This week’s AEW Collision featured Sting, Adam Copeland & Darby Allin as a team along with Andrade El Idolo facing Daniel Garcia and more.
The 22nd episode of AEW Collision was taped Friday night after Rampage at Oakland Arena in Oakland California. Collison has been incredibly consistent since its inception. That changed big-time the last two shows. Collision two weeks ago was my highest-rated episode at 8.75/10. Last week was by far my lowest-rated show at 6.25. The card for Collision does not seem to be strong. The only matches I know of headed in are a 6-man tag between Sting/Adam Copeland/Darby Allin and Lance Archer/The Righteous. Daniel Garcia is facing Andrade El Idolo in a potentially show-stealing bout. I’m not going to look up the rest of the card to avoid spoilers. Based on those 2 matches it’s another sub-par lineup that is completely devoid of storylines. The crowd for the live episode of Rampage was hot. Much larger than last week. A good crowd should help the quality of the show.
Sting/Adam Copeland/Darby Allin, The Righteous/Lance Archer/Jake Roberts, Rush/Preston Vance/Dralistico/Jose The Assistant, Don Callis/Powerhouse Hobbs, Daniel Garcia and Andrade El Idolo participated in the show opening short promos. Andrade will give CJ Perry his answer on her offer to manage him and his match is kicking of the show. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting! Let’s get to the action!
Andrade El Idolo def Daniel Garcia – I really like this matchup. It’s the kind of match AEW should do every show. I write that a lot when covering Collision. AEW does give us a lot of tremendous matches. There isn’t a story going in. That’s OK in a case like this because it should be a banger! CJ Perry comes out and joins Andrade. I guess we have our answer. Miro is shown watching a monitor backstage. He’s not happy. There was a bit of a slow pace early with a lot of technical wrestling. Andrade knocked Daniel down with a shoulder block preventing him from doing his dance. A bit heelish. The crowd booed. Crossbody from the top rope from Andrade for a 2-count. Garcia knocked Andrade to the floor. He walked over to CJ and did his dance. CJ seemed impressed by it. I wouldn’t be surprised if Miro doesn’t like that either.
After a picture-in-picture commercial, Garcia was still in control. He has been working over an injured knee. Daniel reversed a roll up attempt by Andrade into an ankle lock. Impressive exchange. El Idolo got out of it with a couple stiff up kicks. Double knees in the corner from Andrade for a near-fall. Garcia knocked Andrade off the top rope. He landed awkwardly on his injured knee. Good fast paced action with the wrestlers exchanging Three Amigos type suplexes. Two-count for Garcia after a brainbuster. Double Moonsault from Andrade for a near-fall. Hard strikes were exchanged before Andrade nailed Garcia with his beautiful spinning elbow. Andrade tapped out Garcia in the Figure 8. Outstanding finishing sequence. Rating *** ¾
CJ Perry hugged Andrade after the match. Miro was shown again laughing. He touched the monitor. It seems obvious he doesn’t approve of this new alliance.
Gino’s take – Excellent opener as usual on Collision. They haven’t always followed that up lately. There have been a few Collisions’ where the opening match was the strongest on the show. That seems like it could happen again tonight. I’m sure we’ll see Andrade face Miro soon. I don’t think they’ll do it at Full Gear. It seems too early in the program.
After that we’re shown a replay of the end of Dynamite where the Devil’s goon squad took out Acclaimed and Billy Gunn throwing Anthony Bowens through “real” glass. The mystery Devil’s mask angle has been good. It was most likely going to be Adam Cole but I’m not sure where it’s going now. That’s not a bad thing at all.
Nick Wayne def Dalton Castle – Wayne came out with Christian Cage to his music. My wife Amber is getting down to Dalton Castle’s entrance. He is billed from Catalina Island. That’s pretty cool. Catalina rocks! If you ever go there order a Buffalo Milk! The Boys are with Castle. There is a loud “Dalton Castle” chant before the match. My wife isn’t the only one who likes him! Cool looking stalling gut wrench suplex from Castle who is in control early. Wayne got in a little offense before Castle took control again. There have been a lot of throws and suplexes from Dalton. The Boys tried to stop Luchasaurus from interfering. They were destroyed with a double chokeslam by the evil dinosaur. The distraction helped Nick Wayne hit his finisher Wayne’s World Cutter to pick up the win. Rating **¾
Gino’s take – The action was good the whole match. It wasn’t very long. I think it took the right amount of time and had the right ending. Nick Wayne gets a nice win since he is in a match at Full Gear. Dalton Castle got a chance to show his offense. He looked better than he did last week in the 69-day celebration debacle.
Hangman Adam Page is backstage fired up. He cuts a pissed off promo on Swerve Strickland. He is rightfully angry at Swerve for breaking into his house and threatening his family. He is going to get his revenge at Full Gear in a Texas Death Match. Hangman says Swerve won’t be able to walk or talk after the match.
Gino’s take – This was great. The best promo from Hangman in a really long time. This is one storyline that has worked very well. Hangman and Swerve are definitely bringing the best out of each other. I like doing a Texas Death Match. It’s fitting for a rivalry that has become so personal.
La Faccion Ingobernables (Rush & Dralistico) def Work Horsemen (JD Drake & Anthony Henry) – The Work Horsemen had some good offense early including a nice-looking double team move in the corner. Rush hit some hard strikes on both of his opponents. The action has been decent before a PIP commercial. Rush was in control of Drake after the break. Good double team offense from LFI. More great double team offense from the Work Horsemen. This has been better than I thought it would be. Drake missed a Moonsault. Amazing Tope Con Hiro from Dralistico to take out Henry. Rush hit his finisher running dropkick while Drake was down in the corner. Rush pinned Drake. Rating ***
House of Black was shown on the big screen. They challenge Ricky Starks and Big Bill at Full Gear. Julia Hart says if she beats Willow Nightingale tonight she will get a rematch with Kris Statlander for the TBS Title at Full Gear.
Gino’s take – I could get behind The Work Horsemen. They are really talented. Their offense looks devastating. I’ve been hard on them. Perhaps giving them TV time is working. Maybe they will get a win and storyline soon. I would prefer them to add a partner and join the Trios division. I really enjoyed this match. It’s another one that went the right amount of time. The announcement of Kings of the Black Throne taking on Starks and Bill while interrupting La Faccion Ingobernables was strange. I think it might end up being a multi team match. It would be heel vs heel unless other teams are added.
After commercial, Lexy Nair is backstage with Kris Statlander and Willow Nightingale. Slow night for Lexy so far. It’s going to be a Triple Threat match at Full Gear. Stat will defend against the winner of tonight’s women’s match and the winner of Skye Blue vs Red Velvet on Dynamite.
Gino’s take – It seems like it should be Julia Hart and Skye Blue. I think there should be a title change with Julia Hart and Skye Blue joining forces. The mist storyline hasn’t been that good but if it’s paid off with a title change to a young talent like Hart or Skye, I’d be all for it. It would actually be one of the best angles AEW has had in the Women’s division. If Stat wins, it’s just another silly storyline that went nowhere.
Roderick Strong def Darius Martin – Strong rose from his wheelchair, removed his neck brace and courageously entered the ring. He has The Kingdom with him as always. Tony Schiavone calls Strong a shyster early in the match. That made me laugh. It’s one of my favorite burns. I always thought Irwin R Schyster (IRS) was one of the best gimmicks in wrestling history. He’s the reason I like the term. Martin got a decent amount of offense. Strong won in a few minutes after hitting his Sick Kick and finishing lifted gut buster. I’m not sure what they’re calling his finisher in AEW. It’s called Death by Roderick on the internet. Rating **
After the match, Strong put the neck brace back on and sat back in the wheelchair to rest his serious neck injury. The Kingdom continued to beat down Martin with a wiener punch and spike piledriver. Action Andretti came out and made the save after the damage was done.
Gino’s take – This was just about getting Strong a win and advancing his Neck Strong storyline. I like it but there isn’t much going on for them right now. Maybe we’ll get a tag match between the Kingdom and Martin/Andretti. It could be a decent match. It’s not really an exciting development though.
Tony Khan is shown in a video package alongside Bryan Danielson. They’re announcing Danielson will be at All In 2024 since he missed it this year. What a random announcement and possible jinx. How can you guarantee someone like Danielson who gets hurt every few months (because of his brutal style) will be at a show months down the road? TK also announces a Continental Classic Tournament. Danielson is announced as the first participant. It starts November 22nd so he must not be that injured.
Gino’s Take – There is a lot to unpack here. There will be 12 wrestlers in the tournament. It will last 6 weeks. The winner will be crowned at Worlds End. It sounds like it will be round robin style like the G1 Climax Tournament in New Japan. I love it! I hope they do it right because this is something I’ve been wanting AEW to do. The G1 is awesome! It’s such an easy story to tell because the tournament means so much in Japan. All the matches seem important. Lots of rivalries are formed during it. We’ll see if AEW can give the Continental Classic the same significance. TK also announced all the cities it will take place in which is a good way to create buzz for future shows. I’d like to see it feature the true top talent in the company like the G1 does.
The first entrant?
The American Dragon @bryandanielson!
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) November 12, 2023
Julia Hart def Willow Nightingale – My wife mimics Julia’s entrance and sings the song. Her reactions definitely make the show better for me. Willow out next. Amber dances again lol. Good back-and-forth action early. Willow scouted a move Julia did on Dynamite and didn’t fall for it. Willow has Hart in a nasty submission hold. Hart is very flexible to be stretched like that. Lee Johnson is a lucky guy. Suplex on the floor from Willow before a PIP break. Willow missed badly with a boot before hitting a big spine buster for a near-fall. Hart has worked over Willow’s arm which prevented a gut wrench powerbomb attempt. Julia went for her Hartless submission. Nightingale lifted her but was too hurt to land a move. Willow hit a spear on Julia. Outside the ring, Julia took advantage of a distraction from Brody King to avoid a cannonball splash attempt sending Willow crashing into the steps. Full Nelson slam from Willow for a 2-count after knocking Julia off the top rope. There was a weird looking move that I think was a counter from Hart. That allowed Julia to hit her Moonsault finisher for the win. Rating ***
Gino’s take – Good match from the women tonight. There was something on the line and they have been in a storyline together. This meant a lot more than the normal 9:23 women’s match. Although it was sloppy at times, the competitors performed well. Julia is now part of the Triple Threat TBS Championship match at Full Gear. Sounds good to me. I can’t wait to watch Amber mark out for her entrance! I think Julia should win as well.
Lexy Nair is with Ricky Starks and Big Bill. They say no one is getting a shot at their titles. Lexy informs them it in fact will be a 4-way match for the AEW Tag Team Titles at Full Gear.
Gino’s take – I like it. It’s not the greatest matchup but AEW has made somewhat of an effort to build a rivalry between these four teams. I wouldn’t mind seeing a stip added. Full Gear needs a crazy brawl that goes all over the building. Starks and Bill should retain their titles.
Powerhouse Hobbs def some jobber – Paul Wight is on commentary. That’s the most interesting part of this massacre. I didn’t catch Hobbs’ opponent’s name. Rating SQUASH
Don Callis is in the ring doing his normal schtick putting over how his family is greater than all the iconic wrestling families like the Von Erich’s and Hart’s. He puts over the “Like a Dragon” Street Fight on Dynamite. He’s being booed but it’s not as loud as usual. It’s still very loud. He brags about what his family has done to the likes of Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho. He tells Wight to back out of the match. Callis tells Hobbs to smoke this fool referring to Wight. Good line. That led to a decent exchange where Hobbs backed down.
Gino’s take – We’ll probably see Paul Wight put over Hobbs at Full Gear after the street fight on Dynamite. I think it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have Hobbs beat the former Giant and Big Show. I can’t say I’d be thrilled to see it at Full Gear if that happens. I actually don’t mind seeing Paul Wight in AEW so I was OK with this. It would be an excellent match for Collision or Dynamite.
Lexy Nair is backstage with FTR. She says they’ve been on a roll. Has she been watching? No, they haven’t. They talk about the newly announced Fatal 4-way Tag Team Title match. I don’t see them winning but I’m happy to see them at Full Gear!
Main Event time! I’ve enjoyed this show a lot but it’s the second Collision in a row that is really lacking star power. There is star power in the main event but only on one side. I wrote some thoughts about it earlier.
Gino’s take – I didn’t like the attack from Lance Archer on Darby Allin last week. It felt so random and outside of Darby’s ongoing storyline with Christian Cage and friends. With so many rivalries crossing over in AEW currently, it felt like too much. I understand why they did it now that we are getting this match. That does make it more meaningful. It’s still not the hottest match. Even if they are an intriguing team that has potential, Archer and especially The Righteous need to be built up better before teaming up in a main event out of thin air. With all the headliners AEW has, they could be booking better main events.
Sting/Adam Copeland & Darby Allin def Lance Archer & The Righteous – After that rant, I do need to point out that I am a big fan of Lance Archer. The Righteous are very interesting as well. Amber is a big fan. I am looking forward to the match even if I don’t love it as a main event. There is about 17 minutes to go. They’ll get time to have a good bout. The crowd popped for Sting who exchanged “Woooos” with Lance Archer. It’s cool seeing them in the ring together. Sting knocks Archer to the outside before a PIP break. There was an awkward spot between Vincent and Sting where both men seemed to wobble. Sting tagged out to Darby after knocking Archer down with a clothesline. I’m not sure what they were going for there. There is a second commercial after what seemed like three minutes.
There’s about five minutes to go in the show after the break. The action has been good but it seems like half the match has been during PIP commercial breaks. Archer launched Darby all the way across the ring with an impressive overhead suplex. That was cool. Archer is a true monster who should be used better. Copeland finally tagged in and took out the Righteous with a clothesline from the top rope. He hit a great looking dive to all 3 of his opponents. Things have completely broken down. Schiavone says that on commentary. There was a lot of really good offense but not everyone loves it like Schiavone said. I don’t mind it but admit it could be cleaner at times. It took 3 or 4 big moves to neutralize Archer. Stinger Splash on Vincent into a Spear from Copeland to score the win. Rating ***½
Christian Cage came out after the match. He has Nick Wayne and Luchasaurus with him. It was just a stare down to end the show.
Gino’s take – The match got off to a slow start. The action after the last commercial was really fun. Copeland’s offense still looks great. His presence really helped the match quality. Once he tagged in the crowd was hot for the remainder of the match. It was a fun showcase for some of the most popular wrestlers in AEW. It wasn’t a star-studded show but the show’s 3 biggest stars did stand tall to end the night. It’s a way to send the crowd home happy.
Overall Rating for AEW Collision 7.5/10
Final Thoughts on AEW Collision
I didn’t have high hopes coming in. This turned out to be a lot better show than I thought it would be. The main thing that made it an enjoyable show was there wasn’t anything bad. Nothing really stood out as amazing either but I was entertained from start to finish. I really liked the development for Full Gear. AEW added a Triple Threat TBS Title match and Fatal 4-way Tag Team Championship. Both matches have been in the works for a few weeks. Even if they aren’t the strongest storylines they aren’t just thrown together. That makes 8 matches for Full Gear. Every match has a storyline. AEW gets a lot of criticism for not having storylines. I don’t think it’s true for Full Gear. Some of them are very good too. I know a few of them aren’t. Does any company put on big shows where every match has a thrilling backstory? I say no. I’ll be at Full Gear. The storylines have made me more excited for the show.
Another thing AEW rightfully gets a lot of criticism for is the poor booking of the Women’s division. I’m not going to suggest the current storylines are excellent. That said, there are 2 women’s matches at Full Gear. I’m looking forward to both. I don’t think either match has an obvious result. A title change would be good in both matches. AEW deserves credit for not mailing it in with the women at Full Gear. They’ve giving both matches a little effort and it has helped. Like normal the opener and main event were great matches tonight. There was good storyline development throughout the show. It was the normal solid episode of Collision. That’s fine with me!
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