This week on AEW Collision featured FTR defending the AEW Tag Team Titles against Ricky Starks & Big Bill, plus Adam Copeland’s Collision debut.
Greeting Colliders! Maverik Center in Salt Lake City, Utah is the host of episode 17 of AEW Collision. The card is solid but there have been better lineups for Collision. FTR defends their World Tag Team Championships against Ricky Starks and Big Bill. I like the team of Starks and Bill. They are coming off a big win last week to earn this title shot. I like that they won before getting the shot. It’s a lot better than putting teams or wrestlers we never see win in title matches. FTR winning seems like a predictable outcome since there was no build for the match. Adam Copeland makes his Collision debut. Eddie Kingston defends his ROH World Championship against Komander. Komander also won a pretty good 4-way match on Rampage to earn his title shot. I like both title matches. Booking the challengers to actually win matches is an improvement for AEW. I still think the matches are very predictable but they should be enjoyable. Let’s get to the action!
Bryan Danielson, Kyle Fletcher, Starks & Big Bill, Eddie Kingston, FTR are featured in the show’s opening short promos. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting! The Tag Team Title Match is opening the show. Interesting. I thought it might main event.
AEW World Tag Team Championship: Ricky Starks & Big Bill vs (C)FTR – You can immediately tell the building is far from being full. A lot of darkness and empty seats can be visibly seen. The crowd actually sounds loud despite that. Loud FTR chants at the start. Big Bill destroyed Cash Wheeler with a Chokeslam on the announce table 2 minutes into the match. That escalated quickly. Another huge Chokeslam from Bill to Dax Harwood back in the ring. It turned out to be a series of 3 Chokeslams. Holy shit, this is a squash! Starks and Bill are going over. Bill held up a limp Harwood, Starks bounced off the ropes 3 times before leveling Dax with a Spear to earn victory and Championship Gold for he and Bill! Rating *** (because of the magnitude of the upset)
Starks and Bill celebrated after the match while FTR looked dejected. The announcers sold it as a big deal. This time, they are right!
Gino’s take – WOW! I have a lot to say about this. I can’t remember the last time I was this shocked over the result of a match. It might have gone 5 minutes, probably less. FTR got zero offense. It was a straight up massacre. Big Bill looked like an absolute beast. It was beautiful to see. I think he can do great things in the wrestling world. Announcers Ian Riccaboni and Niguel McGuiness talked about FTR being injured. Maybe that’s why they dropped the titles. There has to be something more to this. FTR also trademarked the term CMFTR. CM Punk is heavily rumored to be joining WWE. This was an amazing upset and I’m so happy for Starks and Bill. I even wrote a few weeks ago in this column that they would make great opponents for FTR and Tag Team Champions. I’m glad it happened. I wish FTR the best in whatever is next for them and most of all hope one of them isn’t seriously injured. I’ve also written many times recently that AEW seemed to be out of ideas for them. I’m happy with the title change! (Editor’s Note: Cash Wheeler has a rib injury so that may have played a factor in this title change.)
A replay of Powerhouse Hobbs beating up Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega on Dynamite and a graphic for the match between Jericho and Hobbs on Title Tuesday. I liked the beatdown. Hobbs is a good fit with the Don Callis Family. It’s probably the best group he’s been a part of. Way better than QT Marshall. Riccaboni says it’s been a chaotic start to Collision. He’s right! I’m not gonna lie that upset got my adrenaline going! Bryan Danielson is out next. That’s 2 big matches early in the show!
Bryan Danielson def Kyle Fletcher – Nigel McGuiness calls Bryan Birtle Bryan Danieslon. I think they’ll have a match next year. Loud “Let’s go Bryan” chants. The crowd sound great! Danieslon had Fletcher in a Surfboard with full extension. Ian said just that on commentary. Fletcher hit a Tope Suicida but nearly killed himself by going head first into the barricade. It was a nasty bump. He was OK and still in control over Danielson after a commercial break. Fletcher hit a Brainbuster for a 2 count. “This is awesome chant”. Riccaboni mentions it’s been an action packed first half hour of Collison. He’s right. I’m loving this show so far!
Fletcher hit a Snap Dragon Suplex after some even back and forth action. Riccaboni just called it a back-and-forth bout lol. Great looking Michinoku Driver from Kyle. Dragon Sleeper from Fletcher. It looked painful when he slapped it on. He’s really working over Bryan’s neck. Reverse Superplex into the Dragon Sleeper again for Fletcher. Danielson rolled through and bridged to pin Fletcher. Rating ***½
After the match, Swerve Strickland and Gates of Agony jumped Danielson ahead of their match on Dynamite. Claudio Castagnoli and Wheeler Yuta came down to even the odds. It looks like a rivalry is building between Mogul Enterprises and Blackpool Combat Club. Sounds good to me!
Gino’s take – Outstanding match. It could have been a lot better if Kyle Fletcher was built up as a credible opponent. Off the top of my head, he’s lost at least 4 matches recently. The ending was abrupt as well. Danielson didn’t win in decisive fashion to put over how tough Fletcher is. Other than nearly killing himself, he was phenomenal in this match. He has a very bright future. I’m talking about a Kenny Omega or Will Ospreay type future. He’s damn good and paying his dues right now. I do think he shouldn’t lose as much as he is. Hopefully, he gets a push sooner rather than later.
A replay of Ricky Starks and Big Bill’s upset victory before Tony Schiavone is backstage interviewing them. Bill says they walk like stars, look like stars and act like stars. Ricky Starks says there is no rematch for FTR. Makes me wonder again if they are leaving. Starks calls he and Bill Top Dogs and they are out copying FTR’s catchphrase. My wife says she like Kevin Kelly but the commentary is better with Riccaboni. I think she’s right. Ian is tremendous. Kelly is also very good.
Bullet Club Gold (Juice Robinson & The Gunns) def Gravity, Angelico, Metalik – Serpentico is with Angelico. I didn’t know they were still with AEW. I actually think Angelico is really good. This is a random match that wasn’t announced. It could be good. They are all talented performers. Gravity has some weird schtick where he acts like he’s on the moon with zero gravity. It’s not really my thing. The Gunns hit 3-10 to Yuma on Metalik. Juice ran around the ring like a fruitcake before hitting his finisher Pulp Friction for the win. Rating **¼
Gino’s take – Easy win for Bullet Club Gold as it should have been. Their opponents are talented but didn’t really get a chance to shine. Just a way to get Bullet Club Gold a win because they are somewhat pushed behind Jay White. White is getting a main event level push so it makes sense for his cronies to get an easy win.
Jay White grabbed a mic after the match. Jay has MJF’s Triple B World Championship. The crowd is chanting for MJF. I doubt he’ll be here. He’s not a Collision guy. Jay calls out MJF for not being there saying if he cared about his belt he’d be there. He’s really not wrong about that. Jay is going against Hangman Page on Dynamite. Jay says it’s a non-title match lol. Austin Gunn says it can be a World Title Eliminator. Good segment from BCG as usual.
Video package from Nick Wayne explaining why he turned on Darby Allin. Wayne mentioned Adam Copeland. Nick says Christian Cage is the father figure he needed. This was very good! After commercial there is a replay of Adam Copeland asking Christian Cage to team with him only to be told “ Go F*CK yourself”.
Iron Savages are out next. One of them says they are “Going to Eat that Ass”. Uhhh OK. Acclaimed is out next. Max Caster did his normal rap. He had his best line in months saying something like he’ll smash more ass than a Morman guy. That’s clever and funny. It made me laugh. Acclaimed and Billy have been champions for 41 days.
AEW Trios Championship: (C) Acclaimed & Billy Gunn def Iron Savages (Bronson & Boulder) & Jacked Jamison – The Savages keep doing this weird smacking lips type thing similar to Jar Jar Binks. I think it’s a symbol for “Eat Ass”. I think they are talented but I’m not sure if I like that as a gimmick. They also keep humping the ground and other sexual antics like that. The announcers are talking about sauce. The innuendo is heavy. Riccaboni made a funny joke about Iron Savages crashing like Heavy D’s second album. Like I said earlier, he’s an excellent announcer who makes a very positive impact on the show. The action is pretty good. It went long enough to get a commercial break. Schiver me Timbers on Boulder followed up by the Mic Check from Caster on Jacked for the win. Rating **¼
Gino’s take – Acclaimed have really lost their steam. The whole Trios division is a hot mess. It’s probably the most poorly booked division in AEW even behind the women. Hopefully, they can figure out an actual challenger for Acclaimed and Billy.
Video package for Timeless Toni Storm who is making her Collision debut tonight. It’s the gimmick that’s making the debut. She says her “Chin up, Tits out” tagline that my wife loves. Toni is playing an amazing character. I’m looking forward to seeing her tonight.
We get a video package for Shane Taylor and Keith Lee. I think they are going to have a match. The program is moving very slowly. That seems typical for how AEW books Keith Lee. Hopefully, this one gets paid off unlike his feud with Swerve. Timeless Toni Storm is up next. My wife stands up and mimics her mannerisms like a damsel in distress. So, you know Amber is a Timeless fan. She’s cracking me up right now.
“Timeless” Toni Storm def Kiera Hogan – Hogan is a good wrestler. Toni has a cute little garter on according to Amber. I like it myself. I have to admit that both these women have impressive ring gear. Toni got hung up in the ropes. Kierra slapped Storm’s booty 3 or 4 times. I mean how can you not like that spot! Toni Storm sent us to a picture in picture commercial break. This is the second time she’s done it. It’s original. I don’t remember anyone doing that before. Toni countered a move from Hogan by biting her in the booty. I don’t mind this action at all. Hip attack and Storm Zero from Toni for the win. Rating ***¼
The screen switched to black and white after the match. Toni did some over the top celebrating.
Gino’s take – This was really fun. Especially for AEW’s poorly pushed women’s division. Toni is killing it with her new character. I really like Kierra Hogan. She’s a former Impact Women’s World Champion. She showed how talented she is in this.
Renee Paquette is backstage with Ruby Soho. Soho complains about losing to Shida. Renee tells Ruby she’s banned from ringside for Saraya’s match vs Shida on Title Tuesday.
ROH World Championship: (C) Eddie Kingston def Komander – As expected the action was fast-paced and hard-hitting headed to the first commercial. Komander hit 3 or 4 high-flying moves and got a near fall on Eddie. Both men are landing some stinging chops. Especially Kingston. JR has joined commentary. Not to be negative about him but this isn’t his kind of match. Kingston landed his finisher spinning back fist to get the win. Rating ***
After the match, Eddie held up Komander’s hand trying to push it as a big match and big win for him. Not sure I agree.
Gino’s take – JR and the other announcers tried to put it over as a great win for Eddie and a solid main event. It wasn’t. It was a bit above average but not main event level at all. I’m glad AEW gave Komander a win before getting this title shot. It doesn’t make me forget that he’s lost just about every other match he’s been in.
Let’s hear from Adam Copeland
The former Edge is out for our main event promo. AEW has been doing a lot of main event segments lately. Here’s another one. Copeland is definitely worthy of the spot. Adam gives credit to JR for hiring him to WWE. Cool moment there. Adam says the only reason he came to AEW was to team with Christian Cage. Doctors told both men they would never compete again. This is really good because it’s true. I’m sure they will team up at some point. It makes too much sense not to do a singles feud first. Props to AEW for taking the layup.
Copeland makes a joke about Nick Wayne having a Persian cat. I’m not sure why but the crowd reacted as if it was a good burn. The ratings aren’t going to show it with AEW going against College Football and Playoff Baseball tonight. The crowd is reacting to Copeland very well. My wife says he’s the CM Punk we never got. He’s great on the mic and should work well in the locker room. I agree with her but I think the timing of his debut and inevitable drop in ratings due to the competition will make him the butt of a lot of jokes from AEW haters.
Luchasaurus and Nick Wayne came out. I thought they would get destroyed by Adam. Copeland hit the Edgecution. The announcers called it Copecution. Luchasaurus took out Adam with his really weak looking elbow type move. Darby Allin hit the ring for the save with a chair. Darby is jacked up as always. That allowed the heels to get the advantage. Amber called Nick Wayne’s drip a droop. She’s had a good night lol. Darby refused to hit Nick Wayne with a chair. That allowed Luchasaurus and Wayne to take him out. Nick destroyed Darby’s injured arm with a Con-Chair-To to end the show.
Gino’s take – A good heel beatdown to give Luchasaurus heat headed into Adam Copeland’s first AEW match on Tuesday. I thought the former Edge might stand tall so early in his run. I don’t think it hurts him or anything. I just think the crowd would have popped huge if Adam had cleaned house to end the show.
Overall Rating 8/10
Final thoughts – I don’t have too many mark out moments watching wrestling. I had one when Starks and Bill won the Tag Titles. I was on a high watching the rest of the show which probably helped the rating. I’m not sure if others would have rated this show as high. The first half hour of Collision was as much fun as I can have watching wrestling. AEW still does that for me sometimes. I thought the same thing about Dynamite Wednesday. I really like where AEW is at as far as the on-screen product. Adam Copeland has given them a shot in the arm for me even though I know the ratings won’t show it. AEW did 4 things I’ve written they should do here. Two championship contenders actually won before getting title shots. Ricky Starks won gold. Starks and Bill won an open challenge and the tag titles changed hands. All great things in my mind!
Not all of the show was great. It’s kind of sad seeing what the Trios division has become. Acclaimed could really use a meaningful storyline. I think the scissoring is getting stale. Even though I’m glad Komander won a match he’s not close to a main eventer. This was one of the weakest main events Collision has had. Possibly the weakest. Those really aren’t huge complaints because I really enjoyed the show. I like the pace and contrast Collision has to Dynamite. A lot of wrestlers get to shine. That stood out again tonight with Toni Storm and Bullet Club Gold. Attendance is down, ratings will be bad and the cable providers don’t even list their show times correctly. Nevertheless, I really like where AEW is as a product right now.
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