AEW Collision Review – December 9, 2023

aew collision dec 9

The AEW Continental Classic continued on AEW Collision with Eddie Kingston facing Claudio Castagnoli, Bryan Danielson against Andrade El Idolo and more.

The 26th episode of AEW Collision was taped Tuesday at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. There are two more Continental Classic Tournament matches in the Blue League headlined by Bryan Danielson vs Andrade El Idolo. It’s a rematch of a recent “dream match” that took place on Collision. Kenny Omega has a rare TV match against Ethan Page. That should be excellent as well.

Ethan Page, Kenny Omega, Bryan Danielson, Andrade El Idolo with CJ Perry, Claudio Castagnoli speaking French and Eddie Kingston participated in the show opening promos. Eddie and Claudio are up first. Eddie says hit the music, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Let’s get the action!

Eddie Kingston def Claudio Castagnoli – Kingston hit a spinning backfist as soon as the match started. It’s normally his finisher. Claudio hit his finisher Gotch-style piledriver early. Hot start. Claudio was in control for a few minutes after that. Both men landed heavy strikes as you’d expect. Claudio hit a big Superplex and managed to keep the advantage for most of the match. The crowd is firmly behind Kingston chanting “Eddie” multiple times throughout. Kingston hit a half and half suplex a backfist ate an uppercut and hit a second spinning backfist for a tremendous near-fall. The finishing sequence saw Eddie hit his finisher for the 4th time and pin Claudio after rolling through a huricanrana. Rating ***¾

Gino’s Take – Another outstanding tournament match and opener of Collision as we are accustomed to seeing. I thought it was 50/50 as to who would win going in. Claudio is booked fairly strong in AEW. It seemed like they could have been setting up a losing streak angle for Eddie. He needed a win here and got it. I thought with Eddie starting 0-2 they might set it up to where he is desperate needing to win his remaining matches in the tournament. That’s how this match was booked. It’s a good story for a likable underdog type like him.

Jon Moxley cut a promo after the match. It was another intense display from Moxley hyping up his match against Swerve Stickland on Dynamite.

Gino’s take – Moxley has done an amazing job making the tournament seem like a huge deal. I’m looking forward to that match more than any other in the Classic so far.

Renee Paquette is with Hook they are interrupted by Wheeler Yuta which happens almost every backstage interview in AEW. They will have a match under FTW rules. Apparently, that will happen soon.

Willow Nightingale def Mercedes Martinez – Diamante is with Mercedes. Martinez hit a draping DDT on the outside before an early commercial break. Willow gained momentum. She landed a cannonball splash. Martinez with a fisherman buster for close 2-count. 3 more throws for Mercedes. Martinez nailed an impressive Razor’s Edge-type move from the top rope. Willow no-sold it winning with a rollup. Rating **½

After the match, the heels beat down Nightingale using a step ladder and steel pipe. Kris Statlander made the save.

Gino’s take – Decent match although I didn’t like the finish. There was a bit of a multi-person rivalry brewing that these women were involved all the way back before All Out. AEW scrapped it and went with Ruby Soho against Kris Statlander instead. They went back to it here. We might get some kind of hardcore match out of this. That would be cool with me. Most of the best women’s matches in AEW history have been hardcore including one that Willow was in.

Renee Paquette is backstage with Matt Menard, Angelo Parker and Jake Hager. Hager is complaining about Danhausen stealing his hat. Menard and Parker have a match against Penta El Zero Meido and Kommander later. Ruby Soho, Saraya and Anna Jay show up. Ruby was flirting Angelo much to the dismay of Saraya and Menard. Ruby has a match against Riho on Dynamite. Saraya says Ruby is on her own for that match.

Gino’s take – I don’t mind this storyline. It’s a little cheesy. You see stuff like this a lot in other companies. It’s not a bad way to get a lot of people on TV in short segments. I would say I’d prefer they keep this kind of segment on Dynamite.

Swerve Strickland is shown backstage in a clip from after Dynamite. He says he is going to be world champion after running down his accomplishments including meeting NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell which he did on Monday at the Jaguars game.

Wardlow def Willie Mack – Slow start to the match. Wardlow is showing Mack more respect than most of his opponents. Nigel McGuiness mentioned that on commentary. Wardlow looks a little different than normal. Especially his hair. Almost like he’s had a mask on? Hmmmm. Mack got a little offense leading to two one counts. Willie went for a hurricanrana but was caught by Wardlow for the first powerbomb. That was impressive. Wardlow finished him off with a last ride powerbomb. He left the ring before the ref declared Mack was knocked out. Nice touch. Rating **

Gino’s take – Willie Mack got a little TV time last week to call out Wardlow for this match. I don’t think anyone thought he would win. He got more offense than most. It was barely more than a squash. It was entertaining for the short time it lasted.

There is a backstage vignette recapping House of Black’s rivalry with FTR. That was followed by a replay of Starks and Big Bill taking out Chris Jericho after Full Gear. The show is moving too fast. I barely had time to write about those segments. Slow it down.

Kenny Omega def Ethan Page – Tony Nese was shown early watching on a monitor. Page nailed Kenny with a beautiful springboard Cutter through the ropes. Moonsault from Kenny off the barricade outside. Both men spilled to the outside after a reversal of a vertical suplex. I couldn’t tell who did the move. It looked painful for both. Kenny has hit two V-Triggers and two Snapdragon Suplexes. Page has gotten plenty of hard-hitting offense as well. Ethan hit an avalanche powerslam from the top rope. Good move. Kenny hit three more V-Triggers and finished off Page with the One Winged Angel. Rating ***½

Big Bill took out Omega from behind with a big boot after the match. Page limped up the ramp to help Omega. Bill took off.

Gino’s take – Excellent match for the time given considering it had an obvious outcome. It seems like Page only gets singles matches in Canada. Page has a match against Tony Nese at the ROH PPV on Friday. I’m sure that will sell tickets with the “thrilling” booking of both men. Ethan got a chance to show what he can do here. He really shined. This could have easily been over 4 stars if Page had been booked better and given more time. He is one of the most underutilized talents in a locker room full of underutilized talent.

CJ Perry is with Lexy Nair backstage. CJ is more covered up than most weeks. I don’t approve. My wife Amber gave me a sideways glance for that comment. Her husband Miro showed up. Miro had some chauvinistic things to say saying CJ should be cooking and cleaning. Their marriage doesn’t seem to be going well.

Gino’s take – I’m sure this is all leading to a match between Andrade and Miro. It’s been a solid storyline that is getting plenty of time to breathe.

Julia Hart gets a vignette talking about Abadon. That should be a good match between 2 of the most improved women in AEW. I’m looking forward to it.

Penta El Zero Meido/Kommander def Matt Menard/Angelo Parker – Menard and Parker are cheered heavily during their entrance as they are Canadian. Loud “Daddy Magic” chant. Don’t think I’ve heard that one before. Good double team offense by Penta and Kommander. Menard and Parker reversed a double dive attempt before a PIP break. The action has been fast paced. The crowd has surprisingly been louder for this match than Omega vs Page. They even drew a “this is awesome” chant. Made in Japan from Penta on Parker for a near-fall. Double team gut buster on Kommander for a 2-count. Penta and Kommander won after a double team spike piledriver where Kommander did his rope walking backflip splash. Great finisher. Rating ***¼

Gino’s take – A fun match between four performers I like a lot more than most. Well, maybe not Kommander. I’m a big fan of Penta and Menard/Parker. I always like seeing Penta in a match where he isn’t going to obviously lose. He is one of my favorite wrestlers in AEW but rarely wins a meaningful match. The crowd being hot for Menard and Parker helped the match quality.

We’re shown a short video package for Keith Lee vs Shane Taylor that will happen at the ROH Final Battle. Kieth Lee rivals Ethan Page for the most underutilized AEW wrestler among others.

There is a replay of the Continental Classic matches that took place on Dynamite Wednesday.

Andrade El Idolo def Bryan Danielson – Nigel McGuiness calls Danielson “Brittle Bryan” and jokes how he likes everyone in the tournament better than Bryan. I think they’ll have a match next year. They shake hands to start the match. Andrade has done multiple moves where it seemed like he hit Danielson in his bad eye. Bryan’s eye patch was ripped off during a PIP commercial. He is bleeding slightly from that eye. It would be a better storyline for the match if this wasn’t a taped show. He’s obviously not really hurt since he wrestled on Rampage which was filmed after Collision.

Andrade has Danielson in the Figure 4. Bryan got to the rope before Andrade could bridge into the Figure 8. Bryan appears to be bleeding from his nose. The crowd is chanting something in French. Hard Yes or “Wi” kicks from Danielson. Both men are down after hard strikes. El Idolo continues to work over the bad eye. Danielson crotched Andrade on the top rope and hit a belly to back suplex from the top. Lebell lock for Bryan. Andrade got to the ropes. Andrade reversed a move and hit his spinning back elbow. Another spinning back elbow followed by double knees in the corner for Andrade. Double knees again. Andrade El Idolo hit his hammerlock DDT finisher to score his biggest win in AEW in decisive fashion. Rating ****

Claudio and Yuta came out after the match as officials checked on Bryan. Even Andrade was worried about him and looked troubled after the win. Claudio had words for Andrade shoving him away. They’ll have a tourney match soon.

Gino’s take – Awesome match that you can call an upset. The biggest in the tourney so far. The injury angle helped the match quality even if we know Bryan isn’t really hurt that bad. He did have a bunny over his eye so he must have really gotten hit. It makes me think he’s fully cleared. The injury will help Danielson’s story in the Classic moving forward. It will make it seem like he’s vulnerable. I’m happy Andrade won. There were rumblings of him wanting to go back to WWE. Honestly, he’s been booked pretty well in AEW even if he isn’t the star, he thinks he should be. I highly doubt he would get a victory of this magnitude in any other wrestling company.

Overall Rating for Collison 7.5/10

Final thoughts – I enjoyed the show. It gets an average grade from me which shows how good the quality of Collision is. A 7.5 is still a good score. The opener and main event were the two best matches which is common for AEW. There was a good stretch in the middle of the show that was pretty basic. Wardlow’s match with Willie Mack was fun but not really compelling or something that would elevate Wardlow. Although, he may have a big storyline coming up if he’s involved with the devil. The women’s match was fine. I don’t really like the no-sell rollup finish. The aftermath of that match might lead to something good. I do think AEW’s women’s division has been booked better lately.

The show was wrestling heavy which is good. Collison is better when it’s the more in-ring-focused show. There was some storyline development with Miro and CJ as well as the Outcasts imploding because of Ruby Soho’s budding romance with Angelo Parker. I always like to see Kenny Omega wrestle. He could and has had 3 stars plus matches against a dummy or child. Ethan Page also had a good outing but both wrestlers should be on TV a lot more than they are. My favorite part of the show might have been the Canadian crowd popping big-time for Parker and Menard. They are both great performers. It was nice to see the crowd react to them as such.

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