AEW Collision Review – March 30, 2024

AEW Collision March 30

It’s AEW Collision featuring a big trios Tag Team Match with Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Katsuyori Shibata on the same team along with Adam Copeland in action.

AEW Collision was back for episode 39 on Saturday after being off last week due to college basketball. They were in my good friend John Canton’s hometown London, Ontario, Canada at Budweiser Gardens, but he informed me that he wasn’t able to make it. Considering he is going to WrestleMania 40 in a few days, it’s a lot of wrestling to consume in the coming days.

The lineup for the show is one of the strongest of the year for Collision. I wouldn’t say it’s a particularly strong lineup for AEW overall. There will be two matches in the Tag Team Tournament where we’ll see Ricky Starks and Big Bill take on Top Flight and relative AEW newcomers The Infantry taking on FTR. Adam Copeland will have a “Cope Open” Challenge for his newly won TNT Championship. The main event will likely be a six-man tag pitting Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli and Katsuyori Shibata against Lance Archer and The Righteous. Let’s get to the action!

We go straight to the Cope Open to start the show. The crowd is on fire. Adam cut a short promo. His opponent is Matt Cardona. SAY WHAT!!! The crowd is chanting “Holy Shit”. I agree. I didn’t see this coming at all. Hot start for Collision! Ian Riccaboni is on commentary with Tony Schiavone and Nigel McGuiness. I like that too. Ian is my favorite AEW announcer. I hope he joins the Collision team full time.

(C) Adam Copeland def Matt Cardona – “This is awesome” chant to start the match. This feels different for Collision. It feels like a big deal. There is an early commercial break with Cardona in control. It’s been back and forth. You can tell the competitors know each other well as they counter each other and hit the same moves. The crowd is reacting well for everything they do. Impaler DDT from Cardona for a two count. Cope countered Radio Silence and hit a buckle bomb followed by a sit down powerbomb for a two count. Cardona countered a spear attempt with a Rough Rider for a near fall. Cardona went for a spear but Cope countered with a spear of his own for the win. Rating ***¾

After the match, the lights went out. Malakai Black is the ring with Copeland. My wife Amber popped big for this. The crowd chanted “Holy Shit” again. I agree again. Mark Briscoe came out and then Buddy Matthews. House of Black had the advantage until Eddie Kingston came out to chase them off.

Gino’s take – There is a lot going on but it’s all awesome. To start off with the match. I’m sure people will criticize AEW for not announcing Matt Cardona. I think it worked perfectly. He had a great match with Copeland. The crowd was on fire for all of it and may have been ever hotter for the post-match angle. I loved all of it. This was probably the best start to Collision in 2024. The match rating is a little higher than it normally would be because of the hot crowd.

Lexy Nair is backstage with FTR. They put over their match against The Infantry later tonight calling it March Madness which is smart with the actual NCAA tournament going. FTR called The Infantry the Cinderella team and said they can’t overlook them. A good promo from FTR.

Tony Schiavone is in the ring. He invited out “Daddy Ass” Billy Gunn and The Acclaimed. No rap from Max Caster this time. Daddy Ass is pissed off at Jay White. Bullet Club Gold broke into his house on Rampage. It’s Jay White against Billy Gunn on Dynamite. Loud “Daddy Ass” chant for that. Anthony Bowens says next week the demise of Bullet Club Gold begins.

Gino’s take – That will be a win for Jay who should be doing more than going against a 60-year-old Billy Gunn. It seems like there will be a match for at least the AEW Trio’s Titles soon. I can see that happening at Dynasty. Maybe AEW/ROH will unify the titles. It’s not like they need two sets of Trio’s Gold. I’m not that interested in this storyline. Although, I do think it’s better than when they were teaming together.

FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) def The Infantry (Shawn Dean & Carlie Bravo) – The announcers compared The Infantry beating House of Black to Lehigh beating Duke in the NCAA Tournament. I like how they are comparing the Tag Team Tournament to March Madness. The Infantry was dominated two weeks ago before scoring the upset over House of Black with Mark Briscoe’s help. They have the advantage early in this one with some good-looking offensive moves. Dax evened things up for his team with a superplex before a commercial break. Like most FTR matches this has followed classic the tag team formula. There has been a lot of double team action but they are tagging in and out for the most part. Just as I typed that, things broke down a bit until FTR hit Shatter Machine for the win. Rating ***¼

Gino’s take – I thought FTR would win. I also thought there was a chance for an upset. The Infantry got a face-to-face segment with FTR a few weeks ago. It seemed like they were possibly being built as the Cinderella team of this tournament. It wasn’t meant to be. It was still a good match. One reason I thought this was a fairly strong card for Collision is I wasn’t 100% sure who would win either tag match. However, the heavy favorites won this one.

Lexy is backstage again she welcomes Big Bill and Ricky Starks. They also made some metaphors comparing the Tag Team Tournament to March Madness. It was pretty short.

Adam Copeland, Mark Briscoe and Eddie Kingston cut a promo backstage. They will face House of Black in a six-man tag at Dynasty. But first, it’s Mark facing Eddie at Ring of Honor Super Card of Honor next week. That is all about respect but they don’t respect House of Black.

Gino’s take – That’s an interesting albeit random match set up for Dynasty. There are a few weeks to build an intriguing storyline. The fact that Mark and Eddie are facing each other for the ROH Championship before it could add some intrigue.

Kyle O’Reilly def JD Drake – Pretty good striking exchange early. O’Reilly won quickly with an arm bar. Rating SQUASH.

Undisputed Kingdom came out again to celebrate with Kyle.

Gino’s take – Drake is a good jobber and that’s what he did here. I think it was the right call because the crowd wasn’t as into this as the rest of the show. We’re in the early stages of a program between Kyle O’Reilly and Roderick Strong.

A video package highlighting the Don Callis Family. They said “Powerhouse” Will Hobbs will face Will Ospreay on Dynamite. That’s a match my wife Amber predicted would happen a few weeks ago.

Top Flight def Ricky Starks & Big Bill – Top Flight looked good early. Starks and Bill used some classic heel antics to gain the advantage before the commercial. There was a weird rollup by Darius Maritn on Ricky Starks where it looked like Starks didn’t kick out. The ref didn’t count three. That was followed up by a double team DDT from Top Flight to get the win. Amber and I rewound it. You can tell that Starks got his bell rung by an elbow or Pele Kick from Darius Martin in the corner. I think they changed the finish. Rating ** ½

Gino’s take – Hard match to rate. The action was very good but it was obviously cut short. I think the wrong team went over because they played Ricky Starks music for a couple of seconds after the match. I think they got through the finish safely enough and I hope Starks isn’t hurt too badly. I will say I would have been pretty stoked to see a rematch between Starks and Bill against FTR. FTR was squashed in their last meeting leading to a title change. It’s not like Top Flight vs FTR is a disappointing matchup, though.

Thunder Rosa def Lady Frost – We’re shown a replay of Rosa pinning AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm a couple of weeks ago on Dynamite. Nice looking head-scissor takeover from Rosa. Lady Forst with one of her own from the outside into the ring. We go to the normal commercial break in the middle of the women’s match. Thunder fired up the crowd and nailed Frost with a dropkick while she was prone on the bottom rope. Lady Frost did a great cartwheel slam. I think Nigel McGuiness called it the Chiller Driller. It’s a cool move that’s hard to describe. It drew a “Lady Frost” chant. Thunder won after hitting a Backstabber followed by her finisher Tijuana Bomb. Rating ***

Thunder Rosa talked to a camera at ringside calling out Toni Storm.

Gino’s take – I think Thunder Rosa will likely challenge Toni Storm for the Women’s Championship at Dynasty. I liked the match. Lady Frost is very impressive. The Chiller Driller if that’s what it’s called is an excellent move. Thunder winning makes sense as she is likely in line for a Title shot. The crowd was quiet for some of it but both women did a nice job.

Renee Paquette is backstage with Toni Storm. Thunder Rosa will face Miriah May in a #1 Contenders match next week. Toni kissed Miriah and called her an evil genius. Toni said Thunder will never get to sniff this leather again talking about the AEW Women’s Championship.

Gino’s take – Great work as always from Toni Storm. I like that Rosa will face May in a #1 Contenders match. At least it’s a way for Thunder to earn her shot. Although she really shouldn’t need to because she was supposed to get a title match when she returned from injury anyway.

We’re shown a hype video for Will Ospreay after a long rundown of things coming up in AEW.

Main event time. They actually played Elton John’s Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting in the background. I miss it as the intro song for the show. AEW didn’t even have an intro tonight.

Bryan Danielson, Claudio Castagnoli & Katsuyori Shibata def Lance Archer & The Righteous (Vincent and Dutch) – This match was set up two weeks ago on Collision when The Righteous jumped Claudio Castagnoli during his against Lance Archer. It was a rare DQ finish in AEW. Shibata and Archer started the match with a heavy striking exchange. The heels worked over Byan Danielson for a few minutes. Archer and Dutch took turns body-slamming each other on Bryan. Dutch followed that up with a huge Bossman Slam for a two count. McGuiness’s jokes about Bryan Danielson and clams are funny. Claudio got the hot tag and got the better of Archer in a great exchange between the two.

Shibata and Claudio took down Archer with uppercuts. That allowed Claudio to hit the Giant Swing on Archer. The crowd always enjoys that spot. It’s obviously more impressive against a huge man like Archer. Like normal in AEW things have completely broken down and everyone is in the ring at once. Vincent has tagged in for the first time so we might be getting close to the finish. Busaiku Knee from Danielson to Dutch. Big boot from Shibata and a running uppercut from Claudio to Archer on the outside to take him out. Shibata hit Vincent with a Penalty Kick to get the win for his team. Rating *** ½

Gino’s take – A solid main event. The action was very good the whole match. It was a competitive bout. It’s not like the outcome was ever in doubt. Archer and Dutch did get plenty of offense. They had good showings. I figured Vincent would take the loss for his team so when he finally tagged into the match I knew it was almost over. I like that there was a segment to set this match up. I’d still like to see a team like Archer and The Righteous win matches before being put in a main event like this.

AEW Collision Overall Rating 7.75/10

2024 Average Rating: 7.3

Final Thoughts – It was an entertaining show the whole way. There wasn’t anything that was boring or any time where the show dragged. When I saw the lineup I thought it would be one of the better Collison’s in recent months. That turned out to be the case. Seeing Matt Cardona answer the Cope Open Challenge was a huge surprise that really worked for me. The crowd was on fire for that match and was loud most of the night. The crowd helped the quality of the show. The Tag Team Tournament matches were decent but I wouldn’t say it’s an exciting tournament. Ricky Starks and Big Bill were on their way to a great match with Top Flight. It’s a shame Ricky Starks got injured. He posted on Instagram that he’s okay so that’s good to hear. The main event was a fun brawl with an obvious outcome where no one followed any rules. The rating for this show could have come in at 8/10 or higher with a more meaningful main event.

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