoa Joe is in excellent form on the mic as usual. He looks to be in great shape as well. I really like seeing Joe used as a monster like this. The squash matches have made sense for him and are fun to watch.

The announcers run down the All In card. It’s what you should do before your biggest show ever.

Let’s hear from Christian Cage

Christian is out holding the TNT Title. The dinosaur champion Luchasaurus is also there doing nothing. McGuinness calls Christian father of the year after the funny segment last week where he had his daughter kicked out of the arena. Christian says he’s at the largest family reunion he’s ever been to meaning the crowd is all inbred. He says LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan. He is better than Ric Flair. Cage is doing an awesome job riling up the crowd like always. He says Darby Allin will never touch his TNT Championship again. All the trash talking of North Carolina brought out Arn Anderson and his son Brock. Arn says were in Horsemen country which pops the crowd. This sets up a match between Brock Anderson and Luchasaurus. The referee was conveniently already in the ring.

Gino’s take – Another entertaining heel promo. Christian is so hated in AEW. That said I’m not sure who this angle with him holding the tile is helping. It doesn’t really seem to make Luchasaurus look good. Arn coming out in Horsemen country makes a lot sense. The crowd liked him but I’m not excited for the match.

TNT Championship: (C) Luchasaurus def Brock Anderson – There was an early commercial before anything really happened. Shortly after the break Luchasaurus won with a clothelines to the back of the head. It’s not a great finisher that hasn’t looked before. Rating * ¼

After the match Darby Allin attacked Luchasaurus. Darby asked him if he’s ever been a dinosaur with a skateboard stuck up his ass. That was a good line. Darby challenges Christian to a match next week on Collison. Christian accepts. Luchasaurus roars for that. I chuckled at it. Darby’s going to put some respect back on the TNT Title when he wins it from Luchasaurus at All Out.

Gino’s take – The match was bad. It doesn’t really matter because it was short and more just way to get Darby Allin out for the attack. Darby was great in calling out Christian and Luchasaurus. I’m looking forward to seeing Darby face Christian next week. The fans will love seeing Christian finally get some comeuppance. I think Allin should win the TNT Title as well. He’s one of the hottest performers in AEW right now.

Powerhouse Hobbs in ring interview

Tony Schiavone is in the ring. He introduces Powerhouse Hobbs. Hobbs hasn’t had many in ring interviews if any. Hobbs is wearing the chains QT Marshall gave him last week. He says he found the one thing that gives him peace. It’s the Book of Hobbs. The next chapter is called Redemption. He calls out “The Redeemer” Miro. The crowd popped loudly when Miro’s music hit. Miro walked slowly to ring. Aaron Solo and Nick Comoroto attacked Miro from behind and fed him to Powerhouse. Miro got payback on Solo and Comoroto but was taken out by a Spinebuster from Hobbs.

Gino’s take – I liked this. The crowd wasn’t too hot for Hobbs’s interview. They were loud for Miro. This is what it should have been to set up their match at All Out. That should be a fun Hoss Fight. Having Miro look vulnerable is the right call because it’s very likely he will beat Hobbs.

There is a rundown of matches to come on Dynamite, Collision and All In. They have mentioned All In nearly every segment on this show. It’s good to see. It wasn’t like that on Dynamite and AEW doesn’t always heavily push their Pay Per Views. Jim Ross comes out for the main event.

AEW Trios Championship: (C) House of Black def CM Punk/FTR – AEW does too many championship matches like this with little to no story. I believe there were four on last week’s Collision alone. In this case, I don’t mind it as this is a big-time main event. It’s a match most AEW fans have hoped we would see. There are almost 30 minutes to go in the show. This will be a long match as I expected. Punk received a mostly negative reaction from the audience. As usual, his normal negative reaction is followed up by a loud CM Punk chant. The crowd has been going nuts for the first few minutes of Punk’s matches lately. That happened again. It’s cool to see. Brodie King took a beating from all 3 members of CMFTR but it barely phased the big man.

Malakai Black tagged in to face Punk. The crowd was very happy to see this. It should be a singles feud someday. They looked good in the ring together. Punk mocked Black by sitting Indian style in front of him. Malakai sat as well. That brought all 6 men into the ring to duke it out. Great spot that the crowd ate up. HOB had Dax Harwood isolated and took turns hammering him with huge strikes. Nigel McGuinness says he wished he would have seen Bryan Danielson at All In. It’s another tease of a match I think we’ll see down the road. Punk got the hot tag from Dax. It fell a little flat as the crowd mostly booed for it. Julia Hart distracted the ref allowing Black to knock Punk off the top rope. Punk was then destroyed by a cannonball splash from Brodie King.

Punk hit Go to Sleep on Matthews but was unable to make the cover. He was able to make the tag to Dax Harwood. FTR cleared the ring. Cash Wheeler hit an amazing dive onto his opponents. The impact was very high. The crowd chants “this is awesome”. FTR hit a double superplex and Punk landed an elbow on Bordie King for a near-fall. CMFTR hit a super Shatter Machine on King. Then all members of the match landed hard strikes. Everyone was taken out. That was tremendous. As I expected, Samoa Joe came out and choked out CM Punk with the Cocina Clutch telling him “What did I tell you”. Julia Hart had the ref distracted while Brodie King nailed Dax Harwood with a swinging lariat and won the match for his team. They didn’t show the lariat so that was bad production. Rating ****

They cleaned things up after the match with replays showing Joe drag Punk into the crowd before choking him out. Julia Hart actually had Harwood distracted leading to a good-looking spinning lariat from Brodie King to finish off Dax. House of Black stood tall to close the show.

Gino’s take – Another superb main event on Collision. This one wasn’t at the same level as some of the other matches FTR has been involved in. It was still outstanding. I didn’t think CMFTR would win the Trios Titles with everything else they have going on. The attack from Joe did seem obvious after it was foreshadowed earlier in the show. It was still the right way to end the match so I’m OK with the obvious outcome. It also gives House of Black what might be their biggest win since winning the titles.

Overall Rating 7.75/10

Final Thoughts

Another great episode of Collision. This was really a one match card and came in near an 8 rating. The main event was excellent. but not enough to make the show an 8 as we’ve seen with other matches on Collision. The rest of the action was just okay. I still think it was a fun show to watch and there was storyline advancement for All In all throughout the show. It was a promo heavy show that was needed this close to 2 big PPV’s. The set up for All In seems nearly complete and there are good storylines for 5 matches. There will still be some stuff thrown on the show. Unfortunately, it looks like the great Kenny Omega will fall victim to that. This episode of Collision definitely made me more excited for All In.

All Out, now that’s a different story. There was good advancement in the storyline with Darby Allin and Luchasaurus. Miro and Will Hobbs now seems official. However, I think that is all that is announced for All Out. It might be a show that is mostly fallout from All In. It may work but doesn’t seem ideal for what is normally one of your two biggest shows of the year. The women’s match was solid. The storyline involving Mercedes Martinez, Diamante, Willow Nightingale and Kris Statlander is good by AEW’s low standards. The crowd was hot all night. Especially for the heel promos from Samoa Joe and Ricky Starks.

After the show CM Punk called out Hangman Page because of a fan’s sign for no reason again. I’ve seen the video. It’s really not that malicious. He was just having fun with the crowd after the show in a non-televised segment. I’m sure that’s the main if not the only thing the internet will react to from this show. It’s a shame because it was a really good show that did a nice job building to their biggest show ever All In in a couple of weeks.

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