This week’s AEW Collision featured an eight-man tag team match main event, plus Darby Allin facing Lance Archer and more.
The Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas is the host for episode 21 of AEW Collision. While there are a few matches I think should be good, it’s not the strongest card. Darby Allin vs Lance Archer and Swerve Strickland vs AR Fox could be awesome matches although the result in each seems obvious. Acclaimed and Daddy Ass are celebrating their 69th day as Trios Champions. The main event will most likely be an 8-man tag featuring Ricky Starks/Bill Big & Gates of Agony against FTR & Rush/Preston Vance. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting. Let’s get to the action!
The show opening short video packages are back. FTR, Big Bill/Ricky Starks, Lance Archer, Darby Allin, Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana participated. I like these. They are a throwback that are unique to Collision. They get the show off on a high note and hype things up we’ll see later on. AR Fox attacked Swerve during his promo. Fox threw Swerve through the tunnel into the entranceway. Looks like that will be our opener. Hot start!
Swerve Strickland def AR Fox – The men brawl from backstage as the show beginning fireworks package goes off while Elton John’s intro song is playing. That was an excellent visual and great way to start the show! Before the match started Fox hit a huge crossbody off the ramp to the floor. The match finally starts with Fox in firm control after the attack. Fox hit a couple ariel moves and a nice cutter. Swerve slammed Fox’s knees onto the apron to gain control. Gates of Agony is out at ringside. Strickland was still in control after commercial. Fox got a nice near-fall after a couple of big moves and a 450 splash. Fox with another great near-fall after a cool looking springboard Spanish Fly type move. Swerve hit his House Call kick for a 2-count of his own. Swerve slammed AR’s knee onto the top turnbuckle a good-looking spinning slam and his Swerve Stomp finisher from the top rope to win the match. Excellent finishing sequence. Rating ***½
Gino’s take – Another solid opener like we normally see on Collision. Fox has been in that spot the last two weeks and delivered. The crowd was behind Fox again. It’s not as loud of a crowd as last week.
After the match, it looked like Swerve and his friends were going to beat down Fox. FTR came out for the save. Starks and Bill followed them out. The heels had the advantage. La Faccion Ingobernables came out to even the odds. FTR wanted a handshake with LFI. LFI turned them down. House of Black was shown in the crowd.
Gino’s take – It’s another wild AEW brawl. This one is featuring the competitors in the main event to add some heat to it. The crowd seems into it. Although it sounded like another small crowd in a big building so it wasn’t that loud. There was pretty good development here. FTR and LFI will team up later but aren’t exactly friends.
Daniel Garcia won a match on Rampage and now gets a shot at MJF’s World title. They show a hype video for that match. It should be a really good match. I don’t think anyone sees Garcia as a threat to win.
A replay of Jay White pinning MJF on Dynamite. MJF did a fired-up promo from last Wednesday about how mad he is about the loss and how he is better than Jay White. He will prove it at Full Gear. Bullet Club Gold now chanting “Jay pinned MJF”. Jay bragged about beating MJF and will do it again at Full Gear to defend “his” Bang Bang Belt AEW World Championship.
Gino’s take – This was good. AEW has done a good job building towards the Main Event of Full Gear.
Kip Sabian is being interviewed by Lexy Nair. He is complaining about how Mark Briscoe kicked his butt last week on Rampage. He brings in the Work Horsemen. They challenge Mark and 2 partners of his choice. Sabian and the WorkHorsemen are the Sex Stallions. I chuckled at that.
Dasha Gonzalez is in the ring. She is interrupted by Roderick Strong who yelled “Daaaaasha” as he came out. He then yelled his “Adaaaaam” catchphrase.
The Kingdom (Matt Taven & Matt Bennett) def Nash and McGregor – Strong is in his wheelchair outside. The Kingdom won easily after a spike piledriver. Rating SQUASH
Strong attacked one of them after the match then fell as if his neck was in tremendous pain. Tony Schiavone wondered if he needed an EMT. That was funny.
Gino’s take – I like Roddy’s Neck Strong gimmick. His group with the Kingdom has potential. I can see how people might find it annoying. I was hoping he’d be involved with MJF as part of the Adam Cole storyline. I’m not sure where it’s going at this point. This didn’t seem to move the needle for them.
There is a video package for TNT Champion Christian Cage. It highlighted Nick Wayne’s heel turn. It’s been a really good storyline that is leading to a big match at Full Gear.
Lexy is backstage with Mark Briscoe. FTR offer to be his partner. Mark already has a couple fellas in mind to be his partners. Mark fired up the crowd after that.
Darby Allin def Lance Archer – There is a loud “Darby” chant at the start of the match. It’s the loudest they’ve been so far. The announcers talk about how quick Lance Archer’s match time is when he wins in 2023. I think I’ve seen him win once. Archer walked the ropes like Undertaker. Darby knocked him off, crotching Archer. Allin nailed his crazy Tope Suicida under the middle rope. It didn’t phase Lance much as he slammed Darby on the ramp outside before a picture in picture commercial break. Huge Chokeslam in the ring from Archer. Then a crazy Chokeslam over the tope rope onto the apron. That was insane. Darby loves taking bumps like that. Jake “The Snake” Roberts grabs Darby’s skateboard. The referee kicked Jake out. Shortly after, Allin hit a Code Red from the top rope and rolled Lance up for the 3-count. Rating **¾
Roberts has a mic after the match. His voice sounds terrible. He doesn’t look great either. He brought more artillery. It’s the Righteous. Vincent says Revenge is forever and it’s showtime. Archer came back in the ring and hit his finisher Blackout on Darby.
Gino’s take – A decent match that was booked as a beatdown with a fluke finish. The finish would have worked better if everyone didn’t know Darby would win. I’d love to see Lance Archer and even The Righteous get a push. I don’t really want to see more of Jake Roberts on TV. His voice is honestly hard to listen to. It’s another older guy that I don’t think AEW should focus on. It’s also another example of AEW having so many random storylines lately. My wife even wondered why Darby needed a new feud when he already had a match at Full Gear. I agree with her. I think this would have been a good angle to set up a fresh feud if AEW had done this the Dynamite or Collision after Full Gear. Slow it down.
Backstage, Lexy Nair is with Kris Statlander, Skye Blue and Willow Nightingale. Kris thanked Skye for helping them last week against Julia Hart. Skye said she didn’t do it for Kris, she did it for Willow and always has Willow’s back. It looks like there is dissention between Statlander and Blue. It’s not that interesting of a storyline but it could lead to Skye Blue winning the TBS Championship from Statlander. If it does, I’ll like it.
After the commercial Alex Abrahantes is backstage with Nair. He is interrupted by Swerve Strickland. The only thing Penta loves more than wrestling is family. Strickland took it too far by involving Hangman Page’s family in their rivalry. It set up a match on Dynamite between Swerve and Penta El Zero Miedo. Two of my favorites. Sounds good to me!
Acclaimed and Daddy Ass 69-day Celebration – Max Caster has a rap. This one wasn’t very good. There are pink and 69 balloons in the ring. The crowd is chanting “69”. Some streamers came down from the ceiling. Anthony Bowens and Billy Gunn have a special gift for Max Caster. It’s MJF with a recorded message on the big screen. He doesn’t love the Acclaimed but he is starting to like them and says “yay scissoring”. Max Caster loves it so much he is almost moved to tears. There is a 69 trophy sitting on the announce table. A loud “Oh scissor me daddy” chant. The crowd seemed to enjoy this. As it was about to wrap up Dalton Castle and the Boys made an interruption. Castle feeds the boys imaginary seeds as if they are peacocks. My wife Amber pops big for this. The Boys grab the 69 trophy and give it to Dalton Castle. Castle destroyed the trophy leading to a brawl between the trio teams.
Gino’s take – I didn’t mind it. It was what I expected. A bunch of corny jokes mainly. I was expecting an interruption. I wasn’t expecting it to be Castle and the Boys. Acclaimed has gotten a little steam back after teaming with MJF on Dynamite. They are still a long way off from where they were. They could use an interesting opponent. This would have been a good chance to set that up. It didn’t happen.
AEW Trios Championship: (C) The Acclaimed & Billy Gunn def Dalton Castle & The Boys – A pinata was brought into the ring early. Acclaimed was trying to throw merch from inside the pinata to the crowd but it was going straight down. Not a great start before an early PIP commercial. One of the Boys took a Famouser from Billy, Bowens slam and the Mic Drop from Caster for Acclaimed’s 9th title defense. It’s the most Trios Title defenses in AEW history according to Kevin Kelly. Rating *½
Gino’s take – The 69-day celebration leads to an impromptu Championship match. I don’t mind it. I don’t love it either. We just saw the Boys squashed by the Ass Boys recently yet here they are in a title match. It happens way too often in AEW. It was a little too long to be a squash match. That brought it in as probably the lowest I’ve ever rated a match on Collision. Kelly said Acclaimed and Ass now have the most title defenses in Trios division history. It might be true. It hasn’t been a memorable reign in a division that has gone ice cold.
Lexy Nair is with Andrade El Idolo. Andrade doesn’t want to talk about his business with CJ Perry. He will give CJ his answer next week.
Gino’s take – The storyline between Andrade and Miro is moving very slowly. Hopefully it sets up a match at Full Gear. I’m not sure if they’ll do it.
Mark Briscoe/Dustin Rhodes/Keith Lee def Sex Stallions (Kip Sabian/JD Drake/Anthony Henry) – Tony Schiavone calls Work Horsemen the most under rated team in AEW. Although talented, I don’t agree with that. The heel team has control early. They all hit impressive looking moves. If they were booked better, I might take them seriously. Kip Sabian tagged himself in. He went for the Jay Driller but Mark Briscoe reversed it and made the teg. Dustin Rhodes offense still looks good. Briscoe hit a nice summersault splash from the top rope to the outside. Keith Lee did some power moves. Mark hit the Froggy Bow on Sabian for the win. Rating **½
Gino’s take – Briscoe picked some pretty random partners. It’s a pretty cool team. I think Lee and Dustin did team up a while ago. It didn’t go anywhere. This was fun for a shorter match. The heels got some offense but this was just about getting Briscoe a win while getting Dustin and Lee some TV time. There has been too much on this show that has accomplished nothing. Especially so close to a big PPV that I’m attending. Amber mentions this show hasn’t made her more excited for Full Gear.
Lexy Nair is backstage with Mark Briscoe. Mark challenges Jay White to a match on Dynamite saying he has already beaten him multiple times in tag matches. He tells Jay to put up his title shot. Another excellent match set up for Dynamite! Briscoe’s energy is infectious. He is a great character. Give me a Mark Briscoe push!
Willow Nightingale def Emi Sakura – Emi threw her jacket at a security guard. My wife loves it when she does that. Willow hit an awkward cross body with Emi down. The crowd is really quiet. Emi hit a crossbody to the floor and then hit a splash on Willow who was prone against the stairs. It’s a really good-looking move. The crowd chants “let’s go Willow” getting back into it. Willow hit a death valley driver on the floor after commercial. Willow with a missile dropkick back in the ring. Emi got a decent amount of offense. Willow won after the Doctor Bomb. Rating ** ½
Gino’s take – Another random women’s match in a bad spot on the card. I think they had a match recently but there is no storyline behind it. The action wasn’t too bad.
Lexy’s had a busy night. She’s with Samoa Joe the longest reigning ROH TV Champ. Joe hasn’t heard back from MJF about his offer to get his back. Keith Lee comes up and says Joe hasn’t beaten everyone. Joe says let’s remedy that on Dynamite! WOW! Ok, now that’s an awesome match. Dynamite looks amazing. My wife said that’s a match they should have saved for Full Gear. Can’t say I disagree with her.
Ricky Starks/Bill Big & Gates def Agony against FTR & Rush/Preston Vance – The match is a follow up from the chaos that occurred after Ricky Starks victory over Dax Harwood last week. I like that there is a little storyline continuity. There have been better main events on Collision for sure. Prince Nana has been all over the show. The action has been slow paced and pretty average before our first commercial break. Rush tagged in. He was on fire on offense and fired up the crowd. They chanted “Rush”. Rush and Vance hit a double team slam on Starks for a near-fall. They have lost the crowd a bit. Huge Chokeslam from Big Bill to Preston Vance. Rush charged Starks but was nailed with a huge spear. That drew a “this is awesome” chant. As we got close to the end there was the typical sequence where everyone hit big moves knocking an opponent to the outside. Rush hit a big drop kick on Bishop Khan who was prone on the bottom rope in the corner. It’s an impressive move that might be his finisher. It was enough for the win. Rating ***
Rush and Vance wouldn’t shake FTR’s hands again after the win. House of Black is shown on the big screen. They say they will beat fear into FTR. The lights go out. House of Black is in the ring. Here we go again. House of Black takes it to FTR. Claudio and Wheeler Yuta make the save. Another brawl ensues. The crowd isn’t that loud again as we go off the air.
Gino’s take – I like that the match continues an angle from last week. Things are heating up in the tag team division. There might be too much going on. The match itself was pretty good but definitely is one of the weaker main events Collision has had. The brawl to end the show was too much for my liking. It wasn’t that loud of a crowd. I really don’t think you should book wild brawls in front of small crowds. Especially when it seems like there’s 2 or 3 every show. There must be some sort of multi-team Tag Team Title match being set up for Full Gear. Ladder match perhaps?
One thing that got headlines this week in the tag division was The Young Bucks #1 contendership that has seemingly gone away. There have also been rumblings of some talent being unhappy with last-minute and changing storylines. It would seem those rumors might be about the Bucks considering the source. Matt Jackson most likely started a heel turn on Dynamite. The Elite and specifically the Bucks haven’t been in a storyline in a long time. I can see a Matt Jackson heel turn and a singles run for the Young Bucks being a good move. The Young Bucks are from Southern California where AEW is holding three shows in two weeks. It’s strange that there is no direction for them this close to that considering they won a #1 contenders match on PPV one month ago.
Overall Rating 6.25/10
Final Thoughts on AEW Collision
This was a weak show. Last week was the highest I have rated an episode of Collision at 8.75. This was the lowest by a pretty good margin. The match quality was not where it normally is in AEW. The opening match was great. It was somewhat of a boring show after that. Another disappointing thing is there was nothing set up for Full Gear. There really didn’t seem like anything that was leading to something PPV caliber either. I didn’t research ticket sales like I’ve been doing a lot lately. It seemed like another small crowd. They were loud at times but quiet for the most part. You can tell the quiet is a result of a mostly empty building. There was a serious lack of star power. I would say AEW’s 5-10 top draws did not appear live. The best thing about the show was the matches set up for Dynamite. I am looking forward to that show at least.
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