This week on AEW Collision featured an All-Star 8-Man Tag Team Match and a Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega tag team just one night before the Wrestledream pay-per-view.
Greetings, Colliders! The 16th episode of AEW Collision is live from Seattle, Washington. The show is in Climate Pledge Arena, which is the same building as WrestleDream. I will not be able to watch WrestleDream and this will be an abbreviated review as I’m visiting my mother-in-law in Pahrump, Nevada for her 70th birthday! It’s a decent card tonight but not as stacked as last week. Kenny Omega teams with Chris Jericho in tag action. The most intriguing match of the night will see Andrade El Idolo face Juice Robinson. Ricky Starks/Bill Big Bill/ Aussie Open & FTR/Wheeler Yuta/Bryan Danielson are shown in the show opening video packages. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting! Our first match tonight is Juice vs. Andrade. Let’s get to the action!
The AEW WrestleDream PPV is later tonight. I joined the TJRWrestling team for a preview of WrestleDream, so check that out for our thoughts on the matches.
Andrade El Idolo def Juice Robinson – Rating ***¾
Gino’s take – Tremendous match. The Gunns were heavily involved as you’d expect from Bullet Club Gold. The announcers talked about the show ending angle on Dynamite and suggested either MJF or Andrade could have made the attack on Jay White. Lana was shown backstage watching a monitor. It looks like she was checking out Andrade. Sign me up for El Idolo vs Miro! The performers got plenty of time to tell a good story with Andrade overcoming the numbers and heel antics. Both wrestlers have impressive offensive moves. That was on display Saturday Night! The action really picked up after the commercial break. Andrade won with a Hammerlock DDT after destroying Juice with his beautiful spinning elbow.
Tony Schiavone interviewed Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega backstage. AEW was built on the back of their rivalry but they are teammates now united by their hatred for Don Callis.
A Portrait of a Star interview of Toni Storm by RJ City. Toni has her feet in an uncomfortable provocative position for RJ lol. Storm accused City of coming on to her after that. This was hilarious. Storm’s new character is amazing. My wife really likes her new gimmick.
The Kingdom def Best Friends – Rating ***¼
Gino’s take – Very good tag team match. AEW has been pushing The Kingdom so it’s nice seeing them get a meaningful win on TV. There was a small story behind it too as these teams started a rivalry in the 4-way match The Righteous won last week. There was a nasty spot where Trent hit a Death Valley Driver to Mike Bennett on the steps. The crowd was loud for Best Friends. It’s been a good crowd so far tonight. The Kingdom’s mantra is something like hit them in the wiener and finish them with a piledriver. They did that to both members of Best Friends to get the win. The Kingdom talked about Adam Cole after the match asking him to meet them at Roderick Strong’s house in six hours. That would probably happen at WrestleDream. Interesting development.
Alex Marvez catches Don Callis and Price Nana collaborating backstage. That is also interesting with possible repercussions for WrestleDream. Nana said he’s “in the money” in a funny way to the disgust of Alex. Nana is great!
A vignette for Juila Hart building up her match with Kris Statlander at WrestleDream. It was really cool and creepy just like Hart’s character in general.
Julia Hart def Vert Vixen – Rating **¼
Gino’s take – Hart’s offense looks really good. Brodie King was with Julia Hart. Vert Vixen is pretty good. She looks very similar to Kris Statlander which was mentioned by announcer Kevin Kelly. Vixen obviously had no chance but this should have been a dominant win for Julia and was.
Hart called Statlander out to the ring after the match. Best Friends were with Kris. The women sent their men away. It looked like the two would brawl until Juila rolled out of the ring to the dismay of the crowd. Statlander cut a short promo to end it. This was effective to give the combatants a little face to face interaction before their match. I’m rooting for the ladies to have a great match at WrestleDream. If there’s a match I’d love to see steal the show, it’s this one.
Kelly said we would hear from Josh Barnett. Instead, Claudio Castagnoli did a video package where he put out an open challenge. Barnett answered it. They will have a match at Zero Hour at WrestleDream. That’s pretty cool! I would have been looking forward to the match.
Kenny Omega & Chris Jericho def Gates of Agony (Bishop Khan & Toa Liona) – The great Prince Nana is with Gates of Agony. Jericho and Kenny both got huge babyface reactions which was good to see. There was a tremendous spot where Nana distracted Omega allowing Liona to launch him into Jericho who went flying off the apron. It was executed perfectly. Kenny hit a V-Trigger on Khan then Rise of the Terminator on Liona. Jericho made Khan submit in the Walls of Jericho. Rating ***¼
Gino’s take – Really cool seeing Omega and Jericho team up. It feels like a big deal. Smart thing to do the night before their PPV match to give it a little depth. Kenny and Chris worked wonderfully as a team. The crowd loved them. Gates of Agony are really good and could get a push someday. They made it competitive enough.
Omega and Jericho cut a promo saying they will co-exist after the match. They re-hashed how much they hate Don Callis and their opponents at WrestleDream Takeshita, Sammy Guevara and Will Ospreay. This was outstanding. Great way to build up their match tomorrow. It has a big fight feel for me. I picked the heel team to win but after seeing this a win for the Omega and Jericho team getting revenge on Callis feels right. The match could go either way.
There is another video package hyping up The Righteous before they face MJF in a handicap match on Sunday. If it will really be a handicap match, that is.
Gino’s take – The Righteous actually seem very cool. It would have been better if they were built up like this before winning the title shot. Then they should have had some actual interaction with their opponent(s). I don’t think it’s going to be a handicap match. In the WrestleDream preview, I predicted Roderick Strong will team with MJF and take over Adam Cole’s ROH Tag Team Championship. I haven’t seen it speculated but it really should happen.
Video Package for Darby Allin ahead of his 3 falls match against Christian Cage. I believe it’s been announced to be the main event. I wonder if that means we’ll get big a moment/debut to end WrestleDream. Another really good package. AEW has done a good job building to WrestleDream this week.
The Righteous (Dutch & Vincent) deft Travis Williams and Judas Icarus – Rating SQUASH
The Righteous cut a promo on MJF after the match. The crowd was not happy with them chanting “Shut the F*** Up” loudly. They brought a piece of wood into the ring. Vincent smashed Icarus foot against the wood with a chair.
Gino’s take – I’m starting to like The Righteous. Along with The Kingdom, AEW is doing a good job building up new tag teams. It’s a little too late for them to be considered serious contenders at WrestleDream. I do look forward to seeing what they do down the road. It shows how AEW lacks foresight in their booking. If the Righteous started their push a month earlier the match would mean a lot more. That said, AEW also deserves credit for making them interesting because they have.
We’re shown a video package hyping up Eddie Kingston against Katsuyori Shibata at WrestleDream. It was good. The match should be awesome. The buildup got a little better on Rampage when Shibata and Kingston finally shared the ring for a stare-down. There is a rundown of the WrestleDream and Zero Hour cards. RJ City, Renee Paquette and Stokely Hathaway will host the Zero Hour. It’s a good panel.
Tony Schiavone is backstage interviewing TMDK who I barely even know. They are challenging for the Trios Titles. The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn interrupt and that is the extent of the buildup for that match. Some of the WrestleDream card is amazing but it’s a mixed bag for sure. The in-ring action should be awesome like usual for AEW. Zack Sabre Jr. and Jim Ross have joined commentary for the main event.
8-Man All-Star Tag Team Match – Ricky Starks/Big Bill/Aussie Open def. FTR/Wheeler Yuta/Bryan Danielson – The action was excellent and fast paced. The crowd was loud for all of it. Every wrestler got a chance to shine. Ricky Starks and Big Bill hit a double team Choke Slam/Spear which led to Ricky pinning Dax Harwood. The 3-count was awkward. Cash Wheeler was trying to break up the pin. The timing seemed off. I think it was the planned finish but it seemed off and threw the crowd a bit. Rating *** ½
We got the wild brawl to end the show. The crowd wasn’t as loud for it as they were for a lot of other parts to the show. I think they were still trying to figure out what happened at the end. Sabre and Danielson had a face-to-face confrontation. They exchanged slaps before grappling a bit until Sabre bailed. The crowd was not as hot for this as they were when Danielson and Okada went face to face. Even my wife said “that’s not that cool” when the show went off the air. A bigger fight between Bryan and Zack might have been better.
Gino’s take – I actually like the All-Star match concept on the go home editions of Collision. This the second time they’ve done it. It’s a fun easy way to showcase a bunch of guys on the PPV in the main event. It’s also an easy thing to have breakdown for the chaotic ending we often see headed into a Pay Per View. The interaction between Danielson and Sabre Jr. fell a bit flat for me. I think the weird finish to the main event had a lot to do with it. The crowd wasn’t roaring for Danielson and Sabre like they were for Jericho and Omega.
Overall Rating 7.75
Final Thoughts – Great show the night before a new Pay Per View. WrestleDream should be outstanding. AEW did a great job building up the show this week even using Rampage. I think it’s tough to book interesting shows the night before a PPV without giving away too much. AEW has been hit or miss with it. I think they got it right tonight.
Collision focused heavily on WrestleDream, but had competitive matches all night. Andrade vs Juice and the Main Event were very good. Storyline heavy shows with good in-ring action is what we should expect going home to a PPV. That’s what we got with Collision on Saturday!
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