AEW Collision featured Adam Copeland’s open challenge again, Jon Moxley in action and Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli faced Eddie Kingston & Ortiz in the main event.
The 31st rendition of AEW Collision was located at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri. Collision is off to a shaky start in 2024. There hasn’t been a lot of star power on either of the first two episodes. This show looks different now that Bryan Danielson and Blackpool Combat Club are present on the show. Jon Moxley will face Shane Taylor in what should be a solid TV match. Daniel Garcia is facing Buddy Matthews to continue an ongoing rivalry. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Let’s get to the action!
Jon Moxley def Shane Taylor (w/Lee Moriarty) – Taylor got the better of the striking early. Moriarty got involved hitting Moxley with a pump kick on the outside. Shane missed a splash after being in control for the first five minutes of the match. Cutter for Moxley. Tony Schiavone says it was “out of nowhere”. Both wrestlers are down after exchanging King Kong lariats. Moxley put Taylor in a triangle choke after being powerbombed. Nearfall for Moxley after a couple of running knees. Moxley got Taylor in the Bulldog Choke. Taylor passed out. Rating ***½
Moxley got a microphone after the match. He’s pissed off and not taking crap from anyone in 2024. He seemed to call out his “teammates”. Perhaps there are problems in the BCC.
Gino’s take – Hell of a fight! Good spot to use Shane Taylor. Better than randomly throwing him on PPV’s without giving us a reason to care about him. Taylor got plenty of offense. Moxley winning was the obvious result but Taylor looked strong in defeat. Maybe Moxley will also have a match against Moriarty in the future. Lee was someone Blackpool Combat Club talked about recruiting when they were first formed. I’m not sure what Mox was referencing in his promo. Amber mentioned him also having heat with Will Ospreay stemming from working together in Japan.
Highlights from the incredible brawl between Hook and Samoa Joe on Dynamite Wednesday. It could be a star making performance for Hook. Although AEW doesn’t normally do well keeping momentum going for young wrestlers. Daniel Garcia and Wheeler Yuta come to mind.
Adam Copeland def Dante Martin – This is the third match in the “Cope Open” challenge. His opponents are definitely getting more credible. Early two count for Martin after a standing senton. Kevin Kelly says Adam’s first match was against the Blue Meanie. Now that’s a name I didn’t expect to hear in 2024. Copeland is working over Martin’s head after Dante hit it on the turnbuckle during commercial. Huricanrana and tope suicida from Martin on the outside. Two count after a cross body back in the ring. Impaler DDT from Cope who was unable to make a cover. “Adam Copeland” chant from the crowd.
Good near fall after a springboard moonsault from Martin. Cope got his foot on the ropes. Avalanche powerbomb from Martin for another two count. “This is awesome” chant. Niguel McGuinness says it’s a “Christian’s awesome” chant lol. Copeland reversed a springboard with a spear in an amazing spot. He submitted Dante with his new finisher Grindhouse crossface. It’s a good finisher with a great name. Schiavone popped for it. Rating ***½
Schiavone entered the ring. Copeland put over Martin. Cope had a funny line about being a five-course dinner and not a happy meal. Adam says he’s doing what Christian said he was going to do when he came to AEW. He’s still going after Cage’s TNT Title.
Gino’s take – When Adam talked about coming to AEW and working with young talent, this is the exact type of opponent I think he was referring to. This was the best match of the “Cope Open”. Great promo from Copeland after the match as well. Very good start to Collision!
Lexy Nair is backstage with Claudio Castagnoli and Bryan Danielson. Danielson says his loss to Eddie Kingston in the Continental Classic was the low point of his career and the high point of Eddie’s. Eddie is still not great. Claudio is sick of talking about Kingston.
Lexy is backstage with Dante, Daris Martin and Action Andretti after the commercial. Private Party makes the predicable interruption. Their rivalry is continuing. I didn’t love their match on Dynamite but I’m glad they are “running it back”.
Thunder Rosa def Queen Aminata – Thunder’s first singles match since August of 2022. Good back and forth action early with the wrestlers exchanging roll up pin attempts. Thunder hit a drop kick through the ropes on the outside before a PIP commercial break. Aminata has been working over Thunder’s back with kicks. Hip attack in the corner from Queen. Jumping lariat and double knees from Thunder. Another running dropkick from Rosa followed by a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Avalanche Crash and two count for Aminata. Good near fall there. Thunder hit her small package Tijuana Bomb finisher for the win. Rating ***¼
Gino’s take – I’m glad to see the women get a timeslot other than 9:23. Also good seeing Queen in another competitive bout. She has a bright future and seems to be a full-time member of the AEW roster. Excellent showing for Thunder in her first singles match in 17 months. She didn’t show any rust or seem to be in any pain. The commercial break was well-timed for a change. It seemed like we still got to see about seven minutes on TV.
Lexy’s backstage with Kingston and Ortiz. Ortiz says they’ll beat Blackpool because they are family. Eddie complains about having to do an interview before his match as he often does. He had a couple of funny lines.
Let’s Hear from Bullet Club Gold and The Acclaimed
Colton Gunn used the Rock’s “finally” catchphrase saying Bullet Club Gold has come back to Saturday Night. The “Collision Cowboys” are in full babyface mode. It’s working because the crowd is behind them. Austin Gunn brings a cardboard Juice Robinson into the ring. Cardblade has been retired. Acclaimed and Daddy Ass come out to join the party. Max Caster says they should start a supergroup. It’s been teased for a few weeks. Caster says they should try to win more gold together. The crowd loudly chants “Bang Bang Super Gang”. Bullet Club Gold put Gunns up and Scissored with their new friends.
Gino’s take – I didn’t love Jay White winning ROH Six-Man gold. It seems beneath him. I didn’t think he will work as a babyface. However, the crowd ate this up. They love the Bang Bang Scissor Gang. I think it could work. I hope they remember their hatred for Undisputed Kingdom now. AEW needs to heat that rivalry back up. The idea that they all want to win more titles is a good one and matches what Adam Cole has said about his group.
Toni Storm is shown in a clip from Dynamite with Miriah May and Luther. She admits she knows who Deonna Purrazzo is including their time in the land of the rising sun. Toni had a lot of funny lines including saying she is “cursed by rampant sexuality”. Toni agrees to meet with Deonna. It sounds like a future Women’s World Title match. We’ll likely see it at Revolution.
Daniel Garcia (w/FTR) def Buddy Matthews (w/Brody King & Malakai Black) – Daddy Magic Matt Menard is commentary like he normally is for Daniel’s matches lately. Early PIP commercial break before the match really got going. Garcia hit a devastating piledriver on the apron. Both men barely beat a countout. Daniel with a figure 4 around the ringpost ala Bret Hart. McGuinness acknowledged the nod to Bret. Hard knee strike and Jackhammer from Matthews for a two count. Every time I see Buddy wrestle I say he’s the best striker in AEW. “This is awesome” chant. Matthews hit another knee strike and set up Daniel for a big move. Garcia reversed it and got the win with a roll up. Rating ***¼
House of Black and FTR entered the ring after the match for a wild brawl. Members of the locker room came out to break it up. It was mostly low-level tag team guys like The Righteous and Work Horsemen. The crowd was on fire for it before they cut to commercial.
After the break, Lexy is backstage with FTR and Garcia. Dax Harwood challenges House of Black to an elimination-style Steel Cage match next week. That should be incredible!
Gino’s take – Good match but slightly disappointing due to the short amount of time and the commercial break. These two could easily have a four-star plus match if given the right amount of time. With the ongoing storyline, I thought this would get more time but the match was clearly done just to get the post-match brawl and keep the story going. The post-match stuff was excellent so I’m okay with it.
Roderick Strong (w/Matt Taven & Mike Bennett) def Matt Sydal– Sydal is form St. Louis. Kevin Kelly talked about his history there. Another early commercial break. Sydal dropped Strong with a series of kicks followed by a meteora. Two count for Matt after and Air-Raid Crash. Roddy nailed Sydal with a jumping knee. He landed his finisher End of Heartache for the win. Rating **¼
Gino’s take – The early commercial breaks in the last two matches didn’t help the match quality. There really wasn’t much to this. It was just a way to get Strong a win over someone who always loses.
Bryan Danielson & Claudio Castagnoli def Eddie Kingston & Ortiz – Danielson and Kingston took turns firing up the crowd. Nigel McGuinness took advantage of the slow start to rip Bryan like he always does. Like I always say, I think they’ll have a match this year. Bryan and Eddie exchanged strikes and worked the crowd before the commercial break. Giant swing from Claudio on Ortiz after the break. Machine gun chops from Kingston to Claudio. He probably hit him 30 times. Eddie missed a kick on Claudio followed by a German suplex from Ortiz.
The action has been very good drawing a “this is awesome” chant. Tony Schiavone announced a bunch of things for Dynamite. It looks like an awesome lineup. Blackpool stomps from Bryan on Ortiz. Claudio was holding Eddie against the ropes making him watch. Danielson finished off Ortiz with the Busaiku knee. Ortiz apologized to Kingston after taking the pin. Bryan told Eddie “you’re not holding those titles for long” before spitting in his face. Rating ***½
Gino’s take – Good main event but when I saw the match announcement, I knew Ortiz would take the pin. Tony Schiavone announced that the rankings are returning during the match. I like it but hope they actually matter this time. AEW is continuing the rivalry between Kingston and Danielson with Bryan saying he is coming after the Triple Crown Championship. That’s an interesting development. I don’t think Bryan needs those belts but I also doubt he will lose to Eddie again. That will create an interesting, unpredictable dynamic when the match happens. That might be another match for Revolution which so far seems to have a tremendous build if AEW follows through with the storylines they have going.
Overall rating for AEW Collision 8/10
Final Thoughts – Best Collision of the new year! You could tell having Bryan Danielson back not only as a talent but as part of the creative team makes a big difference. There was a lot of storyline development. While the show was missing a classic match like we see a lot on Collision, the action was good all night long. There wasn’t anything bad and nothing that didn’t make sense. Other than the Roderick Strong match there wasn’t anything that felt like “filler”. The first two episodes of 2024 felt like “C” show type material. Saturday’s episode was back to being “A” show material. The official formation of the Bang Bang Scissor Gang was a highlight of the show and feels like it could be a big deal in AEW programming moving forward.
There weren’t any segments to set up things for Dynamite but there were a lot of announcements during the main event. One of the matches announced was Adam Copeland against Minoru Suzuki. Holy shit, that could be amazing. AEW’s rankings were a flop the first time around. Bringing them back makes a lot of sense. It definitely needs to matter if you are going to have rankings. 2024 has seen a more sports-based product in AEW. The rankings fit that style of booking. Like almost everything Tony Khan announces it was met with bad faith takes online and seems to have offended a lot of wrestling fans.
It doesn’t make sense to me. I think it stems from Jinder Mahal getting a title shot in WWE which basically tells us wins and losses don’t matter in that company. Tony Khan sends a lot of dumb tweets. That one wasn’t. Hook vs Samoa Joe was miles better than Jinder in a World Title match and the match kicked ass. I don’t know if TK brought the rankings back to spike the ball. Either way, I hope they do it right this time. I am hopeful it will at least go better than last time.
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