Date: June 7, 2023
Location: Broadmoor World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Commentators: Excalibur, Tony Schiavone, Taz
We are less than a month away from Forbidden Door and there is a good chance that some matches will be made official tonight. A few matches have either been teased or all but confirmed so now the only thing left to do is confirm them. At the same time, we have another big Collision announcement so let’s get to it.
International Title: Orange Cassidy vs. Swerve Strickland
Cassidy is defending and Prince Nana is here with Strickland. The hands are quickly in the pockets for the early exchange of flips until Strickland takes him down. Strickland goes after the arm but Cassidy is up into a bit of a lazy octopus. A headscissors sens Strickland outside, where he puts his hands in his pockets. Cassidy follows but gets sent into the barricade, followed by his hand being sent into the post. Back in and Cassidy knocks him to the floor again, setting up a suicide dive. They both go up top and crash down onto the buckle to send us to a break.
Back with Cassidy knocking Strickland down and hitting some rather lazy right hands. The tornado DDT sends Strickland to the apron, where he pulls Cassidy off the ropes with a Death Valley Driver. Since it’s just a Death Valley Driver on the apron, Cassidy is back up with a running DDT off the apron. A top rope DDT gives Cassidy two more back inside but Nana gets up on the apron.
Strickland is sent into him though and it’s the Orange Punch into the Beach Break for a rather near fall. Cassidy dives at Strickland on the floor but gets caught with a brainbuster. The House call connects back inside and the Swerve Stomp gets two more. Strickland grabs a rollup with tights for two, only to have Cassidy reverse into one of his own, also with tights, for the retaining pin at 15:38.
Rating: B. So yeah, Cassidy wins again, as he goes over someone else who has been needing a big win. At this point, I’m not sure who is supposed to beat Cassidy but there’s a good chance that the run will keep going for a long time. It was an entertaining and fast paced match, but Cassidy needs to put someone over already, as we’re almost at eight months of this reign. Oh and please stop ruining the DDT even more. The move is dead. Move on already.
Post match the Mogul Embassy runs in for the save but the lights go out it’s….Sting/Darby Allin for the save.
Video on Ricky Starks vs. Jay White, who have their big showdown tonight.
Video on Bryan Danielson challenging Kazuchika Okada for Forbidden Door, with the match being officially made.
Blackpool Combat Club vs. Chaos
It’s Rocky Romero/Best Friends for Chaos and Bryan Danielson is on commentary. Taylor throws a chair at Moxley to start fast and the Club is sent outside. After a rather chaotic hug, the Club is back in with a Hart Attack for two on Taylor as we take a break. Back with Romero and Barreta cleaning house and taking Moxley down, including a sliding kick to the face for two. Strong Zero gets the same, with Castagnoli having to make a save. Romero’s cross armbreaker is broken up and Moxley grabs the choke out to finish Romero at 8:12.
Rating: B-. This was designed to advance Danielson (Blue) vs. Okada (Chaos) and if Okada isn’t going to be here in person (fair enough), this is as good of an idea as they had. Chaos was working hard here but they weren’t about to beat the top heel faction in the company in a regular six man tag. Good match, and it served a purpose.
Hangman Page and the Young Bucks say that was a good Club match (Page: “I didn’t see it, but it sounded good”.) and challenge the Club to face them next week. Danielson accepts.
Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay II is set for Forbidden Door.
Here is MJF to tell the crowd (or drug addicts as he calls them) to keep their mouths shut. MJF complains about the lack of competition in Colorado before saying the fans’ mothers’ swallows. Cue Adam Cole to interrupt, with MJF cutting him off to talk about CM Punk ruining his fandom as a kid. Then he saw Ring Of Honor and Adam Cole caught his eye. MJF followed his career from CZW to NXT, where he was the greatest champion they ever had, and that is undisputed.
MJF went to CZW and the independent scene and then came to AEW, where he is the champion. MJF: “What happened to you man?” Cole used to be the Panama City Playboy and now he’s on Twitch while Britt Baker leaves the house with his testicles in her purse. And didn’t Cole used to have the physique of a world champion. We hear about the fans complaining about everything before MJF talks about how the way to make him cool is to ring the bell.
MJF brings up Vince McMahon not seeing much in Cole and he thinks Vince was right. Cole finally gets to talk and says first off, Britt could beat MJF up on his own. The other thing though is MJF keeps bringing up relationships, which might be because his own fiance left him. Cole brings up the comments about his body, which he shifts to his body of work, which MJF can’t touch.
He accuses MJF of being on steroids and says no one in the back respects him. MJF: “How about I cry into all my money about it?” MJF brings up the rumor of Cole being Keith Lee’s manager in WWE (that’s the third WWE reference), but Cole says if MJF wasn’t a coward, he would fight him. The match seems to be made.
Well that was a lot about WWE, and I’m guessing that’s supposed to be enough to fuel the feud. Cole getting the title shot makes sense and a lot of the insults were quite the zingers, but Cole is going to need some work after a pretty lame Chris Jericho feud. For now though, Cole needs a fresh challenger and Cole fits the bill well.
The Hardys welcome Ethan Page to the team and insist that he apologize to Brother Zay. Page does, albeit reluctantly.
La Faccion Ingobernable vs. Hook/Jungle Boy
La Faccion (Preston Vance/Dralistico) jump them from behind to start and the fight heads into the crowd as we take a break. Back with Hook fighting back and Vance COVERED in blood. A discus lariat drops Hook and Vance chokes him with a chain. Hook reverses into a t-bone suplex to send Vance through the table for a big crash. Jungle Boy DDTs Dralistico onto a chair but Jose the Assistant makes the save. Hook chokes him out and it’s the Snare Trap to finish Dralistico at 8:50.
Rating: B-. Well that was intense, even if so much of it was spent during the break. Vance was GUSHING blood and that made things look all the more violent. They crammed a lot into this and that’s nice to see, though I could have gone without a break taking up so much of what looked to be a hot match.
Tony Khan announces the main event of the first Collision: Jay White/Juice Robinson/Samoa Joe vs. CM Punk/FTR.
Konosuke Takeshita vs. Damon Ace
Don Callis is here with Takeshita, who comes out without music. As we keep seeing Callis stabbing Kenny Omega on the big screen, Takeshita hits some headbutts in the corner, setting up the running knee for the pin at 1:25.
Post match Takeshita speaks Japanese and Callis calls Kenny Omega a cancer, which must be cut out.
Christian Cage promises revenge on Arn Anderson….and reveals that Luchasaurus has attacked Arn’s son Brock.
TBS Title: Kris Statlander vs. Anna Jay
Jay, with Matt Menard, is challenging and starts running away early on. Menard cuts Statlander off on the floor but she’s fine enough to shoulder Jay down for two. A shot in the corner takes Statlander down though and we go to a break. Back with Jay hitting a Gory Bomb for two but the Queenslayer is broken up pretty quickly. The Tombstone retains the title at 8:23.
Rating: C. What we saw was good, but I could go without these eight minute matches having a commercial eating up such a huge chunk of their time. Statlander is still getting back and having her pick up a bunch of wins is a good way to reestablish her. Even before she left, she had only dropped the alien stuff for a short while, so this is still a relatively new version of Statlander. It’s working so far though, and that’s nice to see.
The Outcasts are ready for whomever wins a four way on Rampage for a Women’s Title shot.
Ricky Starks vs. Jay White
Juice Robinson is banned from ringside. Starks jumps him before the bell (that’s a really common theme tonight) and the fight starts on the floor, with White being chopped against the barricade. They get inside with Starks hitting a backdrop, only to go outside and find….nothing for the time being. The fight heads up the ramp and up to the stage, only to come back down with White taking over. White messes with the steps but Starks grabs a suplex on the floor as we take a break.
Back with White cutting off a tornado DDT and hitting a top rope superplex for two. The Bladerunner is blocked and now the tornado DDT gives Starks two of his own. White counters the Roshambo into a swinging Rock Bottom but Starks is back with a heck of a spear. The Roshambo connects but the ref is bumped. Cue the Gunns to lay out Starks, allowing White to hit the Bladerunner for the pin at 13:28.
Rating: B. The Gunns interfering is interesting as we’re probably coming up on the Club vs. FTR, though I’m not sure which team is going to be facing them at the moment. Other than that, White gets a big win, even if the Starks feud probably isn’t done. It was a good match and Starks did get cheated in the win, but White is what matters here and he looked more like his usual great self.
Overall Rating: B. The best thing here, or at least the biggest relief, is that the build to this year’s Forbidden Door is off to a rather good start. Last year felt like AEW was throwing as many names as they could at us while this year has some logical matches being announced one by one. Other than that, you had a bunch of solid matches and stories being moved forward. Your mileage on Cole vs. MJF may vary due to how shooty/insidery they got, but it’s a fresh feud and more traditional after the Pillars stuff. All in all, a good show here, and it felt more like your normal Dynamite.
Orange Cassidy b. Swerve Strickland – Rollup with tights
Blackpool Combat Club b. Chaos – Bulldog choke to Romero
Hook/Jungle Boy b. La Faccion Ingobernable – Snare Trap to Dralistico
Konosuke Takeshita b. Damon Ace – Running knee
Kris Statlander b. Anna Jay – Tombstone
Jay White b. Ricky Starks – Bladerunner
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