AEW Collision Review – May 18, 2024

AEW Collision May 18

This week’s AEW Collision featured Bryan Danielson & FTR in tag team action, plus Will Ospreay in a match, and plenty more.

Episode 45 of AEW Collision was taped Thursday at Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. Rampage will be on after Collision which has become a regular thing. There have been three hours of AEW television most Saturday nights in recent weeks. It’s most likely because of the NBA and NHL playoffs. I wonder if it’s going to become permanent. Collision has been better as of late. AEW has strong storylines going for Double or Nothing next Sunday. Tonight’s card isn’t particularly good. I would call it average headlined by Bryan Danielson & FTR vs Lance Archer & The Righteous. Will Ospreay will be taking on Shane Taylor. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. There’s a full intro this week. A rare occurrence. Let’s get to the action!

Will Ospreay def Shane Taylor – Anthony Ogogo is with Shane Taylor. Roderick Strong has joined Tony Schiavone and Niguel McGuinness on commentary for this match. Matt Taven and Mike Bennett are with him. Ospreay threw Taylor into Taven and Bennett taking them out. He then threw a glass of water on Strong. The referee was distracted which allowed Ogogo to nail Ospreay with a gut punch giving Taylor the advantage before a picture-in-picture commercial. Rock Bottom followed by a splash from Taylor to score a near fall. Huge powerbomb and lariat that flipped Ospreay for another two count. Ospreay hit a series of kicks with Taylor trapped in the corner. He lifted Taylor off the ropes and hit Storm Breaker for the win. Rating ***¼

After the match, Strong distracted Ospreay so Taven and Bennett could attack from behind. Will cleaned house and took them out with a beautiful Tope Con Hiro.

Gino’s take – Not every Ospreay match needs to be classic. This was a good example of that. He won in around 10 minutes. It shouldn’t take him longer than that to beat someone like Taylor. Shane is tough. He could be formidable but he loses as much as anyone in AEW. The post-match attack was predictable. It was good that Will looked strong. There have been a lot of heel beatdowns in AEW recently. This time Ospreay stood tall at the end. One thing I found interesting is that Ospreay was announced as weighing 191 pounds which is quite a bit less than normal for him. He does look like he’s trimmed down some.

There is a replay from AEW Dynamite of Darby Allin joining Team AEW to go against The Elite at Double or Nothing. The Elite has put a price on Team AEW’s head. Lance Archer and The Righteous have answered the call tonight. Jon Moxley talked about his match against Takeshita at Double or Nothing. Claudio Castagnoli is with Mox. Claudio says everyone talks about how tough they are but he and Blackpool Combat Club live it.

After the commercial, there is another replay from Dynamite where Hook hit Chris Jericho in the head with a microphone cutting him open. Jericho had an interview after Dynamite. The Redwood Big Bill is with him. Chris said he’s proud that Hook is learning and continuing to push his new Learning Tree gimmick. I didn’t have high hopes but Jericho has made it work.

Hook def Johnny TV – This is a qualifying match to earn a spot in a qualifying match for Chris Jericho’s “For The World” Championship. His wife Taya Valkyrie is with Johnny. Surprisingly there is a “Johnny TV” chant at the start of the match. It was met with a “Let’s go Hook” chant. The wrestlers went back and forth with Johnny having more control. Taya distracted Hook allowing TV to knock Hook down and attempt his finisher Star Ship Pain. He missed. Hook slapped on Red Rum making Johnny tap out. Rating **

Katsuyori Shibata came out after the match. He and Hook fist bump. Shibata has an FTW qualifying match as well.

Gino’s take – Short match so Hook can move on to the FTW qualifying match on Dynamite. Johnny TV is an example of a wrestler that could be doing more in AEW. That said, he’s not someone I think should get pushed considering how talented the roster is. This wasn’t a bad way to use him. I did think he’d do a little better in this match.

Katsuyori Shibata def Rocky Romero – It’s been mostly mat and technical wrestling at the start. Shibata got Rocky in a Figure 4 on two different occasions. Rocky hit a kick and knee to take advantage into a break. Romero is working over the left arm of Shibata. Shibata knocked Rocky down, hit him with a Penalty Kick. He put Rocky in a Figure 4 for a third time making him tap out. They shook hands after the match. Rating ** ¾

Bryan Keith came out while Shibata was leaving. No fist bump but Keith did tip his hat to Shibata.

Gino’s take – It’s a good idea to give wrestlers like Shibata and Hook wins before the FTW qualifying match on Dynamite Wednesday. I wouldn’t say Hook and Shibata’s matches led to a great half-hour of Collision though. I did like the way Romero worked over the arm and Shibata kept going for the Figure 4 until he won with it.

“Bounty Hunter” Bryan Keith def Boulder – Iron Savage mates Jacked Jamison and Bronson are with Boulder. Jamison is insulting the crowd before putting over Boulder being from “Titty City”. Keith slammed Jacked into Boulder’s chest or titty’s if you will. He then bit Boulder’s nipple after that. Keith hit his flipping stunner move to pick up the win. Rating *

Gino’s take – I always say the Iron Savages have a strange gimmick. I’m not a big fan of it but they are effective jobbers. These FTW qualifying matches felt very rushed but it does make the actual qualifying match seem like a slightly bigger deal. I am glad that Bryan Keith has been picking up some wins lately. He also got a win on Rampage last week. That said, I’d much rather see Hook vs Shibata one on one. It’s pretty clear The Bounty Hunter will take the loss in that triple threat match.

Lexy Nair is backstage with Pac. He’s in some dark corner of the arena. He says Bullet Club Gold are funny. He couldn’t care less about them. He tells them to make him feel something. Make him care. He tells Lexy to leave him alone. Nair looked distraught for the whole thing.

We’re shown a replay of the contract signing between Mercedes Mone and Willow Nightingale from Dynamite. Mone was powerbombed through a table. That was a great spot and very surprising. I didn’t expect Mone to take a bump like that before she even had her first match. I expect Mercedes to win at Double or Nothing. I’d like to see Willow win and would be lying if I said AEW had done a good job making Mone feel like a big star. However, the contract signing was a very good segment.

Bullet Club Gold’s music comes on. They drag Pac out to the stage. They have beaten him up. Jay White tells Pac I’ll bet you care now. I expect some sort of match between Pac and Jay White will be added to DON whether it be singles or a Trios match with Penta El Zero Meido and Rey Fenix joining Pac. I’d prefer a singles match with a Trios title match taking place on Dynamite after the PPV.

The Patriarchy; Christian Cage, Nick Wayne, Kill Switch and Mama Wayne are backstage. Nick has a match against Swerve Strickland on Dynamite. His match tonight is just a warmup. He tells Christian he can beat Swerve alone. Wayne referenced the brutal beatdown Strickland gave him at his wrestling school last year when Swerve was a dastardly heel. That’s a smart match to make for Dynamite ahead of Swerve’s title defense at Double or Nothing.

There is another replay of when Trent Beretta “took out” Orange Cassidy on Dynamite a couple of weeks back. This was after Cassidy beat him with a roll up. I put took out in quotations because Orange laughably no sold a piledriver on the steel steps. It was poorly done.

Orange Cassidy def Isiah Kassidy – Don Callis is shown watching Orange Cassidy on a monitor in the backstage area. Orange had control early until Trent Beretta came down the aisle in the crowd which distracted Cassidy so Kassidy could take control as we go to the commercial. Tony Schiavone calls Orange one of the best punchers in the business. I like him but that’s a stretch. Cassidy hit Stun Dog Millionaire and his spinning DDT. Kassidy hit a cutter that snapped Orange against the top rope. Both men hit pump kicks on the apron knocking each other down. Trent distracted Orange again. Trent told the referee “I’m a good boy”. That was funny. Isiah hit a cool move where he used the ref to hold himself and then hit the Silly String. Cassidy hit a Beach Break out of nowhere to get the win. Rating **¾

Gino’s take – At the start of the match my wife Amber asked “is there any reason for this match” wondering if it was another qualifying match. It wasn’t but it’s a good indication of how this episode is going. It was a decent match. It’s just that like a lot of Collision’s, there hasn’t been a lot of intrigue so far.

Lexy Nair interviewed Trent who is standing at ringside. He said he’s a better wrestler than Cassidy and that Orange cheated to beat him which isn’t true. Heels lie. He issues a challenge to Cassidy for a straight up wrestling match at Double or Nothing. Cassidy knocked Lexy out of the way while attacking Trent. Tough couple of segments for her. Orange got a couple of shots in before Trent retreated.

Gino’s take – I’m glad for Trent getting a singles match on a PPV. That might be the best spot he’s been in since being with the company from the very beginning. I think the story has been solid but it’s not a super-hot rivalry or anything. It would be a much better feud if Orange had sold the piledriver on the steps and actually acted injured. Orange should have been off TV for a couple of weeks. Instead, he stayed down for a couple of seconds. I thought their match might have a stipulation but there are already two big gimmick matches at DON. I think Trent should win their match and join the Don Callis family. I do think the program has elevated Beretta.

Serena Deeb def Anna Jay – Deeb went on the attack early with a swinging neckbreaker and Serenity Lock. Jay came back with a flurry of offense of her own. We go to the normal early commercial about three minutes into the women’s match. The combatants went back and forth after the break. Deeb got a two count after another swinging neckbreaker. There was a pretty good “Deeb” chant for Serena. Jay momentarily had Deeb in the Queen Slayer. Facebuster from Deeb. Serena slapped on the single leg crab to get the win. Rating **½

Luther came out at towards the end of the match and took Serena Deeb’s flag. Luther struggled to get the flag so Deeb had to wait. The timing was off. Serena could have stopped him. Mariah May also came out and held the flag up with Luther. That brought out Toni Storm who stripped naked behind the flag before Luther and Mariah wrapped it around her like a dress.

Gino’s take – It was an average match that followed the normal bad formula for AEW Women’s matches with an early commercial. The post-match angle with a naked Toni Storm wrapped in Serena’s towel was entertaining. Everything Toni does is great. This was no different. Even though the match was average Deeb was booked well. The crowd reacted to her favorably as a true babyface. This added to the Women’s Championship match at DON.

We get a hype video for AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland recapping his rivalry with Christian Cage. It’s been one-sided so far with Cage getting the advantage on Swerve every week. We all know Christian isn’t beating Swerve but it’s been an effective program to build him as a threat.

Nick Wayne def Jack Cartwheel – Cartwheel has some impressive offense that features a lot of, you guessed it, cartwheels. He did an impressive cartwheel flipping dive to the outside but Wayne got out of the way so he crashed and burned. That most likely hurt. The crowd chanted “holy shit” for it. Nick hit Wayne’s World. Instead of going for the pin, he hit Swerve’s finisher House Call kick to get the win. Rating *½

Gino’s take – Another very short match that was a little more than a squash. It was good for the short time it got. I like seeing new wrestlers. It’s hard for me to take a wrestler billed as Cartwheel seriously. This was a good showcase for Wayne ahead of his match against the Champ.

Bryan Danielson & FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) def Lance Archer & The Righteous (Dutch & Vincent) – There’s about 15 minutes left in the show. It’s a decent amount of time. I’m glad it’s not 20-plus. It only took about three minutes before things broke down and all six men were in the ring. They brawled into the commercial break. Danielson tagged in to a nice ovation. He took down Dutch with some of his vintage offense including hard kicks, his flying clothesline, and a tope suicida to the outside. Archer cleaned house hitting power moves on all three opponents. Cash Wheeler slammed Lance Archer against the steps on the outside. Danielson and Cash hit the Power and Glory double team. It’s completely broken down now. The pace has picked up, it’s move after move before FTR finished off Vincent with the Shatter Machine. Rating ***¼

The heels kept the attack going after the match to sell them as a threat and put over the whole bounty concept. Archer destroyed Cash Wheeler with his finisher Black Out on a chair. Ouch. The announcers mentioned that Darby Allin wasn’t there. At least they explained why no one helped this time. Daniel Garcia did come out way too late to make a save but he and Bryan were able to fight off the heels with a chair.

Gino’s take – Archer and The Righteous were in a similar Collision main event not that long ago. I’ll write the same thing here I wrote then. I’d like to see them actually win matches sometimes if you are going to put them in a main event. I get that the angle is The Elite put out a bounty on Team AEW. The match was fine. It’s just not that intriguing when the result is so obvious. This wasn’t a strong or meaningful main event. The post-match angle wasn’t that great. It’s hard to get behind a team that just lost and never wins as if they are threats. It’s also something AEW does too often. Garcia making the save felt random but it would be cool if it led to something for him.

Overall Rating for AEW Collision – 6.75/10

2024 Average Rating: 7.32

Final thoughts – Collision had been on a nice run. I wasn’t able to review last week’s show. I rated it a 7.25/10. I hadn’t rated an episode of Collision below a 7 in a while. This show ended that streak.

The opener and main event were solid matches. Everything in between was average or below with a lot of short promos mixed in. I’m not sure if I’ve rated the matches on an episode of Collision as low as this. Three and a quarter stars is probably an average match rating for me. That speaks to the match quality we usually see. That wasn’t there tonight. Only the two best matches came in at above three stars. Most wrestling matches in any company are predictable. AEW may take that concept too far. I don’t mind it as much on storyline heavy shows like we’ve been seeing on Dynamite recently. This wasn’t a bad show and there were a couple of things set up for Double or Nothing. There just didn’t seem to be a lot of development along with the lackluster in-ring action.

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